The Secret Sauce To Launch Your Affiliate Email Marketing Campaign

Affiliate email marketing is thriving, and it’s not hard to see why.

Generally, these campaigns promote affiliate links through email series. Whether you’re an affiliate marketer or want to start with affiliate marketing through emails, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to show you exactly how to launch an affiliate marketing email sequence.
Here is what we are going to cover:

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is when an affiliate earns a monthly commission for marketing another business’ products. The process can start with an affiliate searching for a product they enjoy, applying for the affiliate program, receiving an affiliate link, and ultimately earning a portion of each sale they helped make.

Of course, these sales are tracked via the received affiliate links. Even though this is a less traditional marketing strategy, it has certainly paid off as affiliate marketing is a proven way to drive sales while generating extra revenue. Therefore, brands and affiliate marketers benefit from this strategy.

Typically, the affiliate marketer will promote the product to their network through various channels, including social media platforms, blog posts, and an email platform.

What Is Affiliate Email Marketing?

Affiliate email marketing is a method where affiliate marketers promote affiliate links through well-thought-out emails. The general purpose of these affiliate marketing emails is to attract the interest of potential customers and subscribers, which will help you achieve conversion rate optimization and site traffic.

Accordingly, affiliate products typically get promoted through an email sequence in an affiliate email marketing campaign.

But how do affiliate email marketing programs work?

When email subscribers click on the affiliate links included in the email content and ultimately make a purchase, the person who sent the email gets commission payments from the sales.

As this was most likely a bulk email, the email’s sender will receive an additional commission every time someone makes a purchase.

Why Use Email For Affiliate Marketing?

Email affiliate marketing

There are various benefits of email marketing and reasons why it is a good idea to include email in your affiliate marketing strategy, including:

  • Generally, emails have a high return on investment (ROI). The average ROI of email marketing is $36 for every $1 spent.
  • Affiliate email marketers can easily track their email campaigns’ performance.
  • You can easily automate emails.
  • Email marketing strategies can help engage your customers.
  • An affiliate email campaign allows you to communicate directly with your target audience.

Discover more about how you can grow your email list organically.

Do’s of Affiliate Email Marketing

It is vital to include affiliate links in your current emails along with other informative content in your recurring email campaigns to get all the benefits of email marketing. Also, be sure to place your affiliate links in various places with a relevant anchor context.

One of the main principles regarding affiliate marketing efforts is to ensure that you share your experience and benefits of the product as a customer and not a sales rep. This means that you’ll need a thorough knowledge of the product to discuss it naturally and convince your engaged audience to purchase it.

Lastly, be sure only to include relevant email addresses in your affiliate marketing email campaigns. Otherwise, you’ll lose happy customers if the promotional emails are constantly irrelevant.

Don’ts Of Affiliate Email Marketing

We can’t emphasize this enough: avoid including affiliate links just to include them; instead, make sure they will benefit your readers, add value and provide a concrete solution. The key to increasing sales is to develop engagement and trust through an effective affiliate email marketing campaign.

Suppose your content is relevant to your email list. In that case, you will deliver more of your emails to recipients’ inboxes than spam folders, increasing revenue and providing excellent outcomes.

Steps To Launch A Successful Affiliate Email Marketing Campaign

The first step to launching a successful affiliate email marketing campaign is to join an email service provider. Ensure that the email provider you choose allows you to use affiliate links in your email campaigns. Before sending an email, you first need permission from the recipients.

If you are already familiar with the recipient or have an existing email list, it is known as “implied permission/consent.” However, if you are unfamiliar with the recipient, you need to request their permission before sending them any emails. It is essential to obtain “definite consent” from recipients to create a mailing list for affiliate marketing.

Are you a B2B marketer? Learn more about B2B email marketing and the best tools that you can use.

Any affiliate link you promote must be: profitable, relevant, and constant.


The affiliate link that you select to advertise should be profitable. To see if the campaign’s effort will be worthwhile, calculate the return on investment (ROI).

Although adding affiliate links to your email sequence typically incurs no additional costs, the effort and time invested are also valuable; therefore, focusing on affiliate links with promising earning potential is preferable.
You can do this by continuously checking the affiliate commission rates and calculating the affiliate income you’ll likely generate before launching an effective email campaign.


Due to their initial interest in your content and topic, your audience signs up for your mailing list. Therefore, it is crucial that the good or service you are promoting applies to their preferences and will provide them with a practical or all-in-one solution. Promoting relevant products to your content will also boost your likelihood of earning commission-paying sales.
This can be because including relevant products can seem less promotional than, for example, including products that seem unnatural in the content.


Your affiliate links need to remain worthwhile and applicable over time. This implies that the products or services you advertise need to be valuable over the upcoming few years. Choosing good affiliate partners will save you from hassles in the future. For example, you won’t need to update or change your emails if the products you promote are valuable.

You can include affiliate links in your email sequence by changing parts of the emails by adding helpful affiliate links if you already have an email sequence that produces high click-through rates. This will ultimately boost the natural traffic generated by your content to your affiliate links. Consequently, it will not impact your open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates.

However, it’s important to note that your entire email sequence shouldn’t solely be dedicated to affiliate links. Your audience will most likely get annoyed if third-party products are continuously included in your emails and unsubscribe.

The main downside is that fewer people will click on your affiliate links if you don’t include them in all of your current email sequences, which can lead to a decrease in profits.

If you already have an email sequence, you can easily modify a couple of the elements depending on the product or service you are promoting and your readers. Your focus should be continuously providing the valuable content you promised before your audience signed up. You can ensure that you’re doing this by:

  • Consistently sending emails
  • Sending educational content over promotional content to your audience
  • Ensuring that your emails have a unique form of content and are not monotonous.

4. Track Your Affiliate Marketing Campaign

To ensure your commissions keep increasing, you should constantly maintain your email list and campaign once your email sequence gets launched and results are produced.

This suggests that you should actively participate in tracking your subscribers and modifying your email marketing as necessary to guarantee that commissions keep growing.

It is essential to track subscribers’ interaction with your emails to optimize your email marketing campaigns successfully.

5. Leverage Holiday Campaigns

Holiday campaigns

Holidays might be a good time to get creative with your emails and offers, as customers are already looking for promotions. The most important thing when creating a holiday campaign is not to overwhelm your email recipients, as this might increase your unsubscription rate.

Furthermore, it will be beneficial to create a separate holiday campaign rather than combine it with your regular email sequence, as you can quickly delete or stop the holiday email campaign after the season has ended.

6. Implement Social Proof

Social proof is based on the idea of social influence, entailing that customers will be likelier to buy or try certain products or services that are accepted and approved by other customers or influencers.

For example, when you’re checking a landing page and notice a testimonial from an industry influencer or industry expert, that’s a form of social proof. Practically, social proof uses third-party influence to persuade potential customers to buy or try the product you’re promoting.

Accordingly, by implementing social proof in your affiliate email marketing campaigns, you can show your audience a database of success stories of customers who have used the affiliate products you’re promoting.

Best Practices For Affiliate Email Marketing

After you’ve considered launching campaigns for affiliate marketing, we should discuss some of the best email strategies to increase affiliate commissions ultimately.

Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation

Segmenting your audience means you should categorize your email list based on behavior, preferences, and the product you’re promoting. In other words, you should identify subgroups within your audience base to eventually deliver a more tailored message.

By doing this, your valuable content will reach the right buyer at the best possible time. Furthermore, audience segmentation is crucial in monitoring your open and click-through rates and improving these as well.

For example, you can segment the leads that frequently have low engagement rates, and you can resend some of the emails again, as it is possible that they didn’t see or receive your email the first time around.

Use Automated Emails

You can automate your affiliate email marketing campaign sending to help engage your customers. By using email automation tools, you’ll be able to send bulk emails if you’d like to scale your communication without losing hours of your time. Otherwise, you can use excellent software to track your email engagement or schedule mail-outs.

Personalize Your Emails

Personalized emails

It has been proven that emails with a personalized subject line are 26% more likely to be opened compared to emails that don’t have a personalized subject line. On another note, personalized emails are more likely to give better revenue outcomes than those without them.

Overall, email personalization drives engagement as you show your customers they’re special through these emails.

Let’s discuss some easy tips you can use to personalize your emails.

Use A Personal Email Account

Instead of sending your affiliate emails from your business account, it might be a good idea to use your personal email. This might be a good strategy as customers are generally more likely to trust an email from a person rather than a company.

Personalized Content

Adding a personal touch to your content doesn’t simply refer to the email content containing the affiliate links but to the email’s subject lines as well. Of course, your affiliate marketing email sequence should have different, personalized subject lines depending on your targeted audience.

A good idea to optimize your affiliate efforts is to run tests to find which subject lines are the most effective in terms of open rates and buying decisions, for example. Accordingly, you’ll be able to change subject lines that aren’t as effective to better match your subscriber’s interests.

Find out more about how you can build your brand identity with email marketing.

Use Email Triggers

Email triggers are behavior-triggered, automatic email reactions according to how your audience responds to your great content. Most email triggers get divided into two categories, namely segment-based and event-based.

The difference between the two is relatively simple; segment-based triggers get used when subscribers meet specific conditions. On the other hand, event-based triggers refer to your subscribers making a purchase or opt-in.
The goal of email triggers is to provide support to your subscribers to help them receive the full benefits of your affiliate products.

You can also use email triggers to motivate positive behavior or send essential updates. Ultimately, behavior-triggered emails make communication less complicated, as you don’t have to think about the communication process or have constant contact while converting your audience.

You can even use triggered emails for various reasons, like welcoming new readers or re-engaging with your current audience, as these emails tend to have an excellent open rate.

Don’t Forget To Optimize

It is best to send personalized emails to position yourself as a leader in your specific niche. Accordingly, the success of your affiliate email marketing program will depend on you proving to your readers that you’re a leader in your field. If you can get your audience to believe that you have comprehensive knowledge about the products you’re promoting, the chances are higher for them to consider your recommendations.

The first step to optimizing your emails is to write compelling content, meaning that your content should be relevant and concise. Using short paragraphs, bullet points, and high-quality visuals, you can also make the content easier to read.

A/B Test Your Affiliate Campaign

AB testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a way to test which of your campaigns is the most effective. When A/B testing, you’ll create two separate email campaigns to learn which one will get a better response from your audience.

Usually, you’ll set up two variations of one email campaign and send each to a portion of your total recipients, one to group A and the other to group B. The result is accordingly measured by clicks and open rates.

By A/B testing your affiliate email marketing campaign, you can monitor and adjust your emails to the campaign with the proven best results.

Value Should Be Your Number 1 Priority

Now that you know how to launch an affiliate email marketing campaign successfully, it’s time to emphasize the most essential factor to ensure success. That is, to always put value above revenue.

Accordingly, your focus should be on offering valuable content and not just promotional links. You can keep your content interesting by including different media types in your emails, including videos, podcasts, images, and audio. As it takes time to engage your leads, your focus should be building trust with them.

If you trust the process and offer value to your email subscribers, you’ll start noticing an increase in affiliate commissions.

By taking these best practices and steps to launch your affiliate email marketing campaign to heart, you’ll make the most of your mailing list and successfully promote your affiliate links in no time.

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Taylor Barr

Taylor is the Founder of The Up Foundry; an agency that works with successful SaaS and technology companies to grow their affiliate program revenues and affiliate relationships. He also gives away free advice and guides on affiliate program management

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