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  • Writer's pictureExpert Opinion

Email Marketing for affiliate marketing

Do you think email marketing is dead? Think again, with 3.9 billion email users and expected growth for the upcoming years, email marketing is more alive than ever. In 2018 there were more email users than social media users, so it’s fair to say that if you don’t use email campaigns for affiliate marketing, you’re missing out.

Email marketing for affiliates might be tough to start with, but can provide you great benefits in future promotion. Read on and find out how to build an email list for affiliate marketing.

There’s a lot of work that goes into building a successful affiliate site. After all, your site is a business and requires much in the way of setup and maintenance. However, an often overlooked task is building an email subscriber list.

An email subscriber list is a marketing tool that can keep you in touch with your site’s visitors. The benefits are many – including increased sales and improved site traffic. Best of all, setting one up is simple.

When we think of the most effective marketing channel for growing affiliate income, email marketing is by far the most cost-effective option. Out of all the marketing channels, emails target the right set of audience by sending them a personalized and well-tailored pitch.

You might think, what about earning affiliate income through native advertising or social media marketing? Yes. It works too. Overall, it depends on your marketing strategy, budget, and the channel where your target audience is.

Email marketing is the first approach coming to affiliates’ minds when they start, and for good reason. According to statistics, if you spend £1 on your emails, you can yield an average ROI of £42.24.

To understand affiliate marketing via emails, let’s take the example of traditional sales. If you rewind your memories, you’ll see a salesperson standing at your door, convincing you to buy some product. The salesperson received a commission for every sale.

Now switching to the digital world, you have to make a sale through the power of the internet, organic traffic, and marketing skills. In the end, you’ll earn a good commission on each sale.

Why Building an Email List Is Important for Your Affiliate Site

Simply put, a subscriber list contains email addresses that you have permission to contact on a regular basis. This list is fully yours – that is, you have complete ownership – and is an essential resource for affiliate marketers and businesses.

A key benefit of building an email list is the ability to streamline the marketing process, as you can direct the majority of your marketing efforts there. However, you'll likely see two additional benefits:

  1. An increase in income. You can use your email list as a way to offer special deals or promote your latest products. A connection between you and your subscribers will also make conversions more likely.

  2. Improved site traffic. An email list enables you to send alerts to subscribers, including content notifications. This can result in a higher amount of targeted traffic to your site.

Understand different types of emails

There are different types of emails to send out. Understand these different types and create the right content for them. Then, schedule them at the appropriate time for your readers.

The three main types of emails you can send out are:

Promotional emails These are the emails we all get in our mailbox. They usually contain promotional and sales offers. They are the emails in which you for example introduce a new affiliate product to your readers.

In the email you will lead the reader with your affiliate link to the website of the product you’re promoting. After they click the link in your email and make a purchase from the website, you receive a commission from the company you are promoting through this email.

Relational emails Include the type of content that your reader expects to receive. This can, for example, be a weekly newsletter including new industry updates and other relevant information.

Relational emails nurture the relationship with your subscriber and if done right, bring value to your reader. The content in relational emails can be mixed with promotion email.

For affiliate email marketing campaigns, it’s crucial for your success not to only send promotional emails to your audience, but also bring content that is insightful for them.

Transactional emails Transactional emails include signup confirmations, welcome emails, purchase confirmations etc. Although you probably won’t send out promotional offers containing affiliate links in these types of emails, don’t underestimate the power they can have for your campaign.

Your welcome email, the very first email you send after somebody signed up for your list, is crucial for engagement. This is where new subscribers either actively start following you, or hit the unsubscribe button right away.

Instead of a simple and generic ‘’Thank you for subscribing’’, personalise this email as much as you can. This is the moment your brand is on top of somebody’s mind, and you should make sure to leave a positive impression.

Creating the right email content To decide on the content of your email campaigns you need to know who your audience is. Create one or more persona of your subscribers and brainstorm topics that might interest them.

If there is a particular affiliate product you would like to promote, think of ways you could provide helpful and useful content while mentioning your product.

Tailor the content of your emails with copy that speaks to the individual. The tone of your emails is important. An informal tone, sometimes even leaning towards funny, tends to do well. Always take your target audience in consideration when you decide on the tone of voice to use in your emails.

As mentioned before, Affiliate emails work best using a combination of relational and promotional content. Make sure your recommendations are sincere and provide true benefits for your readers. Choose products your find useful yourself, create a variety of content rich emails and combine entertainment with promotions.

Analyse your affiliate email performance

As with any marketing campaign it’s important to track your performance. Email marketing for affiliates is not any different. Here are some of the most important metrics for affiliate email campaigns.

Open Rate The first hurdle for your email campaigns is for subscribers to open your emails. The open rate is important to track, because it tells you the percentage of subscribers that actually opened your email.

Your open rate relies heavily on a strong subject line. It’s calculated by dividing the total of opened emails with the emails that got delivered.

Click Through Rate Another marketing metric that is important for measuring the success of your email campaigns is the click through rate. The click through rate tells you the percentage of recipients that clicked on a (affiliate) link in your email.

The click through rate is calculated by dividing total clicks with emails delivered. In the dashboard of your affiliate program you can find the total amount of clicks your affiliate link got.

Referrals and your conversion rate Perhaps the most important metrics for affiliate marketers, the amount of people who read your email, click your affiliate link and decide to make a purchase.

As an affiliate marketer, your referrals are directly linked to your conversion rate. Your conversion rate is the percentage of people that received your email and purchased a product after clicking your affiliate link.

Successful affiliate marketing with email relies on a good conversion rate. The conversion rate will tell you how able you were to persuade people to buy the affiliate product you promote. You can find the total amount of referrals you made by logging into the affiliate dashboard.

Other metrics to keep an eye on are the amount of subscribers that unsubscribe from your emails and the amount of emails that were not delivered successfully.

You can find detailed analytics on your email campaigns in Google Analytics.

A final word on email marketing for affiliates

Always check your affiliate program to see if affiliate marketing with email lists is allowed. You can usually find this information in the affiliate agreement. The stronger your email campaigns, the more sales you will generate.

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