How To Build an Email List For Affiliate Marketing

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Last Updated on 6th February 2024

Are you wondering how to build an email list for affiliate marketing?

Are you ready to take your game to the next level?

Building an email list is like discovering the secret sauce of affiliate marketing success. It’s all about connecting with your audience, gaining their trust, and promoting the products and services they’ll love.

And in this guide I’m gonna show you exactly how to do it.

So, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, if that’s your thing), and let’s dive into the wonderful world of email lists for affiliate marketing.

I’ll start with why email marketing is such a big deal, and walk through the steps to create your very own email list.

Let’s get started!

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What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing model based on performance, where affiliates receive a commission for promoting a company’s products or services and generating sales or leads through their referral link.

Basically, you earn a reward every time someone makes a purchase or signs up for something through your special affiliate marketing link.

It’s all about how well you can get people interested in the affiliate products you’re promoting, and you get rewarded with affiliate commissions for your efforts!

How does it work?

As an affiliate, you simply sign up for a company’s affiliate program, receives a unique referral link, and then get to work promoting the company’s products or services through various channels (most commonly through a blog, social media, YouTube, or via email).

When a customer makes a purchase or takes a desired action after clicking your affiliate link, you’ll earn a commission. It’s that simple!

Good affiliate programs have a way for you to track your links and clicks so you can see how well your affiliate campaigns are doing, and track your sales.

However, most tracking provided by affiliate programs and networks are quite basic, so it is recommended to set up your own tracking with software like ClickMagick.

Why Build an Email List For Affiliate Marketing?

Email list building

When you have an email list, you get multiple chances to promote products to the same people. That means more sales and more money in your pocket!

Affiliates who build an email list totally outshine those who just send folks straight to an affiliate link. Plus, by having an affiliate marketing email list, you can really connect with your audience and build a strong relationship.

When people feel like they know and trust you, they’re way more likely to buy from you.

Here are 3 more reasons why you should do affiliate marketing with an email list:

Builds trust and engagement

Email marketing allows you to build trust and engagement with your audience by regularly sharing valuable content, tips, and resources.

This relationship-building process is critical for affiliate marketers, as customers are more likely to purchase products recommended by someone they trust.

Targeted promotions

Email marketing enables you to segment your audience based on their interests and behaviors.

This segmentation allows you to send targeted promotions, increasing the likelihood of conversion and maximizing your affiliate income.

Personalization and segmentation

Email marketing allows for personalization, helping you tailor content and offers to individual subscribers.

Personalized emails have higher open and click-through rates, leading to more conversions and higher affiliate earnings.

How To Build an Email List for Affiliate Marketing – Step-by-Step

sending emails

Now, let’s get into the steps you need to take to build your email list for affiliate marketing and start making those sweet commissions.

Step 1: Choose an email marketing tool

The first step in creating an email list is to choose a good email marketing tool. However, when it comes to affiliate marketing, you need to be especially careful in which autoresponder you decide to use.

Unfortunately, a lot of email marketing platforms out there are not affiliate-friendly. Some companies like MailChimp and MailerLite will shut your account down pretty quickly if they think you’re emailing out affiliate links.

The reason for this is because in the past some bad apples who got into affiliate marketing used these services and went crazy spamming their list left, right, and centre with affiliate links. Unfortunately, these few bad apples can give the affiliate marketing industry a bad name.

But rest assured, affiliate marketing is a legitimate business, and it is perfectly fine to include your affiliate links in a email. You just need to choose an email marketing company that understands affiliate marketing.

Personally, I recommend GetResponse or Aweber as your autoresponder of choice for affiliate marketing.

If you want more choices, then you can see my list of affiliate-friendly autoresponders here.

Step 2: Offer a lead magnet

A lead magnet is a valuable piece of content or incentive offered in exchange for a visitor’s email address. Simply by offering your lead magnet for free in exchange for an email address can help you to build your list, providing your lead magnet is good quality and appealing to your audience.

Some examples of lead magnets include:

  • eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Cheat sheets
  • A Free video
  • A free course
  • A piece of software
  • Webinars
  • Exclusive discounts

By far one of the most common lead magnets is an eBook. If you’ve written a book, even if it’s a short eBook, then it automatically gives you more credibility and a degree of authority in your niche as a topic expert.

However, lots of people are scared at the prospect of writing a book. That’s why I recommend this AI tool. it can create high-quality, professional-looking eBooks in around 30 minutes.

By using this AI tool, you can have your eBook created, fully written (cover and all) in no time.

I’ve also made this video below to show you exactly how it works.

Step 3: Set up a landing page

Once you have your lead magnet, the next thing you need is to set up a page where you can offer your lead magnet in exchange for an email list.

it’s basically a standalone web page designed to capture email addresses. Some people call this a landing page, while others call it a lead capture page, or a squeeze page, but they’re all the same thing.

All you need to do is create a visually appealing landing page that showcases your lead magnet, highlights its benefits, and includes a clear call-to-action (CTA) for your visitors to subscribe.

You’ll also want to make sure your landing page is mobile-friendly and optimized for conversions.

Once your landing page is set up, the only techy thing left for you to do it to hook up your autoresponder, which is also dead-easy. 

I show you exactly how to set up a landing page for affiliate marketing in the video below.

Step 4: Choose a good affiliate program to promote

The next step is to choose a good affiliate program to promote to your list.

In time, you’ll want to have a stable of relevant offers to promote that your audience would be interested in. However, if you’re just getting started, then stick with one good one to begin.

Personally, for your first product I recommend to choose either a high-ticket affiliate product, or a product that pays recurring commissions.

You can also see my article here for a list of affiliate programs and networks for beginners.

Step 5: Set up an automated email campaign

Now you’ve chosen your product, there’s one more (optional but recommend step) before you can start sending traffic to your landing page.

That step is to set up an automated email campaign.

Don’t worry, it’s actually very easy to do. All this basically means is that you’ll have a series of emails that will get emailed out automatically to your subscribers once they join your list. This helps to automate your business so you can earn passive income while you do other things.

There are different schools of thought on how long your automated campaign should be. Some people recommend as few as 3, while other affiliates advocate continually adding to your automated sequence over time until you have 365+ emails going out on a daily basis.

If you’re just getting started, then don’t stress it. I’d recommend you start with a simple 10 email campaign, the first of which will welcome your new subs to your list, and deliver your free lead magnet.

The remaining 9 emails can tell them a little bit about you and your story, give them some helpful advice and, of course, pitch your affiliate products.

Step 6: Driving traffic

Once you have lead-generating machine set up (as above), all you need to do now is drive traffic to your landing page to entice your visitors to subscribe to your list!

There are many ways to drive traffic to your landing page, but basically it comes down to 2 main types of traffic – paid traffic, and free (organic) traffic.

Paid Traffic

With paid traffic, you’ll get a lot of visitors quickly, but the downside is it can be expensive, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Here are some examples of paid traffic to grow your email list for affiliate marketing:

  • Google ads
  • Bing ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Solo ads

Free (Organic) Traffic

Free traffic is where most beginners start. This is because they either don’t have a budget to invest in ads, or they have no idea how to successfully run paid ads in order to see a return on investment (ROI), so they shy away from them.

I understand that mentality, and I also started with free traffic myself because of these two reasons. However, as your business grows and you learn how to increase the opt-in rate on your landing pages then it’s worth exploring paid ads in order to grow more quickly.

Here are some examples of free traffic sources to grow your email list:

  • Blogging
  • YouTube
  • Facebook organic
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Forums

Here’s a list of more free traffic sources for affiliates.

Maintaining and Growing Your Email List

Now you’ve got some subscribers on your list, and they’ve started to move through your automated campaign, you’ll want to continue to nurture and grow your list.

Besides the automated campaign, I recommend to email your list frequently. Ideally daily, but at the very least, a couple of times per week. So, one of your most important daily tasks will be to spend about 15-30 minutes writing a new email.

Here are a few tips to keep you moving forwards in the right direction with your email list:

Tip #1: Send valuable content

To establish a strong connection with your subscribers, it’s important that you consistently provide them with valuable and relevant content. Share useful tips, industry news, product reviews, and affiliate promotions that align with your audience’s interests.

Tip #2: Segment your subscribers

Segment your list by factors such as subscribers’ interests, behaviors, and purchase history. Doing this will allow you to send targeted content and offers, increasing engagement and your conversion rate.

A lot of affiliates don’t bother with this step, but that is a big mistake.

By segmenting your list you’ll create deeper rapport with your audience, which, in time, will lead to higher conversions when you pitch them a product.

If you’re just getting started then don’t sweat this step. But bear it in mind for the future once you get your teeth into list building.

Tip #3: Monitor and analyze performance

Email campaign performance can be measured using metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

These insights help you understand what resonates with your audience and identify areas for improvement.

I also recommend using a link tracker like ClickMagick to give you deeper insights. Besides, when you use ClickMagick, you can also do some cool things like use link rotators, run A/B testing on your links, and protect yourself against click fraud.

Tip #4: Test and optimize

Continuously test and optimize your email marketing efforts. Experiment with a variety of subject lines, email designs, content formats, and send times to determine what your audience responds to as well as maximizing your affiliate earnings.

Again, don’t worry about this too much if you’re just getting started. But once you get going, then you’ll benefit a lot from testing. The insights you gather can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

Affiliate Marketing How To Start a Mailing List Guide – My Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, my guide on how to build an email list to sell affiliate products!

Building an email list is an extremely powerful part of your affiliate marketing business, and should be your main focus. It’s a crucial part of affiliate marketing success.

By following my steps above, you’ll be on the right path to building a loyal audience, fostering trust, and in time, generating consistent affiliate income.

it just takes a bit of dedication and persistence. But in time, your email list will become your most powerful asset in your affiliate marketing endeavors.

Email List Building FAQs For Affiliates

  1. How often should I email my subscribers? The ideal frequency depends on your audience and the type of content you share. It’s essential to strike a balance between maintaining engagement and avoiding overwhelming your subscribers. Test different frequencies and monitor your metrics to determine what’s most effective for your specific audience. However, it’s better to email too often than not enough. I recommend anything from once per day, to 2-3 times per week.
  2. What are the best practices for writing email subject lines? Use concise, attention-grabbing subject lines that convey the value of your email content. Personalize subject lines, ask questions, or spark a sense of urgency to increase open rates.
  3. Is it okay to promote multiple affiliate products in one email? It’s best to focus on promoting one product or offer per email to avoid confusing or overwhelming your subscribers. However, you can occasionally include multiple products if they are related and complement each other.
  4. How can I prevent my emails from ending up in spam folders? To avoid spam filters, use a reputable email marketing platform, maintain a healthy sender reputation, avoid using spam trigger words, and make sure that your subscribers have opted-in to receive your emails.
  5. What are some effective strategies for re-engaging inactive subscribers? Re-engage inactive subscribers by sending personalized win-back campaigns, offering special incentives or discounts, and asking for feedback to understand their needs and preferences better. If you haven’t emailed your subs for a while, then don’t pitch them right away. Instead, send at least 5 emails that give them helpful tips, information, and possible even a free gift. (like a cheat sheet) to win back their trust and rebuild rapport.

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