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how to launch affiliate marketing campaign
Tips and Guides, and For Newbies

How to launch an affiliate email marketing campaign

Andrej Csizmadia

August 3, 2021
Last modified on September 8, 2022 at 9:53 am

Affiliate marketing is an achievement-based type of marketing that many companies take advantage of. In it, businesses pay their partners for each visitor or client brought by their marketing activities. To put it simply, you find a solution you like, promote it on your own, and get part of the profit for every sale made.

This strategy brings a lot in terms of lead generation and helps maintain control over the cost per acquisition. What is even better, it can be leveraged across various channels, including email marketing. And with 4 billion active email users worldwide, setting up an effective email campaign can boost the number of views to the content promoted and eventually increase conversions and revenue. 

What is affiliate email marketing?

Affiliate email marketing is a method of affiliate marketing that involves promoting affiliate links through highly targeted and well-crafted emails. Such letters are created to attract the interest of your subscribers, which would improve the conversion rate and site traffic.

top traffic sources for affiliate marketing - chart

Affiliate marketing is quite different from traditional email marketing where the goal of promotional email campaigns is to sell. Here, you are not a sales rep but rather a customer who shares the benefits of the solution you used. This is why it is necessary to have a good set of skills to talk about the product naturally and be able to convince someone else to purchase it. 

It is important to keep in mind that making money from affiliate marketing solely depends on generating sales. However, some companies pay affiliates whenever a lead clicks on a specific link (cost per click) or each time a lead completes a particular task, such as joining an email list (cost per lead), which does not entirely depend on if a sale is made.

How does commission work

Why use email for affiliate marketing 

Regardless of the advancement in SEO and social media marketing, email continues to be the most effective method of reaching out to your audience. 99% of customers go through their email each day, and a survey carried out in the US reveals that about 50% of respondents check their inbox up to ten times per day. This creates a lot of opportunities for affiliate marketers to generate sales.

Emails offer personalized and direct access to your audience. A recent survey shows that the buying decision of 59% of participants was influenced by email marketing. Emails can also be used to trigger the purchase of a product.

importance of using email for affiliate marketing - infographic

Besides, they are an effective communication channel that can help you engage your audience and drive the conversation. People on your contact list are already interested in your niche and have willingly opted-in to your email list. So, converting them to purchase the product or service you are promoting will be a lot easier than the conventional affiliate marketing technique where you will have to post links on websites or blogs.

Introducing emails into affiliate marketing can also help boost commissions. With emails, you can kill two birds with one stone by promoting your content in your campaign and simultaneously promoting your affiliate partners. 

For whom affiliate email marketing works best

Affiliate marketing is most suitable for companies and influencers who are interested in building personal connections. One of the reasons it is effective is because most people are easily influenced into purchasing products recommended by someone they trust. This typically means that businesses that can’t establish a personal touch with their audience should not be involved in affiliate marketing.

customer recommendations infographic

How to do affiliate marketing through email

As mentioned before, affiliate email marketing involves generating sales through emails rather than social media content and organic website traffic. Affiliate email marketers majorly focus on using their email lists to promote affiliate products or services to their subscribers. 

What not to do

Even before you start your campaign, you need to remember the number one rule for using affiliate links. Although many people may say that “The money is in the list,” to be sincere, the money is in the relationship that is built with the list. 

The most important part about influencing subscribers to purchase something is to first earn their trust, understand their needs, and offer them something of value rather than trying to sell or load up your email with affiliate links every time. This will keep your customers from getting angry with you. Besides, too many link promotions might cause your email provider to close your account. 

What to do

When adding affiliate links to your emails, include them with other valuable email content. You can also add them to an ongoing email campaign. Diversify the placement of your affiliate links but keep in mind that it all depends on your audience. Do not add affiliate links for the sake of it, ensure that it will add value and create a solution for your audience.

A successful affiliate email marketing campaign will help build trust and engagement, which is the secret to making sales as people are already used to your valuable content. This also means more of your emails will be delivered in the inbox rather than land in the Spam folder, which will generate more earnings and offer great results.

Moreover, you can always leverage email marketing software to make the process easier. These software will enable you to develop personalized content, collect feedback, conduct surveys, and send timely campaigns to customers and target the right people at the right time.

How to launch a successful affiliate email marketing campaign

Now let’s consider the steps in launching an effective affiliate email marketing campaign.

The first step that you need to worry about is to ensure that your preferred email provider permits the use of affiliate links in your email campaigns. Due to deliverability issues, many of them usually prevent or outrightly ban the use of affiliate links, which can be frustrating to marketers. 

If you do not find out about this, this can make you lose your account or, even worse, lose access to your precious mailing lists. As a result, you might have to start from scratch.

Such frustrating incidents can be easily avoided by making sure your email provider has no issue with the use of affiliate links in their emails. Some of them even offer guidelines to marketers who intend to use affiliate links. Just make sure that you reach out to their support team and verify before you begin.

mailchimp affiliate links guide

Three important qualities must be present in any affiliate link that you choose to promote. They should be:


The profitability of the affiliate link that you choose to promote is crucial. You need to sit down and estimate the return on investment (ROI) for the campaign to be worth the effort.

Although there is usually no extra cost involved in adding affiliate links to your email sequence, the effort and time spent are also valuable, which is why it is better to only concentrate on affiliate links with a worthwhile earning potential.

getresponse commission example
Commission example (Source: GetResponse)


Your audience initially joins your mailing list because they are interested in your content and niche. Therefore, it is important that the product or service that you are promoting is relevant to their interests and will offer valuable solutions to their pain points. Your chances of generating sales that will earn you commission will also be increased when you promote products that are related to your content.


Lastly, your affiliate links should be constantly valuable throughout your email campaign. This implies that the product or service you are promoting will be useful in the next few years. 

Choosing a constant affiliate link will help you avoid future headaches. If the product you are promoting is evergreen, you won’t have to worry about tweaking, updating, or changing your emails. 

Add affiliate emails to your email sequence

You can add affiliate emails to your email sequence using two methods:

If you have an existing email sequence that is generating considerable click-through rates, you can tweak some emails by including valuable affiliate links. This will help you increase the organic traffic to your affiliate links through your content. The amazing part is that it will not affect your click-through, open, and unsubscribe rates. The only drawback is that it can result in lower earnings, as less attention will be drawn to your affiliate links.

Adding special affiliate emails to your existing email sequence

If you already have an existing email sequence, you can make a few changes to the components, but this will be determined by the product you are promoting and your readers. An excellent technique of making the most of your current email sequence for affiliate marketing is to include new emails that will have your affiliate link.

Track your affiliate email marketing campaign

Once your email sequence is launched and has started to work effectively, the maintenance of your email list and email campaign is necessary to guarantee that commissions keep growing. This implies that you need to play an active role in monitoring your subscribers and making required adjustments to your email campaigns.

It is also important to track all your subscribers’ interactions with your letters to make proper improvements in your email campaigns. For this, you can use such affiliate software as Post Affiliate Pro.

Affiliate email marketing best practices

After considering how to successfully launch an affiliate email marketing campaign that will increase your commissions, let’s get into the best practices to always put in place as an affiliate.

Segment your email list

Segmenting implies categorizing your list based on preferences and behavior. According to the product that you are promoting, as well as other elements, you might have to only focus on a specific segment of your email list.

Segmenting your list will not only increase your opt-ins, open rates, and conversion rates, it will also help you focus on each audience and enable you to send the right content to the right buyer at the right time.

Use triggers

Trigger emails are delivered to your audience according to behavior. However, most trigger emails are divided into segment-based and event-based. Segment-based is used when your subscribers meet certain conditions, while event-based is when your subscribers opt-in or make a purchase.

Trigger emails are used to provide support and nurturing to your customers to enable them to receive the full benefits of the product. They are also used to give important updates, contact information, and motivate positive behaviors.

Personalize emails

Emails with personalized subject lines have a 26% higher open rate. This is further increased in affiliate email marketing, as it deals with building trust between you and your customer base. Sending personalized emails will make your list consider you more as a partner than just a salesperson.

Optimize email content

The success of your affiliate email marketing campaign depends on how you prove to your audience that you are a professional. Use your emails to position yourself as an authority in your niche. This will make people consider your recommendations well, as they would believe that you have a comprehensive knowledge of the product. Make your emails compelling, tell a story, and create a picture that can easily attract them into what you are promoting.

Automate your sending

It is also important to introduce automation into your affiliate email marketing campaign. There are several excellent software out there like Snov.io that can be used to send bulk emails, schedule mail-outs, and track the engagement of your emails.

triggered email sequence example
Triggered email sequence example (Source: Snov.io)

A/B test

In A/B testing, you can create two different emails and discover the one that gets a better response from your target audience. Affiliate email marketing is much more effective when the campaigns are monitored and adjusted accordingly to the email with the best results.

Wrapping it up

Launching a successful affiliate email marketing campaign is not as hard as it sounds. With the right tools and practices, you can make the most of your mailing list to promote your affiliate products and watch as your commissions continue to soar higher.

Tamara Zhostka

Guest Post Author

Tamara Zhostka

Tamara Zhostka is the chief editor at Snov.io, who is working her finger to the bone to make sure you get the freshest insights from the marketing world. She is always happy to share valuable tips with marketers and entrepreneurs.

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