7 Steps to Build an Email List For Affiliate Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies you can use to promote your affiliate marketing business. Email marketing helps you build a list of customers you can return to again and again.

According to studies, the ROI (return on investment) for email marketing is between $38 and $40. You have a gold mine when you can invest a $1 in marketing and receive back $40. That’s exactly what your email list is: your own personal gold mine.

Even if email marketing for affiliates is challenging at initially, it can give you with significant benefits in the long run. Keep reading to find out how to create an email list for affiliate marketing.

Are email campaigns a good affiliate marketing strategy?

When you build your email list, that is an asset you own. You can send everyone on your email list periodic newsletters to keep them informed, solve their problems, and develop a relationship. People are much more likely to make a purchase from someone they know and trust.

You can develop long-term relationships with your contacts through your engaging and informative email newsletters. You are in control.

When you use one of the social media platforms to build your list, on the other hand, they own the list. They can control how often and how much you contact your list.

If their terms of service (TOS) change, it can have a major effect on your marketing efforts. We have read how they limit the RSS news feeds so they can push your audience toward their own advertisements and advertisers.

Personalization of your email messages also can be a huge factor in your affiliate marketing success. You can segment your audience, and then you can customize your emails to your audience depending on their interests and the actions they’ve taken on your website.

Personalization is almost required today if you want someone to listen to your message. People are tired of the constant barrage of advertisements they get all day, so email personalization can help break through the wall many people have built to keep the noise of constant advertisements out.

You can’t personalize your message to your social media followers. You can’t individualize your responses to your social media audience. Everyone gets the same message on social media, so you can’t get the advantages and higher response rates that a personalized message normally gets. You can’t individualize mass communication to all your followers like you can with email.

Privacy is another benefit of using email for affiliate marketing. Privacy, or even more important, the lack of it, is all over the news today. Surveys show that people today have a much higher trust level in emails than in social media. Facebook was fined $5 billion in 2019 over privacy violations. As a result, they promised to tighten some of the regulations. But didn’t they violate those privacy concerns once before and make promises it wouldn’t happen again?

Surveys have shown that people’s trust in emails to maintain their privacy is much higher than people’s trust in social media like Facebook or Twitter. So why not build your own email list from your own website rather than via social media?

How to build an email list for affiliate marketing

After you create your website and the first content pieces are live, it’s time to start integrating your email campaigns. 

Step 1. Sign up for an email provider

Sign up for an email service provider to start email marketing for affiliates. Be sure to follow all laws when you send out emails. Sending emails requires your subscribers’ permission. In order to send emails to your audience, you may need implied and express permissions.

If the receiver of your email already knows you, you have implied permission. A person must express his or her permission for you to send them emails if you do not already have a relationship with them. 

Most likely, you will encounter the need for express permission when creating an email list for affiliate marketing. Subscribers confirm their subscription from their email accounts after signing up for your email list. 

Step 2. Add signup forms to your site

Add signup widgets and popups to your website. Your signup form should be clearly visible. Testing different pop-up times will help you determine which timing brings in the most signups. For affiliate marketers, tracking and adjusting campaigns are crucial to success. 

Step 3. Create automated drip emails

Using your email provider, set up an automated email flow. Your subscribers will receive your email on a set number of days after subscribing. 

You will save tons of time, and you will be able to send out high-quality emails with automated emails. By preparing an email flow, you can send the right emails at the right time. Your audience will also stay engaged with a constant flow of emails. 

Step 4. Create quality content

Subscribers need to be captivated by your content to read your emails. Entertaining and informative emails will keep your audience interested. 

Update your audience with interesting facts about new developments in your niche. Consider what your audience might enjoy reading rather than what you want them to read. Avoid excessive affiliate marketing. A sales pitch might cause your subscribers to unsubscribe, so you don’t want to sound like a salesperson.

Step 5. Engage your subscribers

Add a social sharing button and an ’email to a friend’ button to your emails so your subscribers can share them. Subscribe buttons should be included in your emails, so friends and acquaintances can sign up for your mailing list as well.  

Step 6. Include exclusive content in your emails

Providing exclusive content, which can only be accessed by signing up for your email list, is a great way to get people to sign up for your email list. 

Top affiliates leverage exclusive content for good reason. Some of the best affiliates place all their energy into email marketing; to access their best content, you have to subscribe to their mailing lists. 

Step 7. Be consistent

Keep your audience engaged by sending out a steady stream of entertaining emails. Your audience will remember you if you are consistent.

Email marketing for affiliates: best practices 

Remember that your email subscribers are valuable and should be treated with care. To have your news in somebody’s inbox is like an invitation to their house. Use these tips to keep a great relationship with your email audience.

1. Use double opt-in to reduce fraud

The double opt-in method is a much more reliable method that cuts down on the potential for fraud. Your potential email subscriber comes to your site and fills out your form, entering his email and other information requesting to receive your emails. That’s opt-in.

In response, your email system sends the potential subscriber a confirmation email with a link he needs to click on to confirm he wants to be added to the list. That’s the double opt-in. The potential for fraudulent email addresses is cut down, resulting in a much more reliable subscriber list.

Your email sender will be watching to make sure you comply with CAN-SPAM regulations, so you want to make sure your email setup is the most reliable method with the least opportunity for fraud. That’s the double opt-in method.

2. Approve unsubscription promptly

To comply with the CAN-SPAN regulations, you must promptly unsubscribe any visitors who request it.

The whole process of your subscriber filling out the form, a confirmation email being sent out, and the confirmations separating your list into confirmed subscribers and pending subscribers is usually all handled automatically by your email software. 

Future emails are sent only to confirmed subscribers. Your email system will normally keep a log of your subscribers, when people fill out your subscribe form online, and when they confirm. It also normally keeps track of soft bounces and hard bounces (covered later in this chapter).

The system also keeps track of some metrics so you know how you’re doing. It keeps track of the number of emails successfully delivered, the number of emails actually opened by your subscribers and, if you have links (such as for affiliate products), your click-through rate. 

Your email software also automatically keeps track of people who unsubscribe and when. When a person unsubscribes, their name is removed from the subscribers’ list and they will no longer receive emails from your campaign.

3. Beware of buying a list of emails

Protecting your email reputation is vitally important to the profitability of your affiliate business. Although most email senders will permit you to import a list of emails and add it to your list, some don’t.

Don’t ever consider buying a list of emails and importing it into your list. These lists are usually filled with bad email addresses, invalid emails, hard bounces, soft bounces, addresses that have been sending out spam, and addresses that have been put on a blacklist. 

They may also be the source of a lot of complaints because the party selling you the email list may have harvested those emails using automated harvesting tools and taken those emails without the parties’ permission to send them any emails.

If you try to import a list like that and add it to your list, either the sending company’s filter will prevent the import, or the first send will result in so many bad addresses, bounces, and complaints that your email company may drop down your reputation, throttle your sending speed, or ban you altogether.

4. Install an anti-spam plug-in

Your email subscribe form is often seen by spammers, blacklisted emails, suspect emails, and fraudulent email companies as an opening that will allow them to post their spam messages on your site. 

If you don’t protect your email sign-up form, all of these fraudulent emails will get added to your subscriber list. Then when you send out your own emails, your ESP may say your reputation has been reduced because of a high percentage of bad emails.

What does it mean when your reputation is reduced by an ESP? What usually happens is the ESP reduces your sending ability but gives you chance to “clean” your list by removing all suspect emails from your subscriber list. (You can pay a separate company to clean your list.) It may also require you to go through your list by hand and remove suspect names.

But the best course of action is to prevent these spammers and bad actors from being able to get their names on your list in the first place. How do you do that? You can install an anti-spam plug-in like Akismet or CleanTalk. These plug-ins compare the email being entered with their cloud-based database of bad and spammer emails. If that email address is on their list, it will be discarded rather than added to your list.

5. Don’t spam

Consistently send out emails on specific days and at certain times. Determine how often an email is appropriate for your audience. 

Set up a schedule to send out your various campaign emails and stick to it. If you miss sending out an email, your audience may feel you forgot about them and they will return the favor and forget about you. In today’s competitive and fast-moving internet world, that can be a death sentence for your new affiliate marketing business. 

So if you set a schedule of one email a week to your list, make sure it goes out every week. If you’re sending out three emails a week, make sure you send out three each and every week.

Sending emails three times a day isn’t necessary; people might get bored and annoyed. Be sure not to spam your subscribers.

6. Include the recipient’s name in the greeting

People feel more connected to you when you address them by name in an email. It depends on your niche and subscribers whether you use the first or last name. Generally, you should use the first name and keep the email casual and friendly.

7. Follow your affiliate program’s guidelines

Affiliate programs don’t always allow email campaigns. Amazon Affiliate, for example, does not allow emails. Make sure your emails comply with the affiliate program’s rules and check your affiliate agreement regularly. 

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