Affiliate Email Marketing: The Smart Way To Passive income - The Niche Guru

Affiliate Email Marketing: The Smart Way To Passive income

affiliate email marketing

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to earn passive income while you sleep?

We all know that affiliate marketing can get you there. But did you know that email affiliate marketing can get you there faster and more efficiently?

It only takes to learn how to launch a successful affiliate email marketing campaign for you to do that. And the good news is that I will show you exactly how to do it step by step.

In fact, in this post, you will also learn:

  • What is affiliate email marketing?
  • How to launch a successful affiliate email marketing campaign.
  • The best affiliate email marketing services.

Sounds good? Then let’s dive in!

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

What is affiliate email marketing?

In short, affiliate email marketing is when you promote your affiliate links through your emails. You can include these links in your newsletter, campaigns, or funnels you might have.

Normally, affiliate marketing is done through the content on your blog posts. When people click any of the affiliate links on your content, they are referred to the advertiser website and you get a commission per product or service sale.

The concept here is exactly the same. Only this time you use email to reach your potential customers.

For instance, when you send out an email to your readers, you add directly the link to a product or service you want to recommend. When a reader clicks the link and makes a purchase, you will get a small commission on the sale.

Now, this is a game of numbers. The bigger your audience, the higher your chances to make more money. But a key aspect is to build trust and always add value to your emails. Never place a link just for the sake of it. Instead, tell your readers why they should click and focus on the benefits it will bring to them.

What is the importance of email marketing for affiliate marketers?

If you still don’t know it, you should check Why Email Marketing Is Important To Grow Your Business.

Email provides you with the major advantage of landing into your subscriber’s inbox and have a 1:1 conversation. Not even social media platforms are this powerful- The lifespan of publications on your social media platform is too low compared with email. Also, you are competing for attention with a lot more people.

With Email, you got your readers’ total attention. Not to mention that if they subscribe to your newsletter, they already like your content. So is way easier to convert an email subscriber than a cold conversion from blog posts or social networks.

That is why email marketing is so important for affiliate marketers.

You get to present an offer to people already interested in what you have to say and offer. Which increases the chances for them to click your affiliate links and purchase a product or service you recommend.

how to start affiliate email marketing

If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, you should acknowledge the importance of how your place your affiliate links.

Good affiliate marketers know the products and services they recommend. That is what really sets them apart. And the greater benefit of doing this is that you do not need to sell the idea to your audience. Instead, telling your first-hand experience is the most powerful weapon in affiliate marketing.

And that is exactly how you should start your affiliate email marketing campaigns. With your own voice and experience, talking to your targeted audience and letting them know how this product or service could help them and how it has helped you.

If you want to create a successful affiliate email marketing campaign, there are few steps you should follow:

Note: if you already have an email list you can skip step#1 and #3.

1. Sign up for an email provider

cpnvertkit email service provider

The first thing you are going to need to start your affiliate marketing strategy is an email service provider.

This is how you are going to reach your audience and how you will deliver your emails with your affiliate links.

It is of great importance you choose a reputable service with a good deliverability rate and includes the option to confirm a subscription for express permission. This is what you would need to send them email campaigns.

The one I use for this purpose and can personally recommend is ConvertkitConvertKit is a full-featured email service provider (ESP) that works great for email marketing thanks to its ease of use and automation.

They also include some other great features that work great with affiliate email marketing such as:

  • Tags. When someone clicks on your affiliate link (or any link) you can tag them. This is incredibly powerful because even though that person might not have purchased at that time, you know he/she has an interest in that topic. This will allow you to create follow-up emails targeting them.
  • Sequences. Sequences are a series of emails that you can send at a certain time to a group of people of your choice. These are very powerful for tackling an affiliate product from different angles without sounding repetitive. Which will increase the chances of readers clicking on your links.
  • Automations. Automations are a string of multiple actions, based on specific steps, all coming together to create your funnel. This is a combination of tags, sequences, and rules that can make your affiliate email marketing campaigns work on auto mode.
What you should do next:

Sign up for an email service provider that will facilitate your email marketing campaigns. I suggest you check this Convertkit review and consider it.

2. Choose the right affiliates

Fiverr affiliate screenshot

Once you have an email service provider is time to focus on the products or services you want to promote.

There are many affiliate networks out there. But you should only apply to affiliate programs related to your niche.

Some tips to choose the right affiliates are:

  • Choose programs with high commissions that are recurring. The best way to make money with affiliate marketing is by choosing programs with high commissions. And what is even better is if these commissions are recurring. A good example is Fiverr, with their $10 CPA/10% rev share hybrid model
  • Choose affiliates with a long cookie lifespan. Your chances of making money increase with the cookie duration. That is why you should try to sign up for at least 30 days cookie lifespan.
  • Go for evergreen products or services with great brand recognition. It is easier to promote products that have an everlasting appeal.
  • Choose affiliates with professional landing pages. Referring potential customers to the advertiser’s sales page is just the first page. that is why a professional sales page will make a difference in the conversion rate.
  • Look for programs that offer affiliate partner training. They are created to help you increase your affiliate referrals.
What you should do next:

Look for affiliate programs that tick at least some of the boxes above. Check the 20 best affiliate marketing niches and programs to join. You can also find affiliate programs that do not require a website.

3. Create signup forms and targeted email lists.

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For this strategy to work, it is extremely important that the audience you target is interested in what you have to offer. And the best way to build a targeted email list is by converting your website visitors into subscribers.

And how do you do that? With attractive opt-in forms. 

An opt-in is a form of consent given by web users, acknowledging interest in a product or service and authorizing a third party to contact them with further information.

The way you create a targeted audience is by creating opt-in forms with content totally related to the product or service you want to promote with your affiliate links. That way, if someone signs up using that opt-in form, you will know they will be potentially interested in your affiliate offer.

For example, let’s say you have partnered with an affiliate program to sell recycled Covid masks. For each mask a customer buys through your referral link, you get a percentage.

Then, you could first create an infographic with the benefits of using recycled Covid masks. This will be the offer you will provide in your opt-in form. So if someone wants to download the infographic, will need to give you the email in exchange.

That is how you can segment your audience and build a targeted email list.

To do this, you will need a good email opt-in and lead generation plugin. The one I use and can recommend you to build your email list is Convert Pro. It is very easy to use with a drag and drop editor, loads very fast, and makes the work converting your readers into subscribers.

Take a look by yourself and see how Convert Pro works.

This is how you can create successful affiliate email marketing campaigns. If you need more details, I suggest you check how to run effective email marketing campaigns.

What you should do next:

Use a tool like Convert Pro to create irresistible opt-in forms to convert readers into subscribers.

4. Create Email Sequences With Your Affiliate Links

email sequence sample

Now it is time to create your email sequences including your affiliate links.

But before you get into that, you need to understand that every email of your sequence should have a goal. And they should not be all commercial. In fact, you need to provide more value than promoting. Only that way you will build trust and readers will open your emails.

Your affiliate marketing emails should be a mixture of educational and promotional content. And more importantly, each email should deliver value to your readers.

An example of how to structure your email sequence could be:

  • Email 1: Welcome email. This is where you introduce yourself and state how different is your blog and how can you help your reader. This will help them to decide if they want to stick.
  • Email 2: Audience’s main problem + freebie. This email is very important to build trust. On it, you will address one of your audience’s pain points and provide them with a quick win to overcome that issue: ebook, checklist, infographic, etc.
  • Email 3: Deep dive into your audience’s main problem. Here is where you introduce the main problem your audience might have, which you will later help them solve with your affiliate link in another email. This is about them acknowledging having an issue that needs a solution. But you will not provide it until the next email.
  • Email 4: Affiliate link email with a concrete solution. This is where you need to convince your readers that your affiliate product is the solution to their problems. And a great way to do it is by showing the actual benefits of using/buying your product.

This is just an example that normally works well. But you can always increase the number of emails as long as you keep the value/promotion to 75/25.

The great thing about setting your sequences is that once you create them, you can sit back and relax. As your list grows, each new subscriber will become part of your funnel and will see your affiliate promotions. So you’ll be creating passive income.

What you should do next:

Create an affiliate email marketing funnel following the structure above. I recommend creating automations in Convertkit.

5. Track and tweak

Broadcast report-laptop

By now you should have your email sequence working on auto and making you some money.

That is a good start. But we can always improve it.

In fact, by analyzing your reports and checking what works and what doesn’t, you can obtain great improvements with a few tweaks.

If you use an email service provider like Convertkit, you will be able to track things like:

  • Track where your subscribers came from
  • Monitor email open rate and click rate
  • Tag users who click on your links so you can segment and re-target them

Once you put all this together, you can easily up your game and increase your revenue. This will allow you to create more opt-ins like the one that is converting more readers into subscribers.

Also, you will be able to tweak your sequence email title’s to improve opening rates. And you will be able to send always related offers to a targeted audience through tags.

All of this will ultimately translate into much better performance of your affiliate links and more money for you.

What you should do next:

Check the analytics of your email service provider and perform some tweaks like:

  • Create more opt-in forms like the one that converts the more.
  • Change titles to emails with a low open rate.
  • Change the copy on emails where the click-through rate is low.
  • Use tags to re-target subscribers.

The best Affiliate email marketing services

To choose the right email service provider to match your affiliate marketing goals, it is important to consider your budget and the features you need.

Some of the characteristics you should check are:

  • Email List Size: Depending on how big your email list is, you will find different prices and capabilities.
  • Segmentation: For tagging users and sending targeted campaigns.
  • Email Builder Tool: Templates are great, but if you have the flexibility to customize your emails work better. That is why drag and drop can be a great feature.
  • Automated Drip: Creating popups, signup forms and landing pages will make your email marketing efforts seamless.
  • Tracking and Reporting: Services with tracking tools make it easier for you to keep improving your strategy.

Some of my favorite affiliate email marketing services are:


moosend screenshot
Source: Moosend

There are plenty of email marketing tools designed for beginners and small businesses, but most lack the key features you need for effective email marketing.

Moosend makes email marketing easy, effective, and affordable. They offer everything you need to set up a successful campaign like:

  • Custom Sign-Up Forms.
  • Email List Segmentation.
  • Responsive Newsletter Templates.
  • Email Marketing Automation.
  • Triggers, Filters, and Automated Actions.
  • Email Marketing Analytics and more.

And what is even better is that they offer very affordable prices for any kind of business.

It might not have the robustness of well-established services like Hubspot or Mailchimp when it comes to integrations and deliverability, but it is still a very solid choice.

Moosend is great for start-ups and small businesses since it is easy to use, affordable, and delivers results.


Source: GetResponse

GetResponse is a great email marketing software for eCommerce. 

What I like about GetResponse, is that it is extremely easy to use. The drag and drop builder allows you to create campaigns easily. You can also segment contacts and send emails to specific groups of subscribers.

GetResponse comes with good-looking and responsive forms, landing pages, autoresponders, and more.

It also offers a good number of integrations with third parties.

GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial and the price starts at $15/month.


Convertkit Content editing-laptop
Source: Convertkit

ConvertKit is a great email marketing tool mainly used by bloggers to develop their personal brands. 

Its design is pretty simple. It is mainly used to send plain-text emails that provide higher deliverability overall. But the lack of more elaborated templates might make Converkit not the best fit for users who need more visuals.

On the other hand, it has been designated to be extremely functional and works great to serve your audience with regular newsletters.

Sequences and automation are probably the most powerful features since they will allow you to run your business in auto mode.

You can read here my full Convertkit review.

They offer a free plan where you can manage up to 1000 subscribers.

Are you ready to create your next affiliate email marketing campaign?

Affiliate email marketing does not mean to be complicated when you have a strategy.

And I can tell you first hand that the strategies discussed in this article work. However, your website traffic is a significant factor that will have the ultimate impact on your results. The more targeted traffic you get, the better your numbers will look.

Before you leave, I’d like you to check the guide to Pinterest affiliate marketing. If you use both email and Pinterest in parallel, you can get results you only dreamt of!

Now is your turn!

Did you find useful these tips to create email marketing campaigns with your affiliate links?

Leave a comment below with your answer.

Learn how to create an affiliate email marketing campaign step by step with these tips. Includes the top 3 email services to grow your  affiliate marketer income. #AffilaiteMarketing #EmailMarketing #Entrepreneurship
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