How to leverage Email Marketing for Affiliate Marketing in 2021

affiliate email marketing

Are you an affiliate marketer looking to get the most out of email marketing? Today is your lucky day my friend as you’ve stumbled across one of the few articles written by someone who helps implement email marketing for affiliate marketers on a daily basis.

Do you want to make your life much easier as most of your profits are made on autopilot? This is all possible if you understand how to leverage email marketing as part of your overall approach.

It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to email marketing or a seasoned pro who already utilizes email marketing, but are looking to fully leverage email to the nth degree.

Most articles out there are written by staffers who haven’t done a day of affiliate marketing in their life. We here at Emercury have built a super successful business that just happens to be a favorite among affiliate marketers. 

And you’re reading an article written by the CEO (that’s me). Someone who has helped countless affiliate marketers make a killing by implementing email marketing the right way.

With that said, this article is going to set you on the right track for exponential growth in the amount of benefits you get from email marketing, as an affiliate marketer. So let’s get started.

The 4 reasons why you need to implement email marketing for affiliate promotions (some of these are going to surprise you)

1) Email marketing is the only way to retarget people for free*

Here’s a sad fact of life that holds true to all business – most people that discover your brand will move on and never rediscover you, ever again. Or at least, not for another couple of years. That is, unless you do one of two things

1) You utilize something like pixel technology so that you can pay to advertise to them and get their attention again.

2) Get them to subscribe to one of your channels, be that email, your Facebook page or your Youtube channel

affiliate email marketing

The options in the first category can be powerful, but can also be super-expensive

Paid remarketing using retargeting ads sounds really cool on paper, but in all honesty, it’s probably the last thing you should implement, after you have everything else working for you.

Why do I say this? For one simple reason, if you’re implementing paid retargeting options before you’ve exhausted and fully-developed the free options, you’re essentially throwing away money.

If you look at this in terms of an implementation timeline, you will want to take steps to implement things in the following order:

– First, you want to make sure your email-capture rate is as high as possible. That means that people enter in their email address and join your list when they interact with you.

Whether this is about having great CTAs on your websites, high conversion rates on your ppc landing pages, or even a pitch you do in your video blogs asking people to sign up for your list.

— Only then would I say it’s ok to create some retargeting campaigns. And even then they would be limited to just the people who didn’t subscribe. This is done by having a tracking pixel, and setting up ads that only target people who visited (minus ones who did subscribe).

– Next, you want to do everything you can to make your list engagement rates as high as possible. That means that people actually read your emails and purchase things you recommend in those emails.

– And then, you want to go ahead and set-up some win-back campaigns and re-engagement series. This is how you retarget people for free even if they lose interest. To read more on this, check out our guide on winback and re-engagement email campaigns.

– Only after you have the above two truly mastered would I say that it is appropriate to even experiment with paid retargeting campaigns. You could target the people who failed to re-engage with any of the re-engagement campaigns.

But honestly, if your re-engagement campaigns are good, you should have won-back almost everyone. I’m just putting this to say I wouldn’t try paid re-engagement until all free options are exhausted.

All of the free retargeting options pale in comparison to email marketing

Yes, if you’re a video blogger you might get good at getting people to subscribe to your channel. And then you get to reach out to them by publishing videos. In theory they should see whenever you publish a new video. You get to retarget them for free.

Same with getting people to like your Facebook page. In theory you can publish stuff on your Facebook page, and you get to reach out to them for free.

The problem? This hasn’t worked in a couple of years now. All of these channels are currently throttling free distribution and will continue to hamper it even more. You might have 2 million subscribers, publish a post and only reach a fraction of them. 

In order to reach all of your subscribers and fans, you actually have to pay money, in fact, a ton of money. Increasingly we’re getting to the point where there’s almost no benefit to having them subscribe or follow you.

This is different than email where you get to broadcast to all of your subscribers any time you want, for (essentially*) free. 

affiliate email marketing

*-Obviously it depends on the email plan that you’re on. Most people get a plan where you pay by the number of contacts and sending the actual emails is free. You can also get a plan where you pay by-send. In either case the cost to reach these people is astronomically small compared to the cost of paid reach and retargeting with other channels. This is on top of the fact that the response itself is much higher and much better when you reach out through email.

2) You will get additional benefits that are impossible with any other channel, email always upgrades whatever else you have going on

One common reason that people don’t develop email marketing to its full potential is that they might be getting decent results from other channels. For example, let’s say that you’re a video blogger and you have a legion of subscribers who religiously watch everything you put out, and they diligently take your recommendations and purchase products you review.

You might be thinking that email marketing is redundant in your case. You are afterall achieving “the same results” by posting videos on a regular basis. But you would be wrong to make this assessment and this is due to a fundamental misunderstanding of how email works.

Email is personal and the closest thing you can get to building a 1-to-1 relationship. No other channel can come close to this, and trust me, marketers have been trying for 20 years now. Nothing ever manages to dethrone email.

If I wanted to really help you get this, I might try to give you an analogy. Operating something like a popular blog or video channel is the equivalent to owning a popular bar. And your fans are the equivalent to loyal patrons who come to hang out in your bar to eat, drink, listen to bands or guest comics.

You’re relying on the fact that they have to fall in love with your establishment to the point where they remember to come and visit you on a regular basis and check out whatever new bands or comics or drink specials you’re featuring that night.

On the other hand, having an email subscriber is more akin to having someone’s personal phone number and being able to call them and personally bond with them on your terms. The depth of relationship you can build this way is unmatched by any other channel, not even close.

affiliate email marketing

And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have to actually personally email people and befriend them by having one-on-one email conversations. You just get the same benefits “as-if” you did that. And a big secret to getting that done is email automation, but more on that in the next point.

3) You can automate relationship building. In other words, you can turn affiliate marketing into a matter of “getting passive income on autopilot”

Let’s face it, if you make money online, a big part of your motivation is to get to the point where it becomes a source of passive income or at least get as close as possible to that dream. 

I’ll be blunt here for a second. I’ve never seen anyone accomplish this dream or get even close to it – without utilizing email automation. I just don’t think it’s possible to achieve without email being a large part of the process.

And this is for a simple reason. Email is the only channel where you can set it up in such a way that a big chunk of the relationship-building process is automated. That is, you have an actual machine doing the work for you, while you sleep.

Other channels come nowhere close to this. Yes, if you run a blog, in written or video form, it “serves the content” to people while you’re asleep. But that’s about it. 

– The blog doesn’t proactively for example email people with a limited-time offer whenever they reach a certain stage in the buyer’s journey (more on that cool trick here).

– It doesn’t proactively call people up on the phone and ask them to read a certain article (that’s kind of what email marketing does).

4) You can utilize intelligent and personalized upselling, cross selling and personalized recommendations

There’s an analogy I often use to describe an ideal email marketing journey. This is how the subscriber’s experience looks like from the moment they join your list, up to the moment they make their first purchase. It also includes any upgrades, cross purchases and later purchases that they make thanks to your email marketing.

An ideal experience should look as close as possible to an actual experienced sales-person and mentor sending them emails on a one-to-one basis. That is, the content of the emails, and what you send when should be almost the same as if the best one-on-one salesperson wrote those emails to them personally. 

affiliate email marketing

But we’re not just talking about a person who’s amazing at one-to-one sales. We’re talking about a person who’s also super knowledgeable and a great mentor on the subject that the person subscribed for. 

The emails should look as if an amazing mentor on the subject is writing to the subscriber personally. And this mentor happens to also be an amazing salesperson who keeps track of exactly what the subscriber needs when.

With email automation you can come pretty close to achieving and replicating such an experience. And it doesn’t stop at just those initial sales. Most profit made by successful affiliates comes from upselling and cross-selling offers.

And all of these are exceptionally easy to automate and achieve with email marketing. Just look at our guide on cross-selling and upselling with email marketing.

Here is your action plan to get good at affiliate email marketing

1) Create a quality list of qualified leads

Notice, I didn’t say “get subscribers” or “get some email addresses”. I’m saying “create a quality list” on purpose.

Note that a list of 1000 qualified subscribers will always make more profit than a list of 10,000 or even 100,000 unqualified leads. Random email addresses are useless. You want people who want to be on your list for the specific thing that you will be sending them. So be sure to get emails in a way where it is clear what people are subscribing for.

As an affiliate marketer you might already have some emails you received in the process of doing your other affiliate work. Consider that those emails aren’t automatically a good quality email marketing list. In order to implement email marketing for affiliate promotions, you have to think like an email marketer first.

Depending on how you got those emails, you might need to re-confirm their interest. For example you can send people a reconfirmation email to make sure they want to be on your list. You might even include an ethical bribe or lead magnet as reward for confirming.

If you’re not sure how to clean and prepare your lists of email addresses from beforehand, consider that when you’re an Emercury customer you get access to such help from our experienced team.

2) Get good at segmentation

Personalization is the strongest feature that email marketing has going for it. With email marketing you can achieve a customer journey that looks very similar to an experienced mentor taking the subscriber under their wings personally. Good email marketing can come very close to resembling one-on-one communication with such a mentor figure.

However, in order to achieve such a feat, there are some prerequisites that need to be in place. First of all, you need to know why people joined your list initially. This is part of the initial qualification process described above.

But you also want to segment people further down the line based on their specific sub-interests, preferences and interests. This is what’s known as segmentation, and it’s actually quite easy to achieve with an email automation platform like the one on Emercury. 

Just read our guide to converting subscribers to paying customers, automatically and on autopilot. A big part of it revolves around getting automations to automatically segment people out for you. And if you want to learn more about segmentation, go ahead and check out our guide on segmentation over here.

3) Understand the different types of emails

To get good at affiliate email marketing you have to understand the different types of emails. This is crucial to knowing which emails to send in which circumstance and how to develop your campaigns and overall strategy.

The first thing you have to do is learn the difference between an email broadcast and an automation. This is a crucial distinction because most people underutilize and overuse one type over the other. This is because they fundamentally lack the understanding about when you should use one or other other. So they just pick one and use it in all circumstances. This in turn kills their profits.

If you get the key to what each one does, you will know when to use each one. So be sure to read our guide on when to use broadcasts vs automations over here.

The other distinction you also need to understand is the difference between promotional emails and “value” content emails. Most of your emails need to be of the “giving valuable content” variety, with a specific and very defined portion being promotional. We cover this and a lot of other crucial tips in this guide – the best tips on email marketing for affiliate marketers.

4) Learn everything that you can about engagement

If there is one key secret to making your emails as profitable as possible, that would be engagement. In fact, most anything you will ever learn about improving email marketing will in some way, shape or form come back to improving engagement or leveraging engagement in one way or another.

If there’s one mission you need to have at the forefront as an email marketer, it should be this – become a master at email engagement. This guarantees maximum profits in and of itself. And everything else is really just a byproduct, or a method of achieving this goal. If you want to learn more about this secret, read our guide on engagement as the secret to all email marketing success and profit.

5) Understand the link between deliverability and profit

Let me tell you a little secret. Most email sending platforms out there don’t actually care if you lose out on easy profits. How do I know this? They don’t care about deliverability, that is if your emails actually get delivered to your subscribers. You can see this by the fact that it isn’t part of their educational process, their onboarding, nor any of their highlighted features.

This might surprise you if you’re not a veteran to email marketing for affiliate promotions. In fact, you might be under the naive assumption that if you’re using a fancy email sending platform that email delivery is a given. You assume that your emails actually reach your subscribers. Alas, that is not actually the case.

In fact, most email marketers (affiliate or otherwise) have subpar deliverability and they don’t even realize it. That means that a large chunk of their subscribers does not even receive their emails. This also means they’re leaving a ton of money on the table and losing out on a lot of profit.

If you’re going to implement and leverage email marketing as an affiliate marketer, you have to learn about email deliverability. The good news is that there are just 2 sides to email deliverability. 

A) Some techniques and technical aspects to deliverability

This includes things like ramping-up, setting up your SPF, DKIM etc. All of these are very easy if you’re using Emercury. Especially with the hands-on support you will get from our team.

B) Engagement

That is to say that most things that you do in order to improve deliverability are also simultaneously things that improve engagement and vice-versa.

To get a better understanding of email deliverability, give our guide on email deliverability a read over here – 13 dumb deliverability mistakes to avoid in 2021.

6) Track your email engagement and deliverability metrics

You’re probably tired of hearing experts tell you that you cannot hit a target you don’t see. And that you also cannot reach a goal which you did not define. In the same way, you can not make progress if you’re not tracking the actual metrics of success and progress.

When it comes to deliverability and engagement, tracking success is actually quite simple and easy. Especially with a platform that focuses on your success (such as Emercury). You will just need to track your open rates and your click-through rates.

This is how you know if you’re making progress in improving your engagement rates. And this will in turn directly improve your deliverability as well.

7) Implement automation and get “passive income on autopilot”

If you’re into affiliate marketing, at some level you’re looking to achieve something akin to passive income. However, this is impossible without implementing email marketing as the core mechanism by which you achieve this.

The main reason is due to how email automation works and what it can achieve. Any other channel will require active work. Other channels are never passive. You always have to do regular active work to keep it going. There is no way “set it and forget it”.

With email marketing it is truly possible to set up systems and funnels that work for you. These systems actually create that income for you on autopilot.

Yes, you’re building the actual systems and automations, but this is the closest you’ll ever get to “building machines that generate profit”. To read more about this, read our guide on automating your profit generation with email marketing.

8) Implement re-engagement strategies

The reason I left this as the last step is because this is something that you do after you’ve implemented everything else. You’ve worked hard to build an automated system that generates profit by engaging with people and building relationships. 

However, no matter how good you become at producing engaging content, some of your subscribers will simply fade away. Either because they only signed up out of curiosity and forgot about it, or for any other reason.

This is why you implement win-back and re-engagement campaigns to win back such subscribers. Proper win-back campaigns are a very important piece of a well-rounded system. If you want to fully leverage email to its fullest potential, this is a must.

To learn more about how to create killer re-engagement and winback campaigns, read this guide here.

9) Relax, take it step-by-step

I realize that the tips in this article might seem overwhelming, but don’t worry. You don’t have to implement everything all at once. In fact you should take it step-by-step. This is why we’re here and have a blog full of educational articles. These were written to help implement email marketing for affiliates.

Notice that in most of these articles we also try to rank things for you in terms of importance. This is so that you know the priority and order in which you want to implement things. This article that you are reading right now, is roughly chronological in the order it presents the steps as well.

However, note that since these are just articles, and you are a unique person, it’s impossible to give you a super-personalized plan that’s uniquely tailored to you. Fortunately, that is something which Emercury customers get access to. 

In fact our super-helpful team is one of the main reasons we get so many raving reviews and an avalanche of five-star reviews. If you want to get some sense for how this experience feels, you can go ahead and schedule a free demo and consultation with our team.

10) Affiliate email marketing can be easy with a partner on your side

Here’s a sad fact of reality. Most email sending platforms are either ambivalent about, or dislike affiliate marketers. They prefer to work with SaaS or people selling their own products, because it is much easier for them. 

Emercury is different. We love affiliate marketers, and affiliate marketers love us. In fact, that’s one of the main secrets to our success. We get huge affiliate marketers moving their big lists to Emercury on a regular basis. Usually only after they spend too long wasting their time on platforms that aren’t as affiliate-friendly.

You don’t have to wait until you’re a seasoned pro to move to the right platform for affiliate email marketing. Consider doing it right from the get go. If you want to learn more about whether Emercury is right for you, consider booking an exploratory demo session with our team.

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