Compliance concerns for email Affiliate Marketing

I got kicked off mailchimp a few months ago – it was a big hit to my ego, let alone my business! It led me to create this article giving some rules of thumb about what you can and can’t do on an email autoresponder when it comes to affiliate marketing. Now keep in mind I am not a Lawyer or Compliance expert, I’m just speaking from my own experience and research. Here’s some key points on the subject.

Don’t break the rules

Some autoresponder email providers simply don’t like or accept affiliate marketing, full stop. Perhaps the best known email platform, Mailchimp, even has written into their terms and conditions that their services are not meant for affiliate marketing. ActiveCampaign has similar terms. So choose the right provider! Aweber and Getresponse are more affiliate friendly.

No all autoresponders are made the same

GetResponse is particularly friendly to affiliate marketers, it even integrates with some large affiliate networks.This doesn’t mean jack your email full of spurious claims and affiliate links through. As always be contextual and respect your audience.

Don’t be a SPAM

All email platform providers worth a pinch of salt have an anti-spam policy. The definition of spam according to a google search is as follows: irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to a large number of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc. Obviously as an affiliate marketer you are looking to advertise, so don’t be irrelevant – thin or little content, unrelated and obvious clickbait would fall into this category. Unsolicited mail is another key factor, check out the point below on how emails should be collected. It is possible to advertise as an email marketer and not be spammy – make sure the main purpose of your email is to actually add value, and to give the reader useful information they do not already know. Not only does this reduce your potential to be viewed as spam, it also increases the rapport you build with your audience, and over time is likely to increase clickthroughs and conversions.

Collection is key

How you collect your email addresses is very important. Subscribers need to have opted in, generally, you cannot buy, lease or rent email addresses from third parties to use in your email campaigns, be it for affiliate marketing or other. Forget about unsolicited or unwanted email correspondence. GDPR and non-GDPR relevant data collection is also important. I-m by no means a raving expert on GDPR compliance but at a bare minimum a privacy policy, acknowledgement for any cookies, ability to easily unsubscribe and the ability to remove all personal data in a timely manner should be needed.

Don’t be yuck

Subject lines and content cannot be misleading or deceptive, and for obvious reasons, vulgar or illegal content is a no-go. Thoughtful communication is always preferred! Your audience will quickly be turned off by this kind of content regardless of its level of compliancy.

Know who you are

Some details identifying yourself are required – typically a mailing address. These are automatically handled by most autoresponders and typically appear in the footer of your email.

I’ve written an article on what I think are the most useful email autoresponders for affiliate marketing here.