How to build your email list for Affiliate Marketing – and why it’s a must for your Affiliate Marketing toolkit


There are many ways to build your email list for Affiliate Marketing – the purpose of this article is to list seven of the best techniques for growing your email audience, as well as five of the main reasons why email is an absolutely essential way to do Affiliate Marketing. You may have heard of some of these techniques but I have no doubt some will be new to you, and will help propel your email affiliate marketing game to new levels.

  1. The tried and tested lead magnet

If you currently have traffic to any of your owned media, it’s time to engage that traffic audience by using a lead magnet to collect the contact details of your visitors. You can offer a well created PDF on a subject that is likely to be a pain point for your audience such as “9 hacks to improve your Youtube search ranking” or “8 ways to remove that belly fat fast”. This type of lead magnet greatly increases he likelihood that a website visitor will become an email lead, and later perhaps a customer. There are a few important factors here – firstly the attractiveness of your lead magnet offer and also the manner in which it is presented. Make sure your actual lead magnet collateral is of quality as well – poor quality material that is not of any benefit to your consumer is unlikely to increase your future email open rate anyway.

With your offer –

  1. the headline is important. Make sure it has high emotional value, as most people make decisions based on emotion and feeling rather than logic
  2. What is being offered is also critical – it must be of great appeal and importance to your visitors.

In terms of how your offer is presented, assuming you have owned media such as a website, you could use a activity or exit-based popup (see here for my article on effective exit popups), an inline form, a contact us form or any of a number of other methods to grab that email and send through your value. If you’re using, say, facebook, you could collect emails through Facebook messenger using Manychat (I have an article on the effectiveness of messenger and email in conjunction here).


lead magnet

Quality lead magnets are one of the best ways to incentivise users to give you their contact details. Of course, there are both generally accepted practices and hard and fast rules around the collection of private information (think privacy laws and GDPR) including emails and the use when you have obtained them. This leads to the next item –

  1. Be compliant

Take it from experience that there’s nothing worse than collecting an email list, then beginning to affiliate market to them, only to find your Mailchimp account has been cancelled the next day. Most email marketing platforms are not Affiliate friendly; see my listing here of autoresponder providers I believe to be affiliate friendly through my own research and practice or simply jump to my favourite autoresponder, landing page builder and sales funnel offering which is Getresponse.

Depending on the locality there are many rules around legal collection of emails, I have a guide here for rules of thumb on this.

Also make sure that the Affiliate program you are linking for allows email as a source for affiliate traffic.

  1. Don’t be shy with your subscription form or lead magnet sign-up

As mentioned earlier, there are many places you can place a sign-up – think pop-ups, side, top or bottom bar call-to-action buttons with a subscription email field are all fantastic ways to collect emails. All at once may be overkill however! There is considerable research on which of these is most effective, and really it depends on the context of your site. It’s possible that a combination may yield optimal results.

  1. Think about who you want to be on your email list – and target them

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are my visitors struggling with?
  2. What is the product I am affiliating?
  3. Can the product I am affiliating help them get past their struggle?

There’s absolutely no point having a random email list. With a good autoresponder platform you can segment and provide different flows depending on how users entered and interacted with your list. This is typically know as marketing automation and again Getresponse has excellent functionality to provide this.

Of course the above questions give you a good indication where to find people who may be interested in your product. If you are advertising, you can adjust your ads accordingly – helping people with their pain points and struggle is always an awesome way to get people to take action. The content you have on the page with your email form is also heavily important if you are looking to do affiliate SEO. See my comprehensive guide here for more information on this topic.

  1. Quality follow-up emails

Make sure your follow up is first class. If you’ve gone to the effort of bringing in email subscribers, you want to have quality, value giving emails following up from this. There are several obvious reasons for this, the first being simply if subscribers, open, read and like your content, they are more likely to follow through and read future content, and click through to any affiliate links you may have within your email.

Secondly, they’re less likely to unsubscribe – if the content you are bringing them is perceived as valuable, they’ll keep waiting for more.


call to action

  1. Personalise your form CTA and follow up according to the landing page

If you have the time and resources, you can customise the email collection form using a call to action message that is specific to that page. For example, an article on weight loss may have a call to action like “8 great ways to remove those love handles” or “7 types of superfoods for weight loss”. You can then follow up with an email series that is tailored specifically to the audience that was attracted to this page content.

7. Increase the amount and range of your landing page content

Following on from point (6.), to increase your email signups and grow your list, simply get your email form signup, call-to-action or lead magnet in front of more people. How? If you’re using SEO as a form of traffic generation, simply writing more and varied content is a simple way to get more targeted traffic, and hence a greater potential audience for your email sign-up. As mentioned earlier I have a comprehensive article on Affiliate marketing SEO here.


Why to build an email list – the top 5 reasons why it’s an essential addition to your Affiliate Marketing toolkit

  1. “The money’s in the list”

You may have heard this expression before. It’s one that has been around email and digital marketing for some time and studies as well as practical experience has proven it to be true. Depending on what you are selling and the offer you are providing, email lists can be used to provide predictable income when they reach a certain scale. If you get a new affiliate offer on say, weight loss formulas, you can send an email offering it to your full email list at no or little extra cost. Predictably your list will return a certain open rate (say around 14% typically) and a click through rate depending on the offer (say 2%). These numbers sound small, but if you build your email list big enough, you can predictably estimate your likely return for every single email sent.

Would you like to make money every time you send an email? Build a list, that’s where the money is.

2. Redirecting to your new content – everybody wins

Say you have a blog that espouses the greatness of a certain weight loss powder, and you regularly write new articles on how it can be used to lose weight. Google can be slow to recognise and rank your new content, so how do you get it out there under the noses of your potential audience? If you’ve bothered to collect emails through the methods mentioned in the first half of this article, getting some first-up traffic is easy. Simply email out to your list audience a link to your new content, and hey presto, you’ll have a quick stream of traffic almost on tap.

Remember, constant engagement of this type is essential – you want your audience to know, like and trust you. That’s how they buy from you and keep coming back for more. Which brings us to the next point-

  1. Lifetime value of customer

So you put an affiliate link onto your media, somebody clicks on it and buys, mission accomplished. Right? Not entirely. You’ve potentially missed out on many more customer affiliate $$$. You need to think of audience customer Lifetime Value (LTV). Basically, what this means is, a customer gives you their contact email, occasionally views your content, six months later buys something off you, remains your customer as you have their contact details, twelve months later buys something else, one month later something else… you get the picture. This is why many online sales funnels are prepared to pay more to acquire a customer than the initial price of the product or service they are offering. They know if they retain the contact details of that customer, they can nurture that customer continually over time, leading to potential repeat business. It may not work for one single customer, but aggregated over a large customer base, it’s effectively a sure fire winner.

  1. The customer is not lost – they become your customer

Kind of alluded to in a couple of the points above, if a customer buys an affiliate product through your link, you may well receive a commission, but they do not remain your customer. However, if you retain their contact details as part of this process, in a sense they remain your customer even when they click off your site or owned media. This is basically because of the reasons above – you can now market to them at any time within the bounds of compliance and reasonableness.

  1. Potential for custom targeting, depending on your platform and jurisdiction

Emails are used as a way to identify users by many different platforms. For example, for google remarketing targeting, you can simply upload your email list to a custom audience to retarget advertising to this list. It’s a highly effective way to bring customers back to your sites or offers.

customer wheel


Since you’ve reached the bottom of my article, here’s another way to get more leads onto your  email list for email affiliate marketing.

If you are selling physical or digital products, or affiliating physical or digital products, you can offer a discount if they sign up to your email subscription list. Obviously, this is easy enough if you have control over the price of your product ie. you are selling it yourself, but perhaps not so easy if you are affiliating a product. What I can say is that if you are sending a company enough traffic and sales, they may negotiate a better deal for your customer as an incentive. It’s not unusual in the affiliate sphere to do this if you can prove your worth.

Now that a company is providing you a better deal for your customer, you can advertise this in conjunction with your email subscription and gain more traffic and more subscriptions.

If you are unable to negotiate a better deal, you could try adding a free product in conjunction with your offer to sweeten the deal. If you were affiliating weight loss solutions, maybe you could offer a trial pack of meal replacement powder or something similar, in return for the customer’s email address. There are many ways you can get creative with this; it’s not hard to find inexpensive products to combine with your main offer that will offer value to your customer. Be sure to spend less than the likely lifetime value of your lead of course.

Thanks for reading my article!


Affiliate Disclaimer: In case you were in any sort of doubt, yes, I’m an Affiliate in some manner for some of these programs and products. I like to practice what I preach. If you are intending to utilise any of these offers I’d love if you went through one of these links to support my site.