3 Affiliate Email Marketing Ideas

Just got back from Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas.

It was a great event, from all of the affiliate marketers and AWeber users we met to the keynote by Jason Calacanis about the need for affiliates to create additional value for visitors instead of simply replicating company-provided sites and resources.

(Example for our own affiliates: use our posts here as a starting point to write a reaction piece, or if you use AWeber, do a self-case study about how you’ve built and optimized your own email marketing campaign with us).

I didn’t hear as much talk as I’d like about how affiliates can more successfully market by email. So let’s talk about it here!

Affiliate Bloggers: Syndicate Your Content By Email and RSS

Do you use a blog to deliver content and promote products as an affiliate?

Just like with any other site, most visitors aren’t going to make a purchase on their first visit to your blog.

By syndicating your blog’s content by RSS, and also using our Blog Broadcast tool to convert RSS to email, you can drive repeat traffic from your audience.

This not only increases the chances of converting affiliate sales, it’s more cost-effective than driving new traffic through pay-per-click and other advertising.

Learn more about how to send a blog newsletter.

Add Affiliate Promotions Within an Existing Campaign

You may find it appropriate within email campaigns for your own products/services to discuss other tools or services that you have found helpful.

Provided you have gained the trust of your subscribers and positioned yourself as an expert in your field, you may find them happy to purchase products that come with your “seal of approval,” particularly if you can clearly demonstrate to them how those products have helped you and others to solve a problem.

Such recommendations put your reputation and business on the line. Don’t be tempted to promote something you know nothing about, or haven’t tried, or don’t fully believe in.

Offer Bonuses to Email Subscribers

One challenge for affiliate marketers is that many consumers are thrifty. They’re always looking for the best deal, and this can make them hesitate if they’re not 100% sure that the product you’re recommending to them is not only right for them, but is offered at the best value.

So, many affiliates try to position their products/promotions as the best value by offering extra incentives to buy through them.

While you might not always be able to compete on price, you can offer other incentives like a rebate (ebates is an example of a company doing this) or perhaps a bonus, such as a report/ebook/whitepaper you’ve created, or some other content that you no reserve for buyers.

To tie this into your email marketing campaigns, reserve those extras so that only your active email subscribers are eligible.

Be sure to check with merchants to make sure that any bonuses or extra incentives you offer are permitted by their affiliate programs.

What Else Do You Do?

What other tactics have you used to successfully market affiliate products via email?


  1. Paul Broni

    2/29/2008 9:40 am

    I received this post by email. I noticed in the email it encourages the recipient to forward the message on to others.

    However, doesn’t doing this run the risk of the forwarded recipient clicking the unsubscribe link and inadvertently removing the original recipient (who had no intention of unsubscribing) from your email list?

    Also, any click or tracking data generated by the forwarded message will appear to have come from the original recipient. Correct?

  2. Justin Premick

    2/29/2008 10:43 am

    Hi Paul,

    An inadvertent unsubscribe is a possible risk when forwarding an email, unless your subscriber removes that link when they forward the email.

    In some cases I’ve seen companies that do this include a line that tells the subscriber to remove the unsubscribe link when forwarding. So far, I haven’t seen any evidence of people getting inadvertently removed from our list, though, so I’ve opted to leave such a warning out, so we can keep our footer short.

    And as you state, click and open data can be affected by how people who are forwarded your emails respond to them.

    In my view this isn’t a bad thing, though. If I’m on your list and I forward your email to someone else who opens/clicks, you’re still getting an increased response from "me" as a subscriber (since I’m the reason that other person was able to open/click).

  3. Shara

    3/2/2008 2:50 am

    I have seen other newsletter systems include a ‘tell a friend’ function,will aweber be developing this?

  4. Justin Premick

    3/3/2008 8:14 am

    Hi Shara,

    Due to the inherent spam risks associated with Tell a Friend forms, we do not have any plans to incorporate them into AWeber.

    We recommend as an alternative that you place text in your emails encouraging people to forward the message to others.

    More on Tell a Friend in our Knowledge Base.

  5. Jessica

    3/3/2008 2:18 pm

    "We recommend as an alternative that you place text in your emails encouraging people to forward the message to others."

    Do you have the special "forward" link our customers can use so the control panel can keep count of how many times it was forwarded, and the images can stay intact?

    I read that "campaigner" has this feature.

  6. Marc Kline

    3/3/2008 5:12 pm


    This is not a feature we currently offer. By Justin’s suggestion, we’re encouraging subscribers to forward the actual message they received exactly as they received it in their inbox.

  7. Matt

    3/4/2008 3:09 pm

    You know what the best way to tell a friend is?

    How about actually telling the friend? Tell them why AWeber doesn’t give free trials. Show them all the cool stuff you can do with AWeber

    I am not the greatest affiliate myself…

    I’ve done a couple things that seem to work

    1.) I made a video explaining why I chose AWeber.

    Realize that I am selling eBooks and things…but I think that the theme is pretty universal

    2.) In every newsletter…right at the bottom I put this

    Newsletters From MBCarterBooks Powered By:

    3.) I get asked all the time…."how do you make that fly in ad" or "what do you use for your newsletter" ect. and I just talk about AWeber and give them my link

    Pretty basic stuff…but I thought I would share

  8. Justin Premick

    3/4/2008 3:43 pm


    Great ideas!

    The "Powered By" linking is especially smart – taglines like that help spread the word about products subtly (Hotmail’s growth in the mid-1990s is perhaps the best example of this).

    One thing you might consider: putting your video on a site like YouTube. That’s a pretty big video file that might be easier for users to watch via Flash.

  9. Matt

    3/5/2008 1:05 am

    I have been messing around with a flash version but I can’t get it to work for Mozilla. (and I won’t spend the money on Camtasia right now)

    YouTube I didn’t think of…very nice idea to at least offer an alternate link…thanks!

  10. nina

    3/7/2008 11:18 pm

    Thanks, Matt. I love the "Powered By" idea. Consider it stolen!

    I think I’ll test and see if I can use it, like a tagline, at the bottom of every email. And I’ll test some variations on it.

    Diggin’ it. Thanks

  11. » Podcast Interview: Talking Email and Affiliate Marketing - AWeber Blog

    3/14/2008 1:54 pm

    […] Andrew asked me to join him on his podcast to discuss AWeber and more affiliate email marketing ideas. […]

  12. Ryan

    4/4/2008 1:03 pm

    Just thought I’d post a link to The Email Marketing Kit over at SitePoint for people who are new to Email marketing. It’s a great resource and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re serious about using email as an effective marketing tool.


  13. S. T.

    6/24/2010 9:21 pm

    Thanks for the information…. really helpful for newbies.