When it comes to online marketing, there are two main strategies: e-mail marketing and affiliate marketing.
Both of these techniques can be extremely successful in promoting your business, but they are quite different from each other.
Let’s begin from the basics.
Difference Between Email Marketing And Affiliate Marketing
- Email marketing is a digital marketing practice that lowers the cost of marketing and increases the customer lifetime value.
- Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing whereby you as an affiliate are paid based on the sales you bring in.
- Email Marketing allows you to collect and manage the customer list in the email marketing service database, while with affiliate marketing, you don’t own nor manage the customer list.
- Some similarities between these two forms of marketing are that they are both digital practices that don’t require a website and involve adding value.
- What is email marketing?
- What is affiliate marketing?
- Affiliate email marketing campaign
- How does affiliate email marketing work?
- How to do affiliate marketing through email?
- For whom affiliate email marketing works best?
- Affiliate email marketing best practices
- How Can Affiliate Email Marketing Improve Performance?
- Difference between email marketing and affiliate marketing
- Difference between E-mail Marketing and Affiliate Marketing: Pros and cons of both
- Topics & Questions
What is email marketing?
Well, the short definition is merely a digital marketing strategy through emails. Another definition is it is a form of marketing involving emails to promote an affiliate program, engage with people already interested in your offers, and retarget them back to your website.
To do all that, you will need an email tool, such as MailChimp or GetResponse. That way, you can easily collect email addresses, send emails to a list, segment based on subscriber’s events, and undertake A/B testing.
From research, email marketing is the best form of marketing. In fact, in 1978, Gary, a marketing manager at a company called Digital Equipment Corp, sent product announcement emails to 400 email subscribers and got $13 million in sales.
What is affiliate marketing?
It is the art of promoting mostly digital products to a defined audience and getting commission from the leads and sales you bring in.
Most online stores are not embracing the power of affiliate marketing to grow their businesses. From a BackLinko report, 40% of merchants in the USA regard affiliate marketing as their top customer acquisition channel. Another report averaged affiliate marketing spending to hit $8.2 billion in 2022.
That means affiliate marketing is a huge thing in the online marketing space. The sooner you jump into the bandwagon, the better. And guess what? It is not a tussle making a living as affiliate email marketers. You are good to go with a highly-profitable product and a good targeted traffic source.
Affiliate email marketing campaign
Now that you know what email marketing and affiliate marketing are, let’s understand affiliate email marketing, which is pretty clear after the two definitions.
There are different ways you, as an affiliate, can promote your affiliate products. One can be through search engine optimization, which is basically creating a blog and generating content targeting specific keywords, social media marketing and paid traffic.
The best form of marketing, which can work with all the others, is email marketing. You can have a social media group, a blog, and run ads, but you will need to nurture leads before they convert. Sending personalized and engaging emails is the best way to do that.
And hence, affiliate email marketing is basically the combination of these two. It is the art of promoting your affiliate offers via emails.
How does affiliate email marketing work?
The first step is to always decide on a niche. Most people don’t spend time researching this, yet it is an essential factor. You can’t just wake up and begin promoting Octonauts toys, can you? With enough information and affiliate programs, you are good to go.
With the niche settled, decide on affiliate partnerships to join. There are several legit ones, such as Digistore, Amazon affiliate, which pays between 1% and 20% in affiliate commissions, and Commission Junction.
You will find the best affiliate products to promote there. Be sure to check out their payment method since you don’t want to be unable to withdraw your affiliate earnings after making sales on your valuable affiliate link.
Find an email marketing service or create a blog post after that. That will often require you to purchase pricing or hosting packages based on the features you are going for and where you want to add affiliate links.
Chose GetResponse if you want to experiment for free. Within a few clicks, you should have a landing or squeeze page ready since numerous templates exist.
The next part is merely sending targeted traffic to a landing page and watching as it becomes subscribers and, ultimately, sales. That’s basically how affiliate email marketing works.
How to do affiliate marketing through email?
Start off with selecting the right email marketing tool. A good tool will always have segmentation and automation features, which are essential in email marketing. It should also have an A/B testing feature to optimize email content and increase performance.
Have a lead magnet, too. People will only hop into your email list if they are getting something of value. It can be a discount code, e-book, or free trial of one of the courses.
Once you have subscribers coming in, create email sequences to warm up the subscribers and convert them into hot buyers. This will often result from sharing useful information they can use to make profitable decisions.
With email marketing, your marketing strategy should never appear salesy. People don’t like to feel as if you are only interested in selling to them. Remember, they don’t care about you making a sale. They care about solving the challenges they are facing in their businesses.
So, promote information on how product X has helped you achieve Y results, how you did it, and how they can get the results. Keep on adding value as well as recommending products you are affiliated with.
For whom affiliate email marketing works best?
It works best for niche stores that want to increase sales, coaches, and other online tutors that want a personal touch with their audience.
Affiliate marketing email campaign can help online store come closer to their target audience and enhances trust once the affiliate marketer recommends a certain product.
Coaches and course creators can increase sales, too. They can create a course worth about $1,000 and give affiliates a 40% affiliate commission. Their job will then be merely fulfillment.
Affiliate email marketing best practices
Email marketing campaigns have been around for a long. The difference between top email marketers and the rest of the marketers who are barely moving the needle is the practices they put in place to succeed in affiliate email marketing.
If you are new to this, ensure you undertake the following affiliate email marketing best practices to increase sales and boost your online business growth.
Automation can save you time and other marketing resources. Email marketing is the easiest way to automate your entire sales process since it can convert leads into sales on autopilot.
You should therefore choose an email marketing tool with automation features. I wrote an in-depth guide about email automation here. Ensure you check it out.
Most email marketing software tools will allow you to create an email sequence, which is then automated based on the rules you set. With a mapped-out customer journey, it is easy to target customers with more personalized offers and achieve sales.
Test and optimize
You should undertake A/B testing to access the type of content that works best for your subscribers. Most tools will allow you to test personalized subject lines only. However, there are those like GetResponse and ActiveCampaign that will also allow you to test the email copy.
If you discover a subject line or email copy performing well, you can choose to go with it. The result is an increase in click-through rate and hence better affiliate email marketing performance.
Segment your email list
Instead of sending spray and pray type of affiliate marketing emails, segmentation allows you to send email campaigns that your subscribers are interested in and are willing to engage with.
If you have a list of about 5,000 subscribers, not all of them will be interested in aquariums and fish tanks, for example. However, you can never know that until you leverage their interactions with your content to place them into segments.
Again, some email marketing tools will help you get this done on autopilot. You just need to set the triggers rights.
Undertake email personalization
Personalizing your email copy will increase the open and click-through rates. I have already told you how segmentation is effective. However, the results won’t be as great without personalizing an email to that particular segment.
Personalizing begins with creating a target persona for an email segment. You can even give the persona a name. After that, you just need to create an email as if you are talking directly to that person. Ensure you mention their name twice or thrice.
Leverage event triggers
To segment and personalize an email list, you should understand event triggers and assign rules to them. For example, you can decide to assign a tag to someone who clicks a certain link and trigger a sequence of other emails.
Other events include email opens, time taken to read an email, the type of link clicked, and purchases. All these events can trigger an automated email sequence based on the subscribers’ behavior.
How Can Affiliate Email Marketing Improve Performance?
Marketers send more than 4.2 billion emails every day. Only a handful of these reach their desired destination and deliver the message.
However, from research, affiliate email marketing can be a game changer for most online businesses. Here is how it can improve the overall business performance:
Reach new customers
Email marketing coupled with an affiliate marketing campaign is the easiest way to acquire new customers for a new business. It is cost-effective and often involves collecting leads more likely to convert to sales.
With SEO, it might take months to begin getting significant leads and sales. PPC ads are also costly and often reserved for marketing experts. Hence, email marketing is the best alternative to all these.
However, you can always choose to go with all of them. For example, you can have a blog and attract organic leads and email marketing to nurture them before coming back to the blog to click on affiliate links and purchase affiliate products.
Unlike many brick-and-mortar stores, you don’t need much money to begin an affiliate email marketing business. Since you are not fulfilling the purchase, you will not have inventory or transport charges since most affiliate products are in digital form.
Let’s do simple math;
The cost of an email marketing service can range between $15 and $499 a month. A great email marketing tool like GetResponse starts from $15 a month. They even have a free-forever plan for beginners.
A website and landing page creator like Kartra costs $99 a month. ClickFunnels is $97 a month but with a whole lot of educational videos and other resources. You can also decide to create a website by purchasing a domain name and a hosting package for about $2.05 per month via BlueHost.
Once all that is set, you just need to keep creating optimized search engine content and attract organic traffic with a high commercial value. The low cost of entry makes it easy for new affiliate marketers to venture into email affiliate marketing.
Understand your customers better
Email marketing allows you to segment and target subscribers with offers they are more interested in. Different from other forms of marketing, you can track any subscriber activity on your website, such as the number of opens and clicks.
With the data, it will be easier to understand your audience and create more personalized content for them. If they clicked on a link to check out the product but failed to purchase it, you can down-sell them since the issue might be the price.
The more easily you understand your target audience, the easier it is to market and make sales. Email affiliate marketing is the easiest way to do that.
High returns on investments
As you might have known, email marketing is the best form of marketing since it has the highest return on investment. From research, you will get $36 as an ROI for every $1 spent on email marketing.
The thing is, email marketing allows segmentation and creation of personalized content that talk, walk, and sell your affiliate offers to your subscribers.
It enhances trust in the long run. Trust is essential in sales since customers buy from people they trust. You can never purchase something without trusting that it can solve the problem you have at hand. And since email adds value, it creates a relationship with the audience and trust.
Email subscribers often convert from cold leads to a hot set of buyers. And since you will keep marketing and upselling to them, the customer lifetime value is high.
Difference between email marketing and affiliate marketing
Here are some notable differences between email marketing and affiliate marketing to take into account as an affiliate:
- It lowers the cost of marketing and increases the customer’s lifetime value.
- You collect and manage the customer list in the email marketing service database. You can even download the list as a CSV file.
- You will need money to invest in an email marketing tool and email marketing.
- Most of the time, it is all about engaging with the target audience through sending personalized emails to a segmented email list.
- It is performance-based marketing whereby you as an affiliate are paid based on the sales you bring in.
- You don’t own nor manage the customer list. Once they end up purchasing, they enter into the merchant customer list.
- It is free to sign up and get an affiliate link to promote affiliate products.
- You will be recommending useful products to your target audience.
These two forms of marketing are not that different. In fact, almost all affiliate marketers have blended email marketing into their affiliate marketing business.
Let’s see how these two are similar.
Difference between E-mail Marketing and Affiliate Marketing: Pros and cons of both
To practice both, let’s check out both their advantages and disadvantages:
Email Marketing Pros & Cons
Email Marketing Pros
- You are in charge of your email list and hence can control and manage it
- It has a high return on investment (ROI)
- It is the easiest way to establish trust with your target audience through segmentation and email personalization
- You can target and retarget customers at any time as long as they are on your email list
- You can save time through automation and sales through A/B testing.
Email Marketing Cons
- You will need to invest money in an email marketing tool
- You will need to update and customize it until your get it right
- Using some of the tools to achieve significant results take time since you will need to learn
- It is competitive, and hence you need to stand out.
Affiliate Marketing Pros & Cons
Affiliate Marketing Pros
- It helps coaches and e-commerce stores increase their revenue by reducing the marketing cost
- There is no earning limit
- It is free to sign up and promote
- You can work from the comfort of your home
- There is no storage or transport cost.
Affiliate Marketing Cons
- There are a ton of scam products; hence challenging to find legit ones
- You can’t control the price
- It has turned out to be highly competitive in the recent years.
Topics & Questions
Let’s answer questions most people have regarding email and affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing and email marketing are two powerful digital marketing tools that can be used together to great effect.
Email campaigns provide a way to warm up potential customers, introduce them to your product or service, and persuade them to buy. Affiliate marketing provides a way for you to make money by promoting other people’s products. When these two strategies are combined, they create a powerful one-two punch that can help you increase sales and revenue.
Have you tried using affiliate marketing in conjunction with email marketing?
What were the results?
Let us know in the comments below.