How to build an email list for affiliate marketing

11 min

Smart affiliate marketers use email marketing to boost their earnings. 

You see, an email marketing campaign can help you build strong relationships with your site visitors. It allows you to nurture them and build a rapport before pitching any products. As a result, it increases the chances of making more sales.

But to run an affiliate email marketing campaign, you must first build an email list

In this article, we’re going to show you how to build an email list for affiliate marketing in nine simple steps. 

Why you should build an email list for affiliate marketing

Only a small percentage of visitors will convert when they first interact with your affiliate site. Building an affiliate marketing email list lets you capture visitors who are not yet ready to purchase. You can then nurture and market to them via email. 

Affiliate email marketing also helps you establish a strong relationship with your audience. By regularly sending your subscribers valuable content, you position yourself as an authority in your niche. This also helps you build trust with your subscribers. 

Once people trust you, they’re more likely to take your recommendations and purchase the products you promote. This translates to higher conversion rates and more affiliate commissions for you.

Also, email is an owned media. Therefore, building an email lists cushions you from the turbulence of the constant algorithm updates pushed by search engines. This is instrumental in helping you maintain a consistent income.

Looking for affiliate programs in the email marketing niche? Read our comprehensive article on the topic or check out GetResponse’s affiliate program.

9 steps to build an affiliate marketing email list

It’s clear that every affiliate marketer needs an email marketing list. Let’s now show you how to build one.

1. Choose an email service provider

A good email service provider is essential to the success of any affiliate email marketing campaign. A reliable email service provider will help you capture email addresses, segment your subscribers, and automate your email campaigns. 

Your email marketing software should have the necessary tools (like automated workflows and list segmentation) to help you manage and grow your email list. Also, confirm whether they have experience working with affiliate marketers. This is important, as understanding the unique needs of the industry and providing tailored features and support can help your affiliate marketing efforts.

GetResponse Email Creator.
Building our own newsletter using GetResponse Email Creator.

GetResponse does all that. Our platform offers powerful automation features, such as autoresponders and workflows. This puts your email marketing campaigns on autopilot and ensures you send targeted emails at specific times based on subscriber behavior. 

List segmentation features allow affiliates to target specific groups of subscribers with relevant content and offers. This is extremely helpful, especially for affiliates promoting different products.

Let’s say you have an affiliate site promoting weight loss and bodybuilding products. 

The GetResponse list segmentation feature will help you place subscribers in the right segments based on the specific products they’re interested in. This, in turn, allows you to personalize your campaigns by sending relevant email content and promoting the right products. As a result, you’ll witness increased engagement and higher conversion rates.

If you’d rather shop around, here’s our curated list of the best email marketing services available. You can also have a look at this run-down of affiliate email marketing platforms for capturing and nurturing subscribers prepared by EmailToolTester.

25 ways to build your contact list

25 ways to build an email list

Learn even more ways you can build your email list with our free ebook, filled with creative ideas and real-life examples!

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2. Use landing pages

The next step in creating your affiliate marketing email list is building landing pages. Creating a dedicated landing page to collect email addresses can increase sign-ups. 

A landing page is an independent web page that visitors can “land” on after clicking through from the search results, a social media link, an email, an advertisement, or other digital sources.

GetResponse Landing Page Templates.
Examples of free landing page templates you’ll find in the GetResponse Landing Page Creator.

The goal of a landing page is to persuade the user to take action, like clicking a button, filling out a form, or making a purchase.

Your landing page should be optimized to show readers why they want to join the newsletter. 

While the word “newsletter” indicates what your audience will be getting, using an action verb like “join” encourages people to sign up. Many affiliates, including The Fearless Nomad group, have found success with this headline on their email landing page.   

Source: The Fearless Nomad Community

Overall, you should keep your landing page simple and focused, with a clear CTA and a prominent signup form. It should clearly communicate the benefits of your offer and encourage people to sign up. Keep the visuals to a minimum and limit navigation so the visitors focus on the CTA. 

3. Add popups on your website

The next step in building your list is placing popups on your website. Popups capture email addresses from your visitors as they browse through your site. 

Here’s an example of a popup placed on an affiliate site.

Source: Verywell Fit

There are several types of popups that affiliate marketers can use to collect emails:

  • Exit-intent popups appear when a visitor is about to leave your website.  
  • Timed popups appear after a specific amount of time has passed.
  • Scroll-based popups appear when a visitor has shown interest in your content by scrolling down a specific percentage of the page.   

We recommend displaying a popup when visitors land on your page. This is especially vital if you don’t have an authoritative website. You must be aggressive in capturing as many emails as possible before users bounce from your site. You can transition to exit intent and other forms of popups as you gain more authority in your niche.

Popup form templates available in GetResponse.
Examples of free popup templates you’ll find in the GetResponse Forms and Popups Creator.

That said, experiment with different types of popups on your website to determine what works best for your audience. With the right approach, popups can be a powerful tool for affiliate marketers to collect emails and grow their email lists.

💡 Learn how to create a popup that converts with our easy-to-follow guide.

4. Create a lead magnet

To make the most of popups, it’s important to offer an enticing incentive for visitors to subscribe. This is called a lead magnet

By offering a lead magnet, you can significantly increase the number of people who sign up for your email list. Studies by Statista have shown that 60% of small to medium size businesses find lead magnets as an effective marketing strategy. 

Source: Statista

This is because visitors are more likely to provide their email addresses when they feel they are getting something valuable in return.

Any form of content, as long as it’s valuable and relevant to your niche and audience, will work well. This could be exclusive email content, a free ebook, a checklist, or a quiz.

Ryan Robinson is an example of an affiliate who has built a successful online business and a steady passive income. His online class sales bring him half of his revenue. The other half comes from an affiliate program, promoting affiliate products like website setup courses, business books, web hosting providers, and website builders. 

Here’s a free course Ryan offers on his website as a lead magnet.

Source: Ryan Robinson

You must understand your audience’s needs and interests to create an effective lead magnet. Consider what types of content they would find most valuable and create something helpful and engaging. 

Experiment with different types of lead magnets and place them in different places on your website to see what works best for your audience. For example, you can provide some of them through popups, on a landing page, or with a sticky sidebar.

5. Promote your lead magnet with paid ads

Once you publish your lead magnet, you must direct traffic to it. The more traffic you send to the magnet, the more emails you can capture. This helps you get the most out of your lead magnet. Paid promotion can be helpful here. 

Many channels, like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and other paid advertising platforms, can be used to promote your lead magnet.

Create a targeted ad campaign after selecting your platform. The ad should highlight the advantages of your lead magnet and entice users to subscribe to your list.

You can also use retargeting ads to reach customers who have already visited your website or interacted with your brand in some way.

Here’s an example of a Facebook ad campaign from an affiliate website NerdWallet. They are advertising a quiz that helps users calculate the personal loan they qualify for.

Source: NerdWallet

Set your budget and monitor your campaign closely. Use analytics tools to track your click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost per lead. 

6. Optimize your signup forms

A well-designed signup form can boost the number of people who join your email list. Keep your forms organized and simple to maximize their effectiveness. 

Refrain from requesting more information than is necessary. The user’s email address and first name are what you need. Asking for too many details at this point will only put off your visitors, hurting your signup rate.

Your signup forms should be created to grab the attention of visitors and nudge them toward action. Use simple, clear language when describing what people will receive by joining your email list. 

Melyssa Griffin, an entrepreneur, affiliate, and former teacher, offers this free quiz on her website.

Source: Melyssa Griffin

Once a user completes the quiz, they get to this well-optimized signup form.

Source: Melyssa Griffin

Melyssa clarifies that providing your first name and email address will grant you access to quiz results and fun updates. 

Ensure your forms are prominently displayed on your website so visitors can easily find them. Consider using popups or slide-ins to draw attention to your forms and increase your chances of getting signups. 

7. Create valuable content

You can only position yourself as an authority in your niche and gain the trust of your visitors by creating high-quality content that speaks to your audience. As a result, visitors will be more inclined to join your email list.

Consider what your website’s visitors would find useful while creating new content. This could take the shape of:

  • Educational blog entries
  • Practical how-to manuals
  • Fun videos

Make sure your writing is clear and compelling and that the needs and interests of your target audience are covered.

Be consistent in generating great content. This tactic will reward you by attracting more visitors to your website and increasing your chances of getting signups for your email list. 

8. Promote your newsletter on social media

Promoting your newsletter on social media will help you expand your audience and draw new members to your affiliate marketing email list. 

Start by identifying the social media platforms where your target audience is most active. This could include popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube or even niche platforms like Reddit or Quora. 

Once you know the channels you’ll be publishing at, you can start creating engaging content in the right form to attract attention. 

Here’s how Best Reviews, an affiliate marketing site that publishes valuable content on consumer goods, promotes its newsletter on social media.

Source: BestReviews

Include a call-to-action to subscribe to your newsletter when sharing your social media posts. Add a link to your landing page or signup form to make it simple for people to join your mailing list.

9. Build funnels

Building funnels is necessary to turn leads into subscribers for your affiliate marketing email list. By building a marketing funnel, you can guide your leads through a series of stages that build trust and encourage them to take action. 

Here’s what your affiliate funnel could look like.

Source: Affilimate

As you can see, the first two stages focus on converting a lead into a subscriber.

Create email content for each stage of the funnel. Here are some good email examples that would work great for the following stages:

  • Welcome email for the Awareness/Consideration Stage
  • Educational email for the Desire stage
  • A sales email with a limited-time offer code to trigger the purchase

By creating a funnel, you can take potential customers on a journey from the moment they land on your site to the moment they become engaged email subscribers and customers for your affiliate products.

Related: Email marketing tips for affiliates

In closing

Building an email list for affiliate marketing is a great way to increase your passive income stream. Use these nine steps to expand your list and build a solid relationship with your audience to promote your affiliate products and services.

Once you’ve put these steps into action, focus on creating helpful, personalized email content and following your affiliate agreement guidelines. Optimize your emails for mobile and time your emails correctly. Set up automated workflows to promote your offers to the most relevant audience. 

Building trust with your audience will give you a solid foundation for a successful email list. This can lead to more clicks on your affiliate links and more conversions for your business.

Want to improve your influencer affiliate marketing business even further? Discover the advanced marketing strategies that’ll get your affiliate business thriving with our expert webinar:

Zilahy Máté
Zilahy Máté
Máté is a Content Partnerships Manager at GetResponse, where he manages relationships with content partners and develops new content initiatives that drive engagement and lead generation. In his role, he works closely with the marketing team to identify opportunities for collaboration and ensure that the company's content offerings align with its marketing strategy.