Table of Contents

Kyle Dana, Director of Marketing, Digistore24


Kyle Dana

Director of Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

How to Build an Email List for Affiliate Marketing

Oct. 14, 2022

12 min. Read

How to build email list for affiliate marketing

A great way to boost your earnings as an affiliate is to add email into your marketing strategy. Having success with email marketing boils down to your ability to create a solid email list and provide valuable content to your audience. With email, your focus has to be on developing quality relationships with your prospects and establishing trust to get them to click on your affiliate link and purchase the affiliate products or offers you’re promoting.

Getting started with email might take a bit longer than social media, for example, however, the payoff is worth it. Once you start seeing results, you’ll soon forget the initial effort of putting together your email list. If you’re having mixed feelings and you’re wondering how popular email actually is nowadays, we can assure you that it’s more alive than ever. 

According to a 2021 report by Statista, there are currently 4 billion daily email users, and this number is poised to exceed 4.6 billion by the end of 2025.

Here at Digistore24, we've created a special guide to help you on your affiliate journey and give you all the tips on how to build a strong email list. In addition, we’re also looking at why email marketing is important, top email strategies, and more.

So let’s get started…

Is Email Marketing Effective for Affiliate Marketing?

Having a platform where you can personalize and curate your content based on your preference has a ton of advantages. With email, most affiliate marketers have the freedom to deliver the content however they see fit, and establish a tone of voice for their brand that is unique, and not dependent on so many rules like on social media or forums, for instance.

Furthermore, the people you’re consistently interacting with via email blasts are already familiar with your content and brand, and these people chose to be a part of your business. Warm traffic is much more dependable than cold traffic when it comes to sales, but both are equally important. And with email… It's all about warm traffic.

A recent report by Campaign Monitor shows that 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach potential customers. Not only that, 58% of users check their email first thing in the morning, according to OptinMonster. It’s safe to say that email is more alive than ever and it’s definitely a space you should be expanding your digital reach.

Why is Email Marketing Important?

Why is Email Marketing Important?

More often than not, people who land on your sales page through an ad have no idea who you are, and the probability of them bouncing off of your domain is extremely high. If 5,000 people arrive on one of your landing pages, chances are only 10-15% will actually stick around. With email, if you have 500 subscribers, most of them are genuinely interested in your content.

The point is, targeted users offer much more engagement and appreciate your content to a higher degree. Conversion rate is also higher with email subscribers than with random visitors from Google Ads or social media ads, because all of them are voluntarily signed up to receive exclusive content from you.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

In the upcoming section of this article, we will be taking you through a step-by-step process on how to build and continuously improve an email list.

How to Build an Email List for Affiliate Marketing: Top 6 Steps

1. Build a Strong Contact List

First things first: If you’re venturing into email marketing as an affiliate, you need a solid foundation. To get things into motion as soon as possible, you need to start tweaking your marketing campaigns on various channels, including, social media, ads, and forums in order to collect as many emails as possible.

Note that it takes time to build an email list, so if you’ve just joined an affiliate program, perhaps explore other mediums where you can promote and collect contact information at the same time. Social media is a great way to start, especially if you can link to interesting surveys people can fill out.

Another surefire way to build a contact list is by offering free affiliate products or giveaways to your audience, like Ebooks or coupon codes, through various marketing channels. And the catch has to be them filling out a form with their contact information - email included. This way, you can retarget them through email campaigns in the future.

Collecting the email addresses of customers who bought the offers you’re promoting is also an obvious method of building an email list. Furthermore, if you have a blog, you can also encourage your readers to sign up to a newsletter or email list. The great thing about having a blog is that you can also promote the same content via email down the line.

2. Choose an Email Marketing Provider

The next step is to double down on an email service provider like Maropost, Mailchimp or Sendinblue, among many others. Most of these platforms have both a free and a premium version, so play around with the platforms by creating an email provider account.

These are software solutions that can send automated emails. You can schedule one or multiple emails, as well as create visually-appealing templates and images within the platform to further customize your content and add more life to your emails.

Before sending out any emails, make sure you have either implied permission or so called express permission from your audience to receive exclusive content from you.

3. Make Use of Opt-in Forms

We mentioned before the use of signup forms to attract more subscribers. Make sure you add opt-in forms on your website or blog and make it clear what your audience is signing up for. You can either use third-party forms or use signup widgets provided by your email marketing software. Signup Widgets can usually be embedded on your website or blog.

Apart from linking to forms via ads and social media, you can also manually search for email addresses on the internet, and do an email blast where you ask the users’ permission to receive emails from you. For the best results possible, we encourage you to try different methods until you manage to flesh out a solid email list.

4. Optimize and Test

Before sending anything out, make sure you feel comfortable with the email marketing services you’re using. Also, don’t forget to optimize your signup forms, and try different placements for them on your website. You can place these forms in sidebars, footers, or even try using exit intent pop ups and see which method brings the best results.

When it comes to the actual email service provider, be sure to decide on a standard design for your email, so your audience will always recognize your brand in their inbox. Furthermore, make sure to explore affiliate program guidelines for email best practices.

5. Bring On Your Best Content Game 

Now that most of the technicalities are all set up, you need to focus on the contents of your email. The best approach is to start sending valuable and exclusive marketing content to your traffic and start gaining their trust. You need to position yourself as an expert within your niche so your subscribers will trust you.

Keep your emails short and sweet but engaging at the same time, and make a habit of sending various content pieces throughout each week. The topics you tackle should be relevant to your traffic, and refrain from always adding affiliate links in every single email. Write witty subject lines and use a bold and confident tone in your messages.

Use the name of the recipient in the greeting and try not to repeat the topics you send, and you’re good to go!

6. Be Mindful of the Offers You Promote To Your Traffic

Let’s say you created a specific email list for a fitness and health audience, but you’re also promoting personal development offers. If you're working with multiple affiliate promotions from various niches, you should try to segment your audience as much as possible. While indeed fitness, health and personal development can go hand-in-hand, other offers don’t always do.

If you find yourself promoting education offers and survival products, be wary that these are two completely different niches, and sending content about two different topics to the same audience can lead to users unsubscribing. Make sure you don’t mix up your lists, and double-check them every time you’re about to launch a campaign.

The Top 5 Email Marketing Strategies

The Top 5 Email Marketing Strategies

Check out a few strategies you can implement into your email marketing campaigns:

Drip campaigns - If you want your new subscribers to get an email in a certain time interval, you can create automated drip emails within your email marketing tool. Having an automated email flow handy ensures a steady stream of emails for new subscribers.

Welcome email series - Creating a welcome series is a great way to introduce your subscribers to your business, brand and the type of affiliate products you’ll be promoting. A welcome series consists of several emails that “ease in” new members, and also keeps them engaged during those first days of joining.

Educational content - Sending emails with valuable information that can help your audience is a major plus. It also shows you care about them and you’re willing to share key industry knowledge to further their professional development. If you have a blog, repurposing articles in your emails is a great strategy you shouldn’t miss out on!

Exclusive offers - Don’t forget about your affiliate products. Package the offers you’re promoting in neat emails, add a discount if you wish, and lead your traffic to elaborate landing pages for extra information.

Affiliate marketing news and announcements - If any big events are happening, if a new affiliate product or offer just launched, or there’s exciting affiliate marketing news, don’t shy away from blasting an email to your subscribers.

And most importantly, keep in mind that you’re sharing, not selling. Avoid being too salesy and spammy, and you should be just fine.

How Do You Get the Most Out of Your Email Marketing Efforts?

How Do You Get the Most Out of Your Email Marketing Efforts?

Consistency is key when it comes to email marketing, however, there are a lot of factors that go into an email marketing strategy. To get the most out of your efforts, you should:

  • Set short and long term goals for yourself
  • Build trust with your subscribers by providing exclusive marketing content
  • Make an effort to understand your audience, and try to relate to them
  • Get good at receiving feedback and implementing changes
  • Always strive to optimize your emails and funnels
  • Stay engaging and relevant
  • Don’t overcomplicate things: Keep it smooth and simple
  • Make sure your subject lines are captivating

Email marketing can be hard at first because there are a lot of elements to consider so it can become overwhelming pretty quickly if you don’t take a breather. Take it one step at a time and the process will get better and smoother with each day.

Can You Really Make Money With Email as an Affiliate Marketer?

Can You Really Make Money With Email as an Affiliate Marketer?

The short answer is: Yes! You can make money in affiliate marketing without a website, which means you’ll have no trouble making sales through email. How much you actually earn depends on the factors discussed in this article, however, if you at least do some of the things right, you’ll still be able to make money consistently.


Building a strong foundation for your email strategy isn’t hard, but it’s definitely time-consuming. A lot of work can go into building a solid email list, however, the results are worth it. With email, you develop a unique connection with your target audience, and you can use this medium to send personalized content with very few limitations.

Establishing trust is a key element when it comes to affiliate email marketing, and maintaining your traffic’s interest in your content is another. If you make sure to use every method possible to gather relevant contact information, including opt-in forms, you’ll be able to put together a decent list and start reaching out to potential customers in no time.

And remember… Keep the spam to a minimum to avoid large unsubscribe rates!

Want to become a Digistore24 affiliate? Simply go here to register for free.

Kyle Dana, Director of Marketing, Digistore24


Kyle Dana

Director of Marketing

Kyle has over a decade of digital marketing experience, including successfully launching & growing several e-commerce brands - using SEO, content marketing, social media, and more. Prior to becoming Director of Marketing at Digistore24, Kyle was an 8-figure affiliate marketer and email list manager.