I’ve got my own customer database, why use an affiliate’s?

Email marketing has become a main stay of the affiliate industry over recent years and with an established base of partners, advertisers can benefit from the expertise now available.  Offering a targeted channel for both push and pull messages it is now part of most affiliate programs and is most commonly used for and effective in running Cost Per Lead or data gathering campaigns.

All of the partners offer something a little different as they gather their data in varying ways as well as have strengths in a range of categories.  If for example you were to speak to Freemax Media, Intela and TMN Media about the same campaigns you should expect to hear slightly different views based on their data and experience.

Consider your options

Targeting not only your message and offer is key, but also ensuring that you push this message to the most relevant audience, increasing the chances of conversion and also return for the publisher.  Each publisher will differ in what they are able to offer – some may have lists specific to a vertical, but for example no profiling information. 

List building methods will help you to understand whether the lists available are going to elicit the best response rates and also include the right customers for your products.  Many publishers will gather their users by running offers, competitions, clubs and surveys. The records gathered through these methods are very likely to be responsive to strong offers and deals. 

Others will either build lists through site registrations, PPC or managing 3rd party lists in order to monetise them. These lists are often attached to more detailed profiles and can enable better targeting for some campaigns. 

Whichever publishers you work with you will have a range of options made available and will be able to compare and contrast the more involved you become.

A few tips to get you on your way

Testing a range of copy, image and offer messages to various audiences is a great starting point for understanding what is likely to work in the long term with various affiliates. It often pays to not just use the message you’re using to your own email lists, and doing something unique for the affiliate channel can prove quite effective.

Not only should you test these quite visible elements, but also test the time of day, and which days, the affiliates broadcast, link it to other media you’re running, and make sure you gather as much data as possible and crunch the numbers to get the best ROI.
Finally, above all else, ensure that you allow time.  If a message or offer, creative or list, or even a specific publisher does not get the results you were expecting then speak with your affiliates to establish the right mix for long term success.

What next?…

Get feedback.  Before you start spending time and money speak with your account manager and affiliates to ensure this is the right channel for you.

Work up the best creative you can, with a strong call to action and incorporating all the feedback you get, and ensure you have a sign off process to keep control. 

Channel Snapshot: Email.

How it works: The affiliate manages databases of email addresses, which they then contact with solus email promotions, newsletters and themed multi-brand emails.


  • High volume
  • Effective for targeting particular demographics
  • Good for generating leads
  • Supports tactical peaks (sales and off season) 
  • Brand exposure

What is important to email affiliates: 

  • Good email content with a strong offer and clear call to action
  • High conversion rates

Affiliates in the space include: 

  • Freemax Media 
  • Intela 
  • TMN Media 
  • ECircle
Serena Masih

Serena Masih

Serena is responsible for affilinet’s marketing strategy in the UK and for raising brand awareness through events, PR and other marketing activities.
Serena Masih

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