6 tips to improve performance of affiliate email campaigns


Most individuals from digital marketing industry who are reading this would be familiar with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing itself can happen through various ways: display ads, email, and SMS. The affiliate email marketing industry in India is among the fastest growing niche in the digital marketing industry. Although official figures are unavailable, we can comfortably quote from experience that the top 3 affiliate email marketers in India deploy more than 100 crore emails every month. This also means that substantial business is being driven through this channel which is favorably viewed by e-marketers.

We have come across advertisers from various industries who have aspired to perform affiliate campaigns over email. However from their brief, one can make out that they are unaware of how this industry works. Therefore we wish to offer a few insights which can help them set realistic expectations, improve performance and also make it a fair deal for the affiliate marketer.

Tip1 – Understand whether database segmentation is accurate:

Advertisers usually have requested to reach out to niche audiences. For example male frequent flyers from Vadodara. Expecting an affiliate email marketer to offer such a database is setting oneself for failure. If the affiliate marketer claims to possess such a database it means you are either being lied to or are being peddled snake oil. However, to be fair to the publisher, one can execute a small campaign and understand the type of audience through Google Analytics.

Tip2 – Using Google Analytics:

You would be surprised to know the number of email campaigns which happen through affiliates without a simple UTM code. Always remember to insert the appropriate UTM code in the mailer’s call to action to track performance. Also use GA to check whether you are being visited by the relevant audience.

Tip3 – Use Plain Text Mailers:

Most advertisers deploy these types of mailers


However, certain advertisers have been deploying these type of mailers for the last couple of years


Text mailers usually land in updates or primary tab of Gmail inbox. Since Gmail users consist of close to 70% of any publisher’s database, your entire affiliate email marketing strategy should be aligned with what works for Gmail users. If your email lands in updates or primary, chances of open rate, hence click rate and thus conversion rate going up will be higher.

Tip4 – Set realistic expectations:

We have come across advertisers expecting 2% conversion rate on their affiliate email campaigns. This is because they are getting similar rates from their own subscriber list. It is unfair and foolish to compare the performance of in-house database along with a publisher’s database. One must keep an expectation of .3% to 1% conversion rate when starting off with affiliate email campaigns. This, in simpler words, would mean that for every 1000 visits on your website, you can expect between 3 and 10 conversions (.3% to 1% of 1000).

Tip5 – Email testing and inbox placement aren’t co-related

This statement might raise hell but calm down and continue to read. When a publisher tests an email campaign and it lands in your spam folder it doesn’t mean your campaign will fail. Similarly, vice versa is also true viz if the publisher tests the email campaign and it lands in your inbox, that doesn’t guarantee success. Use the testing facility to check whether the publisher has included all the details correctly including the UTM code. Work on a CPV model to ensure that your interests are safeguarded and it also becomes a fair deal for the publisher.

Tip6 – Insist on knowing the actual publisher

Many agencies and networks may not disclose who the publishers are. This is an unhealthy practice as you may end up working with the same publisher through your agency as well as directly. Therefore insist on knowing who the publishers are and if the agency is able to offer value then offer it a fair commission and let it manage your email campaigns.

Try these out. If you have any questions do feel free to reach out to us.







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