Email marketing vs Affiliate marketing? Which one to choose

Hi I’m Praneeth Kumar.

In this blog post you will learn everything related to email marketing vs affiliate marketing.

So without further ado let’s get started.

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Here in this section, you will learn the definition of both marketing strategies.

What is email marketing?

email marketing vs affiliate marketing

Email marketing as the name refers is a digital marketing strategy that involves marketing a product or service to generate more sales through sending emails to a group of people who are already interested in the topic.

You will learn more about how email marketing works below.

What is affiliate marketing?

affiliate marketing

To explain what affiliate marketing is in simple words, it is a digital marketing strategy that many people use online through recommending products and services of different companies with the help of blog posts, social media posts and YouTube videos and

earn a commission whenever people purchase the product through a special link called an affiliate link within a specific period of time through your content online.

It is a marketing strategy that is focused more on how many people buy products through your links,

the more people buy the product from you the more money you make in affiliate marketing and better for the company of the product because they get new sales and customers through you.

Now let’s see and learn how both Marketing Strategies work in detail.

How do they work?

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In this section, we will learn how both marketing strategies work in concise steps.

Let first learn how Email marketing works and then proceed to affiliate marketing.

How does email marketing work?

If Email marketing is all about sending emails to your target audience, 

Before starting email marketing, you first need to build an email list for the target audience.

The most popular method of building email lists of a target audience is by offering free material or courses to your target audience.

These is called lead magnets.

You are capturing the regular visitors of your blog into customers and leads by offering them free material which they can have access to by leaving their email addresses in a form and receiving the free material in the inbox of their email account.

You can use tools like optinmonster to collect the email addresses of your target audience through popups and subscription forms on your website. 

After when you have a good number of email subscribers on your list, you can send those email subscribers an email using tools like convertkit and get response.

When you have email addresses of your target audience, you can use those email addresses to contact your target audience and inform them of lots of things like,

  • Build trust and relationship with your audience.
  • Send them notifications that your blog posts/webinars/videos/podcasts are published and let them visit and consume the content.
  • Pitch them affiliate product offers and or you can sell them any of your digital product or course.

Before starting any email marketing campaign you must ask yourself some important questions like,

  • What is the end goal You want to achieve like get more people to visit your website or blog or get more people click on your affiliate offer?
  • Test the different types of emails with A/B testing to maximize the efficiency of the campaign.
  • Make sure the email is not too personal and or spammy and too commercial.

Now you write and send emails to your target audience and track your performance in analytics of your email Marketing software which you have used to send emails.

This is how exactly you do email marketing.

Now let’s learn how affiliate marketing works.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Let understand how affiliate marketing works and how you can start in 10 clear and concise steps.

  1. You research a product that you want to promote in popular affiliate networks and companies like Shareasale.
  2. You sign up for their after-affiliate program by creating your free account as an affiliate marketer.
  3. You decide how you want to promote the product through a website or social media, click here to learn how to do affiliate marketing on social media.
  4. Let’s see, you want to do affiliate marketing through blogs, you can learn how to start a blog here.
  5. You create content like blog posts because we are starting a blog to do affiliate marketing, click here to learn how to write blog posts for beginners.
  6. You write reviews of the products which you want to promote and insert affiliate links in your post, you can get your affiliate link from your affiliate account like in this case ShareASale affiliate network which we have joined earlier.
  7. You promote the product and drive traffic to your post through SEO, SEM, forums, and social media.
  8. People visit your blog post read your review post and buy the product from your affiliate links.
  9. You track the clicks and sales through your affiliate account.
  10. You get a commission for making sales depending upon your affiliate network.

Before joining any affiliate program, you need to ask yourself three important questions.

  • What is the commission percentage?
  • What is the cookie time period?
  • Is the affiliate product you are promoting to your audience valuable and trustworthy?

Now that you know how both marketing strategies work and how you can start them let’s learn the differences between both marketing strategies in a table form.

Differences between email marketing and affiliate marketing:

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Here are five main differences between both marketing strategies in a table form. Email marketing. Affiliate marketing.
1. You need to invest money in tools and services to start email marketing. You don’t need to invest money to start affiliate marketing.
2. It is engaging with your audience through emails. It is recommending products to your target audience and earns money as a commission.
3. You control and own the customer list. You neither own nor control the customer list.
4. Email marketing reduces cost. Affiliate marketing is more of a performance-based strategy.
5. Email marketing is an active process as you need to frequently update and improve the email’s freshness and quality. Affiliate marketing can be both active and passive processes like blog posts and YouTube videos, you publish posts today and after 2 years still you get money.

Now that you know the difference between both marketing strategies, let’s see the similarities between both.

Similarities between email marketing and affiliate marketing:

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Here are 3 main similarities between both marketing strategies.

  1. You can easily start both Marketing Strategies with and without a website.
  2. With both marketing strategies you can build valuable relationships with the audience.
  3. Both are digital marketing strategies that help make money.

Now let’s have a look at the pros and cons of both marketing strategies.

Pros and cons of both marketing strategies:

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Lets see the benefits and drawbacks of both strategies in detail, let’s start with email marketing and then learn about affiliate marketing.

Email marketing.

Let’s first take a look at the pros and then see cons.

Pros of email marketing.

Here are the benefits of email marketing.

  1. It is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to get in touch with your customers and build valuable trust and relationships with them because you can easily personalize your email to your audience.
  2. For every single dollar, you invest in email marketing you can get an ROI of 44$.
  3. In Email marketing, you own the customer’s list and program.
  4. Email marketing campaigns are highly flexible and customizable, you can segment email lists into multiple sections and automate the process depending upon different user actions taken on your website and you can easily test your emails before sending it large audience to make your emails more effective like A/B testing.
  5. You can get customers to visit your website and buy your own products again and again.
  6. Email marketing campaigns are highly scalable depending upon your needs and wants you can send emails to both large and small audiences at any time.

Now let’s have a look at the cons and drawbacks of email marketing.

Cons of eMail marketing.

Here is the drawbacks of email marketing.

  1. It is one of the highly competitive strategies to use.
  2. Because you’re sending emails to your customers it is always an active process and you need to constantly update, and improve the quality and freshness of the emails.
  3. If you get things wrong in email marketing like if the emails are too spammy and sales-y or impersonal people can unsubscribe to your list and all your efforts are gone.
  4. It is not free, you need to buy tools like Get Response and Optinmonster on a monthly subscription to collect and send emails to your audience which is really costly.

These are all the benefits and drawbacks of using an email marketing strategy for your business, now let’s have a look at the affiliate marketing strategy and its benefits and drawbacks in detail.

Affiliate marketing.

Let’s first take a look at the pros and then see the cons

Pros of affiliate marketing.

Here are the benefits of affiliate marketing.

  1. It is a multi-billion dollars industry.
  2. A great source of earning money by choosing and promoting a wide variety number of products and services online.
  3. You don’t have to deal with customer service while promoting products.
  4. You don’t need much investment to start affiliate marketing.
  5. You can work from anywhere in the world and earn money passively.
  6. There is no limit to how much you can earn money through affiliate marketing.

Now let’s see the cons of affiliate marketing.

Cons of affiliate marketing.

Here are the drawbacks of affiliate marketing.

  1. It is one of the highly competitive market spaces.
  2. There is always uncertainty about making money.
  3. You neither control the affiliate program or affiliate commission rates.
  4. There are lots of frauds involved in the industry.

You can click here to learn all the pros and cons of affiliate marketing in detail.

Why should you combine both strategies?

email marketing vs affiliate marketing

Just stop dividing both strategies and start combining the two,

Instead of using one between the two Marketing Strategies, you should choose both strategies to maximize success.

You cannot do affiliate Marketing effectively and successfully without email marketing because affiliate marketing is about recommending products to people, 

People only listen to recommendations and buy products from those whom they know and trust.

With email marketing, your primary goal is to build trust and relationships with your target audience.

It is easy to sell affiliate products to your email subscribers because your email subscribers are people who know you, they trust, respect, and believe in your content and value than selling affiliate products to general people on the internet.

Because of the uncertainty of income in affiliate marketing, you can use the trust of people in you and sell any digital product like an ebook or course to your audience and

still earn money through email marketing and your audience will buy it because they know you, they trust and believe you.

Ending remarks.

There you go these are all the things you need to know between email marketing and affiliate marketing.

Do comment down what you think about both marketing strategies.

Share the post with your family and friends, if you have found it helpful.

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I will catch you up in the next blog till then,

Keep learning and keep growing.