11 Major Affiliate Marketing Problems You Can Solve By Building an Email List

Filed in Affiliate Marketing by on May 7, 2018 22 Comments

If you think affiliate marketers don’t need an email list, think again.

Nearly 81% of online shoppers in USA are likely to make a purchase as a result of a marketing email. So it’s no surprise that 94% of marketers consider email extremely important for their business and 87% of them plan to increase investment in email marketing in the next 12 months.

Stuart makes nearly ALL of his affiliate income by promoting products to his email subscribers.

And he’s not alone.

A study by Affiliate Summit shows that 41.47% of the top affiliate marketers consider email their number 1 traffic source.


Source: Affiliate Summit


What’s surprising though, is the number of affiliate sites I still see that make absolutely no effort to build an email list.


Because it’s not just about subscribers, leads, and sales.

An email list solves some of your biggest affiliate and online marketing problems. Problems that can cost you thousands of dollars every year. Problems that literally stop your business from growing. Problems that drain motivation and force most newbies to quit affiliate marketing.

An email list solves all of them.

There’s just one condition.

You need to build your email list the RIGHT way, let me show you how today...


To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...


The Right Way To Build an Email List

Don’t buy an email list.

Don’t spam people who’ve never joined your list.

Don’t place a “Join My Newsletter” opt-in box in your blog’s sidebar and hope people will sign up.

Don’t create an irrelevant email lead magnet, that has nothing to do with your core offer, just to increase subscribers.

Don’t do any of those things.

It’s common sense.

An email list is only useful when people willingly join it and their interests are aligned with your core product/affiliate offer.

How do you achieve that?

Let me quickly explain

  • Find out the core problems and needs of your audience – research, research, research!
  • Create a lead magnet that is closely aligned with your core offer. For example, if you’re promoting fitness gear or running shoes for people who want to lose weight, create a free eBook with tips on developing a fitness routine.
  • Promote your lead magnet by placing it on all the prominent areas of your blog and by using pop-ups.

I’ve explained this process in MUCH more detail in this post.

If you build a subscriber base that has the same interests and needs that your product targets, you will instantly solve your biggest online marketing problems.

Don’t believe me?

Let me show you some common problems of affiliate marketers and how building an email list solves them.


(RELATED: Discover the 7+ different affiliate marketing business blueprints in NicheHacks Insider)


What You'll Learn In This Post

  • How to increase your repeat sales by 70%
  • Why you don't need to worry about Google penalties and Amazon policies
  • The most reliable way to understand the needs of your audience
  • How to turn your affiliate site into a real business


Problem #1: You're Leaking Traffic and Losing Visitors

"Percentage of Returning Visitors" or "Repeat Traffic" is one of the most important metrics for an online business. One-time traffic that never returns to your site is not only useless but actually harmful to your site’s search engine rankings.

Because when people land on your site, hang around for a while, and then press the back button, it’s a strong indicator that your site didn’t have the information the user was looking for.

As a result, your rankings go down. A study by SEMRush also confirms this correlation between bounce rate and search rankings.


Source: SEMRush


An email list helps you reduce bounce rates and increase the percentage of returning visitors to your site because your subscribers already know you and have willingly signed up to your list.

They’re interested in your content, consider you a valuable information source and know what to expect from you when they click on a link in your email.

So whenever you publish a new blog post, article or product review, you can simply send an email to your list and watch the traffic flow in.

This isn’t possible with SEO or any other traffic source that you do not own.


Problem #2: You have Few Clicks & Fewer Sales From Your Affiliate Links

What good is an affiliate site if nobody clicks on your links to purchase the products you’re promoting?

Not getting enough clicks is one of the biggest concerns of most affiliate marketers (especially newbies).

An email list solves this problem in a number of ways.

First of all, your subscribers know you and trust you to a certain extent. So when you send them a product offer, they’re more likely to explore it as compared to an offer by a complete stranger. Which is probably why email marketing has an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent.

Other channels don’t even come close.


Source: CampiagnMonitor


Secondly, studies in 2017 show that the average email clickthrough rate (CTR) across all industries is around 4.19%. Which means that if you have an email list of 1000 people (which is a very small number) 42 people will click on your link.

If you are a serious marketer, it shouldn’t take you long to build a list of 10,000 subscribers. Which means every offer you promote through email should get at least 420 clicks.

Now combine this with the fact that 81% of shoppers are likely to make a purchase through an email, if it matches their interest, and you have a pretty good chance of making sales with your email list.


Source: AfterOffers



Problem #3: You Have Done Zero Audience Research And No Idea What They Want

The more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them (and your business).

When you understand the problems, the needs, and the burning questions of your potential customers, you can create the right content for them and hit the bulls-eye when promoting affiliate offers.

An email list makes it insanely simple to understand what your audience wants. You simply need to ask them.

That’s it.

Marketers that have large email lists regularly use surveys and casual conversations to understand what their audience wants from them.

Once they have a clear picture, they align their offers with the needs of their audience.

The moment they do that, money starts raining.

Because that’s what business is all about – fulfilling the needs of your target market in a profitable way.

Most email services like GetResponse, AWeber and MailChimp have survey features as well. But if your email tool doesn’t have it, you can use tools like SurveyMonkey or a simple Google Drive survey to seek feedback from your audience.


Problem #4: Your Audience Don't Know You And Therefore Don't Trust You (No Trust = No Sales)

Can you sell anything to someone who doesn’t trust you?

Of course not! Unless you’re a pharmaceutical company selling life-saving drugs that nobody trusts but still purchases because there’s no other option.

Studies show that 80% of fresh leads never buy anything from you (unless you nurture them)



It doesn’t matter if you’re into affiliate marketing, blogging, e-commerce, digital product creation or any other online business model if your audience doesn’t trust you it won’t buy from you.

Which is why building trust is crucial.

So how do you do it?

By publishing product reviews?

Hell no!

You need to keep giving free value to your audience and nurture the relationship until you’re at a point where your audience wants to hear from you and considers it a favor when you recommend products to them.

This can't be done without email.

It takes time but it pays back well.

Once your subscribers start trusting you, they actually prefer buying from you.


Source: Invesp


This can only be done when you regularly connect with your email subscribers, share free content, resources, and actionable advice.

You’ll be surprised how easy selling becomes when people trust you and consider you an expert.


To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...


Problem #5: You Are Over-Reliant on Risky Search Engine Traffic

Most affiliate marketers primarily rely on search engine traffic.

There’s nothing wrong with that approach.

Unless Google is your ONLY traffic source.

Diversifying your traffic is the key to a long-term and sustainable online business.

All successful businesses do it and Google likes it too because it’s a strong indicator that your site is a credible brand with a genuine following.

A recently released joint study by GetResponse and SmartInsights shows that marketers still consider email marketing as the most effective online marketing channel.


Source: Email Marketing Automation Study 2018


And there are some pretty good reasons for this.

If you have an email list you can generate traffic on demand, whenever you want.

You don’t need to wait for your content to rank on Google’s first page.

You can simply let your subscribers know that you’ve published a new post and they’ll come to you running.


(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)


Problem #6: You're Publishing "One-Size Fits All" Content

Blogging, SEO and social media marketing are all great marketing techniques.

But when you publish a blog post or post a Facebook update, all of your audience sees it.

Some find it relevant, others don't

Becuase within your audience, there are different segments with different needs.

They need to be targeted with more precise and to the point content designed only for them.

You cant do that with blogging.

But email marketing is MUCH more effective because it gives you the ability to segment your audience and send personalized content according to the exact needs of your subscribers.

It makes your subscribers feel that you’re actually talking to them and understand their problems.

For example, if you’re running an affiliate site on weight loss, you could segment your list based on the different reasons why people want to lose weight. Some might want to do it to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases. Some might be doing it to look fitter and better. Some of your subscribers might be new moms who’ve gained weight and want to shed off the extra pounds.

You can segment them and send targeted messages based on their particular needs.

Most experts agree that it dramatically increases the effectiveness of your email strategy.


Source: CampaignMonitor


Even basic personalization like using the first name of your subscribers in automated emails increases the open rate by 26%


Source: CampaignMonitor


Imagine what happens to campaigns that are tailored to the exact needs of a well-defined audience segment.

You can’t achieve such personalization with publicly published content.


Problem #7:  You're Always Living in Fear of a Google or Amazon Penalty (And You Should Be Without An Email List)

Most people get into affiliate marketing and online businesses because they want freedom.

But they end up becoming Google and Amazon slaves always living in fear and waiting for the next algorithm update or policy change.

That’s not freedom, that’s stupidity.

It’s like building an empire on rented land.

But that’s what happens when you’re totally dependent on Google, Facebook, Amazon or any other third party platform (that you do not own) for your website’s traffic.

Unless you have a system in place to constantly convert that traffic into email subscribers, you’re doomed.

If you have an email list, it doesn’t matter what Google thinks about your site. You’d still be able to drive traffic anytime you want.

It makes your business penalty-proof.

It gives you real freedom because you don’t care about the next Google penalty or an overnight policy change by Amazon.

Look at any successful online business around you.

Do you think people like Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Jon Morrow, Spencer Haws, Stuart Walker, and other top marketers care about Google penalties?

Of course not.

Because they’ve built their businesses the right way.

And they have huge email lists full of engaged and loyal subscribers.

Even if Google wipes them off the web tonight, they’ll start a new business tomorrow thanks to their subscriber base.

That’s the power of building an email list.


(RELATED: Learn how to profit from affiliate marketing with step by step blueprints and execution plans in NicheHacks Insider)


Problem #8: You Have No Repeat Sales (The Lifeblood of ALL Businesses)

Did you know that it’s MUCH easier to drive sales from your existing customers?

In fact, a study by HelpScout shows that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.


Source: HelpScout



Because there’s a certain level of trust between you and your existing customers. They’ve already spent money on your product and know what to expect from you. You’ve already convinced them once. Doing it again is easier than the first time.

It’s the same with your email subscribers.

Even if they haven’t bought anything from you, they still trust you because they’ve shared their contact details with you and have given you permission to contact them.

It’s much easier to sell a product to them as compared to someone who has landed on your site for the first time.

Stuart himself makes most of his affiliate sales from his existing subscribers.



Here are a couple of case studies of Stuart’s product launches that’ll teach you more about making the most of your subscribers.


Problem #9: You Have No Community Around Your Brand

“Your tribe is your vibe”

You might’ve heard marketers say this often.

And it’s true.

You cant build a long-term and successful online business without building a community around it.

Your loyal community (your tribe) trusts you, looks up to you for advice, and shares your content across formats.

And it's not just them who benefits.

It’s a two-way relationship

Your tribe keeps you motivated, gives you new ideas, and helps you understand the needs of your target audience.

But how do you build a tribe for an affiliate site?

Why would anyone root for a site that just publishes product reviews to make affiliate commissions?

You’re right, nobody will.

But if you focus on solving the problems of your target audience instead of selling your products, building a community becomes easier.


Start by identifying the real needs of your audience, not your product.

Ask yourself – why would someone buy this product? What problem does it solve?

When you get the answer, create a lead magnet around that problem.

Start building an email list.

Offer free value, share free advice, publish detailed high quality and actionable content.

Keep doing this and you’ll have your own tribe faster than you think.


Problem #10: Affiliate Marketing is a Risky and Unsustainable Business

“Affiliate marketing isn’t a real business”

It always hurts when I hear this.

It’s almost degrading.

But you know what, for most marketers, this is true.


Because if you look closely, all “real” businesses have one thing in common.

They’re long-term and sustainable entities with a real connection with their customers.

They are trusted brands with their own dedicated followers.

In short, they have customer lists.

Lists of people who have trusted them with their hard-earned money in the past and who’re prepared to do it again in the future.

Most affiliate sites don’t have customer lists.

Because they rely solely on SEO and search engine traffic.

Even their referrals don’t really have a connection with them.

Building an email list changes all of this dramatically.

It turns your unreliable affiliate site into a sustainable online business.

A real business, with real-world connections, and a real subscriber base.


(RELATED: Want to learn how to make income with affiliate marketing? Then check out NicheHacks Insider)


Problem #11: You Suffer From Humiliatingly Low Buying Offers for Your Affiliate Site

Unless you’re madly in love with your affiliate site, you will look to sell it one day to move on to bigger things.

But if your site doesn’t have a subscriber base, you’ll be disappointed with the offers you’ll get.

Seriously, you can trust me on this.

I recently reviewed 45 top selling websites on Flippa and repeatedly saw that affiliate sites with large email lists sold at a MUCH higher price than sites that relied solely on search or social traffic.

And it makes sense, doesn’t it?

As I said, an affiliate site with an email list is a real business with real customers and real relationships.


To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...


Are You Ready to Solve All Your Affiliate Marketing Problems?

Seriously, don’t delay this anymore

Start your email list today.

Ask ANY successful marketer about their biggest marketing regrets. Not building an email list from day 1 will always be one of them.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an affiliate marketer or a product creator yourself.

You need to build an email list to turn your risky online venture into a long-term and scalable business.

If you still have doubts about this, let me know in the comments.


Comments (22)

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  1. Great article...
    That's interesting that the sites on Flippa sold at a higher price because they had decent sized lists... I totally agree, if you don't have a list you better start ASAP...

  2. mano says:

    Great article as always, Jawad. That's exactly the reason I jumped on the read more button in the email sent by Stuart to get here. No need to mention that I became a Nichehacks member because of these useful emails.

  3. Ebenezer Makelemi says:

    You have identify the problems and the risk of the problems but you have not profer solutions. O yes building email list is the solution to affiliate marketing, but how and with what equipment is it built?

    • NicheHacks says:

      The email list is the solution and there's plenty of posts on NicheHacks (we linked to them multiple times in the post) on how to build your email list and carry out email marketing.

  4. Valentine says:

    Truth is often bitter but better told. Thank you for this great resource. It helps me to start rethinking how to create a sustainable business rather than simply relying on Google for traffic - traffic diversification - you called it. Thanks again. It's time to shift from the conventional to the real business.

    • NicheHacks says:

      I'm glad it's made you think. You cannot build anything close to a business if you are reliant on Google traffic. It's just temporary traffic and a temp income source. You're borrowing traffic from Google for now until one day you wake up and suddenly you're not.

  5. Thanks for the informative write-up, Jawad! However, I still have one more affiliate marketing problem. Currently, I'm looking to build a full commerce-content (Amazon off, etc) based authority tech blog (Think WireCutter and BestProducts). The reviews will be put up only after dozens of hours of personal testing. However, it's no secret that it's hard to acquire links for your "money pages" -- even if they have top-notch 2500+ words/post.

    In that case, how else would you recommend acquiring links to my new website when every page is basically a money page, albeit of high-quality content?

    • NicheHacks says:

      If your reviews are the level of quality of BestProducts and WireCutter you will pick up links. There's no harm in having other related content too though, so why don't you?

  6. Robert Wang says:

    Great article
    Yes, I completely agree building an email list is one of my biggest regrets. After reading the percentage of top affiliate marketers having an email list as their main primary source. I will definitely give email list building a try.

    Building a community or a tribe for your online business is the other point I liked and might consider building from now.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    • NicheHacks says:

      There's nothing to "consider". If you want to have a real, long term, sustainable business that earns now and in 10 years time the only hope you have is by building your email list and your community / tribe. There's no alternative.

  7. Duncan says:

    Your tribe is your vibe. My biggest takeaway. I have been postponing building the list for long. I guess it's time to pull the trigger.

    Very few marketers will like you for this but unfortunately it's the truth.

  8. You are very good. I plan on reading this post a few more times. There's a lot to digest. I'm stuck in newbie land. No sales. I have to figure out how to sell digital training. I need to learn how to target. My itty-bitty email list is pathetic. They barely open and no one buys.

    I'm afraid to throw money on FB ads for fear that I am marketing wrong since the ones who sign up never read my emails. An unopened email is useless.

    But, I get that. It took me a while to find time to read yours so I am hoping for my own yet, I need sales or I have to quit. I'm going broke soon.

    Thank you for this free help. Like I said, I'm looking to read it a few more times.

    • NicheHacks says:

      The only way to build an email list is by offering a "bribe" that solves a major problem your audience have and letting them know they'll be receiving more emails from you with similar content to your bribe that will further help them solve their problem(s).

      They have to want to be on your list and read your emails.

  9. Anand says:

    Superb article! You what they say - Your email list is the backbone of your online business. But one common problem I have seen since last couple of months is - users tend to give their email ONLY to get that specific FREEBIE you are going to offer. Once they get it, they forget you, either they junk you OR they ignore you. 🙁 How to overcome such cases? I think it's more of a psychological issue than system's problem?

    • NicheHacks says:

      Make it difficult for people to sign up so the people just grabbing anything free don't get on your list.

      Also tie your offer in with their problem so they have an incentive to stay on your list and keep getting their problem(s) solved.

      The lead magnet offers a piece of the solution then your emails and other offers fully solve it, so there's an incentive to stay signed up and reading your emails.

      If they are ignoring you it's because they don't know, like and trust you and don't want to be on your email list. You have to focus on only getting people who WANT to be on your list because they enjoy you and what you have to offer.

  10. Alenka says:

    Another great article! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience! Is it possible to have different incentives/different sign up forms for different blog posts? I've been trying to figure this one out, but no joy. Thanks again!

    • NicheHacks says:

      Yes, it's possible. You can set up your email optin to have different pop ups or optin forms on different posts based on category. OptinMonster can easily do this for example.

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