MaxWeb Academy

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start Email Marketing and Stay Compliant

Become an Affiliate

Even though some affiliates consider email marketing to be outdated and ineffective, email marketing remains a cornerstone strategy for engaging and converting leads into customers. Its key features are that it's affordable, effective, and relatively simple to set up!

However, it's essential to do it right, ensuring compliance with regulations to avoid any legal pitfalls. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of starting your email marketing campaign in the affiliate marketing industry while staying compliant. We will also highlight some essential services that can simplify your journey.

Step 1: Do Your Prep Work!

As with anything, before you get started, you need to prepare and make sure you have all of the necessary parts for your marketing campaigns to get off the ground!

  • Define Your Affiliate Marketing Niche

Before you dive into email marketing, it's crucial to identify your affiliate marketing niche. Knowing your target audience and niche will help you tailor your email campaigns effectively. Let's say you're in the health and wellness affiliate niche. Your emails should resonate with health-conscious individuals, addressing their specific needs and interests.

  • Build a Quality Email List

A successful email marketing campaign begins with a quality email list. You can't just send emails to anyone and everyone. That's where opt-in strategies come into play.

Opt-In Forms
Create enticing opt-in forms on your affiliate website, blog, or landing pages. Offer valuable incentives like e-books, discount codes, or newsletters in exchange for email addresses. These can be linked with various promotions or discounts to ensure you get more leads to sign up themselves!

Double Opt-In
Implement a double opt-in system where subscribers must confirm their subscription via a confirmation email. This not only ensures consent but also filters out fake or mistyped email addresses. With this, you can ensure you get quality leads who are interested in what you have to say and not random people who signed up by accident. 

  • Choose an Email Marketing Service

Selecting the right email marketing service is crucial. Several services cater specifically to affiliate marketers and offer features that ensure compliance and effective campaign management. 

AWeber is an email marketing platform that's well-suited for beginners and seasoned marketers alike. It's user-friendly, making it easy to create, send, and track email campaigns. AWeber also offers essential compliance features to help you follow email marketing regulations effectively.

GetResponse is another top choice in the email marketing world, known for its user-friendly interface and automation capabilities. It offers advanced features such as marketing automation, landing page creation, and webinars. It's an excellent option for those looking to take their email marketing to the next level.

MailChimp is a popular choice for small businesses and startups. It offers a free plan for a limited number of subscribers, making it an affordable option to get started. It also has advanced features for automation and personalization as you grow.

Constant Contact
Constant Contact is a user-friendly platform known for its drag-and-drop email builder. It offers email marketing, automation, and event marketing tools. It's an excellent choice for businesses looking to connect with their audience through multiple channels.

ConvertKit is designed for content creators, bloggers, and authors. It focuses on automation and segmentation, helping you deliver the right content to the right audience. It's an ideal choice for those in the affiliate marketing niche who value engagement.

There are dozens of other email services that you can use. All of them have their positives and negatives, and some of them might just be the perfect match for what you want to achieve!

Step 2: Create Content

As affiliates like saying, content is king! The better your content is the more likely audiences will stay and engage with your emails. The content of your emails can be various. From promoting products, and announcing sales, to talking about updates and further product information. But all of these things should follow a couple of rules!

  • Compose Engaging Content

Now, it's time to craft compelling email content. Your emails should be more than just promotional messages; they should provide value and engage your subscribers.

Additional Product Info
Offer tips, tricks, and information related to your affiliate niche. For example, if you're promoting fitness products, send emails about effective workout routines or healthy meal plans.
If you are promoting some tech gadgets, maybe you can write about how they are upgraded compared to previous versions and why they could be the best buy for users right now!

Sales and Discounts
This is the most effective thing you can send to your audience to get them going. Since they are already interested in your products, finding deals and discounts on your offers can be the exact thing that they were waiting for to convert. 

Even though it seems like a great idea to tell your audience about every single sale and get the most eyeballs on your deals, this can achieve the opposite effect. Make sure to only advertise products you are certain that the audience will be interested in, and make sure you don't spam them with emails all the time. 
Your messages should be special so that they have a reason to engage right away and stay interested!

Personalize your emails by using the recipient's name and segmenting your list based on their interests and behavior. This simple trick can significantly boost your CTR as people think that the thing you are offering is personalized to them!

  • Compliance with Regulations

One of the most crucial aspects of email marketing is staying compliant with relevant regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the CAN-SPAM Act.

GDPR Compliance
If you're targeting European subscribers, ensure that your email marketing service provides GDPR compliance features. This includes obtaining explicit consent, allowing subscribers to access and delete their data, and more.

CAN-SPAM Compliance
In the United States, adhere to the CAN-SPAM Act by including a clear way for recipients to opt out of your emails, disclosing your physical address, and refraining from deceptive subject lines.

Opt-Out Option
It's important to include an opt-out feature that is easy to use. Users who are not interested in your emails might report your emails if you send them often and cause you issues. Always include an opt-out link so people can easily cancel their email newsletter. 

The best thing you can do is analyze why they might be opting out and try and remedy those issues for the remaining users!

Step 3: Final Steps

Now that you have completed the basic things, it's time to get to launching your first email marketing campaign!

  • Segment Your Email List

Segmentation is a powerful strategy to send targeted emails to specific groups of subscribers. For example, you can segment your list based on geographic location, purchase history, or engagement level.

  • Automate Your Email Campaigns

Automating your email marketing campaigns can save you time and ensure that your subscribers receive timely, relevant content. For example, you can set up a welcome series for new subscribers, a cart abandonment series for those who leave items in their shopping cart, and a re-engagement series for inactive subscribers.

  • Send Out Your Mails

After all of these steps, it's finally time to launch these campaigns. Make sure you double-check all of your targeting and budgets and make sure that everything is set up as you want it! Press on send and hope for the best!

Step 4: Analyze Performance

After launching your first round of emails, it's time to check their performance and optimize them accordingly!

  • Monitor and Analyze Performance

Regularly monitor the performance of your email campaigns. Pay attention to open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Email marketing services like AWeber and GetResponse offer analytics tools to help you assess your campaigns.

  • A/B Testing

To optimize your email marketing strategy, conduct A/B tests. Test different subject lines, and email content, and send times to determine what resonates best with your audience.

  • Stay Compliant with Affiliate Marketing Policies

In affiliate marketing, not only do you need to be compliant with email marketing regulations, but you must also follow the specific policies of the affiliate programs you're promoting. Violating their terms can lead to account suspension and lost commissions.

Step 5: Scale

If everything is going well, it's time to scale!

  • Scale Your Email Marketing Efforts

As your email list grows and you gain experience, consider scaling your efforts. Continue to test and refine your strategy, explore new affiliate products, and expand your reach to a broader audience.


Email marketing is a powerful tool in the affiliate marketing industry, but it must be used responsibly and in compliance with legal regulations. By following this step-by-step guide, you can kickstart your email marketing campaign, engage your audience effectively, and avoid potential legal issues. 

Choose the right email marketing service, create valuable content, and stay compliant with regulations to build a successful affiliate marketing email campaign. Remember, the right tools and strategies can make your journey smoother, enabling you to focus on what truly matters: engaging your audience and boosting your affiliate sales.

Have you run email marketing campaigns? How did they perform for you? Share your experience with us in the comments below!