The expression ‘the money is in the email list is one of the most often used expressions in internet marketing, and yes, even for an affiliate marketing business.
Your email subscriber list is a gold mine if used right and is one of the best revenue sources for most affiliate site owners and entrepreneurs.
To reap the rewards of email marketing for an affiliate marketing business, one that helps you monetize your email list and by promoting affiliate products, you’ll need an autoresponder, but which one?
And which email marketing services are affiliate-friendly?
There are many email marketing services to choose from, and not all of them have what you need.
Even some that affiliate marketers should avoid altogether because of policies that don’t allow affiliate links. (Some of the best email marketing software will ban you if you use affiliate hyperlinks on their platforms – more on this towards the end).
As you’ll see, some of the preferred options are not suitable for affiliates, but that’s not a problem. There are still enough affiliate-friendly autoresponder options available that will give you all that you need, and more.
How to Pick Affiliate-Friendly Autoresponders in 2021
Below is a brief guide on how to choose the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing and what key factors you should look for when you’re in the market for the best email autoresponder service for your affiliate marketing business.
Afterward, the best autoresponders for affiliate marketing!
Sending out affiliate business emails is all very well, but what really matters is the deliverability rate – whether or not they actually arrive at the intended inbox or spam folders.
When looking for an autoresponder, look for one that has good delivery rates. Make sure that you continue to monitor delivery rates for as long as you are using your chosen autoresponder and start building your list.
Email Marketing Automation
After collecting email addresses, the typical affiliate email marketing campaign involves sending an email sequence, which could be very time-consuming.
This is one of the key benefits of using email autoresponders: much of the work is automatically done for you. When choosing an autoresponder, look for those that have the features that allow the software to do the work for you.
This will give you more time to spend on other aspects of your campaign, while also helping to maximize your conversion rates.
Ease of Use
Some email services can be very complex, and you might feel as though you need a degree in particle physics just to get started.
A good autoresponder should ideally be easy to use. An easy-to-use email platform doesn’t require you to spend a lot of your precious time going through the manual trying to figure out how to use the platform.
It also makes the more advanced features more accessible because you might otherwise choose to stick to the basics instead.
Reasonable Pricing Plans for Small & Big Email List Sizes
Of course, the price of your email marketing software is also a consideration for your affiliate business.
If you’re a beginner, you are unlikely to need more fancy features, so it should not be necessary to pay for all the bells and whistles. You might also want to consider using one of the free email marketing tools fitted for affiliate marketing.
Although something might cost you more money, the extra features might help you in ways that easily justify the extra cost.
Long Trial Dates Or Free Account Plans
It is always good to try something else before you pay for it to ensure it’s a good fit for you.
Most autoresponders will give you free trial periods, but some of those will only give you a few days or so to try it out. It can be difficult to get to grips even with the basics in that time, so look for longer trial periods so you can really give the software a proper test drive.
Even better, you could try looking for a free autoresponder for affiliate marketing. More bells & whistle features can usually be paid for at a later date as and when you need them.
Are Affiliate Links Allowed in Emails?
The best autoresponders for affiliate marketing are the ones that allow affiliate links. Some autoresponders do not allow affiliate links, which can be a problem for affiliate marketers that send emails.
If you try to use affiliate marketing links with autoresponder services that do not allow them, you can expect an account suspension.
Before you spend a penny on an email marketing service for your affiliate marketing business read our list of email marketing software recommendations below (and the upcoming avoid list of autoresponders for affiliates.
7 Best Autoresponder for Affiliate Marketing [Free and Paid]
Following the criteria above will help you to narrow your options down to a shortlist of suitable autoresponders. There is still some more decision making to be done, however, as there is a number of autoresponders that tick the right boxes.
Below are 7 of the best affiliate friendly autoresponders for affiliate marketing.
#1. ConvertKit (Top Pick for Affiliate Marketers)
ConvertKit is widely considered the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing, and a lot of big-name affiliates use this email marketing platform.
The ConvertKit email marketing platform is packed full of features that help all types of marketers get the most from their email marketing campaigns. One of the biggest segments of the ConvertKit customer-base is bloggers with affiliate sites.
As an affiliate, it has helpful tools for list building, automation, and overall it’s affiliate-friendly.
For list building, ConvertKit provides a WordPress plugin you can install on your affiliate sites that’ll automatically insert sign-up forms. You can easily start building your list from blog posts with ConvertKit.
Another standout feature of ConvertKit is that emails will automatically be resent if the previous email remains unopened after a certain amount of time. This feature alone could help make a significant impact on your conversion rates.
The ability to categorize your lists with tags is another powerful feature of the platform. In selecting certain tags when sending emails, you can be sure that the right emails are reaching the right people.
As we went over in our ConvertKit review, the platform is user-friendly and suitable for beginners. Unlimited landing pages make it a good option for users of all experience levels.
Another benefit of the ConvertKit platform is its pricing options. Their basic package is free to use!
This includes all the features that many beginner affiliate marketers need and the ability to manage up to 1,000 subscribers. The free package also gives you access to unlimited landing pages.
And for just $29/month, you get access to advanced features like automated funnels and email sequences. This first paid package will also give you up to 1,000 subscribers, with the next package at $49/month, giving access to all the features and 3,000 subscribers.
The packages then increase on a sliding scale, catering to up to 900,000 members for $4,000/month.
- Easy categorization of email subscribers
- Email automation sequences builder
- Form templates available for different types of forms
- Easy to read email marketing analytical reports
- Good customer support
- Unlimited landing pages
- Free account and free trial available
- Customization of email templates and forms is not as flexible as some competitors
- Limited information in reports
- Limited A/B testing features
GetResponse is another platform that is considered by many to be the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing.
It’s a veteran email marketing software with all the bells and whistles you need for drip campaigns and affiliate campaigns with an outstanding value for its price tags. It also has a good interface, helping to make it a good option for beginners.
GetResponse has a great delivery rate, and it provides comprehensive analytics even in the basic packages. It also includes a basic funnel builder.
GetResponse offers a free 30-day trial, and the Basic package is available for only $15/month for 1,000 subscribers.
The Plus package, which is available for $49/month, offers more features, including an automation builder, 5 sales funnels, and access to webinars.
The Professional packages give you unlimited access to some of their more premium features, in addition to some other perks.
Each internet marketer package starts with servicing up to 1,000 subscribers, with more subscribers available at increased prices. A custom pricing feature is also available for pros that want access to all the platform offers.
- Plentiful features and automation tools
- Excellent webinar features
- Excellent categorization abilities
- Affordable and comprehensive basic packages
- Split testing features available
- Good customer support
- Email design features can be tricky to use
- Form pop-ups can be frustrating
- Only the more expensive packages give access to DKIM authentication
- Phone support unavailable
Aweber has been in the email marketing software business for a long time, so they know how to deliver a platform for a variety of content creators, including affiliates.
The platform has long been a favorite among beginners because of its easy-to-use interface and email builder.
They’ve recently started offering a free package that can manage up to 500 subscribers and send up to 3,000 emails. You can also use unlimited landing pages (LPs), even if you are using the free package.
According to some users, the deliverability is here and there, and limited customizability is another factor that some people might find frustrating. Nonetheless, it’s one of the top autoresponders for affiliate marketing.
The Free package could be ideal for people looking for a free autoresponder for affiliate marketing. However, more advanced users will likely need to use a paid subscription.
Paid subscriptions give you access to additional features, such as split testing and advanced marketing automation features.
Paid packages with all the features start at $16.15/month, which allows 500 subscribers. At the other end of the scale is the $149/month package, which allows up to 25,000 subscribers.
- Simple user interface
- Responsive email templates
- Analytical reports available
- Reasonable pricing
- Good customer support
- Poor RSS features
- Dated graphics on templates
- Limited functionality in comparison to other options
- Not as many features as other platforms
SendLane was created by an online marketer looking to create the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing, and the platform reflects this. Many of its features are just right for affiliate marketers, and it even offers integration with ClickBank.
Their deliverability rate is also excellent, which is an obvious plus, and the pricing is another positive. The platform also has excellent marketing automation capability, and the ability to categorize your list is another plus.
There is no free package for SendLane, but there is a 14-day trial that allows you to use up to 100 subscribers.
The basic ‘Growth’ package starts at $99/month if you pay monthly, but this allows you to have up to 5,000 subscribers. The Pro package, which starts at $150/month, gives you access to more email marketing features and advanced features such as VIP migration services and SMS automation marketing.
There is also a Starter package that costs less per month than the Growth package. However, this will need to be paid as a one-time payment of $497 for 6 months.
- Created with internet marketers in mind
- Features allow you to target niche groups
- Comprehensive analytical reports available
- Workflow automation
- Offers web form integration into emails and LPs
- Not as many features as some other platforms
- Limited landing page customizing options
- The basic packages will be beyond the price range of many beginners
#5. Follow Up Funnels (Formerly Actionetics)
The platform is tied to ClickFunnels, which offers a range of tools that affiliate marketers need, including LPs via their funnel builder.
Follow Up Funnels is not available as a stand-alone product and can only be used in conjunction with ClickFunnels. If you are also a ClickFunnels user, this may make Follow Up Funnels (FUF) the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing.
FUF offers you several useful features, such as creating responsive emails, a scoring system for your subscribers, easy storage for your subscriber list, and more.
Another plus is that you can have an unlimited number of contacts, although this is reflected in the price.
Follow Up Funnels Pricing
To have access to FUF, you must be subscribed to the ClickFunnels Platinum account plan. This will cost $297/month, likely putting it out of the beginners’ price range.
For that cost, however, you will gain access to all of the features the platform has to offer, plus unlimited subscribers. Also, of course, the price will include most of the features that ClickFunnels has to offer.
Unlike other affiliate-friendly autoresponder on this list, there is only one set price for users of FUF.
- Unlimited number of subscribers
- High deliverability rates
- Useful subscriber scoring system
- Integration with, and access to, ClickFunnels
- Features that allow you to follow up on leads
- Pricing will likely be too high for beginners
- Lack of subscriber list customization fields
- Users are required to sign up for an SMTP service
#6. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is an email marketing software that is aimed at smaller businesses. Despite this, it is still packed with features that are useful for affiliate marketers. It is an email service provider that caters to beginners as well as more advanced users.
The platform allows users to create LPs and impressive emails, and it has features that allow you to brand your emails in line with your affiliate business easily.
They also allow you to use sign-up forms, helping you grow your subscriber list even further. Great reporting for your email campaigns, and the standard comes with Constant Contact.
Constant Contact Pricing
They offer a free trial (30 days), giving you time to determine if the platform is right for you.
Their most basic package, ‘Email,’ starts at only $20/month, which will be attractive to many beginners. This will allow you to have 500 subscribers, although you can pay more to have more subscribers if needed.
An upgrade from the Email package is the Email Plus package. This gives you access to additional features such as customizable pop-up forms, advanced automation, polls, and surveys. The platform also has a website builder.
- High deliverability
- Sign up forms
- Useful subscriber categorization features
- Useful reporting features
- Good customer support
- Limited automation features
- Limited flexibility with templates
- Limited categorization features
Drip is a platform that has largely been built with eCommerce in mind but is still a decent autoresponder for affiliate marketing to some people.
The platform makes it easy for you to segment your subscribers based on various criteria, including their behavior.
If somebody has clicked on a sales page, for example, but has not bought anything, Drip can send a follow-up email. This email marketing solution has been gaining popularity over the years.
Drip offers a free 14-day trial, and the least expensive package starts at only $19 month. This will give you access to all of the features, including unlimited emails. This package will allow you to have up to 500 subscribers only, however.
The next package, which will cost $29/month, will allow you to have up to 2,000 subscribers. The highest level is $1,599 for 140,000 subscribers, although you can negotiate with Drip if you need more.
- Plentiful automation
- Opt-in forms available
- Good deliverability
- Very good email analytics
- A/B testing available
- Comprehensive reporting
- Built more for eCommerce than affiliate marketing
- Some people have found the designs features buggy and awkward
- Email support only
- Not as good value for money as some other options
5 Autoresponders Affiliate Marketers Should AVOID in 2021
One of the biggest names of the email marketing services is one platform that is perhaps notably missing so far: MailChimp.
While MailChimp may be popular with e-commerce business owners, it’s not friendly for affiliate marketing for one simple reason: they don’t allow affiliate marketing links.
Other autoresponders that also don’t allow these affiliate marketing links include ActiveCampaign, Benchmark, MailerLite, and SendinBlue.
Note: email marketing policies are often hidden away in the small print, so it is a good idea to read up on terms of services before you choose an email marketing service for affiliate marketing.
Our Top 3 Picks
Choosing the best autoresponder for your affiliate business can be a tough decision. To help you further, we have narrowed the options down to our top 3 picks.
In first place is ConvertKit. One reason is that their free plan makes it ideal for people that want to dip their toe in the water without investing anything upfront.
It also has a lot to offer in terms of functionality, is easy and a joy to use, and has tools such as landing pages that many affiliate marketers will find very helpful.
For us, this email marketing tool is also the best free autoresponder for affiliate marketing.
In second place is GetResponse. This platform may not have a free plan, but it’s affordable and had all the fancy email tools that email marketing services are only just adding to their offers.
The interface is robust, and its ease of use score is good, which is another plus for beginners. It has many useful affiliate marketing features, including landing pages, strong analytical features, and a funnel builder.
GetResponse offers a 30 day free trial with no credit card required on each pricing plan.
If you end up debating between ConvertKit and GetResponse, read our GetResponse vs ConvertKit article.
AWeber is another platform that may appeal to beginners because of its free package. The least expensive paid package is also very affordable and great value for money. It is also robust, simple, and has lots of features that can help affiliate marketers.
This includes analytical reports that will help you to enhance your campaign. It is affiliate-friendly, suitable for large and small companies, and the free package offers unlimited landing pages.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Autoresponder for Affiliate Marketing?
Although we have done our best to narrow the affiliate marketing options down for you, the question is still subjective. Which is the best for you will depend on several factors.
This includes your budget, your experience in affiliate marketing, and your personal preferences. However, if you follow our affiliate-friendly advice, you should still end up with an email marketing autoresponder with most, if not all, you need. ConvertKit fits the bill for most.
What is the Best Free Autoresponder for Affiliate Marketing?
Although still subjective, this one is easier to answer, and our answer is ConvertKit. ConvertKit may not be the only platform to offer free packages, but their free package is the most comprehensive.
It has all that beginners to intermediate users could need and allows up to 1,000 subscribers. The free package even allows users access to unlimited landing pages.
What Are the Best Landing Page Software for Affiliate Marketing?
Landing pages (LPs) are one of the key components of any affiliate marketing business. With this in mind, you may also need to be on the lookout for software that will help you create functional and aesthetically impressive LPs (preferably with drag and drop features).
Again this is an area where ConvertKit performs strongly because their platform offers unlimited LPs – even on the free package. GetResponse is another autoresponder that offers LPs, with unlimited LPs available on their smallest package.
ClickFunnels, which is tied to Follow Up Funnels, is another popular platform for LPs and people who need a sales funnel.
Another popular option for sending emails, LPs, and making a sales funnel is Kartra, an all-in-one solution, but their entry package costs $69/month.
LeadPages is another popular page builder among affiliate marketers, and their packages start at $25/month.
If you want to collect email addresses using a 3rd party LP software to build your marketing list and start email campaigns, the email service providers above can integrate 99% of the time.