Sadly most affiliate marketers simply direct people to other websites in the hope (and it really is just that) of getting a sale and therefore a sales commission. Not only do they have no control over what the ‘lead’ does once they have passed them to the other website, they usually have no idea who they have actually redirected – they are in effect helping the other website build their mailing list and not building one themselves! I put an exclamation mark here as it is shocking to think about the missed potential here, but I can’t deny I also do this on some of my affiliate websites where I simply direct people to Amazon to buy certain products that I am promoting in return for a sales commission of up to 10% (not great but I will take it). The leads I pass from these websites are blind leads to me; I have no idea who they are. It’s just a numbers game for me passing these type of leads as I know that typically 15-20% of those leads I pass over to Amazon will buy something and as I do promote some mid ticket price products such as watches that cost a few hundred pounds, I do sometimes earn sales commissions of up to £50 for one sale.

So it’s not ideal to pass leads to other websites without knowing who they are and without having them sign-up to your mailing list first, but in many situations with many affiliate schemes there really is little choice. But what if you could build your own mailing list? The potential value of building your own list can’t be underestimated. If you have built a LOYAL list (from people who have gained initial VALUE from you and then gained TRUST from you from repeated value offerings) then you have a highly attentive audience to which you can promote a range of other products and services. I have heard from many people that have built good size lists of tens of thousands of people, that they can typically earn an average of $1-2 per month from every person on their list by promoting a wide variety of products and services. Of course, not everyone on your list will buy what you promote to them, but a small percentage will, and if you are promoting a product or service that pays a good commission then this is where the average $1-2 per month per person comes from. Of course, results can vary etc etc etc and no guarantees etc etc etc, but you can see the potential power of, and profits in, BUILDING YOUR OWN MAILING LIST.

My advice is to build your own mailing list at every opportunity you can. If you have a niche microsite designed to promote certain products where you just direct your visitors to the other website when they click on a banner on your site, then fine, do this as I do, and earn money from the sales commissions as I do, but on your main authority site and your landing pages you should be building your own list every time. Over time as your list grows, there could be incredible value in it. Imagine you want to go on an expensive exotic holiday which will cost you $10,000. If you had a good size list of say 5,000 to 10,000 people and you sent out an email to that list a few weeks before you planned to pay for that holiday promoting a 3rd party product or service that paid a good affiliate commission rate on every sale, then there’s a good chance you could pay for the holiday outright simply from the sales commissions you earn from that 1 email! It sounds too good to be true right? But it’s not. This is a very real possibility if you have the right list (quality list of loyal subscribers) of the right size (a few thousand people at least) and the right products to promote (attractive offer at a fair price and which pays out a good affiliate commission).

Duncan Bradford

Duncan Bradford

Founder of Ukandoo Academy, Kuki Ventures

I founded Ukandoo after working 20 years running successful digital agencies and managing online marketing for many companies. The opportunity to teach people how to succeed online became a burning passion and is now a reality.

On a less serious note, I have a passion for foreign food, travel and loves adventure motorcycle touring. 

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