Why is it important to look for a certain autoresponder or email software as an affiliate? Why is there a best autoresponder for affiliate marketing?
Well… Have you ever lost your account or got banned because a software provider didn’t like what you did with your subscribers…? I have…
Before I knew that some software providers will ban and suspend your account forever I just followed a recommendation from a very know affiliate marketer.
That ended up being a big mistake because after setting up over 50 emails and working like crazy for a week to have my email sequences in place… the account got banned right after sending my very first promotional email…
Sooo… as an affiliate marketer, you need to pick your email autoresponder carefully to avoid something like that.
There are some software providers that are very affiliate friendly and will let you send anything to your subscribers, while others are strict against ANY kind of affiliate marketing and will ban your account immediately.
I will show you the best email marketing software providers, so you can choose the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing totally safe!
Let’s get started.
The Top 5 Autoresponder for Affiliate Marketing
Here are the best picks for the best autoresponders for affiliate marketing. They are based on the mentioned criteria above.
1) Top Pick: Getresponse
This is certainly one of the best autoresponders for affiliate marketing. Not only some very prominent affiliate marketers like Frank Hatchett are promoting it, but I’m also using it myself for quite a while now, after switching from another platform.
GetResponse is a super affiliate friendly autoresponder and has great functionality.
They offer landing pages and funnels, webinars, and a visual workflow builder and you can test it within a 30 days free trial period.
The only downside is that you cannot fully customize your visual workflows on the basic plan and that you will rely on templates there. If you want to have the most of all you’ll need to get into the
Getresponse Pricing and Features
Let’s start with the lowest possible price that you can get with Getresponse. First of all you have a 30-day free trial period and then you can get the basic plan for 1,000 subscribers for $15 monthly at the low end.
The features you get for that are:
- Unlimited Landing Pages
- Sales Funnels (1 Funnel)
- Unlimited lead funnels
- Facebook ads
- Email Templates
- Sell e-products
What makes GetResponse really interesting is the marketing automation builder, to visually build your workflows and add specific rules to that. But as mentioned before, those are only fully available when you upgrade to the plus package for $49 monthly.
When you should decide to stick with Getresponse (which is a great idea) you can save massively by getting on the annual plan, which gives you a discount of up to 30%!
But in the beginning, you’ll be focused on simply sequences and sending out daily newsletters.
Aweber is the most established autoresponder service on the market. They are safe to use with affiliate marketing and the company I was using before I made the switch to GetResponse.
Why did I make the switch though? The user interface is a little whacky. That means it’s not that easy to use and to set up an email autoresponder. So you need to get that hang of it first, and it can take a little longer to get used to this software.
The main reason was really the user interface. I wanted to have a visual builder and no matter what level or plan you join with Aweber, there is none.
So even though they are affiliate friendly, the software works and does the job, it’s ugly.
Aweber Pricing and Features
The minimum price you can get on Aweber is $19 per month. For that, you can store only a small number of subscribers. It starts with 500 contacts. If you should cross the 500 subscribers mark (which can happen daily quickly) you’ll need to upgrade already.
One of Aweber’s cool features is the quarterly payment, which will give you a fair discount but also you’ll not bound for too long to the software if you should decide to change it up.
If you should decide to test it, you can do that totally with a free plan! You can get a free autoresponder for affiliate marketing, where you can test all the features for one single list and send up to 3000 emails per month.
There is basically only one single plan on Aweber. The price only varies depending on your list size.
The features you’ll get:
- Landing Pages
- Sign up forms
- WordPress plugins
- Email Templates
- All kinds of integrations
Recently Aweber made a major update on its user interface and integrated a drag and drop builder, so maybe it’s worth a try.
I included Sendlane in this list because for 2 reasons. The founders themselves were affiliate marketers, so yes, they are okay with affiliates. And secondly, I’ve been using Sendlane a while ago myself.
Despite the affiliate friendliness, the software looked slick on the surface. But I experienced some flaws while using it.
Even though I talked to the support before to make sure my account doesn’t get banned they kept my emails on hold before sending them out, to check the content.
Also, their sending process relied on third party emails and their capabilities. That means when you wanted to send out a lot of emails at once…which is kind of the point of an automated sequence, you couldn’t. If you got your business email from Bluehost for example, the sending volume will rely on that source.
The emails would just drip one after another.
Furthermore, the integrations were a little buggy because the software is fairly new and seemed to be still fighting with some issues.
Sendlane Pricing and Features
Back then Sendlane was one of the more expensive pieces of email marketing software you could get. it started at $30 per month but they increased their pricing dramatically. The smallest list size you can choose starts at 5,000 subscribers and $99 per month!!!
There is a starter package where you can “test” the software for $497 for 6 months but honestly, who does that?
Now you may think okay, it’s maybe expensive but it’s still a list size of 5,000 subscribers you’re booking. But if you compare that to the other email autoresponders above you’ll get the same list size for $69 with Aweber and GetResponse.
So even though Sendlane seems to be a very affiliate-friendly autoresponder the pricing is a little off. If for any reason you still want this autoresponder service, there is a 14-day free trial period. Check out Sendlane.
If you came across other reviews, you may have seen some of the affiliates recommending to stay away from Sendinblue.
Personally, I cannot share this recommendation yet. Just recently Dulé the Affiliate Manager reached out to me and asked me if I would like to join the affiliate program.
Being an affiliate marketer in the make money online niche I wanted to make sure that SendinBlue aligns with the necessities for affiliate marketing so I asked him about their policies for affiliate marketing, especially in the “make money online” niche.
This was his answer:
In general, we accept anything that is contextually relevant to digital/email marketing. With the exception of a few industry verticals that would not be aligned with company values. As an affiliate manager of more than 3000 active accounts, I’ve seen it all and vis a vis work with affiliates in the “make money online” I found myself ending the partnerships more than finding a way for us to scale.Dulé Stojnic – Sendinblue Affiliate Manager
So basically I would be safe using the software to promote digital marketing products, as long as you stay away from sketchy “get rich quick” stuff.
SendinBlue Pricing and Features
If you should decide to give it a try you can get a free account with the capability to send up to 300 emails per day and an unlimited number of subscribers! That is certainly one of their unique features that I haven’t seen before anywhere else.
The downside of course as in every other free program is that your emails will have the company logo, so you can’t remove their branding.
Their payment plans are also unique. Usually, you pay for your list size. That means the more contact you have, the more you’ll have to pay.
While Sendinblue will charge for the number of emails you’re sending. So you’ll get unlimited contacts, even with the lowest pricing plan, that starts at $25.
- No daily sending limit
- Up to 100.000 emails
- Email support
- Lite+ add-on A/B testing (optional addon)
- Workflow editor
- GDPR compliant
- a lot more…
So, if you want to give it a go you can start testing with this free autoresponder for affiliate marketing.
5) Follow-Up Funnels (formerly Actionetics)
Here we go with Clickfunnels’ almighty Follow-Up Funnels. There is only one particular reason why I included this piece of software in this list.
Your very own SMTP7. That means you are 100% safe from any terms and conditions from extern email companies.
If it should occur that someone reports you for any reason, your spam score rises up and your deliverability rate suffers, you can just switch up your SMTP Server and start over fresh.
So if you’re an affiliate marketing enthusiast with an existing list and you’re earning money already, you can consider switching to Follow-Up Funnels.
The other big advantage is that you’ll have unlimited contacts already. The bigger your email list, the more you’ll pay with other autoresponders. But Follow Up funnels is capped at $297 and you’ll have access to Clickfunnels and the affiliate management software Backpack.
Follow Up Funnels Pricing and Features
Follow up funnels is definitely not on the cheaper side of things. As mentioned above it costs $297 as part of the Clickfunnels Platinum Package.
- Clickfunnels Sales Funnel and Landing Page Builder
- Backpack affiliate Software
- White-Label SMTP
- Unlimited Contacts and Funnels
So this is something for the affiliate enthusiast that has an existing business already. If you should give it a try you can also consider joining the Funnel Hacking Secrets package to grab a massive discount for 6 months. Learn more about all available Clickfunnels discounts in this article.
Or you can try it within a 14-day free trial by signing up for Clickfunnels.
What Is An Autoresponder?
An autoresponder1 is part of an email marketing automation software. You can set up an automated email sequence that will be sent out to your subscribers after they trigger certain actions.
The initial action is always the opt-in to your email list by subscribing through an opt-in form that can be usually found on your website or nowadays on social media profiles.
By opting-in to your email list, a subscriber usually gets a welcome email, which is the first email of your autoresponder sequence. From here on it totally depends on you, how many automated emails you want to send out to your subscribers.
What Is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a form of commission-based sales2. When you’re an affiliate to a company and sell their products, you will get a commission for that.
Depending on the company and product a commission can range anywhere between 1-100% of the selling price…yes 100%. It always depends as well on, if you’re selling physical products or digital products.
Check out this related article: Affiliate Programs that pay
Why Do You Need An Autoresponder In Affiliate Marketing
Now, some people may think: “Why should I be looking for an autoresponder for affiliate marketing? The company I promote will take care of email marketing.”
But that couldn’t be farther away from the truth…
The truth is, that you always need an autoresponder to build your own list! Period!
Why is that? Well, ever heard the saying “the money is in the list”? It’s true3.
Of course, we can promote other people’s products and let them take care of the email marketing but you’re missing out on two things.
- More Commissions
First of all, as I already mentioned you’re “just” an affiliate. That means you have no control over the products that you’re promoting. That means the company can stop the program any time, or even ban you from it because they don’t like what you’re doing.
That is actually a common theme amongst affiliate marketers who promote(d) Amazon products. During the past years commissions got smaller, commissions have been frozen and marketers got banned. So what you should do is, build an audience around the products you promote.
Thus you can always rely on your own digital asset: Your Email list.
By using an autoresponder you’ll have a traffic source that you own yourself. You can send all kinds of promotions with your affiliate links to your list over and over again…for free! That means even if an affiliate program gets stopped, you can rely on your list and earn more commissions.
A powerful email marketing strategy is still one of the best marketing tools to earn more money as your competitors. You can also find a free autoresponder for affiliate marketing if you deny spending money on them.
What Makes An Autoresponder Suitable For Affiliate Marketing?
The single most important thing that the email service should have is affiliate friendliness!
There are a handful of best email marketing companies that are affiliate friendly, but we’ll get to that in our list.
Let’s check out some other criteria as well.
I honestly think some people overstress this because of the wrong reasons. The deliverability4 is of course super important, but a lot of people don’t understand how to improve it as well.
You need to increase the chances that your emails get into your subscribers’ inbox. The email service company and their server health is an important aspect to consider. But there is another aspect that can drive your delivery rates up like crazy.
Totally optional but totally awesome as well. A visual editor will give you a perfect overview of your email marketing campaigns and setups.
You can use specific triggers, advanced marketing automation features, and more complex structures to improve your email marketing and thus your earnings.
Let’s be reasonable. I could tell you the most expensive software is the best, but that wouldn’t be true. I remember starting out in affiliate marketing myself.
Of course, we look at the price because we’ll stick to our affiliate marketing autoresponder for a long time. The price can make quite a difference over time. And as an affiliate marketer who is just starting out you probably don’t have that much money to spend right?
So let’s determine the best price-performance as well.
Only because I prefer a certain software product over another doesn’t mean you have to as well. There will be a handful of autoresponders to choose from and maybe you’ll prefer one over another because of one simple function or the design.
Either way, you’ll mostly have enough time to test the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing on your own terms as well. Most of them have a free trial period of between 14 to 30 days. More than enough time to decide which one to pick.
Usability and Advanced Features
Even though the software is cheap and affiliate friendly doesn’t mean I like it. If the usability sucks, I would prefer looking for another provider that is easy to use.
That’s something that I tried over and over again to find the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing after testing around 8 different products personally.
One thing that will increase usability dramatically is a visual builder! For me it’s one of the most important features.
Landing Page Builder
Some email software providers have those integrated! That means you don’t need to have your own website or sales funnel builder necessarily. You can build sign-up forms and landing pages5 right from your software provider!
Again. In the beginning, we want to save up some money, so it’s super handy if we have as many functions as possible in one place already.
Avoid These Autoresponders!
Mailchimp is known to be the worst autoresponder for affiliate marketing out there. It’s the worst decision to get into Mailchimp when you’re in affiliate marketing because they will ban your account, no matter the niche you’re in.
Yes, there are some affiliates that use Active Campaign successfully. But there are two reasons for that.
- They got through the surveillance period and did not get caught.
- They are affiliates for Active Campaign and referred a lot of accounts
This is the provider that banned my account right after the first promotional email. Just to clarify, I wasn’t spamming at all. It was a simple email promoting a Clickfunnels discount offer, but that was enough reason for ActiveCampaign to suspend my account.
I must admit that the software itself is beautiful and has great functionality and marketing tools, but unfortunately, they are affiliate unfriendly.
Nevertheless, some people do get away with affiliate marketing. Especially in the beginning, it seems that AC is surveilling their new members and check up on the email campaigns they are sending. If your emails are terms-confirm they won’t pay too much attention to you anymore.
Thus, some people could successfully build their affiliate marketing business with Active Campaign but the risk remains.
Even though it’s fairly cheap and they also have a free plan for starters you should avoid Mailerlite. They are similarly affiliate-unfriendly like MailChimp. A free autoresponder for affiliate marketing can be attractive, but it doesn’t make any sense if you get banned.
Generally speaking, avoid autoresponder only because they are cheap. There is a reason for that usually. And as mentioned right in the beginning, we as affiliate marketers need to pay special attention before making our choice.
Despite a lot of reviews, ConvertKit is NOT affiliate-friendly! Their terms clearly state that you can not promote within the make money online niche. After being surprised about other reviews that recommend ConvertKit I reached out to their support to clarify my concerns.
Here is the answer I got:
We do allow the use of affiliate links as long as they are marked, and used responsibly and sparingly. However, we do not allow content that is solely affiliate based. Your main content should first and foremost be based around your own business, products and/or servicesSabrina – from ConvertKit
So yes, you are allowed to sprinkle your affiliate links sparingly, but that is not what we’re looking for.
We wanna be safe, no matter what. I’ve been using ConvertKit myself for a while and honestly really liked the software until I heard rumors about accounts being shut down. So if you’re an affiliate marketer (especially in the make money online niche) stay away.
Constant contact may have some great advanced automation features and functionality, but its target group seems to be small business owners. So it’s not the best match for digital marketing.
So if you’re looking for a cheap solution and want to use your autoresponder for eCommerce then you can check it out. But as an autoresponder for affiliate marketing, it’s not the best choice.
All the rest
Be assured that I’ve tested and informed myself very well about the different autoresponders. If you’re thinking about joining a software company, but you couldn’t find it on my top5 list, don’t join them.
This article should help you with choosing the best autoresponder for your affiliate business!
Why They Don’t Like Affiliate Marketers
There is a reason why some email marketing companies don’t like affiliate marketers. Some are very strict with their policies because they generalize too broad.
Why is that?
Let me first explain how an email marketing service works. Usually, you have two options. The most common option is a shared email server, the other option is a dedicated email server6. If you have a dedicated email server, you’re the only one who’s responsible for your delivery rate.
Because no one else is sending email campaigns from this server, all the common email providers like Gmail, Yahoo etc. rate your Server IP based on your emails only. But having a dedicated email server is a fairly expensive solution.
If you’re on a shared server, they rate your server Ip based on the emails of multiple senders. If you’re unlucky you share your server with someone who regularly sends out spammy emails.
Thus your deliverability suffers from the spam mails of others with who you share the email server.
So the email software companies don’t allow a lot of affiliate marketers who potentially send out a lot of spammy emails about get-rich-quick schemes, or bitcoin or whatever there is… I’m sure you got the one or another spam mail already 😉
So by forbidding affiliate marketers, they try to keep their email servers clean and avoid a high spam score.
I can totally understand why they are trying to keep those spammy types of people away from their servers. But there are also those who are building a sincere affiliate marketing business who suffer under this premise.
So we need to be very cautious and pick those autoresponders who are best for affiliate marketing and understand that there are serious marketers building a business and promoting legitimate affiliate products.
Conclusion – The Best Autoresponder For Affiliate Marketing
There you go, these were the best autoresponders for affiliate marketing. If you’re thinking about joining another email marketing service that is not included in this list, I wouldn’t recommend it.
I’ve personally researched and tested around 8 different autoresponders to make sure the ones I’m using are affiliate friendly.
So no need to worry or research further. Just stick with one of the recommendations above 😉
The best options are GetResponse (my personal favorite) and Aweber (after they’ve updated their software).
If you’re still unsure about joining one from the list above because you don’t know about your niche, here is a tip: Just ask!
Get on the trial to see if you like the software. Just test around a little. Then reach out to the support and clearly state what you’re going to do and if they are okay with that.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do that when I joined ActiveCampaign. So please don’t repeat my mistakes and pick an autoresponder that is safe for affiliate marketers.
Also don’t rely on free plans. They’re maybe great for testing, but having the company branding everywhere is kind of unprofessional. Also, you’ll mostly be lacking advanced features like AB testing, Landing pages, or visual builders.
So make sure to invest in your affiliate marketing business, but be reasonable!