This is a question that comes up quite often... often enough that we decided it was time to write a blog post about it and share it with the world!
So, the short answer is YES.
But now for the long winded answer - and if you’re an affiliate marketer or do any form of affiliate marketing in your business.. Then I recommend that you read every word of this blog post.
You see, when I started my own online journey back in 2008 as a digital marketer, I was primarily a product vendor that used affiliate marketing to supplement my business revenue by recommending relevant products and services to my email list.
In fact, that’s the entire reason why Sendlane was created. It all started as a platform that would support affiliate marketing. Why? Because other ESP’s did not understand that affiliate marketing didn’t have to be considered such a grey, spammy industry, when guidelines are laid out and understood.
So how does Sendlane support affiliate marketers?
We’ll break this blog post down to 3 places:
- Acceptable Industry & Types of Data
- Required Practices of an Affiliate Marketer on the Sendlane Platform
- List Hygiene Suggestions and Recommendations
Industry & Data
Affiliate marketing is relevant across almost every industry in the world. Though we are pretty open to a variety of niches, we do have some niches that we DO NOT accept. With that said, we’re always open to a conversation.
Industries that Sendlane does NOT accept at all:
Loan, mortgage, payday (short and long term), debt servicing, credit repair services, job markets, freebie/gift card/sweepstakes, insurance, EDU, and all related verticals.
Due to the nature of these verticals and practices, we’ve drawn a strong line in the sand on these verticals.
To get a better idea of what kind of niche’s our platform accepts, a good rule of thumb is to check out compliant marketplaces, such as our partners at Clickbank. Take a look and see what their vendors are to better understand the niches we will generally accept.
If you’re ever unsure if we accept your vertical, it’s important to reach out and talk to one of our email experts to ensure that you are compliant to our terms and conditions.
TL;DR: If you’re unsure, ask. We won’t bite and we pledge to give you a CLEAR answer upfront.
Data that Sendlane does and does not accept:
We do NOT accept third party data - regardless if you have an exclusive feed, data, or licensing agreement.
We also do NOT accept purchased, borrowed, shared/co-reg, or stolen data.
We only accept FIRST party data that is permission based and obtained through an opt in on your landing page or lead capture form.
They must be opting in and giving you permission to email them and be compliant with local laws (CCPA and GDPR)
To be even clearer: The landing page or opt in page must be owned by your business, you must be able to use the name and domain in your emails (and clearly identify yourself as the brand), and the lead must be permission based. ie: The subscriber entered their email in with intention to learn more.
TL;DR: if it’s not yours, we’re not accepting it.
Required practices of an affiliate marketer on the Sendlane platform
As industries and markets evolve, we’re starting to lay down required practices for all affiliate marketers and they are the following:
1. All your emails must be CAN SPAM compliant
That means you must have a clear, identifiable sender name (ie. John at company name, your name, your brand name), a real address that you have permission to receive real mail at and is checked regularly, and a domain name with a full website that is owned and managed by your business.
2. Content must be CLEAR
We do not allow deceiving content that is vague, general or does not give clear indication of why they are receiving the email and what they may get if they click on your link.
3. Content must be FRESH and YOURS
Copy and paste is rampant in the industry. We understand that you may have particular guidelines for your emails that may require specific content, but we need each and every piece of content to be yours. This means the content is written by you or your team and is not duplicated from another source. If you send duplicate content regularly, stop.
4. Avoid SNOWSHOE spamming
A recent spike of this has started to occur and we’re being proactive about it. Per spamhaus, we do not allow our users to consistently send from different sender names and email addresses in order to trick filters of ISP’s. Read more on that here.
5. Avoid the typical SPAM TRIGGERS and rules
As simple as avoiding sending an email in all caps, or with an overload of links, to deeper rules around abusing spam trigger words (a list of all known trigger words can be found here) to abusing images or attempting to hide unsubscribe links by adding tons of extra white space.
6. Sending MULTIPLE emails per day
We understand that this may be a part of your business model. Here’s the limitations: Every email must come from the same sender name when you’re practicing this. In addition to that we will enforce a minimum 15% open rate to continue with this practice. We do not accept more than 2 emails per day from the same sender to the same list or contacts. Anything more than that is considered abuse unless there is a particular use case or need.
Our rule at the company is simple
You will get one warning when you fall into any of these practices.
If you choose to ignore this warning, we will pause your sending and you will be unable to service your business moving forward.
TL;DR: Don’t spam. Don’t trick people. Be good to your audience. Send them good content.
List Hygiene Suggestions and Recommendations for Affiliate Marketers
Look, I know you’re working on growing your list and spending your hard earned money on acquiring those leads.
But that effort can be quickly crushed if you’re sending to an unengaged list. And because of that unengaged list, you’re now preventing new subscribers from receiving your emails due to a domain with poor reputation.
As we require a minimum of 10% unique engagement of opens with an average of 15% or higher for your account, here’s some rules we’ll share that can help you maintain your reputation.
1. If you are a vendor and an affiliate, a buyer, or someone who has signed up by purchasing a product or service...
Then you are generally safe to continue to nurture. Depending on your frequency, we ask you to review your list engagement every 3 months and actively use our segmentation or automated list hygiene to remove those who have not opened or clicked an email in the last 90 days.
2. If you are doing pure lead generation...
Which means you’re opting people into your list with a gift, then depending on the following habits we encourage you to follow these guidelines:
- If you’re emailing once or more a day: Remove anyone who has not opened or clicked an email in the last 60 days. 30 Days if you want to be more hygienic.
- If you’re emailing 3 - 5 times a week: Remove anyone who has not opened or clicked in the last 90 days. 60 days to be more hygienic.
3. If you are emailing once or more a day...
Remove anyone who has not opened or clicked an email in the last 60 days. 30 Days if you want to be more hygienic.
4. If you are emailing 3 - 5 times a week...
Remove anyone who has not opened or clicked in the last 90 days. 60 days to be more hygienic.
5. Checkout opt in, abandon checkout, or partials...
When someone enters their email address to learn more about a product or service and is required to opt in to learn more - these are considered tremendously more volatile. We recommend 30 days of list hygiene. 14 days to be more hygienic.
Sendlane Automated List Hygiene
The good news is with our List Hygiene tool by Sendlane, we’ll help you set rules automatically. Learn more about List Hygiene here
This does NOT negate use of tools like Blaze Verify or any cleaning service that removes bad emails or fake emails. These are helpful additions to your practice, however, Sendlane Automated List Hygiene is designed to work actively with your account and the data we collect.
TL;DR: A clean, hygienic list is a happy list.
We want to help your business and we want to help you grow as an email marketer and be successful as a business.
Sendlane IS affiliate marketing friendly, as long as you follow the rules.
The goal of this post is to allow us to maintain a long term relationship with your business for years to come and be the platform of choice for your business. The rules that we set are not only rules we follow, but industry best practices that will keep your business afloat.
As the laws and ecosystem changes, it’s important to be aware of new rules and regulations and be sure you are proactively abiding by these rules.
At the end of it all, we simply ask you to LISTEN to our team. With a PRO level account, you’ll have a direct Account Manager who can answer these questions and guide you to be compliant in our system.
If you’re clear about our rules and looking to jump into our platform, you can see our pricing and grab your free trial right here.