Putting affiliate links in email messages is a great way to monetize your list. But if you are not careful it can have unforeseen consequences.
1. Some of the mail servers are starting to figure out the affiliate links (like Google did a few years ago with Adwords) and according to some reports is starting to use them as trigger words in marking email messages as spam. In other words your email message won't get through!!
2. The second, and much more important issue is the result of ..
straight out commission theft.
It happens more often than most people will admit.
A reader gets your email that is promoting someone affiliate product,
the affiliate link is clearly shown in the email message.
The reader then copies the email out of the message, pops in their
affiliate link and buys the product.
Not only do they get the product at a discount, but you loose the affiliate commission.
So how do we overcome this..
Simple, we mask the links using a URL shortening service :
One of the sites that I have started using lately is
if you use a service like this to promote an clickbank affiliate product, which has along original URL something like :
http://bwh48.water4gas.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=WSS101 (This is a link for the highly successful water 4 gas product.)
So if we put it through the CLCL.org shortening service, we can end up with a link like :
Much shorter, not likely to trigger the spam filters and most importantly, people cannot easily swap their affiliate code for yours.