Help Articles : Compliance

About Affiliate Links in Tinyletter

When an email that contains an affiliate link is marked as spam, internet service providers (ISPs) investigate the URL for malicious activity and may blacklist the domain. Blacklisted URLs in a campaign negatively affect delivery for the sender and everyone who uses the same email service provider (ESP).
TinyLetter has an obligation to maintain high delivery rates for our customers, so our system automatically scans for problematic links each time you send a campaign.

In this article, you'll learn about affiliate links in TinyLetter.

Affiliate Marketing vs. Affiliate Links

We treat affiliate marketing and affiliate links differently. Affiliate marketing is prohibited under our Terms of Use, but affiliate links are usually fine to use in Tinyletter.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketers are typically rewarded by a third party for recruiting customers. The reason we don't permit this activity is that there's no real obligation to care about subscriber satisfaction or to maintain a healthy relationship with them. TinyLetter isn't meant for this type of marketing. 

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links encourage subscribers to click through to a third-party product or service, and are used by a wide variety of marketers and e-commerce businesses, often in the context of a partnerships. For example, if you're a blogger, you might link to or promote the website of one of your sponsors. These types of links are fine to use in TinyLetter, as long as the URLs you link to haven't been blacklisted.

Bottom Line

If you're an author or professional blogger or business owner that sends permission-based emails full of content that your recipients are expecting, and the content isn't prohibited under our Terms of Use, and you don’t violate any spam laws, you will likely never experience any problems using TinyLetter, even if you include affiliate marketing links. If you're someone who calls yourself an affiliate marketer whose content is strictly to gain a commission, TinyLetter isn't for you. If you’re ever unsure, please feel free to reach out to our support team and they’ll be happy to take a look.

How We Treat Affiliate Links

TinyLetter doesn't always stop campaigns that contain affiliate links, but we do stop campaigns that contain blacklisted URLs. If you send an email that links to a blacklisted URL, regardless of whether it's an affiliate or direct link, spam filters may block your message completely. This hurts our reputation as an ESP and negatively impacts delivery for all our users. 

Even if you include a link to a blacklisted URL by accident, we have to suspend the account while we review it. We understand that these things happen even to legitimate marketers, so we always do our best to work quickly with our users on these issues. If we're not able to resolve the issue or we determine a user has intentionally violated our Terms of Use, we may be forced to close the account permanently.

How Blacklists Work  (A great article from our parent company, MailChimp)
Terms of Use and Anti-Spam Requirements
About Prohibited Content

What You Should Do

We expect you might, at some point, inadvertently send a campaign that contains a blacklisted affiliate link, but there are some things you can do to help prevent this from happening.

Assess Your Affiliate Links

Several factors can help you determine if an affiliate link might cause issues in your campaign.
Here are some guidelines to help assess if a link is safe to use in Tinyletter.
  • Advertisement Links
Advertisements for another company in your campaign should appear under your branding, in your voice, and be presented as a special offer from that company to your subscribers. An unrelated advertisement from another company that appears under their branding and isn't specific to your subscribers could look like spam, and isn't okay to use in your campaign.
  • Product or Service Recommendation Links
It's usually fine to recommend and link to products or services in your campaign. However, some products and services are prohibited under our Terms of Use.
  You can't send emails about, or include advertisements for, any content that's prohibited under our Acceptable Use Policy. For example, it's not okay to include links promoting "Get Rich Quick" opportunities. This type of content is prohibited because it tends to generate a high number of abuse complaints.

Terms of Use
Acceptable Use Policy

Research Domain Reputation

Many ISPs don't make their blacklists public, so it's hard to be absolutely sure an affiliate link isn't on a blacklist somewhere. But these resources can help you determine the reputation of a domain before you link to it in your campaign.