17 Essential Affiliate Marketing Tools for Beginners (Free)

If you are looking for free essential affiliate marketing tools to help build your online business, you found them.

You may be starting your business and may want help to get it going. One of the challenges you may face is finding useful tools that don’t break your budget.

I have assembled the following list of email and affiliate marketing tools that you may apply to your marketing efforts at the appropriate time. As you gain experience and your business grows, your toolset should increase as well.

​As long as you're using it right, email is still one of the most valuable and targeted channels for reaching your audience. It's also a great way to make money.

​​​​​​E​mail ​Marketing Systems


MailChimp is considered one of the top email marketing providers in the world. While there are alternatives, this tool remains one of the best. There is a free plan for entrepreneurs with less than 2,000 subscribers and those who don't send more than 12,000 emails per month.

When starting a business, it's not likely that you will have more than 2,000 subscribers. For this reason, you can start with MailChimp. Use the tool for free as you gain experience with email marketing.

As always, I recommend you read MailChimp's Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy (if they have one).


Flashissue is an excellent tool for sending email newsletters. They are a Gmail newsletter creator that helps you find content for your readers as well as build your mailing list. The Flashissue interface combines content curation with email marketing. So you will always have useful information to give to your subscribers.

Regardless of your newsletter subject, you can find content from a variety of sources, which Flashissue automatically summarizes for you. Newsletter editors select some story summaries and tailor the headline and article descriptions for their readers.

Pricing: The free plan gives you 25 contacts a month with unlimited emails, and group plan starts from $5 per month with 250 contacts. Flashissue integrates with MailChimp to unlock a host of extra features. 

​​​​​​E​mail SPAM Checkers

Mail Tester

Test your emails pass the spam check before you send them, so they don’t get caught by the spam filters.


IsNotSpam is a free email spam checker that checks five of the top reasons why your email may be marked as spam by a recipient mail server. IsNotSpam checks to see if your email will trigger the SpamAssassin spam filter, based on its content.

​​​​​​Email Testing Tools

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

CoSchedule provides a visual representation of what's good and bad about your headline. The analyzer checks structure, grammar, and readability as well as headline type, word balance, and length. This tool is useful for both website content and email.

Email Subject Line Tester

This handy tool will grade the effectiveness of your subject line, whether on an email or blog post, depending on how compelling it is and whether it’s the right length (based on industry standards). Getting the right subject line is crucial to increasing your open email rate. Better still, the tool is free.


Need to know what an email will look like once it’s received in the inbox? Instead of sending yourself countless email copies, use PutsMail to see an immediate, functional preview of your next campaign.

​​​​​Content Development Tools

​​As marketers often say, "content is king."

So your website content and emails need to be engaging. Getting visitors to your website and reading your content is a challenge. The same thing applies to email. Sending an email is only half the battle; the next step is to get people to open and click on it.

These tools will help with your planning and organizing your work.​


Trello is a great project management tool. Trello lets you organize your activities, set up to-do lists, and create individual cards with due dates, labels, and more. You can attach files, links, images, and more to your cards and quickly get a full-view of any project on which that you're working.

For example, I created a low competition keyword list. From that list, I set up individual task cards to write website content posts as well as emails for my autoresponder.

make my personna helps create ideal customer profile

​Create your ideal customer or subscriber with MakeMyPersona


Creating an avatar or visualizing your ideal customer or subscriber is one of the crucial marketing activities. MakeMyPersona, a HubSpot tool, can help you develop a reader persona in a few 15 minutes. By answering a series of questions, MakeMyPersona will generate a persona for you. Your new persona will help you provide relevant content to people who want to read it.


Typeform is a tool to help you build relationships with your prospects and customers. Typeform provides a positive, human-centered experience using forms and surveys. By using a conversational style, it feels more natural than typical ways. People use it host quizzes and polls as well as create content and lead forms.

portent idea generator tool

​Fun to try out.

Portent's Idea Generator

You can generate blog post or article topics based on keywords using the Portent's Idea Generator.



Canva is best known for creating stunning media images. However, it can also be used to design and edit images for your emails. Graphics may be a simple logo or a branded infographic. Canva is an easy-to-use option for people who aren’t full-blown designers.Canva acquired Pexels and Pixabay.

Top free stock photo sites

When looking for free images to use, I start with Unsplash, Creative Commons, Pexels, and Pixabay. AppInstitute has a great list of resources and it's worth checking out the free stock photo sites available online.

Death to the Stock Photo is an alternative to the free sites for its abundance of high quality images.

​​​Content Writing Tools

The Hemingway App

Write like Hemingway. Make your emails more natural to understand and have more impact. The Hemingway Editor makes your writing bold and bright. It's like a spellchecker, but for style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not your prose. So, the Hemingway Editor will highlight (in yellow and red) where your writing is too dense. Try removing needless words or splitting the sentence into two.

The online version is free. The paid desktop version is available for Windows and Mac OSX.


Grammarly is an online program that uses artificial intelligence to catch common errors. It suggests improvements for spelling, style, punctuation, and grammar. Grammarly is compatible with Gmail and other programs. Furthermore, Grammarly can be installed as a browser plugin to edit messages in real-time.

Of all the affiliate marketing tools, I use Grammarly the most. It has had the biggest impact on improving my content quality, from writing blog posts to writing emails.

​​Subject Line Emojis

People see improved open rates by using emojis in their email subject lines. If you have doubts about how to use them, it is copy-and-paste simple. Copy and paste the emoji from the source to your subject line. They also work on sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Get your emojis here:


​​​Keyword Research Tools

​I have moved the keyword research tools to a separate post describing ​seven free keyword tools in greater detail. [Read here]

​​​​​​​Website ​Monitoring Tools

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the top free tools from Google. It only takes a couple of minutes to add the Analytics code to your website, giving you the ability to track every action by every visitor. The analytical data provided can help you improve your marketing efforts.

For example, Analytics will show you the source of your traffic (visitors). The following image represents a fraction of the information available.

google analytics provides all kinds of data

​If a reader clicks your website link in an email, it shows up under Direct. 


GetNotify is a free tool that notifies you the instant a subscriber opens and reads your email. You send your emails like you usually would but add ".getnotify.com" to the recipient's email address. Your recipient will not see this, and they will not know that you are tracking their opens.

I figured this out one day when I received a follow-up email indicating that I opened the prior email. The follow-up email asked if I had any questions from the preceding email. My first reaction was, 'how did they know that?' I thought that was a great way to follow-up.

​Affiliate Marketing Tools Conclusion

Starting an online business can be a daunting challenge, especially if you don't have the right tools.

This list of affiliate marketing tools should start you off on the right foot. The tools will be easy on your wallet as they are free to use. Hopefully, they will help you achieve success. If nothing else, they will give you an insight into other available tools.

If you have questions or comments about these marketing tools or wish to share the programs you use, please fill out and submit the form below. I am looking forward to responding.

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