What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is where a marketer sells a product or service from someone else in return for some form of compensation.
But what does it mean?
Affiliate marketing is where merchants or advertisers will pay a commission to the affiliate who referred them to the sale, but it’s so much more than that. It’s an opportunity for you as a business owner to gain new sales and customers by promoting other businesses’ products. Here are some additional ways to benefit from affiliate marketing:
- Exposure – you will receive exposure through the merchant’s website
- Brand development – you will increase your brand image by being an affiliate of well-known companies
- Commission-based – you receive a commission when a sale is made through your referral.
- Cross-selling opportunities
Why do businesses choose affiliate marketing as digital advertising?
The biggest reason why businesses have an affiliate program is that it’s an affordable marketing channel.
Affiliate marketers are compensated only if the sale is made. Plus, affiliate programs can be set up to reward affiliates who bring in leads by compensating for leads or email address opt-ins. These programs can also encourage sharing links on social media or other channels where prospective customers might notice them.
Another reason is that there are many third-party ad networks available to advertisers, including Google’s DoubleClick and Clicksor, which provide easy access to affiliates searching for additional traffic.
The benefits of affiliate marketing go both ways – you can generate new business through a merchant, and the merchant will benefit from the exposure they receive from your website or email newsletter.The benefits of affiliate marketing go both ways. #affiliatemarketing Click To Tweet
How it works and the different ways a business can partner with an affiliate:
There are two ways a business can partner with an affiliate – managed and performance.
Managed affiliate marketing is when the merchant manages all aspects of the program and pays per click or per sale. With managed affiliate marketing, there’s more of a need for tracking and reporting. Making it easier to control costs and ensure a return on investment.
Performance-based affiliate marketing is when the advertiser will pay a commission based on a predetermined goal. Such as a predetermined number of sales or specific lead form submissions. This is a bit more complicated to set up, but it offers advertisers greater control over their costs. And may prove less expensive in the long run.
What are the benefits of this technique for businesses and affiliates alike?
The benefits of affiliate marketing are easy to understand. Businesses receive a new way to market their products and services online through affiliates. While affiliates find a new way to generate income by promoting other companies’ products or services.
However, there are additional benefits that extend beyond the immediate solution for both parties. In particular:
- Generate awareness for a new or unknown brand
- Offer consumers a different way to interact with a product or service, creating additional sales opportunities
- Can help businesses sell their products across the globe.
Here are some tips when setting up your affiliate program:
Financial transactions are one of the most important aspects of any affiliate marketing campaign. Because of this, it’s crucial that you work with a payment solution with secure technology to ensure your customers’ information is safe and credit card numbers aren’t compromised.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure a payment solution works for you:
- Discover what type of affiliates are most likely to be interested in your program. Start by reviewing the affiliate networks where those affiliates already promote products or services similar to yours.
- Review any existing affiliate programs that your competitors have set up. If they’ve already set up a successful program, you’ll want to consider for your potential affiliates there.
- Determine how much you will pay each affiliate for an order. And the types of clicks or actions that will warrant compensation from your program.
- Determine how long it will take for an affiliate to receive credit for an order. After all, you don’t want to pay affiliates for orders that weren’t placed by them.
- Be clear about how commissions will be paid and what types of payment methods are accepted.
- Decide who is responsible for collecting and passing on customer data to affiliates. This might be your responsibility (if you rely on affiliates to generate leads) or the responsibility of your affiliates. (If you rely on affiliates to generate sales.).
- Require all participating affiliates to agree to a code of ethics. This code details what’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior for affiliate marketers. How commissions will be paid, any use of automated means to submit leads or clicks, etc.
- Decide how you will handle disputes and ensure that all participating affiliates have the chance to present their side of the story.
What are affiliate networks?
An affiliate network is an online platform that acts as a liaison between merchants and publishers. It provides merchants with tools to recruit affiliates, pay commissions, track their activities, etc., as well as various related services.
What are the most popular types of affiliate networks?
There are numerous affiliate network options available online. Each with its own unique features and benefits for affiliates, merchants, and publishers. Some of the most popular types include:
- Cost-Per-Action (CPA) Networks – CPA networks are one of the most popular types of affiliate networks. With CPA, affiliates are paid for each action-for example, sign up or registration-they generate for an advertiser.
- Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Networks – CPC is another popular form of paid affiliate marketing that pays affiliates for each click they generate for an advertiser. CPC can be used to promote anything from PPC ads to email marketing campaigns and banner advertisements.
- Revenue-Sharing Networks – Revenue sharing networks allow publishers (affiliates) and merchants (advertisers) to share the revenue generated by a sale. Typically, affiliates sign up through these networks to promote a merchant’s products, services, or information. If a prospect signs up due to this promotion, the affiliate receives a commission.
- Publisher Membership Networks – These networks offer merchants and affiliates access to publisher inventory. At cost-per-impression or cost-per-action rates. Publishers have access to publishers, but advertisers do not have access to publisher inventory individually. They only have access to the number of impressions offered by all publishers on a network.
What can I expect from affiliate networks?
The main benefit of affiliate networks is the ability to tap into various publishers’ traffic. Without having to seek out affiliates one-by-one. Most networks also offer tracking features that allow merchants and affiliates to keep tabs on affiliate activity, order fulfillment, etc. This information can be beneficial when determining which affiliates to invite to your program, what types of affiliate promotions generate the most sales for you, etc.
What are the most popular affiliate networks?
There are hundreds of affiliate networks online, but here are some of the most popular:
- Commission Junction:This is one of the oldest and largest affiliate networks available today. It offers thousands of merchant programs to affiliates in various niches. Commission Junction provides reporting tools so merchants can keep tabs on affiliate activity, order fulfillment, etc. Commission Junction also offers publishers access to some of the biggest marketing partners on the Web, including eBay, AOL, Expedia, etc.
- ClickBank: Thousands of merchants are using ClickBank’s affiliate program to promote their products and services online. Affiliates earn between 35-75% on every sale they generate for a merchant. ClickBank offers a tracking platform that allows merchants and affiliates to track affiliate activity, order fulfillment, etc. ClickBank also provides publishers with access to marketing resources. Such as banner ads, widgets, email newsletters, pay-per-click networks (AdWords), shopping comparison search engines (Shopzilla), etc.
- Rakuten Advertising: Rakuten Advertising is another popular affiliate network. It features thousands of merchants in several niches. The company offers affiliates access to data feeds for publishers who want to promote products and services. And provides reporting tools so merchants can keep track of affiliate activity, order fulfillment, etc.
- ShareASale: This is one of the best affiliate networks for merchants. It offers more than 3,000 merchants in some of the most popular niches on the Web. The company provides publishers with access to banner ads, promotional email newsletters, search engine marketing (Google AdWords), shopping comparison engines (Shopzilla), etc.
The difference between affiliate marketing and incentivized traffic.
Incentivized traffic is a form of affiliate marketing. That usually refers to publishers who get paid for sending prospects to an advertiser’s website. In this case, both the publisher and advertiser get something out of the deal.
In contrast, traditional affiliate marketing (As is described here) is when a merchant sends commissions to affiliates for sales they generate. as a result, the affiliate is getting paid for their promotional efforts.
How the internet has made it easier for anyone to become an affiliate marketer.
The internet has made it easier than ever for anyone to become an affiliate marketer. Publishers can now promote merchants on many of the most popular sites on the Web. Including eBay, AOL, Expedia, etc., without having to obtain additional permissions. Affiliate networks provide publishers access to thousands of new opportunities every day. And enable them to promote merchants in every industry. All publishers need to sign-up for an affiliate network account, and you’re ready to start.
As you can see, affiliate marketing is not all that difficult. If you’re interested in promoting products and services online, chances are an affiliate network already has thousands of opportunities for you to consider. Best of all, most networks make it easy for anyone with internet access to become an affiliate marketer.