Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site. The industry has four core players: the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the customer. The market has grown in complexity to warrant a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party vendors.
1. Affiliate marketing doesn’t consume large marketing budgets. Other forms of direct marketing such as billboards, multi-media or pay-per-click advertising, especially when you are using all three, will start eating into your budgets before you have even seen a return on them.
2. Affiliate marketing can take some pressure off your sales team because your affiliates assume the role of sales associates as well. For a fair commission, these can be the small but steady forms of income for your business whilst you spend more significant sums on dedicated marketing campaigns.
3. Affiliate marketing pays-for-performance. It has a much better ROI because money is only spent when sales come in. To put it simply, affiliate marketing is the most efficient form of marketing because you only pay for the required results.
4. Affiliate marketing has the added bonus of directing increased traffic to your website. Even if a sale isn’t made, the chances of your visitor coming back or subscribing to your email list using a sign-up form are a lot higher.
5. Affiliate marketing can improve your search engine rankings. Some search engines gauge their keyword rankings on the amount of inbound links to your website, so affiliate marketing – by definition of being a form of marketing which aims to reward strategic positioning of links to your website – gives you the added bonus of creeping up the search engine results as well as increasing sales.
6. Affiliate marketing is flexible. You don’t have to just pay commission for sales, but you can reward affiliates for a certain amount of traffic directed to your website in a given period or for visitors subscribing to your email lists as well. Affiliate marketing can be used however you want tin order to generate the most revenue for your business.
7. Affiliate marketing can be tracked and analysed with the help of affiliate marketing software. You can pinpoint where the most traffic is coming from, how many people are clicking on your links and at what time. In this way, you can focus your programs on particular affiliates or particular demographics.