8. Affiliate Marketing

Introduction

With an increase in technology, having websites for businesses is vital now. Since the majority of the consumers are found online, it is essential for businesses to use the online space in creating customers for their products or services.

It is extremely easy for anyone to set their own website. Using a computer with the internet connection, you can easily visit the platforms, which provide readily made templates and designs that allow one to make a simple webpage. Within a few hours, you can have a URL, content page, and completely ready website right in front of you.

On the contrary, having a website is a common fact, now, since most of the businesses deal with social media and search engines as well. For every business, it is important it seek ways that will take its website to a whole new level. For the content-driven website owners, the frequent question they have is how to make money from the amount of traffic you receive? Alternatively, for the online retailers, what could be the possible ways of attracting traffic to your website, which will buy your services or products?

All of these questions are important as they determine the success of the business. One of the most effective solutions to such questions is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a very broad and extensive term when one wishes to use it for success in their online business website.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is known as a marketing technique and practice in which a single business rewards single or more affiliates for bringing customers or visitors through the affiliate marketing ways. In other words, as a publisher, you would be rewarded when you support another business by promoting their services or products.

For example, if you sign up for any online business’s affiliate program, you will earn commission when you promote the business. The promotion of the business is determined by the number of visitors they will receive from your website. Moreover, when the business makes a sale from the customer that reached their business through your website, you will be entitled to commission as well.

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By far, affiliate marketing is one of the favorites of the marketers as it is the cheapest and quickest way of making money online. The detailing of the practice may not be easy, but the benefits are countless when the marketing is done. Conclusively, one needs to link up a seller and a buyer and earn the commission on the sales that were made after referred by your website.

Since the past few years, the affiliate marketing and its programs have immensely grown in popularity. It has been one of the major interests of the people developing their business online. Even for the websites that do not deal with the selling of services and products online, linking as the affiliate is a decent way of participating in the e-commerce business trade. With the help of affiliate marketing programs, businesses can earn big through the affiliated websites.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Now that you know what affiliate marketing is, it is time you understand how it works. When you join any affiliate marketing program and select the products you wish to sell, the sellers will provide you with an affiliate code. The affiliate code is used to consult traffic towards the targeted website. Most of the affiliated programs will offer pre-made banners, text links and other creative copies on which you just need to copy the provided code. When the interested buyers click on the provided links present on your website, they will be directed to the product site. Once the customer subscribes to the service or purchase a product through your referring website, you will earn a commission.

The sellers, on the other hand, can easily track down the performance of the affiliate through the affiliate ID and the affiliate software they use. The companies would also gain real time and complete access to the commissions and sales stats.

Marketing techniques

One of the perks of using the affiliate marketing programs is that you may not need to sell the services or products all the time to earn some commission. There are various different affiliate programs, which can be used for different payment ways such as:

Pay per sale

In this affiliate program, the merchant pays the percentage of the sales price when the purchase is fully done.

Pay per lead

You will be paid just once and that too when the referred customers or visitors will provide the target site their contact information by filling the contact form.

Pay per click

This is the most common program in affiliate marketing. With this type of affiliate marketing, you will be paid based on the number of visitors you send to the merchant’s website. In this case, making a sale or generating a leads is not important for earning commission.

Why become an affiliate marketer?

By far, affiliate marketing is said to be the best and the fastest growing internet marketing technique that can lead to online money making. Here is why:

Cost effective

Marketing over the internet is extremely cheap and one does not need to worry about any cost, as the product or service is already a development of the seller. There is also no need of hiring employees or getting a business location.

Global market

Through online and affiliate marketing, it is possible to reach people all around the world.

No fees needed

You do not need to pay a single penny in order to join different affiliate programs.

No shipping and storage required

As the one providing the affiliate services, there is no need to worry about the shipping, packing and storage of the product, as it all comes under the services of the seller.

Work from home

If you think you are making the amount of money you need, there is no need to go to another office then. When done right, affiliate marketing provides the benefits of working while you are not leaving your home.

The benefits of affiliate marketing

Several benefits of having affiliate marketing have come forth now that it is becoming increasingly popular. Affiliate marketing reverses the general trend of the out-bound marketing figure of casting a wide message and then waiting and hoping for local people or clients to get attracted, into an in-bound model where intrigued customers are attracted to make a purchase.

Since the internet has spread all around the globe, this means that your message can spread internationally by a large number of potential affiliates while they are using the internet. Other benefits are also present, which the affiliate marketing can bring along. Consideration should be given to the following:

Since the internet is active every second of the day, your message or advertisement is available all the time. Hence, widening your affiliate program would mean that there is a high chance that somebody would be reading your message and probably thinking about making a purchase.

With software tools now available, it is now easy to automate your management, sales process and tracking the affiliate program. This effectively reduces the sales cost.

An affiliate program can be used to save money as compared to any other forms of promotion done. The affiliate marketing programs are based on a contract that lets the content producer to pay only when the required results were met. That means that apart from the advanced payment to the marketing program, the content producers will only pay after the results that they required are achieved. If an affiliate program does not meet the required goals, there is no need to pay for it.

If your company is promoting a product that is something worth the promotion, it is important that its promotion must be aimed towards the right population. If it is appealing to that demographic and if you have an expert affiliate program, then there is a high chance that your revenue can grow exponentially and your online presence will also be increased. If one affiliate program can provide such a huge profit, you can imagine how much success numerous people bring by promoting your product.

Moreover, even if a random user who once checked your product through one of your affiliate marketing program leaves without making any purchase, there is a high chance that the same user will return someday to buy something.

If you are using affiliate marketing, it becomes easy to examine the new advertising campaign of any product. New advertisements can be developed and messages can be sent out by using these programs to check if they are enticing the required number of people to pass the product checking. Also, by this method, you can conclude whether the new advertisement is as good as the previous ones. Better number of feedbacks and metrics can be collected as well.

Different affiliate marketing programs

There are about two different types of affiliate marketing programs. Each of the types is described in detail:

In-house hosting

This sort of affiliate marketing is done by using a widely available software program to manage a huge number of marketing affiliates. The usual requirement is that the affiliate manager is asked to oversee the marketing program, even though the software is also made to do this.

The major advantage of launching and managing your own affiliate program is that you can plan exactly the way you thought. Moreover, planning your own affiliate marketing program means that you save up on your expenses, as you would not have to spend on commissions and there would not be any middle party to pay for.

Third-party hosting

Most of the affiliate marketing programs are set up and managed by third-party companies that specialize in this field. These are the companies, that provide the necessary infrastructure in order to meet the demands of, both, the affiliates and the merchants. By doing this, the merchants benefit themselves, as the third party would now be in charge of hiring and managing the affiliates. Payment information collection, technical support providence and tracking referrals are a few of the jobs that the third party host can do to benefit you.

In a few cases, the hired third party may gather and offer nearly the same themed programs and hand them out as an affiliate network. An affiliate network is a combination of different affiliate marketing programs arranged together around a known theme.

Summary

The progress of technology has made it compulsory for every company to find quicker and easier methods of promoting its business. Since technology is now so advanced, these methods can be simple. Affiliate marketing is one such method.

Affiliate marketing is a business promotion technique in which a company hires affiliates who are given the task to promote the company’s product(s). When these affiliates meet the requirements of the company, they are rewarded with a commission. Even today, affiliate marketing is known to be the cheapest and quickest way of marketing. Efficient in generating revenues for a company, this method of marketing is now very famous.

Pay per sale, pay per click and pay per lead are a few of the paying categories of the affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is especially helpful if you need to save on your expenses, through preventing any ordinary advertisement campaigns.

Cost effectiveness and the possibility of working and managing the job from home are great reasons that may convince you into signing up for an affiliate marketing program. Moreover, it is not always compulsory to pay for the affiliate program, unless you hire a company that would do this marketing for you.

Using affiliate marketing has many benefits that may be enough to convince you to launch an affiliate program. Furthermore, it is not always necessary that you would have to hire a company to this job for you. You can also start this by forming a team from your company. This form of affiliate program would be called an “in-house program”.