What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a form of internet-based marketing where a person specifically promotes a business or product with the intention of receiving an affiliate commission for any sales introduced.
The basis behind affiliate marketing is much like a regular commission compensation program, where the vendor pays a percentage of the amount of the sale to the person who referred the customer to the website.
Here’s a brief example of how affiliate marketing works.
Assume you find a product that you believe you can promote. The vendor is willing to pay an affiliate commission for every sale you refer, so you create an affiliate link that identifies you as being the unique referrer to the vendor.
Then you establish a way to advertise your affiliate link to people who might be interested in buying that product. When they purchase anything from that website after clicking through using your affiliate link, your account is credited with a percentage of the sale amount.
Finding Affiliate Programs
There are several large affiliate networks available that act as third parties. These are a bit like large marketplaces that show thousands of available affiliate products you can promote.
The benefit of using a large network like this is that you can promote several products at a time and your payments accrue so that you’re paid by the network on the designated payment date as long the balance in your account reaches the required minimum balance. Many individual product owners and creators also manage and operate their affiliate programs. You simply join up, create your affiliate link, and begin promoting. You can often see links on some websites titled ‘affiliates’, ‘referral program’, ‘associates’, or something similar.
Affiliate Marketing and Promotion
The object of affiliate marketing is to get your unique affiliate link out to those people who are most likely to be interested in what you’re promoting.
Some affiliate marketers use advertising such as pay-per-click advertising to attract interest from internet surfers. When visitors click through on those advertisements, they’re taken via an affiliate link directly to the product description or sales page.
The aim of using PPC campaigns to promote affiliate programs is to be sure that your cost per click is lower than the eventual amount of commission you’ll receive once a sale is made. It’s important to remember that not every person you send to the sales page will buy, so watch your conversion rate carefully to be sure you’re not spending more than you will earn.
Many marketers work on establishing a mailing list of subscribers and then emailing them a newsletter or an email update of recommended products. They include their affiliate links embedded in the coding of the email.
An alternative method of promoting affiliate programs is to use dedicated websites designed to showcase the products you want to highlight, however, this does require more work and involvement than some other methods of promotion.
Affiliate marketing can become quite a lucrative source of income if you can locate the right affiliate products to suit your intended audience and if you can master the promotional tactics and techniques required to attract customers.