Affiliates may be somewhat of a mystery to many businesses as they are not often talked about when devising a marketing plan. But having a team of great affiliates can be a major asset when trying to grow your business.
Affiliates are like a commission-only sales force; you only compensate them when they generate a pre-determined desired action. For example, the action is typically when a new lead is generated or when a sale is made. This relationship is simple: you need new customers and affiliates can deliver them. You do not need to have a huge marketing budget to be successful when you have great affiliates doing the work for you.
Affiliates come in many shapes and sizes; there is no one way to define them. An affiliate could be an information website delivering content to a targeted audience. They want to leverage their site to generate as much money as possible. Because they have no products of their own they make their money through advertising. They make more money when ads on their site are related to what they do so they find a closely related product, sign up for the affiliate program and promote it on their site.
Some affiliates are simply master marketers who do not have a product or service of their own but have the ability to generate traffic. Other affiliates may have experience in a particular vertical, knowing the ins and outs of the vertical like the cost of generating traffic. Since they know the cost of the traffic, all they need to do is find a product or service with enough commission to cover their traffic cost and be able to generate profit for both sides.
Just like any purely-commission sales force you need to motivate and take care of your affiliates. If you build a competitive affiliate program, provide affiliates with great promotional tools, and have the ability to come up with special offers, you will do very well. For more information, read about our Affiliate Marketing services here.
In the next part of our Affiliate Marketing 101 series we take a look at how to establish your affiliate commission payout.