Affiliate Marketing Programs

Executive Summary

Popularized by Affiliate Marketing is a method of sales, marketing, and lead generation enabled by the Internet whereby an independent blogger or webmaster promotes or delivers links to third party retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers; and in exchange for successful sales conversions receives compensation in the form of a commission on the sale or fixed price per lead.

Performance-Based Marketing

Affiliate marketing provides incentives to people who promote a business or product. We all know that word-of-mouth viral marketing advertising is great for two reasons. First, it is usually free and second, because it often comes from the heart. Affiliate marketing lies halfway between advertising and . One great aspect of affiliate marketing is that it is performance-based, which makes it a win-win situation for everybody involved.

An Army of Sales Reps

With Online Affiliate Marketing, people who manage web sites for their own personal or business use will promote third parties. If they are effective writers, there will be valuable content that is of interest to many readers. As a sales person, my most effective form of communication is story telling. If I can relate an authentic story that illustrates my point from a third party perspective, then I am much more effective in compelling my prospect to buy. In the same way, if I can write an effective article or story and within that article reference a person, product or business from a third party perspective, then the reader is much more likely to take an interest and possibly buy.

Viral Marketing

A virus will spread in correlation to the density and exposure of the host environment. In other words, the more traffic that a website has and the more credible the author, the greater the chance of spreading the word and promoting the product. It’s also a numbers game, simply having thousands of affiliates all promoting the same product will also product effective results. The best online examples of Affiliate Viral Marketing are Amazon, Google and eBay. Together, they have the highest penetration of affiliates in the world. In fact, when you Google just about any subject and click on the link, you will often find Google, Amazon and eBay advertisements embedded within the code.

Search Engine Optimization

The Google algorithm for determining the Page Rank of its Search Engine Results Page (SERP) depends on three primary factors: titles, headers, and links. These are the three most important factors in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As an Advertiser or entity that provides a product or service, your SERP Page Rank will dramatically increase along with the number of affiliate merchants that you have. If you have 1,000 people who link to your website from theirs through Affiliate Marketing then, in Google’s eyes, you are a very popular entity and Google likes to promote popular entities.

Synergy

The combination of multiple merchants promoting your product along with their inbound links to your site, which in turn increases your popularity on Google and Yahoo, creates a very powerful formula for igniting your overall sales performance. You create brand awareness, multiply your evangelists, increase inbound traffic and propel you towards success. As a referrer or publisher, affiliating with an advertiser offers the chance for a steady stream of revenue as well as opportunities to add valuable content to your website.

Affiliate Marketing Management

There are two ways to manage an affiliate program. The first way is to set it up yourself and the second way is to work with a third party broker. Managing an affiliate marketing program independently is obviously more work. However, it allows more control and a greater share of the revenue. Working with an Affiliate Marketing Broker, or Affiliate Aggregator, has its own advantages. For one, the system is already set up. You just establish an account as either an Advertiser or Publisher and then click through the options. In some cases, you can immediately establish affiliate relationships and be on your way. In addition, there is third party verification of commissions, which publishers often appreciate because it is an added layer of credibility. Finally, it promotes the concept of districts, which funnel like-minded people together and promotes the entire industry.

Districting

In other words, the success of clustering similar and even competing products and service providers together generates increased traffic for everybody. This is why the diamond district, flower district, and photography district are so successful in New York City. Examples of Affiliate Aggregators would be:

  • Link Share
  • Link Connector
  • Commission Junction
  • Performics
  • KowaBunga