Creating a new online business can be extremely time consuming, resource dependent and financially draining. However, as an e-business, aligning yourself with the affiliate channel can significantly reduce these pressures and really give you a strong foothold when starting out in the online world.
The affiliate channel is a great way for a new e-business to increase the volume of traffic to their site very quickly with minimal risk. Through a network or an agency, new e-businesses can connect to hundreds if not thousands of affiliate partners which vary from cashback and vouchercode sites to comparison and content sites. Not only does this solve the fundamental problem for a new online business of ‘how do we actually get traffic in order to start generating business’ it also helps to build your brand through association with reputable partners.
Working through the affiliate channel is low risk as the model enables you to only pay out when a sale is made. Essentially you are receiving a huge amount of traffic and only paying out on a conversion. This sounds like a win-win situation and something that is likely to fit in with a new e-business strategy with careful management of outgoing spend which is often a concern for a new business.
Aligning your e-business with the affiliate channel is also a great way of obtaining advice and support on the best methods of promoting your business. Working through a network enables you to have a dedicated point of contact who will be able to suggest affiliates to work with that are most aligned with your KPIs, whether these are increasing the number of sales, raising average order values or finding loyal and long-lasting customers. You will also benefit from a large amount of PR for little to no cost. Working through this channel enables you to get your brand name out there, not only on affiliate sites but through network promotions, at events and via social media.
Working in the affiliate industry gains you access to a consumer base of nearly twenty million. The largest affiliate sites have between four and eight million members and you inherently can gain access to a huge pool of new customers. A large number of these tier one publishers are already extremely savvy when it comes to targeting and are able to push specific promotions such as a brand led sale or the launch of a new product to a particular demographic such as ‘women with kids’ or ‘students’. Working with these types of affiliates, particularly if you are brand conscious or concerned about the quality of traffic coming into your site enables you to be slightly more strategic in your approach to the affiliate channel.
Working with the affiliate channel sounds simple enough, however it is worth noting that success will require communication and management of the affiliate activity as well as pertinent creative and unique content to enable publishers to promote your online business as easily and effectively as possible.