What is affiliate marketing?

The other name of affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing; however, it’s better to understand this concept through an example:

  • You have a product or service, such as online insurance.
  • Someone has an audience that is potentially interested in your services. For example, a blogger who makes lifestyle content.
  • You ask that blogger to advertise your services and promise to pay them $5 for each sale.
  • To track sales, all traffic from said blogger is marked in your database (for example with a unique ID).

As a result, the blogger is interested in driving quality traffic to your service, since the reward is only paid out for actual sales. You do not spend your budget on advertising that fails to generate sales. Instead, you only pay for customers that were actually attracted.

Affiliate marketing works with different services and goods, and works for attracting customers from different sources.

A huge advantage of this approach is that you can not only better and more transparently predict costs and revenues when driving traffic from contextual networks, but you can also attract traffic from sources from which you could not previously. For example, in the case of YouTube channels with disabled monetisation, some vloggers only do promotions in exchange for commissions.

To get the most out of affiliate marketing, follow these tips:

Extend the list of available affiliate tools

There are many different affiliate tools out there, such as:

  • Links.
  • Search forms.
  • Various interactive widgets.
  • Ready-made landing pages.

Offer the widest possible set of tools for all partners. Links are a universal tool that every affiliate programme should have, but you can also offer more advanced tools, such as widgets with product showcases or an interactive search form.

Some affiliates prefer to build their own brand, thus it is great to offer White Label solutions. In this case, affiliates will be able to keep traffic on their website, while bringing sales to you. You can also provide access to a data feed or a complete API.

More tools are more difficult to maintain; however, this is the way to ensure you can attract more sales. Affiliates with different traffic types and strategies will be able to work with you and you will also be able to generate a higher sales volume.

Increase the CTR of your tools

Even if you already have a large set of tools available, there is still more work to do. You have to continue monitoring how these tools perform.

You should make changes, experiment to find the best options, and update your tools accordingly.

For example, in a search form, you might find that enlarging a button or changing text affects the number of clicks. Affiliates can make some creatives, such as links or banners, themselves, but when it comes to your unique tools, it’s up to you to make them perform better.

Choose the right affiliates

There are various options for how affiliates can join affiliate programmes. The most common is with or without moderation. However, there are more advanced ways, such as automatic subscriptions if the website meets certain requirements (traffic, etc.)

Your task is to find affiliates suitable for you. To do so, you can practice moderation. This is not a one-size-fits-all method of increasing revenue, but if your product is tied to certain traffic sources or rule breaking directly harms your monetisation model, moderation can be a great solution.

For example, you can ask affiliates to disclose their traffic sources. Specifically, you can initially decline affiliates with traffic from contextual networks if your own team buys such traffic.

Work with different types of traffic

Don’t limit the available traffic options too much. Leaving only one allowed type of traffic, for example, only social networks, knowingly deprives you of a large share of traffic.

Consider where you are ready to receive traffic from:

  • What type of traffic does not harm your own strategy?
  • What can you control in terms of quality?
  • Other parameters.

If you already have an active affiliate programme, you can revise the allowed traffic type. This can be done both in bulk for everyone and for selected affiliates, whose traffic you are certain of.

Be sure to clearly and transparently define your traffic policy. It is important that your affiliates have a clear understanding of what is allowed and what is not.

Put the wind in your affiliate programme

To increase your total income, you should attract more affiliates. Put the wind in your affiliate programme. You can do this in various ways:

  • Participate in online and offline events.
  • Carry out promotions and other events.
  • And in other ways that ensure you are well presented in the market.

Become a household name to attract more affiliates. Of course, the conditions and quality of your offer have a major impact, but running an affiliate programme without promotion is usually worse. 

Grow your affiliates

Launching an affiliate programme and stopping there is the wrong approach. You should develop your programme and help your affiliates grow:

  • Organise a pro-active support team.
  • Host webinars.
  • Prepare training materials.
  • Share how-to articles.

Affiliates of your programme are your partners and, by helping them grow, you can increase your own income.

It’s a great practice to share knowledge from within your company, such as what sells best, what practices work, and so on. You can also negotiate with successful partners and share their experiences.

Increase the conversion rate of pages

You are probably already struggling to obtain the best conversion rate on your site. For example, try to get more completed orders, make more people leave an email address, etc.

You also need to work with traffic from affiliate networks so that the pages where affiliates bring traffic convert better. Conduct experiments and make changes.

For example, try simplifying your order form or swapping blocks. Changes on your website are the best way to increase your income from your affiliate channel. You can conduct personalised tests specifically for affiliate traffic, as sometimes, the behavior of your users differs from other traffic types. For example, a person who visits your website has already become acquainted with your brand, thus you do not have to waste time on explanations and can instead make sales right away.

Offer promo codes

To increase sales, you can give your affiliates personal or generic promotional codes. This is a classic marketing tool that also works in affiliate marketing.

Important: Promo codes are a controversial marketing tool that do not work in all niches. In some cases, an additional promotional code does not affect your number of sales, but only reduces your income. Therefore, experiment to see if this method works for you.

Help affiliates migrate from other programmes

It doesn’t matter if you have a well-established or brand new affiliate programme; people from other programmes may come to you.

Having a tool to help affiliates migrate to you, such as a link replacement script, is a great way to grow your income. You will be able to attract more affiliates and traffic if you offer webmasters convenient tools to add your affiliate tools.

Fight fraud

Despite the fact that you pay for the result in affiliate marketing, there may be bookings on the part of affiliates that violate the rules.

For example, if affiliates place forbidden advertising on contextual networks that mention your brand (brand bidding). There are more sophisticated schemes that need to be monitored and blocked.

Fraud can also be dealt with at the level of the affiliate programme rules. For example, if it is possible to return your product in 14 days, then the common practice is that payout to the webmaster occurs only after this period. Otherwise, there is an opportunity to increase fake sales. Elaborated conditions and traffic control will help you avoid paying unnecessarily.

Work over the affiliate networks

Affiliate networks are a convenient tool for all parties (advertisers and affiliates). Affiliate networks can be general, such as CJ Affiliate or Awin, where advertisers from various niches can connect, or specialised, such as Travelpayouts for the travel vertical.

By joining an affiliate network, you will gain access to a large affiliate base. In some networks, the number of affiliates is in the hundreds of thousands.

In addition to accessing traffic, the network also usually helps to solve payouts and provide technological solutions.

We hope you found these tips and tricks useful. The channel is quickly growing and is something definitely worth getting involved with to further your brand’s success.