If you’re a business owner or marketing director for an e-commerce company, then odds are you’re currently investing in an affiliate marketing program (81% of brands use affiliate marketing programs). If you don’t have a program active right now then you’re probably looking to get started. Good news, you’re in the right place! Today’s Business has been a leader in the affiliate marketing industry for years, watching the industry evolve and experimenting with new techniques along the way. For those who are new to affiliate marketing, let’s cover the basics.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Simply put, affiliate marketing is an advertiser’s (brand’s) online network of referral partners (affiliates or publishers). The business is often referred to as the advertiser, brand or merchant. The advertiser’s goal is to sell their products or services. The referral partner, often referred to as a publisher or affiliate, is anyone who has built an audience and has the goal of trying to monetize their audience through partnerships with advertisers.
The next question you might be asking is “who exactly are these affiliates?”. This is a great question! Affiliates can come from a variety of different categories. Some of which we have listed below:
- Cashback/Loyalty Sites (Rakuten, Honey Gold)
- Coupon Websites (RetailMeNot, Couponology)
- Email Newsletters (Morning Brew)
- Media Outlets
- Reviews Sites
- Social Media Influencers (Shoptagr)
- Technology Partners (UpSellit, RevLifter, Fashwire, Etc)
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketers earn revenue through commissions from the advertisers that they partner with. The advertisers set the terms of the program and then affiliates have the option to join the program if they feel that the products or services will provide value to their audience and/or believe it will create significant revenue for them. Affiliates that have very large or high converting audiences will often demand a paid placement fee or negotiate for a better commission. A paid placement fee is typically a flat rate that an affiliate charges for a brand to get a particular placement on one or multiple owned assets that the affiliate may have. Oftentimes, paid placements are homepage placements, email newsletter inclusions, gift guides positions, or social media posts.
To start an affiliate marketing program it is recommended that you first partner with an affiliate network or affiliate tracking technology partner. Affiliate networks and technology partners provide you with the tools you need to easily keep track of all of your affiliate partners, such as affiliate tracking link generation. Affiliate tracking links are necessary as these links provide the advertiser with data about an affiliate marketing partner’s performance. The tracking link determines if an affiliate is producing clicks and conversions for the advertiser, which allows the publishers that are driving sales to be compensated for their efforts. Most programs run on a last click attribution model, where the last affiliate in a stream of clicks is the one who is credited with the conversion. However, this can be customized if desired.
What is the difference between an affiliate network and an affiliate technology partner?
Affiliate technology (SaaS) partners (such as LeadDyno or Refersion) often provide affiliate tracking and reporting capabilities. Whereas an affiliate network (such as Pepperjam, Impact Radius, AWIN, or Rakuten) provide affiliate tracking link technology, reporting capabilities, and a network of affiliates that they host, which you can interact with directly on their platform. The biggest difference is most big publishers are already active on affiliate marketing networks, which means that if you have a partnership with that network it’ll be easier to integrate with those partners.
What is right for my company: An affiliate network or affiliate technology (SaaS) partner?
This is something that is very unique to your scenario. Generally, it is best to work with an affiliate network, however, if you are just getting started it may be better to utilize a technology partner. If you need expert guidance, please fill out the form below and our experienced team will help you get started.
What Are the Benefits of Affiliate Marketing?
- Return on Investment & Controlled Acquisition Cost
- With affiliate marketing, you only pay a fee when you get the desired outcome that you are looking for. Unlike Facebook and Google ads, where you pay per click or impression, most affiliate programs are set-up so that you only pay out your partners when you have generated a new sale or customer. This allows brands to control their acquisition cost and keep a stable bottom line for their business.
- Control Your Brand & Set the Rules
- There are a lot of partners that are going to be posting about you whether or not you have an affiliate program. With an affiliate team, you are able to monitor what is being said, build a relationship with these partners, and control your brand narrative. Also, by building a great relationship with these publishers you can now work with them to promote your brand and drive growth at key moments.
- With affiliate marketing – you get to set the rules for how and when you pay your partners.
- PR & SEO
- More content about your brand. More backlinks. Increase in traffic. These are all things that an affiliate program can provide and all help to increase your brand awareness and help you rank organically.
Why Use Today’s Business Affiliate Management Agency Services?
At this point you understand the fundamentals of an affiliate program and the value that it can have for your business. You might be asking “affiliate sounds like a great channel, but how do I get started?, how much time would it take?, and do I need technical knowledge?”
Yes, affiliate programs can be difficult to start, very time consuming, and require technical and industry knowledge.
Luckily for you there’s Today’s Business. Today’s Business can help you create and grow an affiliate program, as well as manage all aspects of your campaign. Here are just a few of the deliverables you can expect from a TB managed affiliate program:
- Affiliate network selection, contract negotiations, and implementation
- Affiliate terms & conditions development
- Organic Search audit, gap analysis, and strategy development
- Constant affiliate recruitment
- Negotiations & relationship building with affiliate partners
- Campaign development and paid media management
- Campaign ideation and development
- Affiliate program audits and optimization
- Reporting & full support team
- Fraud Monitoring and Management
- TB ATHLETE/INFLUENCER NETWORK
Today’s Business makes starting and growing your affiliate program a breeze. Affiliate marketing can be a great channel, but if done incorrectly it can be a waste of time, money, and counterproductive. This is why it is so important to choose an agency who is transparent, experienced and knows what they are doing. Here’s why you can trust TB:
- Regular attendees and speakers at industry events including Affiliate Summit, Search Marketing Expo, Social Media Marketing World
- Built great relationships with thousands of publishers across a multitude of industries and channels
- Several Relationships are so strong that they pay us a retainer to manage their SEO and paid media
- Host affiliate networking events to further develop key relationships and recruit new pubs
- Have a massive network of athletes and influencers
- Over 50+ years combined affiliate marketing experience across our team
- Technology: Advanced Affiliate CRM that allows for segmented workflows based on content and relationship
- Daily and Weekly communication based on performance (ie. if a publisher has decreased by 25% in sales MoM our systems are indicated and a call is requested).
- Relentless outreach approach, TB utilizes third party programs to see engagement with our emails. Based on this engagement publishers are put into email funnels to assure our message is received.
- Advanced publisher identification through social, organic, and Amazon API access. Ideal prospects are identified by key organic rankings, social listening, and Amazon Associate link detection.