Affiliate marketing is a pure performance-based channel and, although it can deliver astonishing results and ROI for ecommerce businesses, it remains a mystery to many of them. In most cases, just starting an affiliate programme is not enough. In our experience, the advertisers that see the best growth via affiliate tend to be the ones that take a patient and measured initial approach while trying to learn as much as possible about the channel and how to succeed within it.
Therefore, an education on affiliate marketing can be split into two parts: the first about how it works and who is involved, and the second about how to build a successful affiliate programme. Let’s take a look at these and answer some questions below.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which advertisers reward one or more publishers on an agreed action – typically sending visitors and customers to a website to buy a product through the publisher’s own marketing efforts.
What is a publisher?
Also known as affiliates, publishers promote advertiser’s products or services via their websites. Examples of publishers include Quidco and TopCashback. Influencers also often act as publishers in affiliate marketing.
What is an advertiser?
In affiliate terms, advertisers are merchants or retailers for example Nike or Sony. Advertisers extend their reach online by promoting their products or services on publishers’ websites.
What is an affiliate network?
This is the platform that connects advertisers with publishers. The network provides tracking, reporting, access to publishers, payment management, strategic account management, admin support and a range of other services. Webgains is an example of an affiliate network. Each network is different, and it is up to each advertiser to decide which network(s) is/are the right ones for them. But what role exactly does the network play in the affiliate mix, and why are they beneficial to join? You can find out about what an affiliate network is here.
Different types of publishers
Just like there are different types of retailers, there are different types of publishers too. In order to learn affiliate marketing and then build a successful affiliate programme, it is important to understand who they are and how they work. Different types of publishers include:
- Voucher codes
- Content and bloggers
- Email and newsletter
- Social media
- Employee benefits
- Price comparison
You can find out more about each of these along with examples in our eBook ‘How to Grow Your Sales with Affiliate Marketing’. It is available to download for free via Webgains Academy here.
Affiliate marketing strategies
Once you’ve got to grips with the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, it’s time to build an affiliate programme and relationships with publisher partners that convert to sales. To do this we’d recommend you download our free eBook guide ‘Building a Winning Affiliate Marketing Strategy’. In this guide you will learn:
- How to choose and measure publishers
- How to keep publishers happy
- What to expect from your programme
- How to measure programme success
- Tracking and technical considerations
- Understanding voucher strategies
- Defining, tracking, and targeting customers
- Ways to make your programme active