Affiliate Marketing Guide

Affiliate marketing, while also known as a “route,” is really a model or construction that makes it easy for brands to partner with individuals or companies (referred to as “affiliate marketers,” “lovers” and “publishers”), to keep track of and measure their performance and do so within an reliable, scalable, and cost-effective way.

For instance, let’s say you are a Direct-to-Consumer company that markets engagement and marriage rings. Through your affiliate program, you might partner with…click here for more details

Websites focused on having budget-friendly weddings
Engagement/wedding band review sites
Publishers who’ve the capabilities to market sign-ups for your “free wedding ring sizer kit,” thus traveling high-value leads for you.

Whatever you are wanting these partners to do – drive sales, leads, clients, etc. – you pay them after they’ve shipped on that desired action.

Companies that sell a product or service. Sectors include retail, direct-to-consumer, membership services, financial services, travel, telecom, broadband, video games, e-commerce, marketplaces, B2B and even more.

Affiliates (Publishers, Partners)
Marketing associates to brands. They could be bloggers, active interpersonal media posters, specific niche market content sites, personal site owners, product review websites, shopping sites, mobile apps, app-to-app marketing systems, media sites, loyalty, coupon code and pay back websites and even other brands.

To obtain a more in-depth break down of these different kinds of affiliate marketer partners, download our Ultimate Guide to the INTERNET AFFILIATE MARKETING Model and/or check out the list on our Publisher Development page.

Affiliate Networks
Within an affiliate program, affiliate networks typically handle all tracking, confirming and payment to affiliates. Furthermore to providing traffic monitoring technology, some affiliate networks provide full-service management or self-service management of an application. Affiliate systems also give brands usage of a network of affiliate marketers who connect with become a member of their network, which also offers these affiliates usage of hundreds, even thousands, of internet affiliate programs.

Software as something (SaaS) Platforms
Within an affiliate program, SaaS platforms also provide companies with performance tracking, confirming and payment, however, they don’t take care of affiliate programs or provide companies with usage of a network of affiliates. Their concentration is just on the scientific aspects of a joint venture partner program.
HOW DO Affiliate marketer PROGRAMS WORK?
To those on the outside, the inner workings of affiliate marketing programs can be mysterious and puzzling. Some marketers even think it’s a route that you can change on and switch off as if you can with paid search or paid public (spoiler: it’s not).

While affiliate partnerships are multifaceted, it’s a structure that’s built on transparency and real relationships, not one-off transactions.

The overall goal associated with an affiliate program is to create a win-win framework for both brands and their affiliate partners – a structure that, when established properly and strategically managed, can constitute a significant part of a brand’s online revenue, with high ROAS and low CPA.
Affiliate partner promotes a brand’s products or services on the site.
Consumer clicks on brand’s campaign on the affiliate’s site and a cookie is then stored on the consumer’s web browser (start to see the next section below to get more on cookies); this is exactly what allows for the internet affiliate network or SaaS program to keep track of the consumer’s improvement from the affiliate’s website to the brand’s shopping cart software.
Consumer is redirected to brand’s website.
Consumer buys a product/service from the brand.
The network or SaaS platform then automatically pays out a commission to the affiliate (based on the rules set by the brand) for traveling that sale.

The metrics made from this traffic monitoring structure tend to be more tangible than other varieties of marketing and can result in an extremely reliable ROI computation for the brand, including:

Registrations, email sign-ups, giveaway entries
Sales, orders, subscriptions
Conversion Rate
New vs Returning customer
Average Order Value
Cost Per Action (CPA)
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Typically, companies either manage their affiliate programs in-house or they partner with an affiliate management agency (sometimes known as an OPM) to control the day-to-day needs requirements of the effectively run program. There are also brands, especially organization brands, who have a “hybrid” method of the management with their program where they oversee components of it in-house and spouse with a company to control the day-to-day aspects.