Affiliate marketing needs to be run effectively to get the best results. Don't leave it on the back-burner.

Affiliate marketing inherently involves using middlemen — affiliates — to help bring in customers or drive conversions. Get it right and it can contribute significant online sales volume as this compilation of the top sales driving channels shows. Automating affiliate marketing comes with many positives: a marketplace of affiliates seeking you out, automatic approval of affiliates based on your company’s preferences, and cross-currency sales tracking. But to reap those benefits, it’s critical to manage your affiliate partners continually. A successful affiliate management programme following the affiliate best practices explained in the Smart Insights members' guide requires active recruiting and optimizing partners on an ongoing basis.

Avoid the “Autopilot” Trap

The mindset that affiliate programs run on “autopilot” is common but will be detrimental to your program — and might ruin it altogether. Yes, affiliate…

An interview with Dave Chaffey with Grant LeBoff

Affiliate marketing presents win-win opportunities, but can also fail to boost revenue if not executed strategically. In this latest talk, Grant LeBoff of the Sticky Marketing Club talks to Dr Dave Chaffey about his thoughts on how businesses can benefit from affiliate or 'partner' marketing. Watch the video below to find out how Smart Insights has used partner marketing to achieve some great results.

Transcript

In a noisy office or on a train but have no headphones? - No worries, you can always read the transcript below! Grant Leboff: Dave, one of the things that I think, a lot of people have heard the term, but are a bit confused by it, is affiliate marketing. How can that be effective for businesses? Dave Chaffey: I'd say affiliate marketing is not actually relevant for most business if you go for the tight definition of it which, for me,…

Trends in affiliate models from 2007 to 2015

Affiliate marketing has been a core acquisition channel for transactional consumer sites for many years now. But over the years, the popularity of different types of affiliate marketing have changed dramatically. PerformanceIn have published an interesting compilation of the popularity of different affiliate types based on research by Affiliate Network Affiliate Window. The chart below shows the top 20 Publisher Type in the Fashion Sector: You can see that there was an initial focus on search marketing, through both SEO and PPC with many affiliates specialising in these active. But, it's no secret that Google doesn't favour affiliates, so its algorithms now favour destination sites and it has developed its own comparison tools. PPC through AdWords has also become more important. The graph shows how popular voucher codes and cashback…

New research on the importance of discount codes for retailers

If any evidence is required that voucher codes are mainstream currency, then look no further than the success story of Mark Pearson founder of My Voucher Codes. Having identified US coupon sites as a lucrative business model and realised that no-one was replicating it in the UK, he launched his business with a £300 website and eight years later, sold the business for over £60m. Whilst I’m sure good management is partly behind the success of this and its competitors, contrary to popular belief, it’s also the case that recession-generation businesses can often perform well if they capitalise on the mood of the people, as is the case here. One the whole, the financial pain felt by many is lifting but our love of voucher codes is not diminishing and whilst their use was previously a clandestine operation, we’re now…

Running promotions with your affiliates is an important part of growing your affiliate programme. Whether you want to target the whole programme, or just a few key players, it is important that you work to maximise the returns you see.

When talking about a ‘promotion’ in affiliate marketing, I mean something aiming to get more exposure on an affiliate’s site. So whether this is increased commission, a bespoke deal for their audience or a paid-for placement, you will benefit from making sure that you follow these tips.

1. Understand what you want to achieve

Affiliate promotions are there to grow your sales with that affiliate, or with the base a whole. But before you start, define what that means for you. Do you want more sales? Or do you want higher-value sales? Or new customer sales? What does success look like? Understanding what you want to achieve before you start will mean that you…

Performance marketing valued at £14bn in the UK showing the continued contribution of affiliate marketing

The IAB recently released their annual survey into the size of the Online Performance Marketing Channel. The industry, which includes Affiliate Marketing and Lead Generation, saw £1bn spent by advertisers in 2013 (an increase of 15% compared to 2012). Some of the interesting top level numbers  I picked from the report include: UK consumers made 150 million purchases via affiliate websites (this works out at almost 3 for every British adult), Advertisers saw a return of £14 for every £1 spent, 39% of the UK population visited a comparison site 35% visited a voucher site 21% visited a cashback site, Online Performance Marketing can now claim to account for 10% of UK e-commerce retail sales, Up to 20% of OPM advertiser spend comes via mobile and tablet devices. The return of investment from Affiliate Marketing is impressive, with £14 returned for every £1 spent based…

Affiliate experts share their frustrations from 2013 and expectations for 2014

Affiliate Marketing had a big year in 2013 with the industry now estimated to be worth a staggering £9bn. With that in mind I asked some thought leaders in the Affiliate Marketing industry for some of their thoughts on 2013 and what they think will change in 2014. A big thanks to Kevin Edwards, Strategy Director at Affiliate Window, Helen Southgate, UK MD Affilinet and Owen Hewitson, Associate Director Acquisition from Starcom MediaVest Group.

2014 is fast approaching. Where do you think we will see the biggest changes over the next 12 months?

Helen Southgate (HS): I’m not sure we’ll see any big changes as such, more a development and progression of the current channel. There will be some regulation areas to look out for though. The RMR comes into effect from 1st Jan…

Maximise your affiliate recruitment by thinking like your potential affiliate partners

In my last post I talked about the need for affiliate recruitment and why it was important to always be looking at how to grow your affiliate programme, keeping an eye out for new and emerging affiliates. That is all well and good, but how do you find these affiliates and attract them to your programme? I tend to think of affiliate recruitment as having 4 key areas.

1. Differentiation and programme benefits

One of the most important areas for recruitment in my eyes is the need to know why affiliates should promote you. There are many affiliates out there and you might unearth some gems, but if you cannot give them a good reason to promote you over your competitors, why would they?

Think about what sets you apart from your competitors. Do you pay a higher commission? Can you give…

Growing audience and sales using new types of affiliate partners

With any marketing activity you are always looking for more. More sales, more revenue, more traffic, more, more, more! It’s no doubt the same for your affiliate programme. You might have been running your programme for a while, or might have just launched it. Regardless, affiliate recruitment is an on-going process. It should be something that you never stop doing as there will always be new and exciting affiliates emerging, or potential partnerships that you have yet to explore. I tend to summarise the reasons for affiliate recruitment into four main areas. The first thing you need to be sure of is that you have the biggest volume drivers on your programme. While these affiliates may only account for 20% of the programme they might contribute 80% of the sales, so make sure you…

Daily Mail embraces affiliate marketing

Mail Online, the world's most visited newspaper website is embracing affiliate marketing to help convert the 8m daily visits into a new revenue stream for the publisher. According to Experian Hitwise, Mail Online leads the way in terms of market share when compared to Guardian, Telegraph and Sun Online. Although a very different target market and editorial content to the Daily Mail newspaper, Mail Online has deliberately focused on the showbiz, celebrity culture fine-tuning its content tailored to this online audience eager to return for more on a daily basis. With the appetite for celebrity gossip - it provides a perfect digital content marketing plan geared around a global publishing brand.

Migrating to an online channel

There has been mounting speculation as to how the traditional newspaper sector can embrace and can create a viable business model in sustaining healthy revenues through a digital platform. The dramatic…

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