Last chance to save up to 50% on Premium Memberships

Avoid 5 common affiliate marketing pitfalls with these 5 tips

Done properly, affiliate marketing can yield many benefits for challenger brands and established brands alike. Advances in technology and consumers’ ever-increasing willingness to shop online practically guarantee a strong ROI — if you have the right plan and resources in place. Though affiliate networks do afford advertisers nearly automated marketplaces, these programs don’t run on autopilot. From commission structure and communication channels to budget, data tracking, and conversion metrics, everything needs to be fine-tuned in order to maximize ROI. Here’s what you need to know before you jump into the affiliate marketing waters.

The Benefits of a Well-Structured Affiliate Program

Affiliate programs are attractive marketing options because they’re inherently self-funding. Instead of buying advertising upfront and hoping it leads to later sales, you only pay a commission when a sale occurs via an affiliate program. A well-structured affiliate program not only delivers a significant boost in traffic to…

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…

Affiliate marketing, done well, offers a way to circumvent the ad-blockers

The increased use of ad-blocking software is disrupting the digital marketing industry as we know it. People have grown tired of “interruption advertising,” whereby irrelevant ads are forced upon them or they are tricked into clicking them on their small mobile screens. Successful brand marketing depends on building relationships with consumers, and as customers demand more control over the types of ads they see, affiliate marketing has proven to be an effective way to establish, strengthen, and maintain these invaluable relationships more authentically. The Affiliate marketing concept is simple: Brands hire affiliates, who may be bloggers, publishers, or other companies, to promote a product or service using their own blogs, websites, or social media channels. Affiliates are paid a share of any sales or a commission resulting from their efforts. Compensation for affiliates may also take the form of incentives, discounts,…

Let your content do the talking

Affiliate marketing has been seen for a long time as one of the most effective ways of generating income on the Internet. Basically it is a way for a website to generate income by attracting people to visit other businesses and purchase their goods and services. If someone does purchase something through an active affiliate link, then the owner of the link receives a percentage of the profit. For example, if you have a website about building and fixing cars, you may include an affiliate link for a company selling car parts or something else related to cars. When the visitor on the website clicks on the affiliate link, they will be taken to the website that is selling the car parts, and if they make a purchase, the car part company will recognize…

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…

Affiliate Website Marketing Tips

Many smart marketers and businesses today are taking advantage of affiliate marketing, but is it right for you? In order to get the most from it, you need to understand how affiliate marketing works and what you should do to make it a success. The best way to do this is to develop a solid plan that includes strategic steps, so you don’t waste your time, effort and money. In this infographic we’ve compiled some smart, actionable advice to help you get your feet wet in the affiliate marketing pool. With the right game plan for affiliate marketing, you can dramatically increase sales and traffic, adding incremental, profitable sales to grow your business. The infographic on Affiliate Marketing from WhoIsHostingThis shows how affiliate marketing can help you connect commerce and content. Here’s the big picture to hopefully get you excited by the potential of affiliate…

Expanding your affiliate program to the US the right way

The globalization of e-commerce, coupled with a growing American demand for British goods, has many U.K. retailers eyeing the U.S. market. And with global B2C e-commerce expected to reach $1.5 trillion this year, they’re not alone. Retailers across the world are tapping into this lucrative consumer base with sophisticated affiliate programs. With global retail affiliates like RetailMeNot, rewardStyle, and ShopStyle gaining in popularity, homing in on consumers who crave your products is becoming easier than ever. However, it’s important to note that not every retailer is ready for the competitive affiliate landscape across the pond as there are a number of differences you must consider when launching an affiliate program in the U.S. These include program management services, industry standards, compliance, and interactions with merchants and networks. Without a thorough understanding of how…

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…