Affiliate Programs: Are They Right for Your Business?
How an Affiliate Program Can Help Your Business
A look what affiliate marketing is and why it's successful.
Affiliate Programs: How Do They Work?
Affiliate marketing spending is expected to grow to $4.5 billion by 2016, according to a study by Forrester Consulting in 2012. But what are affiliate programs? An affiliate program is a program where affiliates, such as websites and blogs, post advertisements for and links to an eCommerce business on their site. The affiliates are then paid for the number of clicks, leads, or sales that they secured for the business, based upon an pre-established agreement. The business only has to pay their affiliates when the affiliate leads to visitors and customers on the eCommerce business’s site. An affiliate program is an excellent way for you to save on marketing and advertising expenses while still promoting your business.
Affiliate Marketing: Reach More Customers
Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for the business and for the affiliate. The affiliate gets paid for clicks and leads, and the business pays the affiliate commensurate with performance. According to the same 2012 Forrester Consulting study, the affiliate channel draws shoppers who spend more than the typical online consumer. Affiliate marketing works best for businesses that are targeting a specific market. If your company sells golfing equipment, then it would be ideal to advertise on a blog devoted to helping people improve their golf game. By using affiliate marketing, you business only has to pay the blog’s authors for the traffic that they sent to your eCommerce site, instead of having to pay for a banner ad on their site.
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Programs
The advantages of using an affiliate program can be great. It can be easy advertisement for your business without the extra costs of ads. Affiliates help you make contact with customers who may have never heard of you if it wasn’t for your affiliates. There are also some disadvantages of using affiliate programs. For one, you are counting on someone else to do your advertising which could mean you may not like how they present your business. Some affiliates may go to great lengths, including lying about your products, in order to make commission. Lies lead to unhappy customers which can lead to bad word of mouth. It is vital to your company that you choose the right affiliates to help sell your products.
Affiliate Programs and Networks
There are different ways of approaching affiliate marketing. One way is to run your own affiliate program. Amazon.com runs its own successful affiliate marketing program. Another method of affiliate marketing is using third-party affiliate networks. The third party handles tracking the clicks and leads as well as making sure that your affiliates get paid. They can help match up your company with websites that your potential customers would most likely visit to get information about products and services. LinkShare.com and Commissionjunction.com are two examples of third-party services. They are very convenient and easy to use for both the business and the affiliates. The downfall of using third-party affiliate networks is that their services are not free. Building your own affiliate program may take more legwork, but it could be worth the profits in the end.
Clarity Can Help
Clarity has years of experience helping clients start and build their own affiliate programs. Our team has helped implement out of the box modules and developed custom modules for businesses to help them manage their affiliates. To find out more about affiliate programs and how Clarity can help you start your own program, call or click for a quote today!