If you sell a service or product online and you’re looking to expand your marketing channels and reach more customers, affiliate marketing could be the answer. If you’re not sure how it works, in short, you allow other people to promote your products and send traffic to your website. You reward them if the traffic they send results in sales.
Affiliate marketing, also known as performance marketing, is not a new concept, it’s been around for many years. It wasn’t until the late 90s that affiliate networks started to bridge the gap between retailers and affiliates. This essentially made it much more accessible for retailers, as a result, it has grown from strength to strength.
The web is such a huge place, it’s impossible to reach every corner and every person. However, in order to grow your business online, it’s your job to reach as many of those people as you possibly can. Whether that’s through social media, through search engines, or through referrals. With the assistance of other popular websites and influential figures (affiliates), you have a much greater chance of reaching more of those potential customers.
Find More Leads
Let’s clear up a common misconception, you do not pay for affiliates to send people to your website. A publisher could send 50,000 people to your website and you still wouldn’t have to pay them. The only time you will pay is when a conversion has been generated.
The model of your affiliate programme should closely replicate your business model. For high-value products, or for service providers, you might first look to secure initial leads. A CPA affiliate network can assist you with this. This type of network connects you with publishers who are experienced with generating targeted leads for businesses just like yours. CPA, or CPL as it’s sometimes referred to, means ‘cost per action/lead’. Under this model, you are only paying when a lead has been referred to you.
If you sell a simple product online, such as pet food, electronics, or clothing, a CPS (cost per sale) approach might be prefered. This type of affiliate programme rewards publishers for directly delivering a sale on your products.
Both CPA and CPS programmes are tracked in the same way; a unique tracking code is assigned to your website allowing you to reward each individual affiliate with their commission.
Worried About Margins?
If your only reservation is around the cost of paying each commission, consider this: These are sales and leads you otherwise wouldn’t have collected. Affiliates are sending new potential sales your way, they are not stealing ones that you otherwise could have collected directly. Although it’s advisable to offer a competitive commission, this can be something that is affordable and realistic to your profit margins.
Performance marketing is completely risk free, in most cases and with the majority of UK CPA network options, it costs nothing to join. You will only pay when you see results, this is where the term ‘performance marketing’ came from. Knowing this, you can see why it’s a growing avenue and why more and more businesses rely on it to deliver results.