The concept of earning a reward for generating new business by referring customers to a company predates the internet. But affiliate marketing was completely revolutionized with the advent of the internet. Almost overnight, businesses literally had the entire world as a potential market, and affiliate marketing provided a practical way of not only attracting traffic to their websites, but also converting them into customers.
Financial services constitute one of the red hot affiliate marketing niches, because, well, that is where the money is. In particular, the broader ‘online trading’ sector that involves CFD trading, Forex and Cryptocurrencies is very lucrative. But where there is money, there is also competition. This article delivers a step by step guide on how you can dive and swim successfully in the ocean of financial services affiliate programs.
Why are Financial Services Affiliate Programs Lucrative?
Unlike other investment opportunities, online trading has a low barrier to entry, and this attracts huge numbers of potential retail traders and investors keen to gain exposure to global financial markets. This demographic is composed of both newbies and experienced traders, all of whom are prospective leads and customers. For instance, there are numerous forex brokerage firms that accept deposits as low as below $100, and this attracts forex affiliate programs who can tap into the massive global demand for these types of services.
Online trading is also very dynamic, with diverse marketing opportunities for affiliates. Forex is by far the largest financial market in the world (about $6 trillion in daily trading volumes). Cryptocurrencies are also now an exciting opportunity, as numerous coins and tokens now boast multibillion market caps. As well, there are also CFDs for all kinds of assets such as Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Bonds, and many more. There is always something new in the markets every other day, and this provides endless opportunities for creating and implementing a fruitful marketing campaign for affiliates.
Another major attraction of this lucrative niche is the potential for passive income. Most FX affiliate programs will not only give you a one-time reward commission when a customer makes the first deposit but there is often the option for a revenue share agreement that will ensure you continue earning from the trading activity of your referred customer for a prolonged period of time. You basically have an opportunity to earn extensive rewards from just a single client.
But if online trading is this much lucrative, why should you be an affiliate rather than a trader?
This question is often answered using the California Gold Rush analogy. In mid-1880s, news spread out fast when massive gold deposits were discovered by explorers in California. Hundreds of thousands of prospective miners flocked to the city to chase the Gold Dream. In the end, only a fraction of the miners managed to make more than decent profits. But who made guaranteed profits? Merchants. Business people that sold mining tools made massive returns as they helped other people take the risk of mining rather than doing it themselves. In the online trading scene, miners are comparable to traders who take the risk to speculate, whereas affiliates are the tool merchants who help the traders to get started.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
To understand how affiliate marketing works, it is important to look into the major parties involved:
Also known as brands or product owners, Merchants are the companies that provide goods or services. In forex for instance, Merchants are mainly brokerage firms, but can also be other service providers such as trading software or signal providers.
- Affiliate Network/Program
Affiliate networks/programs are companies that manage affiliate marketing programs for merchants. Affiliate networks connect merchants and affiliate marketers, providing a win-win solution to both parties. For merchants, it helps them implement a comprehensive marketing plan that will reach numerous potential customers; and for affiliates, it exposes them to multiple brands that seek to be promoted. Some merchants run their affiliate programs in-house, but most of them outsource to established affiliate networks such as Algo-Affiliates so that they can focus on their core business.
- Affiliate Marketers
Also known as publishers, affiliate marketers are third party promoters of the products and services produced or offered by Merchants. Affiliate marketers sign up to affiliate programs/networks and use a variety of marketing techniques to reach customers. They will then be compensated for the customers they refer as a result of their marketing efforts.
Consumers are the customers that merchants wish to attract and convert. They are also the ones targeted by affiliate marketers. In most cases, consumers do not know that they contact merchants via affiliate marketers. Consumers do not pay more for their products or services when they are referred by an affiliate marketer; in fact, they can gain discounts and access other promotional offers when they are referred by publishers.
Having understood the roles of the major players, let us piece them up together. A Merchant (for instance a FX Broker) will approach an Affiliate Program/Network (such as Algo-Affiliates) and seek to establish an affiliate marketing program to attract more customers. The Merchant will only pay the Affiliate Network after a successful sale or conversion has been made (in this case it is when a referred client has made a successful deposit, and in some cases gone ahead to place trades). The Affiliate Network will set up and manage the affiliate program of the Merchant, and this will include suggesting campaign ideas as well as tracking performance. Affiliate marketers or publishers will sign up with the Affiliate Network and access the Brand or Merchant they wish to promote. The Affiliate Network will provide ample tools and resources that will enhance their marketing efforts, including a unique affiliate ID that will ensure all conversions made as a result of their efforts are fully attributed to them.
Getting Started with Financial Services Affiliate Programs
Having understood how affiliate marketing works, it is now time to get started. The first step would be to sign up with an affiliate network, which is essentially both your partner and portal to the exciting world of affiliate marketing. It is therefore vital to make the right decision from the word go.
Here are the factors to consider when choosing an appropriate affiliate network/program to join:
It is important to join a reputable and established affiliate network. This means that you join a network that has a proven track record in the market, and has actually helped both Merchants and Publishers achieve their goals and ambitions. For Merchants, the goal is of course to reach and convert more Customers; and for Publishers, the goal is to be rewarded generously and promptly for their marketing efforts. Furthermore, a reputable affiliate network will ensure that Publishers are connected to the best Brands that are worth promoting.
- Brand Selection
If you join one good network, you won’t really need another one. This is because there will be a rich selection of quality brands to promote. In the lucrative financial services space, this is even more critical. It is easy to fall for unethical or rather scam brands that will deliver a double blow to your efforts. If for instance, you promote a scam crypto trading platform, your customers will literally be ‘robbed’ and you might as well not receive your fair share of commissions. Algo-Affiliates is a dedicated financial services affiliate network that connects publishers to numerous reputable merchants, and even enables marketing campaigns to be conducted in many languages. This ensures that the diverse needs of publishers are met individually.
- High Commissions and Reliable Payouts
The main reason to join an affiliate network is to make money. And high commissions make this endeavor worthwhile. Thankfully, financial services such as CFD as well as FX and Crypto trading are known to offer the highest commission rates in the affiliate space. This means that any publisher just requires a hanful of conversions to earn a significant amount of money.
But high commissions are only worthwhile if you will eventually earn them. A good affiliate network will have a reliable payment processing system that will offer a variety of safe and convenient methods for publishers to access their funds. There should also be a low minimum payout, so that publishers can easily hit the threshold for making withdrawals.
- Top Technology and Marketing Support
A good affiliate network should be able to leverage advanced technologies to help with your conversions. To start with, it should be easy to embed or share your unique affiliate ID in your website, blog or any other channel. You should also be provided with comprehensive marketing tools that will allow you to test various strategies that will achieve maximum conversion levels with your audience. Ultimately, it should be easy to track your performance as well as optimize various marketing strategies that will help you earn more from your audience.
Selecting the Best Merchants
After selecting a good affiliate network, it is now time to select the best merchants to promote. As mentioned, it is especially important to choose quality merchants in the financial space. Here is what to consider:
The financial space is very vulnerable to unethical business brands. Thus, it is important to select reputable brands that are proven to offer quality services to customers. It is actually very easy to promote such brands because of their already established names. A good filter is to consider only regulated companies, but you can also look into other factors such as trading platform, payments processing and good customer support. Learn more about how to avoid potential bad brokerage firms here.
- Commission Model and Rates
Different merchants will offer different commission models and rates. It is important to understand how much you stand to earn when you perform your marketing efforts. Most merchants prefer a CPA (Cost Per Action) commission payment model, which provides commissions when a referral visits their site and performs certain actions such as making a purchase or depositing. The commissions can be fixed or recurring. Here is an article that goes into detail on CPA marketing.
- Cookie Duration
Cookies are used to track affiliate referrals, and thus inform merchants and affiliate networks where a sale came from. The important thing to note, however, is that cookies have an expiration date. There is a maximum period of time that a publisher qualifies for a commission after his/her affiliate link has been clicked. Obviously, the longer the cookie duration, the more ideal it is for affiliates. Most merchants have cookie durations of 30-120 days.
- Campaign Materials
A good merchant will also make available high quality campaign materials through the affiliate network that include content guidelines, visual aids, logos, banners, screenshots, widgets and many other creatives that will make your work easier. It is the responsibility of the vendor to create quality marketing tools and resources that will highlight their brand positively.
Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing
After signing up with an affiliate network and choosing the merchant(s) to promote, it is now time to start promoting and making money. There are many approaches available for you to establish yourself as an accomplished affiliate marketer that can be trusted by your audience. Most publishers generally use websites for their promotional activities, differentiating themselves into various niches such as Review Sites, Rating Sites, Educational Sites, Forums or Blogs. The sites must be neat and feature quality but minimalistic designs, with no bad distractions such as intrusive pop-up ads. It is very important to have quality, unique and helpful content that will actually help your audience as well as promote good rapport. It is easy to build trust with your audience when they actually gain something of value from you. To supplement your website, you should also have good and active social connections in major channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram and YouTube. Good content cannot be emphasized enough, because it will help you build authority in your niche as well as become a source of free and quality information. Email list building is also important as it will over time help you reach your audience cheaply and repeatedly.
In the competitive financial services space, a good affiliate marketer must always stay on top of emerging trends. Here are some of the top trends to keep in mind as you embark on your affiliate marketing journey:
Affiliate marketers are having to become even more competitive, and this has made automation come to the fore. There are numerous automation tools that now help in automating actions such as campaign tracking and link shortening. This help save time for ambitious publishers that run multiple campaigns concurrently.
- Browser Changes
Google Chrome, the dominant mobile browser in the world, announced that third-party cookies will be blocked on its platform by 2022. Most affiliate programs use third-party cookies, and this will be an area any affiliate marketer will want to look at; you can start the shift to first-party cookies or even server-based tracking.
- Content Localization
Localized content has been proven to build trust with a targeted audience. This means that affiliate marketers will want to become aware of the culture and taste of different customer demographics. Publishers can also benefit by offering branded promotions on important calendar dates in different geographical communities.
- Video Marketing
Video is growing as a vital form of content marketing and publishers stand to gain if they incorporate this form of media into their marketing efforts.
Getting started is one thing, but it takes hard work and commitment to finding success with affiliate marketing.
Join Algo-Affiliates and start your journey to the top and stay there!