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Affiliate Marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is essentially a referral program, where you market the products or services of a company in order to refer people to that company and earn a commission when the referral takes a particular action, usually based on a sale. This explanation is obviously very simplistic, but it provides a high-level explanation of what affiliate marketing is. In this article, we will explore this concept even more and discover some of the intricacies that this exciting, and lucrative field of marketing involves.

The Birth of Internet Affiliate Marketing

Before the internet came about, one of the biggest challenges for marketers and the companies they worked for, was to track and measure the performance of their marketing efforts. Overall, they could see if sales increased, but knowing exactly what worked, which marketing messages had the most impact, and optimizing campaigns was tedious, took extended periods of time, and was never perfectly accurate. The internet brought about a revolution in marketing, not just because it opened up companies to new and bigger markets, but with the aid of technology, these companies could now start tracking their campaigns and optimizing their efforts almost instantly. The ability to track the entire customer journey from the very first click till post-sale was groundbreaking and it opened up the opportunity for companies to allow 3rd parties to refer customers and compensate them for their efforts. 

And so, internet affiliate marketing was born…

There are typically 4 key parties involved in the affiliate marketing process:

Product Owner / Merchant / Retailer or Brand – This is the company that provides a product or service. The merchant may be the manufacturer or producer of the product or service, but they could also simply be a reseller or supplier of existing products. 

Affiliate Program or Network – This is the organization that is responsible for managing the affiliate (referral) program. Their role is to provide the technology and marketing materials for the affiliate marketers, as well as handle things like payments and performance metrics. The affiliate program can sometimes be managed internally by the merchant, but in most cases today, it is outsourced to affiliate networks that specialize in the setup and management of the affiliate program and the affiliates. 

Affiliate Marketers or Publishers – These are the 3rd party marketers who promote the merchant’s products or services, via the affiliate program in exchange for a commission for their efforts. The affiliate can use a range of marketing channels and techniques to attract potential customers and refer them. 

Consumers – These are the customers i.e., the people or businesses that will purchase the merchant’s products. In most cases, the consumer doesn’t even know that he may have been referred by an affiliate, as the entire process is seamless. Also, the price he pays is typically exactly what he would have paid if he were buying directly from the merchant. 

How Does it All Work? A Practical Example…

To understand how affiliate marketing works, let’s take a deeper look at how all the pieces fit together to ultimately provide the consumer with their desired product. The best way to create a clear picture is to use an example. (Take note all names and companies mentioned in the example below are fictitious): 

Our merchant, for this example, will be TastiCoffee, a company that sells coffee pods (capsules for coffee machines) to consumers. TastiCoffee has salespeople that sell to stores as well as a website where retail customers can purchase coffee and get it shipped to them. 

One day, Joe, the owner of TastiCoffee realizes that he can scale up his business if he can get more visitors to his website. Joe doesn’t have the time, budget, or expertise to expand his current marketing efforts, so he reaches out to MegaAffs, an affiliate network, and describes his situation. MegaAffs explains to Joe that they will take responsibility for setting up and managing an affiliate program for him, and best of all because it’s based on performance, Joe only has to pay them when sales happen. This means the more sales they bring him, the more they all make. 

MegaAffs then go about setting up the program for TastiCoffee. For this, they use an affiliate tracking platform. This technology is a type of software that will provide affiliates with unique web links that link to TastiCoffee’s website and track exactly where the visitor originally came from, what they purchase, how much they spend, and most importantly, which affiliate sent that visitor. This ability to track this performance is vital and the heart of the affiliate program. 

Be Cautious of Scams in the Crypto Affiliate Marketing Industry

Let’s assume for example, that Joe’s website address is www.TastiCoffee.com, whereas an affiliate will use a link that looks something like www.TastiCoffee.com/?aff=xyz.This means that when someone clicks on the affiliate link, they will be sent to TastiCoffee but every action they take thereafter will be tracked to the whoever the affiliate is with the ID “xyz”. MegaAffs also put together a range of marketing materials for the affiliates to use, such as banners, landing pages, videos, and more. Each of these marketing assets has a unique tracking too, which means that the affiliate can know exactly which assets are performing. MegaAffs also set up the relevant reporting and analytics for affiliates to be able to report on their performance. MegaAffs set up the commission structure with Joe so that everyone, from the program to the affiliates and Joe, all know how much they stand to make with each sale. Finally, with everything in place, MegaAffs notifies its existing pool of affiliates about the amazing and lucrative opportunity to promote TastiCoffee. 

With the program live, affiliates at MegaAffs log into the MegaAffs platform and get their promotional links and whatever promotional materials they plan on using to promote TastiCoffee. The affiliates then go about marketing TastiCoffee. For this example, let’s assume one of the affiliates is Max. Max is a blogger who loves coffee and has a blog all about coffee. Max writes a review about some of the TastiCoffee products, and he puts his unique tracking links into the blog post, and he puts some banners up too. Then, when visitors to Max’s blog click on one of the links or banners, they automatically get redirected to the TastiCoffee website. What the visitor doesn’t see is that the tracking link has now assigned them to Max’s affiliate account. When the visitor makes a purchase on the TastiCoffee site, that sale is then attributed to Max and he is awarded a commission. Depending on the terms of the MegaAffs program, Max might also earn a commission in the future, every time that same customer he referred makes more purchases. The commission could be a fixed value or a percentage of the total sale amount. 

At the end of the month, MegaAffs checks the total sales that Max the affiliate generated in order to send him his commission (referral fee). However, before they finalize the commission payment to Max, they check to see if there were any returns (refunds) or chargebacks. A chargeback is when a customer cancels the payment through their credit card company, which essentially means the sale gets canceled and Max won’t earn a commission for any chargebacks. If all is in order, Max receives his commission. 

From the example above, it should be fairly clear how affiliate marketing works, but obviously, there is a whole lot more that goes into all of this for all the parties involved. 

So, let’s explore a little more about what it involves to be an affiliate marketer. 

How Much Can You Earn as an Affiliate Marketer?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Some affiliates earn a few hundred dollars a month and there are many super affiliates that earn millions of dollars a month. The factors that affect how much you earn include which niches or products you promote, how much time and effort you put into your marketing, the amount of budget you spend, the marketing techniques you use, the size of the target market, and much more. If for example, you intend to promote coffee pods, you probably won’t make a million dollars a year, whereas if you are an affiliate for a financial product or gambling, then the possibility of taking home 6-7 figures is a possibility. This doesn’t mean you should go looking to only promote niches that can produce insane commissions, because the general rule of thumb when it comes to affiliate commissions is that the higher the rewards, the bigger the competition and the more difficult it is to generate sales. 

In the case of gambling products where your referrals could spend thousands of dollars with the merchant, there are thousands of affiliates all competing for their slice of the pie too, which means the costs involved to acquire new customers are also much higher. Just remember, you will have costs like any other business to get those new referrals to the door of the merchant, whether it is hard costs like buying advertising or your own time, which needs to be accounted for. It’s also important to note that today, many multi-million-dollar corporations specialize in affiliate marketing and employ hundreds of employees and have deep pockets to fund their activities. Don’t let the thought of competition put you off pursuing a dream of being an affiliate because many affiliate marketers are individuals like you, who make a particularly good living working online from home. 

The potential to make huge affiliate commissions exist but developing the right strategy and taking the necessary steps and putting in the effort are just part of the puzzle. 

Here are some of the other considerations that determine how much you can earn as an affiliate:

Niche – As mentioned briefly, the niche or products you choose are one of the factors. Choosing the right niche is probably one of the most crucial decisions an affiliate needs to make. There is no shortage of products to choose from and there are literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of options out there. If you are just getting started as an affiliate, you will do your best to select 1-2 products that you have an interest in, as this makes it far more enjoyable and easier to get going while you gain experience. Do not try to take on too many products in the beginning. Also, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t successful with every option you choose. Low-cost products may not seem like they will generate huge commissions, but when you master your marketing techniques, you may find that you can apply your formula to many low-cost products which all contribute to your bottom line. 

Competition – We already spoke a little about competition, but this doesn’t mean you should try to find niches where no competition exists, in fact, you want there to be some competition. When there is competition, it means there is money to be made. Choosing the niche you plan to promote must take into consideration how much competition there is. 

Commission Model – There are many different types of commission structures that affiliate programs offer which will impact your earnings potential. Some of the most common ones include: 

  • CPA (Cost per Action /Acquisition) – This type of commission will pay you a fixed amount when the referral takes a particular action, typically when they make a purchase. Usually, the commission is a once-off payment. Always be sure to check the commission qualifying criteria of the affiliate program/network. 
  • Revenue Share – As the name implies, the merchant shares with you a percentage of the sale. Commissions can range from as little as 5% up to 60%+, it all depends on the niche, the network, and more. Revenue share can be a once-off or it can be for any sales during a particular period and in some verticals, it can even be for the lifetime of the customer. Lifetime commissions are a great way to build a passive income. 
  • CPL (Cost per Lead) – This commission model pays you a commission for new leads, which means your referrals don’t need to make a purchase and only need to supply specific information so that the merchant can market their products to them and try to convert them into paying customers. CPL commissions can often be less than a dollar up to tens of dollars.

Affiliate Network / Program

Probably the most vital component to being a successful affiliate is the affiliate network you choose to work with. First and foremost, you need to work with a trustworthy and reputable network. This means that their tracking and reporting is accurate and reliable because you certainly don’t want to put time, effort, and money into referring visitors and not getting compensated. A quality network also makes sure their affiliates get paid on time, every time because the last thing you want is to be waiting endlessly for your commissions. Some of the other factors to consider are the tools, marketing materials, and support the network offers. Building a relationship with your assigned affiliate manager is crucial for success, especially when you need assistance. 

Traffic Source

The people you attract and refer to with your marketing are called traffic. Where and how you get your traffic is the biggest cost and factor when it comes to how much you will earn as an affiliate. There are many ways to generate traffic and each source of traffic will produce different quality and quantity of traffic. Some of the most popular ways that affiliate marketers generate traffic are SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Paid Media, PPC (Pay Per Click), Social Media, Blogging, Vlogging, and much more.  

Final Thoughts

We have covered the basics of what affiliate marketing is, the parties involved, how it works, earnings potential, and more. We touched on a few details of each of these components, but there is much more to each element. Affiliate marketing is an exciting and dynamic way to make money online and this flourishing, multi-billion industry is constantly growing and presenting new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Start your affiliate marketing journey today and get on the path to becoming the next super affiliate.

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Affiliate Marketing

Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Programs

Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Programs

Affiliate marketing ranks among the top ways to make money online. The particular appeal for affiliate marketing is the possibility of earning infinite money in a passive manner. The model for affiliate marketing is simple and straightforward: help promote products of other companies and earn commissions off sales made. As an affiliate marketer, you simply act as a digital salesman; the company does all the hard work associated with its product, shipping and distribution and even marketing materials. Simply help with their marketing efforts, and earn a share of their profits. The potential for affiliate marketing is practically unlimited: there are over 3 billion internet users globally, with the number always rising.

 

But to make good money consistently, you will have to choose a quality affiliate marketing program that will provide you with the best conditions for success. There are numerous affiliate programs around, but we have selected some of the best ones based on parameters such as reputation, price competitiveness, market saturation, commission rates, payout methods, marketing tools, performance tracking, and even terms and conditions.

Find below the best places to earn money by promoting other companies’ products:

 

1. Amazon Associates

Amazon is a global eCommerce giant, and part of the Big 4 Tech companies in the world alongside Google, Microsoft and Apple. So massive is Amazon that it is well on course to become the first trillion-dollar company in the US by market capitalisation. The Amazon Associates program gives you the chance to earn a share of the billions the company generates in sales and revenue every year. Amazon’s affiliate program is undoubtedly one of the most popular ways for all types of marketers to monetize their blogs, websites or social media presence.

To get started with Amazon affiliate marketing, you will sign up on their site and will be given a unique affiliate link. You will be eligible for commissions if customers buy products through your unique link on the Amazon site. When a customer visits Amazon through your link, the company will give you commissions for whatever products they purchase during a 24-hour window. It is also important to note that you will be eligible for commissions if a customer adds a product to the shopping cart within the 24-hour window but makes an actual order within 90 days, which is the typical timeline it takes for a shopper’s cart to expire. Amazon offers commissions of between 1-10% depending on the type of product an affiliate promotes. But, the percentage of sales is not the only factor that determines your overall commission, your conversion rate also matters. Conversion rate represents the number of customers that click your affiliate link and go on to make purchases. A higher conversion rate translates to higher commissions and vice versa.

amazon

Pros

  • Easy sign-up. It is quick and simple to get started as an affiliate marketer at Amazon.
  • Big Reputation. Amazon is the authority in global eCommerce, which means that you do not need to convince customers to purchase from their site.
  • Wide range of products. Amazon is literally an ‘A to Z’ retailer offering a wide selection of over 12 million products for marketers to choose from.
  • Affiliates can even earn from products they did not promote if a shopper visits the site through their link and purchases within 24 hours.

Cons

  • Huge Competition. As a big and established company, Amazon has attracted a ridiculous number of affiliates which makes competition very intense.
  • Low Commissions. Compared to other affiliate programs, Amazon offers low commission rates to affiliates.
  • It is very hard for beginners without high traffic sites or a huge social media presence to gain traction using the Amazon affiliate program.

2. eBay Partners

eBay is an American multinational that became famous for its auction-style sales model. eBay is now a fully-fledged marketplace with footprints all around the world, and also allows sellers to sell their products at fixed prices. The eBay Partner Network (EPN) was founded in 1998 and remains one of the most popular affiliate marketing programs around. To get started with EPN, you need to first register on the eBay site, and then proceed to apply to join the affiliate program. Afterwards, select a product(s) you wish to promote, create your affiliate link, and share with your audience.

eBay will pay a commission to you if a customer buys an item after visiting the site within 24 hours. For auction sales, you will receive a commission when a customer places a bid within 24 hours of visiting the site through your link and proceeds to win the auction within 10 days. eBay commissions range from 1-5% of sales depending on the type of product. eBay also provides an added bonus if a new or reactivated buyer makes a purchase through your affiliate link; a reactivated buyer is one who has not made purchases on the platform in the past 12 months. eBay disburses payments through PayPal or Direct Bank deposit- it is, therefore, important to ensure you are in a region that supports one or both payment methods.

ebay

Pros

  • Wide and Interesting product range. There is a selection of over 1.3 billion products at any given time. As well, eBay is known for unique, novel and speciality products that shoppers may find very valuable.
  • Huge Buyer Base. eBay has an estimated 168 million active buyers.
  • Brand Trust. eBay enjoys huge brand recognition and trust among shoppers, having been around since 1995.
  • The new or reactivated shopper bonus can help affiliates boost their earnings.
  • Low payout threshold. eBay has a payout threshold of only $10, which can help new affiliate marketers to start reaping the rewards of their promotion efforts early on.

Cons

  • The major disadvantage with eBay is that affiliates can lose money for auction referrals. Most auctions last more than 24 hours, and most buyers usually bid during the final hours of an auction.
  • eBay makes payments once a month, which can be inconvenient for some affiliates.

3. Shopify

Shopify is, without doubt, one of the most used eCommerce platforms globally. The company has managed to deliver a versatile product to enable all levels of businesses (from small traders to enterprise-level corporations) to use their platform for their eCommerce needs. More than 1 million businesses in over 175 countries use the Shopify platform to manage and sell their products online. With offline businesses actively looking for ways to leverage the internet, this number can only rise; and you have a unique opportunity to cash in on that using the Shopify affiliate program.

The Shopify affiliate program is one of the most lucrative. To start with, the program appeals to anyone that wishes to set up an online presence with minimal hassles. Shopify also offers generous rewards to affiliates, with incredible commissions of up to 200%. Commission payouts range from $58-$2000 depending on the plan a user you refer signs up to. The program is particularly ideal for affiliates that have or can build an audience interested in online businesses, drop shipping, eCommerce or teaching courses. The program also boasts comprehensive affiliate and customer support. The Shopify Academy can help your customers meet their needs, while the affiliate program has extensive training products to help you advance your marketing career. Additionally, the company provides a dedicated affiliate manager for all affiliates to enhance support and performance.

Pros

  • Market leader. Shopify is a market leader in eCommerce solutions, which makes it easy for affiliates to promote.
  • Compelling product. Shopify has put together a compelling product that appeals to a broad market base. This also helps with conversion.
  • High commissions. Shopify pays out up to 200% per customer, which starts at $58 commission (their basic plan monthly for new clients is $29) to a maximum of $2000 for deals closed for Shopify Plus. This can quickly add up and translate to high earnings.
  • Free trial. New Shopify customers are given a 14-day trial period to test out the eCommerce product. Trials are highly effective in increasing conversion rates.
  • 30-day cookie period. Affiliate marketers qualify for a commission if a customer visits the Shopify site through their link and join a paid plan within 30 days. This is a sufficient time period that can boost conversion.

Cons

  • High-cost plans. The more advanced Shopify plans have a high cost attached, which can result in many customers not paying up after the trial period is over.
  • Stringent terms and conditions. Shopify is known to apply stringent terms and conditions that can limit the marketing efforts of users. For instance, there may be restrictions on marketing to betting sites.
  • There are no recurring commissions and no extra bonuses for high volume sales.

4. CJ Affiliate

CJ Affiliate operates as an affiliate marketing marketplace that offers publishers (affiliate marketers) over 4000 advertisers (businesses) to promote. With a history that dates back to 1998, CJ Affiliate has managed to grow to become one of the world’s biggest and best affiliate marketing networks. Affiliate marketers are attracted to CJ Affiliate because of the huge pool of businesses to be promoted- ranging from small and medium brands to established names such as GoPro, Barnes & Noble, Overstock, Lowes and Priceline, among others. The massive choice of advertisers, it means that affiliate marketers can earn in a variety of ways depending on the company they choose to promote. CJ also offers a variety of commission models including CPL (cost per lead), CPS/CPA (Cost per Sale / Cost per Action), Revenue Share and others.

To get started with CJ Affiliate, you will need to fill out a registration form, and when approved you will be given a customer ID as well as access to the advertisers. You will then browse the directory of advertisers to choose which companies you wish to help promote. Different companies have different commission rates as well as terms and conditions. In some instances, new affiliates may have to request permission to promote a particular advertiser, and may not be accepted due to traffic type or demographic reasons. Still, there is a huge list of advertisers to choose from. CJ Affiliate pays its affiliates on the 20th of every month using checks or direct bank deposit. The minimum payable amount is $50.

Pros

  • A huge pool of advertisers. Over 4000 companies have tasked CJ Affiliate with managing their affiliate marketing programs. These are some of the biggest and most reputable brands in the world.
  • Publisher toolbox. All new affiliate marketers can access the publisher toolbox for free, to learn timeless tips and tricks that will help in efficient promotion of products.
  • Automation. CJ Affiliate has an automation feature that will let you monetize your commercial links without manually editing old links in your website.
  • Top performers on the CJ Affiliate platform are rewarded with various perks and bonuses. Affiliate marketers that earn over $10,000 monthly also receive a top affiliate badge and are enlisted for the CJP program that provides them with a more personalised CJ Affiliate experience.

Cons

  • Payment issues. The high number of advertisers means that there may be sudden issues arising that may impact your payment schedule. In other instances, some advertisers may hold your payments for long periods to ensure there are no customer returns, cancellations or chargebacks.
  • Few payment options. Only check and direct bank deposit options are available, making it inconvenient for some affiliates.
  • Poor customer service. CJ Affiliate is known for poor customer support, with just a contact form available and delayed responses.
  • You may lack approval with a lucrative advertiser if you have not reached defined milestones. This can be a challenge for new affiliates.

5. ClickBank

ClickBank is a top affiliate network that has been around for more than two decades. The platform is particularly known for a wide array of digital products, but there are also more than 12,000 physical products for affiliate marketers to promote and earn from. The company boasts a worldwide presence in over 190 countries, with a customer base of over 200 million. Since its inception, the ClickBank affiliate program has paid out over $4 billion in commissions, and you could be next in line to receive a check from them.

Signing up for ClickBank is quick and easy. And you can sign up as both a vendor and an affiliate marketer. There are numerous product categories, so you will need to select one which aligns with your needs. With numerous products and vendors available, affiliate marketers will find it a challenge to select the best product to promote. ClickBank has created a ‘Gravity Score’ that will show the number of affiliates that have sold a vendor’s product within the last 3 months; each gravity score represents one affiliate sale. ClickBank offers commission rates as high as 75% and allows customers to set their payment schedule, with the shortest period being weekly payments.

Pros

  • Reputable Network. ClickBank has built up a reputable brand name that has been around since 1998 as an affiliate marketing network.
  • Knowledge Base. Affiliates can access comprehensive educational resources at ClickBank that will help them fast-track their promotion efforts.
  • High Payouts. ClickBank offers high commission rates that can go as high as 75%. Affiliates can also boost their earnings with digital products that require subscriptions.
  • Flexible Payment Schedule. With ClickBank, you can choose when to receive your payments, whether weekly, fortnightly or as you desire. You also get to set your own payment threshold, and funds will be sent to you as soon as the threshold is hit.

Cons

  • Old looking website. The ClickBank marketplace looks old and jaded, with poor user-friendliness.
  • Charges on non-performing accounts. There are fees charged on accounts that post no sales after a certain period of time.
  • Poor customer service. ClickBank has poor customer support that is slow and sometimes unresponsive.
  • Junk products. There are numerous junk products (even scam-ish) that can hurt your reputation if you promote to your audience.

4. Fiverr Affiliates

Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for small services. Contractors can hire freelancers on the platform to perform tasks for as low as $5 (hence the name Fiverr), but there are also premium-priced services tasks for top talent. When you sign up at Fiverr affiliate program, you get the chance to promote the various digital services freelancers offer. You will earn a CPA (cost per action) of $15-$50 depending on what a customer that visits the site via your link orders. There is also the option of a hybrid payment plan where you will earn $10 CPA, plus a revenue share plan for 12 months.

Aside from freelance services, you can also promote: Fiverr Pro, a service that gives access to exclusive top talents; Fiverr Learn, an educational platform for businesses and freelancers; as well as And.co, an application designed to enhance the operations of freelancers. With the gig economy proving to be the future for a large part of the global workforce and growing by the day, the Fiverr affiliate program offers you the rare chance to earn money from this growing trend.

Pros

  • Market leader. Fiverr is one of the top marketplaces for gig workers, which makes it an easy sell for affiliate marketers.
  • Lengthy cookie duration. Fiverr has a 30-day cookie window within which you are eligible to earn commissions from customers who visited the site using your affiliate link.
  • Flexible payouts. The Fiverr affiliate program offers flexible payment options to enable marketers to gain maximum benefits for their promotion efforts.
  • Resources and Support. Fiverr offers numerous handy resources and comprehensive support to help affiliate marketers enhance their promotion activity.

Cons

  • Commissions for first-time buyers only. Fiverr pays commissions for first-time customers only, rather than for every future or recurring sale as is with many affiliate programs.
  • Dull marketing banners. Banners are an important marketing tool for affiliate marketers with websites. However, the banner materials offered by Fiverr are dull and unexciting, which may result in low conversions.
  • Fiverr is home to some cheap freelancers who can offer low-quality services to customers.

7. Tripadvisor

With over 500 million unique monthly visitors, Tripadvisor stands out as the world’s largest and most trusted travel community. Travellers use the Tripadvisor platform to find the deals on hotels, restaurants, flights and the best destinations. While most travel platforms operate as selling sites, Tripadvisor is more of a search tool for travellers. The Tripadvisor travel affiliate program gives you a chance to leverage the brand of the company and take advantage of over 700 million reviews as well as a database of over 500,000 hotels and destinations. As your visitors flock to the Tripadvisor site for their travel needs, you will get a chance to earn a piece of the revenues.

Tripadvisor generates revenue based on click-outs made from their site. This means that a customer visiting through your link will have to click on a commercial link on the Tripadvisor site for you to qualify for a commission. This means that no sale is required for you to make money. Tripadvisor pays out a 50% commission for revenue generated as a result your customer click-out. In most cases, this translates to an average of $0.15-$0.75 per click-out. You are also paid if the customer continues to browse other pages during the session even if that was not the landing page you linked to. The Tripadvisor travel affiliate program is managed by the CJ Affiliate Program, which will act as the paying agent. They send commissions monthly.

Pros

  • High Payouts. The 50% share of gross revenue generated by click-out is a pretty generous payout.
  • High Conversions. The Tripadvisor affiliate model makes it easy to convert customers. It is easy to earn from click-outs rather than actual sales or hotel bookings. Conversion is also boosted because all user click-outs during a particular period are credited to you. For this reason, most Tripadvisor affiliates record a conversion rate of up to 75%.
  • Brand Recognition. Tripadvisor is an undisputed market leader, which means that you will be promoting a well-known brand trusted by millions of customers.
  • Numerous Deals and Promotions. Tripadvisor regularly updates captivating deals and promotions that will be exciting for any traveller, and thus boost your conversions.
  • There are added incentives and bonuses for high performing affiliates.

Cons

  • Too much competition. There are well-established niche travel sites that offer stiff competition to new affiliates.
  • Poor customer service

8. Booking.com Affiliate Program

With more than 1.5 million rooms that are reserved daily on the platform, Booking.com is the world’s largest online reservation platform. The company also has over 29 million bookable rooms in over 2.6 million properties scattered across the world. Aside from accommodations, travellers can also books flights, taxis, car rentals as well as other special attractions on the Booking site. The Booking affiliate program is therefore ideal for anyone with an audience that is looking to plan a trip, whether business or just vacation. For their promotion efforts, Booking affiliates will earn 25-40% of the commissions the company derives from bookings- the higher the number of bookings, the higher the commission bracket. Additionally, Booking has added a new property referral product that opens up a new revenue front for affiliates. You will be paid €50 for every successful property referral that completes a booking within 90 days.

You can track your performance on your Booking.com affiliate dashboard. The company has a payout threshold of €100 and will regularly send credit slips to your email with information on the amount of commission earned in any particular month. Payments are sent out 30-60 days after the payment threshold is achieved.

Pros

  • Fast and easy signup. You can get started with the booking affiliate program by easily signing up on the Partner Centre. The process is quick and without any hassles.
  • Reputable Brand. Booking.com is an established and trustworthy brand that most travellers have used for a long period of time to simplify their trips.
  • Good Customer Support. Booking affiliates can easily contact the professional and responsive support team in case of any issues.
  • Convenient payment methods. Booking pays out using bank wire and PayPal, which is convenient for most affiliates.

Cons

  • Discouraging payment plan. Booking affiliates typically receive payments after two months, with commissions sent only after the €100 threshold is achieved. For most affiliates, this can be discouraging and very inconvenient. Furthermore, the countdown begins when a customer completes their stay, rather than when the reservation is done.
  • There is a high payment threshold for affiliates who prefer to receive payments via local bank wire. The threshold is €500.
  • The hotel niche is extremely competitive. This means that only top authority sites rank higher in search engines because of expensive keywords and related ads. For new affiliates, this niche can be very challenging and less rewarding.

9. Google AdSense

Google AdSense is one of the popular ways to become an affiliate with Google and is currently one of the most popular ways for publishers to monetise online. You will just need a Google account, phone number and postal address to sign up with Google AdSense. After that, you can then generate Google AdSense codes to place in your website(s). When applied, Google AdSense automatically serves text, image, video as well as other forms of rich media that are relevant to your content or audience. Publishers are allowed a great deal of customisation with Google AdSense. Upon approval of your account, you can create ad blocks on your site (where and how you wish ads to appear) and you can also decide how many ads you wish to serve to your audience. Google will then determine relevant ads that are also consistent with the theme of your website.

When your site visitors click on the ads, you will be entitled to a share of the cost per click (CPC) revenue. Cost per click is the amount advertisers pay when a visitor clicks on one of their ads on your site. The CPC varies depending on the demographic region of your visitors as well as the category of the product being advertised. To exploit the full potential of Google AdSense, affiliate marketers should regularly create new and engaging content, test different ad blocks, and also use high-value CPC keywords.

Pros

  • Passive Income. Google AdSense is a perfect source of passive income compared to other affiliate networks. No extra work needed apart from setting up ads accordingly. There is also no need to create fresh content to post every time.
  • There is no need to update any ads. Google does this automatically in tandem with your audience interests and new ad campaigns created by advertisers on their end.
  • Publishers can create multiple pages, which may generate extra profits that eventually add up.
  • Google ensures that only the highest paying ads relevant to your site and audience go live. This can boost your overall earnings.
  • High customisation. You are in full control of how and where ads are placed on your site.

Cons

  • Low payouts. The earnings per click offered by AdSense are very low, which means that marketers require huge amounts of traffic and numerous clicks to make some decent income.
  • Google is known for regularly changing or updating their policies as well as terms and conditions. Sometimes the changes may not align with your site profile and lead to the poor performance of your ads.
  • Probably the major disadvantage with AdSense is that Google is notorious for suspending account without substantive warnings or even reasons. This can be very frustrating for any affiliate marketer.

10. Algo Affiliates

Algo Affiliates is the world’s top Forex, CFD and Crypto affiliate network. The niche falls under the red hot wealth and money category where traffic is all but guaranteed. People are always looking for new and practical ways to make money, and Forex/CFD trading is an exciting prospect for many. But conversion is how money is made in affiliate marketing, and Algo Affiliates boasts some of the best optimisation tools and technology to ensure maximum conversion rates. Algo Affiliates has partnered with over 150 Forex and CFD brokerage firms (all highly reputable and multilingual) from all around the world. The platform also has more than 200 available multilingual offers that include a wide range of customised desktop and mobile creatives designed to maximise conversion rates.

In a high traffic niche, it is vital that all leads you generate are tracked accurately, so you can receive due credit. In this regard, Algo Affiliates has cutting-edge technology systems to ensure every visitor is tracked, so your marketing efforts are rewarded accordingly. As soon as your visitor clicks on a link, Algo Affiliates performance team takes it up from there, utilising high-level conversion techniques to ensure that clicks translate to premium conversions. This has resulted in self-conversion rates of more than 30%.

Algo Affiliates is known for their extremely generous and lucrative commissions. Most offers are on a CPA (cost per acquisition) model for commissions which is ideal for marketers that desire immediate income. High performing marketers are awarded a higher CPA. Additionally, Algo Affiliates also offers other attractive profit-sharing schemes such as Revenue Share, Hybrid Deals, as well as Affiliate Referral deals. The Master Affiliate program is particularly ideal as it enables you to refer top marketers and earn a share of the revenues they generate.

Pros

  • Very High Commissions. Algo Affiliates offers extremely attractive commissions to marketers with some of the highest payouts in the industry. There are also endless offers that offer numerous opportunities to boost profits.
  • High Conversion Rates. Algo Affiliates applies top technologies to maximise conversion rates from clicks to registration and deposit.
  • Powerful network system. Cutting-edge technology is implemented across the platform to ensure leads are tracked in a timely and efficient manner, plus affiliates can access thousands of optimized creatives for their marketing.
  • Excellent Customer Support. Algo Affiliates has a multilingual support team that is friendly, professional, responsive and available round the clock to attend to all your issues and concerns.
  • Secure and Convenient Payment Methods. Affiliate marketers can choose from a wide range of safe and convenient payment methods available. As well, there is no minimum payment threshold. You can also design your own payment schedule.

Cons

  • Limited to Finance Products. Probably the only drawback is the narrow focus, however, this is also a benefit as staying focused generally produces better results due to targeted traffic.
Categories
Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing – Everything You Need To Know

Affiliate Marketing – Everything You Need To Know

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing model where a company pays third parties for promoting its products. Essentially, an affiliate marketer is a ‘digital salesman’. A company does the hard work of creating a product or service and the entire support construct behind it; and an affiliate marketer promotes the product in exchange for a fee or commission. Typically, this commission is paid when a successful sale has been made, however it can be based on other criteria.

 

Affiliate marketing started way before the introduction of the Internet, but it has now grown to become one of the most popular (and extremely rewarding) ways of earning an income online. So, let’s delve into understanding affiliate marketing in more detail and how you can get started.

Why is Affiliate Marketing So Attractive?

Affiliate marketing is important for both the underlying company and the affiliate markets.
For a company, the benefits of running an affiliate marketing program include:

Increased Sales

Affiliate marketing is a powerful magnet to create awareness which increases sales and revenues. A company that applies an affiliate marketing strategy usually partners with publishers, bloggers, online businesspersons and influencers that indirectly act as its marketing team. Affiliate marketers often engage targeted or huge audiences and they can help a company not only to boost its sales but also to exponentially scale up its online business.

Pay is Based on Performance

Affiliate marketing is in essence a type of performance marketing. Unlike traditional marketing paths, a company implementing an affiliate marketing program gives payouts based on performance, rather than mere activity. An affiliate marketer is usually paid when a successful sale is made, and not when they perform marketing activities. For any company, this is a lower-risk, cost-efficient strategy; and additionally, they get to set the commission rates.

Social Proof

Consumers generally trust brand ambassadors; this is what is known as social proof. That is, it is the idea that customers are more readily willing to trust a product which is promoted or recommended by people or companies they know. This is extremely evident with social media influencers whose followers exhibit a higher level of trust when the person they follow endorses or promotes a product. When working with affiliate marketers, a company promotes its products to an audience that they can easily ‘trust’, and this can lead to more direct sales.

Select your ‘Marketing Team’

When a company launches an affiliate marketing program, affiliates apply to join up. They can select the right candidates or networks that they feel will meet their marketing, brand and sales goals. There are many affiliate networks and programs that keep themselves very exclusive by only approving applicants that meet their specific criteria.

Boost Promotions

With an affiliate program, companies can boost any new promotions or products, quickly and effectively. Whether it is an important date, such as Black Friday or Christmas, or simply a discounted clearing sale, experienced affiliate marketers will ensure that the necessary hype is created all around.

Why You Should Consider Becoming an Affiliate Marketer

For affiliate marketers, the program is a powerful way of creating an active and passive income stream.
Here is why it is an incredibly timeless opportunity:

More than 3 billion internet users

There are over 3 billion Internet users across the globe, and it can only grow from here. As more users get connected and access the ‘internet grip’, online shopping and services will only grow; and this will continue making affiliate marketing an attractive proposition for anyone that wants to start an online business.

A global marketplace

With affiliate marketing, the world is your marketplace. The internet ensures that anyone from any corner of the world can buy your product and contribute to the bottom line. A relatively new niche and the perfect example of an affiliate marketing opportunity is cryptocurrency trading. As this market continues to grow exponentially, the potential for affiliate marketers is limitless to tap into many existing markets such as CFD traders, FX traders, investors, etc. A powerful strategy for many affiliates is to cross-sell related products and services.

No warehousing, no inventory

As mentioned above, the company essentially has to do all the work regarding its product; your work is just promoting, no other hassles such as dealing with customer support or product development etc. Whether it is a physical product that needs shipping, or a digital product delivered in any manner, you are not involved in any manner after the lead has completed the required action. For example, as a crypto affiliate marketer, once one of your leads clicks on your link and signs up with a broker and starts to trade, you will be paid.

Money never sleeps

As a digital marketer, you do not have to ‘man’ your website to allow customers in. Customers can visit at any time and from any place, as well as make purchases at any time, and you will get paid, even when you are asleep.

Work at your convenience

Work whenever, wherever and however you desire. With affiliate marketing, you generate money with the flexibility and convenience that you set for yourself.

Low start-up costs

Because you do not produce, store or deliver products, affiliate marketing is a far cheaper business to start and maintain. As well, you can sell any product you want (no obligation to promote what you hate) and have the opportunity to scale it. While some people will claim that there are no costs, this is not true. Like any business you have to make some kind of investment including your time. While starting an online business can be achieved with a tiny budget in comparison to a “brick & mortar” store, it is highly recommended to have working capital.

Who Is Involved in an Affiliate Marketing Program?

To successfully conduct an affiliate marketing program, the following four parties are involved:

1. Affiliates

Also known as publishers, affiliates are the promoters of the product. Affiliates can be individuals or companies that help spread the word about the product. They can use varied strategies, such as blogging, videos, social media or any other relevant media. As stated above, affiliates do not own the products they promote and are not in charge of any other duties (such as shipping or customer service), besides promotion. They are paid when any sale is attributed to their efforts; and their earnings can range from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. Their payouts also depend on the structure of the affiliate program they sign up to.

2. Merchants

Also known as creators or retailers, merchants are the owners of the product that is to be promoted using an affiliate marketing program. Merchants can range from individual entrepreneurs to big companies that seek to leverage on the power of affiliate marketing to boost their brand awareness, provide social proof and increase sales. Merchants can utilise their own internal affiliate marketing program, or partner with an affiliate network to roll out a promotional campaign.

Merchants set the payout structure to affiliates and may also provide several marketing tools, such as website banners, text widgets, landing /splash pages for the effective promotion of its products. These marketing tools may be provided by the merchant themselves or by the affiliate program or network that manages the affiliate marketing.

3. Affiliate Network

An affiliate network is an intermediary between affiliates and merchants, basically providing management services for an affiliate marketing program. An affiliate network is beneficial to both the merchant and an affiliate, as it ensures proper tracking of affiliate sales and providing detailed reward statistics to both parties. For merchants, an affiliate network ensures that an affiliate marketing program is launched quickly and efficiently to reach a wide audience, especially if it is a niche industry where the network has experience in. An example of a niche affiliate network is Algo-Affiliates which specialises in the Crypto/Forex and finance space. For affiliates, a network can provide a huge pool of products to promote with ease. In some instances, affiliates have to pass through a network in order to join an affiliate marketing program. Another benefit of working with a network is tapping into their knowledge and experience which can cut down on time spent testing and optimizing. Almost always, an account manager is assigned to an affiliate, whose role is to help their affiliates achieve, so developing this relationship is highly beneficial.

4. Consumers

This is the party that completes or rather fuels the affiliate marketing system. It is consumers that buy the product created by the merchant, who in turn will reward the affiliate(s) that promoted it. Consumers are at the core of the affiliate marketing system and due focus should be placed on them by all the other parties. Consumers do not necessarily have to know that they are part of an affiliate program (some affiliates will disclose this, others will not). And they will not pay any extra amount for the product by choosing to buy through an affiliate, because any affiliate fee is already factored in by the merchant. Always remember, “The Customer is King”.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based activity. As discussed above, an affiliate will promote a product to the consumer, and if a successful sale (or specific action is done), he/she will be paid by the merchant. The way the affiliate program tracks which affiliate referred a customer is through unique tracking links which the program provides the affiliate. These links often look like a URL with some unique numbers or characters that are associated to a specific affiliate. When a potential customer clicks on a link, whether it be a banner, button or text link, the affiliate tracking system registers this and assigns it to the affiliate. Then, depending on the earnings model and action required to trigger a commission that affiliate tracking platform monitors and manages this. As an affiliate, you will be given a login to this platform so you can track your performance and there are also often analytical tools so that you can analyse the performance of your marketing activities.

Here are some of the major earnings models used by affiliate marketing programs:

Pay Per Click (PPC)

In this model, an affiliate will get paid for clicks generated on a merchant’s advert. It does not matter whether a sale or even a lead was generated. In terms of revenues, this is not always an attractive model for a merchant, but it can be ideal when the target is to enhance brand recognition and visibility. Overall, the merchant assumes all the majority of the risk, and there have been concerns that the model can lead to some unethical marketing practices; a reason why it is not common nowadays.

Pay Per Action (PPA)

This is a more unambiguous payment model, where a merchant will only pay the affiliate when the consumer performs certain actions. The actions could be generating a lead (CPL Cost per Lead) such as filling a form. The most common models are CPA (Cost per Action) / CPS (Cost per Sale), and this is typically reliant on the lead then making a purchase, or any other specified actions. This is the most common model, and the most efficient one for both parties. For an efficient affiliate, this is more lucrative, while for a merchant, it can be a bit more expensive, but more impactful nonetheless. A merchant gets to pay for certainty, and an affiliate is generously rewarded for conversion.

When it comes to payouts, there are different structures. Some merchants pay weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or even quarterly. As an affiliate, you can choose a payment structure that aligns with your goals. For a merchant / program, it is important to not only choose a structure that will allow for appropriate measuring of your performance metrics, but also to choose the most suitable one for accelerating your affiliate efforts.

 

How to Start Affiliate Marketing

The first step to becoming a successful affiliate marketer is to develop a business plan. Like any other business, you need to make various decisions, set goals, create a plan of action and execute the various tasks.

The first task to perform in order to develop your plan is to do research into the various niches you may wish to focus on and identify the products and programs that will meet this criterion. Here are some of the key considerations:

Select a Niche

Select a specific audience that you intend to promote to. Ideally it should be an area you are passionate about or at least have good knowledge of. A good niche is one that is profitable, has affiliate or link opportunities, and preferably a fair amount of competition. Yes, competition is good. If there is no competition, it’s probably not a very lucrative opportunity. The cryptocurrency space is an excellent example.

Choose the Best Affiliate Programs

Take time to research affiliate programs, networks and merchants to deal with in your preferred niche. This is where your income will come from, so a thorough study of your options is very prudent. You will be examining factors like market saturation, commission rates, price competitiveness, payout method and timelines, performance tracking, marketing tools, and even terms and conditions. This will allow you to only consider the best programs according to your needs.

After researching the best affiliate programs, you will still need to sign up with them. It may be straightforward with some programs, but others may demand more from their prospective affiliates.

Check out the Affiliate Platform

A merchant can decide to develop an in-house affiliate program, or to go with an affiliate network, such as Algo-Affiliates. Irrespective which direction they choose, the affiliate tracking and management software is the heart of everything and if it doesn’t track properly or provide you with user-friendly functionality your marketing efforts may be wasted.

Marketing Materials

No matter your preferred platform, it should be ready with numerous creative marketing resources that will ensure successful marketing campaigns. Take a look to see if there are text links, banners, video materials, and any other marketing tool that will make it easier to promote more effectively.

Program Management

Like any business relationship you want to be working with a program that has a solid reputation and is there to assist you. An affiliate marketing program has many issues to deal with: from affiliate recruitment and performance monitoring to payout terms and on-going quality assurance. It is advisable to build a strong relationship with your appointed account manager. Networks like Algo-Affiliates are renowned in their niches and place a huge emphasis on working closely with their affiliates, because the more their affiliates achieve, the more they achieve.

Promote and Make Money

Congratulations on becoming an affiliate, but the hard work starts here. You now have to start your marketing campaigns to get your audience to buy products. If you do not have a website, you may want to develop one and drive traffic to it. There are various strategies to drive solid traffic to your site. One of the best ways to generate quality organic traffic is by creating excellent content that in turn will assist you in achieving search engine rankings. This can be in the form of blogging, product reviews and evergreen content. Other strategies may involve paid traffic on major sites, such as Facebook and Google, email list building, and niche upselling.

You will definitely need to creatively use various resources provided by the merchant or affiliate network, such as in-text links, banners, periodic discounts, giveaways or free trials, in order to run an effective campaign.

Final Word

Affiliate marketing is an effective and powerful marketing strategy in this digital age. When executed efficiently, it can lead to huge profits for both merchants and affiliates. Your time to step into the affiliate marketing arena is now, so sign up with a reputable affiliate marketing network, such as Algo-Affiliates, and start extracting every drop of value from your online traffic.