Affiliate Marketing 101

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Digital affiliate marketing is an interesting, intriguing and potentially wealthy venture for marketers. Essentially, it’s performance-based marketing that sees a company (i.e. merchants) reward those who bring them customers via web links (i.e. affiliates) by giving them a commission on sales. 

While the pay-per-click (PPC) model used to be favored, which saw affiliates paid for every time the links were clicked, the popular pay-per-sale (PPS) is now seen as a fairer model for both merchants and affiliates. 

Affiliate programs consist of four key players. The first one is a merchant. This could be a retailer who is marketing a product, or it could be a brand marketing itself. You can read about the 10 most profitable digital products to sell online to get a better understanding of the sort of products that well well today.

The second is the network. The network deals with finding merchants who are seeking affiliates and also acts as the go-between for payments coming from the merchant to the affiliate. 

The third is the affiliate. The affiliate will place a link to the merchant’s products or services on their website, their social media pages, etc. For every person that clicks on that link and generates a sale for the merchant, the affiliate is paid money, which is a certain percentage of the sale. 

That person who clicks through is the fourth player, i.e. the customer. Affiliate marketing overlaps with direct marketing as it uses many of the techniques to generate potential customers.

The Importance Of Lead Generation

When it comes to marketing tips being handed out, one of the most important things that any entrepreneur will tell you about is lead generation. Ultimately, companies place a large amount of value on having a customer’s contact details, mainly because they can turn a sale from such information by advertising to the customer directly. To obtain these details, it’s very common to see websites hosting lead capturing forms. A customer may supply their details to obtain a special offer, or to sign up to a newsletter that is filled with deals, or because they want to give their contact details in exchange for more information about a product or service. 

Affiliates can also be involved in this process by supplying a tracking link that leads to a merchant’s landing page. Utilizing technological advancements, the merchant or advertiser can then tell if a potential customer came to their website via an affiliate’s link. If that person consents to giving their contact details to the merchant or advertiser, then the affiliate is credited with a conversion because they have helped supply the potential customer’s details. In other words, the affiliate has generated a lead. In business, particularly within direct and affiliate marketing, this is a crucial skill that you must learn.

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