Affiliate marketing became mainstream in the 90’s with Amazon creating a performance based marketing system. The affiliate marketing relationship consists of the affiliate that publishes the offers and the merchant that is providing the offers.
Affiliate marketing has grown exponentially since its inception and has become a key strategy among e-retailers as part of their marketing activities.
The Route To Success
Generating more sales with affiliate programs can become a new revenue stream for your business however you will need to choose affiliate programs that compliment your own products or services. An example would be a shoe company choosing to sign up to an affiliate offer with a handbag company as it has has been shown that these items are often purchased together.
To ensure that your web visitors will use the affiliate you have placed on your site it is best to choose a trusted brand as consumers will know the company already and be willing to trust them with an online purchase.
An affiliate program with easy integration will be less time consuming to set up allowing you to promote it and start earning quickly.
Creating great content will draw the attention of potential customers and unique visitors. According to Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger.net in his article The Ultimate Guide To Making Money With The Amazon Affiliate Program if you write an article about how to use a camera then this may not convert into sales but a review of a camera is more likely to attract people that are in a buying mood.
Confidence in buying can be gained by displaying best seller lists as consumers will be drawn to following the crowd or choosing a popular product.
When creating content it has been found that links within an article or blog often convert better than banners or widgets and include more than one link within the content for more chances of a conversion or click through.
Some of the most successful sites make the most money by focusing on only a small number of affiliate programs. Dedicated promotion and targeting of just one or two affiliate programs leads to reaching minimum payout thresholds sooner and many affiliates offer increased payouts at different earning thresholds.
Web traffic is the key to the success of any program and real time reporting will help you monitor visitors and create content and offers accordingly. According to affiliate networks company WOW Trk, the rise of browsing and online shopping on mobile devices makes it essential that offers displayed are compatible with mobile viewing. WOW Trk state that over 80% of affiliate offers are now produced in a mobile friendly format and include real time reporting viewable on a mobile.
Another driving force for getting customers to your site is to engage with potential and existing customers on forums and social networks. Stay active on these forums and promote your engaging content through these to drive people back to your site.
It may be wise to test your chosen affiliate program first with a small test to see if the offers convert, if they do then the promotion can be scaled up gradually.
Another key thing to consider when choosing an affiliate program is whether the program could potentially distract from your own core business. Choosing a product too similar to your own will distract your website traffic so only choose offers than compliment what you provide.
Some common pitfalls in affiliate marketing programs can lead to less conversion and potential sales, so if you avoid making these you should be able to manage the program more effectively.
Not using tracking links will mean you cant see where the sales have come from, so placing a unique affiliate tracking link within the content or page will allow you to monitor what is working and delivering results.
Testing an offer is a good way to put yourself in the place of a customer for your affiliate marketing program. Use the service or company you are promoting to ensure that if people follow your advice it will lead to a good experience.
Hard selling a product within a blog or web content does not build confidence as good as a review does. Customers are more likely to complete a purchase after reading an unbiased review over a sales pitch.