What Is Affiliate Marketing

The setup and tactics we adopt to deliver success

Like any other channel in the digital world of eCommerce, well-structured affiliate marketing programs offer the opportunity for a brand to drive customers to its site from external sources, but there are unique elements to this channel that make it tricky to strategise.

It’s all about revenue! Brands pay commission to other companies or people for promoting and selling its products or services online. It’s a huge digital space offering incredible opportunities to increase traffic, revenue and sales, but with so many potential partners involved it’s hard to maximise the opportunity. That’s why you need an experienced affiliate marketing agency working on your account because if managed correctly, a platform of this size can be a huge revenue driver.

The Four Parties Involved in the Affiliate Sale Process

Merchant/Advertiser:

A brand selling its products or services online

Publisher/Affiliate:

The affiliate website that advertises and promotes a merchant’s products or services

Customer/Consumer:

Person/persons that buy the products or services from the merchant

Network/Platform:

The system/software that tracks all the data required for the process

The Process

How Affiliate Marketing Programs Work, Five Steps

Step 1

The Setup Process

Getting all the different elements of affiliate marketing programs just right, from day one.

Tracking tags are added to a merchant’s website to record data via an affiliate network. Online cookies can then be recorded to categorise whether or not a customer sale is delivered from the affiliate channel or another source. Merchants have multiple options to choose from, which will define how the channel will work for them, such as how much commission they will pay to partners for delivering sales. Once affiliate marketing programs are set up, brands are then ready to start recruiting publishers and pushing out products and promotions.

Step 2

Strategy and Tactics

What kind of publishers do you want to work with, who is going to fit with your brand and plan, what program setup do you want to have?

This is a fun but also a hard part of the process. A merchant can set up affiliate marketing programs however they want, but it’s important they get it right from the start. What kind of publishers do they want to work with and why? What kind of promotions and products are they going to push out via the affiliate channel? Do they want to use voucher codes to offer discounts and what publishers do they want to feature them, and why? How much tenancy do they have to spend on publisher exposure packages? The options are endless, so it’s important to plan carefully.

Step 3

Recruitment

How do I find the right partners to promote a brand and its products?

Recruiting publishers is a vital element to successful affiliate marketing programs. A brand needs to partner with the right kind of affiliates that are relevant and will work hard to push products and content. There are an unimaginable amount of publishers working within the market, from social influencers to voucher code websites. Most of them work with thousands of other brands, so it’s difficult to grab their attention and persuade them to push products and promotions. This is why having great relationships with affiliates is our fundamental role as an affiliate marketing agency, and we’re specialists at recruiting the right publishers to affiliate marketing programs.

Step 4

Building Relationships With Partners and Collaborating

How can you manage such a large list of publishers?

Partners can’t push your promotions and products if they don’t know they exist, but communicating to such a large amount of publishers takes time and effort. Everyone wins from successful affiliate marketing programs – merchants make sales, publishers earn commission and the customer purchases the products they want. Perfect! So taking the time or having a system in place, like ours, to constantly deliver key messages to publishers is essential to a successful program.

Step 5

Review and Optimise

Reporting, market share analysis, QBRs, benchmarking, and taking a look at how the affiliate channel is performing amongst the full eCommerce strategy.

No program strategy is set in stone and merchants can make multiple tactical implementations on an affiliate marketing program to shape its performance. Strategy decisions should be made after detailed reviews of the numbers, utilising the information that they are presenting. We regularly review a program’s performance and offer suggestions to clients based on analytical data. This is achieved by regular reporting, market share analysis against competitors and benchmarking of what different strategies can achieve. The key is not to guess, but to analyse the numbers to make logical decisions.

Free Program Review

We’re confident that we have the skills to help your business, so why not allow us to show you? We’ll provide a full analytical breakdown to showcase how we can improve your affiliate marketing program and deliver your business better results.