Capitalize On The Soaring Affiliate Marketing Business
Imagine a marketing program with the potential to increase your sales from 10% to 25% – and you don’t pay a dime unless you get results. It may sound too good to be true, but that’s the concept behind affiliate marketing.
Through these online programs, your company signs on with a partner. That partner then markets your product or service, often through a link or banner ad that you place on their website. The affiliate gets a commission based on the sales, visits, or leads that result from his/her efforts. It’s the ultimate “pay for performance” program.
There are two basic approaches to approach affiliate marketing:
- You can offer an affiliate program to others.
- You can sign up to a business affiliate.
Let’s take a quick look at both approaches:
Offering an affiliate program to others. As the business driving an affiliate program, you’ll pay your affiliates a commission fee for every lead or sale they drive to your website. You’ll want to find affiliates who’ll reach untapped markets; such as a geographic area or market demographic that, for whatever reason, you haven’t been able to penetrate. Introducing your offer through a trusted company can help get the attention of prospects that have totally ignored your marketing efforts.
Include marketing restrictions into your affiliate agreement so that you’re not competing with your own affiliates. The use of marketing channels that you’re using (such as search engines, content sites or e-mail lists) should be restricted or even off limits to your affiliates. It’s your program and you need to set the rules – even if you let your affiliates run the majority of your internet marketing.
You can maximize your affiliate program by working with the best and cutting ties with the rest. Most of your revenue will come from a small percentage of your affiliates. Managing an affiliate network can be time-consuming so you may want to consider starting small by selecting only a few companies initially. Remember, affiliates are an extension of your sales force and represent your brand, so choose your partners carefully.
Signing up to be a business affiliate. Joining another company’s affiliate program is all about extra revenue. You want to think about your customers’ needs and wants. What products or services do you not offer that would interest them? Join affiliate programs that offer those products and services. Carefully selected affiliate programs can increase your sales and revenue with no upfront costs to you. Plan your strategy and select the partners that will have the greatest impact on your business.
Affiliate marketing continues to grow as companies recognize it as a legitimate way to generate additional revenue in these tough economic times. Forrester Research estimates that U.S. affiliate marketing spending will reach $3.7 billion in 2013. It’s no surprise that more and more companies are looking to capitalize on this growing trend.