What Is Affiliate Marketing and How Does it Work?
Each business wishes to earn profits by receiving as many customers as possible and, in the process, growing sales.
There are multiple ways to drive sales. An example is affiliate marketing, which is very suitable and preferable to numerous entrepreneurs.
Some people are familiar with the term because they have heard it thrown around from different areas. So what is, by fact, this type of marketing, and what does it involve?
In plain words, it is a kind of internet marketing where the affiliate (person referring customers) signs up for a merchant’s affiliate marketing program. The affiliate then suggests the merchant’s products to customers and earns a commission on every sale made.
It’s similar to what practiced before internet marketing became mainstream.
Where sales agents would go out and get customers and then be paid a percentage for every sale made. To some degree, this type of marketing also twists with some internet marketing methods because affiliates use traditional advertising methods to create product awareness. Some of these techniques include using search engine optimization tools, email marketing, and pay per click known as PPC.
Affiliate marketing should never be confused with referral marketing, as is regularly the fact because the two are very different. The primary motivation behind affiliate programs is financial profit as a way of driving sales, while referral marketing practices personal connections and trust to increase the number of sales. By relying on faithful existing buyers and business relationships, a business can use referrals to increase income generation. In affiliate marketing, you only get paid commissions when you bring in clients who make purchases.
This marketing program requires the affiliate to use an affiliate link anytime they mention the advertiser. When a potential customer visits the affiliate’s website and clicks on the link, they are taken to the merchant’s website. At the same time, a cookie gets dropped on the customer’s computer.
The customer then purchases from the merchant’s website. As he logs out, the merchant finds a cookie that belongs to a specific affiliate and thereafter making credit for the sale according to the initial agreement.
For clarity purposes, the merchant avails records showing analyses of traffic volume from the affiliate’s link and the sales made. This ensures that the publisher is paid his fair dues without being held an advantage of by the merchant. The commission payments are usually made after specific durations, on most times monthly. At least that allows the merchant to receive a significant number instead of the gains coming in small bits.
The most common payment method is explained above, where the affiliate is only paid commissions for actual sales made.
The cost per click payment method is not favored by many merchants because there is always the marketing program’s risk, not ending in reasonable sales numbers.
An affiliate can also rest around and earn money for actually doing nothing. Affiliate marketing is sometimes referred to as performance marketing because of the repayment method.