You’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing, but you may need to figure out what it is or whether it’s a good fit for your business. In short, affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each customer or visitor brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
Affiliate marketing can effectively reach new customers and grow your business, but it’s only suitable for some. Keep reading to learn more about affiliate marketing and whether it might be a good option for your business.
How It Works
With affiliate marketing, businesses typically provide a percentage-based commission to affiliates who promote the business’s products or services. When a customer takes the desired action—such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or requesting more information—the affiliate is rewarded with a commission.
Types of Affiliate Programs
There are two common types of affiliate programs: cost per action (CPA) and cost per sale (CPS). With CPA programs, affiliates are rewarded based on the customer’s activity, such as purchasing or Requesting more information.
CPS programs pay affiliates based on the sale of products or services, regardless of whether the customer takes additional actions beyond clicking through to the business’s website.
Deciding if Affiliate Marketing is Right for Your Business
Here are some things to consider when deciding if affiliate marketing is suitable for you:
Your business's size and growth stage
Generally speaking, companies that are just starting or are relatively small may find it challenging to invest the time and resources necessary to make affiliate marketing success. On the other hand, well-established businesses with a large customer base may find affiliate marketing an effective way to reach new customers without substantial upfront investment.
Some industries are better suited to affiliate marketing than others. For example, businesses in the physical product space may find it difficult to convert clicks into sales. In contrast, businesses in the digital product space may quickly generate leads and drive conversions through affiliates.
As with any marketing effort, there will be costs associated with starting and running an affiliate program. These costs will vary depending on the size and scope of your program—so be sure to factor them into your decision-making process.
If you’ve decided that affiliate marketing might be a good fit for your business, there are a few things you’ll need to do to get started:
1) Select an affiliate network: There are dozens of affiliate networks out there, so take some time to research your options and select one that suits your business needs well.
2) Identify potential affiliates: Once you’ve selected an affiliate network, you’ll need to identify potential affiliates who align well with your brand and would be a good fit for your program. This process often includes outreach; you’ll need to reach out to potential affiliates and introduce yourself before they agree to participate in your program.
3) Create attractive offers: For affiliates to want to promote your products or services, you’ll need to create compelling offers and offer a good return on investment (ROI). You’ll also need to keep track of which offers perform well so that you can adjust or discontinue them as necessary.
4) Monitor results closely: Once your affiliate program is up and running, it’s important to monitor its performance closely so that you can make adjustments as needed. After all, even the best-laid plans don’t always go according to plan! By monitoring performance closely, you can optimize your program over time and ensure it’s as successful as possible.
Reasons to Start an Affiliate Program
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to start an affiliate marketing program for your business, consider these three reasons why it’s a good idea.
Easy to Set up and Manage
One of the main reasons businesses shy away from affiliate marketing programs is that they think it will be too complicated to set up and manage. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to tools like HasOffers, Tapfiliate, and Refersion, it’s easier to launch and manage an affiliate program.
Can Be Used to Boost Sales During Slow Periods
Every business has its ups and downs, but with affiliate marketing, you can predictable earnings by taking advantage of the fact that people shop year-round for holidays and other special occasions. You can quickly boost your sales and earnings by running seasonal promotion and increasing your commission rates during these times.
Help You Reach New Customers
Affiliate marketing allows you to reach new customers that you wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. By partnering with influencers and other businesses in your niche, you can tap into new audiences interested in what you offer.
If you’re serious about pursuing affiliate marketing, a great way to get started is by taking an online course. Check out this course offered by Elite VA Experts, “How to Start an Affiliate Program on WordPress Course,” and learn about Affiliate Program Planning, setting up your program on WordPress, Affiliate Plugins, and more.
Affiliate marketing can be an effective way to help grow your business—but it’s not right for everyone. Before diving into an affiliate program, consider carefully whether it’s a good fit for your business’ size, industry, and budget. While some initial setup costs are associated with starting an affiliate program, monitoring its success over time can help ensure that it becomes a valuable part of your overall marketing strategy.