As promised here’s my post on Affiliate Marketing. If you are yet to read my previous post on Email Marketing, you can check it out here.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Right, so what’s affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is simply getting other people or businesses to promote your products or services and rewarding them for each referral or sale. Rewards are usually in the form of commissions per referral or sale.
As a small business owner, affiliate marketing is one of the cost effective ways to market your business. Your affiliate does all the work required to get you potential customers, and you simply pay them an agreed commission for it. I’ll say that sounds a lot more attractive than spending hundreds or even thousands on advertising with no guarantee of any returns.
So how does affiliate marketing work?
Simple, there’s a large number of individuals and even businesses out there who run websites solely to promote other company’s products and services. These individuals and businesses are called affiliates. Affiliates usually belong to affiliate networks such as Affiliate Future and Commission Junction. The networks act as a middle man bringing together merchants (company’s that want to promote their business) and affiliates.
Merchants go on to the networks registering their company or products and services they wish to promote on the site, usually at a small fee. The merchant also provides all the necessary information and materials required to promote the product, such as product description, prices, offers and sometimes even banners.
Affiliates registered on the networks then go through merchants on the site picking products and services they will like to promote. This is sometimes influenced by the commission amount the merchant is willing to pay. Once the affiliates have picked the products they want to promote, they add the details to their website, and the marketing begins!
It is the affiliate’s responsibility to get potential customers to their website and promote your products and services to them. Some affiliates do this through Google advertising. Once a visitor to the affiliate website clicks on your product, this click is tracked back to your site by the network, and if it results in a sale, the affiliate then gets his due commission payment.
Running a successful affiliate program
Once you’ve decided that affiliate marketing is for you and registered with an affiliate network, there are a few things you can do to get the best out of your affiliate programme.
1) Promote your affiliate programme on your website. Simply add a link on your homepage called Affiliate Programme which could link to a page describing affiliate commission payments, an example is the UK2’s affiliate page.
2) Arm your affiliates with all the details. Make sure your affiliates are kept up to date with any changes to your products, services and prices. Consider emailing them regularly (most affiliate networks will allow you to do this), not only will this help them promote your products better, but it could help build a profitable relationship between you and your affiliates.
3) Market yourself regularly to your affiliates. You need to make sure your affiliates are motivated to promote your business. You could run a special promotion for your affiliates, for instance the best selling affiliate wins an extra £100 commission.
4) Be Competitive. Always make sure you know what your competitors are paying affiliates to promote their business. Try matching their commission payments or better still beating them. There is no loyalty with affiliates, they will promote whoever pays best.
5)Pay on time. The worst thing you can do for your affiliate programme is to delay payments. Make sure your affiliates are paid on time, and they will happily continue to promote your business.
Earn cash as an affiliate
As well as promoting your products and services through affiliate marketing, why not become an affiliate yourself and earn some cash? You can promote products and services that your customers may find useful and earn some extra £££’s for yourself. Your customers will be pleased you’re providing them with useful links to what they require, and you get a well deserved reward for it.
We’ve got a wide range of products and services you could promote at UK2, from Domain Names right up to Servers, and if you think your customers will find these products useful, why not consider promoting them on your website? We pay up to 30% commission on some products. Click here for details.
Don’t forget to check back next week Friday for my post on Search Marketing. Have a lovely weekend, and hope to see you back here next week. 🙂