Practical Ecommerce

A Win-Win Situation: Why Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate marketing can be a profitable venture for you, as a merchant or affiliate. It presents you with a great opportunity to increase revenue, and build valuable business relationships.

Affiliate Benefits and Resources

As an affiliate partner, you’re capitalizing on traffic you already have. Every time someone clicks through your site and makes a purchase on your merchant’s site, you earn a commission. Explains Anik Singal, CEO of AffiliateClassroom.com, “Your job is to deliver as much qualified traffic to your merchants as possible.” That means pre-selling their products to customers, and preparing them to make that purchase when they click through to their site.

To become an affiliate, check out ClickBank.com or LifeTimeCommissions.com, or go to Amazon’s homepage and click on the Join Associates link. You should keep several factors in mind when deciding which merchants to promote:

  • Is their affiliate program free to join? If it’s not, move on.
  • What’s their reputation like? Do a little research, and make sure you want to be associated with them.
  • Do they have a proven conversion rate? Don’t waste time driving traffic to a site that doesn’t sell.

Merchant Benefits and Resources

For a merchant, affiliate advertising is a low-risk, high ROI promotional channel. Your affiliates are your online sales force, but you only pay when they actually make a sale. You also diversify your traffic, so if your AdWords aren’t performing or your natural listing drop, you have another source to fall back on. Says Singal, “Why say ‘No’ to all this extra traffic when it’s very little risk to you? You can launch an affiliate program for pennies on the dollar.” There are different ways to find and recruit affiliates:

  • Join an active network, such as Commission Junction or LinkShare. Most networks alert their members when a new merchant joins their program, and encourage them to see if they’d be a good match.
  • Do keyword searches, based on your product line. Sort through the sites that come up, and focus on content sites, especially ones using blogs. Make sure they’re reputable, and relevant to your target market. Personally contact them, and see if they’re willing to work with you.

Why Not?

It’s estimated that in the last year, $95 billion was transacted online as a direct result of affiliate marketing. And those affiliates earned over $6.5 billion in commissions.

Whether you’re getting paid for sharing your traffic, or maximizing sales through your partners, affiliate marketing can help you grow your business and supplement your income.

Practical Ecommerce

Practical Ecommerce

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