An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing

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What is it?

For merchants affiliate marketing is a low risk, cost effective way to generate business online. It’s also a great way to build brand awareness for a product or service.

How does it work?

Merchants wishing to participate in affiliate marketing typically sign up to what’s known as an affiliate network. This network serves as a liaison point between merchants and affiliates and gives merchants the opportunity to promote their products or services across a multitude of websites.

Affiliates sign up to affiliate networks so that they can promote the products and services of merchants. Merchants reward the marketing efforts of their affiliates by paying them a commission for each sale or lead that they generate. Commissions are usually a percentage of the lead/sale that’s been generated; however some merchants prefer to offer a fixed amount per lead/sale.

Affiliate Types

Affiliates are classified according to the methods they use to drive traffic to a merchants website. They fall into the following three broad categories:

Content Based Affiliates

Content affiliates are those whose websites feature relevant content that’s being searched for by consumers. Affiliate links are strategically placed throughout the content itself. Examples of content websites include blogs, review websites and shopping directories.

Incentive Affiliates

Incentive affiliates drive traffic to merchant’s websites by incentivising consumers to buy with offers of discounts, voucher codes or promotions that the merchant is offering. Examples of incentive websites include cashback websites, loyalty websites and voucher code websites.

Arbitrage Affiliates

Arbitrage affiliates are those who buy advertising from elsewhere to drive traffic to a merchant’s website. Examples of these types of affiliates are pay per click affiliates, who select/bid on their own keywords to trigger a PPC add they have created.

For even more details on affiliate marketing and to find out how it could benefit you visit: