How retailers can increase online sales with affiliate marketing
Every online retailer knows the importance of visibility in leading channels like Facebook and Google. But what about all the other available channels?
Affiliate networks facilitate increased exposure in relevant channels retailers might not have thought of, so let’s explain how affiliate marketing can contribute to increase online sales.
There is nothing wrong with visibility and traffic from leading channels, but limiting online presence to leading channels leaves you with a risk of missing out on potential revenue. Amongst others, the downside is a large, undefined audience. Your product will only be one of many, and the chances of your product being the right for people coming across it are limited.
The question is how you can exploit the rest of the internet and have your product promoted in a variety of channels in all corners of the internet. If you by any chance could extend your reach and increase revenue while not managing the marketing yourself, it would sound too good to be true, right?
As a matter of fact, affiliate marketing allows you to do that exact thing we’re talking about above.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a performance based marketing strategy that allows businesses to have their products promoted in a variety of channels. Affiliates or publishers can come in all shapes and sizes but commonly include blogs and Instagram profiles, shopping sites, price comparison sites, content sites, voucher sites, cashback and loyalty concepts and e-mail marketers. What they have in common is that they all have a relationship with their audience.
Affiliates promote products for financial incentives, most commonly based on order value (CPO), leads generated (CPL) or number or acquisitions (CPA). To keep track of the process and results, the affiliate is provided with a unique tracking link to promote the products of a given retailer.
How do affiliate networks work?
What the affiliate network does is to provide a platform for tracking, support and payment management. The account management, which besides providing a platform for tracking is the most important function of an affiliate network, further facilitates relevant positioning in relevant online channels. Leveraging the expertise of an affiliate network can save advertisers both from spending an unnecessary amount of time, while also avoiding potential mistakes. Further, with a performance based payment model soaring costs can be avoided.
Four ways in which affiliate marketing can help retailers increase online sales
1. Access to high quality, trusted channels
Affiliate networks give access to a varied base of publishers. All of these publishers have a unique, long standing relationship with their audience from which advertisers can benefit greatly in their product promotions. Instead of initiating and maintaining these relations, they can be leveraged directly.
2. Pay for performance
With affiliate networks having a performance based payment model, advertisers pay for performance. When you only pay your affiliates for generating leads or sales, the risk of heavy investments decreases.
3. A reliable strategy to increase sales
All parties involved in the process of selling with affiliate marketing have something to gain from the products of an advertiser being sold. Affiliates receive commission, networks receive an additional payment and advertisers receive a sale. Put differently, advertisers benefit from the fact that the other parties only see money when the advertiser does it – leading both affiliates and networks to vamp up their efforts.
4. Time saving
When buying into a managed service like affiliate marketing, advertisers save a lot of time. The affiliate network provides account management which again includes taking care of tracking and reporting, quality and reliability, support and tax and payment management. At the same time, advertisers can rely on the industry expertise of the affiliate network.
- Tracking and reporting
When working with a CPO, CPL or CPA payment model, clicks and conversions require crorrect tracking any time, any day, all year round. All parties involved need to be able to rely on the platform, and that traffic is tracked and reported correctly in real time.
- Reliability and quality
The vast majority of affiliate networks make sure that verified publishers are reputable and provide value for connected advertisers. The last thing an affiliate network wants is for advertisers to be promoted on non-trusted, sketchy websites.
Different affiliates require different support. Through daily management of support, the affiliate network can relieve the advertiser from a time-consuming aspect of affiliate marketing.
- Tax and payment
A successful affiliate program can mean that hundreds of affiliates must receive the correct payment on time, each and every month. This is managed by the affiliate network.
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