08 Apr Use affiliate marketing to promote your business and increase sales
Affiliate marketing involves paying a commission to publishers (affiliates) that promote your business offerings online. It typically works by using unique links and cookies to track any sales that result from affiliates promoting your products or services.
Affiliate marketing allows you to promote your online business without hiring sales staff. It’s typically very low cost and good value for money, as you only pay a commission for successful sales.
However, there are some pitfalls to avoid. Most importantly, you should select a reputable affiliate program provider. A list is included at the end of this article to help get you started.
It’s also important to be selective about who you allow to join your affiliate program, otherwise you risk damaging your brand. For example, a bad affiliate may spam thousands of people via email with affiliate links and poorly written copy – this won’t reflect well on your business. Good affiliate program providers allow you screen affiliates, approving only those that fit well with your brand and target market. Good providers also allow you to set conditions on affiliate activities, for example you may not want affiliate publishers to use affiliate links in emails, or perhaps you only want to allow affiliate links using particular graphics or banners that you’ve created for this purpose.
When selecting affiliates, you should be looking for publishers of quality content with an audience that aligns with your brand. For example, if you sell kitchenware online, then a popular food blog with a legion of foodie-fans would be a great fit.
If you get it right, affiliate marketing can be a terrific way to grow your online business.
Affiliate marketing providers
Below are some of the best affiliate marketing providers. This list is not exhaustive, there are many others (particularly for the U.S. market), but the providers below are well-established, reputable operators.
Local (Australian) market
DIY solution: WordPress plugin
If you run your website on WordPress and have a reasonable understanding of using plugins (adding shortcodes etc) – then AffiliateWP could be a great solution.
It gives you complete control of your affiliate marketing activities, as you’re effectively running your own affiliate program. Plus you won’t have to pay any ongoing management fees to an affiliate program provider.
There are other affiliate plugins available, but they vary wildly in quality and reliability. For this reason, I can only recommend AffiliateWP, as it’s offered by highly reputable developers with a proven track record. I personally use several of their products across a number of sites.