Of course it depends what you are offering… and what you’re wanting to achieve.
If you’re finding that traditional advertising approaches are expensive or not driving business, you might want to consider affiliate marketing.
Of course, it also works through “social proof” – which is why you also want to optimise your reputation first.
Back to affiliate marketing, it’s quite easy to do and you only “pay when you play”, by paying commission on sales which you probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.
So here’s a bit about my experiences so you can get started with this new revenue stream.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
As explained by Wikipedia, it’s “is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.” When you have a good affiliate it’s like having a JV partner: they recommend you and someone makes a purchase on your site, so 1) you get a sale 2) your brand is more known, and 3) the affiliate partner gets a commission.
What is An Affiliate Marketing Network?
Affiliate Networks act as a go-between for merchants and affiliates. For merchants (that’s you, potentially) it’s much simpler way to connect with affiliates through a network than it is to run your own affiliate program. The networks take care of the promotions, marketing, regular compensation payouts, tracking and reporting. All you have to do is to choose which one.
What is Affiliate Tracking Software?
As an alternative, you could use affiliate tracking software. This way, you can launch an independent affiliate program without having a network as an intermediary. The software is a management and tracking program that gives you a lot of the same tools and functionality as joining a network, except you’re doing it on your own.
Here are some of the best I’ve found:
LeadDyno – great affiliate tracking software. We’ve used this to build and look after more than 1,500 affiliates in less than a year
Affiliatly – Affiliatly is an affiliate tracking app designed for eCommerce sites. It’s fully working affiliate program with a 30days trial which is 100% free. Affiliatly is officially supporting: Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento and WooCommerce. Highly recommended if you’re an eCommerce business using one of these platforms.
Paydot – a wide range of affiliates including marketing and software, so this could be a good choice for Serve on Screen. Pandit is based in the UK and also owned by Twist 360. Paydot is in the process of merging with MoreNiche, the health and beauty brands specialist also owned by Twist 360. MoreNiche is not taking applications at the moment so just apply to Paydot.
CommissionFactory – an Australian based company which is growing very fast – active in the fashion and beauty niche and particularly suited to merchants with a wide range of products
Clickbank – one of the longest established, mainly associated with digital products – again a great choice for Serve On Screen
Optimus – UK based affiliate which provides bespoke solutions.
CJ, formerly Commission Junction – the top USA affiliate to America’s top 1,000 e-retailers, these guys know what they’re doing
Share A Sale – used and recommended by many online marketers.
Amazon – with Amazon platforms internationally and THE biggest source of buyers, it’s crazy to ignore Amazon. As soon as we listed on here, sales began, with no other marketing. We love Amazon. Like everything, you need to know what you’re doing. And it’s not just you who can sell your products on Amazon. Once you’re listed, other Amazon-users who promote your product/service can earn commission, from 4% of sales for smaller affiliates, as high as 15% for higher volume referrers.
Mobilized – This is a good list of possible Affiliate apps including some of the ones listed above.
There are literally hundreds of other affiliate networks but the best are listed here. Let me know if you think I’ve missed off someone important?
The main thing is to pick one and get cracking. Just like any marketing strategy, it won’t work in isolation. There’s no silver bullet: you need a solid plan to work through with people who know what they’re doing.
Give me a call if I can help you more?