Affiliate Marketing is a form of 3rd person selling. This affiliation with other merchants (or an Affiliate) allows them to make an action on behalf of a small business and earn a pre-agreed commission for that action. Or.. Other people sell your products on their website for a percentage of the sale or for a pre-agreed price for an action e.g.g Email sign up.
How Affiliate marketing works for small business
Affiliate marketing programs are set up with a goal in mind. This goal could be driving a new website visitor, getting a potential customer to fill in a form or ultimately on a sale only basis. Affiliate marketing programs are tracked through cookies placed on the customers profile as they enter through the affiliate’s website, they are directed to your website where conversions are tracked. This cookie or tracking technology follows the customer all the way to purchase (or leaving the site) and then on a monthly or three monthly basis the affiliate is reunerated for the commissions owed. Affiliate marketing works for small business as other people or affiliates spend time and money advertising and selling your products for you. All you need to determine is what % of the profit you are able to give to an affiliate or how much you would pay for an action such as driving a visitor to your website.
The Affiliate networks
There are many affiliate networks available spanning all forms of product and service. Some affiliates prefer to keep within a certain product range, and others provide universal affiliate network programmes. There are affiliate marketing programs available for all ranges and types of small business.
Affiliate programmes benefit small business
Ok, you have a brand new small business, the SEO will take time to get you up the search engine rankings and you your budget is tight for PPC. Why not work out how much you would pay for a referral, how much would you pay for a new visitor, how much commission could you afford to pay an affiliate and still make a good profit? This is the way that affiliate marketing and affiliates work, this process can be used by small business to bolster marketing campaigns or in some cases as a sole means of promoting their products.
The only downside of Affiliate Marketing
There is one small problem with affiliate marketing that may determine if you are or are not able to join a network. There is a minimum volume of sales required in order to make the network and the affiliates be interested. This depends on the product and the size of the commissions offered and can be negotiated on a case by case basis.
Affiliate programmes can work both ways!
Additionally, if you are receiving good traffic to your website or blog and there is a product that is similar to your own your small business can also run an affiliate marketing campaign, but for other advertisers on your site. Let’s say you are a car dealer, lots of people view your site and look at cars in their area. This traffic usually wants to know how much the insurance would be on a car prior to buying so why not carry a car insurance affiliate on your website. Whenever someone is tracked as buying a policy from you website, you too can earn money. Google offer a version of this called Adsense, instead of being paid a commission of the sale you get paid per customer that clicks the Google ads.
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