How do Affiliate Programs work?

The rise of affiliate marketing has created an entire new category of marketing professionals. Top influencers earn millions by partnering with brands to use, review, and promote their products. It’s become such a dominant trend that even Instagram has built a special platform for affiliate-related posts. Every major brand today makes use of some form of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate programs are performance-based, where affiliates get paid for referring customers through their own marketing efforts.

Telzio’s Affiliate Program pays 100% commission, giving marketers the opportunity to earn up to $10,000 per referral.

Affiliates can be but are not always customers, and they are not employees. Affiliate programs can motivate existing customers of a brand to become affiliates by incentivizing them, and as a result create a viral referral network. In so doing, affiliates grow a customer base for both the brand and themselves.

How do Affiliate Programs work?

While internet marketing models such as CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per impression) and CPA (cost per action) are still effective, they’ve become more impactful with the advent of affiliate marketing. Using the CPC, CPM and CPA, third party websites (aka the affiliate) can earn lucrative income by becoming an advocate of a brand.

As a marketer, when you partner with a product or service that offers affiliate programs, your first step is to share their links on your website and social networks.  Your incentive for doing so is based on the resulting commercial transactions. You receive a commission when site visitors perform a desired action (based on the models noted above) whether it be a click-through, action, impression or actual sale. Some affiliate programs pay a commission, while others pay a flat fee for each desired result.

Telzio’s Affiliate Program works on a commission basis, where affiliates earn based on how much the customer spends during the initial period.

Affiliate Marketing is a Win-Win Situation

For influencers, bloggers, and marketers alike, affiliate campaigns can monetize your site/network with auxiliary incoming revenues.

For the brands offering an affiliate program, they gain more control over how they spend their advertising dollars. With print, TV, and other forms of “push” marketing, companies are promoting products and services by pushing them out to the people, without a guarantee on ROI (return on investment). With affiliate program or “pull” marketing, you’re creating a loyal customer base by only paying for results.

By offering payouts only to affiliates that perform, advertisers are not investing dollars on those impressions that are literally not impressing customers to purchase. In essence, affiliate marketing is much a more effective advertising vehicle, since affiliates only get paid when there’s a sale – win, win!

Affiliate Marketing is Magnetic Marketing

Unlike ‘push’ and ‘pull’ advertising, affiliate programs rely on magnetic marketing which bonds the seller and the buyer together in an intrinsic way, converting existing customers into an extension of one’s salesforce.

Magnetic marketing pertains to the collaboration of buyers and sellers aligning on the same platform and melding in a very natural way. Like a magnet, the customer and brand come are drawn to each other because the mutual attraction is that strong. Magnetic marketing is when the consumer and brand are attracted to each other at the right time, in the right place, with the right product or service.

For website publishers and retailers, affiliate marketing is a way to get advertising on your existing website without having to recruit and train a sales team or hire an advertising department. The advertiser and the affiliate benefit both benefit by a site’s sales performance.

SEO & Affiliate Marketing

Living and breathing data is important for any marketer – but especially for affiliate marketers.  By drilling down on data, affiliates become more adept at making decisions as to who to target for their offerings over time. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps them become more strategic in this endeavor.

SEO is integral to affiliate marketing. Its functionality has evolved over time. In its infancy, when there were limited checks and balances – less principled affiliates used black hat SEO tactics to drive traffic. They engaged in campaigns with little to no regard for customer service.

Today, affiliates are more scrupulous and customer-centric. They use SEO with a greater awareness for the connection between search engine results and a quality user experience.

Google has placed more emphasis on the importance of on-site factors, such as page-load speed and time spent on site. The quicker the buyer and seller confront themselves, the greater the attraction and the faster the transaction.

Thus, to thrive in the new age of SEO, affiliates are creating more useful, informative, and relevant content that prompts a visitor to more easily find and purchase what meets their needs.  In essence, as a result of magnetic marketing these buyers and sellers are engaging more efficiently on the same wavelength.

Focus on a Niche

You can increase the level of sales by focusing on the best fit for you as an advertiser.  It’s important not don’t set up shop with a catch-all approach to marketing. Instead seek out specific offerings and strategic targets – namely niche markets.

A niche approach to being an affiliate will allow you to create a stronger rapport in a smaller market, and enable you to become a leading influencer in that market.

Overtime, as you grow your database, you have a better opportunity to offer your customers new products and services that fit their demographic.

Click here to learn more about Telzio’s Affiliate Program and to sign up.

Ron is part of the marketing team at Telzio, covering everything from tips and tech for growing businesses to customer success stories for the Telzio blog. Previously a Director of Advertising and Public Relations at Marriott International, Ron has published several books including the award-winning graphic novel Facebucks.