You may have heard the term affiliate marketing and wondered what it was and how it worked. Not to mention whether affiliate marketing is something you’d like to pursue, to earn an additional income! We’ve outlined the key points below, to help you get started.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing that works on a revenue share basis. It is one of the most effective ways for a company to generate new business. A company will allow marketers, individuals, networks and other businesses to promote their brand using various marketing channels such as SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media marketing, display advertising, reviews of products and services, as well as content marketing.
At the heart of a good affiliate marketing program is the relationship between advertisers, publishers and the consumer. Affiliates sit in the middle of this relationship and help bring sales to the advertisers and great products to the consumer.
An advertiser is any company selling products and services like loans, electronics, gaming and much much more. Affiliate marketing is a cost-effective way for an advertiser to generate sales as the affiliate will do much of the work to drive traffic online. And in most cases, the affiliate will only be paid for the sales they generate.
The publisher is the company or individual who generates sales or leads through their marketing efforts. The publisher or affiliate will agree to work on behalf of the advertiser using approved marketing materials, which are generally supplied by the advertiser. These could be email creatives, banners, text links or display ads. It is the publisher’s job to use these and their own websites to generate leads, all while ensuring they are compliant with local marketing laws, as well as rules and regulations relating to the particular industry they’re working in.
The consumer is the final piece of the puzzle. Without the consumer buying, there is no affiliate marketing. They are the ones who will see the ad, click on it and hopefully purchase a product or service from the advertiser. If a customer purchases or performs the right action, the affiliate will be paid. But how they get paid differs depending on the agreement set out by the advertiser.
When a customer visits a publisher’s website and clicks through to an advertiser’s website, this prospect will be tracked through a cookie placed on the customer’s device. If the prospect later transacts within an agreed period (usually 7-90 days) the publisher will be credited with the sale through an agreed amount (percentage or fixed amount).
MoneySavingExpert.com is one of the biggest consumer financial information websites in the UK, with over 8 million visits every month. Its goal is to help people make better financial decisions.
How they make money : How they make money : The website doesn’t accept advertisements or sponsored posts, nor does it offer any paid products. Their only monetary method is using affiliate links. Some of their different tactics include maintaining a list of discount codes and deals for a number of retailers and taking a cut from each sale. They also feature pages showing the best bank account or credit card, taking a cut from anyone signing up using an affiliate link. Money Saving Expert additionally have mortgage/loan calculators, and take commission from recommended financial products.
TripAdvisor is a global travel and dining website that shows hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation booking, interactive travel forums and other travel-related content. It’s estimated that the website receives 166 million visitors a month.
How they make money : TripAdvisor has an affiliate partnership with some of the biggest travel companies in the world. As a very trusted company, many consumers don’t realise they are an affiliate website. TripAdvisor works with many travel companies who pay them a generous commission for each lead and affiliate sale due to their high lead quality.
Most affiliates share common practices to ensure that their audience is responsive and likely to buy promoted products. But not all affiliates advertise the same way. There are several different marketing channels they may use, including:
Commission is usually based on a percentage of the product sale price or a fixed amount for each sale, but may also sometimes be based on a per-click basis. Though high commission rates from advertisers may be tempting, it’s important for publishers to ensure the product offered is a good fit and relevant to their audience.
Industry will also greatly affect commission rates. For example, digital products such as music, movies and electronics have relatively low commission rates, whilst financial products and the health industry offer relatively high commission rates.
There are many ways you can market your affiliate product. These include setting up a blog and posting regularly, creating an email list, posting on social media or creating a PPC campaign. The more you do, the greater the chance of earning a commission.
When promoting any financial products, it’s important to stick to the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules. The FCA regulates advertising for most financial products including:
Regardless of whether it’s a social media post or blog about a financial product, it can form a part of a consumer’s product knowledge, and thus influence their decision when choosing a product. It’s important that all promotions and adverts are fair, clear and not misleading, so consumers can make an informed decision.
For more information regarding FCA’s rule, check out their Social Media Guidelines or find out more on their Financial promotions and adverts page.
More and more consumers are reading about finance online. Informative and well-written content that answers common financial questions with strategically inserted links to active affiliate products can be helpful for consumers and profitable for publishers and advertisers.
Leadtree Global works in the underbanked finance sector alongside short-term loan lenders, matching borrowers with a finance provider who may be able to help them access credit. Affiliates working with Leadtree Global can generate leads through their websites, email, SEO, PPC, display advertising or social media advertising. All affiliates are paid on a Cost Per Accepted lead (CPA) or a Cost Per Funded (CPF) basis, depending on the campaign, with the ability to earn up to £75 for every accepted lead. For more information on how it works you can visit our How It Works page. Leadtree Global is one of many networks. Whatever the industry there is likely to be an affiliate network available. Check out mthink for a list of some of the best affiliate networks.