MIMA – Affiliate Marketing 101

Affiliate marketing used to increase purchases or even web traffic; however it has specific nuances that might not always be right for any business.

Some affiliates do practice Black Hat, but most are appropriate – the risk of trusting a brand to an unknown affiliate still exists.  Non-US affiliates might be even riskier; these affiliates might not be able to understand product/culture completely and not subject to US laws.

Who is a good candidate for affiliate marketing:

  • Simple product which is easy to understand
  •  B-to-B is possible, if the product or service can be explained concisely (small business web site is a good product for affiliate marketing, BMW or St. Jude Medical is not)
  • Dell is selling certain server software (quite expensive) via affiliates, and it is very successful (e-commerce function is needed)
  • Lead generation on affiliate network is not that effective

If the company is interested in affiliate marketing, the company needs:

  • Easy to understand e-commerce product
  • Sufficient amount of collateral (particular button-type creative)
  •  Understand costs (affiliate network include costs, commission should be as good as other merchants in the industry, or, ideally, better). Some companies forget to include some affiliate network costs
  •  Affiliate manager – a person who has time and knowledge to manage affiliates

Affiliate networks:

http://www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork/

http://www.amnavigator.com/

http://feedfront.com/  Official magazine of affiliate summit

For B-to-B smaller networks can be better – smaller networks also can educate marketers new to affiliate marketing.

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