It has long since been realized that traditional marketing strategies alone will not help increase a company’s bottom line to its maximum level. The process of affiliate marketing has grown extraordinarily in the last few years with various companies using the power of referral. Affiliate marketing involves paying another company (the ‘affiliate’) to promote your online business by referring visitors to your website where they can purchase your products/services. How they perform this task is up to them but it usually involves posting links to the merchant’s site in high traffic areas. The agreement between merchant and affiliate varies with different pricing structures for leads and sales.
What Is An Affiliate Network?
An affiliate network is a mediator between an affiliate and a merchant site, a middleman if you will. Some businesses believe that affiliate networks don’t provide a useful service but a high quality network can massively boost a site’s leads and sales. The network is responsible for tracking activity, arranging payment and also aiding affiliates when it comes to posting the requisite links online. Affiliate networks also have a merchant’s affiliate program in their personal directory which allows the company to easily hire new affiliates. In other words, an affiliate network is the great organizer of the whole grand scheme.
Potential affiliates find networks incredibly handy because they have a number of available programs in one easily found place. If you’re in need of a program, an affiliate network will save you the time and effort it takes to find something suitable. You can literally find what you need within minutes and start making money immediately. There are three main payment methods in affiliate marketing and networks can find the right deal for you.
The most popular payment agreement is Pay-per-sale which involves the merchant site paying the affiliate whenever the latter party delivers a customer who goes on to buy something from the site. This payment can either be a fixed rate or percentage of sale. Pay-per-click involves the merchant paying the affiliate for every visitor who clicks on a link that brings them to the site. This is better for affiliates because the visitors don’t have to buy anything in order for the affiliate to earn money. Pay-per-lead sees affiliates receive money whenever one of their referrals signs up as leads on the merchant site. Affiliate networks can expect to get up to 20% of the revenue for their role.
Technically, all websites are welcome to join an affiliate program but networks tend to avoid sites that contain offensive or lewd content. Merchant sites who are involved in the network don’t always need to generate great sales from an affiliate’s work. Often, these sites profit from advertisers who pay money to high traffic sites. As a result, pay-per-click deals are the best for all parties.
There is no limit to how large an affiliate network can be with sites of all sizes benefiting from these programs. Things can get complicated which is why affiliate networks are such an important tool for merchant sites to get more traffic and affiliate sites to get paid.