In today’s blog post I would like to give you a brief overview of how affiliate marketing is integrated in webshops. A lot of big webshops are setting up affiliate programs or in other words partner programs in order to generate more traffic to their website and ideally generate more sales. An affiliate program has advantages for both the publisher and the merchant. Within this blog post I will discuss how affiliate programs and why it is an important performance based marketing tool.
What exactly is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a form of internet marketing in which advertisers, in this case merchants, reward their partners for the generated leads. An example: “The owner of a snowboard blog places a banner of Blue Tomato on his website. Someone visits this blog, clicks on the banner and eventually makes a purchase at blue-tomato.com. The affiliate partner will receive a certain commission when the order process is completely fulfilled and payments have been accepted.”. In fact affiliate marketing is a performance based marketing tool that is extremely helpful for webshops.
Publishers, for example a blog owner, can sign up for an affiliate program in different ways. They can sign up through affiliate networks such as Tradedoubler, Affilinet, Belboon or Zanox. Furthermore they can also directly sign up on the merchants website. A lot of merchants have their own partner program running nowadays. Obviously it makes sense for a publisher to sign up for a affiliate program of a merchant that sells products related to his content, just like the example of Blue Tomato.
The infographic shows you the basic idea of how an affiliate program works. Below there are 6 steps listed that explain the concept from the publishers point of view.
- Publisher chooses affiliate programme and signs up
- Publisher integrates affiliate link onto their website
- Publisher promotes the merchant with unique content
- Visitors of the publishers site visit the merchant using the affiliate link
- Visitors that become customers generate commission for the publisher
- Publisher is paid for any sales or referrals he makes
What types of ad materials are used?
Every merchant uses different kind of materials, however the main ones are: banners, textlinks, and productdata. When you are signed up as a publisher for an affiliate program you can choose every type that suits your website and matches with your target audience.
As an example I would like to use Zalando. They have an extensive assortment of banners in different styles and sizes. Furthermore they use textlinks which can even be generated all manually. An interesting type of ad material is productdata or productfeed. A publisher can integrate more than just a brand, category or the homepage on its website. This kind of ad material has a really high potential for generating buying interest. An example website that is using the product feed of Zalando is www.schoenen.nl. In fact their order button is in Zalando style.
Why is this type of marketing important?
This type of marketing is important for both the merchant and the publisher. The publisher can basically get more money out of his website because he receives a commission of the sales every month.
Having a good affiliate program helps you reach the following points:
- Improve traffic
- Increase revenue
- Connect with the right target audience
- Have up to date content visible on multiple platforms
Some interesting examples: