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What is affiliate marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing?
In a nutshell, Affiliate Marketing is a referral-based marketing strategy (also called "revenue sharing"), in which Merchants pay Affiliates commissions for referring business to the Merchant's website.

Merchants do not pay for advertising with their Affiliates until a sale or visit occurs. They only pay a small commission to referring Affiliates for resulting sales.   Or an even smaller commissions for purely visit based. 

Since the referring website (the "Affiliate") has a direct incentive to send customers to the merchant, they tend to market their Merchant's products or services more aggressively than would a prepaid CPM advertiser. In fact, affiliates are becoming well known & well respected for their effective marketing ability.

The technology we offer that facilitates an affiliate marketing strategy, EasyStoreCreator, automates this process for both the Merchants and their Affiliates.  

An example: 
A webmaster signs up as a new affiliate with a merchant using EasyStoreCreator, gets his affiliate login ID and default banner code. He then logs in to his affiliate administration page, and sees that his account has no activity yet.... (keyword: yet).... he gets a banner or text link to promote the site with and he is off.

Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

Risk-Free Advertising:
With Affiliate Marketing -- you only pay for results. You don't pay for banner impressions: you pay for results. You decide what is most valuable to you -- a sale, or a visit. Reward your affiliates however you desire: pay them percentage of the sale, or pay them a finder's fee for each visitor -- whatever you want. You decide how to reward your Affiliates -- but you won't pay for anything but results.

A Powerful and Effective Network:
With your Affiliate Marketing Strategy, you build a Network of websites and email list owners who are actively referring high-quality buying traffic to your site. As each new Affiliate signs up for your affiliate program and places a specially-encoded link back to your site from theirs (or in their newsletter) exposure to your target market is instantly increased. Each new Affiliate can add an endless number of qualified buyers to your audience.

Cost Effective Advertising:
Compared to traditional CPM models and other online marketing options, Affiliate Marketing is a highly profitable and incredibly efficient marketing strategy. No other form of marketing offers the option to make money without first spending money!

Long-Term Advertising:
Unlike prepaid banner advertising, e-zine advertising and print advertising, Affiliate Program advertising is not limited by time. When your Affiliates know they are getting paid when they refer sales to your business, your link is there to stay.

Relationship Building:
Everyone knows that developing relationships is the key to success with any type of Marketing plan. Affiliate Marketing fosters highly profitable, long-term relationships with Affiliates and customers alike.

Attracting Affiliates:
Learn where to look for quality Affiliates and how to get them to join. When you market your website with you can offer other website owners a simple and effortless way to make money with their current website. When you have EasyStoreCreator managing your Affiliate Program, you can rest assured that you are implementing a comprehensive Affiliate Marketing solution.

Your Affiliates can see their real-time statistics with their very own password-protected administration page - they'll know your software keeps you "honest".   But where do you find Affiliates? Below, we've identified a few basic types of prospective Affiliates. Plus, we show you some very easy-to-use tips to uncover prospective Affiliates.

Promotion Opportunities:
There are several places you can look to find potential Affiliates - starting at your own website and spanning the web. Here are a few places to start: Your current customers and current website visitorsPromote your Affiliate Program on your current website - who better to recommend your products and services than your own customers? "Join our Affiliate Program" - you see that on more and more websites each day. Allowing your customers to become Affiliates gives them a sense of loyalty, and a way to promote their favorite products and services. Non-Competing, "Complementary" Sites"Complementary" sites are a perfect place to find excellent Affiliates. For example, if you sell lawnmowers, a website that sells lawn care books and accessories would be a perfect Affiliate. If you sell baby toys, try looking for sites that offer moms goodies. Finding sites that attract your target market, and those who can benefit from recommending your product or service to their visitors, will yield great results. Content-Oriented, Interest-related sites. Many entrepreneurs have started content-oriented websites that earn money from advertising dollars alone - they may not directly sell any products on these sites. You could either pay to advertise on their site, or you could offer them a commission on sales that result from their site. By doing so, you lower your risk and manage your cash flow better, while your new Affiliate can earn more money in the long run, by earning commissions on resulting sales, instead of charging you for advertising upfront. If your site promotes a book on "pregnancy", try finding sites where moms get together and chat. A site that promotes "healthy lifestyles" would be a great Affiliate for your "fitness equipment". Content sites that are a used as a resource for your target market are ideal Affiliates. You are inherently endorsed by the website, and they have an incentive to ensure you get sales.

Active Recruiting:
Actively recruiting will give you a number of quality Affiliates dedicated to promoting your products and services. Here are a few things you can do to actively recruit new Affiliates: Pretend you are a customer. Here's a great way to uncover prospective Affiliates that you may not have otherwise considered: Pretend you are a customer of your product or services. If you sell "picture frames" - do a search in your favorite search engine for "picture frames", or some other term that your customers would search for. What do you come up with? There are probably some competitors listed, but there are probably a lot of photo studios, art studios or camera companies. Contact these website owners - offer them the opportunity to direct customers to your site for the frames they'll need for the pictures they'll be purchasing - and offer them the opportunity to make additional income in commissions with EasyStoreCreator. Get your program listed in Affiliate Program Directories. There are several sites on the Internet dedicated to listing Affiliate Programs. Affiliate Announce will do all of this work for you and more for $79-$249.

Passive Recruiting:
Believe it or not - Affiliates will come to you. Whether it is through links on your website, links that your Affiliates have placed or word of mouth referrals - they will find you and join your program. Here are a few reasons why they will look for you and eagerly join your Affiliate Program:
  1. They will earn a specific commission for each sale they send you.
  2. You are offering a Quality product or service, and you stand behind your products, just as they do theirs
  3. Offering your product or service does not compete with them
  4. Offering your product or service will be a Value Added Service for the benefit of their visitors. (Thereby enhancing the experience their current customers and website visitors have while visiting their site.)
  5. Offering your product or service will increase their revenue - both by increasing sales of their product and increasing revenue per visitor.
  6. Their website visitors are going to leave their site anyway! Where will they go? By giving website visitors a great place to go, website owners can now cash in on an often-overlooked, revenue-generating "Exit Strategy".
  7. You are using a tracking system, EasyStoreCreator to "keep you honest". Proper implementation of this software will ensure that every resulting sale will be credited to the proper Affiliate.
  8. By placing your banner on their site, they will increase their "credibility" - they have a site that people want to advertise on; the company that's advertising on their site is a great one - yours!

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