Affiliate marketing is a process by which the owner of a product, either virtual or physical, recruits one or more people – affiliates – whose role is to promote and sell the affiliate product in return for a commission. Affiliate marketing turns the whole marketing / advertising concept upside down. The traditional approach to marketing is to advertise, usually at some considerable cost, spreading word of your product far and wide, hoping that your message will be seen and bring buyers to your door.
Affiliate marketing, on the other hand utilizes a ‘pull’ model, where you buy into a ready-made audience of already interested potential purchasers, who need little persuasion to buy the product. The principle is very well established and there are a number of companies such as Click Bank and Commission Junction, to name two of the largest who are in business to put product owners in touch with affiliate marketers.
Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing From The Product Owners’ View
From the point of view of the product owner the affiliate marketing system works very well and brings with it a number of benefits.
1. Lower advertising costs. Normally a product owner would hire an advertising agency and pay enormous fees, or take advertising space in offline media like newspapers. Alternatively they would build a web site and pay for it creation and promotion. None of these costs exist using affiliate marketing.
2. Faster response time. It takes time to establish a profile using traditional marketing methods, but with affiliate marketing the process if accelerated, sometimes taking just days compared with months.
3. Less administration because companies such as Click Bank have computer systems in place which automatically track click throughs from affiliates’ web sites and blogs using cookies. At the end of each week or month, they present a comprehensive analysis of each affiliates sales, tax due and so on.
4. Wider product exposure. Affiliates will usually (it’s almost a pre-requisite) have their own significant following on a web site or blog. With luck, a product owner can tap into this ready-made traffic stream almost overnight.
5. Low initial financial outlay for product promotion. The only start-up costs the product owner faces will be the fee to register with Click Bank or a similar organization. After that commission is paid only when the objective has been met – a sale or click on a CPA offer, for example.
Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing From The Affiliate Marketers’ View
The affiliate marketer has a number of immediate benefits from this approach too.
1. No investment costs. Affiliate marketers do not need to buy a product to sell, or have to invest heavily in time or money in order to acquire a product to profit from.
2. The affiliate has no administrative burden and does not have to worry about processing orders, maintaining stock, payment processing or invoicing.
3. Freedom. As the business is run online it can be carried out from anywhere in the world – even when sitting on a beach.
4. The affiliate requires no specialist knowledge of, or expertise about, the product being sold.
In conclusion, the benefits of affiliate marketing are very significant for both product owner and affiliate marketers, in comparison with traditional marketing methods.