How effective is affiliate marketing

Definition of "Affiliate Marketing" - suitable for whom, how expensive, how effective?

Affiliate Marketing is a form of eCommerce. The largest area in eCommerce is classic online advertising (banner advertising, pop-up windows, etc.). Keyword advertising (mostly Google Adwords) follows in second place - Affilate Marketing, on the other hand, is only an option for larger providers, as the effort, remuneration system and costs are considerable. What exactly does "Affiliate Marketing" mean?

According to the legend, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos invented affiliate at a party. He was approached by a woman who blogged about divorce issues. She wanted to recommend books through her website and receive a commission for the sale, Bezos provided her with the means to do so - an affiliate was born.

In every affiliate system there is a vendor (advertiser, merchant), an affiliate (blogger, publisher) and an affiliate program (the system that manages the business relationship between merchant and publisher).

Anyone who operates a website can become an affiliate. Mostly they go to the side of a market-leading affiliate network: Zanox, affilinet, adbutler / Belboon, Webgains and - after registration - look for partner programs there.

He sees the providers, the conditions, product information and the advertising material. If he likes a program, he can apply to the merchant as an affiliate partner. The merchant checks whether the publisher is trustworthy, if so, a start has been made - just as easy as the integration of Google Adsence.

The affiliate network takes over the administration of the programs, arranges the commissions, makes sure that everything works 24 hours a day.

The merchant had previously joined the network as a provider - which is usually not cheap - had the partner program programmed and produced the various advertising materials. He tries to get as many publishers as possible so that his investment is worth it. He makes sure that only reputable affiliates take part so that the good reputation of his company is not destroyed.

There are hobby publishers and professional affiliates. A blogger with 300 unique visitors (individual IP addresses) a day can earn perhaps 500 euros a month through affiliate - but it can also (depending on the topic, combination with other forms of advertising and strategy) up to 1,000 - 1,200 euros.

Professional affiliates often have many blogs and platforms. Voucher portals are very popular at the moment. Users will find many discount programs there - the publisher ensures search engine optimization, always up-to-date offers and an attractive design in order to attract and retain users.

Price comparison portals are also known - they too work via affiliate marketing. Some publishers only use search engine optimization (SEO) to gain traffic - they produce masses of content based on certain keywords in order to be found via Google and Co.

SEM affiliates even pay money through Google Adwords to direct users to their page. You invest a certain amount every month and then earn a commission from it.

The affiliate earns money exclusively through commissions. The good old “cost per click” (payment after a click) is almost extinct - today the merchant almost only pays “cost per order” (payment after purchase) or “cost per lead” (payment after the user's contact transaction).

How does this automated system work? Whenever a user does something via the browser, cookies are set there. They stay around 30 days, some even 60 days, some even longer, and wait (cookie crumbs) for a vacuum cleaner to come and vacuum them up. This vacuum cleaner is started when the user does something for which the cookie is programmed - e.g. fill out a special contact form and send it off - or order something.

The vacuum cleaner collects the cookies, which are later counted. The publisher is paid according to the number of transactions. This is why the affiliate networks are so important - because without these intermediaries and administrators, the door would be open to fraud on both sides.

But even with a network, affiliate remains prone to errors, inefficiency and possible fraud. That is why merchants usually turn on affiliate agencies who manage the partner programs and organize campaigns for them (special promotions that push a program over and over again).

Affiliate agencies keep in touch with the successful publishers, make phone calls to them, provide information about campaigns and negotiate individual special conditions. They recommend certain advertising instruments and discuss innovative sales channels in the affiliate.

Affiliate agencies take care of technical problems, check that everything is running smoothly and protect against fraud. They identify SPAM affiliates and throw them out of the system. They monitor the commission system and research abnormalities and their causes.

By Eva Siefeldt

For almost twenty years in the "free wilderness" Eva Siefeldt founded both a registered cooperative for business start-ups in 2004 and an academy for the training of social media entrepreneurs in 2011. For a long time she was a lecturer and trainer for marketing, communication and social media. Today she works as a coach for people in professional change. Your strength is to accept current situations, to recognize visions and to develop strategies together with your clients, which also prove themselves in practice. Mobile: 0176 80528749 - Email: [email protected]