Affiliate Marketing And The Power Of Leverage

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Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is simply the process of leveraging on people to sell your products or services for you. They sell while you pay a certain percentage as commission. As an affiliate marketer, what you simply do is connect the product or service to those in need of it. And after you convert, you get paid for a job well done. Affiliate marketing today is largely online as it is the least cost-intensive channel. And this type of marketing makes use of what we call LEVERAGE. If you are entirely new to affiliate marketing, I would recommend you read the LEARNOFLIX AFFILIATE MARKETING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS.

The power of LEVERAGE:

Leverage

Leverage is the ability to influence situations or people to control what happens. To build a successful business, you need to either leverage people, money, or both. Successful product and service companies exploit the power of leverage. The good news, YOU can also use the power of leverage as an individual.

Imagine your friend visiting and gets hungry at night. The only solution you can think of is fast food. Now you decide to take him or her to your regular noodle and egg vendor on your street. What you’ve done with ease is marketing. You simply marketed the food to your friend because you’re well affiliated to that noodle spot. Guess what? That vendor does not advertise. But he leverages on the customers (YOU) to tell others about his wonder noodles. Leverage brings more people to patronize him and guess what? You’ve done it all for free. Wouldn’t you have loved to get a commission for every referral?

Imagine you helping brands to sell products without having the need to own them. You could be dealing with services without being the one to deliver them. That is what leverage can help you achieve.

As an affiliate marketer, you earn an automated residual income for as long as your link exists. And as much as people continue to make purchases through your affiliate link, this gives you a chance to earn while you’re sleeping. However, knowing the kind of people that are interested in the products or services you promote is your leverage. As you advertise to them, you earn on each purchase.

The brand is leveraging on you to make sales for them while you leverage on the connected economy to make money. Like any other field, affiliate marketing also has its terms. Let’s check out some of them:

TERMS

Affiliate link

This link is provided by the merchant to identify the affiliates. It helps to track the generated traffic and sales with the help of a tracking code. This is your money code. As a fact, the end goal is to drive traffic to this link.

Affiliate program

With these programs, the affiliates refer people to different products and services while getting a pay in return.

Commission

This is a predefined amount of money the affiliates get after conversion.

Conversion

When the people referred by the affiliate marketer decide to take the needed action on the merchant’s page.

Cookies

They are used to track conversions by assigning an Id to the user’s affiliate link.

Cookie expiration

Cookies have expiration days. Although, they can be valid for 30–90 days, or less. And a conversion done within a valid cookie period belongs to the affiliate.

First click

If the user clicks on 2 different referral links to the same product, the conversion is attributed to the affiliate that brought the referral with the first click.

Last click

It is the opposite of the first click. If the user clicks on 2 different referral links to the same product, the conversion belongs to the affiliate that brought the referral with the last click.

ROI

This is the Return on Investment. In other words, it shows the profit or loss the affiliates get with respect to their investment.

THE KEY COMPONENTS OF AN AFFILIATE MARKETING PROGRAM

  1. Vendor: This is the product or service company that puts the affiliate marketing program in place. The vendor partners with marketers for sales and revenue sharing.
  2. Marketer: The marketer is the person who needs to sell the affiliated products and services to earn a commission on them.
  3. Deal qualifiers: The vendor and the marketer come to an agreement on what qualifies a successful sale. This may be simple for digital products but complicated for industries like e-commerce. For instance, in cases where an order may be cancelled before or after delivering the item.
  4. Revenue sharing: Typically, the percentage of revenue could range between 3% to 50% of the product price. The sharing depends on the profit margin they can afford to part with.

To know how to build a solid affiliate marketing system for yourself, read HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL AFFILIATE MARKETING BUSINESS.

CATEGORIES OF AN AFFILIATE MARKET

1. The digital/content-based market

This market mainly consists of digital assets such as e-books, tutorial videos, online courses, apps, websites, buyer guides, research whitepapers, solutions, and the list goes on. They could be websites or blogs offering digital products for sale (an example is Learnoflix). They could also be individuals that create contents and sell (examples are Ewen Chia and Sam Harvard). Other examples are Amazon and Clickbank. Such content may get limited users when compared to typical organic traffic on a blog page, but they are highly intent-driven and may contribute to high conversions.

In this case, the individuals, or companies in charge of the assets will have a deal with independent marketers. The affiliates’ part is to help them market these assets and convert to sales while sharing the revenue on a commission basis.

2. The service-based market

This market is purely service-related and has nothing to do with products. They could be individuals or companies offering digital or physical services. For example, web hosting, data and web management, app building, cleaning, car wash, etc. They literally strike partnership deals with independent marketers. These deals are in form of affiliation. And the job is to direct people to their businesses to consume their services. Whatever revenue they make is shared on a percentage basis. In some cases, you get a one-time commission on each customer you direct to the business. In other cases, you get a recurring commission every time the customer you refer patronizes their business.

3. The physical product market

I’m sure everyone is familiar with this space. The likes of Amazon, Jumia and Alibaba are examples of leaders in this market. This market is purely product-based while the products are physical products to be consumed. For example, gadgets, wears, cars, printed books, etc. It doesn’t matter who the manufacturer of the product is, who matters is the vendor. The vendor could be a company or an individual and it is the vendor that dictates the percentage commission.

I could remember while I was at 200 level back in school, I had a friend selling wears. She was making sales quite alright, but she wanted to sell more. So, I had a deal with her to help her sell and add a little percentage to the price. I did this so it doesn’t affect her own gains. It was amusing to hear how I was selling fast while we both made our revenue. That is basically affiliate marketing. She was the vendor while I was the affiliate marketer.

Many people who own a website, blog, or social media page sign up to become independent marketers, aka affiliates with direct vendors or affiliate platforms. These are people who spend their own money to try and leverage search engines, Facebook advertising and other paid and organic advertising models to generate ROI for affiliate offers as well as themselves. They post information and reviews about the brand and the products they market.

THE PROS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING

1. No expert marketing skills required

You don’t have to be a marketing specialist to join a program. You can learn everything on the job. It’s all about developing different long-term and short-term strategies. Then you test them and pick the ones that bring more revenue.

2. Low or no-cost business opportunity

There’s no need to spend money on product or service creation, except you want to.

3. You don’t stock and ship the products.

To become an affiliate, you don’t have to make initial investments. You should only do this if you want to create a website from scratch or spend money on paid ads. So, you don’t need any extra money to invest in it if you don’t have one.

4. A passive or additional source of income

If you have a full-time job, you don’t have to quit it. You can have a passive additional income with the help of affiliate marketing. Develop your marketing plan and spend as much time as you want on your side project, as your life doesn’t depend on it.

5. Flexibility

Doing affiliate marketing full-time is also an option because of its flexibility. You can join any program and start working on your campaigns whenever and wherever you want.

6. Performance-based income

Depending on the program, you can get commissions based on the desired actions. The action is not always a sale, it can be a sign-up, app installation, or any other action.

THE CONS OF AFFILIATE MARKETING

1. A growing competition

Beginners usually have a hard time trying to stand out among well-established competitors. Besides, the number of affiliate marketers keep growing by the day. So, your success depends on your strategy and creativity.

2. Generating low revenue

Everyone wants to make money fast but with affiliate marketing, you can’t earn money in an instant. So, for a start, the revenue is very low (or none) but with time, and by doing the right set of things, it gets way better. If you think this is something you can overcome, then you’re good to go.

3. No control over the product/service

Affiliates don’t have control over the product and service the customers get. Therefore, choosing the right products and service providers is crucial. If the customers get poor service or a low-quality product recommended by you, you’ll lose your credibility.

4. Black hat affiliate marketing methods

To boost sales and increase revenue, some beginners start using black hat affiliate marketing methods. They don’t realize that they put their online reputation at risk, which is hard to recover. Many affiliate programs have strict regulations regarding black hat strategies, and they can shut down the users’ account when they get caught. By the way, the black hat signifies illegal and malicious activities.

5. Driving new leads instead of having a customer base

Retaining customers is more cost-effective than generating new leads and converting them into customers. In the case of affiliate marketing, you can’t retain your customers and have to generate new leads over and over again. Once your lead converts, they become a customer. But you might not get any commissions from new purchases. I used the word “might” because some platforms like Learnoflix keep giving you commissions on subsequent purchases.

6. Unreliable affiliate platforms or programs

You don’t want to lose your generated revenue, right? Choose carefully what programs to join and learn how to find reliable platforms to avoid scams.

TYPES OF AFFILIATE MARKETING PROGRAMS

When you start searching for affiliate programs, you’ll notice different types of programs. The difference between them is the options they provide. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can find the right programs for you. Basically, there are a few common types.

  • PPC (pay-per-click)

This is one of the easiest types of affiliate programs. The affiliates get paid when they refer visitors to the website. They get paid even if the referrals don’t perform any specific actions. But, the commissions of PPC are very low.

  • PPL (pay-per-lead)

These programs pay the affiliates for each converted lead. It means that the visitors must fill in a form or sign up to become a lead.

  • PPS (pay-per-sale)

In PPS programs, the affiliates get commissions when their referrals make any purchase. The commission equals a predetermined percentage of the product price.

  • Sitewide commissions

Some programs pay sitewide commissions to their affiliates. They get paid for any purchase made by their referrals throughout the site.

  • One-time commissions

The commissions are paid to the affiliates only once after the referrals complete the predetermined action.

  • Recurring commissions

This type of commissions is related to subscription-based programs. So, the affiliates keep getting paid as long as their referrals stay signed up.

Before you join any affiliate program, pay attention to the details. Learn more about the payment process, the payout frequency, refunds, tracking, and cookies. Check the types of marketing allowed as well. To begin your affiliate marketing journey, I would recommend you start with one of the best platforms I’ve ever come across. And that platform is Learnoflix. It has changed my life. To know more about how it works, click here.


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