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Monday, April 26, 2010

THE NET-TECH REPORT: Affiliate Marketing for Business Owners

Net-Tech Report with Chris Kauza

I speak with a lot of business owners who consider Affiliate Marketing as a way to grow their business. To be perfectly candid, most of them don't understand what they are asking.

Online Marketing in general, and Affiliate Marketing specifically, is a great way to increase your sales and market penetration. When business owners begin Affiliate Marketing, they should designate a person to manage this sales channel. An Affiliate Marketer is a person or company who markets your products or services, on your behalf, to their market. The Affiliate Marketer has already built up a relationship with people who know, like and trust them. Because of this, their market is more likely to "hear" the marketing message than if you approached this market directly.

Business owners implementing Affiliate Marketing will need define an affiliate program that will either pay the affiliate through a "pay-per-click" program (the affiliate receives money every time an advertisement is clicked) or a "pay-per-sale" program (the affiliate receives a commission every time an advertisement on their site generates an actual sale or subscription.)

Originally popularized by well known companies such as CDNOW or, affiliate marketing began just four years after the world wide web was launched. Google's Adsense is a very well known type of affiliate marketing, but is not really considered as true affiliate marketing as the adverts usually centers around the theme of the website they are displayed (known more as contextual advertising.) Most affiliate marketing programs will either use contextual advertising (this is where you see a hyperlinked word within an article you are reading) or banner ads. (Although in my experience, I see banner ads becoming less and less effective.) Overall, affiliate marketing is very cost-effective approach, and has the potential to generate good income for both parties.

So, what makes a successful Affiliate Marketing Program? Glad you asked...

Here are some things to keep in mind when putting together an Affiliate Marketing program for your company:

  • Provide your affiliate partners with creative and promotional materials. It should be very EASY for them to market your products or services. The less work they have to do and the more money they can make, the more likely they are to promote the products or services.
  • Don't try to sell everything to everyone. This is the quickest way to fail.
  • Communicate with your affiliates by welcoming them to your affiliate program. Send out updates on products additions or changes. Give them tips and advise on how to be successful in marketing products. Consider setting a special support infrastructure that is only for your affiliates, (i.e., blog with updates, website with tools and supporting content, "leader board" showing who is producing the most sales, etc.)
  • Always pay them on time and in full. They are building your revenue. Take care of them. Consider paying your affiliates once every two weeks instead of once a month.
  • Don't relax just because you have a few affiliates who are heavily promoting your products and services, and making sales. They may decide to jump ship. Actively recruit new affiliates to grow this into a strong sales channel for your company.

Affiliate programs works best when affiliates choose products, services and companies that match the content of their web site and would interests their readers. The affiliate wins because they are able to sell things to their visitors without having to run an e-commerce business. The business owner wins because they get increased sales, and the web surfer wins because the affiliate web site directs them to things that they are interested in, which can be easily purchased.

Successful affiliate marketing program takes time to build, but with a bit of effort, it has the ability to increase the Internet sales noticeably.

For more information, please visit Chris's TNNW Bio.


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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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