What is Affiliate Marketing?

What if I told you that you can get other people to market your business for free and you only pay them every time they drive a sale? We refer to this type of promotion as affiliate marketing.

In fact, affiliate marketing is so common, that without even knowing it, we see it on a daily basis.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Think about the emails that you get and the newsletters that you’re subscribed to…

Have you ever noticed the people sending them are sometimes promoting other people’s products?

Think about Facebook and Instagram…

We constantly see influencers promoting #ad products. A lot of the times, influencers aren’t getting paid upfront to post about these products, but instead, they are getting paid on each sale they drive and all of this is considered affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing in Action

You may be thinking, “But how can we track which sales come from who?”

That’s where tracking links come into play.

Let me break this down into an example:

Let’s say, Joe Biceps is a fitness all-star influencer and he was approached by Nike to promote their new sneakers. Nike wants him to send out an email to his email list of 10 thousand people and post a picture of himself on his Instagram account wearing Nike products to promote them. Nike is offering Joe 40% commission on each sale he drives. The shoes are $100, so Joe will make $40 on every sale he pushes.

In this case, Joe is now an affiliate of Nike.

Nike will give Joe a trackable link to use in his emails and social posts so they know how many sales came from Joe. This is a win-win situation for both parties.

Joe makes $40 on each sale, and Nike gets more exposure and sales through Joe Biceps!

In addition to increasing your audience reach and profits, affiliate marketing will enable you to build relationships with people in the same industry, find out what offers are and aren’t working, generate leads, and boost endorsement/credibility.

How to Start Your Affiliate Program?

How do you know if you are ready for an affiliate program?

First and foremost, you need a product or offer for other people to promote.

Second, do you have a sales page? You must have a sales page to drive traffic to.

Often times, affiliates prefer to promote lead magnets rather than sending people directly to a sales page. A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to prospective customers in exchange for their email address. This is a GREAT way to generate leads and build your email list.

Here are a few examples of high converting lead magnets:

  • Webinars
  • Free PDFs
  • E-books
  • Quizzes
  • Any downloadable content

Third, consider your email funnel. Is your email funnel set up and tested?

Fourth, you want proven offers that will ensure the affiliate promoting your offer will generate sales.

Now of course, if you are trying to get affiliates to promote your product or offer, you need to make sure that it creates a win-win for both of you.

In other words, you still want to make a profit, and your affiliate will want to make a profit as well, so take into consideration your internal costs before assigning a commission percentage to affiliates.

How to Find Affiliates

Finding affiliates can be a bit tricky, so if you are ready to start your affiliate marketing program, a great place to start is signing up for a 3rd party affiliate site.

A few examples include:

These are great platforms to get started.

The best ways to find affiliates are through networking, research, and through platforms like the ones above.

You can also set up your own affiliate marketing program through sites like InfusionSoft and Post Affiliate Pro where they will track sales, clicks, and opt-ins through unique tracking links. You can also track sales through specific coupon codes.

Let’s say you are ready to start your affiliate program…

Now what?

Every time an affiliate promotes your product or offer, you want to track the number of clicks they sent over so you can see how many people viewed your lead magnet or sales page.

With an affiliate system like the ones listed above, you should also be able to view opt-ins or subscribers which are new leads generated by affiliates who promote your offer.

New leads = more people added to your email list!

Then, of course, you should be tracking the # of sales, revenue generated and commissions to be paid out.

Now I know that is a lot to take in, but the bottom line is that creating partnerships with big players in the same industry can be a lucrative business unit and add another stream of income and new customers.

Are you ready to increase your profits through affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments.

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Natalie is the Affiliate and Influencer Marketing Manager *Allstar* at Brandetize. She is the strategist behind partnership promotions and spends most of her time planning campaigns, managing partnerships, and seeking new influencer relationships. A few of her favorite activities include traveling, brunching, beaching, and working out.
  • Greg Neethling

    Would definitely like to learn more about this. I have heard of a sales funnel often by others and was curious on what that is. Thanks for this article, Great info 🙂

  • Thanks for the great information,its really useful for an newbie to get some knowledge,looking forward to learn more information like this,keep doing this great work and keep sharing