What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a process in which merchants offer compensation to a partner when the partner generates traffic, leads or sales on behalf of the merchant.

Latest Affiliate Marketing News:

Affiliate Marketing Turns 20: Myths, Milestones & Momentum

affiliate-mktg-240px It was the year Forrest Gump sorted through a box of chocolates, the only strike happening in Major League Baseball was between the players and management, and Sheryl Crow declared, "All I wanna do is have some fun." 1994 was also the year affiliate marketing officially burst on the scene. Now, 20 years later, the affiliate industry is poised to grow to $4.5B by the year 2016, according to analysts at Forrester Research. Here, we'll take a look at the past two decades in affiliate marketing, dispelling common myths, highlighting milestones and sharing the biggest opportunities on the hor [...]


3 Tips to Get Your Affiliate Network Working For You

shutterstock_171989792-gears-work Times are tough for affiliates. In February 2014, the affiliate channel accounted for only 7% of e-commerce transactions -- down from 9% in February 2013, and a drop in the bucket compared to major e-commerce traffic sources like organic search (24%), paid search (19%), and email (18%). The above figures come from The Custora Pulse, a free US e-commerce industry benchmark, aggregating transaction and customer data from over 100 US e-commerce retailers, developed and updated by e-commerce marketing analytics company Custora (disclosure: my employer). But don't go feeling bad for affili [...]


6 Things To Watch For Better Gmail Deliverability

gmail-app-logo For most email marketers, reaching the inbox at Gmail is difficult, and trying to discover why emails aren’t reaching the inbox is downright confusing, if not nearly impossible. (Though Google is reportedly piloting a feedback loop program for email service providers (ESPs) that might help address this.) For now, Gmail’s Bulk Sender Guidelines offer general advice for marketers sending to Gmail subscribers, but they lack specifics. At Return Path, we recently analyzed hundreds of thousands of campaigns from thousands of senders to find out what marketers should be paying attention to. [...]


Mobile Affiliate Sales Hit All-Time High Of 27% In December, Affiliate Window Says

affiliate-marketing-featured More evidence of the big shift to mobile in 2013: Affiliate Window, an affiliate network based in the US and UK, says that sales made via mobile devices hit an all-time high of 27.09 percent in December. That's almost double the 14.77 percent that mobile sales accounted for in January 2013. In fact, when we last checked in with Affiliate Window in May 2013, mobile sales were at a then-record of 18 percent. (The company says it's now using an improved tracking system, and that figure from May has been revised upward to 19 percent.) Since May, mobile sales through Affiliate Window's net [...]


Ten Bold Predictions For Affiliate Marketing in 2014

future-predictions-vision-featured When it comes to affiliate marketing, 2013 was quite an interesting year. Some of the biggest milestones included a record-breaking e-commerce holiday season, double-digit network growth, and the closing of the Google Affiliate Network. And let's not forget about "Cookiegate," which was sparked when Mozilla announced plans for its Firefox browser to block certain cookies. As we look back on 2013, we can’t help but make educated guesses on what the next year will bring. While nobody can predict the future, a closer look at some of the more recent industry shifts and trends are a good indic [...]


The Future Of Internet Sales Tax: What’s Next After The Supreme Court’s Denial Of Amazon, Overstock Appeals?

law-legal-concept This week, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals filed by Amazon and Overstock.com that challenged the ability of states to collect sales tax on items sold online by out-of-state retailers. The appeals stem from New York's passing of what has become known as the "Amazon Tax," which expands the definition of  nexus to include in-state affiliate marketers. Amazon and Overstock.com claimed the expanded interpretation of nexus violates Constitutional interstate commerce law and due process. The retail giants point to the US Supreme Court's 1992 ruling in favor of mail-order business Qu [...]


Last Minute Google Shopping: Best Practices In PLAs

Imageretailomni Congratulations! You're now fully entrenched in the holiday shopping season. Of course, we know the majority of marketing campaigns were locked down in August (right?), but this doesn't mean you don't have any wiggle room to make last minute adjustments, especially if you're not yet seeing the results you anticipated. One area where you can make small changes and yield big results is in your Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs), Let's take a closer look at how you can improve your returns from Google Shopping this holiday season with the following seven ways to boost PLA results. 1. Ensur [...]


Amazon Launches Mobile Associates API For Game & App Developers

amazon-icon The new Amazon Mobile Associates API allows  developers to sell products available at Amazon from within their apps and games. The API is an extension of the Amazon's long-standing affiliate program, Amazon Associates, which launched in 1996. After initiating the API, developers can select a specific set of products, search terms when choosing what Amazon-fulfilled products to sell. Items can be digital or physical. They can opt to sell a single item from Amazon that ties into the game or app; show a category of items related to app or game content; or bundle a physical purchase from Amazo [...]


Holiday Road: Boost Q4 Results By Better Understanding The Customer Journey

online shopping There's nothing like the August sunshine to bring out a creative spark to drive your holiday campaigns! If you're like most e-commerce marketers, chances are good that you're already knee-deep in end-of-year planning -- and it's also highly likely that your boss has raised the performance bar yet again. After all, if the past two years are any indication, we can anticipate another lucrative e-commerce holiday season. Below are three reasons why. [caption id="attachment_56575" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] E-Commerce holiday shopping continues to bre [...]


Amazon Calls Minnesota Sales Tax Law Unconstitutional & Closes Minnesota Associate Accounts

amazon-logo The Minnesota Star Tribune reported today that Amazon is terminating all relationships with their Minnesota associates after the state's Governor Mark Dayton signed the Minnesota E-Fairness legislation. The new law classifies independent bloggers and online reviewers -- which will include websites that post links to online merchant sites in exchange for advertising fees -- as a physical presence of a business. The new legislation will force Amazon to collect taxes not only on any new sales generated by these websites, but on all sales in Minnesota. "The tax on online sales is already due [...]


Mobile Affiliate Traffic, Sales Reach All-Time Highs In May [Affiliate Window]

mobile-web-traffic-featured Mobile traffic and sales at affiliate websites hit all-time highs in May, according to the affiliate network Affiliate Window. The company shared its May stats this week, which show the increasing impact of mobile in the affiliate space: more traffic and more sales are coming from mobile devices than ever before. Affiliate Windows says it's recorded more mobile sales so far in 2013 than it did in the first 11 months of 2012. In May, there was a record of 572 sales per hour via mobile devices. Across its network, 18.16 percent of all sales in May were mobile. That's up from 16.48 perce [...]


Removing Marketing Silos To Better Understand The Customer Journey

[caption id="attachment_47842" align="alignright" width="279"] Image via shutterstock[/caption] Take a look around any marketing department today, and you’re likely to find clusters of marketers responsible for various functions such as display, targeting, search, and the affiliate channel. On the one hand, this allows you to cultivate teams with deep expertise in their areas of specialization. On the other hand, it creates silos that limit your ability to see the full scope of the customer’s journey. For example, your back-to-school campaign may be a full-on marketing push throug [...]


Marketplace Fairness Act Won’t Pass Says House Judiciary Chairman

tax-money-180px In an interview with Roanoke, VA NBC affiliate WSLS10, Representative Bob Goodlatte says it's unlikely the Marketplace Fairness Act will pass in the House. The act would require online businesses to collect sales tax even in states where they don't have a physical presence. The Republican Congressman from Virginia said the bill, which already passed in the Senate,  is unfair to consumers and that states should come to an agreement that leaves Congress out of the process. Admitting that's unlikely to happen, Goodlatte said House Republicans are working on their own version of the bill. [...]


Hidden Data In Your Amazon Associate Reports

hidden-data-in-amazon-reports Like many other Internet marketers, one of the first things I do each day is check my Amazon Associates account to see how much I earned the day before. I also check to see how many and what products were ordered the day before, knowing that I will earn my commission on them once they are shipped. It's just a routine of mine and, as I said before, is likely common for others that promote Amazon products. However, about once a week or so, I really dig into the reports in my Associates Account. While most people are aware that they can see how much a tracking ID earned for any specific time f [...]


Managing The Migration To A New Affiliate Network

The topic of affiliate network migration is at the top of the agenda for a lot of advertisers these days. Whether a transition is driven by the urgency around the closing of the Google Affiliate Network, or you've bandied about the idea of switching networks for some time, moving to a new network requires thoughtful, strategic planning. Otherwise, you may find yourself hopping across different networks while you disrupt your brand, sales and publisher relationships. Below are five key considerations when it comes to selecting a new network followed by a seven-step migration plan. 5 Questio [...]


GAN’s Closing May Push Retailers Toward Better Affilliate Advertising Results

affiliate-marketing With the announcement of Google Affiliate Network closing its doors in July, many retailers are being forced to find new alternatives for their affiliate advertising programs during the coming weeks. While such a major task may not be at the top of any marketers favorite things-to-do list, the move could result in improved numbers for retailers using GAN that have put off migrating to a new network. After speaking with two former GAN clients, both reported significant increases in their affiliate advertising revenue since migrating from Google. One Retailer's Story Matt Khalili, a marketi [...]


Online Sales Tax: Why E-Commerce Companies Are On Both Sides Of The Debate

tax-money-180px If passed by the House, the Marketplace Fairness Act, which aims to level the playing field between online retailers and brick-and-mortar businesses, could go into effect as soon as this fall. As it stands now, the bill would require remote sellers, including online businesses, with gross receipts over $1 million to collect sales tax in qualifying states -- even in states where a business has no physical presence. There is a high level of industry debate over the bill, with e-tailers on either side of the issue. Will it be the panacea proponents claim, making sales tax collection fa [...]


Cookie-Stuffing Could Land eBay’s Top Two Affiliates In Jail

ebay-logo-240px Business Insider has an interesting and in-depth article about the ongoing legal cases that could land eBay's two biggest affiliates in jail soon on charges of wire fraud. If you've been in the online marketing industry for a while, you may recognize the names Shawn Hogan and Brian Dunning. They're the two affiliates that eBay and the FBI started pursuing in 2006 after suspecting that they were earning millions while violating eBay's affiliate terms of service. According to court documents, Hogan made an astounding $28 million in affiliate commissions from eBay, and Dunning made $7 milli [...]


PhotoDropper: A Great WordPress Plugin For Fast, Easy And Free Images

photodropper-featured-image Finding images for your WordPress site can be a challenge. Of course, you could take the pictures yourself -- but if you run multiple sites, that could prove exhausting. I have recently started using a WordPress plugin that makes it very easy to find creative commons images and credit them properly right from inside my blog. The plugin is called PhotoDropper -- and I am loving it! PhotoDropper has over 62 million free images that blog owners can access and insert right from their WordPress dashboard. They also have a premium tier that offers more professional photos on a pay-by-the-photo [...]


Countdown To Mother’s Day: A Four-Week Affiliate Marketing Plan

As the second biggest shopping season behind the winter holidays, more than $18 billion is spent annually on Mother’s Day gifts in the United States. Of that, 25 percent is attributed to purchases made online. This represents a steady increase over the years when you consider that in 2011, 21 percent of Mother’s Day purchases were made online. While most purchases are made during the five days leading up to Mother’s Day, the most successful affiliate marketing plans are set into motion weeks in advance. So, to help you make the most of the upcoming Mother’s Day shopping season, h [...]


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