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:

Program Growth Through Publisher Knowledge

shutterstock_67808932-treeroots If you are currently managing an affiliate program, I'm sure you know who your Publishers are. Perhaps you could even tell me the number of Publishers that have applied, been approved, and been declined over the life of your program. But do you truly know who your Publishers are? Two questions I think are important to analyze are: "Which Publishers are driving your sales?" and "What kinds of sites are your sales coming from?" Just like a tree, for a program to fully flourish and bloom it must have many strong roots. Performance Percentage Take a look at a monthly performance report of [...]

Differentiating Your Affiliate Program

shutterstock_58432786-why A few weeks ago there was a great column in Marketing Land that talked about how to size up your affiliate program against the competition using nine key components and creating a competitive matrix to analyze the results. Staying on the pulse of the competitive landscape is critical in affiliate marketing given the fluid nature of the industry and how quickly things change — but how do you differentiate your affiliate program from your competitors to ensure you are attracting and retaining the right affiliates? There are things that you can be doing with how you’re communicating wit [...]

Judge Declares Illinois’ ‘Amazon Tax’ Unconstitutional

affiliate-marketing In a big victory for affiliate marketers, an Illinois judge has declared that a state law allowing Illinois to collect sales tax on online sales by out-of-state companies -- a law sometimes called the "Amazon tax" -- is unconstitutional. According to a news release from the Performance Marketing Association (PMA), the judge ruled that having affiliates in Illinois doesn't establish a legal presence, or nexus, inside Illinois for tax purposes. The judge also agreed with the PMA's position that the 2011 state law is premature because of a federal moratorium on Internet taxes that runs through [...]

Amazon, Nevada Agree On Sales Tax Collection

amazon-logo Nevada is the latest state to reach an agreement on sales tax collection with Amazon.com -- news that should be welcome by affiliate marketers in the Silver State (and elsewhere). As Internet Retailer reports, Amazon will start collecting sales tax on items purchased by Nevada residents on January 1, 2014, or sooner if the federal government passing a law that lets states collect sales tax from online merchants. The agreement is very similar to one announced earlier this year between Amazon and the state of Indiana. The news is good for affiliate marketers because it should mean they [...]

Affiliate Marketing Opportunities Abound In Luxury Online Retail

shutterstock_53057149-luxury We've recently seen some bold predictions for the continued growth of e-commerce and the rise in online spending on luxury items. The latest forecasts estimate the overall e-commerce market will reach nearly $300 billion by 2015, according to industry analysts Forrester Research. Meanwhile, Verdict Research claims there will be a 65 percent increase in spending on luxury goods by 2015. While it remains to be seen how 2012 will shake out, it’s clear this market sector shows enormous potential for the affiliate marketing channel. One measure of this opportunity is the pace at which lux [...]

Size Up The Competition With A Matrix

shutterstock_60483139-matrix If you are considering setting up an affiliate program or if you are relatively new to affiliate marketing, there are a few things you need to put into place before launching your program. One critical step is to do some due diligence researching and preparing before you jump in. One important piece of your research puzzle is to get a feel for the competitive landscape. Without knowing what the base line should be, it can be very difficult to determine if your program offer will be attractive to potential publisher recruits. The tool I like to use when doing groundwork research is a comp [...]

Best States To Live As An Affiliate Marketer

affiliate-marketing-usa-featured Whether affiliate marketing is your “day job” or just a supplemental income; there are several factors that should be considered when deciding the best place to establish and run your performance marketing business. I was recently reading an article about the best states to make a living in and it got me thinking: what are the best states to make a living as an affiliate marketer?  While the article I was reading evaluated: average income, cost of living, state income tax rate, and state unemployment rate; I didn’t find it relevant for affiliate marketers who are both entrepreneurs a [...]

Pinterest: We’re “Actively Working” To Fight Spam; It’s A “Tremendous Priority”

pinterest-spam-featured Ask Facebook. Ask Twitter. Ask Google+. Ask just about any social network, but especially one that's become big enough for the U.S. president to join: Building an audience and attracting media attention are great, but they also mean that trouble is on the way -- trouble in the form of spam. That's what Pinterest is facing this week, as spammers are coming out of the woodwork to tell their stories. That link points to a Daily Dot interview with "Steve," a self-admitted Pinterest spammer who has "a stockpile of accounts" and says he's "spamming the crap out of the site." "Steve" says Pinte [...]

Heard Through the Grapevine: Lessons from Wine.com’s Performance Marketing Success

300x200_winecom_logo Sustaining a leadership position in a competitive online marketplace can be a challenge, especially with new entrants, fickle customers and diverse sales channels entering into the picture. There are, of course, a wide range of marketing channels to choose from and marketing managers need to use their budgets wisely. One example of a company that's a good steward of its budget is Wine.com (a LinkShare client). Wine.com is a San Francisco-based company with roots going back to early days of e-commerce. With many years of success, the Wine.com team offers lessons that any online retailer ne [...]

Great Expectations

One of the biggest benefits of the affiliate marketing channel is that it is all performance-based. This is very attractive because there is very little risk -- payout costs are directly correlated to results. But just because it isn't risky doesn't mean it is easy money. As at the gym, you get out of it what you put into it. Many new advertisers have misconceptions about what it takes to have a successful affiliate program. I field concerns all the time from new advertisers who are worried that they have not seen the results they were expecting. When I ask how long the program has been run [...]

Why Every Affiliate Needs To Use Sub-Campaign Tracking Codes

shutterstock_74696482.pdf Picture the following scenario: You're an Internet marketing consultant and you come across a merchant that is running both an SEO and PPC campaign. You ask them for some information about their campaigns. How many sales come from PPC? How many sales come from SEO? What are your highest converting keywords? What ad copy have you tried and what were the results? Which site layouts or homepage version have proven to be the most successful at increasing sales? Now imagine that the client says "I don't know" to all of the above. "All I know is that we make sales." They could be wasting mo [...]

Creating The Best Affiliate Tools For Your Affiliate Program.

Affiliate tools can be a great mechanism to increase affiliate activation, revenue, and retention.  Searching for useful affiliate tools online, however, can be discouraging and frustrating as most searches that include Affiliate Tools in the query return results are ridden with Get-Rich-Quick books and affiliate marketing “systems”. As an affiliate manager, it is often challenging to identify affiliate tools to build for your program and determine which of those will contribute the most to the success of your affiliate program while generating a Return on Investment (ROI).  Having de [...]

5 Ways Affiliates Can Use Valentine’s Day Strategies To Boost Mother’s Day Sales

valentines-shutterstock It’s still too early to tell, but all signs point to the fact that Valentine’s Day presented another lucrative holiday season for affiliates. Leading up to February 14, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated that the average man would spend close to double his female counterpart on Valentine’s Day. Those numbers break down to $126.03 for men and $85.76 for women. The good news for affiliates is that this number is 8.5 percent higher than last year’s average expenditure of $116.21. More specifically, NRF predicted that the $17 billion that was expected to be spent this Val [...]

5 Tips To Help SEO Based Affiliates Evaluate A Niche

One of the most common questions I'm asked is how to evaluate a niche from an SEO based affiliate perspective before diving head first into it. We all know the obvious - check traffic volume for keywords in the niche using your favorite keyword research tool. But just because there is traffic, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the "right" niche. Over the years, I've learned a lot of lessons the hard way and below, I'll share with you some of the things I research before deciding to enter a niche as an affiliate that is primarily marketing my site through SEO. Check PPC Advertiser Comp [...]

Pinterest Drops Skimlinks, Might Try Ads; Says Copyright Issues Not A Significant Issue Yet

pinterest-logo Pinterest has stopped using Skimlinks to monetize some of the "pins" that its users were publishing on the site and, in other news, the company also says that copyright issues haven't been a "significent issue" to date. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann has been making the rounds a bit this week ("finally," some would say) and discussing some of the issues that have come up in light of the site's stunning recent growth. Silbermann contacted Josh Davis of LL Social, the site that helped spread the news about Pinterest adding affiliate links (via Skimlinks) to some of the content that users po [...]

Drawing Out Your Affiliate Program Marketing Plan

Promotional Calendar Example One of the best things an affiliate manager can do for their affiliate program is to maintain consistent and regular communication with their Publishers. Affiliate managers often say to me, “I don’t have enough to say to put out a monthly newsletter.” But you do! Advertisers have much more to talk about than they sometimes realize.  And more importantly, it’s information that will make a marked difference on the program’s bottom line. Take an hour to sit down and draft out an editorial calendar. By having a marketing plan in place for the year, affiliate managers will be m [...]

Skimlinks Downplays Pinterest’s Affiliate Link Practice

pinterest-photos-featured Pinterest is quietly earning affiliate commission off of some images that its users "pin" on the site and, while some users are getting vocal about the practice, the company whose technology makes it possible says it's not a big deal. That company is Skimlinks, and in a blog post today, co-founder Alicia Navarro calls what Pinterest is doing "a very popular, mainstream, and valuable approach to content monetization." Online communities need ways to generate revenue to support their operations, and the preference is always to earn this revenue without disrupting their users or detracting [...]

5 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Affiliate Program Today

affiliate-marketing-featured As a student of performance marketing, I enjoy keeping up on industry publications and forums.  One of the many things I love about this industry is the insight and sharing of information that takes place.  Anyone smitten by affiliate marketing knows the daily challenges that often accompany the rewards of working in such a young industry.  These same challenges have resulted in a cohesive online marketing community that genuinely strives to move the industry forward, making it easy to find many useful articles published online about strategies and methods of improving your affiliate progra [...]

Let Affiliates Pave The Way Into New Markets

When the book “The World is Flat” first hit the bookstands back in 2005, many who read it came to have a better understanding of what it means to run a business in the global economy. Regardless of your view of the book, it did prompt us marketers to look more carefully and closely at the way we perceived and pursued new markets. Certainly we’ve all heard about the companies that expanded into new markets and successfully increased sales, elevated brand awareness and continued to thrive. While the Internet has been the driving force that allows companies to compete on a more level [...]

The Big List: 226 Marketing Trends, Predictions & Resolutions For 2012

2012-featured Here we are, just about two weeks into 2012, and I'm willing to bet a lot of us have already broken a New Year's resolution or had one of our 2012 predictions proven wrong. (Did you predict that Google would get through the year without any controversy? Wrong. Wrong. And wrong again. Better luck next year.) If you didn't make any resolutions or predictions of your own, you're almost alone. You work in an industry that seems to love them: resolutions, predictions, trends and tips -- from practically every corner of the online marketing industry. And not just the industry, but mainstream sou [...]

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