what is affiliate marketing?
How do people make money by doing affiliate marketing? Can I join an affiliate marketing program and earn good money online?
If you have ever asked yourself these questions, then you have come to the right place. In this guide, we will seek to provide you with answers to affiliate marketing type questions (and others you might not have thought about). We hope that you will use these answers to make a more informed decision about joining the world of affiliate marketing. Without further ado, therefore, let’s get started:
What Is Online Marketing?
Before delving into the different marketing tools and strategies used for affiliate marketing, you first need to understand online marketing and how to use it to promote a business.
Essentially, online marketing (which is also referred to as online advertising or internet marketing) refers to any method, strategy or tool of getting a product/service out to the public. Usually, the advertisements take different forms and some of the strategies are focused on subtle messaging instead of on clear cut selling.
However, online marketing promotes businesses in a simple way. It will build up the company’s reputation by ensuring that they can easily be found online. Potential customers who browse the internet to look for information can then find the company’s website and associated social media properties. Overall, therefore, online advertising uses online resources and tools to get a company’s name out to the general public while encouraging potential customers to perform certain calls to action – such as buying the company products or signing up for its email newsletters.
So what is Affiliate Marketing after all?
To better understand affiliate marketing, it is imperative that you have a better idea about the players involved. These include advertisers, affiliates, and end users / consumers.
Advertisers are the advertisers in the affiliate marketing relationship. To this end, the advertisers are responsible for attracting and paying affiliates, implementing the sales tracking system, providing the linking methods, and monitoring results. They might outsource some or all of these functions. Affiliate merchants sometimes choose to track their affiliate marketing program in through 3rd party affiliate networks, like MAMTIC.
Affiliates, who are also referred to as affiliate marketing publishers, refer to the individual bloggers, website owners, and/or business entities that earn commissions by referring traffic, leads and sales to the advertiser. They place such advertisements as banners and links on their websites to accomplish pre-specific goals (like selling more products or getting people to click certain links).
The affiliates also earn an income online by promoting the affiliate programs they are involved with on their blogs and/or websites. To this end, they earn commissions for converting the traffic on their website into referrals for the advertisers.
Today, there are many affiliate programs available for affiliates to use, including the ones provided by MAMTIC. Therefore, any niche website owner or blogger can actively participate in affiliate marketing and earn good money online.
c) End Users / Consumers
The end user or consumer is the individual who is being targeted by the strategies adopted by affiliate marketers. In some cases, the program might want these end users to perform certain actions – such as taking surveys or submitting their personal information (name, email, etc.). In other cases, the program seeks to make the end user buy certain products/services, in which case they will be referred to as consumers.
Desktop vs. Mobile
In the modern world, mobile traffic outweighs desktop traffic. This is because most people access the internet through their mobile devices and through certain mobile apps.
While desktop offers convert very well , it is a mistake not to consider and target mobile traffic in today’s world. While there is a difference in how people interact with desktops verses mobile media, not marketing to both platforms is a big no no. A huge percentage of people nowadays have mobile devices in their possession (with the average age being 6 years old), which results in mobile offers converting even better. Ultimately, any offer an affiliate chooses to promote depends on the landing page design and conversion funnel.
For affiliates, mobile traffic often happens to be cheaper, and there is more of it these days. Still, because the targeted end user/consumer cannot perform complex actions on mobile devices, the aspiring affiliate should consider finding and using affiliate marketing offers that are designed for mobile media as well as those for traditional desktop and/or laptop devices. Each has excellent benefits when considering the various opportunities available to affiliates.
Types of Verticals / Advertisers That Can Use Affiliate Marketing
There is a wide variety of verticals/advertisers that can use affiliate marketing today. This is because more people are searching for specific products/services when they go online.
To this end, the most popular verticals/advertisers, including those that MAMTIC is working with include, but are not limited to:
There are many other top converting CPA offers and performance marketing campaigns that you can join to increase your online earnings as an affiliate. By monetizing your online traffic with MAMTIC and using our top performing offers and CPA campaigns, you should be able to take advantage of more popular product/service offerings.
At MAMTIC, we focus on the following verticals/advertisers:
Types of Affiliates
Essentially, there are 2 main types of affiliates out there. These affiliates are classified according to their work, their thought processes, and how they use affiliate marketing to further their career and life goals. They include:
a) Bedroom Affiliates / Sole Affiliates
Basically speaking, bedroom affiliates are publishers who left their normal 9 to 5 jobs (or in the process of doing so) and decided to start making money from the comfort of their own homes. The main attraction is that they are their own bosses, they can work from home and adopt the laptop lifestyle, and not have to be stuck in traffic each and every day.
No matter if you are an independent bedroom affiliate or fit better into the big company concept which we are about to review, media buys are available. As a media buyer, you can purchase media from any of a number of outlets such as television, newspaper, magazine, blog or website. Depending on what the advertising campaign involves you will find that the price of this can fluctuate.
b) Big Company Affiliates
On the other hand, we also have big company affiliates. These tend to be companies that are dedicated to promoting the products/services and brands offered by other companies.
Big company affiliates typically adopt serious affiliate marketing strategies and programs to ensure that they achieve the stated goals. They go full on with the online advertising, including paying for online ad spaces, and eventually accomplish great things that the advertiser might not have been able to achieve if they had opted to work on their own.
Affiliate Marketing Networks
An affiliate network, such as MAMTIC, acts as the main intermediary between the advertiser affiliate programs and affiliates. As such, it will allow the affiliate to easily locate and participate in specific affiliate programs – especially those that are more suitable for their traffic. In the process, they will end up generating more income. It also allows websites/apps offering affiliate marketing programs (mostly online advertisers) to reach bigger audiences. They achieve this by promoting their affiliate marketing programs to all affiliates who participate in the affiliate network.
Through traditional affiliate networks, advertisers could offer affiliates share of all revenue generated by advertisers from visitors to the publishing website. Sometimes, they get fees for every visitor on publisher website who completes pre-specified actions (registering for new newsletters or making certain purchases).
If you are an advertiser, the affiliate network benefits and services may include the use of:
- - Access to large bases of high quality affiliates
- - Payment processing
- - Reporting tools
- - Fraud detection & prevention
- - Brand protection
For affiliates, the benefits and services provided by MAMTIC affiliate network will include:
- - Simplified access to the world’s top affiliate programs
- - Reporting tools
- - Access to product APIs
- - Payment aggregation
- - Faster payments
- - Data & tips to maximize traffic monetization
- - Contests & rewards
Essentially, affiliate tracking refers to the process of tracking and managing the marketing activities and strategies. In most cases, different plugins are installed in the affiliate websites and special software is used to perform the tracking.
The purpose of affiliate tracking is to check the clicks, conversions and sales from affiliate websites to measure the performance and results being achieved by the network of affiliates.
Through such tracking, therefore, the owner of the affiliate network will be able to see the affiliates who are driving the greatest amount of traffic, sales and revenues. As a result, they are better placed to dish out compensation according to every affiliate’s performance.
Businesses which own affiliate networks typically use tracking to manage their affiliates, and to gain insight into the performance of every affiliate (and the network as a whole).
By tracking the network, the owner and every affiliate will gain insight about the portions of the network that receive the greatest number of traffic, clicks, conversions and visitors. The tracking can also be used to find out whether certain marketing campaigns are working, or not.
Today, there are many different types of affiliate tracking software used. Depending on the business model, most of the software tools show graphs of the different metrics being measured.
Conversion tracking is used for both websites and mobile apps. Through such tracking, the owner of the website/mobile app/ affiliate network will be able to measure their returns on investment.
They will track the actions taken by users after engaging with and/or viewing the posted ads. The conversion tracking software will then enable the tracker attribute conversions happening beyond the last link click. As such, it also includes actions that are being driven by all types of advertisement engagements (like likes, shares, clicks, leads, installs, special events, buys, etc.) and impressions.
To better understand the returns on investment of the affiliate marketing campaigns, including the total number of products/items/purchases, and the total conversion value (or the total revenue) the campaigns generated, you can use the transaction values and pass them through the conversion tracking software you are using. In this way, you will be able to optimize, compare, and analyze your direct response affiliate marketing campaigns.
If you have used direct response adverts on other online platforms, then you might have a rough idea about how conversion tracking works. You can also start measuring your conversions to know exactly what is working for you and what is not.
Conversion tracking is unique in the sense that you will be able to track the conversions of users who viewed certainly promoted advertisements. This way, you will receive deeper insight.
More on Conversion Tracking
To get the most out of every affiliate marketing performance campaign, it is imperative that you understand performance advertising. Although it might seem difficult to set up at first, you will eventually be able to see more tangible results from all the campaigns you engage in. As a result, you will be able to measure the specific goals against the actual results you achieved to see if you are succeeding.
In general, therefore, the main purpose of conversion tracking is to set specific goals for all campaigns, log them as events and later on as milestones and measure them to see how you are performing.
Today, you can drive downloads of your mobile apps and get notifications every time potential customers submit web forms and click on the ads you posted online.
The basic flow of tracking starts with mouse clicks and ends with conversions. When this happens, you will have achieved your goal. When unique users click on ads and trigger certain events, it is possible to track this event all the way from the first time they clicked the advertisement through to what they did at the very end. Whether you wanted them to download an app, buy a product online, or fill out a web form, if they do this, you will have effectively converted them.
Tracking this entire process, therefore, is what is commonly referred to as conversion tracking where affiliate marketing is concerned. So, how does the tracking work?
Essentially, tracking follows a simple procedure:
- i) You grab your unique tracking link from the affiliate network interface and promote it with an affiliate marketing campaign
- ii) Someone will see your ad and click on it
- iii) Conversion will begin
- iv) The user then performs the action you needed them to, such as downloading your app, buying the product you are marketing and/or filling out a form)
- v) You match their click to the actual conversion
Although conversion tracking looks easy enough, it is a bit more complicated than that. The trickiest part revolves around matching the action performed to the click & user. Luckily, most conversion tracking, such as on MAMTIC, is performed using software tools. Therefore, you do not necessarily need to go deep into how it works.
Types of Conversion Tracking
So, what are the types of conversion tracking you can use for your affiliate marketing campaigns? And how are they different from each other?
With this type of conversion tracking, you will be able to direct traffic towards a website. Thereafter, you can get the traffic to perform certain actions to accomplish goals you set for target consumers – such as filling out web forms with their contact information or buying the products you are advertising.
Application conversion tracking is used for purposes of checking the application, installs, and in-app events.
Conversion Tracking Types
At MAMTIC, there are 2 main types of tracking. This include:
a) Client Based Tracking (also known as iFrame / Pixel tracking)
b) Server to Server Tracking (also known as Postback URL or S2S)
The Mamtic network also uses Postback URL to perform server to server tracking. This way, advertiser servers can easily tell our servers that a conversion took place on and help optimize your traffic in order for you to achieve your affiliate marketing goals. You can then make more informed decisions in the future about how to target your ads and optimize them to meet your goals.
As an affiliate marketer or as an advertiser, it is imperative that you only work with networks that comply with set regulations, rules, and laws and constantly monitor for fraud. Failure to do this might set you up for the attack, which could affect your ability to earn an income online through affiliate marketing.
MAMTIC, for instance, is one of the strictest affiliate networks in the world and utilizes the best fraud detection, methods & systems.
In the same way, MAMTIC has a strict affiliate scanning process. They do not just let anyone in. As a result of this strict approach to selecting affiliates to join the network, only the best of the best and the most legitimate and high quality players are allowed to join.
So, now you have a better understanding of what is affiliate marketing. However, do you know the advantages that come with engaging in affiliate marketing? How much can you earn when you work as an affiliate? If you are an advertiser, what is the value you are going to derive from it? Are your returns on investment worth the effort? Are you going to see an increase in your profits?
Some of the main advantages of engaging in affiliate marketing (as a business) include, but are not limited to:
a) Affordable Customer Acquisition
You do not have to pay the affiliates until after they refer visitors who subsequently convert into actual customers. In this case, you won’t waste your money when you adopt affiliate marketing strategies into your marketing efforts.
b) Fixed Costs
The money you will pay the affiliates is a cost of sale, lead, install or any other action you want. Therefore, you can set the amount you wish to spend and only pay after a conversion has been made. Beyond that, there are no other variables (unless you are looking to pay different commission levels with increasing sales).
c) Brand Visibility
When you engage in affiliate marketing, your affiliates will secure higher search engine listings. They will also display your advertisements on their websites and blogs. This provides you with free exposure for your brand, which happens to rank among the best side benefits of online advertising.
d) Targeted Prospects
Most professional affiliates are very selective. They will, therefore, make an informed choice about which ads to place on their blogs and their websites. Since they have a better knowledge of their audience, they will pick those campaigns that are best suited to their specific demographics. Therefore, your ads will end up being targeted by humans. After all, the affiliate knows that the better their choice, the more their earnings.
e) Outsourced Marketing
Most people working as affiliates are experts at online advertising, search engine marketing, media buying, blogging, comparison & reviews oriented sites. When you pay them commissions, they will work on your behalf. In the long run, they might even end up getting you to the very top of popular search engines without you ever having to spend more money on PPC and/or search engine optimization.
f) Search-Ability/ Find-Ability
When consumers look for your products/services online and find that multiple listings are pointing back to you, then you have a better chance of selling to them. This is especially in comparison to your competitors, who might only have one or two (or even no) links on the very first page of Google.
Advertisers want transparency with regards to the returns on their investment. Through conversion tracking, you can easily find out where your sales came from, when they were made and who was responsible for them. This gives greater transparency to your marketing.
Interested in knowing more about what is affiliate marketing? Then you should check out mamtic.com. Whether you are an advertiser or an affiliate, MAMTIC will provide you with tons of resources, knowledge, and information that you can use to make your marketing efforts work out for you. Register today and start a successful working relationship with us.