Affiliate Marketing 101 – The What, Why and How

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 14, 2017

The Mother of All Internet Marketing Strategies

Ever since the dawn of the internet and boom of e-commerce, one factor has been constant in the minds of millions of users, who crawl through its endless pages.

How to Earn Passive income? Aka how do you make money while you sleep?

Drum rolls. Enter Affiliate Marketing, the Money churning machine of the online world.

“Affiliate Marketing is the magic that turns ordinary people into Millionaires & Generates Millions for Businesses.”

Before we explore the vast and intricate Affiliate Network, let’s spare a few minutes to get the basics right.

affiliate marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing?

The basic idea behind it is “Revenue Sharing.”

It has two sides to it. First, if you’re a business, you can offer a percentage of your sales as an incentive to the person who promoted the sale and made it happen. On the other hand, if you have no product to sell, but want to earn money, you can promote a product and receive an incentive from the sale.

“Affiliate Marketing is all about building a relationship, between three people.”

Meet the People involved in Affiliate Marketing

Merchant: I have a hat store. I sell hats. Affiliate: I have a fashion blog/ You Tube Channel/ Comparison Website/ Coupons Site/ Popular Social Media Handle/ etc. Consumer: I love fashion, and I want to know more about it from a trusted source. Network: I connect the merchant with the affiliate and vice versa. How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

To phrase it in simple terms minus the jargon, here’s what happens behind the scenes.

*      The affiliate partners with the merchant (hat store owner) using the network.

*      The affiliate speaks about the hats sold by the merchant either on the blog or other social media platforms or helps consumer compare different hats available online and shares a link to make purchases.

*      The customer is inspired by the information given via any of the platforms mentioned above and clicks on the affiliate link to purchase from the merchant’s store.

*      The merchant rewards the affiliate (usually in terms of a percentage of the sales), and the amount is shared using the network.

That’s it. The merchant is happy having made a sale; the affiliate is happy having made a profit, and above all, the customer is happy having bought a worthy product. It’s a win-win situation for all those involved.

The Scope for Affiliate Marketing in India

According to IndianAffiliatePrograms.com, affiliate marketing accounts for more than 15 percent of the total sales made by online retail stores in India.

In fact, not only the major players but small businesses are realizing the potentials of affiliate marketing and have started their own programs. It’s immense benefits like low costs; higher customer acquisition rates make it lucrative. Increased internet penetration and the massive e-commerce boom all show that Affiliate Marketing will emerge as one of the most popular marketing methods in the next few years.

Affiliate Marketing: A Win-Win for Businesses and Affiliates

Win-Win: Not your way or My Way but the Best Way

The Cost of Setting up a Network: While businesses get a savvy team of marketers to promote their products for a fraction of the cost of other marketing campaigns, affiliates have the advantage of no investment costs or set-up fees.

Just the Right amount of Middle-men: The affiliates connect directly with the target customers of a particular brand or company, thereby taking your products to the potential user. And on the other hand, affiliates too, promote only products that they’ve tried or are passionate about. They aren’t involved in any false marketing.

The Mutual Freedom: While businesses are in full control, as they get to choose their affiliates and decide how much they pay, affiliates like it because they are their own boss. They are in full-control of your schedule and time.

Best Profits: Businesses pay only when some quality action takes place. They can Pay Per Sale, Pay Per Click, or Pay Per Lead. It all depends on the business. And, on the other hand, there is no upper limit to the money affiliates can make. Above all, they make money even while sleeping.

Popular Types of Affiliate Networks

The two e-commerce giants, Flipkart and Amazon, have their affiliate networks known as Flipkart Affiliate Program and Amazon Associates respectively.

Apart from these, affiliates and businesses which do not have their own affiliate program can also promote products using popular networks like DGM India, Komli, iCubesWire and several others. 

Popular Channels used by Businesses and Affiliate Marketers

Blogs – This is one of the oldest channels of affiliate marketing. Bloggers write articles, blogs, genuine reviews while giving links of products that readers and click on and buy.

Coupon Sites- Sites such as CouponRaja, Coupondunia and Couponzguru collate discount codes for thousands of brands and websites on one platform which the user can use and save money while helping businesses promote products and services through discounts.

Social Media Platforms – Different social media networks are used for various kinds of products. For instance, Pinterest and Instagram are preferred for fashion, cooking and travel related products, whereas Twitter is mostly used for insights about a product and Facebook is often used to review products.

YouTube – Video tutorials, unboxing videos, hands-on product reviews are increasingly used to promote products.

Email Newsletters – Some affiliates promote their products using email newsletters to their subscribers.

Comparison Engines – Sites like CompareRaja, Smartprix etc.,  create a win-win situation by giving prospective customers the option to compare products features and prices while helping businesses promote products to the more targeted audience.

JOIN —– PROMOTE —– EARN

That’s the beauty of Affiliate Marketing. With that said, it’s true that you can’t become a millionaire overnight. But, with the right planning and successful strategies, there’s indeed no limit to the income you make via affiliate marketing.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today and be your Own Boss!