Affiliate marketing can be a highly effective business tool since it harnesses the networks and leads of one company to help grow another.
While affiliate marketing is available in a variety of contexts and markets, service providers are in a particularly good position to use affiliate marketing to their benefit.
Essentially, affiliate marketing allows various businesses to join and use each other’s strengths to grow the customer or client base. The instigator contacts several affiliates, which may or may not also be in an allied business. They could be players in related fields, or anyone who has a database and who may need your product or service at some point.
The instigator then creates an agreement with each affiliate that a reward of some type will be given for every solid lead. For instance, if a car repair technician refers someone to an insurance broker for new car insurance and the lead pans out, the insurance broker might pay the technician a fee or better still might send work to the car repairer’s business.
While the affiliate marketing system can be a direct agreement between two or more businesses, there are also several affiliate networks online. These services are designed to help find online affiliate programs that work for the original source and to bring more traffic (and therefore customers) to the source’s website.
In this version of affiliate marketing, the instigator would pay a percentage of any revenue generated by traffic brought to its website through the affiliate website(s). These affiliate network services often offer additional benefits such as data collection, tracking, report generation, payment processing, and links to other affiliate sites as well.
Some of the most common terms in affiliate marketing are simple. The original source is often called the merchant. Those who seek and bring leads or traffic sources back to the merchant are called the affiliates.
Maximizing the Potential of Affiliate Marketing
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you are not limited to just one affiliate program. You can sign up for several affiliate programs and even make personal affiliate arrangements with contacts in your own network.
Other Types of Affiliate Marketing
There are other forms of internet marketing that are considered affiliate marketing that may be useful for your business. For example, purchasing a banner ad through one of the major search engines such as Google or Yahoo will allow your information to be viewed by a wide audience of potential new customers.
You can also purchase text ads on the search engines and often through affiliate marketing websites as well. The most effective text ad is simple and direct, such as “For the best price on xxx, visit (insert website name here)”. These marketing methods cost money and there are many companies out there promising you high traffic rates in return for low prices but beware – scams abound when it comes to internet marketing. Stick with the big name search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing for peace of mind.