How exactly does your affiliate program work

Amazon made it big and meanwhile many other retailers and publishers have also jumped on the bandwagon - we're talking about Affiliate marketing. While companies want to use it to boost sales of their products, website operators use it Affiliate links increasingly as a source of refinancing.

In this article we explain to you how you can make money with affiliate marketing and what to do with it Affiliate links arrives.

What is a "Affiliate link“?

A Affiliate link is a partner link that forms the basis for billing agency commission. Using a unique code integrated into the link, the advertising company (retailer / advertising customer) can clearly identify which advertising partner (the so-called “affiliates”) referred a customer.

Finding commission through tracking of affiliate links

Affiliate marketing may seem complicated to beginners at first glance, but the principle is actually relatively simple: One Dealers or advertiser makes products available by a partner (Affiliate or publisher) on its Online channels (Website, blog, social media, etc.). If a visitor clicks on the corresponding one Affiliate link, it is forwarded to the advertiser's website - in return, the advertising partner (affiliate) receives a commission.

This results in advantages for everyone involved: While retailers or advertisers use the networks and the reach of their partners to reach more potential customers, generate more traffic for their websites and ultimately sell more products Affiliate links an additional opportunity for publishers and advertising partners to make money.

So it's no wonder that the commercialization of websites through affiliate marketing has enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years, both as a sales channel for companies and as a source of income for website operators, influencers and bloggers. This is also proven by the Affiliate Marketing Trend Report 2019.

Affiliate Programs and Affiliate Networks: How Advertisers and Affiliate Partners Find Each Other

One of the great advantages of affiliate marketing is that getting started could hardly be easier and that basically every website operator can participate. Whether price comparisons, tips or product recommendations - website operators who understand their business and know their visitors very well can use affiliate links in their offers that suit thematically and theirs Target group real added value Offer. This not only leads to more trust among customers, but also to a higher click rate.

Around suitable affiliate partners There are basically two options for advertisers: Either you decide on your own affiliate program or you join an affiliate network.

For large companies with the necessary technical and financial resources, it is well worth developing their own partner programs. The best-known example of this is the “Amazon Partner Network”, which is used by thousands of affiliate partners. Setting up and running their own affiliate program, however, is associated with a considerable amount of effort, which discourages many companies from taking this approach.

Alternatively, there are affiliate networks that make it much easier to get started with affiliate marketing: Platforms such as Digitstore24, AWIN, adsell or 100 partner programs create one Marketplace for advertisers and publishers and step as Intermediary on. All tasks from the structure and technology of the partner program to the acquisition of suitable partners to professional tracking of the links and the settlement of commissions are taken over by the network operator. Smaller companies and potential affiliate partners benefit equally from this.

However, a disadvantage to be mentioned here is that dealers cannot operate freely with this model because they use a third-party platform with the network.

Settlement of commission for affiliate links

Like all other marketing measures, this also works Affiliate marketing not by itself. Both advertisers and affiliate partners will only earn money if they have found suitable partners and the agreed service has been successfully performed.

For this purpose, the services or products offered by the advertiser (at least in the broadest sense) should fit with the topic of affiliate partnersotherwise the target group cannot be reached efficiently.

Another important point is that Billing model. The dealers specify the conditions under which a commission is paid. The money only flows when these predefined criteria are met. The desired result is therefore determined in advance. and the spectrum ranges from a simple click on one Affiliate link up to the conclusion of a subscription. Therefore there are different billing models:

Pay per click:
Commission per click on an affiliate link.

Pay per lead:
Commission for the referral of qualified prospects who leave contact information with the dealer as part of a certain campaign (example: registration, newsletter registration, download, etc.).

Pay per sale:
The commission is paid based on the sales generated through an affiliate link. This can be a fixed amount per sale or a proportional percentage of the sales generated in this way.

Lifetime:
Ongoing commission during the entire term of the business transactions brokered via affiliate links (example: subscriptions).

The different types of remuneration can of course also be combined with one another.

Label affiliate links properly to increase click through rate

One click on Affiliate links has no negative effects for the consumer - there are no costs, nor does the price of the advertised product change. Whether or not a link is clicked only influences the amount of the commission that the respective advertiser has to pay to the affiliate partner. Nevertheless, the skepticism of some users is great - especially when the structure of an affiliate link makes it unclear what exactly is behind it.

A typical affiliate link can look like this:

Image: Affiliate Marketing Tips

Due to their complex structure, unchanged links can be disadvantageous for website operators. On the one hand, they are clicked on less often by suspicious visitors, on the other hand, resourceful users can use the "ref“Just remove it.

In addition, many different affiliate links can do that visual appearance and the user friendliness (Keyword: usability) of a website. And if the affiliate program changes the link, it will no longer work on the affiliate partner's website. In all cases, they forfeit their commission - so this must be avoided at all costs.

The solution: Adapt yours Affiliate links. There are several possibilities for this. One variant is the use of a "URL shortener "like bitly.com, which shortens the otherwise very long link considerably. But also various plugins, such as Pretty Link for WordPress, make affiliate links more user-friendly and can be implemented relatively easily.

Affiliate links form the interface between retailers and potential customers - and thus the basis for making money with affiliate marketing. In addition to the selection of a suitable partner and a suitable remuneration method, the optimal integration and design of the links also plays a role in the success of your affiliate marketing.

Originally published December 30, 2020, updated 12 May 2021

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