What is the future of affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing or. Affiliate affiliate programs refer to a type of recommendation marketing and are mainly carried out via affiliate networks such as Awin and Belboon. Both dealers and sales partners are registered with these networks. Alternatives are affiliate programs via in-house partner networks.

Meaning of affiliate marketing

"To affiliate" in German means something like “to join together, to affiliate or to join”. The partnership network helps companies to advertise their products or services. The dealers are called "Merchants"Or"Advertiser"And the sales partners as"Affiliates"Or"Publisher" designated. The declared aim is to establish contacts with potential customers (leads) and generate sales. The Affiliate network takes over the technical and financial processing.

First and foremost, the affiliate partner program is of course about offering the customer added value. This can be done in the form of a provider comparison or other additional information. The range of advertising media is very broad, including the following:

  • Graphics
  • Text links
  • Email templates
  • Product lists

Affiliate network vs. in-house affiliate program

The term affiliate actually only refers to the partners: merchant / advertiser and affiliate / publisher. In an affiliate partner program, in addition to these two parties, there is usually a third “partner” - a Affiliate network. That’s them, so to speak Platforms on which advertisers and publishers can find each other. In addition, payments are also processed via the affiliate networks. The effort is therefore rather low for both sides with such a network.

Popular affiliate networks include:

  • Awin
  • Belboon
  • AdCell
  • SuperClix

The other way to do affiliate marketing is with in-house affiliate programs. In this case, the merchant takes over the program; he is, so to speak, the operator of the in-house partner program. In order to be able to place advertisements from these merchants on their pages, the publishers must contact the respective companies directly.

Well-known affiliate in-house partner programs:

  • Auxmoney
  • Amazon
  • finanzen.de
  • Check24

Affiliate network and in-house partner program in direct comparison:

Affiliate networks In-house affiliate programs

With just one registration, publishers get access to numerous partner programs in a wide variety of areas.

No matter how many partners you have: With the network you have everything in view and the network takes care of all technical processes.


Usually lower commission for publishers.



Contact with the merchant is more direct and often better than with the network - more options for individual advertising.

Usually higher commission for the merchant.


Each affiliate program requires its own registration, each works a little differently and each requires a greater “training period”.

Google AdSense

AdSense - that Google advertising network - is basically a normal affiliate network, but AdSense publishers cannot freely choose their merchants. Google decides that, using an algorithm. The advertising that best suits the user and his interests is displayed. Billing takes place either via clicks or via views.

From a publisher's point of view: earn money with affiliate marketing

Most important requirement for publishers to be able to earn money with affiliate marketing: There must be enough traffic and sufficient range. Only then will a large target group with a correspondingly large potential for clicks on the advertisement be reached. A lot of traffic and a large reach is also important for the merchants, because they want to reach a lot of people with their product / service.

Who is affiliate marketing suitable for?

This commission business is a very dynamic form of marketing. For example, if you as a shop operator would like to better market your products or services on the Internet and thereby increase your sales, affiliate marketing is exactly the right thing.

By registering with one of the affiliate networks, you make your products (including advertising material) available to sales partners who are connected to the network. They can now market your products with special advertising links (e.g. banners) on their websites or through other marketing measures. A long range can be achieved in this way. However, for that you need a website with good and unique content and sufficient traffic.

Affiliate commission: Payment after success

The conditions are agreed with the affiliate. The remuneration is performance-based. Depending on what has been determined in advance, a finder's fee is usually paid as follows:

  • per click: Cost per click (CPC)
  • per lead: per contact with the customer / cost per lead (CPL)
  • per purchase: Cost per Order (CPO)

The affiliate link that your partner uses to market your product contains a special code. So you can see exactly which sales partner sent the customer or prospect and the affiliate network can precisely assign and count the sales or recommendations.

The network also takes over the settlement of the commission between you and your sales partners.

Affiliate partner program: Tracking as a success control

Tracking is used to reliably monitor success. In this way, you can find out exactly whether a visitor to the website clicks on the campaign ad and then makes a purchase. Usually one of the following tracking options is used:

  • Pixel tracking
  • URL tracking
  • Cookie tracking
  • Fingerprint tracking

Each link that is set has an individual code. If the customer arrives on their own website, the retailer can understand exactly which affiliate he owes this visit to. Consequently, the economic risk lies with the publisher, since the advertiser only pays a measurable turnover.

Examples of affiliate business models

You have a very large selection of publisher models. It is important that it fits the respective merchant. Is it the classic dealer, are customizable or price-intensive products being sold? An analysis of the initial situation and the goals is necessary in advance. Then you have the choice and can choose, for example, the following models:


Cashback follows the “money back” principle and is extremely successful with it. Customers are rewarded for their loyalty and take part in a bonus program. Online shoppers do not receive conventional loyalty points, but money. The most famous and one of the most successful examples is Check24.de.

Coupon Pages

Coupons have become an integral part of affiliate marketing. They can achieve enormous reach and are very profitable. Voucher publishers address existing customers as well as new customers and noticeably increase sales.

Content website

It ranges from passionate bloggers to professional affiliate sites (niche sites). Content websites have targeted traffic and are particularly appealing to new customers. This ensures high quality leads and sales. The sites have to offer good creative content in order to add value and stand out from the competition.

Themed portals

These portals are dedicated to overarching topics such as cooking, health, travel or digital technology and deal with numerous sub-topics. This ranges from news to extensive evergreen content. Many of these portals incorporate affiliate programs as part of the portal funding.

price comparison

The products of different shops are compared with one another on a platform. This advisory function is intended to make it easier for potential buyers to make a decision. Of course, this works best with products that can be easily compared with one another in terms of price, shipping, payment and delivery modalities, etc. Technically, this model is very easy to set up, but the range of price comparison portals is very large.

Hire an affiliate marketing agency

If larger sales are expected and there are no affiliate specialists in-house, it is advisable to commission an agency with the implementation. Effective methods, trustworthy strategies and personal negotiating advantages make the difference between success and failure in affiliate marketing.

Would you like to start a partner program and thereby increase your sales? Our affiliate experts with many years of experience with various networks and contacts to top affiliates support you in successfully positioning your program.

Forecast for the future

Affiliates in social commerce are trendy. On Facebook, YouTube, Instagram & Co, they even set up their own communities that recommend different products. The tracking methods are constantly being improved and thus contribute to changing the market. Affiliate marketing will remain a promising channel for companies in the future.

Additional information:

"Affiliate Challenges - Promote the affiliate program in a different way!"

Interview on the subject: A chat in the kitchen on the subject of affiliate marketing with Romy Habelt


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