But establishing direct affiliate marketing relationships is extremely challenging for a number of reasons, which we’ll get into below. While there are certain instances when a direct relationship makes sense, most affiliates will be better off accepting that networks are part of the equation and focusing on finding the right merchants and maximizing referrals.
Since new customers are valuable, it makes sense to offer incentives to your affiliate partners to generate fresh traffic and new customers. You may already have new customer marketing incentives in place — perhaps a first purchase discount or another special offer. The same reason you offer those incentives is why you should pay affiliates more for generating new customers. No matter where the incentive is paid — i.e., to the customer or to the affiliate — the result is the same. You’re paying a bit extra to acquire that new customer because you know your ultimate payback is in the customer’s lifetime value.
Advertisements promoting credit repair, promising loans for a fee in advance, or touting investment opportunities may trigger application of the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule if the ad allows consumers to order goods or services by telephone. In general, this Rule does not apply to general media advertisements. If you're advertising credit repair, advance fee loans, or investment opportunities, or offering to recover money paid in previous telemarketing transactions, however, the Rule likely applies to you. Among other things, the Rule requires that certain disclosures be made before a customer pays for the goods or services. The Rule also prohibits material misrepresentations.
With the introduction of the internet, advertisers realised that they could increase their revenue by rewarding websites who refer customers to your site that go on to buy something from you. In essence, this is affiliate marketing or performance-based marketing. An advertiser rewards a website a set amount of commission for each customer that the site refers who goes on to make a purchase.
You’ve got your ceiling. You’ve got your industry averages. Now let’s factor in the other incentives you can offer. One of the best ways to motivate affiliates is to give them something to help them feel like part of the family. From exclusive deals & events, to branded merch, to just excellent partner care & service; think about what your specific company can offer reps that can a) endear them to your brand, and b) help you stay competitive without strictly relying on monetary compensation.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005. MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.