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The secret world of Affiliate Marketing

Many companies and a lot of internet users in the UK have no idea the world of Affiliate Marketing exists, what its purpose is or that it is a multi-million pound industry that could seriously increase you company’s turnover. It shouldn’t be ignored by any online business looking to increase its visitors, sales and profits.

The principles of Affiliate Marketing are simple – you get as many online marketeers and website owners as possible to promote your brand or company and then if they generate you some worthwhile business, you give them some commission (usually per sale). They make money and you make lots of money – everyone’s a winner, it’s a no-brainer really. Sound easy? Well here’s some additional information that you need to know:

Affiliate Networks house the Affiliate Programmes, there’s normally an up-front cost accrued for the set-up of your affiliate programme plus the Affiliate Network normally takes a percentage of each sale and often a monthly management fee too. Affiliate Networks are like a regulating body, at one end they look after all of the merchant programmes, at the other end they look after all of the affiliates signed up to their programmes and in between is their tracking and reporting interface. Both merchants (you) and affiliates need a transparent way of tracking who generated sales, where they came from, what they were for and how much commission to pay.

Affiliate Marketing has been around for well over ten years in its present form, albeit a lot less competitive and lots easier for affiliates to make money with in the past. In the early years ‘bedroom affiliates’ could become millionaires overnight, well… not exactly overnight but it only took one booming Christmas for an Affiliate promoting that year’s must-have item to become very wealthy. Especially as the term ‘bedroom affiliate’ was coined to basically mean internet-geeks sat in their bedroom on their computer with no overheads, no staff and hardly any outgoings. In the world of Affiliate Marketing, millionaires can be made without the need to speak to anyone in person or deal with any of the trials and tribulations fully blown businesses encounter on a daily basis.

Many huge retailers use Affiliate Marketing as a promotional channel to add incremental revenue to their business. Companies such as Amazon, Argos, Sky, Dell and many others understand the full value of a successful Affiliate Marketing campaign. In recent years, Affiliate Marketing has evolved massively and is now a far more technical process designed to ensure that businesses are getting value for money and both merchants and affiliates are playing by the rules. Nowadays, affiliates are often companies employing large numbers of staff with an annual turnover in the millions.

Some businesses steer clear as they don’t fully understand the world of Affiliate Marketing and are scared of getting ‘ripped-off’ and indeed, some merchants have had their fingers burnt in the past. As with any money-making venture, there is always going to be some unscrupulous individuals looking to take advantage and the Affiliate Marketing world is no different. There are many loopholes and pitfalls that could lead to a company being exploited unless they know 100% what they are doing. The terms ‘brand bidding’, ‘cookie dropping’ and many others may sound unfamiliar to you but these are practices that could end up costing you serious amounts of money and lining the pockets of a savvy but unprincipled affiliate.

Fortunately there are agencies such as us who know the potential pitfalls and dark areas of Affiliate Marketing and can be your guiding light to success. Our Online Marketing team have over 10 years of experience of the industry from both sides of the Affiliate Marketing fence. The Affiliate Marketing arena generates millions for companies who use it wisely so if you are looking to grow your online presence, generate more sales or just want some more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch.