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What is Affiliate Marketing

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a revenue sharing venture between an online retailer or advertiser and a website owner. The website owner, also known as an affiliate, advertises the merchant's products and services on their website. The affiliate earns a commission for each customer they direct to the merchant's website, who subsequently makes a purchase. This is usually tracked through affiliate links from the affiliate website to the merchant's site.
This marketing strategy has gained popularity over the years due to its win-win nature. Merchants benefit from increased sales or leads without investing heavily in advertising, while affiliates earn income without developing their own products or services.
Affiliate marketing practices vary, sometimes relying on regular advertising techniques such as organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search (PPC - Pay Per Click), email marketing, and content marketing. Others use more unconventional methods, counting on the virality of the information.
Affiliate Marketing's Role in Digital Marketing
In the Digital Marketing ecosystem, Affiliate Marketing plays a crucial role through its potent mix of strategic planning and internet-based activities. It’s used to drive traffic, leads, and most importantly, sales, making it an instrumental tool in achieving the business goals of many online companies.
One of the great strengths of Affiliate Marketing lies in its efficiency and measurability. Every click, lead and sale can be tracked, enabling businesses to clearly understand their return on investment (ROI), making budget allocation and performance improvements easier.
Furthermore, Affiliate Marketing helps in building brand awareness. Affiliates often use content, social media, or email marketing to promote a merchant's products, creating visibility for the brand and potentially reaching a larger audience that the brand might not have accessed on its own.
Affiliate Marketing Examples
Amazon's affiliate program, known as Amazon Associates, is one of the best known examples of a successful affiliate marketing program. Affiliates can promote any product from Amazon's site, earn referral fees from qualifying purchases, and even make money from customers who may not initially navigate to their promoted item, but continue shopping on Amazon.
Another example is the Coupon affiliate. Here, affiliates display coupon codes or promotional links from different merchants on their site. When customers use these codes to make a purchase, the affiliate gets a share of the sales revenue.
Similarly, Review Sites affiliate marketing is growing popular. In this, affiliates review products to help consumers make informed decisions. When consumers purchase products through the affiliate link on their site, the affiliate earns a commission.