Affiliates are organisations or individuals who drive traffic to a merchant’s site and get paid for the traffic they drive. Normally this payment relates to an action performed by one of the visitors, it could be:
Flat rate per click
If the merchant’s main aim is traffic generation then this is the most likely payment method - e.g. 10p per visitor
Flat rate per order / sign up / information request
Often used by gambling and financial services – e.g. £50 per successful credit card application
Commission on Sales
Used by retailers to generate sales – e.g. 15% of sales value ex P&P
Affiliates can be (roughly) classified into the following groups. This classification is based on how the affiliate generates traffic. Not all affiliate groups will fit with every merchant. indiumonline.co.uk 01865 980 630 [email_address]
These affiliates attract traffic to their sites by listing voucher codes and offers that can be used to save money. Many of the visitors are “signed up” to their website, will log in for offers, and receive regular emails from the site.
In the past the traffic from such websites has been seen purely as consisting of bargain hunters who will shop from whichever merchant gives them the best deal. This is now changing as the mainstream press advocates the use of such sites to the savvy customer, this is making Voucher Code affiliates both a source of new business, AND a way to convince existing customers to continue to buy.
These affiliates attract traffic to their sites by giving a percentage of their affiliate earnings back to their users – either as points or cash. Users have an account with the affiliate.
In the past the traffic from such websites has been seen as purely consisting of financially savvy fickle shoppers who will shop from whichever merchant gives them the best return. This is now changing as the mainstream press advocates the use of such sites to the savvy consumer, this is making Cashback affiliates both a source of new business, AND a way to convince existing customers to continue to buy.
These are affiliates who have gained large lists of 3 rd Party opted in email data, and who send emails to these lists in order to generate income. Often they are the big data list owners – eg Experian, Axicom etc.
This is a new and growing area, and becoming the way to navigate the problems of cold emailing.
These Affiliates merge the product feeds provided by several merchants to create their own website. Traffic comes to them to see a wider range in one place, before clicking into the selected merchant to purchase.
Product feeds are also used by many of the other Affiliate types.
Nearly all Affiliates connect with Merchants via an Affiliate Network. The Affiliate Network acts as an interchange between Affiliates and Merchants, providing all the necessary tools to allow both parties to concentrate on driving sales.
The Affiliate Network provides the following key benefits for the Merchant:
Technology necessary to run the campaign:
Track sales / calculate commission payments / make payments.
Technology to take advantage of market developments fast / help Affiliates market to the consumer
There are several Affiliate networks available, and a merchant needs to choose the network they believe will be the best for them. As 99% of Affiliates are signed up to all the networks, the choice will depend on the following factors:
Technology - Most of the networks have a similar technical structure, but it is good to know what it is and what developments are planned.
Account Management Structure / Knowledge of the Marketplace - Partly depends on how involved you want them to be, but in any instance it is advisable to go with a Network that has merchants in your sector, AND a team dedicated to you industry (eg finance, travel, retail). This is key because they will know how to help you drive maximum sales – which affiliates to speak to, what offers are working etc.
Recent Performance History - Are they taking on more business, or losing business? Any high profile Merchant movements?
How happy the Affiliates are - Are there any serious issues that the Affiliates have with the network?
Set up fees – These vary wildly – from £500 - £2500. What they cover also varies wildly.
Monthly fees – Again, a lot of difference here in the fee levels – from £100 to £2000. And in what is covered by them.