Affiliate marketing is based on the concept of an advertiser rewarding a publisher for any business that is brought in. Generally speaking, the publisher will run ads for an affiliate with the special tracking code that helps the advertiser to identify which site a visitor came from.
Affiliates have been significantly contributing to the growth of various E-commerce companies by justifying the ROI through performance Marketing. We can say that affiliates are the backbone of the business of a various company. Let’s have an example of insurance exaggerators, who are dependent upon the numbers of leads driven by a network. Travel, Education, Apparels and other industries where goal is to drive more conversions in terms of CPM, CPL, CPV, CPS, CPA with the help of wide spread network.
Affiliate marketer act as a channel partner who earns its money based on an arrangement with companies. The payout can be based on commission earned on sales or per sales cost.
Affiliate system can also often keep track of which visitors actually sign up for buy something as well, and affiliate can be awarded accordingly.
Affiliates systems can reward publishers just for click-through (CTR) or more specifically for actual leads and sales through the affiliate tracking software like Hasoffer, cake and other similar platforms.
How Affiliates are paid?
Most of the affiliates are associated directly and indirectly with marketer as publishers. They are given creative with UTM source mentioned and affiliate id mentioned there. Based on affiliate id, Advertisers track the performance of campaigns. If all matrices like bounce rate, conversion rate, sessions defined by advertisers fall in place, then Publisher is paid money. Due to rising competition and performance has taken a front seat.
Most of the time advertisers define the tactics which can be performing for them so they clearly mention the medium in there creative say email. So if the affiliate is manipulating the creative by converting it for display or banner. Advertiser will get to know by campaign medium, bounce rate or traffic quality.They clearly set the guideline if any traffic which comes other than the designated medium will not be considered.
Even Advertisers are blacklisting those publishers who deploy underhand or deceptive tricks to spur traffics are penalized.
Every Digital Marketer or anyone who wants to carve ones career in this field should know some of the terms used in this industry.
What is Post back and How it is used?
In a simple way, Post back tracking is called server side tracking and is a more authentic way of tracking the conversion of the offer at your server side. It is used by most of the networks, where you can find out errors and keep tracks of conversions.Since a post-back URL is fired from a web server directly, this will greatly reduce the potential of affiliate fraud.
Post back is different from Pixel based tracking, where the pixel is placed on thank you page. It depends on if your advertisers will allow to place that pixel in the website.But Postback tracking is more sough after, where you generate the link and place it in the offer.
Conversion pixels work exactly the same way as Postback works. In both cases, your tracking link will be pinged when the conversion happens and ping notify the server about conversion and conversion will be recorded. But conversion pixel is prone to inconsistencies of browsers like cookies being deleted or blocked etc. So it safer to use postback tracking link.
Postback link generates transaction ids based on IP address, affiliate id, date, time etc. Transaction id is recorded on the ad server of the network. when user click on the creative (embedded with link) with the advertiser. That unique transaction id is passed to Landing page url, when the conversion happens.
Advertisers have some parameters where they catch the transaction id either in their data base or value in cookies in users’ browsers. That transaction id is triggered back to postback URL when conversion happens and link pings server to record the conversion
Image Source: Has offers
Strengths: The strength of the affiliate system is that publisher can make a lot more money by not just showing an ad, but hoping that someone actually buys something signs up for something on after clicking on the ad.
For the advertiser, the affiliate system provides a great way for others to do a lot of their actual advertising for them.
As a common example, Amazon.com has an extensive affiliate system; website publishers are encouraged to provide a special link to products at Amazon.com and encourage their visitors to buy something. The publisher benefits because the affiliate is doing the work of directing people to their site specifically to buy something.
Weakness: for the publisher, this kind of advertising is only worthwhile if their audience actually clicks on the advertising. If their audience ignores it, it essentially is just wasted space, since they will not make any money just from running the ads on their site. For the advertiser, this kind of advertising a potential to be less effective and more expensive than other methods of advertising. For search-based PPC, the cost of a single click can be very expensive for the most popular keyword, and the some point cost of the click might not be worth what they had to pay for it if not enough people actually purchase something after the click-through.
Few Important Points to follow before starting a campaign and after executive campaigns
1-Assess your customers and data base.
2-Choose wisely that campaign which fits the bills and commensurate with your industry
3-Creative should be the perfect fit in your site or compatible with email sending application. Text to image ration should be 40:60 in HTML
4-Donot run the same campaign again and again to fatigue your customers
5-Please remove unsubscribed users from data base if it email campaign.
6-Use reliable tracking platform if you further tend to pass the campaigns to your affiliates if you are a network.
7-Keep you’re reporting clean and timely.
8-Work closely with advertisers and give them feedback if a campaign is not performing or you need any changes in creative. Even if you are scuttling changes, Let your advertiser know about it.
9-Always use unsubscribes option in your mailers.
Conclusion: Affiliate Marketing is extremely easy to manage and can bring staggering results to your business at the same time. Though some time it is daunting task to match with the parameter set by your network or marketer. But as affiliate or network, you need to keep the door open even if campaign cant be executed by you due to limited bandwidth. Sometime overburdened affiliate crumble to pressure and sever their relationship with both network and brands. There is always win-win situation for both. so enjoy the space but never over promise.