Affiliate marketing is a cooperative effort between merchant and an affiliate's website. It has become popular for internet sites trying to create some extra income for their site, possibly changing a hobby to a profitable, self-supporting business. Affiliate marketing has proved to be a cost-efficient, measurable method of delivering long-term results. Research points to this method of marketing will be an industry trend.
The benefits to the merchant are many. First, it gives them a broder market to sell their product. More sites will naturally create more sales, if the sites they have chosen to use are in their niche marketing. The merchant needs to do their part by researching interested affiliate websites to make sure they are a good fit for that particular website.
Finding a fit for their merchandise would be the key to more generated income. The merchant has access to markets and customers that he does not spend valuable time searching out. Banner ads on affiliate sites are not distracting to the site user. It may create interest for that product and drive the consumer to the merchants website. For instance, on one of my favorite websites, it haws an affiliate marketing link to a toy store, where I was able to research and find a suitable gift to send to my one-year-old granddaughter. I needed to do this on-line anyway, as they live in another state and the banner ad prompted me to look at the site and make the purchase. This one buy will expand to others as I have four grandchildren I send Birthday and Christmas gifts to.
Benefit to the merchant? Repeat customers and recommendations to other consumers who are in need of the same product. Merchants just getting into the field should not expect immediate sales results. Placing your merchandise with an affiliate program is the same as training a new sales assistant. It will take time and training to reach the full potential. This is another important reason to ensure you are using the sites that fit your target customer. Bringing consumers in from different websites also gives the merchant a better idea of consumer trends and needs.
The affiliate marketer also sees many benefits. Adding marketing banners to their site is not distracting. In an interview with a new Webmaster just beginning in the field, she has found no adverse reaction to banner ads added to her site. Users have expressed their thanks for the unique ability to shop from a site they already visit regularly. The affiliate needs to have a clear understanding with the merchant what the commission will be, expected payment method and time involved in contract. The affiliate has a responsibility to represent the merchandise that their user based would be most interested in. For instance, if the site has a user base of mainly stay-at-home mothers, then on-line job opportunities such as surveys would have been a good match for them. This group would also appreciate direct links to children's products and informational sites.
Merchandisers often provide targeted, best-seller items and personal support to their affiliate. They often offer sales promotions that will benefit the merchandiser as well as the affiliate.
Affiliate marketing is a nonintrusive way to generate extra income for their website. It will take time for the users to understand the dynamics of banner marketing. This can be aggressively marketed to create instant sales, or can be a minority way to make extra income to support their site.
Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for both the marketer and the affiliate. Working together, they can be an advantage to both. The Webmaster I spoke to advised me this type of marketing has turned her website designed to be a help to women of Boomer age, into a site that was an out-of-pocket expense to a site that is now self-paying.