How does affiliate marketing work in practice?
Do you feel alone in promoting your offers on the internet? You could use a team of sales people, but you know that's not realistic? Affiliate marketing is the solution you need to bring together business partners and boost your sales exponentially. Nevertheless, this marketing lever is often misunderstood. With our concrete explanations, affiliate marketing will no longer hold any secrets for you!
Affiliate marketing is similar to a referral network: partners recommend your offers for you and take a commission (a percentage) when they bring you a customer.
Affiliate marketing is a system that works on the performance. As long as you don't receive a sale or a definite payoff, you don't owe your partner anything.
So the Internet did not invent anything. It was Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, who first introduced this economic model on the Internet in 1996. In the 2000s, affiliation made its appearance in France.
Today, affiliate marketing is widely used by major brands such as Fnac, Cdiscount, and in the digital products sector (such as the sale of ebooks).
Many entrepreneurs mistakenly think that affiliation is a marketing tool reserved exclusively for the giants of the Web or for particular sectors of activity. This is not the case. Any entrepreneur on the Internet, regardless of the size of their business, can choose this lever to find customers and boost sales.
Who are the different players in affiliate marketing?
In order to understand the concept of affiliate marketing, let's first look at the different players. There are three: the affiliate, the seller and the buyer.
- I am an affiliate.
I have a website that attracts an audience. I promote the training courses of another person - the vendor - to this audience and receives a commission on each sale that I bring to him, i.e. % of the price paid by the final buyer.
- I am a salesman which offers training to my clients.
Via an affiliation platform, I allow a partner - the affiliate - to promote my offer on his site for me. For each sale he brings me, I pays a commission.
- I am a buyer.
As I browse the affiliate's site, I see that they recommend the training of another person - the vendor. I click on the link provided and order the vendor's offer. Without knowing it, I have just make money for the affiliatewho took a % of the prize.
You, as a freelance trainer or small training organisation, are above all a seller. Thus, you can exploit affiliation to sell your offers via partners.
But don't forget that you can also be an affiliate yourself and promote partner offers. Stay open to opportunities, as this can be a great way to supplement your income and grow your business!
What is an affiliate platform? What is it for?
Each member is paid according to of customer volume that it brings to the seller, the advertiser. However, a few technical questions immediately arise.
- How does the seller know which affiliate has made which sale?
- How does an affiliate know that they have made a sale for the seller?
- When is a sale considered to be completed?
- It is clear that all stakeholders need a system that provides transparent monitoring and reliable information.
To implement this marketing lever, the seller uses an affiliate platform. This is thehe technical solution allowing it to monitor the sales generated by its affiliates. The seller therefore offers its affiliates the opportunity to register with its affiliate program.
In this context, you can quickly see that, as a seller, the choice of your affiliate platform has a major impact on your business. paramount importance. It is a sort of trusted intermediary between the two parties.
I strongly recommend the platform Affilaewhich in my opinion has no equivalent in terms of quality on the market.
How does affiliate marketing commission work?
The affiliate, registered in the seller's affiliate program, is given a affiliate linkThis is a personalised link to a unique identifier.
Example of an affiliate link:
The role of the affiliate is to recommend the seller's (advertiser's) services by sending visitors from their website or from an email to the seller's website.
When a visitor clicks on the affiliate's link, a cookie is placed on the visitor's computer for tracking purposes. One click is counted for the affiliate.
Once on the seller's site, if the visitor makes a purchase or any other action defined in the affiliate programme, the sale is recorded for the affiliate.
This whole process is visible in the statistics offered by the affiliate platform.
In general, the seller sets his affiliate program to "The most important thing is that the seller has the right to use the affiliate program. the first click "or " the last click" .
A user visits the site of affiliate A, clicks on his affiliate link, arrives at the seller's site but does not buy anything. The user continues browsing, then visits the site of an affiliate B, clicks on his link, arrives on the site of the same seller, but this time buys.
Who gets the commission for this sale? Affiliate A or Affiliate B?
- According to the "first click" logic, affiliate A receives the commission.
- According to the "last click" logic, affiliate B receives the commission.
- During a sales process, several scenarios are possible, sometimes including several affiliates. To ensure that all affiliates who have contributed to the sales process are fairly commissioned, Affilae has set up a unique system: the "shared" commission mode. In this case, each affiliate in the conversion process will get a percentage of the sales commission.
What is a cookie?
The cookies are small text files stored by the web browser on the hard drive of a website visitor. These files are used to record information about the visitor or his or her journey through the site.
For example, when the visitor returns to the site, it is no longer necessary to type in his name and password to be recognised, since they are automatically sent by the cookie.
In affiliate marketing, the cookie is used for follow an affiliate's link from which the visitor accesses the seller's website.
The cookie allows us to know "who is coming from where" so to speak.
A cookieAs it is only a text file, it cannot :
- contain viruses ;
- change or delete anything on your computer's hard drive.
A cookie has a limited lifespanThe duration is set by the designer of the affiliation platform. This duration corresponds to the number of days after a visitor has clicked on an affiliate link.
Usually the visitor does not buy immediately. The cookie retrieves information about who owns the initial visit. In this way, the affiliate program identifies to whom it should pay the commission.
Logically, the longer the cookie lasts, the more likely the affiliate is to earn a commission. Since the majority of sales are made in the 7 daysThe life span of the product should not be less than 7 days.
However, even if the proportion of Internet users who deliberately delete their cookies is marginal, it should be borne in mind that some Internet users do delete cookies from their computers.
Protection against fraud
Thanks to a unique technology, the Affilae affiliate program protects you natively against fraud, particularly in the following areas cookie-stuffing.
- Cooking stuffing The process of artificially generating a cookie without the user's consent in order to receive commissions from illegitimate affiliates.
Innovative technology Cookie-less & Cross-device "This allows each click to be collected on the server side and thus guarantees continuity of tracking without cookies and by IP address.
- In other words, even if a buyer deletes the cookies from their computerIf a customer is a member of the affiliate network, and places an order with a vendor, the commission will go to the affiliate who brought the customer.
In affiliate marketing, how does an affiliate get paid?
There are three methods of remuneration depending on the advertiser's objectives: the commission-based programme, the profile-based programme, the click-based programme.
1. The Commission Programme (CPA)
- Cost Per Acquisition : terme utilisé pour désigner une commission on the amount of a sale. The CPA is the most widely used type of remuneration.
The Internet user is redirected to the vendor's site to buy one of their products or services. The affiliate receives a commission on the sale of a product. This commission can be a percentage of the sale or a lump sum.
This is the type of remuneration that we advise you to set up.
Recurring sales commission
This is the same principle as above, except that the seller offers a subscription offer. Therefore, the affiliate receives a commission as long as the customer signs up for a subscription. This type of remuneration is the most beneficial for the affiliate.
2. The profile programme
- Cost Per Lead : terme utilisé pour désigner une fixed feeoften for conversion via a form.
The CPL represents commissions to the prospect. The Internet user clicks on a link on the affiliate's site. He is sent to the seller's site, and fills in a registration form. It then becomes a seller's prospect. The affiliate receives a commission when the prospect is identified and qualified.
For example, if the salesperson is looking for "male 40-60" prospects and the affiliate only brings in "female 30-45" prospects, the salesperson will not get any commission. In addition, the form must be correctly filled in by the prospect to be counted.
It is therefore not easy to attract people who are exactly what the seller is looking for. The commission offered is low (less than ten euros per conversion).
3. The click-through programme (CPC)
- Cost Per Click : terme utilisé pour désigner une commission paid when a single click has been recorded.
This is a method of monetisation that is rarely used by sellers, and is mainly used by search engines such as Google AdWords. The Internet user clicks on a link on the affiliate's website and becomes a potential customer for the seller. The affiliate receives a commission on each click generated.
How to succeed in affiliation?
When you think of "affiliationThe first thing that comes to mind is "how to make money with your blog".
In fact, whether you position yourself as an affiliate or as an advertiser. As we have seen, this is not the same thing at all.
On the one hand, you promote products and services of advertisers on your website. On the other hand, you are the merchant offering your own affiliate programme.
⇒ I am an affiliate
Bloggers are much more successful
About 10 years agoIt was still possible to make money with affiliation. You just had to set up a sales tunnel (squeeze-page, gift, email sequence) and promote it via Google Adwords.
Today, this is no longer possible or at least much more difficult. To become a successful affiliate, having a blog has become necessary.
In this way, you first provide your readers with useful information, unique content. So instead of promoting directly, you are adding value, your added valueyour experience of the advertisers' product or service.
Choosing good programmes is the key.
White label or not, there is no lack of affiliation platforms...
However, you should only offer on your blog Affiliate programs in line with your theme.
- The broader your theme, the more affiliate products you will have to offer your readers. But conversions will be low!
- The more specific your theme (i.e. a "niche" blog with a specific editorial line), the higher the conversion rate.
The affiliate is an advisor, not a salesperson
There is no point in putting affiliate links all over your blog. That's not the way to monetise your blog.
Each of your affiliate links must be :
- inserted in quality content providing real value to the reader;
- transparent to the reader. So tell your reader that it is an affiliate link (by changing the colour of the link for example). And indicate this in your TOS.
Instead of trying to sell a multitude of affiliate products on your blog or on social networks, I strongly advise you to choose affiliate programmes that are likely to interest your readers and especially if you like (and therefore test).
Your role is to be a good advisor and not a salesman who only wants to make money from his blog. It is simply a question of ethics. You must be convinced by the quality of all the affiliate products you recommend!
You get the idea. It's a bit more complicated than opening an affiliate account and waiting for payments. No, your remuneration will be closely linked to your promotion strategy.
⇒ I am a merchant, an advertiser
The successful affiliate begins by creating its own 'brand
In my opinion, it is in your interest to start selling your own products or services. Which makes sense. Your readers are primarily looking for a product and/or service from the blogger, from the person who helped them. And not the products of others...
In other wordsbefore becoming a successful affiliateIn order to do this, you need to gain the trust of these readers so that they choose your affiliate links over those of other "merchants".
You always make a lot more money as an affiliate than as an affiliate. No ?
So it's the "advertisers" side that you should be concerned about...
Boost your sales with affiliation
As you have seen, affiliate marketing requires you to assimilate a certain number of notions before starting. Do not hesitate to do this work and to offer your affiliate programme to your partners.
I advise you to :
- choose a reliable affiliate platformIn particular, Affilae ;
- propose a programme by acquisition (CPA) to your members;
- do not hesitate to be relatively generous on commission rates, at least at 15%;
- provide an advertising kit to your partners: Banners, text links, email kits, etc.
- manage your own affiliate network . And thus be able to maintain a relationship with your affiliates, especially the top performers and influencers;
- finding partnersaffiliates with an audience and credibility compatible with your target audience and your brand image.
Ultimately, affiliate marketing is the simplest and most effective way for a small structure like yours to multiply its commercial strength.