Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy that involves a partnership between a merchant and an affiliate marketer. The merchant provides the affiliate with unique links, banners, or other promotional materials to use in their marketing efforts. The affiliate then promotes the merchant’s products or services on their website, blog, or social media channels. Ultimately this earns them a commission for each sale or conversion that is generated through their affiliate link.
The commission rate tends to vary depending on the merchant and the product. It can be a percentage of the sale, or it can be a fixed amount. Which will depend on the marketer, and who they’re working with.
When all is said and done, affiliate marketing is a popular and effective way for businesses to increase their sales and reach a wider audience. At the same time, such marketing provides affiliates with an opportunity to earn income by promoting products they believe in.
History of Affiliate Marketing: It Goes Back Further Than You Think
The concept of affiliate marketing dates back to the 1980s when William J. Tobin launched a program called PC Flowers & Gifts in 1989. This program was essentially an early form of affiliate marketing, where Tobin paid a commission to other websites that referred customers to his website to purchase flowers and gifts. You might say affiliate marketing stretches back to the dawn of the internet.
That said, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that affiliate marketing began to gain widespread popularity. Amazon is often credited with popularizing affiliate marketing when it launched its Associates Program in 1996. This program allowed website owners and bloggers to promote Amazon’s products and earn a commission on any sales generated through their affiliate links.
Around the same time, other companies began to launch their own affiliate programs, including CDNow, which launched its program in 1994, and eBay, which launched its program in 1995. By the late 1990s, affiliate marketing had become a popular way for businesses to market their products and for individuals to earn income online.
Over the years, affiliate marketing has continued to evolve, with new technologies and platforms making it easier for businesses and affiliates to connect and work together. Today, affiliate marketing is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with businesses across a wide range of industries using affiliate marketing as a key part of their marketing strategy.
What Affiliate Marketing Looks Like Today
Affiliate marketing is a thriving industry that continues to grow year after year. According to a report by Statista, current estimates put global affiliate marketing expenditures about $8.2 billion for the 2022 business year. This growth is fueled by the increasing popularity of e-commerce, as well as the growing number of businesses that are incorporating affiliate marketing into their marketing strategies.
One of the reasons why affiliate marketing has become so popular is because it is a cost-effective way for businesses to promote their products or services. Rather than spending money on traditional advertising, businesses can partner with affiliates who promote their products to their own audiences, earning a commission on any sales or leads generated. Basically, it hones the “sights” of marketing outreach, allowing for greater outreach accuracy overall.
Furthermore, affiliates can reap numerous benefits from affiliate marketing, such as generating revenue by endorsing products or services they genuinely support. They don’t have to spend substantial resources to create their own products or services.
Technological advancements have also made it easier for businesses and affiliates to work together. Affiliate networks, such as ShareASale and Commission Junction, have made it easier for businesses to connect with affiliates, track sales and commissions, and manage their affiliate programs. Ultimately, increasingly available data made tangible through affiliate marketing enables more efficient outreach. It’s a positive feedback loop of improvement.
Overall, the status of affiliate marketing is strong, and it is expected to continue to grow in popularity as more businesses look for cost-effective ways to promote their products and more individuals seek opportunities to earn income online. Where one group has a need, another can supply a solution. Everybody wins.
Benefits Merchants See Through Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a well-known marketing strategy that allows businesses to partner with affiliates who promote their products or services in exchange for a commission on sales or leads generated. There are several benefits of affiliate marketing for the merchant, including:
- Increased reach and visibility: By partnering with affiliates, merchants can reach a wider audience that they may not have been able to reach on their own. Affiliates often have their own established audience and can promote the merchant’s products to them, thereby increasing brand visibility.
- Cost-effective: Affiliate marketing can be a cost-effective way to promote products or services, as merchants only pay affiliates a commission when a sale or lead is generated. This means that merchants do not have to spend money on advertising upfront, and only pay for results.
- Better targeting: Affiliates are often experts in a particular niche or industry, and as such, they can promote products to a highly targeted audience. This means that the merchant’s products are more likely to be seen by people who are interested in them, increasing the likelihood of sales.
- Increased credibility: When affiliates promote a merchant’s products, it can increase the credibility of the merchant. This is because people often trust recommendations from people they know or respect, and affiliates are often seen as experts in their field.
- Easy to track: Affiliate marketing is easy to track, as merchants can use unique affiliate links to track sales and leads generated by affiliates. This means that merchants can easily see which affiliates are generating the most sales and adjust their affiliate program accordingly. Overall, affiliate marketing can be a highly effective marketing strategy for merchants, helping them to reach a wider audience, increase sales, and build brand credibility; all while being cost-effective and easy to track.
Considerable Benefits for the Affiliate Marketer
Nowadays, affiliate marketing has become a widely adopted marketing approach, enabling individuals or businesses (or affiliates) to promote a merchant’s products or services in return for earning a commission on sales or leads generated. There are several benefits of affiliate marketing for the affiliate marketer, including:
- Passive income: Affiliate marketing allows affiliates to earn passive income by promoting a merchant’s products or services. Once an affiliate has created content promoting a product or service, they can continue to earn commissions on any sales or leads generated from that content, even if they are not actively promoting it.
- No need for product creation: As an affiliate marketer, there is no need to create your own products or services to sell. You can simply promote other people’s products or services and earn a commission on any sales or leads generated.
- Flexibility: Affiliate marketing allows for flexibility in terms of working hours and location. As long as you have an internet connection, you can promote products or services from anywhere in the world and at any time.
- Low startup costs: Affiliate marketing can be started with very little money, as there is no need to create your own products or services, and most affiliate programs are free to join.
- High earning potential: Depending on the commission rate and the merchant’s product or service, affiliate marketing can be a highly lucrative way to earn income. Affiliates who are able to generate a high volume of sales or leads can earn significant commissions.
- Skill development: Affiliate marketing requires a range of skills, including content creation, SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing. By engaging in affiliate marketing, affiliates can develop and refine these skills, which can be valuable for future business ventures. As noted, it’s a positive feedback loop.
Overall, affiliate marketing can be a highly rewarding way for affiliates to earn income, offering flexibility, low startup costs, high earning potential, and opportunities for skill development.
The Future of Affiliate Marketing: Opportunities and Challenges Ahead
IoT Marketing is excited to offer a new partnership program that’s the best-paying affiliate program in the industry! Do you know people in the IoT, IT, Telecom, or technology industries? Groups? Resellers?
Do you know people who need to network at more industry-related events?
Help them out by giving them access to immersive experiences featuring industry leaders as speakers and the biggest brands in attendance; all without the cost of expensive travel! This makes it an easy decision for them and an even easier sale for you.
IoT Marketing affiliates now earn a 10% commission for each sponsor and advertiser sale they make. Commissions are paid out monthly and recurring for any sale made on a subscription-based product! Contact us here to learn more about our industry-leading options in affiliate marketing.