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AFFILIATE MARKETING

How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Level Up Your Ecommerce Strategy

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How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Level Up Your Ecommerce Strategy


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ecommerce continues to gain relevance as people find it more convenient to shop online, especially when 2020’s pandemic hit. Now, the ecommerce vertical is 2021-ready. But the initial obstacle remains: How to position a given product before the precise audience?

To remove this barrier and grow customer reach, you need to know a thing or two about affiliate marketing and advertising networks for ecommerce players.

How ecommerce players can leverage affiliate marketing 

Imagine there’s a digital shop selling children’s bikes, and it’s about to launch an international seasonal sale campaign. The store has a variety of options: The owner can place paid search ads, approach a multinational agency for sales conversion or hire an international marketing team.

What works most, however, is localized and personalized promotion. And this is where a partnership between ecommerce players and affiliate marketers becomes profitable. See, thanks to the influence they have on their viewers, affiliates are the pros of campaign optimization and local targeting.

How does it work? A blogger or website owner (an affiliate) recommends a merchant’s goods and gets paid each time a user buys goods via this recommendation. Purchase is the only action that is paid.

Related: 8 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting Affiliate Marketing

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Advantages of using affiliate marketing in ecommerce 

If you’re wondering why merchants should take advantage of this style of online marketing, here are some of the perks:

  • Generates the right leads to your website.
  • Helps you keep track, control and measure your marketing success.
  • Gives you serious value for your money since it’s performance-based.
  • Widens your brand awareness and business reputation.
  • Drives repeat sales.

How to promote an ecommerce offer

With the aid of a fitting associate offer and promotion strategy, you can maximize leads and sales from your advert.

Whether yours is a small store or a business empire, to get the most out of your ecommerce affiliate programs, here’s what to keep in mind. 

1. Come up with an ecommerce offer

Before you start looking for affiliates, you should decide what you are going to promote and what results you expect. This will be your offer. So what exactly is an offer? It’s an arrangement provided by an advertiser to attract individual marketers. It may detail things like your brand or business, the commission rate, shipping information, product descriptions, landing page, creatives or images related to the product. 

2. Direct the right products to the right people

One of the most common mistakes to avoid is shoving the whole ecommerce website down the throat of potential clients. Your efforts, instead, should be directed toward meeting their demands. Identify the right products that meet the needs of each set of audiences.

Users are quick to disregard unspecific ads and campaigns that are irrelevant to their current needs. This is why online advertising needs to be targeted with pinpoint accuracy. 

3. Be time and location sensitive

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Time and location are two critical factors in ecommerce. As you plug into a partner program, give consideration to time and location when developing your campaign.

Pay attention to differences in time zones. When are prospects most likely to see your ads? These ads should be shown only to those within the geographical reach of your distribution services. 

4. Prepare your landing page

First off, your home page shouldn’t be your landing page, mainly because a majority of viewers won’t pay attention for long, as we all get distracted easily these days. Remember that the ultimate goal is to convert as many leads as possible to sales.

You want to focus on the main headline (make it grabby and punchy), social proof, CTA (call-to-action), eye-catching media content (images, videos, etc.) and compelling copy (containing benefits and product features). Timers, containers, lots of white space — these are the little details that make your landing pages even more effective.

Related: 3 Tips to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

5. Provide your affiliate marketers with visuals

The more attention it grabs, the better. The higher the quality, the better. Visual content often works better than words. Or combine the two masterfully, and you have an affiliate offer that marketers are dying to promote.

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Affiliate marketing in ecommerce calls for high-res images visualizing the products, their descriptions, their benefits and sometimes social proof. That’s why you should always create and share high-quality visuals with your publishers.

6. Think of how to track your affiliate offer

To find exactly how affiliate marketing impacts your ecommerce site, you need to have a distinct idea of how many people click on your ads or links, how many of those clicks turn into prospects and how many of those turn into conversions. Tools such as Google Analytics or traffic trackers can provide you with the needed analysis to measure the success of your affiliate campaign.

7. Choose a promotion strategy (or let affiliate network experts do it for you)

Another vital aspect is choosing a suitable promotion strategy for your offers (that’s if you’re working with publishers directly). If you’re going with an advertising network like Google, you provide all necessary information about your offer, and affiliate marketing experts decide how to best promote it. The same is fair for affiliate networks.

Creating the best affiliate offers starts with the right products. Identify which segment of people would be drawn to your products and services. Draw patterns from their online behavior, target them where they can be found and tailor your ad to their biases.

Related: This Is Why Teenagers Are the Affiliate-Marketing Experts

This covers working with pubs they are in constant contact with. When you understand the target market, you can create a highly productive affiliate marketing campaign in a collaboration that results in increased leads, conversions and sales.

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AFFILIATE MARKETING

A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A newly-created project should manage significant issues to survive the first year of operating. The key target to hit, especially in a highly-competitive market environment, is finding product-market fitting. Affiliate marketing is giving a variety of instruments to reach that goal. And even more: It engages potential customers, who can become a core — and some can even become brand ambassadors in the future.

Here are some bulletproof tactics of how to launch a new brand, service or app using affiliate marketing channels.

Related: Use Affiliate Marketing to Create a Loyal Audience

Why affiliate marketing can be an effective strategy channel to use

An affiliate partnership is based on a сost per acquisition model (CPA). The advertisement provides results in the form of sales and target actions, which gives direct profits. Worth noting, the affiliate marketing advantages are:

  • The absence of reckless risk-taking investments.
  • Promotion is taking place only among the relevant audience.
  • The wide range of different niches to be efficiently used.

But the main thing is that the budget spent is under your control. The basic operating principle of affiliate marketing is you get what you pay for.

According to Publift, 86% of audiences are suffering from ad blindness, meaning they simply do not see the ads. To get confidence that the budget won’t be wasted on irrelevant clicks (cost per click) or views (cost per view), the affiliate partners’ reward depends on the success of the promo campaign.

Having all these advantages of affiliate-based tactics, it’s time to roll out our very first affiliate marketing campaign step by step.

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Related: An Affiliate-Marketing Program Might Be the Perfect Move

Step 1: Creating an in-house affiliate program or joining a travel affiliate network

Building your affiliate program is not a cheap exercise. However, big brands like or Booking.com could do that. So looking for a proper travel affiliate marketing network would be a more realistic option. Their framework and experience combined with the right tools should help you as well. The cooperation with external CPA platforms (i.e. Travelpayouts, CJ, AWIN, Partnerize or others) seems more manageable, especially for the newcomers.

Step 2: Propose a suitable affiliate offer

It must be based on an analysis of competitors and companies’ ROI models. The proposal should include commission rate, cookies lifetime and payout policy.

The cookies’ duration is the length of time when a customer and an affiliate are associated together. It starts from a client’s click on the link and may last from one session up to a year. If it has expired, the partner won’t receive a commission from a purchase.

Also consider determining a payout policy: a variety of actions, which are taken into account as target ones and being paid. Pay-per-click (PPC), pay-per-action (PPA) and pay-per-impression (PPI) models are concentrated on different aims — the number of clicks, lead generation and sales guarantee, respectively.

3. Get a list of top-notch affiliates

The subscribers and followers of a partner should be your final . For example, if you have a coupon service, the potential users’ audience from your partners should be interested in travel deals, coupons and discounts. Keep on the influencers with high-quality content. It’s okay if they’re local bloggers with fewer than 5,000 subscribers, compared to the more popular ones with 1 million or more subscribers.

The figures for the blogger subscribers are not as important as the quality of the audience — the major thing is how many sales a partner can attract. The affiliates with a low traffic volume can also become a great source for your actual sales among the loyal and active audience.

Related: 3 Tips to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

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4. Sharing your brand’s values with partners

The affiliates will recommend your service to their audience, so they should be aware of your brand values. A simple solution is to create a promo or landing page to share with potential partners. On this page, you can provide product features, strengths, tips, etc. Go even further, and create a media kit with a detailed description. But remember, not all the affiliates are willing to go through a 30-page document. So be sure to create a summary that includes all the basics.

5. Analyze the efficiency of the campaign

Usually, at the launch of an affiliate campaign, it’s enough to provide partners with affiliate links. By using them, an affiliate would provide and drive traffic to your site or link for app download. Efficient cooperation can also encourage other ways to contact the audience in the future as well. It could be such effective formats as search forms, banners or APIs. While affiliate partners attract their audience, your task is to analyze the quality of incoming traffic.

The essential point of the first stage is to inspect the affiliate campaign’s effectiveness (to improve it for the future). The initial traffic flow and sales will indicate further actions to be done. For example, you can try reaching partners with different target audiences or using additional tools to attract a new audience yourself. You could also try changing program conditions or pushing extra promotions. Traffic analysis is an everlasting process for the affiliate program optimization, as well as the identification of anomalies and possible violations on the partner’s part.

Related: How Affiliate Marketing Can Work for Entrepreneurs

Be patient

Affiliate marketing is not a one-shot game. So be prepared for different experiments with advertising formats and channels. Perhaps, you would figure out that social media promotion is a better way than traffic from travel blogs or vice versa.

This process demands flexibility, constant self-improvement and deep analysis of audience behavior. Don’t panic if the first results of the campaign don’t match your expectations. Launching an affiliate program is just the beginning of a long journey. Affiliate marketing is, in our humble experience, the most cost-effective marketing channel worth taking a chance on.



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