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Introduction to Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

How many times have you clicked on the link on social media, redirecting you to an online shop? You also ended up buying the product you never knew you needed in the first place. This happens all the time across the Internet, especially on social networks. By buying the product, you helped the link provider earn money off your sale. This scheme is commonly known as affiliate marketing. Since almost 84% of businesses are using it to boost their sales, it’s time you become familiar with the concept in greater detail.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an advertising model where a person, or an affiliate, promotes a brand’s products or services for a commission. The model isn’t the same as traditional sales since they don’t sell the product but promote it. They use a unique link known as an affiliate link provided by the company whose product they’re promoting. The link leads the users to a specific location on the web. For every sale, the affiliate gets a commission. In most cases, it’s a small percentage, although they can also agree upon a fixed sum. Also, the profit is an incentive for creating creative ways to promote the business.

Who Hires Affiliates?

We live in a world where digital marketing tactics are easily accessible. To most people, affiliate marketing is a relatively new concept. However, it existed before the global network evolved. In more recent years, digitalization, third-party cookies, and analytics have made it more prominent than ever.

E-commerce retailers and businesses looking for ways to grow their business globally can benefit from hiring an affiliate. The affiliates have the means and marketing knowledge to help them expand their reach. By reaching wider audiences, businesses become visible, recognizable, and profitable in their industries. 

Who Can Be an Affiliate?

There aren’t any formal requirements a person has to meet for them to become an affiliate. Nonetheless, they should have a solid follower base or long email marketing lists for promoting purposes. Also, anyone who runs a few relevant websites, blogs, or profiles on social media can profit from affiliating with a business. 

How Affiliate Marketing Works?

The affiliate gets a unique link they need to promote. How will they promote it — it’s up to them. They can do this in numerous ways, for example, by creating and running different types of ads. Another way to promote the link would be to simply share it on their profile or websites. Affiliates with email marketing lists can notify their clients about the products or services they’re promoting. Also, they can release videos and create blog posts and images to catch the target audience’s attention.

Once their attention is caught, the users click the link or the ads. Simultaneously, a cookie stores itself on the used device. Thanks to the affiliate cookie, the retailer knows to whom to attribute the sale. After clicking on the link, the visitors are taken to an e-commerce website or a landing page. They can explore the product range or buy the displayed products or services. They don’t have to make a purchase right away. Even if they delay it for a few hours, the affiliate still gets their commission because the cookies usually last 24 hours. 

Sometimes the visitors aren’t required to purchase affiliates to earn their profits. It depends on what they agreed with the company. Generally, a sale is required. However, in recent years, affiliate marketing programs also incentivize lead generation, clicks, downloads, or email newsletter sign-ups. How much money the affiliate earns through this marketing operation depends on what they’re promoting in the first place. Most affiliates earn between 5 and 10 % of the confirmed sales. Meanwhile, in the case of event promotion, they can earn up to 50%. Recently, companies have started to offer flat rates instead of percentages which suits some affiliates better.


Behind most links, clicks, and purchases on the Internet, hides affiliate marketing. It’s a powerful practice businesses use to reach their goals and influencers to make a living. Now that you know how it works, you can use it too as an additional marketing approach for your clients.

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