Affiliate Marketing

"Advertising is, actually, a simple phenomenon in terms of economics. It is merely a substitute for a personal sales force - an extension, if you will, of the merchant who cries aloud his wares." (Rosser Reeves, 1910 - 1984)
We set up and manage affiliate marketing programs for companies and organizations of all sizes. By employing a multinational team we do this on an international scale, thereby answering the following questions advertisers usually are confronted with:

  • How can we recruit trustworthy and powerful affiliates/publishers to support our goals?
  • What are the affiliate marketing networks with whom we should work?
  • What are rewarding and competitive commisson models?
  • How can we make sure to reliably track and measure conversions of affiliates?
  • How can we manage an affiliate program?

Recruit trustworthy and powerful affiliates

This is the basis for a successful affiliate marketing program. Since the affiliate market is very fragmented, and affiliates vary greatly in terms of type and size, defining the selection criteria and attracting the right affiliates is fundamental. Based on our market knowledge in many countries, we know the most successful affiliates in specific industries and are aware of their capabilities. Starting the program requires choosing the right mix of affiliate types and sizes. Most common types are:
  • content affiliates
  • paid search Affiliates
  • loyalty and cash back affiliates
  • price comparison sites
  • Email affiliates
  • co-registration affiliates

Choose the right affiliate networks

Publishers invest their time in order to generate leads, sales, and customers for the merchants, who pay commissions for success only. Inherent to any pay-for-performance model, reward directs behavior and the commitment and activities of affiliates depend on finding the "tipping point" of the commission model.

This means that the commission should be high enough in order to motivate the publisher. However, inflated commissions may attract publishers not aligned with the merchants strategy and could lead to speculative behavior of individual publishers. Thus, the right commission model can only be designed by taking into consideration
internal economics in terms of cost per acquisition and the incentive level of competitors. Defining commissions according to differentiated parameters directs behavior and matches the objectives of the merchant with the objectives of affiliates.

Develop rewarding and competitive commission models

Publishers invest their time in order to generate leads, sales, and customers for the merchants, who pay commissions for success only. Inherent to any pay-for-performance model, reward directs behavior and the commitment and activities of affiliates depend on finding the "tipping point" of the commission model.

This means that the commission should be high enough in order to motivate the publisher. However, inflated commissions may attract publishers not aligned with the merchants strategy and could lead to speculative behavior of individual publishers. Thus, the right commission model can only be designed by taking into consideration
internal economics in terms of cost per acquisition and the incentive level of competitors. Defining commissions according to differentiated parameters directs behavior and matches the objectives of the merchant with the objectives of affiliates.

Track and measure conversions

Tracking and measuring traffic and conversions is a prerequisite for paying commissions to affiliates. Each affiliate network has a technology in place to administer the affiliate program. Our agency service includes overview and analysis of all available data from multiple networks.

Another factor requiring integration of data is
multi-attribution tracking. Because of buying processes of a user, the first touchpoint with an advertisers´website is often not the same channel as for a purchase, which leads to commission issues. In order to avoid double payment, we provide cross-channel technology.

By following the customers journey across channels and the related advertising material, we are able to derive conclusions for
optimal allocation of advertising budgets among all online channels.

Manage the affiliate marketing program

Ongoing management of an affiliate marketing program comprises a lot of important tasks and dedicated resources and is very time-sensitive. We provide:

  • Partnering with affiliates: The more affiliates are actively involved in pushing conversions, the more they will engage for the merchant. We maintain intense communication with publishers, which can take place either over forums online or by organizing networking personally. Furthermore, regularly communicating promotions, product launches, etc. keeps publisher commitment high.
  • Attractive advertising material: As affiliates are a kind of online salesforce for the advertiser they need access to the latest and most attractive advertising material. We develop and distribute.
  • Using the longtail branding effect: Affiliate Marketing may have some interesting side affects on building brand image. We identify and involve content affiliates for doing Online PR.
  • Aligning with SEA and SEO: As many affiliates are generating traffic through search engines it is important to align the affiliate program with Search Engine Advertising and Search Engine Optimization avoiding cannibalization among these channels.
  • Keeping validation periods short: The attractiveness of an affiliate program depends on the time the merchant needs for validating achieved results. The shorter the validation period, the earlier the affiliate will be paid and hence the more he will engage for the merchant.
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Affiliate Marketing is an online advertising channel appropriate for companies and organizations who have a preference for rewarding dedicated online sales partners (affiliates) for performance only and who want to minimize fixed advertising costs.

Affiliate Marketing campaigns
take advantage of the growing number of web publishers (affiliates), who place advertising material of the merchant (advertiser) on their websites or blogs. The merchant pays a predefined commission for every sale, lead or customer the publisher is generating.

Basically, a company can build its own pool of affiliates and there is no immediate need to outsource affiliate marketing at all. However, many businesses find it advantageous to use affiliate marketing networks with their pool of publishers. Why then, are many businesses choosing agencies? There are four reasons why
outsourcing affiliate marketing programs to appropriate networks through an agency makes sense:
  • Differing business models of networks and agencies are probably the most important reason for delegating affiliate marketing to an agency. The agency has one client and will always work in his interest.
  • Agencies have the capability to choose reliable and reputable affiliates from the large pool the networks are providing.
  • If several networks are used, the agency integrates campaign data to simplify the evaluation for the client.
  • Running an affiliate marketing program is very time consuming as usually a lot of publishers are involved and communication with them is a critical success factor for the program.

Demonstrating the return of marketing investment is a key requirement for marketing and sales these days. Thus, cost-per-acquisition (CPA) driven affiliate marketing has proven to be a successful online channel for generating sales, leads, and customers.