But it’s difficult to tell how this promotion impacts the success of a business, despite the high cost. Instead, what if you used a marketing channel where you paid for the marketing spend only after a sale was made?
That’s the beauty of affiliate marketing.
This pay-for-performance marketing model is one of the most effective online marketing tools that some merchants have. To help determine whether an affiliate program is right for you, here are three reasons your company might want to consider one:
1. Your vertical is big on blogging
When your business is in a vertical with a large and active blogging community, there will be a wide range of partners who could make good affiliates. For example, companies that sell apparel, home goods and products for kids and moms work extremely well with affiliate marketing. E-commerce sites that sell these things can tap into the large fashion and mommy blogger communities.
Make sure that there are potential affiliates and networks that align with your vertical and strategy. For some very specific niches that have a hard time locating relevant or high-quality affiliates, this strategy might not make as much sense.
2. You have good margins and customization
It’s beneficial if you have a healthy margin so you can offer affiliates an attractive commission. It’s also easier to entice affiliates to sell your product if it’s unique. Merchants with their own brand or an element of customization are much less susceptible to comparison shopping and have better conversion rates for affiliates.
3. You need to move specific inventory
If you have certain inventory that has stalled, a special affiliate deal could be the solution. One benefit of the affiliate channel is that it lets you run specific promotions.
One athletic apparel retailer had excess inventory of limited sizes and colors. When it created an affiliate-exclusive private sale during an otherwise slow sales week, the affiliates sold the entire inventory in three days.
Make sure affiliate marketing fits into your company’s overall marketing and brand strategy before diving in. This marketing channel requires active management from either an experienced agency or an in-house team, so you must be willing to devote resources to managing your affiliate programs. Otherwise, having a program could do more harm than good.
Once you’ve determined that affiliate marketing is right for you, it’s time to focus on developing a program strategy and recruiting affiliates. Investigate which ones align with your business and explore agency partners to see which one fits best with your strategy.
While most brands would love a spot during the big game, affiliate marketing could be a safer, measurable and more realistic way to boost sales.
For a complete overview of the affiliate marketing model and how brands leverage it for their business, download our Ultimate Guide to the Affiliate Marketing Model.