It’s Better With Friends: 4 Need-to-Know Tips for Affiliate Marketing

By on April 29, 2013

It’s Better With Friends: Four Need-to-Know Tips for Affiliate Marketing

The basic philosophy behind affiliated marketing is rooted in that simple concept of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” For some people, trying to put affiliate marketing into practice is less than satisfying. Often, the affiliate marketing arrangement is made between an individual or small business and a large corporation. Here’re some ways you can adjust your affiliate marketing strategy that optimize fairness and work effectively.

The One-Way Affiliate

The large corporation runs on policy, with little room for the small-business entrepreneur to make negotiations that will prove to be mutually beneficial. The large company calls the shots by default, and the smaller company is forced to scramble for scraps until it earns enough to actually get a payment. The minimum payout can be $100 or more, which can take some time to earn based on the low commission rate.

Thankfully, there’s more to affiliate marketing from this David/Goliath scenario where the little guy doesn’t win. Just because the big guys are secure and solvent enough to pay you doesn’t mean they will. If you don’t “earn” the minimum, your money dangles precariously in Internet Oblivion.

Pick on Someone Your Own Size

Larger corporations are not the only ones who can succeed in the affiliate marketing game. Success can be achieved between any two businesses and the more evenly the businesses are matched they are the better the outcome will likely be for both of them. In this scenario, you both want the same thing: Results. Results are important to both companies and by working with someone your size you’re more likely to get a fair deal. Smaller organizations also have the freedom to directly communicate with each other in order to negotiate appropriate commission rates on affiliate products. Both of the businesses complement rather than compete with each other, and so your affiliate relationship allows your future teammates to share customer bases.

Evaluate the Numbers

Although getting into affiliate marketing doesn’t cost money the way traditional advertising does, there will be a time investment. Each business will want to use its own unbiased tracking system in order to make a determination as to what level of commission is appropriate. With a good partnership, each business can see an increase in sales by as much as 25 percent, and it’s only from this increase that commissions are paid out. Keep your pre-production tight and both of you will leave your affiliation enriched and profitable.

A Growing Method

Lately, there’s been a lot of hype about digital and mobile marketing. It’s easy for businesses to assume that digital is the way to go and that affiliate marketing has had its day in the sun. However, it’s not done yet. According to e Marketer, growth rates for affiliate marketing are predicted to be higher than digital marketing over the next five years. With little or no investment, there really isn’t a lot to lose.

Of course, as with any Internet relationship, taking precautions against spam is necessary, but for the most part, it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to produce quality products and services in order to keep themselves and their affiliates looking good.

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.