Okay, so what types of affiliates, publishers, and partners are there really out there for Advertisers to work with? There really are so many different types, it’s such a large industry. Over the last 10-15 years affiliate marketing has really exploded. I mean it’s really a worldwide phenomenon. Here are some of the various types of affiliate marketers that are out there for Advertisers to affiliate with through networks like CJ, Linkshare, and Shareasale. It’s not a given that you will end up working with these types of affiliates, but if you recruit properly you will gain these types of affiliate marketers.
Webmasters – Webmasters are people building sites and people who own sites. There are an infinite number of webmasters out there who are in various stages of expertise and development of their website, or multiple website, that will likely have signed up for a CJ or Shareasale, and you can meet them through there and you can also flat out contact their website if you find it and say, “Hello, I found your website, I’d love to partner with you. This is pay out we can offer.” If you do it in large amounts you’ll get a certain amount of response.
Search Affiliates – SEO, PPC, media buying – there is a whole crop of affiliates who spend their own money and really try to leverage the search engines, Facebook advertising, and various other paid advertising models in order to generate an ROI for themselves with affiliate offers. This is a whole sub-culture, really you could say, because they are usually very entrepreneurial business minded, smart people, testing different things. These are affiliates you want to have as partners as long as they are following the right procedures and rules. SEO and media buying affiliates can really drive a ton of traffic and revenue for you. So these affiliates need to be catered to and made friends with.
Bloggers – bloggers are great for posting content about your company, reviewing new products, you can send them samples, you can say “hey review our product on your site, here is a sample”, which can be very effective at spreading the word. Not only that, anything bloggers write about tends to rank organically in the search engine. So its never bad when you have a blogger who is willing to promote your company or do a product review for your company as an affiliate. Mommy bloggers are very good affiliates and there’s probably an infinite amount of mommy bloggers that aren’t even in affiliate marketing right now that can be approached and proposed a business deal where they are being compensated on what they produce via their blogs.
Coupon Sites – couponing has become very, very big. It has really exploded in the last couple of years with the recession, where people are going searching for coupons for particular merchants prior to purchase and they also find merchants before even thinking about purchasing via coupon sites. It’s a little bit of a double edge sword, in that you will get additional volume from the coupon sites, but you will see coupon sites sort of capitalizing on organic rankings related to your company name and the word “coupon code.” So you have to sort of take the good with the bad and really try to maximize the good and not really trouble yourself too much with who’s ranking organically with your company name and the word coupon code, because it’s going to happen as soon as you launch an affiliate program. But there is a tremendous amount of potential with coupon code affiliate sites because they likely have member bases and they usually drive a lot of traffic.
Review Sites – review sites are pretty popular among affiliate marketers. Affiliates will build a site that reviews five or six different advertisers in a particular niche, hosting is big with review sites, also dating, phone companies, flowers, basically anything where you can take four or five different advertisers and put them on one site and then drive paid search or organic search through those pages that feature different reviews, usually in a chart format. The affiliate would then earn a commission whenever he refers business to anyone of those advertisers. So that’s a very big and well converting demographic of affiliates traffic.
Loyalty Portals– loyalty portals are very, very big. These are companies who have large membership basis and they are able to expose your advertiser offer to the membership base and there may even be a cash back component. There is many, many loyalty portals out there that you can place your offer in and it’s on a performance basis, so they have to be hunted down. Mall Networks is a good example of a loyalty affiliate publisher.
Incentive Programs – This is where you are running into volume, but you are also running into possible issues because people taking actions when they are being awarded points can tend to skew down quality of leads certainly and then possibly sales and possibly increase the return rate. Virtual currency is another — it’s a quickly growing industry that kind of was born out the social networking thing where people are earning virtual currency and then there is companies who leverage affiliate advertisers to let people redeem their virtual currency and make purchases and save money and so forth. But again, a double edge sword, as you can get good volume, but you can also get some “iffy” sales and some sales that can tend to have a higher return rate.
Email Marketing – Email marketing has been around for years and it’s gone through a few different revolutions let’s say and it went from the wild west to something a little more regulated, and from what I can tell its pretty much the wild west again. It’s all about getting into the inbox. My recommendation is being very picky with it and don’t use everyone but pick maybe four or five email vendors that can blast your offer on a performance basis and just make sure everything is CAN-SPAM compliant and you shouldn’t have issues, and it should be an additional revenue source for you.
Partnerships and Business Development– who in your company is handling business development? Is it someone who is pro-actively reaching out? Is it someone who is going after companies saying, “Hi I found your website or I found your company, we would love to partner with you on a rev share basis. Here is what we pay out by join our affiliate program and running it through our direct tracking program on site.” So you have to reach out to a lot of possible partnerships in order to get handfuls, but once you have a really good partnership on rev share or CPA basis, it tends to be a good producer and it tends to last a long time. So always look for partnerships and it kind of falls outside the realm of affiliate marketing. It’s one of those things you handle internally with a Biz Dev person, a business development director, that should be a very proactive person who follows up a lot. They can definitely be going out and getting rev share deals for your company.
Big Web Properties – Big Web Properties are great! What’s better than a site that gets a couple a million visitors a month with your banner on it. You have several large websites in the affiliate networks, one that comes to mind the Meredith Corp, they publish 10 huge magazines and huge online web properties. Big web properties are definitely more receptive to CPA deals and rev share deals than they ever have been and the more inventory they have, the more they need to fill that inventory with something that converts for them to make the money, hence affiliate offers.
Traditional Media – You can get TV, print, and radio on a CPA basis on a rev share, it’s doable, it can be done, it has been done, I’ve done it myself. You have to propose these deals to the different media outlets and individual stations and say, “can you run some of your remnant inventory with our ads, and we’ll pay you on a performance basis, we’ll set up a dedicated 800 number, we’ll set up a coupon code, a dedicated URL.” You can run traditional media on a performance basis. So look for those type deals as well and there are few companies that specialize in that.
Phone Calls – generating phone calls on performance basis, usually done on a per call basis or a warm transfer basis or live transfer where you are paying extra amount for that transfer to the call centers. But there are companies out there who will do it on a strictly per sale basis. So you just have to find those companies and get your company kind of in with them and run the campaign. See if it works for both parties. If it does you continue, if not you move on and say thanks for trying or you can do it on a different metric and see if you can make that work.
These are some of the various different types of affiliate marketers you can work with on a performance-basis! Hope you enjoyed the read. You can see that are so many different types of affiliate marketers that can be brought into your affiliate program. You definitely good, competent affiliate management to bring in and then work with all these different types of affiliates. You have the knowledge now go leverage it!