An Affiliate Program Can Help in Tough Times

[Posted by Neil Strother]

Affiliate marketing has taken its share of abuse as a less-than-ideal way to advertise online. However, in today's tough economy, major brands are taking a second look at affiliate programs as a way to boost sales at a very reasonable cost. Indeed, data from our survey of online marketing executives shows that a majority would spend more in online advertising if they had proof it would increase sales. An affiliate program is one such method that is all about lifting sales, and the proof is easily measured since the advertiser only pays for a completed sale of qualified lead.

If done properly, an affiliate program can be a valuable asset to an overall marketing effort, with manageable risk. Commission Junction - a leader in this space - reports that between 5% and 30% of incremental online sales can come through the affiliate channel. My latest report, "Performance Marketing: How To Build An Effective Affiliate Program," outlines a framework for launching a successful effort.

For marketers looking to drive new acquisitions and live within constrained budgets, an affiliate program could be a welcome tool.

Post a comment below, or let me know directly what you think of affiliate programs at nstrother@forrester.com

Comments

re: An Affiliate Program Can Help in Tough Times

Companies should be investing heavily in growing their affiliate channels. Some of us have know this for years. Have a large, productive affiliate program is a bonefide way to increase site traffic and revenue. However, few know how to effectively recruit affiliates and then how to motivate them to produce.

re: An Affiliate Program Can Help in Tough Times

I discovered this article, it is relevant and helpful, through Twine.com. I would also recommend the "Performance Marketing...." article mentioned above. They are helpful for udnerstanding some of the nuances involved in affiliate marketing. Well done Neil! I look forward to going through more of your material.Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.The Internet Marketing Quest Revealed

re: An Affiliate Program Can Help in Tough Times

Nice tip - I'd like to link to this posting from my blog at www.blog.sellupinadowneconomy.comwould you be OK with that? The blog is dedicated to ideas, tips and strategies for driving salees growth during tough times.

re: An Affiliate Program Can Help in Tough Times

Thanks for the tip. It was very helpful. Will try this out and return to give you feedback

re: An Affiliate Program Can Help in Tough Times

Affiliate channels have worked well because there are so many sites in every niche trying to earn money through advertisements and affiliate channels.