What is Affiliate Marketing?

Maybe you’ve heard about Affiliate Marketing and wondered what it was?
So, what is affiliate marketing? More importantly, is it applicable to you?

Affiliate Marketing is a form of online marketing which is used by online merchants and businesses to promote their products and services. It is also known by the term Performance Marketing (because it is a pay-for-performance system).The success of any online business depends on growing the number of visitors to their websites, and once there, converting the visitor into a paying customer. It is hard for a merchant/business to do this on his/her own. A more productive approach is to have visitors directed to the website from other websites and online sources operated by article writers, bloggers, reviewers and online publishers. The merchant/business owner agrees to pay a fee or sales commission to these publishers in return for the referred visitors. These publishers are thereby acting as affiliates for the business.

Affiliate marketing usually involves the use of an affiliate platform. This is the system and software which tracks the referrals and any subsequent lead or sale so that the affiliate can receive the appropriate fee or commission. An affiliate platform usually provides a control panel for the merchant/business to set up and monitor the performance of their affiliate program and online marketing campaign. It also allows them to specify the level of fees and commissions paid to their affiliates.

A major attraction of affiliate marketing for merchants/businesses is that it is a pay-for-performance system. This contrasts with other online marketing approaches whereby the merchant has to pay in advance for advertising without knowing what the return will be.

I hope that this short article has answered the question “What is affiliate marketing?” for you. For more information see affiliate marketing on Wikipedia, and read some of the other articles in this blog.

If you are a merchant and want to start an affiliate program, why not look into the Vendexo Affiliate Network and see how easy it is to get started. This is our affiliate platform which uses a cloud-computing system to host your affiliate program so you don’t have to go through the hassle of installing it on your computer and maintaining it.

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