The internet is full of rumors that affiliate marketing is dead.
Some experts say that affiliate marketing got replaced by influencer marketing, and others claim it’s no longer useful since there are so many other, more versatile marketing approaches.
Yet, when you look at the affiliate marketing performance stats, the picture looks completely different.
Numbers Say Affiliate Marketing is Alive and Well
We wouldn’t say it’s dead, but rather the focus has shifted. Today, marketers pay more attention to the strategies that boost engagement rates faster, such as social media marketing and interactive content marketing.
Affiliate marketing, however, remains an effective way to market the product and boost sales.
- 81% of marketers and 84% of publishers successfully leverage affiliate marketing.
- The expenses on affiliate marketing are expected to grow by 10% over the next few years.
- Affiliate marketing accounts for 15% of the entire digital marketing revenue.
- A proper affiliate marketing campaign can boost a company’s revenue by 30%.
- Affiliate marketing also accounts for 16% of all e-commerce sales in the U.S. and Canada, which makes it the second most popular marketing channel after email.
There are a few good reasons why companies still hold on to affiliate marketing:
- Affiliate marketing is a low-risk strategy. With affiliate marketing, you pay for performance rather than clicks. What’s the difference? Paid clicks give you leads that you have to spend money on and nurture, so they could become loyal customers. With affiliate marketing, you get customers right away.
- It is effective for brand awareness. Connecting to new audiences can be quite expensive. Affiliate marketing allows you to grow brand awareness and reach new audiences, who trust the recommendation of the affiliates.
- Affiliate marketing saves you time and creates profitable partnerships. If you don’t have a full marketing team working for you, affiliate marketing will work great for you. You give the control to the affiliates, who will become your long-term partners, and you will have to check with their performance once in a while.
- You have full control. By this, we mean that you can establish the commission rate for each product beforehand, which will give you a clear picture of what your end revenue will be.
Another great reason to use affiliate marketing is that it doesn’t cost much. “An average affiliate marketing campaign that lasts approximately three months will cost a business around $120,” says Claire Hudgens, a marketer at Flatfy. It includes the expenses on the auto-responder, hosting, and domain.
However, if you already have a domain and web hosting on WordPress, your affiliate campaign can be even cheaper.
Let’s take a look at what it takes to launch a successful affiliate campaign for your WordPress website.
- Choose the Right Plugin
WordPress is well-known for its plugins. Currently, WordPress users can benefit from over 50,000 plugins, which answer their most specific needs, from creating a content calendar and doing SEO optimization to running an affiliate marketing campaign.
The problem is to find a plugin that is regularly updated. On WordPress, there are a lot of old, outdated plugins that do not get maintenance and crash. To make sure that it doesn’t happen in the midst of your affiliate marketing campaign, you need to choose the right plugin before your campaign gets launched.
Here are some of the best-performing WordPress plugins that help set up an affiliate marketing campaign:
- Thirsty Affiliates – this plugin helps you run your entire affiliate marketing campaign and manage all your affiliate links. This means that you won’t have to change or edit your affiliate links, which you have to do a lot without a plugin.
- Affiliate WP – this is a comprehensive WordPress plugin that both helps you set up an affiliate campaign with an unlimited number of affiliates, but it also includes real-time tracking and regular campaign reports. Using this plugin, your affiliates can generate links, and when the affiliate campaign is over, the plugin generates an automatic payout file.
- Monster Insights – talking about analytics, this plugin can come in handy in affiliate campaigns. It automatically tracks your affiliate links and banner ads and generates a real-time report to help you keep up with the results of your campaign.
Depending on the size of your affiliate campaign, you can use only Affiliate WP, or download multiple plugins to help you successfully run your campaign.
- Define Campaign Details
Once you’ve chosen and set up your plugins, it’s time to work on the details of your affiliate marketing campaign.
Here are a few steps you can follow to figure out these details:
Step #1: Review the List of Your Products
Which products currently sell like hot cakes in your niche?
This is the first question you need to answer if you plan on launching an affiliate campaign on your WordPress website to boost sales.
Researching the demand for the type of products you will be selling through your affiliate campaign will help you figure out the end list of items.
For this, you can browse websites like Amazon and eBay to see, how the similar products from your niche currently perform, and how often people buy them:
If you’re only planning to tie your affiliate campaign to a certain location, then you should filter the products from your niche accordingly, as the results might differ.
If you don’t have products of your own and are looking for merchants to partner with, you can also browse these websites to find merchants with the best reviews of the most popular items to set up an affiliate marketing campaign on your WordPress website.
Step #2: Set the Minimum Payment for the Affiliates
By this, we mean setting the appropriate commission rate for your product list. To do it, take into consideration the following points:
- The average commission rate for an affiliate campaign ranges from 5% to 30%. Everything depends on how in-demand your product is and who your affiliates are. If you hire influencers to be your affiliates, then the commission rate will depend on the popularity and outreach of the influencer.
- Study your industry. The more in-demand your industry is, the higher the commission rate will be. For instance, healthcare and fashion products will have a higher commission (10-50%) than gadgets and electronics.
- Take the price for your products into consideration. In general, the lower the price of your product is, the higher the commission rate will be.
Don’t forget to consider the size of your company and the impact of your business on the industry. This factor will also impact the size of the commission you’ll pay to your affiliates.
Step #3: Choose the Payment Method
Payment arrangements are an important factor in the success of your affiliate campaign. The more flexible your payment method is, the more affiliates you will attract.
Typically, companies choose one of the following three payment methods, used in affiliate campaigns:
- Pay-per-sale. Also known as cost-per-sale, this payment method presupposes that a merchant pays an affiliate when a merchant gets a customer who has purchased something through that affiliate.
- Pay-per-click. Here, the merchant pays the affiliate based on the number of link clicks. In this case, a visitor doesn’t have to purchase a product but simply visit the website. The number of clicks should be determined before launching the affiliate campaign.
- Pay-per-lead. This way, your partners earn money with affiliate marketing by providing you with visitors who sign up as leads. The visitor should fill out the registration form, and you, as a result, receive their email and personal information to convert them into customers.
When using a plugin to set up an affiliate campaign on your WordPress website, you should provide all these details and fill out the forms. This information is important to help you track the results of your affiliate campaign later.
- Get Creative with Your Content
Whether you sell products through your affiliate campaign or promote your website or your blog, you need the right kind of content that your affiliates will use to attract new customers or visitors.
You probably already know that most affiliate campaigns use banners or advertisement-like content to engage the customers.
What you can do to diversify the content strategy for your affiliate campaign is to hire an influencer as your affiliate. That’s what Roots Canada did when they teamed up with Cristine Rotenberg, a YouTuber known as SimplyNaiLogical:
Image credit: Instagram
The number of new visitors or customers will depend a lot on how engaging your content is. So, make sure that your affiliate campaign follows a diverse content strategy to increase engagement rates and get more new website visitors and customers.
Affiliate marketing is alive and thriving. You just need to make sure that you’re approaching it right and doing your research.
WordPress makes it easy to create an affiliate campaign, but its success depends a lot on you. Make sure that you review your product list, if you plan to boost sales with an affiliate campaign, set the right commission rate and payment methods. And don’t forget about the content, which is the key to high engagement. Be thorough, and then the success of your affiliate campaign is guaranteed.