Affiliate marketing is becoming an established marketing technique, complementing and sometimes replacing other types of online and offline marketing as an important channel to market.

It extends reach, allowing you to sell your goods and services via a wide range of websites, without the need for a marketing budget. Last year, affiliates generated around £2.16bn in sales for UK-based merchants.

Here’s why we think you need an affiliate strategy:

  1. Brand exposure

    Raise perceptions of your brand through exposure on quality third party websites. This is a free benefit for merchants, since they do not pay for advertising.
  2. Drive revenue

    Well-run affiliate programmes, with proactive affiliate managers, can generate terrific returns for merchants. It is important to liaise with affiliates on a regular basis, making life as easy as possible for them. You also need to identify and engage your best performing affiliates, to ensure that they get the best out of their efforts. 
  3. Inform marketing activities

    Learn from affiliates about what is working in terms of pricing, offers, products, propositions, landing pages … and what is not. For example, you can watch the best performing affiliates to see how they write their Google ads for the best response. These skilled practitioners can help you improve other areas of your business.
  4. Reduce costs/financial risks

    Affiliates offer merchants a virtual sales force without the need to worry about staff salaries, overheads, sick pay etc. The CPA (cost per action) performance model is very cost effective in this respect.
  5. Measurability and accountability

    Affiliate networks have lots of tools to help you track your campaigns. Combine this information with your web analytics and sales data to see the big picture and measure ROI.

For more, see our Affililate Marketing Business Case,which provides you with a framework for an internal presentation and / or argument for a usability budget. Note that there are five other internet business cases to check out, to help you persuade the boss…