Why Affiliate Marketing is Important
Affiliate marketing started in 1998. The premise was very simple: there are e-commerce Websites that need visitors through various channels. Other Websites are a possible channel for making sales but you are only going to put a link on your Website if you earn a commission.
If you have affiliate links on your Website and a prospective buyer clicks one and buys, then you get a commission. The e-commerce site links the sale to the link on your Website through a unique offer code that is embedded in your link.
There are basically two kinds of products and services out there: those that customers have to re-purchase (e.g., books) and those that provide recurring revenue. A couple of examples of recurring revenue services are Web hosting and email marketing services. The thing that recurring revenue services have in common is that the customer does not, barring a problem with the service, make the buying decision over-and-over again each time they need the service. If they are happy with the service, they keep paying for it every single month.
Why is Recurring Revenue Better for Affiliate Marketers?
With a monthly recurring revenue service, you sell a customer the service once and they pay every month until they cancel the service. If you are part of a good affiliate programs with companies that sell high-quality recurring revenue services, you can earn commission from that customer's buying decision for months or even years after the initial sale. As you bring in more business through your affiliate link, your monthly commissions grow. Over time the recurring commission can add up to a significant income stream.
If you are an affiliate for a Web site that sells a product like books, you get a commission every time someone clicks on your Website and buys a book from the company for which you are an affiliate. The problem is that you have to rely on people coming every month to buy books through your link and you have little opportunity to earn monthly, recurring revenue from the same customers. You have to rely on making a lot of sales through your affiliate link every month to keep the income flowing.
Use and Promote the Services
There is a saying in business that you should always use your own product or service. Someone who works at Ford probably does not drive into the parking lot at work in a Toyota and vice-a-versa. Using your own product or service is a vote of confidence. The same logic applies to those services for which you are an affiliate. Using the services you promote through your affiliate links is both a vote of confidence in the services and can provide powerful outlets to promote the product. This is especially undefined if the service you are promoting is a marketing service.
For example, if you are an affiliate of an Email Service Provider (ESP) you could actively use the service for your own email marketing needs, and include a link at the bottom of every email you send out promoting the service through your affiliate link. If one of your subscribers gets an attractive email newsletter or promotion they may be compelled to click on the affiliate link and sign up for the service. Those purchases can add greatly to your recurring revenue stream.
About the Author
Neil Anuskiewicz is the Business Development Director of the StreamSend Email Marketing service. Not only is this a strong email marketing service but it also has a popular Email Marketing Affiliate Program.