Last Updated: Nov 05, 2019
Today I want to lay out some key benefits of affiliate marketing for the merchants (advertisers), the affiliate promoters (publishers), and the final consumers as well. We have already discussed what is affiliate marketing and how it can be transformed into a recurring income opportunity for affiliates. We also took a look at some historical data, and we analyzed statistics that could help us predict the future of this business model.
But why someone would want to choose an affiliate business instead of any other business? What are the real advantages of affiliate marketing as an advertising model and what makes it different from other kinds of businesses?
Key Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing
Key Benefits For The Merchants
1) Broader Market
A brand can attract potential customers to their online properties as a result of the marketing efforts of an in-house team or with the help of a marketing agency.
But when brands decide to run an affiliate program and let publishers promote their products and services, a whole new world of opportunities opens.
This way the merchants that allow affiliates to enter their program will get benefited from the affiliate actions. The affiliate partners will attract people to their websites offering valuable information on the products and services that people are looking for. Then, as a result, those people might be interested in some of the affiliate promoted products and by following the affiliate links will get redirected to the merchants’ websites.
As a result, those products and services will gain recognition as the affiliates will promote them not only on their websites but on forums, communities, networks, and their email lists as well. Now, these products are not only visible to people visiting the merchant’s website…are visible to a way more broader group.
2) Repeated Customers – Recommendations
Visitors that were redirected to the merchants’ websites and made a purchase, they may return if they stayed satisfied. And probably, they will share their experience with their friends and network and the real potential of this ‘Word of Mouth’ promotion is endless for brands running affiliate programs. Happy customers that share their experience help brands gain recognition and momentum instantly. It’s when a snowball effect for the businesses takes place.
3) Minimum Costs For Advertising
A major benefit for the merchants. We all know that advertising is expensive especially if you want to use traditional mediums like television, radio, or print and your budget is limited. Additionally, hiring a marketing or advertising agency is not always an option for some brands.
This is where an affiliate program comes very handy and it’s an extremely affordable solution. Brands may choose to run an in-house affiliate program by purchasing software, or by joining affiliate networks where they pay an entry fee in most of the cases, or by hiring an affiliate manager to run their affiliate promotions. The affiliate manager will recruit experienced affiliates to help brands increase their sales.
The good thing with this model is that affiliates are getting paid for their actions only if sales occur. If there are no sales, simply, the affiliates don’t get paid. A huge advantage for the merchants.
4) No Need To Hire Sales Representatives
Imagine a company having to hire and train 100 sales representatives to advertise its products in order to increase sales. How would they compensate them? Could they be able to ensure them? Probably hard, if not impossible. We all know that hiring employees is a big expense for any business. However, with this system, hundreds of publishers promote the merchants’ products without the company being forced to pay in advance
Merchants have the chance to let affiliates promote their products. No additional cost for promotions. They only have to take care of who they are co-operating with.
As an advertiser, you have to select your affiliates carefully and you have to be sure that they act inside your respective niche market ethically.
Test your affiliates websites, are they ethical with their promotions? do they invest in content marketing? are websites full of intruding ads? do they offer valuable information and how exactly are they promoting your products? do they have a strong knowledge of the product and services you sell?
But discovering affiliates with high-quality niche websites nowadays is very easy. In every niche market, there are thousands of marketers/affiliates providing value to the market and their audiences.
5) Measurable Results
With traditional advertising methods like printed material, newspapers, radio, or television, it’s extremely difficult to analyze, measure, and calculate the final performance and outcome.
Have the sales of the advertising company been increased? Which of these methods produced the best results? Has the business managed to cover the advertising costs of a particular channel, and if so, how much? was any of these methods ineffective? are some of the reasonable questions that arise.
High risk, big costs, inaccurate measurements, doubts.
On the other hand, with affiliate marketing, the merchants can track their affiliates’ actions and every campaign can be measured accurately thanks to new technologies, the marketing tools provided by affiliate networks, and the internet.
6) Increased Traffic, Leads, And Sales
Brands that run affiliate programs receive masses of traffic as a result of the promotional activities from their affiliates (publishers). In some cases, affiliates are well-established and recognized entrepreneurs operating for years with a huge following. This way, brands are able to acquire leads and referrals, and their sales increase. It’s pretty simple, no brand can get advertised so effectively without the help of an affiliate program. Without external help, that is impossible.
KEY Benefits For The Affiliates Side
7) Timetable Flexibility
Affiliates are not employees, are independent entrepreneurs and can work on their own terms. They can enjoy breaks, days off, or weekend holidays. No apologies to any boss, no need for working a 9 to 5 or 7 to 3 work.
No clock – peace of mind.
8) Work From Anywhere
All you need to run an affiliate business is a computer and an internet connection. You can work from the comfort of your house, your office, on vacation, or during a trip. You have free time to play with your kids, you set the rules, you can enjoy life beyond work.
9) Making Money While They Sleep
Having an affiliate website running is like having a business that is open 24/7. The content on affiliate websites is accessible to visitors around the world and affiliates work on their personal timetable. Do you know a lot of businesses that can make a profit for you even while you sleep?
10) Very Low-Cost Initial Investment
The startup costs for any kind of brick & mortar business can extend to 1000’s, hundreds, or millions of dollars. Even renting a store, a warehouse, or any other business space has big-costs associated, costs that you will prepay or in other cases you will borrow money in a form of a bank loan or mortgage and that makes your investment risk.
You will find yourself frustrated and of course not in peace of mind because you have to take this money back in order to make a profit only months, years, or even decades later. Not to mention the franchise business model, where you will pre-pay very high initial costs just to get started.
But the costs of starting an affiliate business are minimal. A computer, an internet connection that you probably already have, domain names, hosting services, and maybe hiring freelancers for design or other tasks.
Are there any other businesses that can be kickstarted with such a low initial investment? With their first sales and commissions, the affiliates are probably in profit.
I was able to ‘Break Even’ in just a couple of months.
11) Minimum Operating Costs
Beyond the very low initial costs for affiliate business, there are no major operating costs either. These costs include hosting services, email autoresponders, premium themes and plugins, other software/hardware, hiring freelancers and other people. In any case, these costs are almost non-existent compared to traditional brick and mortar store expenses.
12) Very Little Risk
In the case of a business mortgage/loan, your house will be exposed if your business fails. In other cases, the prepaid costs might be lost if your enterprise comes to an end. Building an affiliate business has no risk and the only cost in cases of failure is the time you spent working and a few hundred dollars in the worst-case scenario.
Even in the case that affiliates abandon their websites/projects, they have the chance to sell their online properties for a profit.
13) No Limit On Profits – The Sky Is The Only Limit
I want to underline something very important here. Although an affiliate business has very low initial and operating costs, it does not mean in any case that this business is easy. You will have to work really hard to make a profit. There is no business model that does not need continuous efforts and commitment.
But you set the rules here. Do you need more money? You gotta work more. The more you work the higher the commissions and recognition you’ll be earning.
When you begin an affiliate business it’s like any other business. It needs some time in order to make a profit. But when an affiliate website gains traffic and momentum, things start to kick off. It’s the snowball income effect.
Affiliates are able to monetize their online and social properties in a hundred different ways, beyond the standard affiliate promotions. They make money by blogging, generating leads and referrals for other companies, selling advertising space, writing sponsored posts/articles, with email marketing, video marketing, social media campaigns/advertising, freelancing, dropshipping, with eCommerce stores, accepting donations, or selling their own products and services.
Additionally, affiliates are able to create new website businesses on the side, exploring new niches and hot opportunities in every market out there, thus expanding their reach and scaling their businesses.
14) Recurring Income For Years/The Compounding Effect
The content of publishers’ (affiliates) sites is accessible to potential customers all day long, 24/7. Imagine these online properties as uninterrupted operations with minimum maintenance costs and without the need for the publishers to be present.
In this way, affiliates in a very short period of time manage to promote dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of different products simultaneously without additional workload and without being in their workplace. I have seen advertising campaigns returning a profit for years, older affiliates talk about pages that return a profit for a lifetime. Thanks to the technologies, the Internet, and this powerful advertising model.
Imagine pages where publishers promote products as different income streams.
They all add up, it’s a compounding effect.
15) No Need For Employees
The vast majority of affiliates work solo. They don’t need employees to have their businesses running. One of the most important factors for a successful business. The cost for employees is unbearable for medium and small enterprises.
Monthly or daily salaries, extra bonuses in cases of pregnancies, holidays, special entitlements and of course the cost of their transportation or feed and training. These serious costs can prevent a business from making a really good profit.
And it is not only about costs. Imagine the cases where your customers leave unsatisfied because of employees’ bad behavior or other negative actions. Imagine the accidents and the complaints that might take place. This is a real pain.
16) No Customer Service
Affiliates don’t need to provide customer service. The merchants take care of the customers. Affiliates only connect people with companies and earn commissions in the process. They only have to co-operate with serious merchants that offer decent customer service and support for their products because affiliates want their visitors satisfied. It’s about their online reputation.
This makes the affiliate business unique, affiliates only have to test the products they promote.
17) Unlimited Products And Services To Promote
In every niche, in every market, there are merchants that range from small companies to huge giant corporations. There are millions of products and services that affiliates can promote to their audiences. Affiliates can track down affiliate programs using affiliate networks, by making connections with companies that run their own affiliate programs, or by invitations from affiliate managers who have their own army of affiliates that support product launches or companies.
18) World Wide Web – Largest Market
Local stores can only target a small number of people that live or passing by the area. Owning a hotel (just like me) can bring you visitors from all over the world but the rooms you have is a limit you cannot bypass unless you build more.
But having an affiliate business can help you target people from all destinations at any time. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of simultaneous visitors on your website.
And the number of online visitors and buyers keep growing every day as technology is accessible to almost any country. People are looking for valuable information using the power of the internet. This is why is called the World Wide Web. This is your potential customers. The whole world.
19) Scalability, Unlimited Partnerships
Affiliates have the luxury to partner with any company they want, affiliate managers, and affiliate networks. They can promote millions of products simultaneously without having to be present, and without having to worry about customer service and support.
Affiliates can easily scale their businesses utilizing the power of emails, videos, webinars, social media, or paid campaigns just to name a few opportunities.
The affiliate business model is only growing since its inception, back in 1989. Affiliates can get help and educated on forums, networks, and communities. This is extremely important for people just getting started. In this game, affiliates are not alone. The web is full of educational resources, and very often these resources are absolutely free.
21) Work At Something They Love
Launching a business in an area that you are little interested in is the greatest recipe for failure. And I speak from personal experience here although in such cases I tried really hard. But it was not something I was passionate about and eventually, I failed. Not everybody is suitable for every job. There are jobs we like and there are ones we hate. There is no potential in having a job you dislike. Eventually, you will fail.
But with affiliate marketing, affiliates can choose their niche according to their preferences, needs, and desires. Affiliates usually turn their hobbies into businesses. When you work at something you love you give the BEST of yourself.
Key Benefits For The End Consumers
22) The Final Price Remains The Same
The final price of the products remains the same. Affiliates advertise the products at the same price the advertised companies sell. The companies sacrifice a percentage of their profits but they don’t have to spend money on advertising. They pay only for the desired results.
The final customer enjoys the same price.
23) No Loss Of Product Quality
The final product remains the same in terms of pricing, quality, and service/support.
24) Well-Informed Purchasing Decisions
Prior to affiliate marketing, consumers could only purchase products based on their knowledge, observations, and brands’ advertisements evaluation. With affiliate marketing, consumers have the chance to discover alternative sources of information.
In the majority of cases, affiliates are promoting products they use personally or products they are confident that will bring results for their audiences. Affiliates create a bond with their visitors because they are friendly, personal, they aren’t impersonal brands. Visitors get invaluable insights from affiliates using the products they’re interested in buying.
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That’s it, another article has finished, here on Web Market Support. I am waiting for your comments and thoughts. Till next time.
Tasos Perte Tzortzis
Business Organisation & Administration, Marketing Consultant, Creator of the "7 Ideals" Methodology
Although doing traditional business offline since 1992, I fell in love with online marketing in late 2014 and have helped hundreds of brands sell more of their products and services. Founder of WebMarketSupport, Muvimag, Summer Dream.
Reading, arts, science, chess, coffee, tea, swimming, Audi, and family comes first.
- Affiliate marketing index (informational articles, how-to's, guides, resources, networks, forums, and more)
- What is affiliate marketing
- Affiliate marketing history
- Affiliate marketing key benefits
- Affiliate marketing pricing models
- Affiliate marketing statistics
- How to make money with affiliate marketing
- Affiliate/business-related forums
- Advertising/Affiliate networks (AZ directory and overviews)
- How to choose a niche for affiliate marketing
- How to become an expert in your niche
- How to choose products and services to promote
- How SEO works for WordPress sites
- Internal links - improve SEO and UX
- Repair broken links
- Get website content ideas from existing material
- How to produce content for the web
- Repurposing content
- Overcoming fear of writing - inspirational quotes for success
- How to advertise your business online for free
- How to recruit affiliates
- The compounding effect in affiliate marketing
- Where to get help for affiliate marketing