How to Grow Your Business through Affiliate Marketing
Google Ventures partner and Android co-founder Rich Miner stated it clearly when he said “Smartphones are reinventing the connection between companies and their customers.” That’s sound advice, and if your website isn’t mobile-enabled, then as an affiliate marketer you’re grossly lowering your potential.
Most people who use their smartphones to look up a product have already made up their mind to buy it. But more and more people are choosing devices such as the iPad, Kindle Fire, and other internet-ready tablets over computers and laptops. They’re not only more economical but they’re also more convenient to tote around whether sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee or riding the subway.
It’s important that affiliate marketers know how their websites look on mobile-ready devices. The banner has to both appear onscreen and be clickable.
If it’s not, then Houston, we have a problem. But if it is, then you are able to share your website with an unprecedented number of mobile users.
Affiliate Marketing – Not Just for Small Business
Affiliate marketing isn’t just for small business. Even major corporations are well entrenched in the affiliate marketing space because it works. But how does it work? Terms like affiliate tracking software or third-party tracking service and network mean little if you aren’t sure what purpose they serve.
In layman’s terms, the retailer puts a pixel on the order confirmation page of their website and then the affiliate tracking program takes care of the rest. Let’s say the affiliate wants to promote a certain brand of candles. Here’s how it would work.
LOG IN TO THE NETWORK – The affiliate would first log in to the affiliate network. This could be ShareASale, Commission Junction, LinkShare, the Google Affiliate Network, or any number of similar affiliate networks.
GRAB THE BANNER CODE – Next the affiliate would pull a banner for the candle company. The banner is a type of code that the affiliate can add to their website.
SHARE THE BANNER CODE – Then the affiliate would put the banner code on their site. Without sharing the code, the banner won’t appear which would void the following steps.
CUSTOMER CLICKS BANNER – Once the code is on the affiliate website, customers will see the banner. The goal is for them to think something like I would sure enjoy having some of these fine candles and then click on the banner.
CUSTOMER BUYS ITEM – Clicking on the banner takes the customer straight to the retail site where the customer completes their purchase using their credit card, personal checks, PayPal account, or other payment method accepted by the merchant.
And that’s it! The consumer has no idea they clicked on an affiliate banner. All they see is that they’ve clicked on an advertisement. However as soon as the consumer clicks on the banner the affiliate network recognizes that and then places a cookie on the consumer’s computer.
When the consumer goes to the retail site and completes the purchase, once they hit the order confirmation page then a pixel on the merchant site pulls the cookie. The cookie has all the information about which affiliate referred the consumer to the merchant, which banner referred the consumer to the site, and so forth.
So what happens when the retailer logs into the affiliate network site? They can see information about their sales including the date, time, and which banners the consumers clicked. As you can see, the affiliate network is merely a recording platform that tracks the relationship between the affiliate marketer and the retailer or merchant.
Mobile Affiliates – Forces to be Reckoned With
And in case you’re wondering how mobile factors in to the statistics in those reports, consider this – www.HasOffers.com, a performance marketing blog, reports that mobile device usage has double every year since 2009. Clicks coming from an iPad convert at a slightly higher rate than other platforms, but overall the most clicks come from Android-based devices.
Because a large number of affiliate marketers still haven’t caught up to speed on the mobile front, if you are one of those who has yet to hop on board now is the perfect timing. If you aren’t sure how to get started, check with others in your affiliate marketing network for advice.
- License: Creative Commons image source
About the Author:
Freelance author Sophie Evans lives with her husband Rick as well as their son and daughter in Balboa Beach, California. Their eco-friendly home is just a short drive from Disneyland, which is perfect since Sophie is a huge fan of the theme park. In fact, while using the website www.personalchecksplus.com she found information about personal checks designed with her favorite Disney characters in mind. In her free time Sophie knits and spends time with her family.