Affiliate marketing has taken a new direction today with the integration of technology, changing buyer behavior, and increasing confidence of the advertisers and publishers. It is not the traditional affiliate marketing that people used to know and which discouraged many aspiring merchants and affiliates. These days, advertisers and merchants are provided with tracking and reporting tools by affiliate networks. Publishers and Affiliates also have reporting tools, affiliate sign up, and affiliate communication tools needless to mention payment aggregation – and all these things streamline the affiliate marketing ecosystem.

In 2009, the U.S. Affiliate Industry spending stood at $1.9 billion and by 2016, it was forecasted to surpass $4 billion. This growth in affiliate marketing has been fueled by the implementation of technology and new trends, which have seen the industry undergo a makeover. The real-time metrics, accurate data, and robust technology have created a ripe environment for digital marketers to see bigger, consistent earnings.

Publishers and advertisers are embracing affiliate opportunities and they have included affiliate marketing in their overall marketing mix. Advertisers also target all stages of customer life-cycle in their affiliate marketing programs from awareness to conversion and purchase to ongoing engagement of the customers. What’s more, affiliate networks help connect advertisers with publishers while publishers are working across different affiliate networks.

The startup cost for publishers and affiliates isn’t huge as you would find with direct selling. You will spend money to run a website or blog site, but the commission you generate from affiliate sales will ice the cake. Joining affiliate networks rarely costs anything. You also don’t have to depend on your inner circles like close friends and families. There are many people who will find your affiliate offerings. What you need is optimize your SEO tactics, social media marketing, Google ads, and you will see sales increases, which means more commissions.

Affiliate marketing seems to have gotten better and your digital marketing efforts will pay off if you embrace the trends in this performance-based marketing. A unique feature about affiliate marketing channel is that unlike other channels like paid searches or display advertising, you will be rewarded based on a pay-for-performance model.

Time has changed and so has affiliate marketing. If there is one moment you can take advantage of affiliate marketing, it is now. It is not fraudulent marketing activity you used to hear of and things are quite transparent. Technology has given this marketing model a new face, which has helped build confidence to not only the affiliates and publishers but also the advertisers and merchants.

Ryan McAweeney of San Diego is Teaching Locals What Direct Marketing is and How To Run a Direct Marketing Campaign

Direct marketing is an advertising technique in which businesses present information about their brand, products, and services to target audiences without using advertising middlemen. Direct marketing isn’t just designed for small businesses, even bigger companies can adopt it. In this promotional method, the business using it has targeted customers and the aim of presenting information is to help customers get an insight on what the brand is, what kind of services it offers, or what kind of products it sells, and help influence the customers to buy a product.

Usually, the audiences were presented with information have been determined to be likely buyers. That’s why direct marketing is seen as a targeted promotional method.

Direct marketing comes in different forms. Businesses can use brochures, fliers, postcards, emails, coupons, catalogs, text messages, newsletters, phone calls, and targeted online display ads. The goal of direct marketing is to lure or persuade the audience to act. You will find that some marketing techniques strive to educate audiences about products and services and increase awareness, but with direct marketing, it’s aimed at getting a sale.

costa rica real estateWhen using direct marketing, businesses need to realize that although the ultimate goal is to get a sale, some customers may not be ready to make a purchase right on the spot. However, they will visit a website, make a call to inquire more about the business, return postcards requesting quotes, feed in their name and email addresses, or even make a purchase. Looking at direct marketing in depth, you see that besides creating brand awareness and allowing audiences to know more about the products and services a business offers, it can also be used as a tool to influence the audiences to buy products and services.

Businesses want to increase their sales growth so that they remain competitive. Also, businesses want to put their head up in pursuing those people who may have an interest in their brand, products, or services. It saves a business money when it targets a particular group of customers rather than engaging a generalized group of customers that may not even think of buying the product or service. This is where direct marketing comes in handy.

In the past, direct marketing was done through print media where businesses designed brochures, leaflets, fliers, print newsletters, and other physical print media. However, with the digital era, direct marketing has revolutionized and today, you can see more forms of communication being adopted such as digital newsletters, emails, and online display ads.

To sum up, direct marketing is a targeted promotional method that businesses can use to create brand awareness and persuade customers to buy products. It doesn’t have to be used by only small businesses, the large corporate organizations can also take advantage of direct marketing.

What’s Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work

Unless you have done affiliate marketing, you may think it’s the hardest thing to do. Most marketers don’t understand how it works and so many businesses shy off from integrating this marketing channel in their marketing mix. Yet, when done the proper way, affiliate programs can yield high revenues and aid in brand awareness.

In the 2000s, affiliate programs had a tainted image and many marketers were reluctant to join them. Affiliate programs can earn you about 5 to 15 percent of online revenues. The return on investment created by affiliate programs is among the highest of online channels. Many chief marketing officers are beginning to see affiliate marketing as an arsenal in their overall marketing strategies.

So, what’s affiliate marketing? As Ryan McAweeney is the most well-respected marketer in San Diego he teaches his clients that, It is essentially a performance-based model of marketing where merchants pay a commission to affiliates for their effort of referring customers to purchase the products the merchants offer. An affiliate is paid only when a purchase is made. Affiliates can be of different types – they may be bloggers, publishers, or individuals who have websites. These affiliates make their efforts to lure people to visit the merchant’s website and purchase products.

Payments are based on how many products have been purchased. That’s why affiliate marketing is perceived as a performance-based marketing. Merchants don’t pay for visits, but the transactions made. When you look at affiliate marketing, it overshadows other channels like PPC where you may spend too much money to pay for clicks. which may not even yield any transaction or conversions.

To help in organizing and administering of affiliate programs, different affiliate networks have come up. These affiliate networks use cookies to help track the progress customers are making when they visit affiliates’ websites through the shopping cart of the merchant. The networks act as an intermediary between the merchant and the affiliate. They help recruit affiliates and provide important data to both the merchants and affiliates.  Publishers or affiliates can easily track their progress and measure their performance.

The management of affiliate programs may vary and while some merchants have an in-house management others use affiliate networks. The entity managing the affiliate program does the recruitment of affiliates, keeps them engaged, and helps them to promote merchants. It also rewards those affiliates who are performing well.

While there are many parties and complex processes involved in affiliate programs, technology has helped make things easier and transparent. Affiliate marketing may seem complex, however, if done properly, it can be a big source of online income for affiliates and merchants. It also helps in creating brand name awareness. Affiliate marketing can be cost effective if affiliates and merchants play their role properly.

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