Tap the Power of Affiliate Marketing to Generate Profits and Leads

by Josef Katz on May 14, 2015

in Digital Marketing,Education Marketing,lead generation,Start Ups

The Power of Affiliate Marketing to Generate Profits and Leads - Josef Katz Marketing for Education and Startup companiesAffiliate marketing doesn’t get the respect it deserves.  People say that only works for ecommerce sites, not for retailers, for-profit colleges, or other businesses.  It’s just not as sexy as social media, search marketing or today’s other “hot” marketing strategies and very few organizations are digging into it in any big way. But I am here to tell you the channel is worth your attention.

Here’s a little context. In the early days of the Internet, a bookseller called Amazon relied on affiliate marketing to build its business and is now a household name. Even today, Amazon still uses affiliate marketing to drive sales. If it worked for Amazon, it can work for you.  Let’s dig in . . .

Why Affiliate Marketing Is Worth Your Time

Today I want to help you refocus your marketing plans to include and embrace the affiliate marketing channel. I’m not being theoretical. Affiliate marketing played a large role – and generated a lot of revenue – at several education companies where I ran the marketing programs. The affiliate education lead generation and edu ecommerce programs I ran typically represented between 15-25% of each company’s conversions in a given month. As the programs matured, they grew in tandem with the other marketing channels and continued to contribute low-cost leads, students and customers to the business.

Here are some of the reasons affiliate marketing should be part of a marketing program too . . .

  • Low risk and high reward – There is close to zero risk running an affiliate program if you work with a recognized partner network. When people do what you want them to do (become leads, buy things online, register, etc.), you pay. But you are not paying for media or placements, so there are no upfront costs paid to the affiliates. (Note, however, that if you are working with an affiliate marketing company, there might be a monthly fee to manage the program. After a few months this fee will be worth paying as you generate qualified leads and sales.)
  • You leverage more from your marketing assets – You’re already creating landing pages, ads, text links, and other digital media. By making them available to your affiliates, you get more bang from these assets.
  • Greater reach – If you build your affiliate programs with the right partners, you will find new audiences you may not have had access to before – audiences you would never have found through other media channels.
  • Potential new marketing partners – As you meet new affiliates, you build deeper marketing partnerships that can grow your business in new ways.

A good affiliate marketing manager will find many sites and media opportunities (email, text, display, search, etc.) that can help spread the word about your business, all without your team doing more work to support the efforts.

Cost-Effective Marketing for Young Companies

Affiliate marketing is great for startup companies, which usually have tight marketing budgets and are trying to grow as efficiently as possible. When an affiliate program is running smoothly, a company can stay on budget and bring in customers at a reasonable cost per acquisition. Remember there is minimal risk, since the company only pays for the desired completed action.

Every “healthy” marketing program should consist of more than one media channel.  Each should deliver results that hit the business goals and KPIs.  While each channel will serve a somewhat different purpose and drive customer acquisition at different costs, the one channel you can rely on for a consistent cost per acquisitions/cost per lead is the affiliate channel. You only pay when there is a conversion.

Potential Pitfalls

There are some potential pitfalls to be aware of when running an affiliate program including: fraud, tracking, scalability, time to grow and ongoing management of the program. Each of these is easy to address with the right team in place and should not stop you from using affiliate marketing to grow your business.

How do you put all the pieces together and start profiting from affiliate marketing? If you contact me, I can show you how.

As always, let me know if you would like to discuss this or any other marketing topic in more detail.


Related Posts
Shhh! Here’s How to Tap the Power of Secrets in Marketing
There Are No Silver Bullets in Marketing
Do You Offer a Guarantee?
Hope is Not a Marketing Strategy
How to Get Tons of New Users for Your New Mobile App

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: