The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.[8][9]
Utilizes existing communication networks. Most people are social. Nerdy, basement-dwelling computer science graduate students are the exception. Social scientists tell us that each person has 8 to 12 people in her network of friends, family, and associates. A person’s broader network may consist of scores, hundreds, or thousands of people. A waitress, for example, may communicate regularly with hundreds of customers in a given week.
Twenty years ago, the reach of an average person was relatively small; for the most part, referrals were made face to face or over the phone. Today, with social media and review websites, the average person’s audience is enormous. They can reach hundreds if not thousands of friends and acquaintances in a matter of minutes with a simple Facebook post, Yelp review, or other public-facing review.
A successful referral program isn’t just about using your existing customers to gain new leads. With 74% of consumers identifying word-of-mouth as a key influencer in purchasing decisions and 92% of people ages 18 to 34 saying that they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase, referral marketing is an integral component of today’s marketplace - and one that can yield impressive results if the right tactics are employed. 
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
To promote its new Tendercrisp sandwich, Burger King launched a website that allowed users to give commands to the “subservient chicken,” a man in a chicken costume. In an era when most people leave websites within eight seconds of visiting, many of Burger King's 15 million first-week visitors to the subservient chicken page spent six minutes or more engaging with the content.
Digital marketing's development since the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing.[2] As digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life,[3] and as people use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops,[4][5] digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent and efficient.

To start Viral Marketing, companies use ‘seeding’. A seed is planted, it grows, creates new fruit with seeds that subsequently distribute its seeds. That means that a marketing campaign gets a nudge in the right direction; people are actively informed about the new campaign via social media. They’re stimulated to watch the expression. That gives the originator influence over the direction and the result of the viral marketing campaign.
A study conducted by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Pennsylvania, on referral programs and customer value which followed the customer referral program of a German bank that paid customers 25 euros for bringing in a new customer, was released in July 2010.[5] According to Professor Van den Bulte, this is the First ever study published on the financial evaluation of customer referral programs.[6] The study found that referred customers were both more profitable and loyal than normal customers. Referred customers had a higher contribution margin, a higher retention rate and were more valuable in both the short and long run.[5]
Just before launching in 2007, Dropbox created a virtual build: a 90-second video describing its services (and why people should pay for them) and asking for feedback. In doing so, they attracted 5,000 subscribers. After implementing customers’ feedback, they revised their product and released another 90-second video asking for feedback, generating 75,000 more subscribers in just one day. Once the product was finalized, Dropbox embarked upon an expensive marketing plan that resulted in unprofitable customer-acquisition costs.
Your affiliate partners will either receive a flat fee or percentage of each sale. Take a look at what your competition is doing and make sure your commission rates are competitive. The average affiliate percentage is somewhere between 5 and 30 percent, and it varies widely by vertical. Use your affiliate network to understand what is most competitive in your niche and what you can afford after you factor in your gross sales and cost of good sold (COGS). If you’re just starting an online business, you may want to offer a higher commission so that your brand is more attractive to potential affiliates. And you don’t have to stick to one commission rate. You can have multiple commission rates with different partners depending on how well they promote you and your current relationship.
Reading your article, I’m amazed at the statistics you mentioned. I didn’t realize the impact a single video could have on a business. Marketing will always bring more traffic to your site but having videos does even more so. It’s impressive that when seeing a video of a product, 74% of those people will buy what they watched. I’ll be sure to tell me friends with business about this article so they can boost their customer viewings!
"I was looking over the link reports for (our site) recently. I just wanted to tell you and your team that I was especially impressed with the quality of links acquired over the last few months. I mean, they're completely stellar. So many of them have been older domains receiving plenty of edu and gov backlinks. I am very impressed! Ninjas, indeed! So I wanted to pass that on because I feel everyone deserves to know when they are appreciated. And I totally appreciate you guys. :))) Whenever someone who actually has an internet marketing budget asks me about SEO services, I always rave to them about my experience with the Ninjas (well...as long as they're not in any of the same verticals as I am!) Thanks again for all the time and effort." Dan C.
A marketing degree program provides the foundation and background knowledge about consumer behavior, market strategies, and effective communication in advertising that professionals need to use referral marketing to their advantage. The skills acquired in marketing programs allow candidates to view the big picture, and make sure all the elements of a referral program come together for success.
You’ll want to use email, blogging, and social media tactics to increase brand awareness, cultivate a strong online community, and retain customer loyalty. Consider sending personalized emails to past customers to impress or inspire them -- for instance, you might send discounts based off what they’ve previously purchased, wish them a happy birthday, or remind them of upcoming events.
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
Social Media is constantly growing its popularity in the internet marketing industry. Much like the internet as a whole, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter bring together millions of people. Using social media fan pages and business pages you can have your business put out there and recommended to thousands of locally targeted people in an instant. With that in mind, there are various other ways social media can be used as part of an internet marketing campaign.
Can you make money with affiliate marketing? The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can earn a extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.
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