Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.
 Terminology geekery: It would be cool if we could all agree to use a common language to describe this process, with appropriate signifiers. When a Referrer (Alice) refers something to a Referee (Bob). It would make life a lot easier. This is going to take some time though, because referral programs aren’t completely ubiquitous… yet. Also, because the term “referee” is most commonly used in sporting contexts. It’s not unimaginable, though, that the term “Referee” may eventually be accepted as a signifier of the person who’s being referred to a product or service. Time will tell. At ReferralCandy, we use the terms Advocate and Friend respectively– they’re not perfect, but they make sense and are easier to use.
Single or Double-sided Rewards – A common practice in referral programs is to only give out a reward to the sender of the referral. We believe that this is not the right way to approach referral marketing. If you don’t reward both parties you are changing the overall motivation a user has to make a referral to their network. Double-sided programs give rewards to both the sender and the recipient. The even reward structure helps motivate users who are not looking to profit off of their personal network.
Under Armour came up with the hashtag “I Will What I Want” to encourage powerful athletic women to achieve their dreams despite any opposition they might face. The hashtag, first used by American Ballet Theatre ballerina soloist Misty Copeland, blew up on Facebook after supermodel Gisele Bündchen used it in one of her Facebook posts. Many other female athletes have also used the hashtag.
Here’s an example of an affiliate page from Yeti that provides every detail affiliates need to know before signing up for their program. Within your ecommerce platform, you can create a page like this and even link to it in the footer of your site for more visibility. This quickly increases the number of inbound affiliate applications and allows affiliates to find you naturally.
"Just wanted to say thanks for all the link-building, help, tips and etc that you guys do for me and my site. I greatly appreciate it. My father and I went out to dinner last night and toasted you all. Why? Not only are you nice people, but now our site ranks well for several competitive phrases... If any of you are there (Pubcon conference) as well, I'm buying a round and I hope your livers are in shape. Hope to meet several of you in person." Subbu A.
There are several ways to increase your social media video subscribers. Use video SEO to make it easier for target audiences to find your videos. Include attractive custom thumbnails to make your videos more enticing. Use end cards and annotations to include calls to action asking viewers to subscribe. You can also promote your videos on your website, landing pages or blog posts. And you can use influencer marketing to spread the word about your video content and gain new subscribers that way.
In brief, the affiliate marketers promote products or services that don’t belong to them. They do that by endorsement, detailed reviews, or more direct marketing approach. The promotion can happen on the affiliate’s personal website or blog, on a YouTube channel, Twitch stream, over Facebook or Instagram, etc. Anywhere a link can be published or an individual promo code displayed is good.
If your referral program isn’t public facing or it’s difficult to use and share with the click of a button, then you’ll severely limit your ability to drive word-of-mouth and referrals. Also, if you’re requiring customers to manually input a potential referral’s information, good luck. For customers, this annoyance creates a barrier that significantly hinders referral activity.
Using calls to action – while you might think that since you’re mentioning a certain product or service the visitors will automatically receive the message and start converting, clear and well-placed calls to action will do wonders compared to conspicuous references. They can be in the form of a button (the so-called CTA button), a link, an image or a form, yet in any case be easily noticeable and identifiable as such. There’s a balance to be maintained, though, between using clear calls to action and being too pushy with your marketing messages – cross the line and your visitors will feel as they’re being sold, abandoning your website.
Dropbox, an online file storage company that offers both free and paid services, implemented a referral program in 2009 asking users to tell their friends about the service. The program offered rewards for both sides of the referral coin—those who signed up for a referral link would get additional free space, and the person who referred them would also get more space.
Our digital agency offers both traditional targeted online display advertising as well as behavioral retargeting. Through an intense discovery process, our team will determine the most optimal marketing mix for your online media plan. We will leverage ad network partnerships for planning the ideal media buys and negotiating the best possible pricing.
For example, digital purchases and physical product orders are treated differently. In general, any order that a customer places within 24 hours of reaching Amazon through one of your links is counted towards your commission. And, if they add something to their cart during this period, as long as they checkout within 89 days of their initial click through, you’ll receive credit for the completed transaction.
“It’s easy for an agency to double their revenue by becoming full-service. But Hanapin’s goal isn’t to double what we make from each client; our goal is to double what clients make from us. We do this by solving pressing problems with a unique blend of people and technology. This focus allows us to stay ahead of industry changes and drive goal-crushing results for complex businesses.”
Disney initially stated they wouldn’t exceed one million in donations, but ended up donating two million after the campaign blew up. #ShareYourEars campaign garnered 420 million social media impressions, and increased Make-A-Wish’s social media reach by 330%. The campaign is a powerful example of using an internet marketing strategy for a good cause. #ShareYourEars raised brand awareness, cultivated a connected online community, and positively affected Disney’s brand image.
Uber owes much of its success to its referral programs for passengers and drivers. Uber offers a mix of free rides and discounts to people who refer the app to their friends, both for riding and for driving. At one time, Uber offered $30 in credits to those who referred new riders. Today the referral is $5, but is subject to change. Referring drivers can be a bit more lucrative, and varies depending on whether or not the driver signs up with his own car or a rental car. The referral bonuses vary by country, but can be as high as $1,750!
Referral marketing networks also help build relationships as they have weekly meetings where they discuss strategies, how to make presentations and proposals. They also hold workshops giving new ideas on business promotion and strategies. BNI reported at the end of 2015 that it has 7,300 chapters, and generated 7.7 million referrals valued at $9.3 bn. The total membership of the organization is 190,000 in 64 nations.
Probably the largest and best known online affiliate program is the Amazon Affiliate program. You can see below that they have changed the name of the program to “amazon associates” because the word affiliate has earned a nasty reputation over time. This is primarily due to the tactics that individuals will deploy in order to earn cash when referring a product they don’t use.
A text ad displays text-based hyperlinks. Text-based ads may display separately from a web page's primary content, or they can be embedded by hyperlinking individual words or phrases to advertiser's websites. Text ads may also be delivered through email marketing or text message marketing. Text-based ads often render faster than graphical ads and can be harder for ad-blocking software to block.
According to a paper by Duncan Watts and colleagues entitled: "Everyone's an influencer", the most common risk in viral marketing is that of the influencer not passing on the message, which can lead to the failure of the viral marketing campaign. A second risk is that the influencer modifies the content of the message. A third risk is that influencers pass on the wrong message. This can result from a misunderstanding or as a deliberate move.