25 June, 2013

Insights from the Commercial team: Affiliate Marketing

Whether it’s dating, gaming or any other vertical, affiliates can be (and have proven to be) a very useful source for generating significant volumes  of high quality traffic.

Affiliate marketing

In simple terms, an affiliate is somebody who agrees to promote an advertiser’s product for an agreed commission. The deal between the advertiser and affiliate naturally depends on a number of different factors and can vary depending on the budget of the advertiser and the volume of traffic that each affiliate has to offer.

But affiliate advertising isn’t suitable for every business. It depends on your aims; if you’re looking to increase the number of users to your site or want to acquire more paying members, then an affiliate can certainly be of use!

When you have established your goal, you can begin to structure a deal that is relevant and suitable for you as the advertiser and also appeals to the affiliate. If the deal is highly beneficial to the affiliate, they will be more likely to promote your brand through sources they know work, enabling you to maximise your potential return. Will you be paying on a lead basis, for every single new user who registers to your site (a CPL deal), or will you be paying for every user who registers and makes a payment (a CPA deal)?

There are two ways to enter partnerships with affiliates. You can either go via an affiliate network (who will add your offer to their portfolio, giving you access to hundreds if not thousands of affiliates), or go directly to an individual affiliate (cutting out the middleman). But be careful if you’re working with an affiliate directly; you are relying on trust without the protection of a network who has already built a relationship with them.

Do bear in mind that it may not all be plain sailing; an affiliate may choose a different product or offer to yours, or may not deliver the volume or quality of traffic that you’re looking for. This is where building a good relationship is key. Have faith in your product, and use only trusted networks. If you have any queries about affiliate networks or your affiliates, please don't hesitate to get in touch. The Commercial team are always more than happy to offer advice to help your dating business thrive.

Even when you have a strong relationship with an affiliate and their performance exceeds expectations, it’s important to never stand still. Innovate and develop creative new landing pages. You don’t need to make any drastic changes to your existing brands that have proven to work, instead add additional pages alongside these, split-test, and then assess the performance.

Think of it like this- choice is power. If you were the affiliate and had the choice to promote a number of different products, what would you choose?  The one with a single style, a single image? Or the one with numerous variations and the freedom to use as you please?

Chris Georghiou, Affliate Manager, WhiteLabelDating.com Commercial team

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