Affiliate marketing: your questions answered

HTTPForging partnerships with other websites can be a win-win for small firms that want to increase sales online. That’s why affiliate marketing is an increasingly popular marketing strategy

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is about making an agreement with other websites to promote each others’ goods or services online. Working with affiliates can significantly boost traffic to websites, but firms only have to pay on results, making it a very attractive proposition for small businesses that want to grow their business.

How can affiliate marketing help my business?

By using affiliates, you get access to new markets and customers — audiences that you may not otherwise reach. What’s more, you can benefit from the strengths of the partner you link up with.

How much does it cost?

Affiliate marketing can be very good for cash-strapped small firms because you only pay for results. However, there may be some set-up costs if you establish partnerships through a third party network or agency.

How many sales could my affiliates bring in?

Once you are up and running, you could find that up to 30% of your online sales have come via partners.

How do you find the right affiliate?

You can try approaching potential partners direct or use networks to get access to third parties. You don’t have to restrict yourself to one partner. It usually pays to try a few different websites and measure the response. If you find a partner that is bringing in a lot of enquiries or sales, then you can take the relationship further.

Will it take up a lot of my time?

Managing an affiliate programme can be time-consuming. To make it work, you do need to manage each affiliate account, keep on top of individual agreements, update promotions and ads, recruit new affiliates when necessary and make sure no-one is misrepresenting you online.

More on affiliate marketing: