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Affiliate marketing is growing in popularity year after year. More and more companies are starting to promote their products or services in cooperation with affiliate marketers, and more businesses are creating affiliate programs.
This type of performance marketing is famous thanks to a few characteristics. First of all, it doesn’t require as much effort as other types of marketing because there are two parties involved – a company (merchant) and an affiliate. They both have to achieve the desired results, so both the effort and responsibility are divided.
Second of all, affiliate marketing can be used in every industry. Of course, affiliate marketing strategies and types of cooperation differ from sector to sector. Still, the idea remains the same – affiliates promote a product or service on behalf of a merchant and get paid based on the results they bring.
Third of all, affiliate marketing is so popular because it works. According to Inc, 40% of companies that leverage affiliate marketing in the US state that it’s their top customer acquisition channel. In 2019, spending on affiliate marketing amounted to $6.2 billion, and it’s predicted to reach a staggering $8.2 billion in 2022. On top of that, 65% of merchants that use affiliate marketing said it contributed to 5-20% of their annual revenue.
Last but not least, affiliate marketing is widely applied to the marketing operations of thousands of companies because there are many technical solutions and digital tools that make it easier for merchants and affiliates to cooperate. And the easier it is to manage affiliate marketing activities, the more businesses are willing to try it out.
The technical solutions that enable more companies to leverage affiliate marketing are affiliate software, analytics for affiliate network tracking, and affiliate link cloaking tools, just to list a few examples. In this piece, we want to focus on affiliate software, describe what it is, and present its benefits.
Affiliate software is used to monitor all activities taking place within an affiliate program. The primary goal of affiliate software is to track referrals, recommendations, and endorsements made by affiliates. This element is necessary for affiliate software to perform its other functions – calculating and distributing commissions to affiliates. Based on commission types and tracking results, affiliate software determines the amount of commission each affiliate should receive for their performance every month (or another accounting period) and then issues payments.
But these are just basic features that every piece of affiliate software should provide. Advanced and reliable affiliate software should also offer complex features like a performance dashboard, fraud detection, and a library of promotional materials or reports.
The best solutions gather all data about affiliate marketing operations in one place, presenting it in an easily understandable form. Such a tool is an invaluable source of information for marketing managers and professionals responsible for affiliate marketing campaigns.
As already mentioned, affiliate software has many uses. But what exactly do companies using affiliate software gain? Why is it worth investing in such a solution? Here are the advantages of affiliate software.
Affiliate marketing software automates most of the operations in your affiliate program. For example, your employees won’t need to track views, clicks, or sales manually and assign them to affiliates in a spreadsheet. The same applies to commission fees – they are calculated automatically based on each affiliate’s performance, commission type, and value and are then transferred to the affiliates’ accounts. All of this saves money and your employees’ time since they can focus on other, more complex tasks.
Automation is one of the most significant benefits of affiliate software. But what’s even more valuable is that, with affiliate software, you get a general overview of the program: the performance of each affiliate, revenue generated through that channel, the most effective promotional channels, and so on.
With this information at your fingertips, you can assess whether your affiliate marketing delivers the results you want. Based on that, you can either keep doing what you are doing, make changes like recruiting new affiliates or investing more in particular channels, or completely rebuild the strategy. No matter what you decide, you will have the necessary data to make educated decisions.
Affiliate software enables you to create a library of materials that affiliates can use in their promotional activities. Thanks to that, you can avoid situations when affiliates make materials on their own and send hundreds of visuals or 1000-word long articles for your approval. Moreover, you can ensure affiliates don’t publish materials without your authorization, potentially damaging your brand image and negatively influencing the results of future affiliate marketing activities.
When cooperation within your affiliate program is smooth, affiliates’ work is easier, and satisfaction levels are higher. Having an affiliate program where everything is well-planned, promotional materials are available in one place, performance is tracked in real-time, and commission fees are calculated correctly and paid on time ensures that affiliates can focus on promoting your products and generating value. Such conditions positively influence affiliate satisfaction and may even result in affiliates recommending your program to their fellow marketers.
As affiliate marketing creates many opportunities to earn lots of money, it attracts people looking for ways to profit quickly using illegal methods.
There are many ways to commit affiliate fraud, for example:
Of course, there are many more types of affiliate fraud, but you can protect your affiliate program using affiliate software. Reliable software monitors all transactions and activities within the system and can automatically decline fraudulent transactions based on unwanted patterns.
Affiliate marketing software brings tons of benefits to every business using it. It eliminates manual work, provides accurate performance tracking, prevents fraud, and makes it easier for those responsible for making data-driven decisions, scaling affiliate programs, and increasing sales.
That’s why every business which treats affiliate marketing seriously and wants to make it an essential element of their marketing strategy should consider adding affiliate marketing software to their tech stack.
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