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Affiliate Assistant article

Are affiliate marketing programs still worth it?

This article will demonstrate why creating an affiliate marketing program is a sound business investment that can aid you in obtaining a substantial and continuous return on investment as a marketing strategy. Affiliate network strategies are more relevant now than ever before. That’s why affiliate programs won’t fade away any time soon and why you should take advantage of this growing way to increase sales volume.

What is affiliate marketing?

Earning a commission through promoting products other people or companies have created and sell is at the heart of an affiliate program. It can be a good way to get extra revenue and is relatively pain-free. Affiliate marketing strategies have become more relevant in this consumer-centric landscape that is moving heavily towards online shopping, which has content creators looking for innovative ways to create more revenue — and that’s why this type of partnership program won’t fade away any time soon. In fact, affiliate programs are more significant than ever.

At its core, affiliate marketing and their programs are about relationships between three groups of people, typically advertiser—publisher—consumer. The two sides to consider most, though, are the one who sells the product (and has the program) and the other who is the affiliate marketer (who will promote the product on their site for a commission). This performance-based marketing relationship can be lucrative if done right.

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What’s happening on the market

A Forrester Consulting study looked at U.S. affiliate marketing spending and predicted that affiliate marketing spend will grow 10.1% each year until 2020. The study also said that the affiliate marketing space has “matured into a significant channel for driving sales for advertisers of all sizes and will continue to grow.”

Of the affiliate advertisers in the study, nine out of 10 said that affiliate programs were important or very important to their overall marketing strategy, and that over 80% said they were devoting more than 10% of their marketing budgets to their affiliate programs. The numbers clearly indicate that affiliate programs are very much still worth it, and this relevancy is only going to increase over the next few years.

A senior online marketing manager at a major international retailer told Forrester for their study that they’ve seen that the affiliate program is one of “our best ROI channels. It yields more revenue for our .com property than SEM, display, or social. We always invest in the most efficient channel first.” Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, says we will see trends to continue as they are but in more diverse parts of the globe. He believes Asia is about to expand, and that affiliate marketing programs will move to developing countries in the next couple of years. Evan Weber, affiliate marketing guru, thinks affiliate marketing will continue to grow. He says there’s an increase in web publishers joining affiliate networks and affiliate programs to help monetize their websites and blogs.

Below are some statistics to show that affiliate marketing is not only a worthwhile pursuit from a business point of view, but that it’s also an area expected to continue developing.

  • In 2016, U.S. retailers spent $4.7 billion on affiliate marketing. By 2020, U.S. affiliate marketing spending is expected to rise to $6.8 billion.
  • According to Google Trends, between September 2016 and September 2017 search interest in the term “affiliate marketing” has risen by 30%.
  • As of 2016, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage affiliate marketing.
  • Affiliate marketing drives the same amount of online orders as email marketing does, whereas paid search drives 20% of online orders. Organic searches account for 21% of online orders.

Make affiliate programs work for you

So now that you realize how vital an affiliate program is, you’re likely wondering how you can go about this with as little difficulty as possible. The good news is that Salesforce® Commerce Cloud merchants have an opportunity to integrate their affiliate programs into Business Manager for hassle-free management. Affiliate ASSISTANT is the only cartridge on the market that does this. Affiliate marketing and programs are growing faster, year over year. So much so, that about 15% of the digital media industry's revenue now comes from affiliate marketing. Make sure you are part of that growth and tap into new sources of revenue by making an affiliate program work for your company.

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