What do you think about a marketing strategy that is low maintenance and requires comparatively less investment while guaranteeing improved brand awareness and sales? Amazing right? Well, this, my friend, is known as affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing was first started by the founder of PC Flowers and gifts – William J. Tobin in the year 1989. He holds the mantle of first internet marketer. Tobin was the person to conceptualize affiliate marketing for which the patent for affiliate marketing was registered in his name.

In the year 1996, Jeff Bezos’s Amazon noticed the opportunity for growing its business and started their amazon associates’ program. Today, the program is a massive hit and operates on an unimaginable scale with over 900,000 affiliates across the globe.

Today affiliate marketing stands at its pinnacle with almost every popular e-commerce platform running affiliate marketing programs. After all, why not? Affiliate marketing has proven itself worthy enough to be part of every business. If you own a business (regardless of the size), you too can start your brand’s affiliate marketing program.

Which begs the question, is it beneficial? or is it really worth your time? We are going to get into it shortly. By the end of this blog post you will have a solid idea of how things work in the affiliate marketing program.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

It is a type of marketing technique wherein brands tie up with publishers or affiliates to promote and sell their products or services on a commission-based payment model. This is possible with the publisher promoting the brand’s products or service via a unique link dedicated to the publisher, which redirects traffic to the brand’s website.

How Does it Work?

Before we dig in, there are three main elements we need to keep in mind affiliate marketing technique:

  • Brand (Company/producers)
  • Publisher (Affiliate)
  • Customer (Affiliate’s audience)


Also known as sellers, vendors, merchants, producers, retailers are those people who want their product to be promoted. The product can be anything from physical products to online services. The seller is usually not involved in the marketing process in this strategy. The responsibility of promoting and marketing the brand’s products is passed on to the affiliate.


Also known as affiliate, a publisher has his own audience to whom they market the products, trying to convince them how it will be beneficial to them. When a sale is complete due to the publisher’s marketing efforts, a commission is paid to the publisher (which the company determines).


When a customer buys a product by following the unique link, the publisher and brand both make profits out of it. Customers are often aware of the fact that the publisher they are following is an affiliate of a certain brand. But sometimes customers might be absolutely unaware of the affiliation of the publisher with the brand.

Affiliate Marketing

What Are the Common Types of Channels Used for Affiliate Marketing?

The principles of affiliate marketing might be common among most of affiliate marketers, but not all affiliates promote the products in the same way. As a matter of fact, there are myriad methods and channels for doing affiliate marketing.


Bloggers have the potential to boost the brand’s sales by promoting the products to their audience through blogs. What happens generally is, the blogger samples the products and writes a review in a very promoting way (pun intended) compelling the traffic back to the brand’s official website.

If the blogger’s readers follow the unique link provided by the brand and purchase the product, the blogger is awarded for his marketing efforts.


Influencers almost every time use social media as their platform to promote their products (after all that’s where their followers are). An influencer is a person who has the potential to influence the purchase decision of a large chunk of target audience. One post with the product describing its benefits and the brand’s website is inundated with potential buyers.

Email Marketing

Although email marketing is older than you and me both, but to this date, it has managed to remain relevant with the latest trends, and in fact, it is doing very well. So, a lot of affiliate marketers have their own SAP Customers Lists to which they promote their brand. These emails often contain hyperlinks that lead the customers to the products and when a sale is done you know what happens next (he gets paid).

How Will it Benefit Your Business?

Amplifies Brand Awareness

Every business regardless of existing online or offline wishes to be recognized by potential buyers. In simple terms, increased brand awareness is every business’s dream.  When you partner up with a publisher, they become your brand’s loyal advocate since they get paid too. Now that they have a vested interest in increasing your conversion, affiliates will promote your products to a considerably huge following which leads to increased brand awareness and outreach.

Large Target Audience Coverage

With affiliate marketing, a business can tap into its affiliate audience and cover a larger audience. And the affiliate’s audience could have been hard to target or identify by any other marketing techniques. With an affiliate program in place, it is easier to cover a large target audience since your brand will have many affiliates to advocate your product to their audience.

Affiliate Marketing Tracking  

When you can monitor how your campaign is performing, you can tinker with your operational strategies in the future. With the help of affiliate marketing tracking, you shall be able to figure out where your traffic is coming from, and what is the reason people are buying your products. Tracking the performance of your campaign can prove to be beneficial in more ways than one, for starters, with rich data collection you can figure out how you can improve the content and visuals on your website.


The cost of running an affiliate program is way less when compared to the traditional way of advertising. Because in this kind of arrangement, an affiliate is only paid when a sale through his affiliate link is generated. Businesses determine the commission structure in advance and reduce spending on unproductive advertising techniques.  

High Bang for Your Buck

Since the brand is only paying when a sale is generated and not for impressions or per-clicks. So naturally, the return on investment is significantly high. Probably one of the main reasons why brands in the growth stage preside on affiliate marketing for promoting their products or services.


Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for businesses in the growth stage.  An effective marketing strategy that requires low capital yet offers high ROI is definitely a must-have. I hope this article has given you an idea of how affiliate marketing works, but there is still one thing left for you to figure out before you roll out your affiliate marketing program. And it is the commission structure. You can refer to big e-commerce sites that already have an affiliate program in place to understand the industry standards.

Affiliate marketing is quickly taking the center stage as more and more people are becoming aware. And the return on investment offered by affiliate marketing is quite high which other marketing strategies don’t offer. We can expect to see more businesses indulge in affiliate marketing in the future as the digital world seems to be moving towards an influencer marketing structure wherein brands can reach a larger target audience and multiply their revenue.


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