The five reasons, five hurdles, and five metrics of affiliate marketing.
Sixty-seven percent of U.S. Internet users seek the lowest priced items and 40 percent find coupons, according to Pew Internet and American Life Project's July 2009 "The Internet and the Recession" study. With lower sales, longer purchase consideration periods, and smaller marketing budgets, what can a retailer do to beyond price cutting to drive sales? One cost-effective method is to add affiliate marketing to your marketing mix or enhance your current program.
Affiliate marketing can be a great way to extend your marketing efforts cost-effectively. (To better understand affiliates, check out this report.) Evidence of this is the recent Affiliate Summit East, where affiliates and retailers made real-world connections to solidify their online relationships. This year, the summit had an impressive 25 percent increase in attendance over last year.
Five Reasons to Add Affiliate Marketing to the Mix
For many e-tailers, affiliate marketing is low on the list of marketing tools they use to drive and convert buyers. Here are five reasons it may be a great way to stretch your marketing budget:
Five Hurdles Affiliate Marketing Must Overcome
Despite its ability to drive and close sales, affiliate marketing is still a stepchild in the marketing arena. Here are five potential negatives and why they shouldn't hinder your use of affiliate marketing:
Five Affiliate Marketing Metrics to Track
Affiliate marketing requires deeper analysis than just monitoring weekly sales reports to track your business. To make affiliate marketing work optimally, strong in-house analytics are critical. Here are some factors to monitor:
While affiliate marketing may require an investment of resources to work effectively, it can be a productive channel that brings you sales you never would have found on you own.
Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
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