The main difference between referral and affiliate marketing programs is that a referral program is a program where you're structuring it for your customers to refer people they know and an affiliate program is structured for people that have not used your product or service themselves to promote it to people they don't know in exchange for a commission.
Once you have created quality relationships with your affiliate partners and are seeing performance from their efforts, it’s important to keep them engaged. This is a great time to get creative and create campaigns that will not only incentivize affiliates to promote your program, but will also encourage their readers to convert.Here are a few tried and tested tactics that have produced successful results:
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
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