Let’s start with the first scenario above. Suppose an affiliate is generating $100,000 in monthly revenue for a merchant, and getting $25,000 in monthly commissions. In this case, the network between the two may be taking $10,000 a month for its part in the process. In this case, the merchant may attempt to go around the network and set up a direct relationship with the affiliate–perhaps with a 30% commission.
Scheduling your email content with automation ensures that all of your campaigns will run on autopilot, allowing you to focus on tasks other than sending one-off emails. And perhaps even better, these messages can all be written in a personal tone and delivered to a highly targeted audience to give your list relevant experiences instead of robotic ones.

Kathleen: Well, let's start with referral programs then, because I feel like, from an inbound marketing stand point, referrals are so inboundy. What I mean by that is, you're taking somebody who's already said yes to you for their own reasons, and if they're happy, asking them to spread the word and making it easier for them to do so. Which is really at the heart of what inbound marketing is all about.
You need to invest significant time in learning how to empathize with these affiliates and figure out their own personal goals and aspirations. Do they want to grow their blog? How can you help them do that…while still promoting your brand and increasing your own ROI? These are tough questions to answer — but so long as you approach the problem with this mentality, you will all be better off.
As marketers or business owners, we’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve with the latest and greatest tactics and technology. But, sometimes, a strategy with great potential has been staring us in the face for years and we just haven’t given it the chance it deserves. That is the case with affiliate marketing. Sure, there are hundreds of blog posts out there with step-by-step guidelines on how to turn affiliate marketing into a profitable side-hustle business, but these guides are rarely geared toward business owners or marketers who are looking to make a difference at their organization. This post will be focused on exactly those people. We’ll dive into what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and where to start if it is something you are interested in pursuing.

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Affiliate marketing allows you to make money online, even if you don’t have a blog, website, or any products of your own. Following a few simple steps can get you up and running within hours and earning your first commissions right away. Affiliate marketing really is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make money online and should be a part of every online business owner's portfolio.
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Since new customers are valuable, it makes sense to offer incentives to your affiliate partners to generate fresh traffic and new customers. You may already have new customer marketing incentives in place — perhaps a first purchase discount or another special offer. The same reason you offer those incentives is why you should pay affiliates more for generating new customers. No matter where the incentive is paid — i.e., to the customer or to the affiliate — the result is the same. You’re paying a bit extra to acquire that new customer because you know your ultimate payback is in the customer’s lifetime value.
Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors, or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%. Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building domain authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort. 
What is email marketing? Basically the use of email to promote products and/or services. But a better email marketing definition is the use of email to develop relationships with potential customers and/or clients. Email marketing is one segment of internet marketing, which encompasses online marketing via websites, social media, blogs, etc. It is essentially the same as direct mail except that instead of sending mail through the postal service, messages are sent electronically via email.
This is where we put the “marketing” in affiliate marketing. It’s up to you as the affiliate marketer to make sure that your audience sees the affiliate links and offers you have on your site. You can’t simply throw them into the right sidebar and hope that your audience seeks them out and clicks on them. There’s a great deal that you can do to increase the likelihood that your visitors click on the links and get in front of the affiliate offer.
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