How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

Tips for Online Stores: How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

When businesses manage to reach a certain development level, it is common to start looking for new sales channels.

The CPA channel seems a good alternative because it gives access to millions of affiliates with different traffic channels in the same place, which helps save budgets and time for brands: the company pays for advertising only if the user has made the purchase and you have already received your order; integration with an affiliate platform is done by the latest specialists; total control of the sales flow is in the hands of the online store; there is no need to negotiate with every affiliate; the notoriety of the brand grows, etc.

Every store that plans to start working with the affiliate channel and has not had such experience has many doubts about doing it.

This article discusses the important principles and approaches of working with affiliate marketing and gives online stores recommendations.

For which product categories are the affiliate channel suitable?

The truth is that it is easier for affiliates to find traffic to promote FMCG products (the high-turnover consumer goods). A lawn mower store is likely to be less attractive to them.

It should be noted that the CPA channel is not very effective in promoting B2B products and services. Although there are always exceptions, these advertisers are generally not recommended to go for affiliation because publishers may not be interested in collaboration.

Minimum audience to start working under CPA and number of orders

Before starting to work with a new advertiser, an affiliate network carries out its own audit of the online store to guarantee collaboration. According to data from the affiliate network Admitad, the CPA is beneficial if the number of unique monthly visitors to the store is more than 70 thousand. If the project’s audience is smaller, it is often recommended to use other marketing tools to achieve the mentioned minimum threshold.

On average, advertisers who work with the affiliate receive more than 10% of this channel’s sales. Of course, depending on the marketing department’s strategy, this figure can be higher, up to 40%.

Quality of the online store

The CPA channel is not a magic pill that can solve all problems. An important role is played by the website’s convenience, its mobile version and applications, fast delivery, logistics, a wide assortment of products and their availability.

If a store has problems with any of these aspects, the conversion of potential customers to real customers attracted by the affiliation will be low.

Don’t ban popular types of traffic

Despite the increasing participation of social networks, video bloggers and influencers, the “classic” types of affiliate traffic continue to generate a large part of the sales. Cashback, coupon sites, content projects are still very popular with buyers. Therefore, it is not advisable to ban popular traffic types when setting affiliate program rules.

Define objectives before starting work with membership

Attracting new customers and increasing the number of orders are just one of the reasons to use the CPA channel. Before launching your own affiliate program, the affiliate network manager should be informed about the store’s business goals. This will help avoid mistakes and start cooperation effectively.

Here are several examples of goals and tips on how to achieve them with an affiliate platform. Suppose the main objective is to increase the average check. In that case, it is necessary to choose the affiliates with a high check and offer them a coupon (promotional code) with a high discount threshold (for example, 8 Euros discount if the purchase is greater than 80 Euros).

To obtain a desired commercial result during the specific dates, it is necessary to carry out the promotion with a high cashback and bet on the publishers who work with email. In order to attract new customers you have to:

  • Examine the ratio of new and returning customers for each publisher.
  • Offer individual cooperation conditions for affiliates with the best results.
  • Attract new types of traffic, for example messengers.

“Taming” affiliates

How to make webmasters want to work with an affiliate program? Several steps should be taken into account so that affiliates pay more attention to your online store:

  • Increase the commission paid to them (for example, over a promotional period) and launch individual promotional codes (for coupon sites).
  • Make special collaborations with the great content creators and top bloggers.
  • Create your own bonus program (it has nothing to do with KPIs!): Upon reaching a certain threshold for the number of orders or customers, the affiliate will receive additional compensation.

Bad advice or how to demotivate affiliates:

  • Reduce the commission rate or ban typical popular traffic.
  • Reject all orders or orders attracted by a particular type of traffic due to publishers’ violation of rules. It is better to analyze each violation of the rules individually than to punish all partners for one’s fault (unfortunately this happens).
  • Suspect all publishers of fraud. Large affiliate platforms have a traffic quality control department that detects possible violations by affiliates.

Use the new attribution model different from “The last cookie wins”

A Last Cookie Wins attribution model, whereby the channel that was last in the chain of conversions receives a commission for the conversion action, is considered traditional in affiliate marketing.

However, lately it is debated whether it is fair enough, since you cannot say exactly what is more valuable, the first brand awareness or a sale, or what type of traffic is more important.

Therefore, in Admitad we advise trying a dual channel attribution model, according to which all the channels connected in the affiliate program are divided into two groups: the open ones (those that provoke an initial interest in a brand or a product and generate demand: influencers, forums, price comparison sites, messengers, etc.) and closing sites (those to which users come with a demand formed to make their purchase more profitable: cashback, coupon sites, loyalty programs, etc).

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