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Affiliating with growth: Top affiliate marketing solutions for advertisers and publishers

Neha Kulwal

For any publisher with a decent enough online reach, the next logical step is to find ways of monetizing their traffic. Brands, too, seek the aid of popular publishers to drive end-customer engagement. Affiliate marketing acts as a bridge connecting the two, providing both advertisers and publishers with the necessary means and resources to engage in a mutually profitable relationship.

Such associations, however, do not come without their fair share of challenges. New-age publishers looking to sign up with advertiser programs as affiliates to monetize their content often have to spend countless hours browsing through the available programs to find the ones that best fit their preferences. The technicalities of signing up for an advertiser program also creates a high entry barrier for many publishers who are just entering the world of affiliate marketing.

On the advertiser side, managing different affiliate partnerships and programs can often become a major hassle that requires brands to create dedicated in-house teams. This increases the cost of their marketing operations, in addition to introducing many operational bottlenecks.

Let us take a brief look at some of the tools that leading affiliate networks use to help publishers and advertisers drive business and profitability:

1. Innovative browser extensions

Leading affiliate networks allow new-age publishers such as influencers and bloggers to sign up with advertiser programs in a hassle-free manner through cutting-edge browser extensions. Through extensions such as Admitad Extension and Affilitizer, affiliates can get information about an advertiser’s program just by visiting the brand’s website – even for advertisers that they aren’t associated with – and make a request to join the program. Partner publishers can also seamlessly create deeplinks by simply opening advertiser websites and share them later in their traffic channels/platforms to drive traffic. Since they just need a single account to access advertiser programs, the hassle of registering with multiple affiliate networks is also eliminated.

2. Link converters

Link converters such as Moneylink are innovative tools that use techniques such as JavaScript codes to convert any and all direct links on a publisher’s page to affiliate links by identifying the most profitable merchant offers from across the globe. Not only is this method more seamless but it also saves the publishers’ time, allowing them to channel their energies towards more constructive use such as creating more content.

Moreover, since such tools can “organically” convert direct links to affiliate links, the SEO value of the content remains unaffected. This allows publishers to improve their profitability by monetizing various articles and reviews, forums, and communities on any online platform. Money link tool works best for content sites.

3. Coupons and promo codes

Amongst the most popular affiliate tools, coupons and promo codes work best for advertisers selling products and services. By associating with leading affiliate networks, advertisers can seamlessly create unique promo codes for each of their affiliate partners to manage such aspects as attribution, tracking, and traffic quality more efficiently. Advertisers can also compose a link using this tool which will connect a customer directly to the deal page – rather than to the main page of the website – which increases the chances of the engagement to follow through. Partnering with affiliate marketing platforms also allows publishers to assess campaign performance and ROIs in real-time.

4. Product feeds and auto verification

An XML file contains the product data from the catalog of an advertiser. Publishers use the product feed to carry out various affiliate operations such as creating price comparisons, email newsletters containing product descriptions, and so on. However, in case the advertiser edits the catalogs, it becomes cumbersome and time-consuming to reflect those changes in the publisher’s websites. This makes dynamic content updation a major challenge for affiliates.

Various affiliate marketing platforms address this challenge by providing ready-to-use parsers and plug-ins that make this process hassle-free for both advertisers and publishers. Using these tools, any change in the advertiser’s catalog and product information is updated on the publisher’s website as well, in real-time. This not only saves a lot of time for publishers but also ensures that advertisers reap the maximum dividends from their affiliate partnerships.

Auto verification is another important affiliate solution enabled by leading affiliate networks for advertisers. Using this solution allows advertisers to eliminate the hassle of sharing manual validation at the end of the month, as the relevant data - such as order ID delivered by the affiliate partner - is automatically updated and validated.

5. Referral links (Own affiliate program)

This service, provided by various affiliate marketing platforms, allows advertisers to maximize the value of their affiliate spends by attracting new publishers. All they need to do is put up a referral link on their websites and other targeted communication; any publisher who follows this link and registers will become the brand’s affiliate. Affiliates can also earn more by referring new affiliates. The affiliate who refers will get some percentage of the commission earned by their referrals as a bonus or as referrer income from affiliate networks.

6. Mobile SDK-powered performance marketing solutions for consolidated CPA tracking

Performance marketing tools powered by mobile SDKs enable advertisers to merge their web and app CPS models which improve the depth and quality of data available to them. Mobile SDK integrations facilitated by these solutions allow for the collection and tracking of in-app information and events such as sign-ups, searches, and transactions. This gives advertisers insights about the advertisement channels or publisher pages driving the maximum customer engagement and is extremely useful even if the brand only operates through the mobile app. The tracking of campaign performance data was previously a major problem for affiliate partners, as sales triggered through in-app promotional links but completed on the website did not initially get attributed to the first affiliate. The integration of mobile SDK-based solutions also solves for this major gap in the affiliate value chain.

7. Advanced cookie-less tracking codes and APIs

Tracking codes empower advertisers to track the performance of their campaigns more accurately by integrating tracking codes. However, with many popular browsers recently launching updates that blocked cookie-based ad targeting, advertisers are in need of new tools that can help them address this challenge. New-age cookie-less tracking solutions such as TagTag enable advertisers to prevent the blocking of legitimate advertisements by anti-virus applications and browser extensions while also enables seamless tracking across browsers and devices. Furthermore, since tracking methods in these solutions employ other means of saving and transmitting the click ID, they are in full compliance with both the domestic and international data privacy laws and regulations.

The application program interface (API) provided by leading affiliate marketing platforms also allows publishers to conduct a number of operations. For instance, using this tool, publishers can seamlessly set up automatic deeplink generation, gather insightful statistics, manage ads, create relevant applications, etc.

The Indian affiliate marketing space is growing at a robust clip; according to industry reports, affiliates drive around 15% of online retail sales in the country. The aforementioned tools can help both advertisers and publishers realize the maximum value from their affiliate associations, equipping them with the capabilities and resources required to thrive in a rapidly-evolving business ecosystem.

(The author is country manager, Admitad India. The viewS expressed are her own and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them.)

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