Partnership Marketing Customer Acquisition & Growth
December 27, 2023

How Affiliate Programmes Elevate Partnership Marketing to Drive Growth

Affiliate and Partnership Marketing

The many benefits of affiliate marketing are the outcome of a highly targeted strategy. Through affiliate marketing, you can identify your target demographic and select the appropriate team of ambassadors to promote your brand.

As a crucial component of a functional partnership marketing ecosystem, an affiliate marketing strategy is a priceless tool for businesses looking to scale efficiently and maximise ROI.





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The benefits of affiliate marketing are becoming more recognised as more brands explore its value within a wider partner marketing strategy

According to data from 2020, 80% of brands and about 84% of publishers actively use affiliate marketing. That same study found that 15% of the revenue made in the digital media sector comes from affiliate marketing.

Businesses can successfully sell products through affiliate marketing efforts while also guaranteeing a high ROI. Other benefits include improving brand awareness and business growth. All this is possible with minimal risk, little time and effort invested, and a restricted budget.


What is Affiliate Marketing?

Owing to its results-based measure of success, affiliate marketing is widely considered a form of performance marketing. It is among the most widely used types of marketing partnerships.

When two or more brands work together for the benefit of both, they are engaging in a marketing partnership, also known as partnership marketing. Joint ventures, co-branding efforts, and affiliate partnerships are a few examples of the many forms that these collaborations can take. Involved parties pool their strengths and resources to achieve a common goal.

In affiliate marketing, the affiliate gets paid for promoting the products of an advertiser. Revenue sharing is the term used to describe the system through which affiliates earn commissions depending on the sales they generate for the advertiser. Additionally, affiliates could receive commissions for any leads or ad clicks generated. They may also charge a tiered fee structure, a flat rate, or a set percentage plus a specified sum for their services.

The affiliate typically uses a unique link designed expressly to track visitors directed to the landing page of online businesses. The affiliate then receives a predetermined portion of any sales made via that unique link.


Benefits of Affiliate Marketing for Your Business

As of 2022, the global affiliate marketing industry is valued at a staggering $12 billion. This raises the question of why businesses are investing so much in affiliate and partnership marketing initiatives. 

See for yourself as we explore some amazing benefits of adding affiliate marketing to your business strategy.

1. Low startup costs

You don't need to hire an advertising team for ad images or buy advertising space to participate in an affiliate programme.

You can rely on your affiliates to create unique marketing content instead of doing it yourself. One of the reasons affiliate marketing has become such a popular technique of marketing is because it requires little effort from you. You only make the initial effort of choosing and verifying affiliates.

Once your business is comfortable dealing with an affiliate and has established a solid rapport, you can generally let them handle the marketing of your service or product.

2. Attract relevant traffic

Every business must concentrate on building a strong online presence to drive traffic in the fast-paced digital age. You can attract relevant traffic when you partner with an affiliate who is familiar with your target market. 

Additionally, it is easier to establish relationships with prospects and engage with them while simultaneously building brand recognition because your affiliate has already pre-qualified the traffic.

Original and visually appealing content will certainly keep your audience interested, but you still need to make sure your marketing efforts are driving quality traffic. Affiliates help place your products in front of the right people who have a genuine interest in them and are more likely to purchase them.

3. Boosts ROI

A good ROI isn't guaranteed by having the secrets to product invention and strong management abilities; you also need to master the art of marketing.

The fact that affiliates within your target audience's spheres of influence will inform them of your product or service is one of the main reasons for the high ROI. This means you're using an affiliate to drive your marketing efforts since they have direct access to and sway over a niche market that is interested in what you have to say.

4. Improved reach

Running an affiliate marketing network has many benefits, one of which is growing your market reach without making significant financial investments. You can also use it to inform clients of the advantages of your content-driven products.

Consider the following scenario: You have 50 affiliates in your network who are individually responsible for advertising your online courses. Every time these affiliates create content for their audiences, you'll receive publicity directly from the viewers and indirectly from word-of-mouth referrals. 

Brand impressions are significant in this situation because their reach extends to thousands of people.

5. Rewards long-term partnerships

Try to find affiliates who can increase your revenue through their marketing efforts. Affiliate marketers themselves prefer to work with companies that provide better-paying affiliate programmes. 

They will be able to establish a consistent stream of online income by earning huge commissions. To sustain the partnership, they will go above and beyond to make sure you receive higher returns.

This is how affiliate marketing develops a mutually beneficial relationship for both the affiliate and your company.

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What are the Component Parts of Affiliate Marketing?

Understanding the different facets of the affiliate marketing ecosystem and recognising their roles and responsibilities might be difficult for those who are just starting out. It doesn't help that much of the terminology used in affiliate marketing is unclear or interchangeable. 

Before you begin developing your affiliate programme, you should be familiar with the following terms:

Affiliate Programmes

This refers to an advertising programme that offers affiliate marketers a way to earn money in exchange for promoting a product or service. Affiliate programmes are also known as partner programmes, partner marketing programmes, and affiliate marketing programmes.

In this arrangement, the advertiser pays the affiliates when a predetermined, measurable goal is achieved. Excellent examples include purchases, form submissions, downloads, user registrations, and other indicators.


An affiliate (publisher or partner) promotes the advertiser's products and services by driving visitors to the advertiser's app or website through unpaid or paid channels. They generate revenue for the advertiser and receive a commission each time a predetermined measurable milestone, such as a purchase or user registration, occurs.

The affiliate often has a strong partner network or marketing channel (such as a website or app) via which they can share advertisements.

To advertise headphones, for instance, an advertiser might choose to team up with several affiliates who run music review blogs. These affiliates have accumulated a customer base that closely resembles the target market of the advertiser. The advertiser provides a tracking link that keeps tabs on each affiliate and the traffic they send to the headphones website.

Affiliate marketing is an incredible resource due to its transparency. Additionally, because it is based on performance, advertisers don’t have to pay commissions until a sale is made.


Advertisers are business owners who try to increase sales by paying affiliates to direct visitors to their app or website. The terms "marketers," "brands," "merchants," and “sellers” are often used to describe advertisers.


Customers, often known as users, traffic, consumers, or visitors, are people who make purchases via affiliate links. 

Still using the previous example, customers would generally visit the advertiser's page after clicking the tracking link in the affiliate's musical review blog post. If the buyer chooses to purchase the headphones, the advertiser then pays the affiliate a commission for that sale.

Affiliate Tracking Software

This is software that enables businesses to effectively monitor and measure performance-based affiliations directly from a central dashboard. It is also called a partner marketing platform, affiliate marketing software, an affiliate marketing platform, a performance marketing platform, or affiliate programme software. 

The affiliate tracking software monitors the progress of the referral from the affiliate until the final conversion on the advertiser’s page, enabling sale attribution and compensation where required.

Affiliate Networks

This is a business that serves as a point of contact between affiliates and advertisers. Networks support advertisers' freedom to concentrate on their goods and services and affiliates' freedom to concentrate on creating and publicising offers. In essence, the affiliate network is the intermediary that ties everything together.


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What is the Role of Affiliates in Partnership Marketing?

Partnership marketing has many benefits, and affiliate marketing is usually listed among the most straightforward and cost-effective types of partnership marketing. Since the return on investment (ROI) can be assessed with such accuracy, it falls under the category of performance marketing. In contrast to several other marketing strategies, affiliation can always be verified and quantified.

To recap, affiliation is the act of marketing your brand on partner websites in exchange for commissions. An affiliate is compensated based on the agreement with the advertiser. Several models calculate pay by the number of leads, impressions, or clicks. 

This does not imply that affiliates are always paid commissions on a single sale; rather, the agreement may cover multiples, such as CPC (cost per click), CPM (cost per thousand impressions), a share of sales revenue, CPA (cost per acquisition), or a flat rate per ad placement. Additionally, there are combinations of these deals that are called "hybrid agreements."

How Does it Work?

In partnership marketing, this is frequently accomplished through a third-party network like Awin. The advertiser and publisher both register and use the network's services through its external portal. 

An important advantage for brands over an internal solution is that it gives publishers a far wider range of relevant partner brands to choose from. Advertisers also gain immediate access to valuable publisher sites rather than needing to market their own internal programme.

This approach is mutually beneficial, as buyers can examine the product on the publisher's website or mobile app and then decide to buy it. The business makes a new sale, and the publisher gets a cut of it or a small payment for driving visitors to the business' website. 

Reviews from reliable publishers remain one of the most effective marketing techniques. Additionally, some publishers will add graphics and videos to the content to support campaigns.


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What Metrics Should Affiliate Marketing Campaigns Use?

Measurement is a crucial step in this process because affiliate marketing falls under performance marketing. You should track, examine, and improve the following metrics and partnership KPIs in your affiliate marketing programme:

  • The number of clicks: User engagement levels with an affiliate tracking link.

  • Affiliate sales: Revenue produced by affiliates.

  • Total revenue: Net income from all sources earned for the brand.

  • Cost per click: Fixed cost incurred to entice a user to click on an affiliate advertisement (usually a flat rate).

  • Cost per sale: The portion of the entire sale that an affiliate receives as payment for generating the transaction.

  • Cost per lead: The cost of bringing in a new customer (usually a flat rate).

  • Conversion rate: The percentage of clicks that result in conversions (sales, subscriptions, or downloads).

  • Return on advertising investment: How many sales are produced from the investment in advertising, indicating how much revenue is made (or, in some situations, lost) as a result.

  • Top partners: Gathering information on partner performance helps the advertiser allocate more resources to top performers.

  • Programme diversity: This is a measure of the types of audiences and affiliates that a programme serves.

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Key Takeaways

  • What is Affiliate Marketing?

In affiliate marketing, affiliates receive payment for promoting an advertiser's products. Leads and ad clicks earn affiliates commissions. They may also charge a flat rate, percentage, or specified sum for their services.

  • Benefits of Affiliate and Partnership Marketing on Your Business
    • Low startup costs
    • Attract relevant traffic
    • Boosts ROI
    • Improved reach
    • Rewards long-term partnerships
  • What are the Component Parts of Affiliate Marketing?
    • Affiliate Programmes
    • Affiliates
    • Advertisers
    • Customers
    • Affiliate Tracking Software
  • What Metrics Should Affiliate Marketing Campaigns Use?
    • The number of clicks 
    • Affiliate sales
    • Total revenue
    • Cost per click
    • Cost per sale
    • Cost per lead
    • Conversion rate
    • Return on advertising investment
    • Top partners
    • Programme diversity

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Drive Business Growth with Affiliate-Powered Partnership Marketing

As your company expands, creating strong alliances should be your first priority. An affiliate partnership is an effective approach to building meaningful relationships that can help you drive sales and growth. 

Our Partnership Marketing Playbook is a great starting point if you're trying to build a thriving partner ecosystem strategy and identify strategic partners that could benefit your company.

Partnership experts reveal the secrets behind productive brand alliances and explain how to avoid the main reasons why partner programmes fail.

To get the vital information you need to create the ultimate partnership marketing campaign, download the Partnership Marketing Playbook.

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