In continuation of our nine part series on the features available with intelligent links, we are very excited to share with you one of the most lucrative and insightful benefits of smarter links: Affiliation.
What is Affiliation and What Does it Have to do With Intelligent Links?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is the practice of earning referral commissions on purchases made in someone else’s ecommerce storefront. Basically, when you refer someone via a specialized link to purchase a product in an online storefront, the sale gets attributed to your link and you earn a commission.
Some intelligent link management platforms can automatically add your affiliate tracking information to your links to properly affiliate individual clicks.
This feature, in combination with targeting or link translation, can be especially helpful when linking to some of the world’s largest e-commerce marketplaces. Amazon, for example, has 12 different country or region specific affiliate programs with each using their own unique tracking information per storefront.
How Does it Work?
E-commerce stores are able to attribute a sale to you through a unique parameter that is added to your links. When a user clicks on a link with your affiliate tracking parameter, a cookie is set on their browser, and any purchases made in that storefront within the cookie window will result in you earning a commission. Amazon, for instance, has a 24 hour cookie window, which means that any purchases made through that browser within 24 hours will be attributed to your link.
Intelligent link management services allow you to add your affiliate tags for different e-commerce storefronts to your account. Whenever you create a link to a supported e-commerce store, the service will automatically encode the link they pass along with the appropriate affiliate tag, ensuring you are able to earn commissions on those links when possible.
Why is This Important to Marketers?
Using affiliate links can be beneficial for two primary reasons:
Affiliating links provides you with the obvious benefit of earning referral commissions on clicks you may already be sending to major e-commerce storefronts. Even if you’re promoting your own products in these storefronts, you can take advantage of affiliate programs to earn an extra percentage on sales that come from your links. Why not capitalize on this extra revenue stream?
Besides the benefit of earning extra revenue from referral commissions, participating in affiliate programs can provide you with incredibly valuable data.
Affiliate programs for major e-commerce storefronts like Amazon have been built with an infrastructure to track whether or not your links lead to sales. This means that when a click on your link results in a purchase, it is tracked through the affiliate program and sales are reported back to you. So by participating in the affiliate program, you get valuable insight into how clicks on your links are converting to sales.
Intelligent links streamline the process of building affiliate links. Since your affiliate tags are automatically added to a link whenever it is built for an ecommerce storefront supported by the intelligent link management service, you can ensure that affiliation will always happen. This can be especially useful if you have multiple people managing content, and want to guarantee that the links in the content will be affiliated without creating any additional processes, or when your intelligent link management platform can take the data from an affiliate program and provide insightful conversion reporting on your links.
What Services Automatically Affiliate Links?
Services that automatically add your affiliate tags to links to supported e-commerce stores include Geniuslink (iTunes Affiliate Program, Amazon Associates Program, Microsoft Store Affiliate Program, Google Play Affiliate Program), BookLinker (Amazon Associates), and SmartURL (iTunes Affiliate Program).