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Affiliate Marketing 101: What You Need to Know to Get Started
Affiliate Marketing 101: What You Need to Know to Get Started
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Christian Bonnier
2 min. read

Are you thinking about using affiliate marketing to acquire more paying customers for your product? 

If so, you're not alone. Affiliate marketing is a great way for any SaaS company to add MRR without spending an extra cent on paid ads. 

But what exactly is affiliate marketing, and how do you get started? 

Let's dive into it!

What is Affiliate Marketing?

In short, affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards an affiliate for each customer brought to the business by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. The industry standard for commission rates is currently between 5-20%, but this can vary depending on the company and the product or service being offered. 

Affiliate relationships are set up between a merchant (SaaS company, eCom brand, coaching program, info product, etc) and an affiliate (influencer, personal brand, content creator). The affiliate agrees to promote the merchant's products or services in exchange for a commission on any sales that they generate.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

The typical process for setting up an affiliate marketing relationship goes something like this:

1) A merchant creates a tracking link to their website. This tracking link contains special code that allows the merchant to track any sales that are generated by the affiliates who use that link.

2) The merchant then shares this tracking link with potential affiliates. These affiliates can be bloggers, social media influencers, or anyone else with a platform from which they can promote the merchant's products or services.

3) When one of the affiliates' followers clicks on the tracking link and makes a purchase from the merchant's website, the sale is tracked back to the affiliate who generated the lead. The affiliate then receives commission on the sale according to the terms agreed upon between them and the merchant. 

It's important to note that affiliates are only paid commissions on actual sales, not merely clicks on links leading to the merchant's website.

Types of Affiliate Programs

There are two main types of affiliate programs: cost per action (CPA) and cost per click (CPC). With CPA programs, affiliates are only paid commissions when they successfully drive sales (i.e., when someone clicks on their tracking link and makes a purchase within the specified timeframe). CPC programs, on the other hand, pay affiliates based on how many people click on their tracking link regardless of whether or not those clicks result in sales. 

CPA programs are more common than CPC programs because they're less risky for merchants. With CPC programs, there's always the potential for affiliates to generate fake clicks on their tracking links in order to try and earn commissions without actually driving any real sales. This doesn't happen as often with CPA programs because affiliates only get paid when they deliver results. Nonetheless, it's important for merchants to be aware of both types of programs before deciding which one is right for them. 


As you can see, there's a lot that goes into affiliate marketing. But don't let that deter you—if you're interested in getting started, all you need is some patience and persistence (plus a good knowledge of what you're doing). With time and effort, you can build up a passive income stream that will make life much easier down the road!

If you’re looking to take your affiliate program to the next level, or start completely from scratch, our team of experts are here to help.

Book a free 15 minute consult call with us here to see if we’re a fit to grow your affiliate program!

Grow your business and brand by connecting to the right people!
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