Tuesday, December 5th, 2023
Establishing the proper relationships, are always an important asset for any business to profit. This is increasingly so for affiliates, who markets other company’s products and services, this by creating an alliance with the various merchant partners.
Online merchants at times can become totally reliant, on the online marketer to increase their revenue, which can often funnel through an affiliate network that they use.
For marketers, fortunately, there’s plenty of affiliate networks that they can connect with, where they’re guaranteed to find a variety of available product or services in any niche or industry.
These affiliate networks, will help the merchants and marketers establish and manage these congenial partnerships. But that doesn’t necessarily mean, it’s always the best solution for the marketer or the merchant.
At times, merchants would rather prefer to sell their wares independently, by directly establishing partnerships with online marketers and bloggers on their own.
Doing so, has proven beneficial and profitable for both parties.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages of using affiliate networks, as there are merchants working directly with marketers:
The Advantages Of Using An Affiliate Network
• Locating the proper business partner, can often be time consuming, and the reason why affiliate networks are used. What these networks will do, is help establish bonds between the merchant and the marketer. They also assist in managing the commission structure, as well as direct the flow of sales and payment for both parties.
• Using an affiliate network is an accepted method, as it allows marketers and blog publishers to manage and use a variety of different merchants. There’s also one dashboard interface that’s used for all the merchants, this to keep the data such as the statistics, sales and commissions concise and organized.
• The affiliate networks, also maintains up to date bookkeeping records, such as a particular marketers performance, which allows the merchant to evaluate their efforts in real-time, while also evaluating their partnership. It’s like an affiliate report card, that updates itself by the minute.
The Disadvantages Of Using Affiliate Networks
• What the merchant gains in manageability, they lose in direct personalization with the marketer. This may be suitable for a marketer, who works with a variety of different merchants, but it can at times hurt their potential earnings, when it comes to larger income opportunities.
• What bypassing the affiliate network and dealing directly with the merchant does, is allows the marketer to create a more customized personal relationship with the merchant, while outlining the objectives and the expectations of both parties.
• Dealing directly with the merchant, allows the marketer to potentially negotiate higher commissions based on performance, as well as structuring the commission base for reaching certain thresholds.
• By cutting out the affiliate network, who operates as a middleman, both the merchant and the marketer can make changes a lot quicker, with less hassle.
Communication Is The Key For Affiliates And The Merchants
Any affiliate marketer who’s successful, will tell you that communication with the merchant is paramount.
Like any other business relationship, the more personal and tight that the bond is when it comes to correspondence, the better off both parties will be.
Affiliate marketers directly establishing a business partnership with a merchant, can improve greatly with better understanding of what both parties need.
This allows them to be more open and clear with each other, regarding the direction of the relationship.
Ultimately, what matters most is the flow of revenue.
What affiliate networks does is offers a valuable service, as they do most of the legwork for both the merchant and the marketer, as they juggle arrangements for both, but they also receive a small cut in commission.
Affiliate Networks Are The Middlemen
These affiliate networks operate as the classic ‘middle-man,’ when it comes to the online marketing world.
What they take is a small percentage of the sales, for the service that they provide.
What can result, is that the rate of commission that the merchants pay out can become inflated, while the online marketer needs to accept that they’ll be losing a percentage of their earnings, which goes to the affiliate network.
What forming a direct partnership with the merchant does, is that the commission earnings will transfer directly from the merchant to the marketer.
When working with an affiliate network, both sides needs to adjust their earnings, to include the cost of using the affiliate network.
Affiliate Marketers Going Direct With Merchants
If you’re a successful “super” affiliate marketer, who may be looking to bypass the affiliate network altogether, and go direct with the merchant.
Usually, it’s a much easier process than going through a middleman.
The first thing you need, is to find merchants who you think would be a suitable partner, for what your blog represents.
Once you find one, who’s product or service aligns with your particular niche, you can then approach them directly.
If you don’t have a specific merchant in mind, you can always search for one, on the various online affiliate program directories.
These sites, will list a variety of online merchants and their products, who already offers an affiliate program.
They’re usually sorted into their respective categories for easier selection, breaking it down for the marketer to browse their target industry niche, and then choose the exact programs that meets their criteria.
Contacting The Merchants Directly
Once you’ve targeted potential merchants, you can then just contact them directly.
The majority of them, those who already has an established affiliate program in-house, understands the process.
They will usually have an online application form where you can apply directly.
If a merchant doesn’t have an application form online, then they most likely want you to contact them directly by email or by telephone, to discuss your interests and intentions. So it’s similar to a job interview.
Then it just becomes a matter of waiting for them to accept you or not.
It’s recommended, that you be direct and honest with what you can offer, and how much they can expect to earn, while giving them the reasons why and how.
Always compromise, when initially negotiating a suitable commission structure, that will work best for both of you.
Know that based on your performance, the merchant will usually bump up the commission rate if you’re making money for them, once you ask them to.