How Affiliate Marketing Works

Want to get more eyeballs on your products? Affiliate marketing is a great way to increase your reach, build brand trust, and boost your organic reach.

Word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective marketing channels, and tapping into the audience of an already-trusted influencer can be a great way to generate sales. 

Using platforms that have a presence in your sector — like blogs, content sites, and industry influencers — helps spread the word quickly while transferring trust that’s already been built to your brand.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate partners get a commission when they bring you a new customer. 

It’s a win-win situation: you get a new customer, and your affiliate gets a reward. For stores just starting up, affiliate marketing campaigns are a great way to pay for results, not ad impressions that didn’t convert.

You can use an affiliate program to create a unique link for each affiliate which they can then share with their followers. There are dedicated platforms to manage your affiliate program, such as Green Affiliate Programs.

Plenty of inspiring brands use affiliate marketing to boost awareness, generate sales, and nurture a loyal community around their products. Take YES AND and Eartheasy, for example, which each have an entire page dedicated to encouraging and empowering affiliates. Eartheasy even asks potential affiliates to apply to their program so they can choose the most aligned candidates.  

If you create an information page around your affiliate program, be sure to link it in your site footer at the very least, so potential affiliates can find it easily. 

Most importantly, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. There are plenty of directories that can link you up with relevant affiliates, like Reclaim Collaborative and Green Affiliate Programs

Why Affiliate Marketing is Key (Especially in 2023) 

There are some great stats that prove how effective affiliate marketing can be for ecommerce brands. 

According to Business Insider, affiliate marketing is responsible for an average of 15% of digital marketing revenue. And as reported by Conversant, affiliate referrals lead to purchases that have a 21% higher average order value. Customers acquired via affiliates generate an average of 58% more revenue than non-referred customers. 

Affiliate marketing is more important than ever in 2021 as an increasing number of people shift to online shopping and turn to peers and influencers to help them seek out new brands. 

How Affiliate Marketing Grows Organic Reach 

While backlinks certainly aren’t the most glamorous tactic in the world, they help your store ranking on search engines

The more backlinks you have from quality sites, the higher your store will rank.

Affiliates will be motivated to share and create content about your store in order to make sales, which means they’re likely to link to you in blog posts, include you in their email marketing campaigns, and mention your brand through other evergreen content marketing efforts. 

There are also Ethical Brand Directories you can tap into. Many are run by sustainable fashion influencer blogs and podcasts and are powered by affiliate links. 

2. It Expands Your Existing Loyal Customer Base

People listen to their peers more than brands, and they’re more likely to trust a recommendation from someone they know.

Customers and influencers that take you up on your affiliate offer are likely to be your most loyal customers. In turn, they will help you reach like-minded customers and essentially replicate and multiply your ideal shopper. 

3. It Leverages Social Proof

The more you see the name of a brand mentioned, the more likely you are to check it out. 

And, the more people that are talking about your brand, the more chance it has to get seen by others. 

While affiliates are likely to post reviews about your products to generate sales and increase calls to action (95% of consumers read online reviews and 60% of shoppers are directly influenced by online recommendations), they’re also more likely to mention your brand on social media platforms.

As a result, you’ll reach a wider circle on social media. 

Where to Find Affiliate Program Tools 

Look for popular affiliates marketing tools, such as:

Prices for each platform vary, but they often charge a setup fee and then a network transaction fee. 

You can also search Shopify apps for affiliate programs for additional options, as well as run your own program in-house. 

Create a Snowball Effect

Affiliate marketing creates a snowball effect. Each affiliate can reach potentially hundreds (or thousands) of shoppers. 

Bringing loyal customers and influencers on board will help generate more published content around your brand, increase brand awareness and mentions, and reach a wider audience.

Meet GoodCarts, Affiliate Marketing’s Free Cousin

While you are at it, check out GoodCarts. While our cross-promotional service is commission-free for purpose-driven online stores, we use innovative affiliate-style technology to track the results of your discount offers. You can even A/B test creative for free. And as GoodCarts explores media and other partnerships, we plan to offer result-based bonus traffic options with affiliate-style visibility built right in! 

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