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CCT356: Online Advertising and Marketing. Class 4: Affiliate Marketing. Admin. Online ad campaign critiques due two weeks from now – questions? Annotated bibliography coming along well – post to page please. Affiliate Marketing.

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Cct356 online advertising and marketing

CCT356: Online Advertising and Marketing

Class 4: Affiliate Marketing


  • Online ad campaign critiques due two weeks from now – questions?

  • Annotated bibliography coming along well – post to page please

Affiliate marketing
Affiliate Marketing

  • Well before social networking technologies, the power of leveraging contacts was understood and leveraged

  • WOM monetized – on completion of referral (actual purchase) referee would receive a small payment

The internet is for porn
The Internet is for porn

  • As with much onlinemarketing, the adultindustry was at the fore of early innovation

  • Other examples?

Early affiliate programs
Early affiliate programs

  • Amazon Affiliate program – allows individual users to set up their own “mini-stores” on their sites/blogs

  • Multiple points of presence, all centrally serviced – drives content

  • Good for small/independent publishers – challenges for such groups?

Types of reward
Types of Reward

  • Cost per acquisition

  • Cost per lead

  • Revenue sharing

  • Cost per click

  • All possible, depends what you’re trying to do


  • As with online ad models, acquisition can be anything – but it is a positive action (e.g., downloading a paper, signing up to a mail list, buying a product)


  • Sometimes, potential leads are enough

  • Benefit to affiliates?

  • Benefit to merchants?

  • Example: HR recruiting

Revenue sharing
Revenue Sharing

  • Benefits both merchant and affiliate

  • Can be tiered to encourage and reward affiliates who drive revenue – e.g., Amazon tiered rates example


  • Simple clickthrough awarded

  • Used early when infrastructure was less sophisticated – used less used due to click fraud

  • Could still drive a lot of traffic and awareness, but if clicks are garbage, more traffic is a net loss

  • Still handy though – e.g., blog traffic networks


  • Tracking URLs with specific start and end points

  • URLs carry information – affiliation network, ID of affiliate and merchant, other relevant information to a given campaign

  • Supported by cookies to track behavior for given period of time determined by merchant

  • Allows for tracking of success by merchant and affiliate alike


  • Case: affiliate clickthrough leads to exposure, but conversation happens after cookie timeout or through other means

  • Cookie reputation – blocked or deleted cookies = no tracking = no commission

  • Offline purchasing = no easy way to track

  • Mobile devices = different levels of cookie support

Affiliate marketing concerns
Affiliate Marketing Concerns

  • Good affiliate marketing = supplying merchant ads that are relevant to topic and focus of site

  • Bad affiliate marketing = accepting any old ad, creating a cacophony of advertising and no consistency

  • Issues of competition – as an affiliate, you probably don’t want to host ads to competitive sites

  • Issues of stickiness – if affiliate program makes viewer leave your site, not effective

Affiliate networks
Affiliate networks

  • Amazon, Google etc have the resources to run their own affairs

  • Smaller companies use affiliate networks – middlemen who collect potential merchants and affiliates and try to make good matches

Setup considerations
Setup considerations

  • Clear identity of business identity, goals, market

  • Clear identification of affiliate campaign goals – leads, acquisitions, simple exposure?

  • Run your own program or join network? If latter, what are costs associated, benefits?

  • Prepare data for feeding to affiliates – and provide copy/banners for use (e.g., download Firefox banners – designed by Firefox for consistent look/feel, ease of use)

A note on mlm
A note on MLM

  • Multi-level marketing – a form of affiliate networking, but a problematic one

  • How it works – levels and trickle-up effect of commissions

  • Why are they problematic?

Next week
Next week

  • Search Engine Optimization – Search Engine Marketing