Mobile Affiliate Marketing   24 comments

Mobile affiliate marketing helps the buyer find the brand or seller and helps the affiliate and brand or seller earn money.

Affiliate marketing is a unique form of marketing in which other companies agree to help you sell your product or drive traffic to your website, in return for a portion of the profits from each sale they send. Commissions can be paid based on clicks, sales, or leads or acquisitions. In some cases, affiliates are referred to as “partners” because they are acting in the best interest of both parties. If you are on a website and are interested to see if they have an affiliate marketing program, links to the programs are usually included in the footer at the bottom of the site.

All the traditional affiliate programs should work on true Webbrowsing phones that are capable of passing cookies, but since not all mobile phones are capable of passing cookies, it can be a risky proposition. If you believe that you may be passing a lot of affiliate traffic from visitors on mobile phones, it might be a good idea to set up an alternate form of tracking, such as passing a variable in the URL, to ensure that you are getting full credit for all of the mobile traffic. No major mobile-only retail affiliate programs have been developed or aggressively marketed yet but this will no doubt change as mobile tracking improves.

The most likely avenue for more mainstream affiliate marketing will be as a part of a mobile comparison-shopping or product engine such as Amazon or eBay.

In some cases, it might make sense for your company to start its own mobile affiliate program. An affiliate program is a good way to fill in the gaps in your existing marketing strategy and can be a boon for many companies. A mobile affiliate program creates the potential for an army of marketers working to promote your products, who are paid only when they successfully pass traffic or sales to your site (much like being paid on a 100% commission basis). The commissions you pay your affiliates will never cost as much as it might cost to hire employees to do the job that your affiliates have done for you.

An affiliate network can also help drive natural search traffic because it ensures that your competitors’ websites are pushed lower in the search results by your affiliate websites that rank for your key terms and point back to your site for the final sale. The one thing you have to be careful about here is to make sure your affiliates are not doing a better job of ranking for top key terms than you are. If they are, you will be paying out more commission than necessary. Similarly, if you are bidding on brand-related terms in PPC, it might be a good idea to create a list of keywords that your affiliates are not allowed to bid on, because the increased competition will only make all the PPC clicks more expensive.

The most important element of creating a successful mobile affiliate program to promote mobile content is ensuring that tracking codes are set up properly so that each affiliate gets credit for all the sales and traffic it produces. Affiliate sales are generally tracked though unique affiliate codes that are created for each affiliate and passed in the URL as a parameter rather than in a cookie, because some mobile browsers have trouble with cookies. In some cases (this is becoming much more rare), mobile browsers have trouble passing parameters, so the tracking is lost, but this is generally a more mobile friendly method of tracking than using JavaScript or cookies.

The next problem is that some phones are better equipped for mobile e-commerce  than others. If your affiliate program is paying out for click-throughs, but visitors are having trouble completing a transaction when they are on your website, the cost of the click-throughs will start to add up.When this happens, the return on investment (ROI) will be low or negative because no sales are being made.

The same is true of acquisition sites that are seeking only to collect email addresses or phone numbers so that people can be marketed to later (that is, the affiliate isn’t selling a product or service, per se; the affiliate is simply collecting information for your company to use later for marketing purposes). If people have problems filling out the form on their mobile phones, the acquisition and the commission are both lost. If these two hurdles are affecting your mobile affiliate program, consider paying only for effective and complete conversions and don’t include click-throughs as a commissioned conversion.

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24 responses to “Mobile Affiliate Marketing

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  20. Dear Anoop George Joseph,
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    The trick to affiliate marketing is to get huge amounts of traffic to come to your site.
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