Establishing the proper relationships are always an important component of any business environment. This is increasingly important for affiliates who market other company’s products and services, creating an alliance with their merchant partners.
Online merchants at times become totally reliant on the advertisers to increase their revenue, which funnels directly through the affiliate networks that they use. For these affiliates, fortunately, there’s plenty of online networks which they’re able to connect with, as there are a variety of merchants in practically any niche or industry.
These networks also helps them establishing and then manage these usually congenial partnerships. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always the best solution for the affiliate or the merchant.
At times, merchants would rather prefer to market their wares themselves by directly establishing partnerships with the online marketers on their own. This method has also proven beneficial and profitable for both parties.
So discussed are the advantages and disadvantages of using an affiliate network, or working directly with the merchant:
The Advantages Of Using Affiliate Networks
• Locating the proper business partner can be time consuming, which is the reason why affiliate networks are used. These networks helps in establishing bonds between merchants and affiliates. They will also assist in managing the commission structure and the flow of payment for both parties.
• Using the various affiliate networks is an accepted method, as it allows online marketers and publishers to be able to manage and use a variety of different merchants using one single dashboard or interface, keeping everything organized and concise. They also maintain essential bookkeeping records such as the particular affiliate’s performance, so that the merchants will be able to evaluate real data and evaluate their partnership. It’s like an affiliate report card which updates itself in real time.
The Disadvantages Of Using Affiliate Networks
• What the publishers gain in manageability however, they lose in direct personalization. This may be suitable for affiliates who work with 100’s of different merchants, but it may also be potentially hurting their earning potential when it comes to larger income opportunities.
• Bypassing the affiliate network allows the online marketer to be able to create a customized and a more personal relationship with the merchant which can outline the objectives as well as the expectations of both parties.
• It can also help the publishers to negotiate higher commissions for performance, and structure commission increases for reaching thresholds. By cutting the affiliate network out, both parties can make changes a lot quicker with less hassle.
For Online Marketer And Merchants Communication Is The Key
Any affiliate marketer who’s successful will tell you that communication with the merchant is the key. And in like any other business relationship, the more personal and tight that the bond is when it comes to correspondence, the better off both parties are.
Directly establishing a business partnership for affiliates with a merchant can improve greatly with better understanding of what both parties need. This allows them to be able to be more open as well as more clear regarding the direction of the relationship.
Ultimately, what matters the most is the flow of revenue. These affiliate networks offer a valuable service as they do all the legwork for both parties, as they juggle arrangements for both.
Affiliate Networks The Middlemen
These networks are the “middle-men” of the online marketing world, as they will take a “cut” for the service that they provide. What this means is that the rates which the merchant pays out may feel inflated, while the online marketer needs to accept that they’ll be losing a percentage of their earnings which goes to the affiliate network.
Forming a direct partnership means that the commission earnings will transfer directly from the merchant to the affiliate, and neither side needs to adjust their earnings to include the cost of using the affiliate network.
Affiliate Marketers Wanting To Go Direct With Merchants
If you’re a successful affiliate marketer who may be looking to bypass the affiliate network, then going direct to merchant is a possibility. To some, it’s an easier process than going through the affiliate network.
The first thing you need to do is find merchants which you think would be a suitable partner for what your website represents. Once you find a merchant who’s product or service falls in line with your particular niche, and you’d like to promote their product or service.
If you don’t have a specific merchant in mind, you can search for them on the various online affiliate program directories. These sites will list a variety of merchants who already offer affiliate programs.
They will be divided into their respective categories for easier selection, making it easy for you to browse your target industry niche and then finding the exact programs which meets your criteria.
Contacting The Merchants Directly
Once you’ve targeted potential merchants, just contact them directly. The majority of these merchants with established affiliate programs understand the process.
They will usually have an “affiliate link,” inviting you to apply. If a merchant doesn’t have a link, but they have an affiliate program, just contact them online or by telephone and then indicate your interest and intentions.
Then it just becomes a matter of waiting for their response to work out an agreement. It’s recommended that you be direct on what you can offer, and how much you expect to earn, and giving them the reasons why.
Always compromise to work out the best suitable commission structure which will work best for both parties.