The Best Guide To Affiliate Marketing Model That Work in 2021

The affiliate industry has been incomplete and badly understood for most of its history, but it shouldn't be. From our perspective, the more you know and understand this dynamic marketing model, the sooner you realize how incredible it is.

The Best Guide To Affiliate Marketing Model That Work in 2021

Affiliate Marketing

Before delving into the details, it is important to note that affiliate marketing is not a “channel” like SEO or email, nor is it considered paid marketing.

Those of us who have been working in this space on a day-to-day basis, and have been doing so since the early days of affiliate marketing, can disproportionately argue that this is much more than just a marketing strategy.

What we know is true (which is based on first-hand experience), affiliate marketing is a framework through which all marketing channels can and should flow, especially if each channel is used to account for its value and track your performance. Are there any concerns about

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we must simplify the complex, which sets the goal of this e-book.

To accomplish this, we’ll look at the affiliate marketing landscape, the actors they are, how they coordinate with each other, and some creative ways that companies, across many different verticals, take advantage of this model.

The affiliate industry has been incomplete and badly understood for most of its history, but it shouldn’t be. From our perspective, the more you know and understand this dynamic marketing model, the sooner you realize how incredible it is.

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The Affiliate Marketing Model

In short, affiliate marketing is a way of paying partners. It is a framework that rewards
Partners (referred to as industry-related companies, publishers, and influencers) who drive
Quality leads and sales of the brands they work for Word of mouth or referral marketing, like any other influencer, is affiliate marketing.

About a person or organization that shares information about a product or service and why
Find the value in it. An important difference is that, in the affiliate model, companies only make their payments Partners, after achieving the desired results.

If they choose to compensate only the partners that the paying customers bring The point is to reward your business or even those who provide qualified leads Any business can benefit from a system that is distributed by partners after paying them Desired Results.

Therefore, it is not whether a business can benefit from affiliate marketing. it’s a matter of
How can they use it that provides the most value to their business and your brand?

The Affiliate Marketing Players


• Customers
• Affiliates (publishers)
• Affiliate Networks/ Technology Platforms
• Merchants (advertisers, retailers, brands)
• Affiliate Management Agencies


Customers are, of course, people who buy goods and services from retailers. These are typically online shoppers looking for product reviews, price comparisons, product recommendations, or just browsing.

Associate partners (publishers)

Affiliates come in all shapes and sizes. They are usually Audiences through content, SEO, email, and social media activities. They can be bloggers, active social media posters, specialty content sites, personal website owners, product review websites, shopping sites, app-to-app marketing platforms, or loyalty, coupon, and rewards websites.


Affiliate networks and SaaS platforms act as intermediaries in the affiliate marketing space. Networks typically handle all tracking, reporting, and payments for affiliates/publishers and can provide full-service management or self-service management of a program. The network also provides an affiliate network for businesses.

Affiliates apply to networks and then have access to hundreds, even thousands, of affiliate programs. SaaS platforms also offer companies with performance tracking, reporting, and payments; however, they do not run affiliate programs or provide businesses with access to an affiliate network.

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Affiliate Program 

The role of these individuals or companies is to oversee and manage the daily operations of a program. They work directly with affiliates and with a SaaS network or platform that meets the program’s technical needs.

Merchants (advertisers)

These companies sell a product or service. Industries include financial services, travel, retail, telecommunications, broadband, gaming, and more

Performance-Based Partnership Opportunity

The term “affiliate” actually applies to many different types of partners, including individuals, businesses, and individual organizations. Through the affiliate model, companies can manage these partnerships extensively and only then compensate their partners.

It has produced an agreed result (e.g., a sales drive, generating a high-value lead, etc.). This performance-based approach to payment partners is something that makes the affiliate model unique.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the different types of partners within the affiliate model and what they do.

Content partners agencies 

Content affiliation typically uses blogs as its platform to write about a brand’s products and services, as well as social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.

High-value content partners are influential and have a large number of readers and social followers. Examples include “mom” blogs and product review sites.

Loyalty and rewards partner

Members of loyalty and rewards once build an audience base by offering rewards or loyalty incentives, such as earning cash or money for college. Examples include eBates and Upromise.

Coupon partner

Coupon affiliates are large companies that usually try to cover all available offers and offer them as digital coupons. Examples include RetailMeNot and

Deal partner

Deal-related people tend to focus on one-day deals or short-term deals (eg just two days). These partners have long been associated with social media to promote their offerings. Many people associate coupons and treat associates, but in reality, they act differently and need to be managed differently. The elegant deal is an example of a negotiating partner.

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Sub Affiliates Networks 

Digital Marketing Experts Need to Embrace

Sub-affiliate networks provide services to bloggers and website owners that make it easy for them to monetize their blog/website. A network of sub-affiliates registers as an affiliate with a brand and connects hundreds (even thousands) of bloggers.

Sub-affiliate networks receive paid commissions, without promoting that brand and registering as an affiliate. When sub-affiliate networks are born, they distribute the payment, after taking a percentage of the commission.

Sub-affiliates within your network that drives sales. Partnering with sub-affiliate networks can help brands promote their products and services to bloggers in general. Examples include BrandCycle, Skimlinks, and Reward.


Yes. Even Institutions can be involved. So teachers, school staff, and parents all raise funds for the school For simplicity, we will use a Institution as an example. A Institution will register as an affiliate in a merchant’s affiliate program. The Institution will promote the merchant’s products and services through social media, email, and even the Institution website.

They will also clearly communicate that a percentage of sales will go directly to the school when purchasing the merchant’s products through the Institution’s affiliate tracking link.

In this type of fundraising, parents, friends, and family feel good about shopping through the merchant, knowing that some money will go back to Institution to help enhance children’s learning experience. And merchants reach their target audience directly, increase sales, and increase brand awareness.

Business Development Partnership

In short, a business development partnership is precisely like a partnership between a brand and an affiliate. The main difference is how the partner’s performance is monitored and compensated.

In the traditional business development model, a business development team is possible for large and attractive partners. Once the partnership is agreed, the business development team, or your company, will offer the partner a UTM code, coupon code, or some combination of the two for follow-up.

They use spreadsheets for reporting, paper documents for billing, and cut physical checks for payments when a partner helped sell or run their business. In other words, the company pays its partner for its result. The prediction with this prevailing model is that each step of the process is very manual and time-consuming; It is also not scalable.

Thus, business development teams should ignore small and medium deals because they do not have the time or resources to focus on anything other than the “big” values.

Fortunately, businesses are beginning to realize that not only are business development associations and affiliate-type organizations similar, but the affiliate model is an incredible opportunity to scale your process of running your business Provides easy things.

Great society, What’s more, they are beginning to understand that taking advantage of the affiliate model will mean that they will no longer miss offering small and medium-sized businesses.

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Case Study


Personalized photo card and stationery company Tiny Prints contacted hundreds of freelance photographers interested in making holiday cards for their clients. Manually handling all these requests was impossible for Tiny Print.

They may select ten or twenty large, established photographers, but that would mean eliminating hundreds of other potentially attractive partners.

By leveraging the affiliate model, Tiny Prints was able to turn those few hundred photographers into more than 2,000 partners and use a scalable process that allowed those partners to blend into the brand:

  • Custom tracking links and a co-branded landing page that will be used to target your photography client.
  • A direct deposit payment of the card sold through a personalized tracking link.
  • Content and support to help photographers effectively promote Tiny Prints products to their photography customers.

Through technology platforms used by affiliate models, tracking, reporting, billing, and payment became an efficient, automated, profitable, and scalable process for their partners.

No old code This is not a spreadsheet. There is no physical check for not cutting the invoice. And do not miss profitable and productive partnership opportunities for lack of time or resources.

Referal Program Partnerships 

Many companies offer promotions that reward existing customers when they refer to the company’s products and services to others. While a referral program has many similar characteristics to an affiliate program, the economics are different.

In the referral program model, when a customer refers to a business friend or family member and purchases something, the original customer is rewarded with discounts, credits, or free products

In the affiliate model, the affiliate is rewarded with a commission based on a percentage of sales for most; the affiliate model is more attractive because partners receive financial benefits Compensated.

This reference model, customers lose interest in recommending more people to the company as they receive many free products, credits, and discounts with limited usage.

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Influencer Network Partners

Influencer networks connect influencers (influential bloggers, celebrities, YouTube stars, etc.) and connect them to brands. One challenge with their model is that it typically includes a tracking platform that tracks clicks, orders, or sales, making it nearly impossible to prove that the affected person’s effort effectively drives sales.

Many brands have spent tens, hundreds, thousands of dollars on those involved and had no idea of their ROI.

Eagerness to pay for influential networks has left a large flat fee to reach your influencers. Fortunately, the affiliate model provides a symbiotic solution. By partnering with companies through affiliate models, affected networks can:

  • Add more value to advertisers.
  • Monitoring and measurement of affected efforts
  • Make sure those affected follow the FTC’s Disclosure Compliance Guidelines.
  • Better protect your customers’ brand.
  • Ensure influencers tag your links in their HTML code as “no follow”, so that advertiser SEO and affiliate links are not damaged.
  • Generate more incremental sales for your customers

Affiliate Networks And SaaS Platforms

Marketing Model That Work in 2021

Technology is an essential component of an affiliate program. In the affiliate model, it is a technology that allows companies to track and measure their programs’ performance and pay their partners appropriately. This technology is provided through software in a partner network or a service platform (SaaS).

We divide affiliate networks into two types: full service and independent.
Both operate as independent full-service affiliate networks.

Intermediary between affiliates and merchants these networks are configured to handle the tracking and reporting of affiliate activities and automatically pay affiliate commissions based on the merchant’s rules.

Many network merchant programs also host creative (banners, links, etc.) and promote the merchant programs to a large group of affiliates who are members of that network.

For their services, affiliate networks primarily charge their clients a performance fee. Usually, a percentage of the program’s revenue (e.g. 1-2%) or a commission paid to affiliates (e.g. 30%).

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Full-Service Affiliate Networks 

One of the main differences between full-service affiliate networks and independent affiliate networks is that full-service affiliate networks provide affiliate program management. The full-service affiliate network includes:

Independent Affiliate Networks 

Independent affiliate networks do not offer affiliate program management. Instead, they focus more on managing accounts for their customers. As such, separate affiliate networks are a lower cost option than full-service networks. Separate affiliate networks include:

SAAS Platforms

SaaS platforms operate solely as a tracking solution. Instead of charging primarily on merchant performance fees, some SaaS platforms offer various fee models, including fixed, volume / transaction-based, and performance fees. this in turn
The platforms provide quality, white label affiliate network technology for retailers to manage “direct” affiliate relationships. SaaS platforms also can create customized technology solutions for their customers. SaaS platforms include:

Right network for affiliate program

Choosing the “right” network for an affiliate program depends on many factors, so a careful evaluation is necessary to determine if it will meet your needs.

When a network plays a vital role in connecting your program with affiliates, merely relying on the network is not enough.

To develop your affiliate program for the long term, you need a robust publisher/partner development process to properly evaluate each partner and make sure they are your program’s right partner.

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Affiliate Program Manegers

Corporate Culture

Several different factors manage an affiliate program, including:

  • Select the affiliate network or technology platform that suits the requirements of a program
  • Recruit, select and approve brand-aligned partners in the program.
  • Manage those partners
  • Monitoring and prevention of fraud within the program
  • Create and run promotions for partners to promote
  • Daily transaction control
  • Monitoring and managing merchant product data feeds
  • Program inquiry response
  • Per click activity monitoring
  • Create and distribute a newsletter for promotional and event updates sharing partners.
  • Get monthly, year-on-year program performance reports, etc.
  • Optimization to improve conversion and overall activity
  • And many more.

Because the day-to-day running of an affiliate program is very complicated and time-consuming, many businesses, mostly $ 5 million or more in online revenue, partner with an independent third-party agency that conducts affiliate/display marketing is. Specializes in program management.

These companies often have a dedicated person to oversee high-level program strategy, performance, and budgeting. If that person has the experience, resources, and capabilities, they can host all aspects of your company’s affiliate program.

However, an in-house affiliate manager usually lacks the time and experience to handle the day-to-day complexities of a program effectively to hire an agency to take on that role Can be specified.

Global Affiliate Program Management

Today, most retailers view the globalization of their activities and the coordination of their marketing efforts as a necessity.

As brands examine the best ways to go global, they realize that different networks, platforms, and agencies have strengths in other markets. Today, none offers comprehensive global coverage that can be considered the best-in-class in all the needs in which it operates.

For example, a retailer operating in the US wants to expand to London or Japan. Your network can happily start a program for them in these new markets, but you cannot explain that your market position in those countries is very different from that of the United States. Sellers are interested in promoting their services, while merchants are interested in developing a global strategy.

Want justice This is why working with an experienced agency as a point of contact to manage various actors on the ground can help simplifies and speed up the globalization process. These agencies should be able to provide independent representation, support.

Equipment, technology, staff flexibility, and rapid global coverage These agencies should also specialize in various networks and platforms and understand how good it is to leverage those capabilities.

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Performance Partnerships

The performance collaboration framework brings all these various stakeholders together in a scalable, profitable, and productive way.
In summary, there are four distinct characteristics of participation in performance:

  1. A CPA element. Members bring a particular behavior to the table; once that behavior is distributed and tracked, the payment happens in real-time. In Performance Partnership, brands pay only when there is a clear relationship between results and performance.
  2. Transparency. In Performance Sharing, there is transparency,
    Understand what your partners are doing and how they are doing it, and how easily they are doing it to promote and represent your business.
  3. A real relationship. Performance Partnership is built on quality relationships. Companies not only know what their partners are doing to promote their brand, but they also trust what they do. There is clear communication, trust, and respect. As such, there is no real difference in a company’s behavior about “business development” and its relationships. They are all partners.
  4. A platform for monitoring and paying in real-time. Performance associations use real-time tracking platforms to manage transactions, tracking, and payments. These forums also provide transparent reports in real-time to both parties. For some, this may mean adopting traditional affiliate networking solutions. For others, it can be a confusing software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. Rather than keeping honest relationships separate from your affiliate programs, they are all (ideally) managed in one place.


Affiliate marketing can be an attractive way to build profitable relationships with brands and other companies that you accept in your industry. From these companies, you can get valuable information on affiliate business models and learn new strategies to expand your business.

Feel free to use the information in this article to see how this process works and which parties you will have to contact to test this attractive marketing channel. We are sure that once you understand all the growing parts of affiliate marketing, you should realize that when it comes to making money through this approach.



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