Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.
The pay-per-sale and pay-per-click structures should be pretty obvious. Under a pay-per-lead arrangement, affiliates can get paid even if the merchant doesn’t generate any revenue. In most cases, this would involve earning a commission when a referral starts a free trial to a service. Even if they never pay for that service after the trial expires, the commission is earned.
Excellent post David. The key phrase you mentioned in my opinion is “cost neutral”. Many times marketing is performed in organizations without discernible or measurable metrics in the name of ‘creating or influencing brand awareness’. So to your points I believe that marketing (and any other position in the organization) can be held accountable to outcomes if a discipline is applied to how what they do influences what is produced in profitability. If you can’t measure what you are managing, and how that contributes to the bottom line, whether it be marketing or anything else you’ve got a cost – pure and simple.
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4. Sales incentives. Structure your commission rates so that you have additional margin to offer sales incentives. For example, perhaps you are launching a new product line and you want affiliates to focus their marketing efforts on it. If you have room in your commission structure, you can offer a temporary increase — or perhaps sales bonuses — for hitting established revenue targets. I addressed sales incentives here previously, in “Affiliate Marketing: 3 Incentives to Drive Sales.”
StackPath – CDN with 31 additional data centers (Cloudflare has 150+ data centers, but more data centers = faster content delivery). I get around $1,000/month by referring people to StackPath in my cache plugin tutorials. StackPath recently bought MaxCDN and their affiliate acceptance rate is much lower (depends on your potential volume) but most cache plugins converted to StackPath as their recommended CDN

In all our jobs, whether sales, marketing, or whatever, there are lots of things that are outside our control. That doesn’t take away from our accountability to achieve results, and sometimes we just have to suck it up. I really do think marketing should be accountable for sales/revenue. Maybe the specific metrics might be different. Where a sales person might be accountable for revenue from a territory, a marketing person might be accountable for a product line, for overall revenue, for a market segment, or something else.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]
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