How To Make Affiliate Links: Benefits and Examples

How To Make Affiliate Links: Benefits and Examples

Have you ever considered how shopping habits have changed over the past few years? Today's consumer expects to see product links when perusing webpages, blogs, or social media posts. Customers increasingly use these affiliate links, also known as referral links, to make purchases—mainly when they originate from reputable businesses, producers, and brands.

How To Make Affiliate Links: Benefits and Examples (2023)

By 2024, the affiliate marketing sector is expected to grow to $15.7 billion. This is how using affiliate links in your marketing can genuinely pay off. Discover how to make affiliate links, why using them for your brand is beneficial, and see examples of links in the real world.

What is an affiliate link?

An affiliate link is a URL with a unique ID that enables brands to track traffic and conversions and pay marketing partners a commission.

Upon enrollment in the brand's affiliate marketing program, a unique link to the brand's website or product pages is sent to an affiliate partner, the website owner, the content creator, or the influencer posting the link. These links have the affiliate partner's particular ID embedded so conversions can be tracked.

The brand can track the source of traffic when a potential customer clicks on the link because it is attributed to the affiliate. The brand will pay the affiliate marketer a commission on purchases made by customers who click on one of the affiliate links.

Examples of affiliate links

Using the affiliate products she advocates, content creator and affiliate marketer @nailsbyalsn produces content. In the caption, she invites her fans to use her unique coupon code to make purchases from Le Mini Macaron.

Followers of Alison can access a plethora of affiliate links by clicking on her link in the bio when they visit her profile.

The Le Mini Macron link opens the official website for the brand.

After clicking, you can see that the link uses UTM parameters to track information in the browser bar. This is how Alison's affiliate link for Le Mini Macaron appears:

The details indicate the affiliate has a unique code (dt_id=526842) and was sourced using Shopify Collabs (utm_campaign=shopifycollabs).

What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate partners receive a commission for using affiliate links to promote a business's (usually a retailer's) goods or services. Affiliate marketing is a type of referral marketing.

The company pays the affiliate partner to achieve particular outcomes, such as clicks and conversions (e.g., when website visitors sign up for a newsletter or become paying customers), numerous platforms, such as podcasts, blogs, email marketing, and TikTok video content, can be used for affiliate marketing.

What is an example of affiliate marketing?
Although affiliate marketing can take many forms, it usually involves a collaboration between a creator and a brand monitored through special links to promo codes.

Influencer Valerie Sanders on TikTok provides an example where her bio links to the Haverdash clothing rental brand. Valerie is credited with the sale if potential customers use that tracked affiliate link. After that, Valerie would take a predetermined commission, typically a portion of the item's or order's sale price.

The tracked affiliate link looks like this and includes a unique code to identify Valerie for attribution:

And to push her followers toward the affiliate link, Valerie promotes the brand in video content like this: 

In another example, the affiliate marketer and Instagram user @weimaraner_blue_est2020 uses a unique promo code to promote a product. This is an alternative to using an affiliate link.

6 benefits of using affiliate links

  • Increased authenticity
  • Projected growth of affiliate marketing
  • Added accountability
  • Opportunity for relationship-building
  • Ease of use and efficiency
  • SEO improvements

Affiliate marketing is a strategic and organic approach for brands to grow their clientele. Using affiliate links could help your brand in the following ways:

1. Improved Authenticity
Because your customers are probably clicking on affiliate links through websites or other reliable sources, affiliate marketing can seem genuine to them. Because there is already a mutual relationship between the affiliate partner and the customer, affiliate marketing usually shortens the time it takes to develop customer loyalty.

2. Projected Growth of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate sales figures are anticipated to continue to rise, which is suitable for brands. Between 2017 and 2022, US affiliate marketing spending climbed to $5.4 billion and $8.2 billion, respectively. According to a 2021 Awin survey, more than 30% of consumers regularly made purchases from new brands in 2020, thanks to affiliate links. Meanwhile, a study found that over 80% of major US businesses promoted their products through affiliate marketing.

3. Added Accountability
Data and metrics about sales can be accessed by collaborating with affiliate partners. Using cookies, pixels, and postback URLs that track conversions, among other tracking techniques, brands can obtain sales analytics data from their affiliates. Brands can use this information to improve their marketing campaigns based on what works and what doesn't.

4. Opportunity for relationship building
Using affiliate links in affiliate marketing has advantages for both brands and affiliates. Businesses can increase revenue through it, as can affiliate marketers. The business gains from more traffic and the affiliate marketer gets paid through commissions. This improves the bond between you and important brand partners.

5. Ease of use and Efficiency
Affiliate marketing has low upfront costs and a high potential return on investment (ROI). Buying advertising space and working with an agency is optional. Alternatively, you can rely on your affiliate partners to sell your physical goods or services on your behalf; you will only have to pay them a portion of the sales your affiliate partners successfully guide customers to make a purchase.

6. SEO Improvements
Because other websites link to yours, using affiliate links improves your search engine optimization (SEO). This gives Google a signal regarding the relevancy and rankings of your website on search engine results pages (SERPs). Increased search traffic can, therefore, lead more people to the website associated with your brand. Reputable affiliate partners create fresh, easily accessible content and probably understand how to rank well in search results, which is a crucial component of any effective marketing plan.

How to make affiliate links

  • Log into your affiliate dashboard.
  • Add Affiliates
  • Create an affiliate link
  • Customize the URL
  • Define the promotion

Leveraging affiliate links can increase your business's visibility and help generate new revenue. Here's how to make your affiliate links in a few key steps:

1. Log into your affiliate tool

Open the tool or app for affiliate management and log in. This is where you monitor the performance of your affiliates. You can post details about your affiliates' sales, products, and affiliate campaigns on their dashboard if you use an affiliate management platform. In addition, you can create links, look for new affiliates to collaborate with, and examine data and metrics here.

2. Add Affiliates

Expand your affiliate network by adding new partners. You can search through sizable affiliate networks offered by affiliate management platforms to locate new partners. You can choose affiliates you believe would be good ambassadors for your goods or services by searching for them by name and market niche. To ensure everyone is on the same page regarding your affiliate marketing strategy, the affiliates you collaborate with have access to an affiliate dashboard.

3. Create an Affiliate Link

To create distinctive affiliate links for each affiliate, go to your affiliate dashboard. Assign descriptive names to your links based on the goods or services you are promoting. Certain affiliate networks enable you to generate SubIDs personalized link components that point visitors to particular areas or functions on your website, like landing pages with unique designs. Every affiliate link has a cookie attached to it, which can be traced back to the relevant affiliate. Cookies are internet name tags that let websites recognize you.

4. Customize the URL

You can alter the URLs of your affiliate links on many affiliate networks. Letters and numbers are randomly arranged in most auto-generated URLs. You can make your affiliate links less complicated and easier for customers to remember by personalizing them. For instance, each affiliate in the Amazon affiliate program receives a unique URL product link. Although not required, this can be a thoughtful gesture for your affiliates and their readers.

5. Define the Promotion

Define the promotional structure that best motivates your affiliates and your potential customers. This could include:

  • Tying links to promo discounts or giveaways
  • Deciding which channels are high-priority for the campaign
  • Determining if the campaign is evergreen or time-based (for example, campaigns that run for a limited time only might create a sense of urgency to click on affiliate links)

Try different commission structures to determine what gives you the best return on your investment. Affiliate partners are required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to reveal their affiliation with your product or service.

💡Tip: If you don't have the time or capacity to manage your affiliate program, consider hiring an affiliate manager to oversee your affiliate campaigns. They can recruit new affiliates, manage onboarding, and provide customer service on your behalf.

Your business needs an affiliate program.

Because affiliate marketing is a powerful tool for boosting sales, e-commerce traffic, marketing campaigns, and brand awareness, your company needs one. Launching an affiliate program with almost no marketing overhead is relatively easy.

To help your business grow revenue and your affiliates earn commissions, key steps include:

  • Determining your niche market.
  • Researching affiliates who best fit your brand (or working with an affiliate network).
  • Creating affiliate links.

Making affiliate links FAQ

Can anyone create affiliate links?
Anyone can make affiliate links with access to an affiliate program. Refersion, ClickBank (which integrates seamlessly with Shopify), Rakuten, and Amazon Associates are affiliate platforms you can use to expand your program. These platforms come with useful tools that make it easier for you to monitor the performance of your affiliates.

How much do affiliate programs cost?
Although the promotion of your program can be done for free, there may be one-time setup fees (up to $2,000, depending on the network size) associated with joining an already-existing affiliate network or obtaining a subscription to an affiliate management app. In addition, networks often impose a transaction fee determined by a minimum amount of transactions each month.

How much do affiliate links pay publishers?
The incentives that affiliate marketing programs provide to their affiliate partners differ. Some offer a percentage, while others pay a set amount for each sale. Additionally, some affiliate programs only pay for free or heavily discounted goods. For instance, depending on the product category, Amazon affiliates normally receive a commission of 1% to 20% for each sale.

Do affiliate links pay per click?
Pay per click (PPC), pay per action (PPA) (subscribing to a newsletter), and pay per lead (PPL), where payment is based on each lead generated through the affiliate's platform, are some of the payment models that affiliate links may use. However, commission-based pay-per-sale compensation remains the most common, with a commission fee or percentage payout for each affiliate link that generates a sale.

Why engage in affiliate marketing?
Consider engaging in affiliate marketing to build brand awareness and increase online sales for your goods or services.

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