Niche Affiliate Networks
We recently set ourselves the challenge of exploring everything to do with affiliate marketing and affiliate networks. Specifically, we wanted answers to the following questions.
- What does it take to start your own affiliate network?
- How can a smaller affiliate network compete with the established networks?
- Can smaller, niche affiliate networks work with the established networks?
- How can brands work with affiliate networks to improve their lead generation?
- What is the future for affiliate marketing?
Below is an overview of some of the highlights and key ideas we explored during the call, but be sure to check out the full episode if you want to learn more!*
Tell us a little about Digital Mojito… what exactly it is you guys do and specifically could you introduce anyone listening to your affiliate network and how you got that started.
Josh Littler: We set up Digital Mojito in 2016. The aim for me was to set up an agency / affiliate network that specialised in subscription based products and premium advertisers / well known house hold brands. We don’t typically work with sweepstakes or anything like that. We’ve tried to stick with big brands, well-known advertisers with big budgets, and who are open to new ideas and to trying new things.
And one key thing for us when we set up the business was transparency. For both the advertisers and publisher, it’s important for everybody to know what’s going on so we’re all on the same page. That way, things like fraud and problems with data don’t happen.
What are the main differences between affiliate marketing and other types of lead gen?
From my personal perspective, affiliate marketing is entirely performance based or results based. Whereas with Native, PPC, anything like that, it’s mainly based on ad spend on a set budget, with affiliate marketing - at least with the advertisers I work with - we have that relationship where we only get paid if we deliver results - if we generate their sales or their leads or their actions.
It’s always tough to compete with Facebook, but if we say we can deliver X amount of leads / sales for you without having to dip into your spend up front - it’s completely based on the results we generate for you - advertisers and brands welcome that because it’s actually no risk if you put it that way.
How do you see the future of affiliate marketing going?
I think with what’s happened with the world with COVID, I think advertisers will be specifically looking to spend their budgets effectively and in more of a controlled way.
Unfortunately, what has happened with COVID this year, means allocated budgets have either not been spent or have been misspent. But there is a way for advertisers to control that spend, control how they spend it, and with who. I think paying for results only will be key, at least for smaller advertisers or smaller businesses who are transitioning their activity to online.
I see things going in that way because it’s easier for you to get an online presence and manage your budget effectively, and only paying for what you get.
What are differences between a network like Digital Mojito compared with a bigger player like CJ Affiliate, Awin or Tradedoubler?
So we are a publisher for CJ and we deliver on their lead gen campaigns with our network of publishers. We operate completely transparently and every single one of our affiliates separated in our account, so CJ basically see a load of affiliates in our account and traffic from each one of those affiliates individually. If there are any issues - good or bad - we can pinpoint exactly where that traffic is coming from.
In terms of how we compare, we have a few hundred publishers and they have a few hundred thousand publishers. But the key difference - which has really helped us onboarding new clients - is that we don’t charge an override, we don’t charge set-up fees, we don’t ask you for a minimum revenue a month. So when an affiliate is looking to start an affiliate programme with us, they don’t have to invest money to set up the affiliate programme or onboarding fees or anything like that. We literally just sign an IO, they send us a tracking link, assets, campaign description, we get it live to the publishers and that’s it.
Are there specific verticals you feel benefit more from affiliate lead gen compare to others?
Generally, E-commerce is always a strong vertical for affiliate lead gen, even if it’s just to generate subscribers to a database in exchange for a 10% coupon or a 10% discount for their first purchase. That’s always a vertical that’s out there and we run a lot of campaigns for clothing and beauty that literally just say “I want to collect X amount of leads, my incentive is 20% discount on their first sale, all I need is their e-mail address.” That is a no-brainer. They get their leads and will more than likely get their sale eventually.
Also, users now are more conscious about their spend, so anything that can help them save such as utilities, internet, insurances. I think they’re really strong verticals for affiliates.
For the full conversation - and for many more great insights into this area of lead gen - check out the podcast either by listening to the widget below or subscribing.