Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing from the aspect of a company, is essentially crowdsourcing your marketing efforts and only paying for success. A company will set parameters about approved creative, commission structure, marketing channels, affiliate networks and other variables and allow anyone to send traffic to their website. When that traffic results in a sale, the person who drove it gets a commission set by the brand.

This is typically tracked by cookies with the cookie duration set by the brand. The affiliate network is the mediator for payment between the affiliate and the brand. There have been cases of brands not paying affiliates for sales and networks have sprung up to act as a payment mediator and marketplace for both brands and affiliates.

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is for brands looking to increase sales or leads in a direct response manner without having to increase marketing spend. Brands only pay a set commission for traffic that leads to a sale, which is typically lower than their own cost per acquisition.

Affiliate Marketing is a pure direct response play and should not be considered for companies whose primary goal is brand building.

If you want to grow sales at a set cost per sale, Affiliate Marketing is the right choice. Almost every large brand has their own affiliate program. The most well known is Amazons, which has a massive amount of people sending traffic to their website in exchange for a commission on sales, which is set by product category.

Who is Affiliate Marketing for?

Lead Generation

There are two types of Affiliate Marketing for lead generation.

  1. Cost per Lead – This is the traditional contact or quote form completion.
  2. Cost per Call – This is for brands who do business primarily over the phone. They only pay for phone calls over a certain duration so they are “qualified” phone calls.

This is ideal for service based businesses or those who have a sales team that needs to be fed with a constant stream of qualified inbound leads.


Affiliate Marketing for ecommerce companies is relatively straightforward. It’s done on either a cost per sale or revenue share percentage. Some companies have reoccurring revenue from a single sale and they can choose to share this with the affiliate.

If a company has a wide range of price points & margins, revenue share would be a better choice than cost per sale for the companies bottom line.

Our Affiliate Marketing Services

Affiliate Program Creation & Management

Shade Digital offers the full scope of Affiliate Marketing services which include but are not limited to:

  1. Affiliate Network set-up
  2. Commission structure set-up
  3. Attracting affiliate marketers
  4. Building creative guidelines, approved marketing channels and brand safety measures
  5. Enforcing brand safety guidelines and disavowing affiliates who break the terms of service
  6. Communication & affiliate management

Shade Digital As An Affiliate

For select brands Shade Digital will act as an affiliate marketing partner who drives traffic at a certain cost per sale or cost per lead.

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