What is Affiliate Marketing: An Introduction – Affiliate Marketing Tutorial Part 1?


This blog post is the introduction of what is affiliate marketing is and is meant for beginners. Before you start reading the post below you may want to look into the posts below if you are beginner or you have not read my my previous posts.

What is Affiliate Marketing? 

Affiliate marketing is one of the online marketing channels which is used by many advertisers to generate incremental sales/leads etc. It is also called performance marketing as the advertiser has to pay only for performance and not for just traffic or impressions.

There are generally three parties involved majorly in the complete affiliate marketing landscape.

  • Advertiser/Merchant: the party which owns the product.
  • Affiliate/Publisher: the party which promotes the product on his/her own website
  • Affiliate Network: Network is the mediator which connects an advertiser with an affiliate. Affiliate does not have direct relation with the advertiser and advertiser also does not have any direct relation with the affiliate.

There are two types of affiliate marketing programs.

  • In-House Affiliate Programs: if the affiliate program is offered by the advertiser and they use their own platform in order to run affiliate program and affiliate has direct relationship with the advertiser, this will be inhouse affiliate program. Many of the advertisers are who have inhouse affiliate programs are Flipkart.com, Amazon.in, eBay, Snapdeal, Jabong.com, Shopclues. They have 3rd party affiliate programs as well.
  • 3rd Party Affiliate Programs: 3rd party affiliate programs are handled/managed by networks wherein network manages the affiliate program for advertiser. Here affiliate does not have any direct relation with advertiser and vice-virsa. An affiliate network has a pool of multiple offers from various advertisers so affiliates don’t have to have direct relation with multiple advertisers. Some of the affiliate networks in India are Optimise, DGM, VCommission, Admitad, Payoom, & Komli. Google adsense is a sort of affiliate network (one of the biggest in the world) however Google purely works on CPC only. We will be discussing more about in coming posts.

Affiliate marketing

You may want to have a look at below post:Online Marketing/Digital Marketing Glossary to learn about the various terms which have been used and will be used further in the blog posts to come.

With regards to revenue models there can be below types of revenue models available.

  • Cost per Sale: affiliate gets paid on when a sale has been delivered from his website. It can be a flat or % of the sale value.
  • Cost per Lead: affiliate gets paid on when a lead has been delivered from his website. It is a flat or fixed amount.
  • Cost per Install/Download: affiliates get paid when an install has been delivered from his website. This is majorly for mobile affiliates or affiliates who deliver on mobile through website or app.
  • Cost per Click: affiliate gets paid on every click delivered by him from his website. There are very few such programs where affiliate gets paid on such model. Google adsense is one of the biggest networks which work on CPC. Apart from this there other networks such as infolinks, Chitika etc.
  • Cost per subscription: this is majorly on mobiles where in affiliates get paid on a paid subscription for a service e.g. video download service or game download service or wallpaper download service etc.
  • Click to Call: with the increased usage of mobile click to call marketing has also become very popular where in affiliate gets paid on per call basis. The payout varies basis the duration of the call by user to the advertiser. The more time spent by the end user on the call the more the payout is.

What are Top Affiliate Networks in India for cost per sale/cost per lead campaigns?

  1. Optimise Media: Is a global affiliate network with head Quarter in the UK. it is the 2nd affiliate network in India which was started in 2012. It is the amongst the top affiliate networks in India. Majorly have CPS campaigns with little bit of CPL, CPI as well as CPC campaigns.
  2. DGM India: Is the first affiliate network of India & was started in 2007 with good inhouse tracking platform & have a good no. of CPS as well as CPL campaigns. DGM is also the top affiliate network in India.
  3. Komli: Have good no. of CPS as well as CPL campaigns.
  4. Vcommission: Majorly have CPS campaigns and little bit of CPL, CPC & CPI campaigns.
  5. PayOOM: They have majority of CPS campaigns.

In the next tutorial we will be discussing about the Types of Affiliates or how affiliates make money. Please follow the link to Next Tutorial Affiliate marketing Tutorial Part 2 – Type of affiliates/publishers?