Through affiliation, anyone can promote the products or services of a company in exchange for a commission. A boon for vendors and affiliates, this marketing strategy earns businesses an average of €17 for every €1 invested. So if you want to boost your sales, opt for this method. In this guide, you will find everything you need to know to start your affiliation process.

What is affiliation?

Affiliation is a marketing strategy allowing any company, selling its offers online, to promote its products or services through an affiliate. The latter are then remunerated according to predefined actions.

When it is well managed, affiliation allows an e-commerce company to develop its sales, increase its notoriety, expand its market and acquire new prospects.

The affiliate strategy was born in 1996 with the e-commerce giant, Amazon. At that time, Jeff Bezos offered website owners to advise the books sold on the platform, in exchange for a commission on each sale. Faced with the success of such a method, affiliation has developed with many companies, regardless of their size and sector of activity.


How does membership work?

The different parts

Traditionally, to sell, there are two parties: a buyer and a seller . With affiliation, you have to add an intermediary; the affiliate.

Thus, the affiliation scheme is defined as follows:

  • The company (or advertiser): it offers a product or service for sale. It can be computer equipment, clothing, specialized software, online training, etc.
  • The affiliate: thanks to an affiliate platform , he promotes the company’s offer on his website, his blog or his social networks. For this, it uses an affiliate link to track the purchase path. In exchange for this promotion, he receives a commission.
  • The buyer: the latter clicks on the link present on the affiliate’s site to buy the advertiser’s products or services.

Attention, for the affiliation to bear fruit, the affiliate network must be large enough to allow the company to reach a large target. This means that his blog or website is experiencing high traffic, or that he has many followers on social networks.

Remuneration methods

To make affiliates want to promote your products or services, there are several methods of remuneration:

  • The cost per action: this is the traditional model. In this case, the affiliate receives a commission when a user buys a product through his affiliate link.
  • The cost per lead: the advertiser remunerates the affiliate when the latter brings him a qualified lead. This allows the company to create a substantial prospect base.
  • The cost per click: this mainly concerns online advertising such as Adwords. As soon as a visitor clicks on a link, the affiliate receives a percentage, without there even being a sale.


To launch their affiliate strategy , companies have two options: manage directly or go through a specialized platform.

As such, there are many platforms. Here are the main ones:

  • 1Tpe: this is the sale of digital files, such as online training. Here, the commission rates are very high, sometimes going up to 90% of the sale price.
  • Clickbank: This platform sells digital and physical products.
  • Amazon: the e-commerce giant has also launched its affiliate program. This makes it possible to further increase the visibility of its products. The commission rates here are between 3 to 12%.
  • Tradedoubler: with this interface, you have access to websites that are absent from the platforms mentioned above. For example, flight or hotel comparators.

What are the benefits of affiliation?

Affiliation is based on a win-win system where the affiliate and the advertiser find their benefit.

For the advertiser

Affiliation has a multitude of advantages for e-commerce companies:

  • Expand your network: by using third parties with high traffic and a large community, you reach their target.
  • Increase your notoriety: thanks to a wider network, you have the opportunity to make yourself known to a new audience interested in your sector.
  • Boosting sales: this is one of the main objectives of affiliation, since the affiliate link must facilitate the move to action.
  • Collect leads: and even if Internet users do not buy your products directly, affiliation also allows you to increase your number of leads through contact forms.
  • Increase your SEO traffic: through affiliate links, Internet users land on your website. This increases your traffic, and therefore your natural referencing.

With affiliation, the return on investment is generally very positive. Depending on the sector of activity, it is possible to generate up to €30 in profit for €1 invested (especially in high-tech areas).

For the affiliate

For their part, affiliates benefit greatly from this program:

  • Ease of management: they have no product to develop, they simply promote a third-party offer. As soon as they have a large enough community, they earn money passively.
  • No investment: just register on a platform. This therefore reduces any financial risk.
  • Interesting commissions: depending on the platforms and products offered, commissions can be very advantageous.

What are the best practices to put in place?

To conduct an effective affiliate strategy, companies must implement certain actions:

  • Opt for a closed affiliate program: this allows you to choose your upstream affiliates. Indeed, if it is open, any site owner can propose your offer. However, to strengthen your online reputation, it is better to use trustworthy affiliates. For example, who do not send spam or whose values ​​agree with yours.
  • Provide an attractive offer: the commission system must be attractive enough for affiliates to want to work with you.
  • Offer turnkey tools: promoting your offers should be easy. So to simplify the work of your affiliates, give them pre-written emails, banners, videos or promotional tools.
  • Use affiliation at several levels: to earn even more through affiliation, it is possible to offer your existing affiliates the opportunity to recruit other affiliates, in exchange for a commission. In this way, your affiliate network will increase and your sales with it.

By applying best practices for your affiliate strategy, you will obtain results on several levels: your visibility on the web, your prospect base, not to mention your sales.

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