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What Is Affiliate Marketing? And How Can It Help Well-Known Brands Scale?

March 27, 2020 Digital Media Solutions

Representing a projected $6.8 billion in spend this year in the U.S., affiliate marketing is leveraged by many top brands to scale their customer acquisition efforts.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

In the most basic terms, affiliate marketing is an advertising strategy by which a publisher earns a commission by successfully promoting the product or service of an advertiser.

Most large-scale affiliate marketing is coordinated through affiliate networks. Affiliate networks are companies that manage multiple publisher relationships, allowing advertisers to promote their products or services broadly and easily.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Shutterstock_373190359  Hands holding circle global network connection, Omni Channel

Most affiliate marketing campaigns are built on a CPA (cost per action) model. The “action” can be any pre-defined metric, including clicks to a landing page, inbound calls, app downloads or sales.

Prior to launch an advertiser working with an affiliate network shares the campaign objectives, and the affiliate network develops a customized campaign to achieve the objectives. Campaign parameters can be broad or narrow, including audience targeting, day of week targeting and creative restrictions. The affiliate network then coordinates with the publishers best able to achieve the campaign objectives, and the advertiser pays only when the pre-defined campaign action is achieved.

How Can Affiliate Marketing Help Well-Known Brands Scale?

Strong affiliate networks help advertisers connect with audiences across consumer segments, providing scalability for top brands. DMS Performance Ad MarketTM, a top-ranked affiliate network, leverages the latest tracking and quality assurance technology, proven conversion-enhancing optimization techniques and expert, one-to-one support to help well-known brands achieve their marketing objectives while paying only for results.

What Media Channels Are Used For Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing works within every media channel. Commonly leveraged media channels for affiliate marketing campaigns include email, push notifications, newsletters, native advertising, social media, content and blogs and programmatic display advertising.

How Safe Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing campaigns managed by reputable affiliate networks that follow advertising and messaging laws and regulations, verify data in real time and provide campaign and performance transparency are as safe as any other type of marketing. When selecting an affiliate network, look for one that has operationalized compliance to help ensure brand safety.

What Types Of Brands Benefit From Affiliate Marketing?

Any brand that wants to scale its marketing efforts can benefit from affiliate marketing. Successful affiliate marketing campaigns benefit from well-defined objectives and a feedback loop that allows for continual campaign optimization.

Looking To Acquire Customers Online But Only Want To Pay For Results?

DMS Performance Ad Market acts as a point of connection between leading advertisers and successful, high-quality publishers to help brands grow by sourcing new, quality customers through more channels than they can reach on their own.

Contact DMS

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: DMS) is a leading provider of technology and digital performance marketing solutions leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. DMS proprietary technology solutions, significant proprietary media distribution and data-driven processes help large brands steadily acquire more customers. For more information visit

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