Affiliate marketing is a web-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing is also the name of the industry where a number of different types of companies and individuals are performing this form of internet marketing, including affiliate networks, affiliate management companies and in-house affiliate managers, specialized 3rd party vendors, and various types of affiliates/publishers who promote the products and services of their partners.
Affiliate marketing — using one site to drive traffic to another — is a form of online marketing, which is frequently overlooked by advertisers. Affiliate marketing overlaps with other internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, email marketing and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques like publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
More and more advertisers and leading brands are turning to the digital age of affiliate marketing as an opportunity to get great results from relatively low investment. Affiliate marketing is said to have risen by 60% in 2007 over 2005/2006, and is set to increase in the same way for 2008 to 2009 and so on.