Many people mistake referral and affiliate marketing for each other. If that’s happened to you too — no worries! Just take a couple of with this article, and you’ll never make the same mistake again.
Referrals, also known as referral marketing or refer-a-friend campaigns, are a marketing strategy which revolves around the idea of the good old word-of-mouth marketing. If your business sells something which people love to recommend, you can encourage them to do it more often.
Referral marketing software like Talkable makes it possible for businesses to incentivize customers to share their personalized referral links with friends and family, use customized messages and designs, as well as analyze and improve referral campaigns just as you would with any other managed marketing channel.
Let’s look at how referral campaigns work step-by-step:
Affiliates are people who earn money through their own websites or as independent marketers. They place either ads or other marketing content on their websites or run paid advertising campaigns leading to your online store or sales pages.
Affiliates’ motivation to promote your (or any other) business is money. They get paid for sending customers to a website that belongs to their partner. In other words, starting an affiliate program is similar to outsourcing your marketing campaigns to hundreds of independent contractors.
The worst thing about affiliate marketing is that anyone can participate in your program. This means that you don’t have much control over where and how your products are advertised. If you’re trying to build a reputable brand that will last, this marketing channel needs to be approached carefully.
Now that we know how each type of marketing program works, let’s compare their pros and cons.
|Referral marketing||Affiliate marketing|
|Who does the
|Your customers||Any independent marketers or webmasters who enter an affiliate agreement|
|Who do they promote to?||Their network, friends, family, and coworkers||Whatever audience they have access to|
|How they promote?||Share their experience and recommendations via social media, emails, messengers||Paid ads, content marketin g, spam|
|What’s their motivation?||To share good products with people who’d love them too and to get their own discounts||Money|
|Easy to control?||Yes||No|
Thinking about what referral program software to choose?
We can help you with that! Contact us here.