The role of affiliate marketing in the digital advertising ecosystem is well established, as tens of thousands of merchants rely on affiliate marketing as part of their revenue today. Recent research projects that the US affiliate marketing spend will increase to $8.2 billion by 2022, up from $5.4 billion in 2017 according to the source.
SheerID announced its partnership with FMTC so that our clients can expand their affiliate marketing program to reach customers through enterprise affiliates. We spoke with Jason Kalish, FMTC director of business development, to discuss how brands can create new revenue streams by developing gated, exclusive offers and using FMTC to reach affiliates who are hungry to promote them.
Can You Explain What FMTC Is?
FMTC is an affiliate marketing platform that offers deals from 15,000 online retailers from all over the world. We make the offers available through 16 affiliate networks, which includes all the networks in the US and Canada, as well as additional networks in the UK and Australia.
What Does FMTC Do for Affiliates?
FMTC does a lot for affiliates. We take in all the offers from the affiliate networks, clean up the content, and test all the codes and destination URLs to make sure they work. If we didn’t clean up the deals, users would have a bad experience.
We also categorize deals based on various attributes offered—such as free shipping, percentage off, or holiday promotion—to understand what will resonate the most with the audience and give it a rating. That way an affiliate figures out the sweet spot with their audience.
We also tag deals that are exclusive, so an affiliate knows that customers who want those deals will have to go through an authentication process in order to redeem them.
How Is FMTC Different Than an Affiliate Network?
The role of an affiliate network is to track and manage a program, and at FMTC we’re not doing any of that. Instead, we work as a liaison between an affiliate and the network to make their relationship more efficient. FMTC does the heavy lifting for affiliates, which saves them time and resources—up to six FTEs, according to some affiliates. With our help, affiliates can work on a bigger scale and have broader exposure to hundreds, if not thousands of brand relationships.
How Do Brands Benefit from the FMTC Platform?
There are a number of ways that brands can benefit from our platform and affiliate marketing in general. At FMTC, we’re going to give you the deals that have been made available to affiliates from the affiliate networks, and that’s why brands like working with us. When an affiliate works with us, brands know they’re only getting the deals that they’re supposed to get. In some cases, deal content will only get on an affiliate’s website through FMTC.
How Do Affiliates Benefit From The FMTC Platform?
Affiliates save time because our platform provides a single point of access they can trust. We aggregate, test, normalize, and distribute affiliate deals and product data for the affiliates, so their visitors are more likely to become customers. FMTC makes everything run smoother and more efficiently, so a brand and an affiliate can optimize their relationship.
What Are Some Affiliate Marketing Trends?
Some of the past taboos against using affiliate links are fading as more brands explore affiliate monetization, especially through product reviews and recommendations, which is called Content Commerce.
For example, Vice Media property just announced it will add affiliate links, joining dozens of other online properties. The influencer and podcasting spaces, which reach niche audiences, overlap and often post affiliate links. You also see buy-now, pay-later providers displaying deals and monetizing through affiliate links.
What Affiliate Marketing Strategies Would You Suggest For Brands?
The most common affiliate marketing strategy I would recommend is for both affiliates and brands to look for ways to diversify their efforts. That’s pretty much a consistent theme in the world right now. The disruption caused by the pandemic made people realize they shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket. They’re looking at what they’re doing a little differently and have started asking, “What can we do with these deals, or what are we currently doing that has added so much more value to the content that’s always been there?”
What Do Affiliates Look for in the Offers They Promote?
Affiliates want offers that will resonate with their audience. FMTC gives affiliates a way to find the best possible deals to promote to their audience, whether it’s for the military, first responders, students, or teachers.
Why Is Providing Gated, Exclusive Offers a Good Strategy for Brands?
A gated offer is an exclusive promotion that requires a customer’s eligibility to be digitally verified before they can take advantage of it. Digital verification, like that provided by SheerID’s Verification Platform, gives brands control over who redeems their offer, and that increases their comfort level. A lot of brands don’t want to send out an exclusive offer because they fear it will be abused, and that the offer will mess up every other channel they have running out there.
Gating an exclusive offer is a great way for brands to control who redeems it. It ensures that a brand’s offer will reach only its intended audience. This is especially useful for brands that have been reticent about offering exclusive deals.
What Excites You about Working with SheerID?
I am excited about working with SheerID because their platform helps meet the challenges that brands face when putting exclusive offers out in the marketplace. They don’t want to throw the deals out for just anybody. SheerID digitally verifies customers, so brands can be sure that customers truly qualify for the deal. It helps everyone all the way around.