Jump to navigation Jump to search For marketing to a specific interest group, see Sports affiliate marketing programs marketing. This article needs additional citations for verification.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The market has grown in complexity, resulting in the emergence of a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates, and specialized third party vendors. Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships. Affiliate marketing is frequently overlooked by advertisers.
The concept of revenue sharing—paying commission for referred business—predates affiliate marketing and the Internet. The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Gifts remained on the service until 1996. 6 million per year on the Prodigy service. Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy. Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web.