There have been times in the recent past when, according to Greg Shepard, chief strategy officer at eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions, affiliate marketing, and those performing this form of marketing, have been seen as “cookie-stuffing, malware-foisting, disclosure-avoiding, get-rich-quick, rule-bending crooks.” However, he sees some trends in the industry that seem to be giving public legitimacy to this form of marketing, which those who have been using it know, works.
Due to this legitimacy more and more people want in on the affiliate marketing game, because they realize the potential of the financial gains to be had. This desire has recently led to three big mergers or acquisitions in the field of affiliate marketing totaling $4 billion. First of all, Ebates was acquired by Rakuten for about $1 billion. Commission Junction was acquired by Conversant which was then in turn acquired by Alliance Data for $2.3 billion. Lastly, eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions acquired Affiliate Traction, and then the two combined businesses were acquired by Banneker Partners and Permira Funds for a cool $985 million.
Now that people are realizing the true potential of affiliate marketing, analysts predict that in 2016 14%, equivalent to $39 billion, of all online sales will have been affected by affiliate marketing. That number is fairly close to the 17% of e-commerce which is affected by e-mail marketing, or 19% affected by search engine optimization. With a prediction that affiliate marketers will spend $4.5 billion in 2016, that is a big profit to be had. Will you be there to get a slice of the pie?
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