In business, an alliance occurs between two companies that work together on mutually beneficial projects. These agreements are also called strategic alliances, and they usually involve cooperation in the development, creation, marketing, and sale of products or services or other objectives.
Alliances can either be joint ventures, equity strategic alliances, or non-equity strategic alliances. Joint ventures occur when two parent companies launch a child company together. Equity strategic alliances are created when a company purchases equity in the other. Non-equity strategic alliances are when two companies combine their resources and capabilities to reach set goals together.
Example: The well-known partnership between Starbucks and Barnes&Noble is an example of a strategic alliance. By placing Starbucks stores inside Barnes&Noble stores, each company shares the cost of the space while providing complementary services to customers.
An affiliate program is an organized system that enables affiliate partners to drive traffic to your properties through tracked links and earn a cut when that traffic converts. Affiliates come in many different forms and they can include influencers, content creators, publications, membership associations, and technology vendors.
In an affiliate program, an online merchant pays affiliates to send them traffic. There is a payout to the affiliate for that traffic, and then if the traffic buys the product, the affiliate receives a commission. An affiliate program is a cost-effective marketing strategy that works for both B2B and B2C brands.
Example: Lisa runs a popular software blog. Loop, a software brand, pays Lisa to place an affiliate link on her blog. When someone buys Loop's software through the link, Lisa gets a payout. Yay!
An affiliate link is tool used in affiliate marketing programs. A unique link is assigned to an affiliate partner by a partner program. When a website user clicks on the link, that click is attributed to the affiliate partner. The link contains the affiliate's ID or username to enable tracking. This means that traffic sent by the affiliate can be recorded (and rewarded).
If the person that clicks the link later converts (for example, by purchasing the software) then that conversion is also attributed to the affiliate partner.
Example: Connectco signed up for Razor's affiliate program and was assigned an affiliate link. Their link got 20,000 clicks each month, meaning a nice payout for Connectco.
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