101 Affiliate Marketing Stats [Infographic] – Updated in 2020
You might be surprised to find a post packed with affiliate marketing stats on a site for website hosting reviews, but once you get to know the topic better you’ll realize that it fits here like a glove.
The main reasons for this are two: affiliate marketing flourishes online and is one of the most popular ways of making some cash from your site; also, HostGator was one of the companies that took affiliate marketing to the next level, effectively changing how the hosting industry as a whole markets its services.
This is only the first post of the series about how to monetize your web presence. Arguably, affiliate marketing (AM) is the easiest way to start a business online, because it requires virtually no initial investment.
The only prerequisite is to have a functional website and even that is not compulsory for those of you who know how to leverage social media.
The Most Interesting Affiliate Marketing Statistics for 2020 (Editor’s Choice)
- Affiliate marketing spending is bound to grow by 10% in the next few years.
- Worth $12 billion, the AM sector is growing rapidly.
- AM accounts for 15% of all digital media revenue.
- Well-crafted affiliate marketing programs can boost revenue by a staggering 30%.
- That boost amounts to 15%-30% of all sales being generated by AM.
- Together with email marketing, AM is one of the largest sources of online income, accounting for over 16% of all ecommerce orders in the USA and Canada.
Affiliate Marketing Statistics 2020
1. Fast growth with no signs of stopping!
(Source: Business Insider)
Since 2015, revenue from affiliate marketing programs grows by 10% annually. The projections are this impressive trend to continue at least until 2021.
2. Affiliate marketing is a global industry worth well over $12 billion.
Not only AM is growing fast, but it is already a massive global industry. The statistics for 2018 are yet to come out, but in 2017 it was worth over $12 billion, with the US and the EU leading the way. Little surprise there, as these are the markets with the most online trade.
3. AM catches up with email marketing.
(Source: Business Insider)
Email campaigns were the undisputed king of digital marketing but affiliate marketing stats show that the tables are turning. AM generates at least as much as email marketing, contributing to about 15% of the total revenue made through digital marketing efforts. Mind you, these numbers are to be updated soon and it is very likely that in 2019 affiliate marketing already overtook email.
4. PeerFly boasts over a quarter of a million publisher accounts.
PeerFly is the largest affiliate marketing network in the world. It has 75,000 active publisher accounts around the globe and over 250,000 accounts in total that are responsible for more than 1 billion clicks and the impressive 8 million transactions. Not too shabby, eh?
5. Awin affiliates earned over $700 million last year.
Awin recently acquired ShareASale, another major network in the affiliate field. Boasting impressive portfolio and history, the network distributed $734 million among its contributors. Who are no less than 100,000. Other top affiliate programs include Amazon Affiliates, eBay Partner Network, Rakuten Linkshare, Clickbank, and many more.
6. 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs.
Affiliate marketing is popular among brands and publishers alike because it involves very small investment. It is a performance-based form of marketing, meaning that advertisers pay only what they get for, while better performing publishers are incentivized by increased income.
7. Some of the best affiliate programs are to be found in web hosting.
(Source: Hosting Tribunal)
Web hosting is an incredibly competitive field for a number of reasons: there are many high-quality service providers who compete online for an entirely digital product. Some of the best paying affiliate programs can be found there because a few years ago HostGator showcased the AM potential.
This practically changed the way the hosts marketed themselves. Nowadays, practically all hosting – even those with very cheap plans or with narrow specialization – providers offer lucrative affiliate deals. The Bluehost affiliate partners received over $5 million in 2018 alone.
8. Still, fashion rules supreme
(Source: AM Navigator)
A study from 2015 revealed that 18.70% of all affiliate marketers promote fashion products and services. Sports and outdoor activities follow with 14.60%, while health and wellness marketers account for 11.10%.
Correspondingly, the affiliate networks focus primarily on those three categories.
9. Over 5 billion clicks and more than 170 million transactions
The power of well-presented affiliate links can be illustrated best with some hard numbers from 2017.
Users clicked more than 5 billion times and the affiliate marketing networks carried out more than 170 million transactions worldwide.
10. Affiliate marketing is suitable for all ages
A 2016 Statista survey reveals that the largest segment of affiliates falls within the 25-54 range. 81.82% of all affiliates work on their side (or main, for some) income in the most active years of their lives. The biggest share, 31.86% are aged 35-44, while nearly 12% of all affiliate marketers are aged 55 and above.
In all likelihood, these marketing platforms will see greater adoption rates among elderly, as the technically-savvy young and middle-aged users of today grow older.
11. Reality check – affiliate marketing statistics reveal a 1% conversion rate.
That’s largely true. On average, the affiliate conversion rate hovers around 1%. Now, this percent is an average estimate rather than a proven fact because many affiliates keep personal rates to themselves.
Given the fierce competition in most marketing niches, you can imagine that reaching 2% or 3% conversion is a valuable knowledge that is deemed best when guarded well.
12. $7 million for the champion!
1% conversion rate might be the average, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t excel with ingenious strategy and persistence. In less than two years, Jason Stone generated over $7 million in affiliate sales, harnessing the marketing potential of Instagram.
Now, Mr. Stone is not the average marketer because he has vast experience in visual media. However, the key the stunning figures @Millionair_Mentor commands lies in his strategic approach.
He promotes only to people who are statistically likely to be interested in the product he has to offer. That’s why it is crucial to join affiliate marketing platforms that match the interestS of your audience.
13. 94% of publishers use more than one network.
If you are wondering how to start your affiliate marketing journey, make sure to subscribe to more than one network. A survey done by Forrester on behalf of Rakuten Marketing reveals that 94% of publishers use two or more affiliate programs.
It makes a lot of sense, as not all AM platforms are made equal. 39% rely on three separate networks to procure products and earn commissions, while the hefty 20% work with five or more affiliate marketing companies.
14. Optimize your website – organic search is ideal for conversions.
Organic search drives sales like nothing else. Research by MOZ states that organic visitors are 5.66 times more likely to convert than those driven by paid traffic.
Being number one in paid search means that you have the biggest bankroll; achieving the top spot naturally means that the content you offer is of great value.
Customers seem to be well aware of these dynamics and that’s one of the main reasons why the affiliate programs for bloggers are such a promising proposition. Quality blog posts can attract throngs of organic visitors.
15. Mobile optimization can be a massive conversion boost!
51% of surfers stated they are likely to purchase from a site that is specifically optimized for mobile devices. Providing smooth mobile navigation makes sense on many levels, as Google indexes mobile sites first for some time now.
Bonus fact: ad blockers don’t affect affiliate marketing done right.
Ad blockers are growing in popularity. So much so that Google Chrome already sports a native extension to tackle pesky pop-ups and other elements that ruin the user experience. This being said, if you provide quality content and avoid cheap tricks that rely on the misguided users’ clicks, you have nothing to worry about.
These are only 15 interesting facts about the massive AM industry. To get the full picture and learn everything there is about it, check out the extensive infographic.
Affiliate Marketing – Beyond the Statistics
When it comes to marketing, impressive numbers and stats paint only half of the picture. Salespeople are particularly prone to reveal the best part of the story they want to sell.
Let me instill some of the sobering objectivity which we, the team making the Hosting Tribunal happen, value so much.
Stay a while longer and allow me to define affiliate marketing and its basic components/ Find out what it takes to become an affiliate and, more importantly, how to boost your chances of success. Because, technically, absolutely anyone can become a publisher within minutes.
The hard part is to actually make it work.
Here are a few brief definitions of the most popular AM slang to help you feel comfortable in any discussion on the topic at hand.
What Is an Affiliate Program?
For it to work, every AM program needs sellers or product creators, affiliates or publishers (or advertisers), and consumers. The typical scenario goes as follows:
- The seller creates a product or a service and provides to the publisher a special link toward said product or service on the seller’s very site.
- The AM network connects merchants and publishers. Some sellers have their own platforms and don’t utilize external AM networks.
- The affiliate, typically, reviews the product or showcases its usefulness in another way on her site. More often than not, publishers have an audience with a pronounced interest in the topic they write about.
- The consumer reads the review and decides to give the product go. The quickest way to obtain it is by clicking the link on the publisher’s site that leads straight to the seller’s site. Of course, this is the affiliate link provided by the seller. The nature of affiliate links allows the tracking of user behavior, i.e., the seller knows which affiliate sent new customers and can share the profits accordingly.
What Does An Affiliate Marketer Do?
In brief, the affiliate marketers promote products or services that don’t belong to them. They do that by endorsement, detailed reviews, or a more direct marketing approach. The promotion can happen on the affiliate’s personal website or blog, on a YouTube channel, Twitch stream, over Facebook or Instagram, etc. Anywhere a link can be published or an individual promo code displayed is good.
How Do I Become an Affiliate?
Becoming an affiliate marketer is extremely easy – just sign up for any AM network you like. It helps to have either a website or a social media account where you can promote the product you wish and share the necessary links. Even YouTube or Twitch channels can do.
Anyone can become an affiliate. The real question is how to become a successful affiliate. More on that below.
How Do I Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer?
The answer to this one is not that straightforward for a number of reasons. Most importantly, the internet is brimming with content vying for attention. Getting noticed, regardless of what you do, is not easy.
Go through 10 guides on how to succeed as an affiliate and you’ll receive at least as many tips. Some general guidelines include:
- Choose a product niche you are familiar with or passionate about
- Choose a medium that you like, be that a blog, video channel, or social network
- Create a content strategy
- Strive to provide quality content, not mindless promotions
- Build an audience
- Choose the right affiliate marketing companies for your audience and topic
The list can continue for quite some time and each point can – and must, really – be elaborated in much greater details, but the main point I am trying to make is that AM is not a walk in the park. It can yield great results, but only if you are ready to put great effort structured around a strategy.
There are no shortcuts to success.
How Much Money Can You Make as an Affiliate Marketer?
The sky is the limit, really. There are no official numbers because profits differ from one niche to another. Certain products are simply more expensive or are in greater demand, while others are more suitable for a passive side income.
Generally speaking, if you are starting from scratch, without any meaningful internet presence, the first months you will be making absolutely nothing. It takes time to build a following and then some more time to build a sizeable audience. Many affiliate marketing statistics will make your head spin with glorious promises of quick riches, but the truth is that this is a business like any other. You need vision, determination, persistence, and a pinch of luck to get noticed and to start earning well.
What Is Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate is the percent of site visitors, who conduct the desired action. Throughout the article, I’ve referred to it as “sale” but it can be something less tangible, like newsletter subscription. Whatever the case, on a monthly basis, it is calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of total site visitors; multiply the result by 100.
(Sales / visitors) x 100 = monthly conversion rate
Are Free Affiliate Programs Safe?
Most AM programs are free. You can join them without any monetary expense whatsoever and benefit from their networks right away. From the publisher’s point of view, the very low entry requirements one of the main attractions of this performance-based type of marketing.
All in all…
Affiliate marketing remains an excellent way to make money online. It is so versatile and far-reaching that anyone can give it a go. When done correctly, this form of promotion can bring tremendous value to all parties involved, the seller, promoter, and buyer alike.
The merchant benefits from a growing business, the publisher profits by creating value in the form of expert opinions and testing, while the buyer can get sweet deals and make an informed purchasing decision.
It is the ultimate win-win-win situation, in the majority of cases.
Are you ready to jump in?