How To Increase Sales and Grow SMEs with Affiliate Marketing

Instead of paying for clicks or ads upfront, affiliate marketing allows businesses to pay a commission when affiliates bring real results. Think of it as having a team of online marketers who get rewarded based on their performance.

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  • Running a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) comes with its fair share of marketing challenges. Limited budgets and resources and little time for testing strategies are all common obstacles for SMEs. Hiring big agencies to do it for them is expensive, and, as a result, SMEs need cost-effective solutions that deliver results without breaking the bank.

    That’s where affiliate marketing comes in. Affiliate marketing offers a budget-friendly and results-driven approach to marketing that can deliver remarkable outcomes for SMEs.

    How does affiliate marketing work?

    Affiliate marketing, or CPA (cost-per-action) marketing, is a model in which a company pays only for completed sales, orders, installs or any other types of leads (targeted actions). 

    Instead of paying for clicks or ads upfront, businesses only pay a commission when affiliates bring real results. It’s like having a team of online marketers who get rewarded based on their performance. This way, SMEs can increase their brand’s exposure, reach more customers and boost sales – all without taking a big financial risk.

    Affiliate marketing involves three parties:

    An advertiser. This is the brand that wants to market its products or services. Let’s say it’s a women’s clothing store; through affiliate marketing, they would pay a set reward to ‘affiliates’ who bring in new customers or sales. The reward could be 100 dirhams or 3% of the purchase price. 

    A publisher. This is a traffic source. Publishers include cashback services, loyalty programs, coupon sites, online media, blogs, influencers and many other platform types. What unites them is that they have an audience – an audience they can draw towards an advertiser’s products or services through contextual advertising, targeting in social networks or sharing links.

    An affiliate network. This is a platform that brings advertisers and publishers together. It gives advertisers access to hundreds of thousands of publishers and ensures both sides comply with the rules: a publisher leads high-quality traffic, and an advertiser pays the commission. For example, Admitad is one of the largest global partner networks, generating $5 billion in revenue for its partners annually.

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    Is affiliate marketing right for all businesses?

    First of all, affiliate marketing is suitable for B2C businesses with a wide range of products. The most popular categories of goods by share of sales (based on Admitad’s Black Friday 2022 results) are:

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    Financial services, online games, online services and mobile applications also successfully attract sales through CPA marketing.

    In-house affiliate marketing or partner network?

    Of course, one shouldn’t expect that once a small business launches its affiliate program, its revenue will skyrocket. Affiliate marketing is not a magic wand for success. It takes a lot of work to implement – creating affiliate campaigns, communicating with and onboarding publishers, tracking results and managing payments. Since an SME’s resources are limited, it might make sense for them to join a partner network that can do the heavy lifting for them. 

    Partner platforms with specific solutions for SMEs like Admitad Rise provide all the necessary tools for SMEs to quickly and easily launch affiliate campaigns. They offer a wide network of affiliates, saving you time and effort in finding them yourself. These platforms also provide advanced tools to track data, analyse performance and manage payments, making it simpler for SMEs to see how well their marketing is working and make any necessary adjustments.

    How to get your affiliate campaign started?

    Define goals and rates. Start by clearly defining what you want to achieve and decide how much commission you’ll pay for specific actions. Make sure the rates are based on your business’s profitability and are fair to both you and your affiliates.

    Choose targeted traffic sources. Identify the best ways to reach your target audience. Find out where they spend their time online and choose relevant partners to reach them. It’s also important to avoid affiliates that may not work well for your business.

    Appoint a dedicated team member. Choose someone from your team to take charge of your affiliate marketing efforts. This person will be responsible for managing partnerships with affiliates, monitoring performance and nurturing relationships. 

    Embrace cost-effective solutions. Affiliate marketing provides SMEs with a wallet-friendly alternative to traditional marketing methods. By joining a partner network, SMEs can access affordable solutions tailored to their budget, eliminating the need for significant upfront investments.


    Affiliate marketing is an amazing opportunity for SMEs to boost their sales without spending a fortune. The trend towards pay-per-results models and the existence of partner marketing platforms make it a cost-effective solution for SMEs to grow their businesses. By setting clear goals, choosing the right partners and dedicating resources to managing affiliate relationships, SMEs can tap into the power of affiliate marketing and take their business to new heights. 


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