What are the key components of pay-for-performance marketing?

Whether you opt to manage the affiliate relationships at your end or seek experts’ help to manage them, you need to be clear about your goals and objectives or else you would not get the desired results with pay-for-performance marketing. Here are the key components of Pay-for-performance marketing:


An advertiser (known as a merchant/ retailer) offers a product/ service sell, accepts payments, or meets orders online. They form partnership with publishers for promotion purpose. The latter place ads, text or product links on their sites or insert them in catchy e-mail campaigns and relevant search listings in lieu of commissions on leads generated or sales done.

In essence, an advertiser sells products/ services online; pay a commission for actual leads or referrals; gather payment through own site; and has a lead form or shopping cart on it.

Online publisher

An online publisher promotes an array of products and services and support them with value-adds like a blog, manuals or guides. A publisher (also termed an affiliate, partner, reseller, associate, or content site) is essentially an independent party to promote an advertiser’s products and services in lieu of a commission on actual event (sales or leads).

Publishers showcase ads, text or product links on their sites, in e-mail based campaigns, or in keyword specific search listings and receive a commission after a consumer effects a meaningful action like an actual  purchase (a sale) or subscribes to a service (counted as a lead).


An agency is hired by advertisers for managing their performance marketing campaigns. Strategizing, planning and execution of these campaigns are managed by the third party to meet pre-set marketing goals of an advertiser. An agency represents client and actively manages their performance marketing campaigns on the Web.

Community or network

Last but not the least, you need to be part of it a community or a network that offers the access and infrastructure you need to engage your potential consumers with relevant and compelling performance-based offers. You can explore new business channels, align incentives, drive innovation and provide accountability in performance marketing by getting touch with specialized marketers and publishers who conduct their respective affiliate programs on these platforms.

Following are some of the virtues of a capable affiliate network or platform:

  • A solid affiliate network supports and facilitates advertiser-publisher relationships, ensuring it’s equitable and lucrative.
  • Affiliate networks also let sites with offers (mostly online advertisers) reach a vast audience through promotion of their offers to the publishers who in their network. It should serve as a capable interface between both publishers and advertiser offers. The intermediary platforms lets site publishers (affiliates) easily find and be part of offers suitable for their site, to generate revenue from them.
  • Look for a platform that supports advertisers in well-constructed pay-for-performance programs that range from affiliate & cross-platform strategies to meticulously customized relationship tracking modules.