20 Affiliate Marketing Statistics for Your Business to Know

Matthew is a Marketing Copywriter with a B.A. in Professional and Public Writing from Auburn University. He aims to learn a little more about the SEO world each day, and share as much of that knowledge with you as he can. When he's not striving to put out some fresh web content, he's usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.

Does your business use affiliate marketing? If not, consider trying it. Affiliate marketing has been around for some time, but it’s grown in popularity with marketers and business owners over time.

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, it’s a digital marketing strategy where third-party publishers include links to your website in their online content. When people follow those links to your site, those publishers can earn a commission from you, while you get the benefit of new leads or customers.

Now you know what affiliate marketing is, but no doubt you want to know more before you try it. That’s why we’ve listed some useful affiliate marketing statistics below. Just keep reading for our list of 20 stats about affiliate marketing.

Then, to learn even more about digital marketing, subscribe to Revenue Weekly, our email newsletter!

General affiliate marketing stats

The first type of affiliate marketing stats we’ll look at focuses on general facets of affiliate marketing, including some of the benefits of this marketing strategy. What can affiliate marketing offer your business? Keep reading to find out!

1. The affiliate marketing industry is worth several billion dollars.

Right off the bat, this stat shows the affiliate marketing industry’s value in monetary terms. This strategy isn’t some small, rarely-used tactic — it’s worth enough of a financial investment to prove that it’s a highly effective tool for many companies.

2. Affiliate marketing is responsible for 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue.

Similar to the previous statistic, this stat shows how powerful and commonly used affiliate marketing is. It accounts for 15% of publishers’ revenue, which is a sizeable chunk! The investment in this strategy shows that it’s an effective way to market your business.

3. More than 16% of online orders stem from affiliate marketing.

There’s a reason marketers include affiliate marketing as part of their digital marketing strategy — it’s because it brings in revenue. Affiliate marketing is responsible for nearly a fifth of all online sales, making it well worth the investment.

4. Affiliate marketing links get clicked more than 5 billion times each year.

If you total up the number of clicks earned by all affiliate marketing links in a given year, it comes out to more than 5 billion. It’s a huge amount, indicating how effective affiliate marketing can be at driving clicks and bringing people to your site.

5. The average affiliate marketing conversion rate is between 1% and 5%.

At first glance, 1% to 5% might not seem like much. But for a conversion rate, it’s good! The average conversion rate for paid advertising — a strategy known to be effective — is only 2.35%. That means affiliate marketing can be great for driving conversions!

6. 8 out of 10 companies use affiliate marketing.

This stat shows just how commonly used affiliate marketing is. The fact that so many companies rely on it shows how effective it is. Furthermore, this stat indicates that most of your competitors probably use it, so you don’t want to be the one company in your industry that doesn’t!

7. 40% of companies in the United States say that affiliate marketing is their top customer acquisition channel.

A large percentage of companies not only view affiliate marketing as effective, but in fact name it as their primary source of new customers. That’s an incredible testimonial in favor of this digital marketing strategy, and one you don’t want to pass up.

8. More than 73% of companies say affiliate marketing meets their revenue expectations.

Maybe you’re worried that if you try affiliate marketing, it won’t earn as much as you expect. Well, don’t worry — according to nearly three-quarters of companies, affiliate marketing meets all their expectations when it comes to driving income.

Best practices for affiliate marketing

Now that we’ve talked about some statistics about affiliate marketing benefits, let’s look at what you can do to get the most from it. Here are some affiliate marketing statistics related to best practices!

9. On average, companies dedicate 15% of their marketing budget to affiliate marketing.

This statistic provides some insight into how much the average company budgets toward their affiliate marketing. Of course, you don’t have to copy this number. You budget as much or as little as you want, but this number serves as a guideline for what the average business spends. 

10. The primary factor businesses consider when choosing publishers to work with is product relevance.

What does this stat mean? Basically, it means that when you pick affiliates who will link to your site, you want to consider whether they’re relevant to your products or services. If you sell golf clubs, try to pick golf sites as your affiliates. A cooking website probably isn’t the best affiliate for you.

11. 83% of affiliate recruiters say they use affiliate network dashboards to search for publishers.

In theory, you could search for new affiliates manually. However, this statistic indicates that the best method is to use affiliate networks — platforms designed to connect affiliate advertisers and publishers — to build out your affiliate marketing strategy.

12. 94% of publishers use multiple affiliate networks.

Building off the previous statistic, this stat shows that most publishers tend to use more than one network to find affiliate opportunities. That means you could benefit from doing the same, expanding the reach of your advertising strategy.

13. 99% of affiliate programs use a cost-per-action (CPA) payment model.

The CPA model is one where you pay your affiliates each time users on their sites take a specific action. You might pay commissions for each click, or for each time a user buys a product after following an affiliate link.

14. 50% of affiliate traffic occurs on mobile devices.

This stat shows that when it comes to mobile, affiliate marketing is no different from any other digital marketing strategy. It’s crucial that you optimize your website for mobile traffic, as well as that you pick publishers who also have mobile-friendly sites.

15. 64% of affiliate marketers harness blogs for their affiliate marketing.

One of the best types of affiliates to partner with is blogs. Blogs often attract people seeking informational content. The blog posts then get users invested in a topic related to your industry, so when they link to relevant products on your website, people are likely to click.

16. 75% of affiliate marketers say that social media is their biggest source of traffic.

While third-party websites are great for affiliate marketing, you can also harness social media. If your products relate to an organization, personality, or influencer on social media, use them as an affiliate to send traffic to your site by linking to your products on their page.

17. 0.7% of all YouTube videos include at least one affiliate marketing link in their description.

The last stat identified the value of using social media for your affiliate marketing. One of the best social platforms to use is YouTube. You can do what many businesses have done and partner with different YouTube channels to earn affiliate links to your products through their videos.

The future of affiliate marketing

Our last few statistics about affiliate marketing are dedicated to looking at the future of this strategy. Where is it headed? Is it growing or declining? Should you invest in it for the long term?

Let’s answer those questions with these three stats about affiliate marketing’s future!

18. Searches for “affiliate marketing” have increased significantly in the past several years.

If you look at the graph on Google Trends for the term “affiliate marketing,” you can see that interest in the term has grown considerably since 2017, and seems poised to continue doing so. By all indications, this strategy will only attract more interested parties down the road.

19. The annual growth rate of affiliate marketing spend is 10%.

It’s not just general interest in affiliate marketing that’s going up over time. Business owners are also investing 10% more money in this strategy each year, consistently making it a higher priority for their marketing efforts.

20. Over 80% of marketers say that they expect the revenue from their affiliate marketing to go up in the future.

Finally, most marketers agree that they anticipate affiliate marketing earning them even more money down the road. That’s an excellent sign for this strategy and for your odds of profiting if you implement it for your business.

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WebFX can help you master affiliate marketing

We hope these statistics about affiliate marketing have helped you gain more insight into the strategy. The next step is to start putting these affiliate marketing stats to good use — and we’d love to help you do that.

With WebFX’s affiliate marketing management services, you’ll get help driving the maximum revenue for your affiliate campaigns and improving the quality of your strategy over time. You’ll even receive a dedicated account representative to keep you in the loop about everything we do for you.

To get started with us, just call 888-601-5359 or contact us online today!

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