Women in business get support and opportunities with CJ Affiliate

Why Affiliate Marketing Benefits Female Founded Companies 

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As the founder and CEO of All Inclusive Marketing, and as someone who has spent over two decades in the affiliate marketing industry, I want to share some insights into how affiliate marketing can benefit female (and any gender) founded businesses. 

As one of our biggest supporters and sponsors of the For Female Founders community on Linkedin and YouTube, I’ll use CJ as an example of how affiliate marketing can benefit companies who want to grow their businesses through performance-based partnerships. 

CJ is also a strong advocate for the power and flexibility of the affiliate marketing industry and they design their technology, tracking, solutions and partnerships to be able to do that for brands around the world. We are grateful for their support. 

Now let’s jump in to some of the top reasons why affiliate marketing is a great way to drive awareness and revenue for your business! 

First, what is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing leverages partnerships between advertisers and online publishers.  

For an advertiser (also known as a “brand” or “merchant”), affiliate marketing lets you tap into a network of online publishers and communities to promote the sale of your products. You can partner with website owners, bloggers, or social media influencers who recommend your products to their audience. They get a unique link to track sales and earn a commission when (and only when) someone clicks their link and buys. It’s an extremely cost-effective way to reach new customers and boost sales without upfront advertising costs.

For a publisher, influencer, or digital community, affiliate marketing allows publishers and individuals to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products. If someone that reads your content or follows you clicks an affiliate link and buys the advertised product, you’ll get a commission from the sale. The company gets a sale, you earn money, and your audience finds a great product.

This interview with affiliate marketing leader, Nilla Ali, explains it well.

Why affiliate marketing is something female founders should consider

Affiliate offers many advantages as a marketing strategy for any business and can be very valuable to women-owned and lead organizations too. 

It applies to many products and services: Women create companies in every business category. Affiliate has been proven effective to drive growth and brand awareness in many of these sectors. The top industries for affiliate include retail (apparel, accessories, beauty/personal care, electronics, sporting goods, kids/toys), travel, subscription services, finance products, home services, and more. 

Pay for performance: Every advertiser must ensure their marketing investments deliver an outstanding ROI. Arguably, this is even more important for female-owned businesses because women often have less access to investment capital. From a 2023 article in Harvard Business Review

“Women are massively under-represented among both venture-backed entrepreneurs and VC investors, with companies founded solely by women receiving less than 3% of all venture capital investments and women accounting for less than 15% of check-writers.”

Pay for performance can be particularly appealing if you’re bootstrapping your business and need to find smart ways to drive significant growth with less upfront budget.

On the publisher and influencer side, Fast Company reports that 84% of influencers earning revenue are actually women. Female consumers are also more likely to follow influencers and purchase based on their recommendations. However studies have shown that male influencers tend to earn more than female influencers, and affiliate offers a potential large revenue channel to help close that gap. 

Proven reliable measurement: Affiliate management networks like CJ offer proven technology so you can be assured that the right partners get paid when you make a sale and that you only pay for validated sales. 

Brand-safe environments: Entrepreneurs are very protective of their brands and brand images. Fortunately, many affiliate partners understand the importance of brand impressions and can deliver broad-appropriate environments. 

Outstanding ROI: You don’t need to be a female entrepreneur to appreciate great ROI, but it’s great to know that dollars invested in this channel will deliver a great return.  It also drives outstanding ROI. According to a recent study by PWC and the Performance Marketing Association, advertisers earn an average of $12 for every dollar they invest in affiliate. That’s stronger than almost all other marketing channels in comparison. Google Ads, as an example, render an approximate 4:1 average ROAS instead. Driving 3x ROI is something every business can benefit from.

Grow as you go: Again, given the need to scrutinize every marketing investment, having a channel that does not require a major upfront investment is a great thing. Women-owned businesses run the gamut in size, but many are small businesses. Many new brands start their marketing efforts with affiliate because they can test the waters and double down on tactics and partners that work. 

Broad or niche targeting: With affiliate, there are really no barriers to how wide or narrow you make your program. If your product is focused on a narrow set of customers, many publishers, communities, and influencers can likely reach your prospects. Further, a growing number of female-led and female-owned publishers are available for partnering. While women are still underrepresented in the publisher community, the channel offers a growing number of opportunities to support other female-led businesses and reach the perfect audience. 

Me moderating a panel of female leaders from big media companies about the benefits of affiliate marketing at CJU

In Conclusion

Access to conversion technology: Many online businesses struggle to convert more than one or two percent of site visitors. While “conversion optimization” technologies are available to help improve those rates, they often have high upfront costs. However, a growing number of tech companies offer their services on a pay-for-performance basis through affiliate marketing networks like CJ. That means you can skip the upfront charges and only pay when you make sales. Working with these types of partners can help you double or even triple your sales through very little effort or cost on your part. 

As you can see, affiliate has many advantages for female founded and lead businesses. By leaning on performance-based partnerships, less upfront budget is needed to scale your business, and companies can support a diverse mix of partners who reach, engage and convert audiences they otherwise would not be able to reach on their own. 

If you’d like more information about the industry, reach out to the CJ team, or contact All Inclusive Marketing’s growth team for more advice on tracking, growth strategies, and partnership opportunities to help you scale your business with better ROI today.