Infographic: How Affiliate Marketing Compares to Referral Marketing

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I myself often use a type of referral marketing [like the ice-cream truck example here] to illustrate what affiliate marketing is, generally, about. However, while there are some similarities, there are also quite a number of differences, and I was pleased to come across an infographic which reflected these.

Remember zferral? Well, they’ve re-branded into Ambassador, and the credit for the below infographic belongs to them:

While I would emphasize the importance of compliance policing, as well as careful pre-screening of affiliate applications, to the affiliate marketing part of the above infographic; overall, it’s an entertaining one worth sharing.

What do you think?

About Geno Prussakov

CEO & Founder of AM Navigator – an award-winning OPM agency. Founder & Chair of Affiliate Management Days conference. Author of bestselling "A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing" (2007) and "Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day" (2011), speaker, consultant, and affiliate marketing evangelist.

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6 Responses to “Infographic: How Affiliate Marketing Compares to Referral Marketing”

  1. This is a great infographic. I get asked all the time what the difference is and now I can just show them instead of explaining it :)Many of the people I talk to think it is too much work to be an affiliate, but some also think it is a get rich quick scheme as well. They probably are not a good match for the affiliate space anyway.

  2. BrandVerity says:

    We would agree with your point regarding compliance. However, the graphic does at least touch on how brands can be “misrepresented.” Perhaps “misrepresented or even at times defrauded” would be more accurate.

    Overall, though, the affiliate marketing industry deserves to be shown in a positive light. And this does a solid job of it. To us, it’s important to note that an affiliate can make a living entirely their commissions—this is usually not the case in referral marketing. That’s a real testament to the work affiliates are doing!

  3. Paul Profitt says:

    Hi Geno, very nice infographic but in my opinion I would say that the difference between the 2 methods are very marginal because there are plenty of referral type Affiliate Programs.

  4. We’ve been able to quantify that customers generated through referral marketing result in not only better lifetime value customers, but also more likely to be a referral source than customers generated through affiliate marketing.

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