According to the research consultant Forestor, spending on affiliate marketing is growing at an annual rate of 16%. The fast growth in affiliate marketing can be attributed to the fact that it is a low risk approach but one with the potential for high returns. Below you can find out some of the key benefits of establishing your own affiliate program for your product or services. Pay For Performance With an affiliate program you are paying for performance. This means that you only need to pay out if a certain action is met. That could be a completed sale, a form filled out or a click through on a link. Whatever the action is you can agree on it before starting the affiliate campaign. Costs Can Be Establish Upfront You can decide exactly how much a particular action will pay up front. For example, you could decide that for a completed sale you will pay out 25% of the sales price. The key is to know what a particular result such as a new lead or a sale is worth to your business. Low Risk Form Of Advertising Using affiliates to promote your products or services is a low risk form of advertising compared to most other alternatives. For example, if you take out an advertising spot on the radio or place an ad in the newspaper there is no guarantee that you will make a single sale. With affiliate marketing you are only paying for results. Requires Less Time To Manage Compared to many other forms of online marketing managing an affiliate program requires investing relatively little time and energy. For example, an SEO campaign requires consistent link building, outreach, content creation and on site optimization. A social media marketing campaign may likewise require the creation of fresh content, interacting with other users, replying to comments and commenting on other peoples’ content. In contrast, an affiliate program doesn’t require anywhere near as much management and can be effectively outsourced to an affiliate network who will manage and payout affiliates. Access Foreign Markets Setting an affiliate program enables businesses to extend into foreign markets. Affiliate marketers with local knowledge can promote the product or service. Because of the low risk nature of a establishing an affiliate program it is a good way to test out whether a product is a good fit for a foreign market. If the affiliate program is successful other forms of marketing can then be implemented to compliment it. Limited Upfront Costs Establishing an affiliate program requires very little upfront cost. You can pay your affiliates out of the sales that come from their marketing efforts. This also means that you can start small and grow your business quickly by setting up an affiliate program. Leverage A Range Of Different Skill Sets By running an affiliate program you can leverage a wide range of skills that you may not have in house. For example the affiliate marketers who promote your products or services may have skills as writers, graphic designers, search engine optimization experts and paid advertising. If you are looking for a way to grow your sales using a low risk strategy, you should look at the benefits of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a flexible marketing approach which is well suited to a wide range of products and services.