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It’s 2024, and although the elusive ‘cognitive understanding’ artificial intelligence (AI) engines are still a pipe dream, we’ve made a ton of advances in more practical fields.
One thing that’s of particular interest to us is the impact of AI in affiliate marketing, and how that field of study has changed the way we run referral, influencer, and of course affiliate programs today.
Let’s have a look at the three major roles that AI marketing tools play in the world of affiliate marketing: Improving engagement, generating content, and providing accurate product recommendations.
AI in Affiliate Marketing – Improving Engagement
Any AI can scrape your documentation and your help files in order to provide a better human language interface for your website. These days, that’s not enough to give you a significant edge over the competition. At best, that’s the minimum expectation of a chatbot.
A competent affiliate marketing AI needs to be able to help you to do two things: Qualify your potential customers, and build trust in your brand. That’s the kind of engagement that you want to have when you’re allowing automation to take the wheel.
That means you need custom interfaces that are affiliate marketing specific. One great place to start is with the TARS Affiliate Marketing Chatbot. It has direct Wordpress implementation features via their plugin, and is highly customizable depending on your business model.
By being inquisitive about the user’s interests, an affiliate marketing chatbot can quickly separate the folks who are simply curious from actual potential affiliates. It can then slowly build trust in your brand by introducing features that will be of interest to a potential affiliate, presenting appropriate testimonials, and providing statistical data on successful affiliate and sub-affiliate models.
AI integrated mailing lists (via Campaigner, Bervio, etc.) can also be used to hone in on interested candidates and to create asynchronous engagement methods, which some people prefer to live chatbots. E-mail campaigns that offer a customized user experience are more effective, and far less likely to be reported as spam.
Coupon Affiliates can track the success rate of any given AI engagement campaign by assigning a unique referral URL to each. All clicks are logged for later in depth analysis, allowing you to tweak the way that the AI engages with your audience until you’re happy with the results.
AI in Affiliate Marketing – Generating Content
There are issues with simply giving an affiliate marketing AI free reign to create whatever content it wants in order to promote your business. Chief among them is copyright. In most countries, not only might the artists and authors that have had their work sampled to train an AI object, but you might not actually own the IP that the AI generates. As it turns out, most copyright law only takes into account creation by human hands and minds, leaving AI out in the cold and leaving their work product subject to free and open reuse by your competition.
However, if that same AI is told to only use your existing content and fully licensed to generate new articles, social media posts, and newsletter content, that’s a different story. There’s no argument that third party work was sampled to create the content. And with sufficient editing on your part, the final product might be deemed ‘AI inspired’ but created by human hands. YMMV depending on your local and national laws.
Building a custom LLM that is specific to your particular field is nothing new. Allganize has been creating custom AI marketing tools using fully licensed content for a while now. Depending on the scale of your activities and your budget, you’ll be able to select the right AI content creation method for your needs.
Afterwards, you can combine the affiliate marketing AI’s generated content with Coupon Affiliates’ custom landing pages, allowing anyone who clicks through from the original content to seamlessly fall into the affiliate onboarding process without a jarring shift of tone.
AI in Affiliate Marketing – Generating Product Recommendations
The importance of using an AI product recommendation engine is twofold. If you’re running an affiliate marketing program, you want to be able to offer powerful tools to the affiliates who sign up with you. And if you’re one of those affiliates, you want to maximize your per-visit commission as well as pass on those powerful tools to your sub-affiliate network.
WooCommerce users might have seen plugins such as Recommendation Engine and wondered if it’s worth the seven bucks a month. The answer, simply put, is a resounding yes.
Done correctly, product recommendation engines are some of the most powerful AI marketing tools in your arsenal. In addition to increasing the average cart value, customers who make use of your product recommendations have a higher retention rate and report a better customer service experience.
AI based product recommendations cost next to nothing and are trivially easy to implement. If you do nothing else on this list, consider trying this measure for a few months to see the difference for yourself.
Using Coupon Affiliates to Bring It All Together
And one of the best ways to see the impact of newly implemented changes to your affiliate marketing site is by using Coupon Affiliates’ admin reports feature. The advanced analytics will help you track the impact of each new AI based measure that you choose to adopt. This way you can make changes slowly if you wish, and tweak them subtly until you’re getting the results that you want.
Some additional automation, although not strictly AI based, is already baked into Coupon Affiliates. Automatic affiliate registration approvals, automatic coupon creation upon being accepted into the program, and automatic payouts are just some of the ways that you can dedicate less hours to maintaining your affiliate program.
You can then reinvest the time that you save by implementing AI in affiliate marketing. We suggest that you use the extra time to provide more of a human touch to your affiliate network. We go into detail about the importance of face time and nourishing your affiliate environment in our article about great affiliate rewards. Until humanity develops an AI that really understands human emotions, those sorts of tasks still fall firmly on your shoulders.
Want to create your affiliate program? Check out our plugin, Coupon Affiliates. Since 2019, thousands of websites, including e-commerce stores, e-learning, membership sites, and more, have used it to create successful affiliate programs. Many customers say it’s the best affiliate marketing plugin. Get the 100% free version, or start your 7-day free trial with the PRO version.
Bill Ricardi is a former Silicon Valley sysadmin, and uTest’s 2010 Performance Tester of the Year. He was test manager for Deloitte before becoming a full time author in 2017, and is also a regular contributor to the Coupon Affiliates blog.