I think multi-level affiliate marketing is best, which is the whole reason I created Smartr Marketing, but since it is a new concept to some, a lot of people may not know the difference… or that there is a better to option to begin with. So, getting back to basics, is affiliate marketing better? Or is multi-level marketing still king?
Well, the first thing we need to do is a little contrast and comparison between the two, knowing both can be effective… but effectiveness will depend on what is being sold, who is selling it, and the company you are selling it for.
In MLM, anyone can be successful selling those products, however, you are usually limited to selling the products of that specific company because the company will have you sign a non-compete clause stating you cannot sell other products using the same system (MLM).
In Affiliate Marketing, there are no such non-compete clauses, and you can sell anything you want for a multitude of companies at the same time.
In MLM, you are going to be more successful if you take on a leadership role because MLM focuses more on team sales and team goals. So, if you signed up with your broke cousin and you aren’t an extroverted leader, your chances at success diminish as you are probably not willing to spend months or years building a sales team.
In Affiliate Marketing, when a transaction is made, you make a sale. I know my company Smartr Marketing has a multi-level affiliate system for companies and entrepreneurs to use, but most affiliate systems are based on direct sales, which means, you don’t necessarily need to direct or lead a team unless you are using a piece of software which would ultimately benefit from you building one.
MLM companies are usually built off a variety of compensation programs. Binary and unilateral leg stacking pish posh which can be complicated to some. And most systems will purposely stack your people in a place where you make the least amount of money as a default… but it is designed that way so they can make the most amount of money from your efforts. Take that how you want to.
In Affiliate Marketing, there is usually only a simple process by which you make money when a transaction is made. Even if someone uses a multi-tiered system like ours, it will be a unilevel program which doesn’t need to be managed AND can ONLY place your teams and customers into a position where you make the most amount of money for your efforts.
In MLM, they usually require a monthly purchase of a product to participate, while in Affiliate Marketing (except for sites like ClickFunnels or Builderall), you generally get to participate for free. I have heard of a bunch of affiliate systems now making people pay to participate but at least with Smartr Marketing or any company using Smartr software, it’s all free, which is all I care about.
So, you have to ask yourself, what are your goals? Do you want to lead a team of people to sell products for one company, or have the opportunity to promote multiple while not focusing primarily on recruiting? Do you want to sign a non-compete? Do you want to learn the ins and outs of a complicated backend system, or would you rather just make money? If just making money is the goal, Affiliate Marketing is the way.
CEO of SmartrHoldings and SmartrMarketing
International best-selling author.
Published on Forbes, Quora, and many more popular online publications.