Outdoor gear retailer The Sportsman’s Guide Inc. has seen a fourfold increase in the percentage of its online business coming through affiliate marketing since it added search optimization services from affiliate marketing services provider Performics Inc. last June, director of business and Internet development Peter Jarnberg tells InternetRetailer.com. The management and tracking of keywords, a service added by Performics only last year, is driving most of the growth in Sportsmansguide.com’s affiliate marketing program, Jarnberg says. While the company continues to do traditional affiliate marketing – placing its icon on selected affiliate sites to attract click-throughs and purchases – that tactic has produced only half the growth of search management services during the same period, he adds.
“I provide them with keywords and they go to work with them, finding out for each search engine which ones work best. It’s giving me a more optimal performance on search engine results than if I had to do it myself or hire a staff,” says Jarnberg. “ By working with them, search engine optimization has grown many times over as a percentage the business we get.”
Jarnberg adds that affiliate marketing was a key contributor to Internet sales that rose to 27% of sales for the first quarter from 18% a year earlier. For 2001, annual sales for the company, which also has several catalogs, were $170 million, up from $155 million in 2000