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What is an Affiliate Program?
Article by: Azam Corry

You've heard all about them... what exactly are they? Affiliate or associate programs (sometimes called reseller or partnership programs) are usually pay-per-sale marketing programs based on the concept of revenue sharing.

"What?" You say?

OK, I'll give it to you again ... in English!

This where companies selling products or services online give you a cut of their profits (a share in their revenue) as a commission on any sales you create for them (i.e. pay-per-sale) by introducing new customers.

Though commission rates offered to affiliates vary widely, they are all normally based on the gross value (usually the selling price) of the product or service concerned ...

... but watch out!

Some companies only pay you a percentage of their net profit after all deductions. That means they only pay you a percentage of what *they* decide is their profit after subtracting what *they* say are their costs ...

Hmm ... read the small print!

Affiliate programs have become very popular both with companies looking to increase sales and web sites wanting to generate some extra income. The first and most well known, Amazon.com has in excess of 100,000 members! Now hundreds of different programs from companies of all shapes and sizes compete for your attention ... so you can and should be choosey!

In most cases all you need to do in order to join one of these programs is:

  • Agree to their terms and conditions
  • Provide your contact information
  • Advertise their products or services
  • Link to their site using the unique URLs they provide to identify you.

"Money for nothing and...."

Not all affiliate programs require a sale to be made for you to get paid. WebSponsors [ http://www.NowSell.com/websponsors ] for example, pay you when someone requests a free trial or sample of a product or service. This is a pay-per-lead program. You give them a lead and they pay you for it ...

... simple really! :-)

It's up to them to later convert the free trial into a sale. The commissions are smaller of course, but since the offers don't cost the surfer anything, conversion rates are higher. For this reason low traffic sites may find this kind of program preferable to the pay-per-sale type, which require you to send far more visitors to get a "sale."

All the clicks

There is another variant on the pay-per-lead model. This is the pay-per-click program. Here the company running the program pays you whenever someone clicks on their banner or link from your site. And guess what ...

... these programs pay you even less!

Companies offering such programs generally weight their payment rates in favour of those sites that send the most clicks. The more clicks you send them, the higher rate per click they will pay you.

Some programs take this even further and adjust your payment rate according to the quality of clicks you send them. That is the percentage of conversions (i.e. sales) they get from the total number of clicks sent ...

... you better hope they know how to sell!

In any event, unless you have a lot of traffic you're probably looking at a paltry $0.01 to $0.10 per click ... don't spend it all at once!

For these programs to be worthwhile you really need a site with a highly targeted audience. If you then carefully choose products or services closely matched to their interests, from professional vendors (i.e. those that know how to sell) you can earn a reasonable amount. Providing that you have the traffic of course!

You'll find a lot more information about the many aspects of affiliate programs at http://www.NowSell.com

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About the Author:
Azam Corry owns Now Sell! Bursting with inside information, tools and resources to help you profit online. Top Rated by Go.com and Recommended by About.com. Visit: http://www.NowSell.com/?TexNav
Get Azam's Biz Bits, viewed a "must read" ezine by thousands of online business owners: mailto:BizBits-subscribe@topica.com

This article is copyright © 1999-2000 Azam Corry "Do it Better, Do it Faster, Do it Right!"
Reprinted by CGI City with permissions.

Articles contained herein are copyright © CGI City unless stated otherwise.

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