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Getting To Know The Best Affiliate Programs

Aug 17, 2007
Affiliate programs are a win-win situation for everyone involved. Internet based merchants hook up with affiliates to generate traffic to their web sites. They get paid if the traffic from their site visits the merchant web page. The smart Internet entrepreneur does some research to determine the best affiliate programs for her business.

Where to Look

Affiliate networks are the middle man between affiliates and web sites with affiliate programs. Look for affiliate networks that provide all the tools needed to set up and maintain an affiliate program. There are so many directories with informations about merchants that pay you to sell their wares.

What to Look for

The best affiliate programs will be those that target your customer base. An online florist would get little traffic from a pet supply website. You want an affiliate whose business is similar or comparable to your product. Avoid affiliates with low quality products. Ask to speak to existing affiliates to find out if a company is reputable.

Referral traffic may link to the merchant site and not buy initially but return to make a purchase weeks later. Look for affiliate programs that remember your site was responsible for that customer. The best affiliate programs remembers you for 60 days by using cookies to tag the customers computer when he visits the merchant site.

The best programs offer reliable support such as ads, logos and sales advice. Good programs also provide timely updates on click through sales and earnings and respond to questions or problems within 24 hours.

Getting Paid

There are three common affiliate payment plans. With pay per sale, the merchant pays when the affiliate sends a customer who buys from the merchants site. The payment could be a set amount or a percentage of the sale.

In a pay per click set up, the affiliate is paid based on the number of people who visit the merchants web site regardless if a purchase was made.

With pay per lead programs, affiliates are paid based on the number of people who sign up as leads. A lead would be a visitor who filled out an information page on the merchant web site thus becoming a potential customer.

Multilevel payment plans allow affiliates to earn commission on sales, clicks or leads from their sites as well as commission based on activity generated by affiliate sites they refer to the merchant site. Another form of payment is residual commission. Affiliates continue to earn money after the original sale has been made. This is common in situations where customers pay monthly fees for merchant services.

The best affiliate programs pay at least 25% commission with some going as high as 50%. Payments should be made at least once a month, although some affiliate programs pay quarterly or twice a year.

There are hundreds of good, reputable affiliate programs out there. Some of them offer excellent marketing and educational informations, though it depends on what actually you are looking for. Good Luck.
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Obinna Heche. Los Angeles - California

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