Affiliate Marketing Training:
What is Affiliate Marketing?
By Sarah Jamieson
Affiliate Marketing Training: What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing allows users called affiliates to earn a commission when they refer a visitor to a merchant's website, and the visitor makes a purchase.
Affiliate marketing is performance-based, because the affiliate website only earns a commission when a referred visitor takes an action the merchant wants.
Affiilate marketing programs sometimes pay for other actions than a sale, such as a lead referral.
Affiliate referrals made using "affiliate tracking links" that include the affiliate's unique ID embedded in the link.
In order for the affiliate to get credit for a sale, the visitor has to click the affiliate's unique link to visit the merchant's website.
The visitor is then tracked, usually with cookies. If the visitor buys, the system registers a commission to the referring affiliate.
The tracking cookie is usually set to last for a set period of time, so if the visitor leaves the merchant's site but then returns later and makes a purchase, the affiliate will still get credit for the sale.
These networks provide a range of programs for affiliates to choose from, as well as providing tracking and payment.
These are some things affiliates should consider when comparing affiliate programs:
- How long has the merchant been in business?
- How competitive is the market?
- How would the affiliate promote the program, and how much would promotion (like advertising) cost?
- Can the affiliate create a unique selling proposition to provide a competitive advantage?
- Does the market lend itself to repeat sales?
- If the customer pays a recurring fee (like a subscription paid monthly), is the affiliate paid recurring commissions, or simply a one-time commission?
- What kind of help and support does the merchant provide to affiliates?
- What are the merchant's terms for affiliates - for example, can affiliates advertise on the merchant's branded keywords?
- How are affiliates paid?
- How often are affiliates paid?
- What is the affiliate payout threshold?
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