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Affiliate Marketing

What is Affiliate marketing?

Affiliate program is nothing but you hearten other webmasters to sign up and advertise your services and products on their sites, in exchange you pay them based on their performance. An affiliate program is an excellent way to gain additional sales. There are options for all budgets, but you generally get what you pay for.

There are various way that affiliates are paid:

1. Per Impression: The affiliate is paid a set amount for every time that your ad is shown. The downside is that affiliates have no incentive to send you traffic, or to put your ad in a attention-grabbing location.

2. Per Click: You pay a set amount for each unique person that clicks on your ad. This is similar to a PPC engine. The downside is that you must pay even if the traffic is of a low quality.

3. Per Lead: You pay your affiliates based on the number of unique people that click on your ad, and then proceed to complete a particular action (for example, a "lead" might be when someone downloads a trial, or signs up for a mailing list). This is very similar to Per Sale, but is more common on sites promoting free services.

4. Per Sale: The affiliates are remunerated either a percentage or a set amount for each sale generated by a user that originated from the affiliate's site(for example I came across a template selling site named templatemuseum.com which offers a high rate of Per sale commission).

Affiliates generally prefer receiving commissions on a Per Impression or Per Click basis, but site owners have a preference of the inevitability of Per Lead and Per Sale.

There are three ways to start an affiliate program: Your own script, install a script, or use a third-party service.

Your own script

If your website's order system has been custom-made, then one option may be to ask your programmer to add an affiliate program to the system. The programmer would add some code to the payment script, and then develop a simple interface for affiliates to see how they're doing, and for you to check on your affiliates.

This is an cost-effective choice for sites based on custom scripting, but site owners may be somnolent to trust your reporting (after all, it would be in your best interest to fudge the numbers). Established sites can get away with this, but new websites may have difficulty here. Also, if you roll your own then it will be entirely up to you to promote it.

Installing a Script

If you don't have a custom-made order script, or if the required modifications would be too pricey, then a similar alternative would be to install a ready-made script. The CGI Resource Index has a list of such scripts. Free scripts are out there, but are generally difficult to find if you're interested in the script's quality (which is important for an affiliate program). Expect to pay $20 to $60 for a good affiliate script.

Like rolling your own, this presents the problem of finding affiliates. Also, affiliates may be just as apprehensive of using a script controlled by you as they would be of a custom-built affiliate system.

Using a Third-Party Service

The final alternative, and the one chosen by the largest number of sites, is to use a third-party service. Here, you let another company control your affiliate program. They will take care of managing it, and to some extent finding affiliates, but at a price. For example templatemuseum.com can be viewed as a destination place for retrieval of information regarding the best affiliate program in the market today.

Submitted by:

Bhavani Vijay

The Author of this article Bhavani vijay is an Administrator of a reputed IT firm & her hobby is to write & collect articles on various topics. You can visit http://www.anandnataraj.com to read her collections




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