Affiliate programs are a revenue sharing sales and marketing method that is used by large and small internet entrepreneurs. The idea had its origin with Amazon.com. The first affiliate marketing programs were for selling books through website reviews. Today, a whole range of products are sold by affiliates. The success of this form of marketing and the increase in the number of players have made it a low cost and revenue earning method of online marketing. The manufacturer or entrepreneur, the affiliate and the broker all get a slice of the marketing pie. Affiliate marketing is the best business for part timers and those who work from home.
The process is easy to set up. The manufacturer and the affiliate require a website of their own.
The manufacturer or the entrepreneur requires an advanced and easy to use website. The reason for this is that the affiliate does not market directly. The affiliate merely links the customer with the producer. The website should be easy to navigate. Details of products, offers, discount and other important features should be available to the customer when the link lands on the manufacturer’s landing page.
Some businesses use turnkey or ready to run websites. These websites are duplicated and given to the affiliate to start marketing immediately. This eliminates the need for affiliates to have websites of their own.
The affiliate requires a website. It is on this website that the advertisement of the product is placed by the manufacturer. The best affiliate websites are those that have content, designs and graphics related to the product they market. If the affiliate is marketing books, a website reviewing the latest or classic books as the case may be will generate more traffic. A website for insurance policies should have content of the many types of insurance policies and how the customer should choose among insurance plans and companies. The principal website should provide the affiliate with text links, banner links and a search box to make it easy for the traffic to reach the website from the website of the affiliate. While the content and design will be that of the affiliate, these important link options will supplement the content and help to reach the principal website easily
Payments are crucial in an affiliate program both for the manufacturer and the affiliate. Successful revenue sharing can only be achieved by prompt payments.
The manufacturer or entrepreneur should have an efficient payment system in place. This is done by software that automatically places a cookie on the PC of every customer who clicks on the advertisement on an affiliate website. The software used is called a tracker. The manufacturer should also have strict terms and conditions in place. There are affiliate scams where affiliates buy the products themselves and earn a commission. There is software that can trace and block this method of scam marketing by affiliates by offering fraud protection. Payment of a commission should reach the affiliate after each legitimate link o the website. A different rate is paid for every link that converts into a purchase. Some websites allow their affiliates to recruit other affiliates. A two tier payment is done in this case. A percentage is given for customers brought by the affiliate and a smaller percentage for customers brought in by the recruit of the affiliate.
The affiliate should choose a company that has a method of giving the affiliate details of sales made and the internet traffic that came in through the affiliate and converted into sales. In this way both the entrepreneur and the affiliate will have a win- win relationship with regard to payment.
Thus Affiliate programs work by using smaller websites called affiliates. These websites are packed with information about the product. When an internet visitor looks for products, they can get an overview of the product from the content on the website and can purchase the product through the links to the principal website.