Affiliate marketing is an Internet system that involves three main participants. The party providing the goods or services is called the company or retailer. The party buying those items is called the visitor or customer. The associate or affiliate refers to the website that provided the link for the visitor to reach the retailer site. Normally, a company provides an ad highlighting the products of the retailer, which the associate places on his website. When visitors click the ad, they are transferred to the company website. If they make a purchase while they are there, the associate or affiliate earns a commission. Affiliate marketing is not an advertising method in and of itself. Traffic must be lured to the affiliate site if he is to earn any commissions. To do this, other types of Internet marketing must be employed, such as search engines and emails. Articles complimentary to the company’s products or services are also sometimes used to attract new customers.
Certain types of businesses are more likely to use affiliates than others. Retailers and online casinos are the most prevalent, with cell phone and travel sites following close behind. One rapidly expanding industry, as relates to affiliate marketing, involves companies offering goods or services related to the Internet. Web hosting companies and those that sell software for the development of websites are becoming very involved in affiliation.Compensation methods vary a great deal, but most will fall in one of the most popular three categories. By far the vast majority use a plan that pays a percentage on the sale amount. The cost per action plan pays a set rate whenever the visitor performs a certain action, which can be whatever the company wishes. It can be a purchase or perhaps signing up for opt-in emails. These first two methods account for ninety-nine percent of the plans. The rest use a variety of methods, but the most popular of the remaining ones pays affiliates if their visitors will just click on the ad.
Because affiliates normally do not make money unless the retailer can make the sale, two factors should be considered when selecting a retailer to promote. First, a professional company website that is easy to negotiate and properly maintained is essential. Prices should be competitive, and the service or products of value to most visitors. Second, affiliates will make the most money if they can match their visitors with a site offering something of interest to them. The tastes of your visitors should be considered when deciding on a company to host. Multiple tiers are becoming more popular for commission structures. This bears some similarity to multilevel marketing. As an example, if an affiliate leads another to become an affiliate of the company, the first affiliate will receive a payment based on the sales of the second as well as his own.The opt-in sites that have become popular are normally a form of affiliate promotion. The associate attempts to drive traffic to a website where visitors choose among offers from different companies. Normally, the associate sends out emails urging recipients to register for a bonus or gift. If he goes to the site, he must accept a set number of offers to be entered into a drawing. Affiliate marketing does not create overnight millionaires, but it has become a substantial source of revenue for many sites. Some affiliates even create websites for the sole purpose of hosting the ads for the companies they select. For anyone who can tie a web presence to a company, they are a viable method of generating extra income.