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Compusa (Systemax, Inc.)

Netflix, Inc.

MetroPCS Wireless, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are Affiliate Programs?

Simply put, affiliate programs, also called associate programs, are arrangements in which an online merchant Web site pays affiliate Web sites a commission to send them traffic. These affiliate Web sites post links to the merchant site and are paid according to a particular agreement. This agreement is usually based on the number of people the affiliate sends to the merchant's site, or the number of people they send who buy something or perform some other action.

Some arrangements pay according to the number of people who visit the page containing their merchant site's banner advertisement. Basically, if a link on an affiliate site brings the merchant site traffic or money, the merchant site pays the affiliate site according to their agreement. Recruiting affiliates is an excellent way to sell products online, but it can also be a cheap and effective marketing strategy; it's a good way to get the word out about your site.

Payment

There are three basic types of affiliate program payment arrangements:
  • Pay-per-sale (also called cost-per-sale): Amazon.com's affiliate program is an example of a pay-per-sale arrangement. In this arrangement, the merchant site pays an affiliate when the affiliate sends them a customer who purchases something. Some merchant Web sites, like Amazon.com, pay the affiliate a percentage of the sale and others pay a fixed amount per sale.
     
  • Pay-per-click (cost-per-click): In these programs, the merchant site pays the affiliate based on the number of visitors who click on the link to come to the merchant's site. They don't have to buy anything, and it doesn't matter to the affiliate what a visitor does once he gets to the merchant's site.
     
  • Pay-per-lead (cost-per-lead): Companies with these programs pay their affiliates based on the number of visitors they refer who sign up as leads. This simply means the visitor fills out some requested information at the merchant site, which the merchant site may use as a sales lead or sell to another company as a sales lead.
There are a couple of very popular variations on these
basic payment plans:
  • Two-tier programs: These affiliate programs have a structure similar to multilevel marketing organizations (also known as "network marketing") such as Amway or Avon, which profit through commission sales and sales recruitment. In addition to receiving commissions based on sales, clicks or leads stemming from their own site, affiliates in these programs also receive a commission based on the activity of affiliate sites they refer to the merchant site.
     
  • Residual Programs: Affiliates in these programs can keep making money off a visitor they send to the site if the visitor continues to purchase goods or services from the merchant site. Many online merchants who receive regular payments from their customers (such as monthly service fees) run this sort of affiliate program.
Netflix, Inc.Becoming an Affiliate

Becoming an affiliate is relatively easy. Go to an affiliate network site and fill out an online application to become a member. The application will ask for some personal information (name, address, payment method) and information on your site (URL, name, and description of content) and will have you agree to a service agreement. Most affiliate networks are completely free for affiliates.

If the affiliate network approves your application, you can begin picking affiliate programs that interest you. Because so many affiliate programs are free to the affiliate, it's probably in your best interest to steer clear of programs with a charge. Once you've chosen some affiliate programs, the online merchants running these programs will have the opportunity to review your site. If they approve you, the affiliate network will walk you through the process of posting the appropriate links, which come directly from the network's site.

They will also establish payment arrangements with you. Because the amount of money you earn per action can be extremely small, most affiliate networks have a set minimum payout amount. This means you won't receive a check until the total money owed you reaches a certain amount. After you have set all this up and the affiliate network has explained its system to you, you can get back to work on your Web site's content and wait for your money to come in.

 


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