Learn How Affiliate Marketing Works And Increase Your Income

Learn How Affiliate Marketing Works And Increase Your Income

Have people ever told you that you’d make a great salesman? With affiliate marketing, you can turn your natural sales skills into a profitable career. However, it takes more than a good sales pitch to succeed at affiliate marketing.

In the following paragraphs, you’ll find tips that will turn you into a marketing pro.

To find the right affiliate marketing company, look for products that sell well. You should look at the statistics of their websites: how many people who visited the website bought something? Browse through the website yourself and see if it presents the products in a way that makes you want to buy.

Be passionate and enthusiastic. Readers want to know that you truly do love what you are doing, and they are interested in why the products you are helping sell are beneficial to you. If you show them that you are genuinely excited about a product, they are much more likely to take an interest in it themselves.

It is important as an affiliate that you send your traffic to quality product pages, not to squeeze in pages and other undesirable pages that may turn them off. You can bypass opt-in pages of websites by using link-cloaking tools and sending your customers directly to sales letters and landing pages.

In affiliate marketing, multiple referrals benefit both website owners and affiliate partners. Make sure your affiliates give you proper credit for them! Multiple referrals are when a customer returns to buy from your affiliate more than once. As the initial referrer who delivered the customer to your affiliate, you are entitled to commissions on all of his or her sales. Make sure your affiliates track and credit multiple referrals correctly!

Affiliate programs differ tremendously in terms of the services and payment structures that they offer. If one program doesn’t seem to fit your revenue goals, then consider a different one with a different financial arrangement. Although there are many large affiliate networks, don’t forget about the smaller ones as an excellent source of revenue.

Your affiliate website should be easy to navigate. A clean, transparent home page design will build confidence in your visitors and help them to find the information they are looking for. It is a good practice to explain briefly what your website is about, how it will help and reward the visitor and what services your merchant offers.

Base your review and promotion of the product on your personal experience. If you have not tried the product yourself, ask someone who has to help you write a review. Look for comments and discussions about the product online. If you see a lot of negative impressions about the products, perhaps you should not promote it at all.

Nothing is quite as important in affiliate marketing as correctly identifying your audience. Understanding that there are different niche markets within every niche market will help you to only target those potential customers most likely to purchase a product. This saves you a lot of time and helps you make a lot more money.

Remember that when working with an affiliate program, you are going to be getting paid each month for clients that you refer to their site. Make sure that the company that you are referring people to is going to provide great customer service, or it will reflect badly on you.

Even though some affiliate marketing programs may appear to be the same, no two are exactly alike. They offer various types of payment structures, services, and products. While some programs will offer a lifetime payout, others will specify the number of days. It is important to read the fine print and be aware of what you are getting.

A great tip to be successful with affiliate marketing is to record a Skype video interview with the owner of the particular product you are attempting to sell. You should include lots of quality content, but include a selling pitch at the end. This will likely convince doubters about purchasing this product because they have seen and heard the person in charge of the product.

One tip for successful affiliate marketing is to hold a Skype meeting with the owner of the product you are attempting to sell. He should include quality content and a selling pitch. This can convince customers to purchase the product and means extra income for you.

When choosing an affiliate to work with, you should always be cautious of those requiring a minimum quota. This means you’ll be working very hard for possibly very little return. Stick with compensation per every sale and not compensation per a number of sales or referrals. There’s just no money in it.

A good tip for people interested in affiliate marketing is to see whether your affiliate programs can get you a test product to review and familiarize yourself with. This is a great way to understand and learn about what types of products you are going to be marketing. While some affiliate programs won’t allow you to do this, it does not hurt to ask.

Measure the room you’re using as a home office and make sure you know the square footage of your entire home. To write off part of your rent, mortgage, or utilities, you must know what percentage of your home is dedicated to your affiliate marketing company, so find out before your accountant asks!

Change your ads around every once in a while. Visitors can get very bored seeing the same ads over and over again. However, don’t pick just any ad. Research your affiliates and make sure they are trustworthy and relevant. There are many options out there, and your choices should both reflect the interest of your visitors and be connected to your niche.

If you manage to master affiliate marketing, it can be a dream career. You get to work from home, set your own hours, can never be laid off, and are in control of your destiny. Now that you’ve read this article, you know what you can do to achieve affiliate marketing success.

Important Affiliate Marketing Tips To Help You Increase Your Profits

Important Affiliate Marketing Tips To Help You Increase Your Profits

If you’re searching for an alternate source of income in these hard times, then you should try affiliate marketing. If you want to start but have questions or don’t know how then the tips and suggestions in this article should help you create a successful affiliate site that can become a great source of income.

One affiliate marketing program to take advantage of is a pay-per-click search engine. A PPC engine is one that prioritizes search results according to advertiser payments. When you bid on a keyword with a PPC engine, your site will appear higher on searches for that keyword. Because you only pay the PPC engine for successful searches that direct visitors your way, bidding for PPC keywords can be a very cost-effective strategy.

Be honest with your readers and disclose your affiliations. Readers know an affiliate and when they see one, and they will appreciate your honesty. It’ll make them feel better about supporting you by using your referral link. Furthermore, honesty is important in generating a loyal reader base that will continue to generate money in the future.

To make money doing affiliate marketing you have to start with a quality product. No matter how much promotion you do, if people never buy the product you will not make any money from it. A poor product on your page may also make people question the quality of your other products.

To maximum your affiliate marketing profits, work with a variety of retailers who sell similar products. You should aim to promote anywhere from 3 to 4 different retailers on your site. This gives you data on how affiliates compare to each other and also gives your readers options. Try rotating the merchants you work with to find out which ones are best for you.

Affiliate programs vary. The products are different, and some are more flexible than others.

When you are first exploring the world of affiliate marketing, limit yourself to offering no more than a half-a-dozen affiliate products. This narrow portfolio will let you learn the ropes and get to know the back end of the affiliate process. Thorough mastery of these basics will make it easier to tackle the new challenges that bigger product portfolios bring.

Even though some affiliate marketing programs may appear to be the same, no two are exactly alike. They offer various types of payment structures, services, and products. While some programs will offer a lifetime payout, others will specify the number of days. It is important to read the fine print and be aware of what you are getting.

Play down your successes and talk about what your prospect can achieve. People need to hear that you have done well but your testimonial only goes so far. Use your success to promote how well they are going to do. Keep the focus on your prospect and what they will achieve, just like you did.

Keep the dream that your prospect is trying to succeed at the forefront of their minds. Show off the pictures of your cars, your homes, your children graduating from college that you paid for. Let them imagine that those pictures are theirs. Remind them that you got all of this because of your program.

Promote only high-quality products that you believe into your customers. If the reader learns that they can trust you, they will be more likely to take your advice on purchasing new products that they don’t know much about. Keeping your product line to only items that you can truly support will keep your customers coming back again and again to your site.

In addition to checking out the product, make sure the company itself is legitimate and trustworthy. You will lose customers trust if you send them to a shady company that does not live up to its promises. Make sure that they follow through on their offers and that they handle their payments in a timely manner.

Look into using a plugin that will automatically rotate the advertisements on your site. This keeps your site fresh and interesting and provides new chances for click-throughs from your customers. As an added benefit, most of these programs can provide analytics regarding what got the most customer clicks allowing you to take out underperforming ads.

A great idea for affiliate marketers to implement with their business strategy is to start focus groups with customers and website visitors to gain insight on their feelings about your site and the products you advertise. This is a great way to find ways to improve both your website and the products you choose to sell.

When dealing with affiliate marketing, it is extremely important to pick a high-quality product. Choosing a sub-par product will not be interesting to potential customers and those who end up buying the product anyway will be disappointed. This, in turn, will reflect poorly on you and could hurt your reputation.

As you’re starting your affiliate marketing company, barter your time and skills with other businesses. This will help you save money. For example, offer your host free advertising space in return for a few months of free hosting. You can ask your babysitter if she’ll give you a discount on her rate if you apply your marketing skills and get her some advertising on the internet. What you’ll find is that people love to barter!

Try to only check your email two times a day so that you’ll be completely focused on your work instead. You can even set your email program to only pick up email every 12 hours to ensure you’re not peeking when you should actually be writing content, creating graphics, or reading more about your affiliate marketing programs.

You can make a lot of profits through a successful affiliate site. However, to make it successful, you need to put in a lot of effort and your valuable time to make it attractive to your audience. If you follow the tips and tricks in this article, you’ll definitely see a boost in profits from your site.

Strategies To Improve Your Affiliate Marketing Game

Strategies To Improve Your Affiliate Marketing Game

If you want to make money by selling products to other people, you need to know about the world of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is not difficult, but there are many things that you need to know to get started. Here you will find tips to help you become a successful affiliate.

Some affiliate companies will want you to sign an exclusivity clause, but you should avoid doing this. Pay attention to the fine print in any affiliate agreement. If you ever want to branch out and use your site to promote other products, make sure the company you’re choosing now will not try to prohibit your growth in the future.

Use the internet to check the history of an affiliate program prior to signing on with them. It is so important to know who you are working with so you do not find yourself frustrated and angry about not getting the money that they owe you for selling their products.

Use a plugin to help you rotate the advertisements on your site. Eliminate the ads that are not making any money to free up some space for new ads that may work better. Track this internally through your account on the affiliate marketing site that you are working through.

If you want your affiliate marketing efforts to pay off at the highest amount, you should be seen as providing helpful information. Most people recognize ads and do not want to visit a page that is nothing but advertising. But if you put out regular information about a subject they are interested in, they are more likely to click through the ads.

A good affiliate marketing tip is to make sure you’re in the right market. You want to be in a market where you’ll make some money. You’ll also want to be in one that is relevant to your interests. Doing a little bit of research will help you find the right market for you.

Check the startup costs for the company that you are interested in prior to signing up. The cost to start an affiliate program should be very little if anything at all. Find out if you can have the startup costs taken out of the earnings that you will make to avoid any out of pocket expenses in the beginning.

A great affiliate marketing tip is to post comments on popular YouTube videos that are relevant to your niche market. Posting comments on popular videos will get the attention of a lot of people. They’ll also be able to check out your channel and see what else you have to offer.

Practice patience when starting up an affiliate marketing website. If you give up right away, you have given up too soon. Regular people become affiliate marketers all the time and there are step-by-step goals that you need to set in place. Try not to give up right away. Keep learning all you can and avoid mistakes and pitfalls from the start and you will be on the road to a successful affiliate marketing website.

Try developing an audience before you even start selling to them. Let’s say you are going to be promoting a new tool for article marketing. Start recording and posting videos of yourself giving advice and tips about article marketing. After you have posted a few videos and built up a following, then create a video promoting your product. By that point, you have shown yourself to have knowledge in the product you are promoting.

When selling affiliate products, make sure your offers can compete in the industry. What offers do your competitors have? Do you have good enough margins on your product to allow the same or better offer? For shipped products, free shipping works especially well during the holiday season and can give you an edge.

Whenever possible, you should make an effort to try out the products that you are advertising and recommending. This will allow you to write an honest recommendation that your readers are sure to appreciate. If the company you are dealing with won’t provide you with a free product, consider purchasing it anyway.

Identify your audience first, then choose what to sell to them. You’ll have a much harder time trying to sell feminine hygiene products to a single man than you would a bottle of cologne, so considering who will be doing the buying on your website is key to figuring out what you’ll be selling through affiliate marketing.

To make the most out of your affiliate marketing campaigns, do not be afraid to invest in advertising such as Google Ads. Google does most of the work for you by placing ads on pages with specific keywords related to your products and driving traffic to your site to increase the number of potential buyers. Sometimes you have to spend a little to make a lot.

Drink lots of water while working on your home affiliate marketing business to keep yourself hydrated. The worst thing that can happen is that you forget to drink and become dehydrated, leading to headaches or intestinal disruption. Keep yourself in peak health and your brain will function at top capacity, too.

Chose a unique product or service to promote. If you try to market a product or service which thousands or other affiliates are already trying to sell, you are unlikely to get any orders or commission without spending hundreds of dollars on advertising. Instead, chose a product or service which only a few affiliates are distributing.

Invest in time-management software to help you with your affiliate marketing company and your life. Having a healthy work-life balance is key to keeping your mind clear and your life stress-free. You’ll be a better business person if you maintain good mental health, so sort your life out with the aid of some time-management software and feel at peace.

Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you can see that making an affiliate living is not difficult at all. You just need to apply yourself, and you can start by applying the tips that you’ve discovered here. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the fruits of your online labour.

Top 15 Tips To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Top 15 Tips To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Have people ever told you that you sound like you’re a salesperson? If they have, you should consider trying affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a wonderful way to use those strong sales skills to make money on the web.

Top Tips To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

When building affiliate links on your blog, don’t forget that you need traffic on your site first. If no one is reading your blog, there’s no one to click on your affiliate links, no matter how glowing your recommendation or well-placed your advertisements. Build a readership for your blog and then join an affiliate program to take advantage of that traffic.

Seek out multiple commissions. Many companies offer several different ways to earn revenue, even from the same customer. These companies are some of the best to work for because of the offer you several ways to gain income from a single person. Read all contracts available and try to choose one with this option. It helps make earning money quicker!

An efficient blog or website is going to create far more affiliate traffic than almost anything else you can do. Be sure that your site is always streamlined and easy to use. A complicated site stuffed with junk content is going to immediately turn traffic away. So, make sure the site is clean and easy to navigate.

If you are reviewing a product that you have not purchased, make sure that you always include examples of how it works. You always want to give screenshots of the product, other reviews from users (with permission), and other vital information about the product. As an affiliate, you should be really informed about any product you promote.

Stay focused on the content offered on your site. Do not compromise your content to better cater to the affiliate programs you are using because it will cause you to lose your readers. If you lose the readers, you lose the opportunity to make any money off of the ads that you have on your site.

Harness the power of scarcity in your endeavours. People respond to offers with time limits or with certainly limited volumes. If you use a scarcity plan though, make sure to follow through. Your repeat visitors will see if you said an offer was for two days only and it’s still up 2 weeks later.

Along with all the other options to account for with an affiliate marketing program, look at how ad placement affects your revenue. Certain ad positions on your site (and even on individual pages) will garner more visitor interest than others. If you track the results you get from individual positions you can fit the most profitable ads to the most visible placements, boosting your revenue.

To keep your affiliate marketing business generating the most money for you-you should keep verifying which ads are pulling for you and which do not. There are a number of tracking programs available to let you check the statistics of each ad individually and make comparisons between which ones work the best.

A great affiliate marketing tip is to never sacrifice your content in order to make earnings.

Good content is the sole reason why visitors come to your site, and if visitors start to notice that you’re placing too much emphasis on the ads, they’ll quickly lose interest in your site.

To significantly increase your affiliate marketing profits, start blogging.

Blogging can be an incredibly natural way to promote products. Blogs also rank very highly with search engines, allowing you to market products to a variety of visitors. A blog can also lend a personal touch to the way you sell products. It allows you to answer reader questions, and to guide them to products in a more direct way.

Keep the dream that your prospect is trying to succeed in the forefront of their minds. Show off the pictures of your cars, your homes, your children graduating from college that you paid for. Let them imagine that those pictures are theirs. Remind them that you got all of this because of your program.

To maximize your profits as an affiliate marketer, you should work with multiple companies that sell similar products. You will then be able to offer alternatives to your potential customers in case they do not like a specific product. Working with multiple companies can be a very effective way to increase your income, but you should be wary of contracting yourself to exclusivity agreements with any company. Companies that try to force you to exclusively sell their products are not looking out for your best interests.

Confirm how many sales the product really has before signing up with them. What is the point of spending your time building a site to promote a product that no one wants? You only get a commission when someone buys so make sure you are putting your efforts towards a winner.

There are many items you can write off when running an affiliate marketing business from home, including your computer (if you buy a new one), a printer, printer ink, paper, even meals eaten while discussing business. You can write off part of your rent or mortgage as well as utilities and phone bills.

Take your content and turn it into something that people will want to post elsewhere and link back to. For example, use statistics you’ve compiled and created a graphic that turns them into a visualization, like a graph. People will post this elsewhere and link to your conclusions, driving traffic to your website and, in turn, your affiliate links.

If things go well and you are making sales, double up. Create a second pen name using a new account on your article directory, and submit re-written versions of the same articles. Also look for more keywords to use in new articles.

You shouldn’t waste any of your strengths. If you’ve been gifted with great sales skills, you should put those skills to use through affiliate marketing. Now that you’ve read this article, you know some very useful information about this type of marketing. All that’s left for you to do is get started.

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Improve Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Improve Your Affiliate Marketing Program

As you begin to develop your business model in affiliate marketing, you will learn that there are certain things you need to do in order to achieve your success, keys to marketing that will ultimately lead to a successful business.

If you haven’t figured them out yet, then read this article, and improve your affiliate marketing program.

Check current news headlines to see if you can use them to your internet marketing advantage. A news story on electrical outages, for example, is perfect for you if you are in the solar industry. Use news stories for blog post ideas and real-life examples of why your product or service is a necessary purchase.

If you have a lot of followers on online social networking and microblogging services, then post about your affiliate product and include a link. Only do this if you think the product will be useful to your followers, as too many self-serving posts could cause you to lose your followers. Remember, every follower you have on a social networking site is a potential customer.

To increase the success of your affiliate marketing, make sure that your affiliate company offers their sales statistics in real time. Real-time statistics let you see the number of visitors who have been directed from your site, and how many of those visitors made a purchase from the affiliate company.

Use direct or “deep linking”. This means linking directly to the item a consumer is interested in rather than the home page of the company selling it. A prospective buyer is not interested in clicking through multitudes of pages to find what they are looking for. Help ease this process by linking them directly to it.

Before picking an affiliate marketing partner, you should visit their website to get a feel for their online business. Would you personally buy from their website? Is their website easy to use? Would visitors to your website feel good or bad about being directed to the advertiser? You can learn plenty about potential partners just by checking their site.

You should choose an affiliate marketing program that will give you access to real-time sales statistics and information so that you can track precisely how many sales your website has made. Real-time data lets you judge exactly how different promotions are working so that you will know what to do to maximize your earnings.

A great affiliate marketing tip is to make sure the company you’re going to do business with has a decent reputation. You don’t want to do a lot of work for a company and then not get paid. It’s very important to research a company before you join their affiliate program.

Affiliate Marketing

When selecting an affiliate marketing program, look for generous commission programs. You should be receiving at least twenty to fifty percent of the profit on each item that you sell. Your value to the company and the product that you are promoting should outweigh the desire for the company to scrape a few more pennies out of your commission.

If you want to be successful with affiliate marketing, a great tip is to get as many links back to your site as you possibly can. Link to other sites. Doing this will move your site up the search engine rankings. This causes more people to see your site when they are searching on a search engine, which will generate more traffic to your site.

The most important thing you can do to achieve success in affiliate marketing is choosing the right product. There certainly are a lot of dodgy mortgage loan scams and acai berry supplements for weight loss out there, but associating yourself with products that have such a poor reputation will just harm your own reputation, reducing sales in the future.

High traffic to your website is what affiliate marketing companies look for. The more traffic you can get to visit your page, the more apt people are to click the link and buy the products that you are featuring. To gain more traffic you have to expose your page to as many people as possible.

In some cases, a vendor will attempt to scam you via a tracking system of their own design. To avoid being scammed, find and use a tracking system that has a good reputation.

A great tip to be successful with affiliate marketing is to record a Skype video interview with the owner of the particular product you are attempting to sell. You should include lots of quality content, but include a selling pitch at the end. This will likely convince doubters about purchasing this product because they have seen and heard the person in charge of the product.

One tip for successful affiliate marketing is to hold a Skype meeting with the owner of the product you are attempting to sell. He should include quality content and a selling pitch. This can convince customers to purchase the product and means extra income for you.

Keep in mind that generating revenue might take some time. Affiliate marketing is not a way to make huge amounts of money quickly. You should use affiliate marketing to earn extra income that will grow with time. You also need to be ready to invest a lot of time into developing good strategies.

If you want to find success with affiliate marketing, you need to be persistent. Despite all the hype, in most cases, affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick endeavor. Instead, it takes a lot of hard work and trial and error to succeed. They key is to keep plugging away no matter how many times your campaigns or marketing efforts fail. Each time you fail, you will learn from your mistakes, and before you know it your will refine your strategy enough that you finally find the success you have been seeking.

One of the only ways you’re going to become a skilled affiliate marketer is to actually work as a marketer. Even with great tips like you’ve just read above, you will still need to put them to action to find out if they work. So remember to take that big leap by implementing what you’ve learned here.

Related Post: What is Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing ?

What is Affiliate Marketing ?

An affiliate marketing programme is a method of encouraging website owners and other online publishers to promote another business’ products or services in return for a fee, normally a commission. Many successful online traders use this performance-based marketing method, but it is often overlooked by small businesses despite it being cost effective.

Affiliate marketing is a way for merchants to reward other businesses for referring customers or visitors to them. A ‘merchant’ can be any business with an online presence, such as a retailer, service provider or advertiser. An ‘affiliate’ can be any business that publishes online, either via a website or an electronic newsletter.

The merchant provides the affiliate with the necessary information and tools and the affiliate then promotes the merchant’s products or services. The merchant makes a payment to the affiliate for every customer or visitor referred from the affiliate’s website who completes a predetermined action, for example by making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Affiliate marketing is a cost-effective option for merchants because affiliates get paid only when they deliver results.

How do affiliate marketing programmes work?

Affiliate marketing programmes work by tracking referrals from affiliates to merchants and converting the tracking results into rewards paid to the affiliates. Referrals can take the form of clicks, registrations or sales, and are usually tracked using custom links that identify the affiliate. The reward or compensation method varies, with the most common being:

  • Cost per sale (CPS). This is a revenue-sharing model where merchants pay affiliates a commission for every sale made from a referral.
  • Cost per action (CPA). This is a compensation method where merchants pay affiliates a reward every time a referred visitor completes a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter.
  • Cost per click (CPC). This is a method where merchants pay affiliates a fee every time a user is driven to click on a promotional link or banner that links them to the merchant’s website.
  • Cost per mille (CPM). Also known as cost per thousand, this method pays affiliates for every thousand visitors driven to the merchant’s website.

Some merchants run their own in-house affiliate programmes, which require them to set up and maintain the programming infrastructure, manage affiliates, track referrals and administer reward payments. However, many merchants use affiliate networks that connect merchants to affiliates and make the administration of programmes easier.

What are good examples of affiliate marketing programmes?

Many successful online services operate some form of affiliate marketing programme. Mobile phone networks, bookmakers, credit card providers, insurance companies, broadband providers, travel agents, utility companies, digital television providers and retailers of clothes, food, and entertainment products have all benefited from them as part of their marketing activities.

The online retailer Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk) has one of the best-known affiliate marketing programmes. Amazon launched its affiliate programme in 1996 and although it was not the first, it soon became established as a benchmark for affiliate marketing programmes. Amazon set up a system where affiliates can link to any product or page on the Amazon website and receive a commission on any products sold. Go to https://affiliateprogram.amazon.co.uk for further details.

ClickBank (www.clickbank.com) is an online retailer of digital products and has paid out more than $2 billion to more than 100,000 affiliates since it was founded in 1998. ClickBank sells products on behalf of more than 12,000 vendors and makes sales in more than 145 countries. Its affiliates sign up for a free account and then choose the products they wish to promote. They are provided with bespoke links and are encouraged to post these online. Whenever someone clicks on one of these links and purchases a product, ClickBank pays the affiliate a commission of up to 75% of the sale.

Smaller businesses can also operate successful affiliate marketing programmes. SiteSell’s Site Build It! (www.sitesell.com) is a tool to help individuals build a small business online. The programme is highly rated among affiliates as it pays commission on each subscription generated and offers lifetime commission on subscription renewals. The programme has proved to be very effective for the merchant. Go to https://affiliates.sitesell.com for further information about the SiteSell affiliate programme.

What are the benefits of affiliate marketing programmes?

Affiliate marketing programmes offer benefits to both the merchant and the affiliate:

• As the merchant, affiliate programmes bring new customers and visitors to your website. The benefit of this is that you pay only on results, with the onus on the affiliate to promote your product or service in order to earn revenue.
• As an affiliate, you can earn commission or fees by promoting merchants’ products or services without having to become a merchant yourself.

How important is tracking and reporting?

For an affiliate marketing programme to work effectively, it is essential that all referrals (clicks and sales) are accurately tracked so that merchants can reward each affiliate appropriately. Affiliates must be able to trust their merchants and be confident that all referrals are tracked and correct payments made. Transparent reporting is required and most programmes have systems that allow affiliates to log in to check up-to-date referral and payment reports.

What are affiliate networks?

Affiliate networks are third parties that act as a link between merchants and affiliates, often providing administration services, such as tracking and reporting, for affiliate marketing programmes. Affiliate networks also make it easier for merchants to find suitable affiliates and vice versa. Some of the major affiliate networks include:

What industry standards and laws affect affiliate marketing programmes?

Although there are no agreed industry standards for affiliate marketing, the leading affiliate network, Commission Junction, introduced a code of conduct in 2002 (updated 2007), which has subsequently been adopted by other networks, merchants, and affiliates. Among its requirements, the code stipulates that merchants should not reverse payments to affiliates illegitimately and that they must disclose any conditions or restrictions that could have a negative effect on affiliate commission. Affiliates must not interfere with referrals or improperly use merchant trademarks, copyrights or brand names. Go to ww.cj.com/code_of_conduct.html to read the code of conduct.

Affiliate marketing programmes are regulated by electronic marketing legislation and particularly by-laws relating to Internet cookies. Many affiliate programmes use cookies to track referrals. Their use is regulated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, which stipulates that cookies may only be used if consumers are provided with clear information covering what they are and their purpose and perform an action or series of actions that implies consent to their use. This could be, for example, clicking ‘continue’ to access a page using cookies. See BIF 410, A Guide to the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 for further information.

How can you start an affiliate marketing programme?

The first step in starting an affiliate marketing programme is to decide whether it will be set up and operated in-house or via an affiliate network. Merchants running an in-house programme will require appropriate software to handle tracking, reporting and payment administration. 

The next step is to create links and banners for affiliates to use. Most merchants provide banners in a range of sizes and formats and text links that can be incorporated into websites easily. The links and banners should be updated regularly to feature new products and developments. Dynamic links can also be created: these will update automatically without the affiliate having to change them manually. It is also important to create specific landing pages on your website, or ensure that links point to appropriate pages. For example, a link for a newsletter sign-up should point to a specific newsletter sign-up page rather than the merchant’s homepage.

Deciding on a suitable payment method and schedule is crucial to attracting affiliates and ensuring that the programme produces a healthy return on investment. If the payment offered is too low, few affiliates will be interested. If it is too high, the programme could damage the merchant’s profit margin. Affiliate programme operators usually list the payments offered to affiliates on their own websites where they can be researched and compared.

How are affiliates paid?

It is common for merchants to pay affiliates electronically, either by bank transfer or via an online payment system such as PayPal. Some merchants also offer payment by cheque. Payments are made at regular intervals – monthly or quarterly, for example – usually only if the monies due for that period are above a certain threshold. For example, some merchants will only pay when the amount due for the period exceeds £50 in order to reduce the potentially costly administration of very small payments. Although affiliates will expect to be paid promptly, accurate reporting can take time to process and it is not untypical for payments to be made up to three months in arrears.

Hints and tips

  • In general, affiliate marketing is more suitable for products than services.
  • Effective affiliate marketing programmes can increase a merchant’s sales or website visits. They also increase awareness of the merchant’s name and presence across the web.
  • Joining an affiliate network can make it easier to administer an affiliate programme and attract new affiliates.
  • Ensure accurate tracking and reporting to keep the programme running effectively and to maintain affiliate confidence.
  • Keep banners and links fresh and up to date to encourage affiliates to use them and consumers to click on them.
  • Check and approve affiliate applications to ensure the programme is promoted by suitable websites.
  • Build relationships with affiliates, keeping them updated about new developments and encouraging loyalty.

Other Related Posts:

  1. Small Business Digital Marketing Strategies
  2. Creating an Email Marketing Campaign
  3. Tips to Discover Popular Topics For Your Niche
  4. Improving your SEO results with Google+
  5. Improve Your Affiliate Marketing Program
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