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Affiliate Marketing Explained

Aug 28th 2010 at 4:11 PM

Affiliate Marketing Explained

You can either join an affiliate program and promote other people's products or you can create your own affiliate program and let other people promote your products. Which option you choose will depend on whether you already sell your own products and services. If you don't currently have your own product and website you may want to join an affiliate program to quickly start earning an income online.

If you decide to promote other people's products as an affiliate you can expect to earn as much as 90% of each sale as a commission. The standard rate for most products is 50% commission for each sale. Many affiliate programs will give you the opportunity to recruit secondary tier affiliates and earn a percentage commission from each sale that they generate (normally around 5% to 10% per sale).

If you are selling your own product or service you can get free advertising by starting your own affiliate program and recruiting an army of affiliates all promoting your website. This is the fastest and easiest way to start generating sales without needing a large budget for an advertising campaign. The best way to start your own affiliate program is to install a professional affiliate management script on your website.

If you want to set up lucrative joint ventures with list owners you must have your own affiliate program with the ability to offer a percentage of the sale as a commission. Many top marketers who have large lists will require a unique commission that is slightly higher than the normal rate. If you can offer a generous commission for each sale (such as 60% or 70%) you will increase the number of joint venture partners who will promote your product or service.

The obvious benefit of having your own affiliate program is that you can generate an unlimited amount of free advertising for your products and services. If you train your affiliates and show them the best way to promote your website you can significantly increase their productivity and generate even more sales. Another benefit is that when you launch a new product you can announce it by email to your existing affiliates and immediately start producing sales. Its essential to know who your affiliates are and how to contact them.

The best thing about selling others people's products is that you will not have to process orders and refunds or reply to emails answering questions about the product or service. Depending on what product you choose you can get very large commissions for each sale and you may also have the option of recruiting affiliates on your second tier so that you earn commissions on all of their sales as well. If you are promoting Click Bank products you can now prevent people from stealing your commissions by cloaking your links which will stop your affiliate link from showing in the browser.

If you want full control over your affiliate program you should install a professional script which includes many other essential features such as unlimited auto responders, unique tracking links, protected download area, etc... Each script has its own advantages and disadvantages so you should find out exactly what you need first. Most of the websites that sell affiliate scripts usually give you the option of paying a small fee to hire a professional to install the script for you. If installation is not provided by with the package you can find a professional by using a service such as Elance.

Alternatively, if you don't what to install an affiliate script on your website you can use a different type of service like Click Bank which allows you to set up an affiliate program without having to install anything. This option is far cheaper but there are some disadvantages, one of which is that you never know who your affiliates are because they just have to enter their Click Bank ID into your link to start selling without sending you their details. There are ways to get around this but there will always be a large number of affiliates who don't send you their contact information.

When setting up your own affiliate program its important to provide as many resources as you can including adverts, tools, training and a reward system. You need to make it as easy as possible for your affiliates to promote your products by giving them everything they need. You can also encourage your affiliates to be more active by offering incentives (such as prizes for the most sales each month).

To receive the most orders possible you should offer multiple ways to pay such as by credit card, check, phone and fax. One of the most popular merchants online is PayPal and many people have this as the only way for customers to pay. Most of your sales will be made with a credit card (not PayPal) so make sure you include other merchants as well. Most affiliate scripts will integrate PayPal and 2Checkout.

Please to comment
Dec 19th 2010 at 6:11 PM by judyhwright
Thank you for the excellent article on affiliate marketing. There is a good discussion going on about using Clickbank. Hope you can shed some light on how it works. Judy Helm Wright

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