Affiliate Programs

3 min read

affiliate programs

A program that involves two or more parties to work together to provide certain benefits to each other is considered as an affiliate program. Affiliate programs successfully dominate the internet advertising sector. Merchants prefer to use affiliate programs as it’s a very cheap and effective marketing strategy for online business.

The affiliate program is also known as an associate program, is when a merchant website uses an affiliate site to drive traffic towards their page. Affiliate sites post links that can help people reach the merchant site. The effectiveness of those advertising links is monitored and affiliates are rewarded based on the results. The affiliate site gets paid according to the traffic it can drive towards the merchant site. It’s cheaper than many other marketing tactics. This is why entrepreneurs are quite fond of using affiliate programs for spreading the word about their business.

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Affiliate Programs


How Does It Work?

How Does It Work?

An affiliate program is a marketing tool that works by spreading the news about the products or services and helps them gain recognition. For an affiliate program to work, there are three parties involved.

The first is the product manufacturer or the service provider who starts it all. The seller or service provider has a product that they’d like to market. The product can be of any type, either physical goods for people to inherit or a particular service. The seller won’t be involved in the marketing process of the affiliate program but they can gain their profit from the said marketing.

The second party is involved in the affiliate itself. The affiliate can either be an individual or a company that helps the seller by marketing their product to the targeted customer group. Affiliate programs promote the seller’s products to the consumers to convince them to acquire the product. The targeted group to whom the affiliate will be promoting depends on the product or service itself. This makes it easier for the affiliate to succeed since the chance of the selected people to buy the product or service is high. When the affiliate is successful in their persuasion, they receive a percentage of the generated revenue agreed by the seller.

The third-party involved is the consumers who determine how the affiliate marketing strategy will play out. The consumers are presented with the information and advertisement related to the product or service when they’re surfing online thanks to the affiliate programs. Once a consumer decides on buying the product, the profits are split between the seller and the affiliate associated with the marketing. Whether the consumer will know about the association of the affiliate in their purchase will decide on the affiliate itself. If an affiliate decides to disclose to the consumers about their involvement, then the consumer will come to know. But that won’t lead to the consumers paying more for the product than they’re supposed to. The affiliate’s share will be included in the selling price, so the consumer will be unaffected with or without an affiliate’s partake in the purchase.


Affiliate Program Payments

The process of payment for an affiliate program is a bit complicated. It depends on the arrangement set between the seller and the affiliate program. How the seller will measure the affiliate’s contribution to a product determines how they will get paid. Let’s look at three ways an affiliate can be paid:

1. Pay-per-sale

Pay-per-sale

This is a standard structure for affiliate programs where an affiliate gets paid by the seller after the purchase. This means when an affiliate program is successful in driving a consumer towards the seller’s product and that consumer purchases the product. And then the affiliate will get a percentage of that sold product since their program drove the consumer to the seller. So in this case, for the affiliate to get paid, their marketing has to be effective in convincing the consumer to pay their money.

2. Pay-per-click

Pay-per-click

In this program, whether the consumer buys the product or not, the affiliate still gets paid. The affiliate’s payment depends on the traffic they manage to drive towards the seller. The seller sets the payment based on the number of people who visit their retail page because of the affiliate program. The affiliate program must convince the targeted consumers to visit the seller’s page even if they don’t have the intention of buying. It is solely focused on web traffic.

3. Pay-per-lead

Pay-per-lead

This is a more complex system that focuses on leading the consumers to accomplish the task the merchant wants. Many sellers or merchant sites use an affiliate program to drive enough traffic on their site and get them to complete an action they want. (filling out a form, providing contact information, signing up for e-mails or newsletters, subscribing to their site or downloading any file, etc.). The seller will use this information for further marketing and obtain target consumers.

The affiliate has to coax consumers to reach the seller’s site and perform the desired action. The payment will depend on the number of people who successfully act on the seller’s site.

Besides these, there is also a program called pay-per-view. This type of program is considered more of an advertising method than an actual affiliate program as the payment depends on the number of people who come in contact with the ad presented by the affiliate. This falls more on the category of traditional marketing where it’s unsure whether the affiliate program is working or not. In the other programs, the payment is decided once the method applied for the affiliate works and manages to bring consumers to the seller. But here, the effectiveness cannot be measured. That’s why it is considered more of an advertisement program than an affiliate and merchants are wary of using it.


Lastly, if you want to get involved in an affiliate program, decide which path you want to take. Whether you want to run an affiliate program or you want an affiliate program for your business. If you plan on expanding your business and wish to increase sales immensely. It is better to start your program and manage it according to your business. But if you’re new and are running a small business, you should do some research on existing affiliate program companies and choose one depending on your budget.

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