So How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Affiliate marketing is a popular business model where a product or service that is developed by one entity is sold by another active seller for a share on the profit. It can be done offline or online. In the online business world, it basically involves someone using a website to drive traffic to another. Most of the affiliate marketing models available today comes from e-commerce businesses with affiliate programs.
This affiliate marketing model has four main players; the merchant or retailer, the publisher or affiliate, the affiliate network and the customer. This concept can be explained in three steps:
Step 1: A customer visits the website or blog of an affiliate.
Step 2: The affiliate uses links provided to him or her by the network which directs the prospective customer to their partner, the merchant, who in turn offers a product or service.
Step 3: Depending on the terms of their agreement, the merchant compensates the affiliate. The affiliate is rewarded with either a percentage of each sale or he or she is paid a flat rate for each potential lead provided.
Out of all the types of online marketing, affiliate marketing is preferred by advertisers on the internet because it provides a faster way to get sales for your products.
Here are some of the top affiliate networks on the internet;
- Clickbank; this is the top network that deals with digital products. They have over 10,000 digital products that you can promote in return for a commission for every sale that you make. Commissions generally vary from 0% to 75%. They also have their own mechanisms of calculating how popular each product is by the use of an index that they call gravity. The higher the gravity score of a product, the more sales it is getting.
- Amazon; this company needs no introduction. Their affiliate network is also active although the commission rates are a lot lower than Clickbank’s. You can expect to get a commission rate of between 0% to 15% for each product sold depending on the category of the item. The biggest advantage that Amazon will give you is their widely recognized brand name hence it is easier to convert visitors who come to your blog or website into sales. They also give you commissions for any other item that a customer you referred to their website purchases.
- eBay; this is also another e-commerce giant that has a good affiliate network. They are very strict on who they allow on their referral program. However, they can be a source of good income if you follow their promotion guidelines.
- Clicksure; this is another digital products network that is coming up in the recent months.
- Neverblue; this is a private network that allows publishers who have active websites or blogs. They have been around for over 8 years and continue supporting their affiliates well.
- Maxbounty; this is another private network that has a lot of products to promote. It has also been around for more than 5 years.
There are very many other affiliate networks that you will find out there, but these are the most trusted ones that will pay you frequently without any delays. Before you go on and start working with some of these networks, you will need a way to track sales, traffic and payments.
If you intend to go into affiliate marketing, you must be aware of the compensation methods available.
Cost Per Sale (CPS)
About 80% of affiliate marketing programs today use revenue sharing. Revenue sharing is basically the commission for a referred business transacted by a customer. It is also called Cost Per Sale or CPS. It is basically a low risk but high profit strategy of getting new customers and is an innovative way to drum up new business.
It is also a cheap way to spread brand awareness and knowledge as compared to other marketing avenues such as print ads, television commercials and direct mail campaigns. Cost Per Sale maximizes the advertisers dollars since it charges the business based only on the success of the marketing campaign of the affiliate.
Cost Per Action (CPA)
19% of affiliate marketing programs use Cost Per Action or CPA. It is also known as Pay Per Action (PPA). An action can be a purchase of a product, a form filled by a prospective customer, or another specified action that will get from the advertiser. Pay Per Click or PPC is another form of PPA but has since become a model of its own.
Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Mile (CPM)
Less than 1% of affiliate marketing is CPC or CPM. This is best personified with the Pay Per Click advertising model that is used on websites and blogs. It is more of a pay per performance model. CPC is the cost that an advertiser pays to a search engine or another Internet publisher for a single click on their advertisement. Examples of CPCs are Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter.
This is just the basic introduction into affiliate marketing which can be very profitable if you know how to do it right. Most people who start off promoting products without any guidance end up losing a lot of money learning the hard way. I know this because I have been there.
When I started off affiliate marketing about 3 years ago, I did almost every wrong move that you can think off. I wanted to promote everything but I was not humble enough to accept that I needed a mentor to show me the ropes.
Anyway, a couple of years later of lots of money lost, I have finally learned how to go about it and I want to help you to avoid what I went through. Just sign up to work with me at http://www.7figurepaychecks.com and let me get your online business to the 7 figure a year level.