An affiliate program utilizes online tracking technology to reward webmasters for referring buyers to online merchants. Affiliate programs have been around almost 10 years and have come a very long way in proliferating into the mainstream of webmasters.
Early on, affiliate program tracking links were thought to be unreliable, but affiliate programs have grown to such an extent that most affiliates assume the tracking technology is satifactorily reliable. The vast majority of companies that sell products online use affiliate marketing to generate traffic and sales. Ebay boasts one of the largest affiliate programs, they are handled through the Commission Junction affiliate network.
There are basically 2 types of affiliate programs: cost-per-sale and cost-per-lead. Cost per sale rewards the affiliate when a sale occurs on the merchant’s website. Usually, a percentage of the sale commission or flat rate is paid out on every sale the affiliate/webmaster generates. The tracking of click-throughs is handled by ‘cookies’ which are embedded in the visitor’s browser whe nthey visit the merchant’s website. When the user returns to the website at a later date the affiliate is still credited with the sale due to the cookie that notifies the website that the referred visito has returned. the other type of affiliate program is the cost per lead program which pays the affiliate on every form that is filled out on the advertisers website. This is a very clean and easy type of affiliate program to keep track and many affiliate like the CPL programs.
When choosing an affiliate progam you should attempt to match the affiliate offer to your website. If you website is about cars, then you should put auto loan affiliate banners. Ebay has been one of the largest benefactors of the affiliate program rage, utilizing their vast auction database to enable webmasters to promote items up for auction on their sites. Webmaster earn a portion of the revenue generated by the closed auction transactions.
There are many good affiliate programs to join and most of them can be profitable!