Aug 7 2009

What Is Affiliate Marketing? Useful Points to Be Aware of

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Affiliate marketing has many descriptions, yet all have the same meaning. Affiliate marketing is a vast business piece on the Internet. It is a cooperative effort between merchants and an affiliate’s website. For many years now, affiliate marketing has proved to be a cost-efficient, measurable way of delivering long-tern results. It has become famous for Internet sites who are trying to make some extra or additional earnings for their site. Day after day, persons get interested to affiliate marketing and want to make money out of it. But in a lot of cases, these new affiliates do not fully understand the affiliate world and make costly mistakes. In other words, affiliate marketing has often been misunderstood.

One of the widespread misconceptions that are being associated about affiliate marketing is “selling”, though selling is an critical activity of affiliate marketing and the central function of a business operation. Another is that affiliate marketing is commonly linked with “advertising”. While the significance of advertising in marketing a specific product is not to be underestimated, the fact of the matter is, advertising like selling, is just a part of the many functions of marketing.

In affiliate marketing, an affiliate is compensated for each visitor, subscriber and/or customer provided through his efforts. The said compensation may be made based on a specific value for each visit. The most attractive aspect of affiliate marketing from the merchant’s viewpoint is that no payment is due to an affiliate until results are appreciated.

Affiliate marketing is typically being run by affiliate networks and this affiliate networks are composed of two functional bodies, the group affiliates and the group merchants. Every has their special function and role when it comes to affiliate marketing. The affiliate network acts as a third party between the merchant and the associated affiliates. The network provides the technology to deliver the merchant’s campaigns and offers. The affiliate network also collects commission fees from the merchant and then pays the affiliates which are part of the program.

The merchant is any web site owner that wants or desires to take advantage of performance based marketing. The benefits to the merchant are numerous. Firstly, the merchant maintains and operates the affiliate program. If it would be extracted, the merchant needs to do their part by researching interested affiliate websites to ensure that they are a good fit for that particular website. Finding a fit for their merchandise would be the key to more generated profits. The merchant has access to markets and customers without him spending valuable time searching out. Banner ads on affiliate sites are not distracting to the site user. It might produce interest for that product and drive the buyer to the merchants’ website. It is also the merchant who decides how much he is willing to pay for each sale that results from a visitor sent from an affiliate.

The affiliate or the affiliate marketer also sees a lot of benefits. The affiliate is a web site owner that promotes one or more merchants and their affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing can produce a full-time earnings for the affiliate. But this is not an trouble-free task to accomplish. The affiliate needs to have a better understanding with the merchant what the commission will be, expected payment method and time involved in the contract. The affiliate has additionally the responsibility to stand for the merchandise their user based would be most interested in. For instance, if the site has a user base of mainly stay-at-home mothers, then on-line job openings such as surveys would be a good match for them. This group would also appreciate direct links to children’s products and informational sites. Merchandisers often provide targeted, best-seller items and personal aid to their affiliate. They often offer sales promotions that will benefit the merchandiser as well as the affiliate.

Affiliate marketing is a great situation for both the marketer and the affiliate. If they would work together, they can be the advantage to both. And the fact that it seems to make sense, it is simple and reasonably priced method to start, and you can be up and running within a few days. But there is one thing to consider, it is how to get traffic and make your offer different than all others.

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