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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Part III: Which Program is Right for You?

Why Affiliate Programs are Attractive
Joining a program offers many benefits, with lots of opportunities for growth at a pace that’s comfortable for you. First, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money to join, all you need is a computer, internet access and you’re good to go! You don’t even have to purchase the product you’re promoting.
Depending on your time and effort, this kind of online business can offer a big pay off. As an affiliate, your role is limited to marketing and nothing more. No worries over order processing, inventory or shipping are involved.
Types of Affiliate Programs
If you have made up your mind to try affiliate marketing but are still unsure about what steps to take, there are many free resources available on the web. Here’s a guide on the different types of programs popular today:
Pay per sale
This offers the biggest commission, sometimes maybe even up to 70% of a sale. Of course this requires more hard work and you will need aggressive marketing tactics to convert visitors to outright customers.
Pay per lead
You will be paid a commission for any visitor that does something besides click on a link or banner ad. The customer should have taken advantage of a free offer, or joined a membership list.
Pay per click
This is the most common and popular, although it’s the least rewarding. Visitors will just have to click on your affiliate link for you to get a commission. Nevertheless, you will still need to apply effective marketing strategies to have them interested in your advertisement link.
Scrutinizing Program Benefits
With all the attractive benefits affiliate marketing has to offer, you may be tempted to believe some that are too good to be true. Avoid scams by verifying important information with the following questions:
1. Does the retailer have a good reputation?
Keep in mind that any product advertised on your site is a reflection of your taste. Pick something that you like and may actually use.
2. Does this program have a reasonable cost per benefit ratio?
Not all affiliate terms are the same, so make sure your joining fee gets you the best value for your money.
3. Is the affiliate system user friendly?
A good retailer makes it easy for any affiliate to use their system without special technical skills or knowledge needed.
4. Does the retailer offer generous support?
You can also spot a good program if the retailer offers prompt and friendly response about product inquiries and other issues.
5. How does the retailer track referrals?
Here’s the important part: each program uses “cookies” to track referrals from your site. Cookies are software programs that monitor activity but usually expire after a specified amount of time. Check if your retailer offers cookies with a generous time period, with a minimum of at least 60 days or more.
Each marketing program has its own strengths and weaknesses; you should do your homework on the niche that’s right for you.
Finding the Right Mentor
You probably already know that my program of choice for learning about Affiliate Marketing is Wealthy Affiliate. I truly believe that it is one of the most dependable programs out there and can teach you the best training tools in the market today. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve on what you know, you can take advantage of their complete set of educational materials, including personal coaching time to succeed with your online business today.
So if you are serious about learning more about Affiliate Marketing, you ought to at least take a look at what they offer over at Wealthy Affiliate.

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