To put it very simply, affiliate marketing is sharing website traffic to make a sale, a sale you would not have had if you did not have that relationship.
The "affiliate" is the owner of the site with an interest, and the "merchant" is the site with the products to sell. Say I run a website on health and beauty, I would link it to an affiliate program such as www.strawberrynet.com, who sell cosmetics and beauty products. That means the traffic from the health and beauty site can look around Strawberrynet.com site and shop. Without the link from the health and beauty site, Strawberrynet.com would not have had the potential customer.
The great thing about this for StrawberryNET.com is it hasn't cost a cent until the potential customer actually purchases something. The advertising they are getting on the health and beauty site is all free.
Very Simple. There are 3 main types of programs:
Pay per sale: Each time someone clicks on the ad on the affiliates site, and purchases something on the merchants site, the merchant pays the agreed commission.
Pay per lead: When someone clicks on the ad and registers their details, the merchant pays the affiliate the agreed commission. This is popular with financial sites such as credit card companies.
Pay per click: Every time someone clicks on the ad on the affiliates site which goes through to the merchants site, the merchant pays the agreed commission.
This could range from a few cents to a few dollars, depending on what you are offering.
The reason for doing it is very clear and simple. The merchant gets a great deal of free advertising for their product from websites all over the country and even the world. The more websites you are associated with, the greater your exposure. An extremely cost effective way of gaining that exposure.
What did Amazon.com do?
Amazon.com is the worlds biggest bookstore. Amazon have close to 500,000 affiliates, some say near 1,000,000. That means at least 500,000 websites all over the world are sending traffic to Amazon. Amazon.com generate over 40% of their sales through their affiliate program which they call "associates program"., that equates to around $3billion dollars in revenue, and that's every year.The list of companies now taking part in New Zealand is endless and we have listed just a few below so that you can see for your self who is using this exciting new form of advertising, and gaining from it.
Unfortunately, they are not all on one list for prospective affiliates to decide what will go best with their site. That is why it is a good reason to go with an affiliate program organiser.
So, who will set it up for you?
Take a look at this link, which goes through to an affiliate network company clixgalore.com. Be sure to select New Zealand from the top right of the screen. They do all the work associated with running an affiliate network, including processing, and organizing the affiliate payments. Doing it this way will put your products in front of thousands of affiliates eager to sell your products, and it doesn't cost the earth to set up either. As long as you are able to process the actual order through your own shopping cart, that is really all you need to get started.
Don't forget to put a link on your own site advertising the fact you run an affiliate program for those that stumble across your site.As merchants have started to respond to affiliate programs, so have affiliate networks. Whilst a merchant can set up their own program and administer it, it can be time consuming. Affiliate networks take out the hard work, and give you even greater exposure.
For site owners looking for affiliates that compliment their site, they can browse the affiliate network and look at what is on offer and how much you pay. From there, the prospective advertiser will register, the affiliate network company will decline or approve, and it is only a matter of downloading the coding to add the advertising banner to their site. Bang, you are away, and your ad is now on someone else's site being viewed and clicked on by their traffic. Best yet, it really hasn't cost you a great deal to set up, and unless they buy something which you hope they will, you only pay when the sale is made.
Another great affiliate network company to try would be commissionmonster.com.