Genesis of affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing has its roots in the traditional marketing. The merchants started giving some dollars to those persons, who help them in selling their goods. This was the start of affiliate marketing. Information technology has helped affiliate marketing to reach a zenith. Today merchants as well as the customers get benefited by online marketing. Online shopping has made it easy to buy goods such as television, refrigerators mobile phone handsets, apparels, books etc. for the people. You need not to tread from one showroom to another for buying goods of your choice. Everything is available at a click of your mouse.

The merchants need websites relevant to their products for selling goods online. They display their advertisements on those websites. There are innumerable websites available on internet and it is a daunting task for merchants to find out relevant websites. They also have to look that the website must have high volume of traffic. Low traffic websites are a waste of money for merchants as there will be very few people on site to watch the advertisement. On the other hand webmasters too search for rich merchants. They too want to earn some extra dollars by displaying advertisements on their websites. In marketing terminology a webmaster is called as an affiliate.

The merchants and the webmasters use various methods for searching Mr. Right. They participate actively in affiliate forums, give advertisements in classifieds, distribute press releases etc. The merchants also need a program for sharing revenue with the affiliates. They chalk out affiliate marketing programs according to their products. There are three top paying affiliate programs available for affiliates.

Cost-per-Click (CPC): Every time a visitor clicks on the displayed advertisement, the affiliate gets commission. The visitor may click deliberately or accidentally but the affiliate is authorized to claim commission.

Cost-per-Lead (CPL): It is an advance program, which is best suited for banks and other financial institutions. The visitor of a site leaves his or her contact details by clicking on the advertisement. The merchants provide a lead generating form to be filled by the visitor. Every time a form is filled, the affiliate claims commission.

Cost-per-Sale (CPS): The affiliates stake commission only when a sale is furnished by the merchants according to CPS program.

The tools required for running affiliate marketing are provided by the merchants. They provide banners, flyers, e-mailers, lead generating forms etc. The merchants also keep a close watch over affiliates so that they cannot make fake claims. The affiliates too keep records of the clicks, leads and sales generated through their sites.

Although merchants can do all this exercise with the help of affiliates but it is wise to join an affiliate marketing network. There are a number of networks available on internet. Some of them offer free membership while others charge one time membership fees. A network works assists the merchants as well as the affiliates. It provides tools for affiliate marketing and chalks out affiliate programs too. It keeps records of clicks, leads and sales. The merchants also distribute commission through the network.

An affiliate marketing network provides a platform for successfully running online marketing programs. It plays the role of a big Daddy in affiliate marketing. Although merchants and the affiliate are at liberty whether to join a network or not but it is always beneficial to join.