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February 11, 2008

Making Smart Choices With Affiliate Programs

Before you jump into just any affiliate program there are a number of key questions and considerations you should address first. It can be complicated, but armed with some of the more important issues you will be able to avoid the more common pitfalls. So, before you sign up, consider these questions:

The time to ask questions is before you join an affiliate program. Especially, for those that charge fees or other miscellaneous costs. Do a little research about the choices of programs. Will it cost you anything to join? Most affiliate programs being offered today are free of charge. So why settle for those that charge you some dollars before joining, unless there is a crystal clear benefit for the investment.

When do they issue commission checks? Every program is different. Some issue their checks once a month, every quarter, etc. Select the one that is suited to your payment time choice. Many affiliate programs are setting a minimum earned commission amount that an affiliate must meet or exceed in order for their checks to be issued.

What is the hit per sale ratio? This is the average number of hits to a banner or text link it takes to generate a sale based on all affiliate statistics. This factor is extremely important because this will tell you how much traffic you must generate before you can earn a commission from the sale.

How are referrals from an affiliate’s site tracked and for how long do they remain in the system? You need to be confident on the program enough to track those people you refer from your site. This is the only way that you can credit for a sale.

The period of time that those people stay in the system is also important. This is because some visitors do not buy initially but may want to return later to make the purchase. Know if you will still get credit for the sale if it is done some months from a certain day.

What kind and type of affiliate stats available? Your choice of affiliate programs should be capable of offering detailed stats. They should be available online anytime you decide to check them out.

Constantly checking your individual stats is important. To know how many impressions, hits and sales are generated from your site is critical data. Impressions are the number of times the banner or text link was viewed by a visitor of your site. A hit is the one clicking on the banner or text links.

Does the affiliate program also pay for hits and impressions besides the commissions on sales? It is important that impressions and hits are also paid, as this will add to the earnings you get from the sales commission. This is especially important if the program you are in offers low sales to be able to hit ratio.

Who is the online retailer? Find out whom you are doing business with to know if it is really a solid company. Know the products they are selling and the average amount they are achieving. The more you know about the retailer offering you the affiliate program, the easier it will be for you to know if that program is really for you and your site.

Is the affiliate a one tier or two tier program? A single tier program pays you only for the business you yourself have generated. A two tier program pays you for the business, plus it also pays you a commission on the on the sales generated by any affiliate you sponsor in your program. Some two-tier programs are even paying small fees on each new affiliate you sponsor. More like a recruitment fee.

Lastly, what is the amount of commission paid? 5% – 20% is the commission paid by most programs. .01% – .05% is the amount paid for each hit. If you find a program that also pays for impressions, the amount paid is not much at all. As you can see from the figures, you will now understand why the average sales amount and hit to sale ratio is important.

These are just some of the questions that need to be clarified before making the important program selection decisions. Hopefully, this information will help you in making good choices and getting your online marketing efforts into high gear!

Author:  Stephen Wright is President & CEO of InternetMarketingUSA.com Do you own a work at home business opportunity website?! Already have a website, need more traffic and revenues? Visit InternetMarketingUSA today for information and techniques proven to make you successful. Get Started: http://www.InternetMarketingUSA.com/pips.html

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