Affiliate programs are arrangements where an online merchant that’s selling products pays an affiliate website a commission for any sales generated from their referral traffic. The affiliate website places affiliate links pointing to the merchant’s site to track transactions. Each agreement between an affiliate and a merchant features the commission structure and payout information.
There are three main parties involved:
- The merchant or retailer selling products.
- The affiliate – publisher or promoter website linking to products on the retailer’s site.
- The consumer, who visits the affiliate site, clicks the affiliate link to the retailer’s website and purchases the retailer’s product
How to join Affiliate Programs?
There are primarily two types of programs: self-hosted programs, and ones in an affiliate network. First, self-hosted programs run on the company’s website with affiliate software tools. You join these by searching for “Brand + Affiliate Program,” finding their program page, and filling out a form to apply. On the other hand, a program can live inside affiliate networks – a collection of merchants offering their links in one secure place. These networks let you join new programs in different verticals, view reporting, see your commissions, and grab your affiliate links to add to your site.
With either approach, there are either automatic approvals or manual approvals. Some programs accept anyone; some automatically add you if you hit specific benchmarks. Many programs require an Affiliate Manager to review your application manually.
Requirements to join Affiliate Programs: To join, you need a website and a way to receive money – either a PayPal account or bank account. Although you can participate without a website by adding links on social media, this works best for high-end social media influencers.
Important to check before joining affiliate program: 1. Commission Rate: The percentage of a sale that’s funded by an advertiser to an affiliate for referring a new customer. This percentage can range from the low single digits up to 50% or higher. 2. Average order value: The average dollar amount spent every time a customer completes an order. To calculate AOV, divide your total revenue by the number of orders.3. Earning Per Click: The income an affiliate earns for each click to an advertiser’s website from an affiliate link. This definition is a little misleading as the true definition of EPC calculates the amount per 100 clicks. 4. Cookie Duration: A cookie is a value stored on an end user’s computer and is used to track affiliate sales. The duration is the length of time the cookie stays on the computer after clicking an affiliate link. For example, with a 30-day cookie duration, this means that if a user clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within 30 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale.