7 Criteria For Associate Programs

7 Criteria For Associate Programs

An associate program is​ an​ online marketing method used by a​ lot of​ small and​ large scale electronic businesses to​ generate additional sales. the​ method involves making a​ deal with another web site whose content is​ often related to​ that of​ the​ main merchant's website. Simply put, the​ associate web site posts advertisments for​ the​ merchant web site, and​ also offers it's readers links to​ the​ merchant website. for​ each person who purchases items from the​ merchant via the​ associate link, the​ associate gets a​ commission. From this simple system, associate marketing has grown rapidly to​ become larger and​ more elaborate so that today, entire books are written revolving around creating and​ operating successful associate programs. Here are 7 basic criteria that both merchants and​ potential publishers should take into consideration when choosing or​ designing an​ associate program.

Compensation System - there are different types of​ compensation, and​ associate programs often use more than one in​ combination when making a​ package to​ offer to​ their merchants. the​ smallest and​ simplest types get paid a​ small, fixed amount every time a​ viewer from the​ associate page clicks the​ merchant's link and​ gets redirected to​ it's website. Others are strictly commission basis and​ require actual successful sales to​ earn a​ percentage. a​ well designed compensation system should be fair for​ both the​ associate and​ the​ merchant.

Publisher Type - the​ type of​ associate program is​ very important in​ marketing. There are different categories, most notably Product Review Sites, Loyalty and​ Rebate Sites, Comparison Shopping/Online Directories, Cross Merchant Associate Sites, and​ Personal Forums/Blogs. Choosing the​ right type of​ publisher to​ get as​ associates can allow a​ merchant to​ tailor different marketing strategies to​ suit.

Program Compatibility - this is​ a​ natural consideration to​ take for​ any web based endeavor. the​ compatibility of​ the​ associate web site's programming with the​ merchant's web site is​ extremely important. Imagine if, for​ example, the​ merchant web site could not be properly displayed on certain browsers that the​ associate web site actually supported! to​ this end, both merchants and​ associates are advised to​ make their web sites compatible with as​ wide a​ variety of​ different programs as​ possible.

Marketing Approach - this is​ one area where marketing can get a​ bit sticky. While there's nothing wrong with advertising through the​ use of​ reviews, personal recommendations, and​ web based graphic ads, some associate web sites use more aggressive marketing methods that may actually give the​ merchant a​ negative reputation. for​ example, rampant spamming and​ pop ups can get really irritating for​ most people and​ can cause both an​ associate and​ merchant's web sites to​ get registered as​ "spam" on someone's firewall. Needless to​ say, this is​ counter productive.

Niche and​ Demographic Coverage - special interest niches and​ certain demographics are always the​ target audience of​ a​ certain merchant. Because of​ this, the​ associate programs chosen should cater to​ the​ same groups. This does not need to​ be an​ exact match; for​ example, a​ publisher of​ fire arms magazines can approach magazine review web sites, gun enthusiast forums, and​ the​ personal web sites of​ gun shops as​ viable options to​ take as​ associates.

Online Interactivity Options - associate web sites MUST have a​ certain amount of​ online interactivity for​ users. if​ it​ exists simply for​ the​ purpose of​ advertising affiliated merchant web sites, an​ associate web site would quickly run out of​ traffic going through it. Good associate programs keep the​ interest of​ their visitors through various means, like having discussion boards, offering reviews and​ helpful articles, and​ publishing downloadable monthly e-magazines.

Multi Tier and​ Two Way Affiliate Marketing - these two types of​ associate programs differ slightly from normal associate programs because they extend beyond the​ regular merchant-associate type of​ relationship. They actually involve multiple associate websites connected via links to​ each other. Multi tier marketing is​ often seen in​ referral programs like multi level marketing, and​ in​ this case associates can also gain commissions by recruiting to​ and​ linking with other "lower tier" associate web sites. This provides larger exposure for​ a​ product. in​ two way affiliate marketing, two or​ more merchants act as​ each other's associate programs, so that both offer their own sets of​ products and​ at​ the​ same time provide links to​ each other's web sites.

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