Which Affiliate Programs Are Best For Your eBiz?

From eBiz101.com

Finding the affiliate program or programs which work best for your site may take a little experimentation. But here are a few points to consider:

  • Reliability - When signing up for an affiliate program, you want to avoid fraudulent companies at all costs. The best assurance that your affiliate program will treat you equitably is if the affiliate program is run by an affiliate administrator. An affiliate administrator is a third party company that acts as a middleman between the paying company and you. It is in the affiliate administrator's best interest that both you and the paying company are not ripped off in any way.

If an internet company runs its affiliate program on its own, then try to stick with the bigger, name brand companies that you can more easily trust to not cheat you in any way.

  • Compatibility - You should only feature affiliate links to companies that compliment, but do not cannibalize, your own sales. Don't send a visitor to one of your direct competitors because you may lose a lifetime customer for the sake of one single sales commission. On the other hand, if you only sell salt on your site, you definitely should have an affiliate link to a site that sells pepper. You will not lose your customer, you will only be gaining additional revenue.

Also, do not have affiliate links that have almost no relation to your site or the likely interests of your visitors. If your site is about pets, don't have affiliate links to car supply sites. This will make your site look foolish and odd. Plus, your visitors will probably not be interested in buying car supplies anyway so it will be a waste of valuable web site space which could be used more profitably to entice a more likely purchase.

  • Higher Pay Rates Not Always Best - All things being equal, of course affiliate program "A" which pays 10 cents per click is better than "B" which pays 5 cents per click. But all things are not always equal. If site "B" is three times as interesting to your customers as site "A," then you will make more with "B." If you are comparing affiliate programs that pay on a commission basis, you may be surprised to see how lucrative a program can be that appears to pay a lesser rate if the site is especially good at closing a sale.
  • Payment Thresholds Are Important - When signing up for affiliate programs, you may not give the payment threshold enough consideration. (A payment threshold is the minimum amount you must earn before a company will cut you a check.) If you are only using one affiliate program, this might not be very important as you are likely to exceed the minimum during every pay period. However, if you are using more than one, be careful. Let's say you use 6 different affiliate programs that each have $50 thresholds. It will be frustrating if at the end of a pay period you realize that you have earned $45 on each program. Although, you have earned $270, you will not receive a penny. At least not yet. Of course, these accrued earnings will roll over into the next pay periods, but that could be three months later until you get another chance at a check.

All things being equal, if you want to sign up for more than one affiliate programs, look for ones that are run by the affiliate administrators, Commission Junction. They have a great feature in that they pool all your earnings from all the affiliate programs under their umbrella. This is fantastic. Sometimes you might try out an affiliate program only to realize you don't like it. What if you have already earned $8 though? If this affiliate program's payments are not pooled like they are by Commission Junction, you're out of luck. You either have to keep promoting this link until you exceed the payment threshold or kiss the $8 goodbye.

ClickXChange, OnResponse, and WebSponsors also pool their respective affiliate commissions.

  • Books And Magazines - Almost any eBiz, no matter what its primary business function is, can profit from including a book and/or magazine affiliate program. If you give it some thought, you can almost always think of some book or magazine that is related to the content of your site and would be of interest to your visitors.

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that you should have your affiliate link on your home page. But you could have a small link on your home page that reads, "Helpful Books" or "Car Magazines" or "Pet Information Center" or whatever connection you can make to the theme of your site. Then have this link to a page where you recommend particular books or magazines that you think might interest your visitors. Each featured product would be an affiliate link to an internet book or magazine store.