The internet has taken affiliate marketing to unprecedented levels of popularity and profit. It has also made possible for quite a few people to quit their day jobs and concentrate on nothing but affiliate programs. The key to doing all of this is picking the right ones.
There are factors to consider like number of referrals, what kind of tier system is in place, the type of support you and the buyer will receive from the customer service help desk but hey, who are we kidding? According to Marketing Sherpa’s 2007 Affiliate Marketing Survey,”Affiliates rated commission structure as the number one consideration they use in placing merchant offers.”
More to the point most of us want to know:
1. How much do we get paid?
2. When do we get paid?
That is only natural. If you are going to invest the time, money and effort then you should be well compensated. Unfortunately for many affiliate marketers, this is the starting and ending points in their decision to sell a product or service.
Sid Hale the founder of ad-clix and author of the highly successful Insider’s Guide to Affiliate Showcase writes,”The Value of the Product should be your very first consideration. The best way to determine this is to decide if you, as a consumer, would purchase the product for your own use at the price asked.”
If you wouldn’t purchase the product you’re selling as an affiliate marketer, it’s going to be off hard to convince someone else to buy it.
This is not meant to minimize the other factors when picking an affiliate marketing program. A big part of choosing the right merchant IS how and when you get paid.
On average most merchants will pay you once a month either by direct deposit (becoming more popular) or mailing you a check. You usually have to accrue a certain amount before affiliate commissions are paid out. For instance if you join, an affiliate program thru Clickbank you will get paid every time your commissions reach one hundred dollars or more. There are many other merchant that offer different payment plans, it all depends on your lifestyle and how you structure your affiliate campaign.
If it cost money to join an affiliate program than find out:
1. What you are paying for?
2. Why are you paying for it?
3. Are there future expenses?
4. What’s my return on investment(ROI)?
5. Is any of it refundable?
If you decide that shelling out cash to join an affiliate program is not worth it then the chances are you will find many free programs in your particular niche that have a reputation for quality products and paying on time.
Whichever one you choose make sure they have a way for you to track your sales. The more detailed the better. You have to know where your referrals are coming from and if your advertising is working. Find out also how long your referrals will stay in the merchant database. People do not always buy the first time around. If they purchase the product three to six months after clicking your affiliate link will the merchant give you any credit for the sale? A yes answer means more money in your account.
There are a lot of other things to consider before joining an affiliate program. Do some research on the blogs and forums. Check out what people are saying good or bad about the affiliate program you are interested in joining. Get as much information as possible before making your final decision and then go for it.