In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.
A few examples of affiliate leads are coupon codes, a specific link or URL that is being advertised that send the customer to the product, registering for a trial subscription, and downloading a whitepaper. Affiliate leads can range on its uses depending on the demographic, the product being sold to the specific consumer and the marketing budget that is set in place.
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New traffic to your site and company is a huge benefit. The affiliate lead will bridge trust between you and the customer which is vital for a consumer to take the next step and buy the product. The customer will more than likely return to the site and spread the information to others about your product.This is a win because the potential customer might not have otherwise had access to the product if had not been advertised and marketed through the affiliate’s website. In addition, with the ever growing and changing market of the internet the company may need to be looking for new affiliates to work with to match their target demographic. So, the method of marketing is constantly growing and adapting to match the current customer.