Decide on the products you want to sell and choose an online distributor that offers affiliate accounts for those products. Amazon offers thousands of products ranging from books to computers. ClickBank acts as a distributor for thousands of products like e-books and online videos. Some manufacturers offer affiliate programs directly through their own websites. Other manufactures, like Dell, have affiliate programs through third-party services like Commission Junction.
Kathleen: Well, let's start with referral programs then, because I feel like, from an inbound marketing stand point, referrals are so inboundy. What I mean by that is, you're taking somebody who's already said yes to you for their own reasons, and if they're happy, asking them to spread the word and making it easier for them to do so. Which is really at the heart of what inbound marketing is all about.

Chances are high that you click on an affiliate marketing link multiple times each week without even knowing it. If you’ve ever browsed one of your favorite websites and they referenced other products, there’s a good chance that they have an affiliate agreement with a merchant. To help make things a bit more clear, here’s a screenshot from 9To5Toys, a blog for tech geeks like me that shows the latest deals on gadgets and electronics.

According to HowStuffWorks, “Affiliate programs, also called associate programs, are arrangements in which an online merchant website pays affiliate websites a commission to send it traffic. These affiliate websites post links to the merchant site and are paid according to a particular agreement. This agreement is usually based on the number of people the affiliate sends to the merchant's site or the number of people they send who buy something or perform some other action.
The License will immediately and automatically terminate if at any time you do not timely comply with any obligation under the Program Documents (as defined in the Fee Schedule), or otherwise upon termination of this Agreement. In addition, we may terminate the License in whole or in part upon written notice to you. You will promptly stop using the Program Content (including PA API and Data Feeds) and promptly remove from your Site and delete or otherwise destroy all of the Program Content and Amazon Marks with respect to which the License is terminated or as we may otherwise request from time to time.
Many affiliate programs run with last-click attribution, where the affiliate receiving the last click before the sale gets 100% credit for the conversion. This is changing. With affiliate platforms providing new attribution models and reporting features, you are able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual marketing tactics are working together. For example, you might see that a paid social campaign generated the first click, Affiliate X got click 2, and Affiliate Y got the last click. With this full picture, you can structure your affiliate commissions so that Affiliate X gets a percentage of the credit for the sale, even though they didn’t get the last click. 

The Commissions Report table gives you information about your sales. You can see on what date they were created what type of plan was purchased, and the campaign from which the sale has originated. If you only refer clients with your affiliate link directly without using campaigns, you will see that in the column "default". The last 2 columns show what the status of a sale is and what commission you can expect for it.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005.[19] MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.[20]
Part of the affiliate marketing game involves picking out merchant partners and products to promote. If you’re promoting a crap product, you can probably send some traffic through the affiliate link by doing a good job of marketing it to your audience. But once they get to the merchant site and are disappointed in what they see, they’re probably going to abandon.
If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. Utilizing one of the common website correlation methods may provide clues about the affiliate network. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly if a contact method can be located.
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A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

Arlen: Yeah, there definitely are models like that. And I've dealt with a lot of different customers of our that are in the organic food space actually. And this is something, I don't know if it's something that's customary in that space that are selling organic super foods and a variety of different, kind of niche products that they have a distinctive presence online.


When I was a child, my school would have fundraisers that involved us going door-to-door to sell magazine subscriptions (magazines were glossy, soft-cover publications that would be mailed to a subscriber’s house on a weekly or monthly basis). I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was right in the middle of an affiliate marketing scheme. The magazine companies had products they wanted to sell. Schools had the ability to sell these products. And for every subscription sold, the magazine companies gave a slice of the proceeds to the school. (In this example, there’s actually a secondary later of affiliate marketing; the schools effectively outsource the actual selling to the students, in exchange for prizes that come with meeting certain sales figures.)
A very popular product that uses affiliate leads that are used on a variety of popular social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat is for detox or slimming herbal teas. These teas come from many different brands around the world are usually endorsed by celebrities or reality tv stars to increase the likelihood of customers buying the product and its popularity. By using this form of marketing it is a win-win situation for all parties involved. This signifies that the advertiser’s, the celebrity or endorser of the product, and the consumer benefit from the affiliate lead.
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