Choosing An Affiliate Program

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How To Choose An Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing is a great way to get started online and one of the most cost effective ways to generate strong income streams.

Although there are literally thousands of programs to choose from, program features and support vary from program to program.

With so many choices it's important that you take the time to evaluate the programs to ensure you choose programs that will work best for your niche and your circumstances.

There are two key factors that you should consider before choosing an affiliate program: What niche you are in and what can the affiliate program provide for your customers. The key to choosing successfully is to ensure that the affiliate program offers products that meet the needs of your customers.

The essentials listed below will simplify the search process and help you differentiate an excellent program from an average one.

1. Reputable Programs and Products
Learn as much as possible about the track record of the affiliate program you are considering. It's easy enough to do and you'll save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run. I find web sites that monitor affiliate programs a good place to start. The best I have found is Associate Programs Allan Gardyne pulls no punches and tells it as it is. You can also talk to the Better Business Bureau in your area - and of course, Google It!

2. Unique Product
Look for a unique product in a prime market. In other words, you want to choose a product with an edge, a new concept. The product also needs to be geared for a market that is ready to buy. However, don't choose a product simply because it's hot. If it's not related to your niche or of benefit to your customers it won't be worth your effort.

3. Growth Potential
You'll also want to look for programs with growth potential. Does the program have other products, will the product generate other related products? Having a line of products (or the possibility of more products) to offer will greatly improve your revenue expansion.

4. Commissions
Seek programs that offer a good pay rate. The higher the pay rate, the less traffic you will need to generate your revenue goals. This doesn't mean that you should only choose the highest commission rates, because other considerations, such as conversion rates, may factor in.

5. Payment Structure
Avoid programs that do not spell out their pay structure in clear terms. You'll want to know the commission rate, how often you will receive a commission, how you will receive them and if there is a minimum payout. Some programs, such as Amazon, for example pay their commissions every 60 days. This may not be suitable to your needs, so be sure this information is laid out for you.

6. Two-Tier Programs
Look for programs that have a two-tier payment structure. Not only will you receive commissions for sales generated thru your promotions, but you'll also receive a smaller commission percentage from sales generated through affiliates referred by you. There aren't a lot of two-tier programs, but you will definitely reap good rewards if you find them. A couple of excellent two-tier programs are SiteSell and The Marketing Center

7. Affiliate Cookies
Choose programs where you are credited for a sale after 30 or 60 days. In other words, if a customer you referred doesn't buy on the first visit but comes back at a later date and does buy the product, or buys another product the merchant offers, you will still be credited for the sale.

8. Marketing Support
Seek programs that provide marketing support. A good associate program will offer support and tools to help their affiliates succeed. This support can be in the form of tutorials, graphics, examples of email mailings, reviews, etc. Program merchants who understand the value of their affiliates will provide marketing support - these are the programs you want to be involved with.

9. Tracking and Statistics
Choose a program that provides adequate tracking and statistics. The higher the level of statistics provided, the better off you are. This enables you to measure the success of your marketing efforts and to determine the best places to invest your marketing time and dollars.

10. Customer Support
Make sure that the affiliate program you choose provides support for your referred customers should they have a problem with the product. If your customers are not satisfied with the products you are promoting, they will not come back.It is your reputation that is on the line so choose wisely.

While there are other factors that can be considered when choosing an affiliate program, following the suggestions above will help you make the choices that will lead to your long-term success.

Lastly, you need to have realistic expectations. One of the main reasons that many new affiliate marketers fail is that they think they can copy-and-paste a couple of links or banners on their web site and success will be forthcoming.

Building a business of any type takes time and hard work. Affiliate marketing is not difficult, but success will not be overnight. Be creative, have patience and you will succeed.

For more information on affiliate marketing go through the tutorial. Just Click Here!

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