But we have to consider more than just the payout percentage when we search for the best affiliate programs. Let's have a quick look at what variables we should be considering when we sign up as an affiliate.
Pay Per click / Pay per sale
Some programs will offer you a few cents for every click through an advertisement that you send them, while others will pay you a percentage of a sale and nothing if you do not generate a sale. Payments per click will inevitably lead to less money in the long run. You should concentrate on generating traffic that will produce sales, and a program that pays a percentage.
When a potential customer clicks through the advertisements on your site, a cookie is set on the customers computer. A cookie is a piece of tracking code that keeps tabs on your customer. The cookie ensures that even if the customer does not purchase right away after finding the vendor through your site, but rather waits and returns to the site later to purchase, you are still credited for the sale. The best affiliate programs will offer cookies that run for at least a few days.
Two or more tiers
A two tiered affiliate program is one in which you, as an affiliate, can sign up sub-affiliates under you, and receive a portion of the sales that they generate for the vendor. This is sometimes referred to as multi-level marketing. Being a top tier affiliate can produce substantial revenue for you without you ever producing a customer directly.
Recurring revenue generated from your customers making repeat purchases over time is referred to as residual income. If an affiliate program associates your customers with your affiliate account for life, you will be paid a percentage of the sales that customer produces for their entire life. This is an extremely important concept. Look back at the top of this page again at the different areas of affiliate marketing. Think about how each of those areas might produce customers that are repeat buyers, over extended periods of time. Two should jump out at you as having much more potential than the others. People who buy books online will buy them from different places, and the same is true of music, movies, flowers jewelry and the rest. None of these areas will produce a customer that makes consistent and repeated purchases. The only two listed areas that do produce these customers are nutritional supplements and casinos. Those buying nutritional supplements often do so monthly, and those playing at casinos may do so every single day.
Details, details, details
Every affiliate program has a defined set of terms and conditions. This is the fine print, and you should read it as carefully as when you're buying a car. Some affiliate programs are simply trying to rip you off. For example, the Amazon.com affiliate program advertises a 15% commission on books sold, however, if your customer gets to Amazon and does not purchase immediately, but chooses to look at a different amazon.com page for a moment, then return to the book you linked them to and purchases at that point, you no longer get 15%, you only get 5%. Even a big name like Amazon isn't beyond stealing the money you deserve with hidden details. The best affiliate programs are fairly open about their details, because they realize that their affiliates are the ones making them money, so they should treat them right.
So which is the best affiliate program on the Internet? There are a number of worthy competitors to choose from, but currently topping our list is a relatively new casino affiliate program. To learn all about it read our page, why casino blasters?.
AFFILIATE TIP OF THE WEEK
Beware 'net' payout programs that deduct all sorts of expenses from the Gross profit before you get your cut. Demand to see the deductions itemized.