Defining an Affiliate and Affiliate Program and Its Place in Internet Marketing

Webster’s defines
an affiliate as a party that is joined with another in a
relationship, business or otherwise; a partnership that is beneficial
to both. With the enormity of the global marketplace due to
innovations in Internet technology and connectivity, an affiliate has
taken on an expanded and more specialized place in the world of
internet marketing, and many businesses would be nowhere without
their relationships with affiliates. For many Internet based
companies, affiliates act as a front line, point of purchase contact
for generating new sales, helping funnel new clients to their
website, and hopefully making purchases.

An affiliate as it
pertains to worldwide web marketing can be seen as an emissary of
sorts, an independent representative or salesperson that is not
specifically employed by any one company, but often shares in the
profits and revenues of several. Affiliate programs have been around
for quite a while and can be quite lucrative for both the companies
benefitting from their help and the affiliates themselves. There are
a variety of arrangements that are agreed upon within affiliate
programs that individuals and companies enter into. Many companies
pay their affiliates a percentage of the eventual sale that results
from leading a customer to their site. This sort of revenue sharing
based upon sales is know as a pay-per-sale (PPS) arrangement.
Affiliates lead new customers to company websites by both advertising
the company’s products on their own website and by linking to
the company’s website from theirs. The company benefitting
from the relationship is able to track what customers came from where
(which affiliate) and provide due compensation accordingly. Some
affiliate relationships do not require an actual sale be made at all.
These relationships are known as pay-per-lead (PPL) programs and pay
the affiliate for leading customers to their website with the hopes
of purchasing but not required, in order to be compensated. Usually
a larger percentage of profit is accorded to those affiliates that
actually motivate closed sales, but a commission for sending
customers to a company is duly noted and rewarded as well.

Affiliates and
affiliate programs are integral parts to successfully advertising and
marketing an Internet based company desiring more sales and greater
profits. Though specific programs have their differences, these
programs are primarily the same in that a business relationship has
been formed by different parties to be mutually financially
beneficial for all involvedBusiness Management Articles, according to mutually agreed upon terms.