This is important in the framework of not just affiliate marketing, but in marketing anything online, especially when the products are your own products and you're not just receiving a commission for selling them. Clearly, you need to build emotion around the entire process. In another words, you need to create an emotional attachment to every stage of the sales funnel.
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
Cramer-Krasselt, New York, New York • HCK2 Partners, Dallas, Texas • Marshall Fenn Communications, Toronto, Ontario, Canada • Marketing Results, Las Vegas, Nevada • The Dealey Group, Dallas, Texas • Tait Subler, Minneapolis, Minnesota • Targetbase, Irving, Texas • Dimension Group, Dallas, Texas • Turnkey Construction, Dallas, Texas • Creative Memories, St. Cloud, Minnesota • Danco (NCH), Irving, Texas • Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano, Texas • Frito-Lay, Plano, Texas • Gatorade, Chicago, Illinois • Golden County Foods, Plover, Wisconsin • Jack Black, Carrollton, Texas • Jarden Corporation, Boca Raton, Florida • Nike, Beaverton, Oregon • Nokia Mobile Phones, Irving, Texas • Quaker Oats, Chicago, Illinois • QuikTrip Corporation, Tulsa, Oklahoma • SkinCeuticals, Garland, Texas • Tropicana, Chicago, Illinois • Kaplan University, Chicago, Illinois • Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas • Gladney Center for Adoption, Fort Worth, Texas • Credit Union of Texas, Dallas, Texas • Kroger Personal Finance, Cincinnati, Ohio • Lovelace Health Plan, Albuquerque, New Mexico • Millenium Bank, Dallas, Texas • American Casino & Entertainment, Las Vegas, Nevada • Argosy Sioux City, Sioux City, Iowa • Boyd Gaming, Las Vegas, Nevada • Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas, Nevada • Casino New Brunswick, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada • Casino Rama, Orillia, Ontario, Canada • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Grantville, Pennsylvania • Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, Louisiana • Hollywood Casino Joliet, Joliet, Illinois • Hollywood Casino Tunica, Tunica, Mississippi • Parx Casino, Bensalem, Pennsylvania • Penn National Gaming, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania • Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California • AdvoCare, Carrollton, Texas • Baylor � Tom Landry Fitness Center, Dallas, Texas • Caron Treatment Centers, New York, New York • First Fitness, Carrollton, Texas • Arlington Memorial Hospital, Arlington, Texas • Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth, Texas • Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas • Dermpath Diagnostics, Addison, Texas • Harris Methodist Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas • Hillcrest HealthCare System, Tulsa, Oklahoma • Huntsville Memorial Hospital, Huntsville, Texas • IntraOp Medical, San Jose, California • Johnson & Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio • Knapp Medical Center, Weslaco, Texas • LifeCell Corporation, Branchburn, New Jersey • Lovelace Health System, Albuquerque, New Mexico • Medical Center of McKinney, McKinney, Texas • OraMetrix, Inc., Richardson, Texas • Pfizer, Inc. Animal Health Division, New York, New York • Presbyterian Hospital of Plano, Plano, Texas • Richardson Regional Medical Center, Richardson, Texas • Texas Health Resources, Arlington, Texas • United Regional Health System, Wichita Falls, Texas • The Heart Hospital at Baylor Plano, Plano, Texas • McAfee, Inc., Plano, Texas • NEC America, Irving, Texas • Nortel Wireless Networks, Richardson, Texas • NXP Semiconductors, Gratkorn, Austria • Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa • Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas • Tyler Technologies, Dallas, Texas • City of University Park, University Park, Texas • The Town of Highland Park, Highland Park, Texas • Boy Scouts Circle 10 Council, Irving, Texas • Association for Healthcare Foodservice, Louisville, Kentucky • National Air Transportation Association, Washington, D.C. • National Business Aviation Association, Alexandria, Virginia • Benihana, Miami, Florida • Buffet Partners, LP, Plano, Texas • Donatos Pizza, Columbus, Ohio • Grandy's, Lewisville, Texas • Mission Burrito, Houston, Texas • Pizza Inn, The Colony, Texas • Rave Motion Pictures, Dallas, Texas • Redstone Golf Management, Humble, Texas • The Houstonian Club & Spa, Houston, Texas • Medieval Times, Dallas, Texas • Garland Power & Light, Garland, Texas • Oncor, Dallas, Texas

Affiliate networks offer you access to multiple (and by multiple, we mean hundreds if not thousands) of individual affiliate programs. They basically work by simplifying the signup process - instead of applying to become an affiliate for a each product you want to promote, you simply apply to join the network and instantly have access to hundreds of different affiliate offers.
Win-win-win. The advertiser wins because they only pay when a purchase is made (as opposed to the shotgun approach of paying to advertise to the masses and waiting for a small percentage to actually buy). The affiliate wins because they make money while providing helpful advice. The customer wins because they get a trusted recommendation for something they might not otherwise have known about.
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[17]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[17] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[17]:149–150

Will my target audience realistically spend this amount for the product? Again, your reputation is on the line here. Is the product you are thinking of promoting priced reasonably for your audience? When I was writing my ebook, I was stuck on pricing. I asked around for opinions. A number of people suggested I price my ebook at $47! Their idea was to price according to value, not size. In my mind that was crazy. My network was composed of a lot of stay-at-home bloggers, and my collective audience was comprised mostly of people without a whole lot of disposable income. There was no way anyone was going to pay $47 for my 30-page ebook.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[14] 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.[9]
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