Affiliate marketing refers to the recommendation of products or services by someone who receives a commission payment for doing so.
Just like your local gym or satellite television provider may offer you a reward for recommending friends and family to them, affiliate networks reward commissions to affiliates for advertising their client’s offers.
Each merchant decides when joining an affiliate network how much commission they are willing to pay for affiliates promoting their product. The most common form of commission structure in based on the CPS (or commission per sale) model. This means that the affiliate will only be paid when a customer clicks on their affiliate link and proceeds to make a purchase from the merchant’s site.
Some markets which are extremely competitive will offer much higher commissions than less competitive industries. For example, health and beauty is very competitive.
Affiliate marketing is not a get quick rich scheme. It takes hard work and dedication and most affiliates will have to work extremely hard for at least 12 months or more before being able to use affiliate marketing to replace their main income source.
We are encouraging all affiliates to display an affiliate disclosure on their websites. The disclosure is a simple and clear way of advising consumers that they are visiting an affiliate website.
This is in the interest of consumer transparency and forms part of our best practice framework for all active affiliates.
Above is an example of a disclosure that you may see on an affiliate website.
Affiliate networks give their affiliates special links which the affiliate uses to refer visitors from their site to the merchants website.
Looking for these URL’s as you hover over banners or text links can help you to identify whether you will be taken directly to the merchants site or via an affiliate link if you were to click on them.
The following are examples of the most common affiliate networks:
Affiliate Future - http://scripts.affiliatefuture.com/AFClick.asp?affiliateID=XXXX
Affiliate Window - http://www.awin1.com/awclick.php?&id=XXXX
MoreNiche - http://track.moreniche.com/hit.php?w=XXXXXX&s=XXX
Due to the nature of affiliate marketing you will be directed to the merchants own website when you click on an affiliate link. This means that you will end up on exactly the same website and see the same result regardless of whether you visit the merchant’s website directly yourself or reach it via an affiliate link.
You will pay the same purchase price for goods and services, so passing through an affiliate site will have no direct impact on your purchase at all.