Monday, September 17, 2007

5 important factors when choosing affiliate program

Choosing an affiliate program is presumably easy, yet many webmasters won’t find the program best suited for their site. In order to maximize your online revenue, you should – before choosing program – consider a few factors.

When deciding what affiliate program(s) to use on your site, there are many factors to consider. You will, of course, have to narrow down the selection by searching for programs related to your site’s topic. But, depending on site, you will find yourself with a quite long list of potential affiliate program – All with different types of commission. What should you choose, what information is relevant, and most important, which program will make you the most money?

#1 - Size of commission

The size of commission is, of course, the single most important factor. While this is an easy factor to compare, the comparison between a fixed commission and revenue share can pose a problem. You need to look at the estimated average sale to get a figure to compare. This isn’t always easy, but generally speaking the higher the price of the product, the higher your revenue will be. This is easy enough, but sometimes the products are cheap, but people but many items, thus adding up to nice commissions. Try to evaluate the niche you are in, who are you referring? What are they likely to buy? The more information you have about your visitors, the better off you’ll be.

# 2 - Compatibility

Equally important is the compatibility between you site and the program. Are your visitors likely to click the ads? Are the likely to buy? Don’t settle for just any affiliate program in your niche, you need to find the best affiliate program available for your site. Visit the site you are advertising, have a look around. Would you shop there? Is it a nice looking, easy manageable site? If you wouldn’t shop there, odds are your visitors won’t either.

# 3 - Recurring commission

A very important, but often forgotten, variable to look at is whether or not the affiliate program offers recurring commission. What this means is: The customer referred by you stays yours for a limited time, or for life. If you find a good affiliate program with recurring commission, you do not need to send many customers before it really adds up.

# 4 – Promotional tools etc.

A very good way of further increasing your conversion ratio is to look closely at the promotional tools, banners and potential offers the affiliate program are using to convert the traffic you send. In some niches – gambling in particular - the competition is so hard they have to offer their visitors high bonuses or the like, just to stand a chance of converting them. In cases like this, you would want to promote a program offering good bonuses; otherwise you stand a much lesser chance of sending highly converting traffic.

#5 Payout frequency, type and threshold

If you are running a small site, or if you use many different affiliate programs, you will need to look at the payout threshold AND payout method. See to it you will get your commission within a fair period of time, and that they offer easy and cheap ways of collecting your commission. International checks can, in some countries, be very expensive to cash in. No fun in paying $10 dollar to cash in a $25 check, now is it? You should glance on the frequency of payments as well. Most affiliate programs pay monthly or bi-monthly, but be sure to check it out.

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