Monday, September 17, 2007

Traditional PPC affiliate programs

Due to the popularity of contextual advertising, webmasters often forget the traditional affiliate programs, some offering similar options as far as paying for clicks instead of sales. If you find a program of this kind in your niche – and you have a page with some traffic – this might be a better option for you. If you place these ads on the right pages, you will be amazed how well they can perform. But, be sure to read the fine print before you send them your traffic, sometimes the PPC option is worse than the revenue share model.

With PPC affiliate programs where the publisher (you) places a link with your affiliate ID embedded to the program, you get paid for every visitor you send. You have total control over you own ads, no script are placing them for you, thus making you in charge of the relevance – or lack there of - of your ads. The price per click is mostly fixed, or in some cases depending on the quantity of visitors delivered, more visitors equal higher rate for every click.

In contextual advertising, the advertisers have the ability to set a max price AND a daily budget, leaving them in total control over their costs. For traditional affiliate programs this isn’t an option, they have a set price and static links, delivering traffic around the clock. This is potentially disastrous for any affiliate program, and a problem many affiliate managers solved by use of a required minimum conversion rate to get paid.

When looking at a traditional affiliate program – with a PPC option – you should look closely to see if they have a minimum conversion rate required for your traffic. If you are forced to convert your visitors into sales, and they specify the conversion rate, it’s easy math to see if you would be better off with a revenue sharing model. The amount you earn for sending the maximum visitors per sign-up should be greater than the commission for one sale. If it’s not, you are guaranteed to make more by the use of another revenue model. If the affiliate program offers recurring commission on their revenue share plan, you should think twice before choosing to get paid per click, you will miss out on all eventual recurring sales and commissions. If you plan on using the affiliate program for a long period of time, you will miss out on more than you can imagine.

Traditional PPC affiliate programs offer a very good opportunity if you have visitors interested in what they are advertising. The ads are usually placed on one, or a few pages where the relevance and click thru rate is high, on other pages you will be better off with other types of programs. Always compare your PPC stats with the revenue from other pages, to see if it really is as lucrative as you’d expect. Many times we get dazzled with the fact we get paid for EVERY visitor, not looking closely enough to see we would make more if we went another direction.

However, if you have a page with high click thru rate, you can make good use of any PPC program in your niche.

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