The term for an affiliate program is an affiliate model. Numerous online businesses produce affiliate networks to supervise affiliates that promote their products and services.
Amazon.com, one of the examples and one of the first significant adopters, now has hundreds of thousands of affiliate relationships. It is very common to see industries where the major players have affiliate programs making competitive changes within short periods of time and often structured in a similar way.
Affiliated platforms comprise of medium-sized companies with both merchants and publishers, operating as a broker. An affiliate program is an automated electronic program. It consists of a Web advertiser and recruited webmasters. The webmasters, as affiliates, place the company’s advertisements or banners on their individually owned websites. Advertisement in these affiliate programs are connected to company websites and are known as affiliate links.
How Does an Affiliate Program Software Work?
Affiliates generally have to apply for the affiliate programs, though many of the affiliate programs are free of cost to join. Affiliate merchants that use affiliate networks do not have to directly manage the affiliate program software. The link must be built between the affiliate merchant’s site and the affiliate network’s software. When an online visitor clicks on the affiliate link, the visitor is redirected to the linked advertiser’s website. If the visitor/customer likes the stuff and makes a purchase or indulges in a contract, the affiliate is then paid a commission.
It is the decision of the affiliates within their affiliate programs which advertisements or banners will they place on their website for visitors/customers. The successful affiliate program does not happen by accident and many factors are responsible for its success of an individual over the crowd.
Factors Responsible for The Success of an Affiliate Program
- One of the many factors is the amount of investment by a company in the growth and development of that affiliate program.
- Another factor is the experience that the affiliate manager/team has as compared to the rest.
- Sometimes the decision is based on their research and own calculations of which company/brand/product is more popular and whose ads will interest the visitors the more on their website.
- Affiliates are most successful when the products they give publicity to appeal to their followers and subscribers.
- In addition to this, numerous triumphant affiliate marketers advise recommending and promoting only those products/brands that the affiliate is familiar with on an individual level. That’s because having knowledge about the product, program, or service helps build trust between the affiliate and end-user.
Affiliate merchants that run affiliate programs need to find and sometimes customize affiliate program software to handle transaction tracking and reporting. The choices in affiliate solutions are numerous. Solutions are available according to a different user group, as per their requirements of technology, support, affiliate recruit and their stand on exclusivity, ranging from free and almost-free scripts to expensive software packages.
One solution which is suitable to one merchant might be neglected by the other merchant
Solution providers are categorized as:
- Commission-based ASPs (application service providers),
- fee-based ASPs,
- CGI programs,
- e-commerce programs,
- and in-house custom applications.
These valuable services are standard for all the commission-based ASPs and are available for some of the fee-based ASPs. As per the affiliate matrix 2001 Merchant Report, more than two-third of affiliate programs are associated with one of the “Big Four” commission-based ASPs. While a huge part of the remaining market share is made by fee-based ASPs, including AssocTRAC and My Affiliate Program.
Features and Benefits of an Affiliate Program Software
The affiliate program software is something that provides, at a minimum, tracking the referral or recommendation produced by an individual or a company to buy a variety of services or products from other company. It also provides tracking and reporting of commission-triggering actions (sales, registrations, install, impressions, clicks) from affiliate links.
It is important to supervise and benefit or reimburse the participants of an affiliate marketing group of participants or affiliate networks. The software is the enabler to monetary referrers based on the frequency and thus the performance of clicks, number of page views and impressions of advertising material like banners or ads of the “marketers”. It also confirms to the purchases and transaction of money of the “advertisers”.
The most common forms of affiliate programs are pay-per-lead, pay-per-view, pay-per-click, pay-per-sale, pay-per-impression, pay-per-acquisition. Advantages of affiliate marketing include the future for self-regulating much of the advertising process, receiving & giving consent to applications, produce distinct sales links and reporting files, and commission-only for appropriate results that is sales, views, contracts, registrations, and clicks.
Paying only for performance covers much of the advertising risk from the merchants to the affiliates, while merchants still believe in some percentage of fraud from the side of the partners. The affiliate program software is considered the least expensive online advertising tool for driving traffic to a website. The main characteristic of the software is a compilation of data for merchants and publishers so that all activity can be tracked and verified in a controlled and systematic manner, demonstrating all the necessary details like transaction value, origins and destinations, geography and payment balance.
Other features include generating tracking codes (tracking URLs) Faffilia, tracking time and location of the click or sale, tracking source including the location source as well as the web page producing the URL link and the source type, tracking affiliate to evaluate how successful the affiliate is selling and lastly fraud detection whose demand has increased over the years.
So, as a merchant, if you are planning to launch an affiliate program, implementing an affiliate programme software can keep a track of all the activities and boost your business over a period of time.