Monday, November 30, 2020

How do affiliate programs work?



How do affiliate programs work?


Affiliate programs are one of the most effective marketing techniques on the web. They create a win-win situation where site A refers a visitor to site B, and site B pays site A a commission if the visitor makes a purchase.

Affiliate programs are one of the most effective marketing techniques on the web. They create a win-win situation where site A refers a visitor to site B, and site B pays site A a commission if the visitor makes a purchase. The reference site (affiliate) can earn money without overhead (no product, no warehouse, no risk of collection). On the other hand, the destination site (provider) receives a constant flow of qualified potential customers from hundreds, perhaps thousands of affiliated sites, and does not have to spend a penny unless a visitor makes a purchase.

The way it works is like this: the provider provides the affiliate with a specific HTML code that he must use on his site to create a link to the provider's site. This code contains an embedded identification number that allows the provider to know when an incoming visitor arrives to them by clicking on the affiliate site link.

The provider's servers will establish a cookie (a time-sensitive electronic identification mechanism) on the visitor's computer so that each time he returns to the provider's site, the provider's servers 'remember' that the affiliate originally submitted it, and will pay him a commission when the visitor makes a purchase.

This makes it possible for the affiliate to earn a commission even if the visitor does not buy anything the first time, but returns and buys later. In addition, it is not necessary for the visitor to enter the provider's site through the affiliate link that is not the first time, since the provider's servers will identify the cookie and know that the affiliate originally sent it.

At the discretion of the provider, cookies can be set to expire that same day, remain active indefinitely or anything else (providers generally call the duration of a cookie the "reference period"). For this reason, it is better to choose supplier partners that offer long reference periods (120 days is considered very good). This increases the chances of success of the affiliate, since very few people will buy on their first visit, although there are exceptions with suppliers that enjoy excellent brand recognition and have user-friendly interfaces, such as Amazon.com (the pioneer of affiliate programs) which, in spite of keeping cookies active for only 24 hours, can generate a significant part of their sales in the first minutes after a visitor has clicked on your site.