So Many Affiliate Programs – Which One Do I Choose?

which-affiliate-program

With so many affiliate programs available online, which one do I choose? I am sure this question has popped into your mind on a few occasions and there is no straight forward universal answer because of the diversity and sheer number of programs there are online.

However there are some guideline you can use to help you decide if a particular affiliate program is right for you. So the next time you are looking to become a part of a program, consider the following:

Always ask questions first before joining any affiliate program. Doing a little research at the start about the choices of program that you intend to join will payoff big dividends later on. Make sure that all your questions are answered because they will be the deciding point of what you will be achieving down the road.

Does it cost anything for you to join? The majority of affiliate programs being offered today are absolutely free of charge. Don’t settle for programs that charge you a fee before joining unless they have proven big commission return guarantees.

How often do they issue commission payouts? This is where every program is different. Some issue checks monthly, others every quarter, and others even less frequently. Consider the one that best suits your income needs. Also be aware that many affiliate programs set a minimum earned commission amount that you must meet or exceed before they will issue payment.

What is the hit per sale ratio? This is the average number of hits to a banner ad or text link it takes to generate a sale based on all current affiliate statistics. This factor is extremely important because it gives you an idea of just how much traffic you must generate before you can expect to earn a commission from a sale.

Another important factor is how referrals from an affiliate’s link are tracked and for how long do they remain active in the system? You should be confident with the program enough to track those people you refer from your site. This is the primary way you receive credit for a sale. The period of time that those people are credited to you in the system is also important. This is because visitors often do not buy on their first exposure, but may want to return later to make the purchase. Be sure that you will still get credit for the sale even if it is done some months from a certain day (example, a 90 day tracking cookie).

What kinds of affiliate stats are available? Your selection of affiliate program should be capable of offering detailed stats. Those stats should be available online anytime you decide to check them out. Regularly checking your individual stats is important because they let you know how many impressions, hits and sales are being generated from your site. Impressions are the number of times a banner ad or text link is viewed by a visitor on your site. A hit is an actual click on the banner ad or text link.

Does the affiliate program also pay for the hits and impressions in addition to the commissions on sales? It is important that impressions and hits are also paid, as this will add to the earnings you get from the sales commission, especially if the program you are in has low sales hit ratio.

Who is the online merchant? Find out all you can about whom you are doing business with to know if it is really a solid company or person. Learn about the products they are selling and the average sale amount they are achieving. The more you know about the merchant offering the affiliate program, the easier it will be for you to determine if that program is really a good fit for you and your site.

Is it a one tier or two tier affiliate program? A single tier program pays you only for the business you yourself have generated. A two tier program pays you for the business, plus it also pays you a commission on the on the sales generated by any affiliate you sponsor in your program. Some two-tier programs are even paying small fees on each new affiliate you sponsor. Similar to a recruitment fee.

Finally, what is the percentage of commission paid? Solid long running programs, like Amazon, typically pay around 4% – 20% commission rate. Others with new products or programs pay much higher commissions starting around 50% and above. Also .01% – .05% is the range amount paid for each hit. If you find a program that also pays for impressions, the amount paid is really not much at all. As you can see from those values, you now understand why the average sales amount and hit to sale ratio is important.

These are just some of the important questions that needed answering before you join an affiliate program. Become familiar with the many important aspects that your chosen program should have before adding them into your website. Ask your affiliate program choices these questions. Make sure you are selecting the right program for your site from among the many available.

About Michel

Michel has been actively involved online since 2009. He started Glowball Web Network in October of 2011. He has broad experience including what he achieved from many of the online training programs he’s taken over the years. He’s knows what works and doesn’t work and is willing to share his knowledge with you on this site and partner sites. More importantly, he continually to stay updated since it’s always changing!
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6 Comments

  1. Great pointers here Michel. I like those that don’t have any payment thresholds either so you know you will get paid for any referrals on the next payment date.
    Sue Fleckenstein recently posted…Product Launching and ResultsMy Profile

    • Michel

      Thank you for visiting and your comment, Sue.

      I agree that it is always nice to be paid without the worry of limits. Back in 2010, I didn’t get paid by CB because they not only require a minimum (which was met), but also you must have orders from at least 5 sources before they will pay. Unfortunately, I had only four sources with no more orders and over time I watched my several hundred dollars in commissions be whittled down to nothing within that year (monthly hold ~ inactivity fees).

  2. Great pointers here….sometimes i get tired just thinking about the number of programs out there…and counting. You gave me some ideas that i had not thought of before.

    • Michel

      Thanks Prem for visiting,

      I’m glad that I could help!

  3. Hi Michel,

    Your article would have to be the best in-depth article I have ever read on affiliate programs!

    You had too many good points to remember, but I do know of 3 factors I love (and I am giving in my own affiliate program on another site that I am at present setting up.)

    They are:

    a) lifetime commissions – once your referral, always your referral.
    b) 2-tier commissions
    c) payouts on even a dollar

    At least that way people are not left like you were…their commissions taken from them or a target not yet met.
    Susan O’Dea recently posted…Cloaking Affiliate Links – Pretty Link Pro or PHP RedirectsMy Profile

    • Michel

      Wow, thanks for the complement, Susan!

      Offering lifetime commissions are awesome. Having payout even if it is a dollar could become expensive for you as the promoter. Hopefully, your program will have product offers that make the affiliate more than a dollar per sale so it won’t be an issue, but I get the gist of your generous intention.

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