Affiliate marketing is a simple concept where a business pays its affiliate for bringing customers to the business. Affiliate marketing was created by William J. Tobin in the late 1980’s. He and his company, PC Flowers & Gifts, took only four years to make more than $6 million annually in sales. This proved that affiliate marketing can be a very lucrative practice.
Affiliate marketing has grown fast and wide in its practice since its inception. With the help of the internet, businesses and affiliates are able to access, generate leads and drive customers to the products and business they want to promote more efficiently.
All types of business can and have benefited from affiliate marketing. Retail industries and internet file sharing businesses have also been very profitable in the affiliate marketing business. The “sin industry” has also seen tremendous gain from affiliate marketing. The “sin industry” includes adult themed business, such as pornography and gambling.
How do people and affiliates make money? The affiliates are compensated in a variety of methods; pay per sale, cost per action, cost per click and cost per mile are some of the most widely used methods of compensation for affiliates who bring in revenue and customers to the company they work for.
Compensation methods are changing to satisfy the needs of the changing world. Some people have used deceptive methods, such as click fraud, to produce false results for higher income. Companies have responded by reducing the use of cost per click as a method of payment to their affiliates.
Most internet users are familiar with terms such as spam and adware. Although spam is unsolicited and therefore not legal, there are legitimate methods of using adware and tracking cookies from potential buyers, by properly notifying them of such possibility and obtaining their permission.
To ensure that the affiliates produce sales generating work and be compensated accordingly, many companies use performance based compensation method. Cost per click or cost per mile sales place the burden of sales on the company and not on the affiliate. On the other hand, performance marketing will pay the affiliate based on the actual sales he or she produces. They may also offer incentives to encourage harder working and higher performing affiliates.
It is not difficult to enter the world of affiliate marketing. Currently there no set standard in the industry to ensure all affiliates and companies act according to a code of ethical business practice. Since the world of internet and especially affiliate marketing changes so fast, it is not easy to keep up with all of the fast changing new waves of high income affiliate marketing.
The best way of making good to excellent income with affiliate marketing is to put in real effort, diligent work, and follow the legal standards of marketing. This will ensure steady income and good reputation.
Major search engine companies and even a few universities may offer courses on affiliate marketing. It is wise to consult reputable publications for instructions on affiliate marketing.