So, you have heard good things about associate programs (also known as affiliate programs) -- those programs that reward other Web sites for sending you customers -- and you want to set one up foryour site to help drive traffic and increase sales. Here are some important issues to keepin mind.
What Type of Commission/Bounty to Pay? Commission rates vary greatly. Some programs pay cash. Others pay in store credits. Some pay on gross sales, others on net. Some pay per "lead" or "application." Some pay a flat amount, others a percentage. Others use a slidingscale or a hybrid.
Here is a sampling of what some current programs pay:
Setting Up Your Program Setting up an associate program can take many forms. You can:
develop your own software
use associate codes
set up individual pages for each associate
use a packaged software solution
use a service bureau
use your shopping cart software
use a combination of the solutions above
This article, from AssociatePrograms, goes into more detail on many of the options listed above. No matter how youdecide to administer your program, you will want to have in place a mechanism for trackingparticipation and rewarding those who send you new business.
Tracking Commissions One area on which you are sure to get lots of feedback from your associates is yourcommission reporting. They prefer an accurate, real-time page with good history reportingcapabilities. Few programs currently provide good reporting systems, so you willstand out if you can devise a good reporting procedure.