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Ecommerce Trends

The goal of an affiliate is simply to function as an online sales agent and develop pre-sell materials addressed to qualified traffic at their site and then redirect it to the storefronts of partnering merchants. The merchants responsibility is then to close the shoppers with detailed product/service information and an attractive price. Merchants then reward the affiliate with a commission for facilitating the deal. With enough traffic and marketing savvy, it's possible to turn empty web space into a lucrative affiliate enterprise.


Affiliate Programs: Effective or a real waste of time?

Re:What is the 'TRUE' opportunity for success with such programs

Affiliate Programs: The Simple Truth

Get-In2's webmaster has spent the past four years evaluating the incredible proliferation of affiliate programs. Hey we build and run CyberMalls like Get-In2 for a living. They go by many different names such as associate programs, web sponsors, affiliate programs and dozens more. If people believe that these programs have been developed so that website owners can generate revenue for their sites, they are completely wrong. Their sole purpose is to generate sales, leads or branded traffic for the network of participating merchant sites. They all are stacked up in favor of the merchant and only Commission junction rewards the low volume affiliate with a guaranteed monthly check!

Are they effective? The answer to this question depends upon who you ask. For the web merchants, like some of our clients, they are amazingly effective as these sites can 'employ' virtual sales forces that number in the hundreds of thousands. Even more importantly, these merchant sites pay their affiliate sites NOTHING unless a sales is made or a qualified lead has been generated. Website owners use their valuable site 'real estate' displaying banners ads, search engines, and text links in the hopes of earning a few bucks. Let's take a look at why affiliate programs are maybe not for you!  

Here are some key points to be aware of when evaluating affiliate programs:

  1. Only enter into these types of arrangements with companies that offer a legitimate "affiliate agreement" and always read the fine print. If they do not offer a Terms & Conditions page, then do not do business with the company. Affiliate enabled merchants do not start their program giving affiliates a fighting chance at making money. These are DEFERRED REVENUE programs and the merchants do not have paying affiliates as their main motivator. ..FREE traffic..EYEBALLS.. is what their really after! Many can't afford conventional advertising.

  1. Make sure that you make a print out a copy of the Terms & Conditions as many companies will quickly switch their program rules on the fly. It is not unheard of for companies to spontaneously lower their commission rates overnight after reaching traffic goals and remove or change their agreement page when deciding NOT to pay out the commissions..

  1. Beware that many companies will only pay their affiliate sites after the affiliate has generated over $50.00 or $100.00 in commission and over 98% of their affiliates will never see a check for the traffic they send these guys. For many of the smaller traffic sites, this commission level may never be reached. Another red flag is quarterly payments since it takes a minimum of 6 months for even high traffic sites like this one to get your first check. Also the return day "cookie" is very important since it determines the amount of time that referral has to purchase for you to get a commission.

  1. Never sign up with sites that are going to charge you for becoming an affiliate. This is an absolute scam! Make sure the underlying management isn't from a MLM background and most all "how to" Info -peddlers and e-book sales are scams. Also be sure to pass on a program that looks to good to be true. CyberRebates conned millions out of consumers using affiliates as cannon fodder.

  1. Always ask for references to other affiliates and follow-up with those affiliates to hear their comments. Never post a banner that you haven't first visited the site and checked the pricing and product displays and overall appeal to shoppers. Basically shop the site as a buyer not an advertiser and if the commissions rates sound too good to pass up ...definitely pass them up!

  1. If you have questions and decide to e-mail the company, you should receive a personal reply within several days. If you have to wait a long time, beware! Also checkout every site for a professional look, competitive pricing and secure server/cart/e-catalog and a clear privacy policy. Watch out for 800#'s on every page since those sales bypass your commissions.

  1. Finally, make sure of what you are being paid for...read the contract! Many companies will only pay you a commission if a customer makes a purchase within a certain amount of time, and some companies make you establish links to a particular product and only pay you a commission if the customer buys that product (i.e. - you receive nothing if that customer buys other things from the site)...a old Amazon trick.

  2. If you don't know the site owner offering the program..then only use the established affiliate aggregrators to be sure you get paid! The recommended listing and evaluation services are often outdated and bias. They just want you to sign up under them for 2 tier commission programs....I constantly get e-mails giving top ratings to merchants that no longer even have a web site or program.

  3. With over 257 prominent e-tailers like Pets.com, eToys, Garden.com, Furniture.com etc. having gone belly up in the last few months.. be sure that you get paid commissions on time. Over 82 active merchants have never bothered to pay our Cybermall any of the back commissions they owed us. Those sites without a traffic count above 2000 unique visitors a day should probably not count on affiliate sales to even pay the hosting bills.

  4. The #1 high conversion affiliate merchant program over the last 5 years is operated by Holdup Suspender company. They average 1 sale per every 20 referred shopopers for the patented suspenders and Sloops blue jeans. This is a private program and you can apply at www.mysuspenders.com/affiliate.htm and see if your site gets accepted. No BHO parasites ( those browsers popup incnet spammers)-no SE  or e-mail spammers are allowed into this one.

Above all REVIEW EVERY SITE - and don't expect to quit your day job to make money through affiliate sales! You'll need a million banner, product and text link impressions a month to make it!!

Affiliate Programs: The Simple Truth

IMS newsflash seriesyour mentor -IMS webmaster -Mike

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Be careful your merchant choices aren't infested with peckerwood parasites.

Your Pets need constant care and attention  Pet's love the holidays for attention and treats

Just when your sailing along in your commission ship, with a varied load of trusted merchants, some peckerwoods come forth and put holes in your boat. Moral of these 2 storyboards:

1. It's easier for dishonest affiliates to stuff commission cookies, then Elephants, into the commission ship.
2.Catch & kill the peckerwoods before they sink your commission ship.

Get-In2's webmaster, Mike Hyland has won the "Performance Marketing's Most Vocal Advocate" award at the 2nd Annual LinkShare Golden Links Awards held on June 22, 2005 in New York. This site has always been committed to showcasing merchants who place real value at the end of a click... from a shoppers viewpoint. We have always believed in affiliate marketing's potential to add real value to online merchants, without resorting to Gorilla marketing tactics. This Award recognizes Mike's vocal demands and suggestions for eliminating the incessant popups, spam and deceptive advertising practices of desperate marketers were all valid points. The Industry has listened and made the needed changes. Read about this coveted Award and check out this years Gala event photos & videos!

All the good stuff ...Cheap! Name Brand discounted closeouts from Computer GeeksOverstock closeouts Name Brand discounted closeouts from Computer Geeks Boscov's Dept store Name Brand discounted closeouts from Computer Geeks Sierra Trading Post outdoor gear Name Brand discounted closeouts from Computer Geeks Fine Jewelry Name Brand discounted closeouts from Computer Geeks Watches Name Brand discounted closeouts from Computer Geeks Golf Pro Shop Name Brand discounted closeouts from Computer GeeksSporting Goods Name Brand discounted closeouts from Computer Geeks Bicycle Shop Discount travel packages in our travel centerTravel Center Discount travel packages in our travel centerAutomotive Shop As Seen on TV productsInfo-mercial TV products As Seen on TV productsDiscount Magazine Shop ** Vanns.com Electronics Superstore

Our mission: Offer True value at the end of every click rather then wasting your efforts on general search engines. Checkout the new Mini-storefront e-catalogs above that save you time & money!

*** It's about time someone remodeled the existing Affiliate Marketing Networks, so corrupted by an advertising mindset, into a model that works for both Affiliates and merchants. I therefore have formulated all the pieces necessary to migrate the easily abused advertising based model into a sales based model I dubbed The Safe Haven Network in early 2004. Read all about this revolutionary Affiliate Sales Network model which might launch in 2005.

PS: the FTC is now seriously talking about muzzling the adware/spyware commission thieves via new legislation, like they did with the Telemarketers with the "do not call list". Browser popup spammers hijack systems with drive-by and hidden bundling installs and cause damage exceeding that coming from e-mail viruses. Read more on this at www.ecomcity.com/news.htm and get no-nonsense links to free anti-adware/malware/spyware cures to make your surfing and shopping experience trouble free.

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing I'd recommend joins the active community forums at www.Abestweb.com home to 16,000 affiliates-merchants and affiliate managers.


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