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Becoming an Affiliate – 10 Key Details You Must Know

Once you’ve made the decision that operating a business as an affiliate, there are several details you really need to pay attention to prior to signing on and promoting a particular vendor or merchant. Make no mistake about it – affiliate marketing can be one of the most lucrative business models, as long as you pay attention to the details and understand the terms and conditions of the merchants / vendors or affiliate networks you choose to align yourself with.

My Top Ten List Of Key Details You Must Pay Attention To:

1. Method Of Payment

The reason we are all here purchase iraqi dinar You’ve got to know exactly how and when you’ll receive payment. Some merchants and networks will allow you to choose how you are to be paid. Many will offer payment by check or via PayPal. Some will simply send a check at the end of the month, others will wait for a specified period of time, and others will permit you to choose when payment is made by determining a particular threshold. For example, you may be able to say you want to be paid when earnings reach $25 or other figure.

Be sure to check on the currency commissions are paid in. You don’t want to be shocked when your payment is sent in IQD. (Iraqi Dinar)

Also – be sure to check an see if the vendor holds commission back for a period of time to cover for potential customer refunds. Most won’t do this, but it’s important to check.

2. Commission Structure

You have to know what the commission structure is in order to plan your marketing efforts accordingly. Some will pay a flat figure per sale, while others (most) will pay a percentage. You also want to find out if a particular vendor increases the percentage they will pay you if you have an increase in volume. Another thing you’ve got to be aware of is if the product(s) you are selling has a recurring commission based on a monthly fee charged to the customer. Some vendors won’t include this monthly fee as a commissionable sale. Many do, so make sure the vendor you are working with does. Having the commission information from various programs is critical when comparing the various programs you may want to join.

3. How Are Refunds Handled?

You need to know exactly how refunds will impact your commission. Is the commission lost? If the expect the commission back, when is it deducted from your account?

4. Record Keeping

Any affiliate program worth its salt will provide you with a way for you to track your clicks and sales. You should be able to view what is owed to you at any given time as well as a history of payments and adjustments made to your account. Look for programs / networks that update at least daily. Real time is even better.

5. Stats Tracking

A major frustration that many affiliates have with vendors is that some don’t provide you with a way to view your statistics for your affiliate link. Having run a major affiliate program in the past, I know how critical this is. You absolutely have to know how many times your links are being clicked on and how many of those clicks are turning into sales so that you can adjust your marketing efforts when needed. If you don’t have this information, you can and probably will be wasting marketing dollars.

6. Cookie Operations

This is another critical area that you need to understand. Cookies are used to track your affiliate link. Let’s say someone clicks on your link today, but decides not to buy. That person comes back directly to the site next month without using your link. A cookie ensures that you’ll still get credit.

You are looking for vendors that offer long term cookies – say 60 days. If your vendor only offers a 7 day cookie and the customer comes back next month – all due to your marketing efforts the previous month – you are out of luck!

Something else you want to know is if the first or last cookie is the one the vendor goes by. For example, if someone clicks on your link one day, but clicks on another affiliate link next week and makes a purchase, who gets the sale. Both first and last cookie methods are valid, but you need to understand which one is in use.

7. Limits or Exclusions

Be sure to read the affiliate agreement carefully. Some vendors won’t allow you to promote in a certain way, or to promote specific products. Failure to comply with specific limits or exclusions can result in a forfeiture of your commission.

8. Penalties

Know exactly what the penalties are for an unwitting violation of the vendors terms and conditions. Hopefully this won’t be an issue because you’ve read the terms and conditions carefully, but mistakes can be made. Just know how they will be handled.

9. Restricted Marketing Strategies

It’s fairly commonplace these days that companies restrict various methods of marketing their products. Most restrictions pertain to the use of email, but many are also limiting the keywords you can use, or even the use of Google Adwords. There may be no restrictions in play with the company you want to become an affiliate for, but you need to pay close attention to this and adhere to the restrictions, if any.

10. Creative Provided

This is an area that is often overlooked by perspective affiliates. Before you sign on with a company as an affiliate, make sure there is a wide range of quality materials to promote the product(s) you are interested in promoting. This is important because if there are no materials, your job is going to be much tougher. If there are materials, but they are not of high quality, that will present an issue as well, especially if you are restricted from producing your own materials.

Warren has been writing articles and producing how to courses online since 2005. He specialize in online business issues and currently operates a number of websites in a number of different niches. You can check out his latest website here: Home Storage Organization [http://homestorageorganization.org/] featuring Garage Storage Units

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