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Informative Articles

10 Steps To Bigger Affiliate Commissions!
If you're having trouble making money from affiliate programs, or are looking for ways to increase your existing income from them, here is a quick list to get you going: 1. Learn how to PRE-sell your visitors instead of hard-selling them. Using...

An Easy Way To Write Articles To Promote Your Biz
If you're not a born writer, a simple way to begin writing articles to promote your business is to write list articles. Your list articles could be a top ten list or top seven list that deals with a specific subject. You could also write up a...

Content is King
Copyright 2005 Cherry Communications/Be Heard Solutions You had listened to all of the experts who told you that you needed your domain name to be as easy to remember as possible. You had also set the pages up so that your site is easy to...

Creating an Affiliate Marketing Budget
Your first thought on seeing the title of this article is probably, "I'm not going to need a budget because I'm not going to spend any money." I'm sorry, but that's not how it works. If you don't want to spend ANYTHING, you are not going to succeed....

Measuring & Evaluating a public relations presence online
You've done everything right. You helped increased sales, people recognize your business name and you are considered an expert on what you are selling by millions of people around the globe. Then, your boss asks you to prove the worth of your online...

 
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What Do Affiliate Tracking Services Do?

Some affiliate programs design their own internal software to track affiliate referrals, calculate commissions, and process payments. It is far more common, though, for programs to outsource these functions to an affiliate tracking company. Knowing which affiliate tracking company a program uses allows you to quickly assess how many of the aspects of their affiliate program will operate. What follows are some of the aspects of an affiliate program that are largely influenced by the affiliate tracking company used.

Targeted linking

Also known as "deep linking", targeted linking is the practice of allowing affiliates to direct traffic to whichever page on the affiliate programs site best fits their pre-selling strategy. The alternative to targeted linking is to direct all referred traffic to the home page of the site. Programs that offer targeted linking often, though not always, have much higher conversion rates.

Tiered commissions

Some programs will reward affiliates for bringing new affiliates into the program. While this reward can take many forms, it is usually a small percentage of what the new affiliates earn. In such programs, there are often a handful of affiliates who are very successful recruiting and earn a steady income even though they make few direct sales. Some affiliate tracking companies do not have the capacity to offer tiered commissions, although most do and leave the choice up to the individual program manager.

Tracking return customers

Most purchases on the internet do not occur the first time a visitor comes to a page. Often they will bookmark the page and return to the site hours, weeks, or sometimes months later to purchase. Using a combination of cookies, IP tracking, and domain referral tracking; affiliates can still receive commissions on customers that do not make immediate purchases. While the exact window of customer action may vary from program to program, most affiliate tracking


companies use the same tracking methods (cookies or IP tracking) across all of their programs.

Traffic and Sales Reporting

A practice so common as to be considered standard, affiliate tracking companies allow affiliates to log on and review the traffic and sales that they have generated over certain date periods. Some companies allow affiliates to create campaigns by which they can track the effectiveness of different marketing methods. The type of reporting available tends to be consistent across all affiliate programs a company tracks.

Payment Frequency

The industry standard is to send commission payments on a monthly basis when an affiliate's earnings reach a certain minimum balance. Some programs send checks more or less frequently. On rare occasions a company will not send checks automatically, instead requiring that affiliates log on and request a payment. This is often a sign of an untrustworthy company trying to avoid paying all commissions due. Anything other than automatic payment is uncommon.

Network of Programs

Some tracking companies cater to affiliates who wish to participate in multiple programs. An affiliate who is part of their network can examine and join other programs they track, pending the approval of each program manager.

Training

Any program that leaves training of affiliates solely in the hands of their tracking company is doing their affiliates a great disservice, but the tracking company can help. Kowabunga, for example, provides affiliates with a database of affiliate marketing articles, FAQs, and a quick start guide. A tracking company can't provide training for a specific product or service, but they can educate affiliates on the general aspects of the industry.

About the Author

Clay Mabbitt writes articles about online income opportunities. He is the founder of a community of Internet entrepreneurs sharing knowledge and experience at http://www.affiliatescreen.com