Originating in the USA several years ago with Amazon.com, affiliate marketing has quickly gained acceptance in North America as a viable and effective method of obtaining online screened and targeted site traffic, ongoing revenue generation and building consumer credibility.
This explosive growth and acceptance of affiliate marketing is also rapidly expanding into the European and Asian business community, including being translated into numerous languages.
Associate marketing or associate programs are simply revenue sharing arrangements established by sponsor companies selling a variety of online products and services. Web site owners are financially rewarded for sending referrals or customers to the business in numerous ways.
Financial compensation results to the website owner when a referral goes directly to the sponsors site and completes the sponsors terms of acceptance.
Terms of acceptance could include that the referral do any of the following: visiting a site, completing an application or obtaining a quote, registering for a free newsletter, downloading and installing software or making a consumer purchase.
The subsequent payment for the lead or referral are defined by the sponsor, and can range from a simple one time click through payment or a fixed commission rate, to a multi-tiered payment scheme resembling a MLM matrix that includes potential revenue from future lifetime purchases made by referrals of referrals.
Regardless of the payment method chosen, an equitable affiliate program results is a Win Win Win financial situation for all parties involved. The Sponsor receives additional site traffic and potential revenue from a new member; the Webmaster(s) receives revenue for providing a qualified lead; and the site visitor finds what they were looking for, at an acceptable price.
There are currently hundreds of thousands of Affiliate programs available, ranging from corporate sites such as Wal-mart to individual entrepreneurs promoting a single publication, and new competition is arriving daily. To help find complimentary Affiliate programs for your website or general information purposes, several free directories such as Associate Programs at http://www.associateprograms.com and Refer-it at http://www.refer-it.com maintain ongoing catalogues of new, existing and deleted affiliate programs.
These directory sites also contain a wealth of affiliate information, proven marketing tips and techniques, consumer ratings of programs and links to supportive software. The Associate Programs directory has links to thousands of archived and informative articles and includes a popular bi-monthly newsletter that includes the latest affiliate news and global success stories.
The Refer-it site ranks thousands of listed affiliate programs with a four star rating, that is extremely accurate concerning the reliability and integrity of each affiliate program offered.
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Maurice Bandcroft is a small business marketing and promotion specialist. Subscribe to his 123 Site Promotion Newsletter at http://123sitepromotion.com/newsletter.html and discover how to increase your monthly site traffic and revenue utilizing free resources, reciprocal linking, barter and other financial leverage alternatives. Discover thinking out of the box revenue generating methods that any webmaster can use.