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What Are Business Affiliate Programs?

Article Details
  • Written By: A. Rohlandt
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Business affiliate programs allow marketers to sign up as affiliates for a company that will compensate them for the amount of interest or number of sales they generate. Affiliate programs offer different compensation options, such as pay per sale, revenue share, or pay per lead. Payment is often made either once or twice a month through an online payment provider. Affiliates also have the option of joining cost per action (CPA) networks to gain access to a variety of advertiser campaigns.

One of the most important aspects of running a successful business is being able to generate interest in the company and its products or services. This is where business affiliate programs come in. Affiliates are compensated to advertise a product or service on the company's behalf and are paid for the amount of traffic they drive to the website, or for the number of sales they generate.

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Various compensation options are offered by business affiliate programs, and an affiliate is allowed to choose the option he or she is most comfortable with. "Pay per sale" means that a certain amount is credited to the affiliate's account every time he or she makes a sale. "Revenue share" offers the affiliate the option of earning a percentage of what his or her clients spend at a site. "Pay per lead" campaigns pay the affiliate for each person who provides information to the company. The most common way to do this is to have someone sign up for a free account or to capture his or her email address.

Most business affiliate programs offer easy payout options using online payment processors or wire transfers. The payment periods can differ, but biweekly and monthly payments are the most common. Some companies will pay out on a net 30 basis, which means that the affiliate has to wait 30 days after the payment period ends to receive his or her commission. This is a good way to ensure that all leads are valid before payment is made.

CPA companies act as brokers between businesses and affiliates and take a percentage of the commission offered per action. Signing up with a CPA company allows affiliates to market a variety of offers without having to deal with the businesses directly. The quality of traffic and the leads sent, however, are constantly monitored to ensure quality.

Joining an online business affiliate program can help a website or blog owner monetize his or her site and can generate substantial income, depending on the amount of traffic the site receives. Affiliates are not considered employees, as they are paid strictly on a per-sale or per-lead basis. This also means that the affiliate can promote a number of products or companies at the same time.

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