Associate programs allow you to make use of a variety of services for an unlimited period of time but only pay for them when they are able to provide the exact results you’re hoping for. Whatever product or service your company is selling, it’s sure to benefit from the use of associate programs, especially if you’ve made the right choice.
Types of Associate Programs
Comparison Shopping Sites and Directories – Websites like Pricegrabber allow customers to make their own comparisons of the rates offered by various merchant websites. A brief summary of features and other things to be expected from the product is usually included as well. If the customer likes the price together with other services or benefits you may be offering then he’ll be directed from the comparison shopping site to your own page. The greatest advantage here is enjoyed by consumers but if you’re certain you’re offering very competitive rates then you might as well let your consumers know that by letting them compare and contrast!
Personal Websites – These websites are what started associate or affiliate marketing in the first place but the emergence and growing popularity of other types of associate programs and services have sadly made them almost negligible in the picture. They are still nonetheless good choices for making small investments and work especially well if you’re targeting niche markets. Be sure to pay a ocular visit to the website first before entering into any agreement with the website owner.
Blogs – Another reason why personal websites are a dying breed is due to blogs. Blogs are online journals which owners can usually customize according to their own liking. Blogs can be connected to other blogs within its hosting community. They can also be advertised in websites like Technorati. Owners often allow readers, whether they’re members of their blogging community or not, to write comments on their entries. The interactive feature of blogs is one of its greatest assets, and it’s what makes blog owners powerful marketing associates as well. If you are choosing blogs to make up your associate program, do make sure at least they have their own RSS feeds for better marketing!
Content and Niche Sites – These websites are able to enjoy lots of traffic mainly because of the content they’re offering. The content may be made up of product reviews – which should include reviews of your company’s products of course – or content that is directly related to what you’re offering. It’s another good choice for an associate because it allows customers to know about your products in great depth. At times, it can even allow customers to know how your products can be directly applied or beneficial to your life.
Coupon and Rebate Websites – Remember those coupons and rebates you could tear off from boxes, packages, labels, and at the back of magazines and newspapers? The Internet had their own version of that and it takes the form of coupon and rebate websites. People get to enjoy discounts by shopping from these sites. You can enjoy better sales if you include your products in their catalogues.
Loyalty Sites – Think of these websites as reward credit cards in which customers own an equivalent number of points by buying products from a particular website. Those products could include yours if you wish!
How to Make the Best Choice Now that you know the various types of associate programs, here are the two most important factors to consider when looking for the associate program or programs that will give you the greatest profit margins.
Budget – While you’re not going to pay for the services offered by associate programs right away, you certainly have to prepare for the time when you do have to pay. Know your budget beforehand to know which options are still available for you.
Needs – Do you prefer to increase your sales with the help of associate programs? If so, then you’ll do better with a cost per sale (CPS) scheme. If you believe however that you need to increase your market size then you might do better with a cost per action (CPA) scheme which helps in generating leads.
These two factors must be your primary concern when choosing the best associate program for your company. When you’ve made your choice, run a test on it, and see if it matches your expectations!
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information on a reseller program or to become an affiliate marketer checkout his recommended websites.