Best click affiliate programs explained

By Andrea Beadle

For people looking to make money on the Internet, affiliate programs have never been so popular mainly due to the fact that the benefits of affiliate marketing have become much clearer to the general population.

As the popularity of affiliate marketing has increased, its profile has also been raised and its profile improved (in most cases!) For merchants and affiliates alike, affiliate marketing is now considered as a main source of profits and revenues.

So the question now is what type of affiliate marketing should you consider? Not all affiliate marketing programmes or their benefits are the same. The results can also vary tremendously.

There are actually quite a few different types or classes of affiliate marketing, and the number of types will depend on how you classify them. In my view, the most basic affiliate marketing programmes fall into two categories: pay-per-click (PPC), and pay-per-performance (PPP).

Affiliate Per Click (PPC)

PPC are the most popular type of affiliate programs for those of you who have small websites, and probably the easiest way for you to earn money. In this type of affiliate marketing, you are paid whenever you refer a visitor to the merchant’s site. This usually means that you place the merchant’s banners or text ads strategically on your site and when someone clicks on it you are paid.

You will get paid a certain amount even if the visitor you referred does not buy anything from the merchant's site. However, typical fees for affiliate per click PPC affiliate programs are very small so you will need significant traffic to make this worth your while.

Pay Per Performance (PPP)

PPP affiliate marketing is the most popular with the merchant and is probably also the most lucrative type for the affiliate. In this type of affiliate programme, the merchant only pays you whenever the referral translates into an action—that is whenever the visitor you have referred actually buys something from the merchant's site or when the visitor becomes a lead. This can save the merchant a lot in advertising and they have no need to do anything for the sale.

On the other hand, it can be very lucrative for you the dedicated affiliate, as commissions are usually somewhere in the range of 15% to as much as 65% of the actual product sale.

Pay-per-performance affiliate marketing can be further classified into two popular types: pay-per-sales (PPS) and pay-per-lead (PPL).

Pay Per Sale (PPS)

In a pay-per-sale type of affiliate marketing, the merchant pays you a certain fee whenever the visitor you have referred to the merchant's site actually buys something from the merchant's site. Affiliates are usually paid on commission basis, although some merchants opt to pay a fixed fee. Regardless of the basis of the fee, it is generally much higher than the fee you would be paid in a pay-per-click affiliate programme. There are hundreds of products that you can be associated with including credit card affiliate programs Pay Per Lead (PPL)

The pay-per-lead type of affiliate marketing is a slight variation of the PPS type and is often used by insurance and finance companies and other companies who rely on leads for their business. In this type of affiliate marketing, you are paid whenever the visitor you refer to the merchant's site fills out an application form related to the business of the company. Compensation for this type of affiliate marketing is based on a fixed fee and rates are similar to that of the fixed fee in the PPS type of affiliate programme.

Aside from these three specific types of affiliate marketing, affiliate programmes can also be classified dependent upon the depth of the affiliate network. Classifications would therefore be single-tier, two-tier, and multi-tier affiliate marketing.

Single-Tier, Two-Tier, and Multi-Tier Affiliate Marketing

These types of affiliate marketing are based on the different levels or tiers in the affiliate network by which payments are made. In a single-tier affiliate marketing program, you are only paid based on the direct sales or traffic you have referred to the merchant. All the previously mentioned affiliate marketing types (i.e. PPS, PPL, and PPC) fall under the single-tier classification.

In two-tier affiliate marketing programs, you are not only paid for the direct traffic or sales that you refer to the merchant's site, but also on every traffic or sales referred by various other affiliates who joined the affiliate program through your recommendation. Multi-tier affiliate marketing works the same way, although you get additional commission for a wider number of affiliates in different tiers in the affiliate network.

Residual Income Affiliate Marketing

In residual income affiliate marketing, you get paid not only once for every customer you have referred to the merchant's site. You are also paid whenever the customer you have referred returns to the site and purchases another product. Compensation for such type of affiliate marketing is based on either sales percentage commission or fixed fee basis.

I hope that this has helped to explain the different affiliate marketing types. Each type typically has its own benefits and a particular type might suit you better than another. There are no best affiliate programs however, research programmes from each type and determine which type of affiliate marketing will work best for you.