How to Evaluate an Affiliate Program
December 21, 2004
There are thousands of affiliate programs offering wide range of benefits
to their affiliates. However, many of these programs and the claims they
make are not to be trusted. Good affiliate programs provide tremendous
earning opportunities, but they need to be evaluated to distinguish them
from doubtful ones. There are several factors to consider before someone
decides to join any affiliate program.
Products: Organizations which operate affiliate programs generally have
some products to sell. These products can be in form of physical
products, e-products or services. It is important to ascertain that the
organization has some products to sell and that it recruits affiliates to
help them in running their business. One should be very careful with any
organization that has recruitment of affiliates as their main business.
It is best to avoid such organizations because their affiliate structure
is like a house of cards which can crumble at slightest impact.
The organizations which have products to sell and market them thru
affiliate programs cut down on the cost of advertising and distribution.
This amounts to considerable savings which they share with their
affiliates. If a new affiliate is already familiar with the products,
this can be helpful but this is not a necessary pre-condition to join
affiliate program. New affiliates can learn about the products quite fast.
Organization's Track Record : It is not difficult to find out about the
organization before joining it affiliate program. Search engines are one
of the sources which can be used for this purpose. Verifying the
testimonials presented by the organization is another source of
information. The organization should have proven track record of
operating their programs for several years successfully. If the
organization is new or just starting, the person starting the program
should be well known with good credibility. This is precaution against
joining organizations which promise get-rich-quick scheme and then
Support Availble to Affiliates : Most of the new affiliates joining any
affiliate program are new to the field of marketing on the internet. They
need guidance and support for promoting their business and earning money
for themselves. It is in the interest of the organization to help their
affiliates to succeed. These organizations are in their business for
considerable longer time than the affiliates, are more knowledgeable
about their market and about the ways of promoting their products. They
are in best position to provide their affiliates with proper guidance.
Many organizations have excellent support system by way of trainings,
tutorials, articles, books, marketing plans, marketing tools, forums just
to name a few. These are generally available from websites accessible to
Apart form the promotional material and information available from the
website, personal guidance can be vital. A new affiliate may not be
familiar with all the resources available and will look for mentoring at
least in initial stages. It should be remembered by the affiliate that
her success will add to the success of the organization, the organization
is obliged to help her.
Payment : Another factor to consider is the mode and frequency of payment
to the affiliates. The affiliate should make sure that this suits her.
Just to give an example - many organizations make payments thru PayPal,
but PayPal does not transmit money to all the countries. Such details
should be checked before putting time and effort for any affiliate
Affiliate Structure : There are many different ways in which
organizations build up their affiliate structure. Many organizations have
single tier structure in which affiliate is only paid commission for
sale. Other affiliate structures are 2-level or multi-level deep in which
the affiliate earns also from the efforts of personally sponsored
members. In turn, the affiliate is expected to help her sponsored members
to earn for themselves. This is one great feature of multi-level
marketing leading to leveraged earning. You can read my article on
leveraged earning at this URL :
There are still more variations in the structure. Some organizations
allow a limited number of affiliates directly under each affiliate. There
is no "ideal" affiliate structure. But it is important to have clarity in
the structure and the affiliate should understand the structure.
Compensation Plan : There is lot of variation in compensation plans
starting from simple commission to more elaborate plan in which
affiliates additionally earn thru the efforts of their sponsored downline
members and also from a common pool. I personally favor plans which have
provision for leveraged earnings where teamwork really counts. Residual
earning is another attractive feature of affiliate marketing which can
build into sizeable income over a period of time. I am not against any
compensation plan so long as it is understandable and appears reasonable.
You have perhaps noticed that I have put this factor as the last
consideration. However it is an important consideration after all other
considerations are found acceptable.
Persistence Pays - It takes time to build up business with any affiliate
program, no matter how good the program appears. After joining any
affiliate program after thorough evaluation, one needs to stay with the
program giving it time to build the earning. Get-rich-quick scheme do
work some times but they are rare exception rather than the rule and
cannot be depended upon.
This small slogan should be ingrained in the thinking when someone joins
an affiliate program:
Sanjay Johari contributes articles reglarly to several ezines. His
website contains articles, information, ebooks, tools and more for
operating home based business.
Visit his website for his choice of top affiliate program to join: