What makes a good affiliate program? More specifically, what makes a good web hosting affiliate program? This article discusses tips on what to look for when choosing to participate in web hosting hosting affiliate programs such as referral length, pay per sale, and more.
Affiliate marketing is niche marketing on the Internet. In can be a lucrative but highly competitive area of web-based advertising revenue particularly in regards to web hosting programs which are currently passing out the biggest pay checks. What is affiliate marketing? In the retail world it's like walking into an art supply store and seeing a flyer for an upcoming museum opening. Who is more likely to be interested in that type of event? Someone who already has a proven pursuit of art. By the same token, affiliate marketers post ads or links of a brand/product/seller on a website or blog in a similar vein. In return the seller compensates the affiliate for every referral.
Affiliate marketing will take some know how, but there are ways for beginners as well as seasoned veterans to turn a profit peddling web hosts. If you're interested in staking a claim in affiliate marketing be aware that there is more to consider than the price per referral from your web hosting affiliate program. Also take into consideration the following factors:
The Web Host's Three Month Average Network Earnings
If you're comparing network earnings of one web host to another, be sure to look at an adequate sample. You don't want to buy into a program for the pretty paint job or inflated seven day earnings. Be sure to get a look under the hood too and get proof that this particular web host will perform over time, and more importantly, that affiliates are making money promoting this web host.
The Sale Reversal Rate
In other words, will returns cut into your commission? How does a web host handle reversals and what is their track record in that area? Look for a web host that discloses reversal rates in their affiliate pitch or is willing to discuss it with you before you sign up as their affiliate.
Compensation for Sales of Other Services
An affiliate has other revenue avenues other than the straight sell. The primary focus of most affiliates is the sign up but nearly all offer other services – domain names, SSL certificates, shopping cart software, web design, etc. If your referral results in an auxiliary service be sure to have a firm understanding if or how you will be compensated.
Terms of the Affiliate Program
Web hosting terms for affiliates can vary from streamlined and straightforward to complicated and cut-rate. Look for a web host who offers a fair price without a list of addendums. Consider if they allow compensation on pay per click or by email referrals. Also take into consideration the type of options you have in terms of compensation. Depending on your referral rate and commitment to the drumming up business you may opt for a commission based system or a straight forward pay per customer rate.
If you are shopping web hosting affiliate programs look for companies who offer an extended cookie shelf life and a cushion of time for your referral to take action, say a month to 60 days. Your referral may be shopping around too, but if they decide on the web host that your website directed them to then you should get credit. If a web host is going to be stingy with commission in delayed situations you may be losing on lucrative referrals.
Pay Per Sale
Obviously, this is going to be a key factor in which web hosting company you select. Some web hosts offer a tiered commission structure based on the number of signups you send them each month, or some offer a straight commission which can range from $25 to $200 per sign up. This is where the variables can become dizzying. There are profits to be made on referrals from your referrals (second tier commissions), longevity of customer contracts, or conversely profits to be lost on reversals, minimum and maximum earning caps, tiered commission rates, and the list goes on. The main thing is to look for a reputable company; web hosts associated with affiliate networks; superior online reviews and positive talk on message boards or blogs; and straightforward and fair contracts without a laundry list of loopholes. Also look for someone who can reel in the customer after you get them on the line. This may take a little more investigation, but what good is a meaty commission if your web host fails to sign up the referrals you land them. To that end, promote a web host who offers a good program to their customers as well as to you.
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