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Affiliate Marketing

How would you like other Web sites to market and sell your company's products and services? And how would you like to pay the Web site only when their users buy your product or service or perform a task? Sound like a marketer's dream? Well, it's possible, if you use another form of distributed selling called affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing has been around for quite a while. But it's been getting quite a bit of attention over the last couple of years.

At first, affiliate marketing seems like an easy and inexpensive way to market your e-business. But don't let the simplicity of the concept fool you. Launching and running an affiliate program is far from easy. First of all, the percentage of affiliates that sign up for your program and then become active is quite low. Forrester Research says that the average affiliate program has about 10,000 affiliates. But only 10–20% of the affiliate sites actually participate in the program—that is, place your affiliate icon or banner on their sites. And of those 10–20% of active affiliates, only 20% are super-affiliates—those that produce the majority of the revenue for your program.

To run a successful affiliate program, your company has to continually recruit new affiliates and reach out to existing affiliates to motivate them to become active in the program. Running a successful affiliate program isn't easy, but when done right affiliate marketing is a great way to market to potential buyers. Whether they spend their time on favorite Web sites or reading email, there's an affiliate marketing strategy for either.

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