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Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing where merchants reward affiliates commission for successful referrals. There are different types of commission, based on the merchant’s industry:

• CPL • CPA • Revenue share • CPC

The most essential element in affiliate marketing is tracking. Tracking software places a cookie on a user’s browser when that user clicks on an affiliate link. The cookie period is determined by the merchant. If the user performs the desired action within the cookie period, the affiliate is awarded commission. Affiliate networks are often used as an intermediary between affiliates and merchants. Affiliate networks provide tracking solutions, reporting and support to both affiliates and merchants.

Affiliates use a number of means to promote merchants.

These include: • Personal websites • Content and niche sites • Email lists • Loyalty sites (points or cash back or charitable donations) • Coupon and promotions sites • Search advertising and search arbitrage

One of the keys to successful affiliate marketing is ongoing communication between merchants and affiliates.

Source: Red and Yellow

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