These are partnership programs that pay affiliated sites by commission. Often, this form of marketing is referred to as CPA (cost-per-action). In order to receive revenue, a
site must not only display ads (often with the ability to choose between banners and text links), and generate click-through, but must
then generate sales as well. Still, sites offering these types of programs generally compensate affiliate sites at a rate that reflects the hard work
that must go into generating a sale.
These programs are best to use when the products on offer are of interest to your site's target audience (ie CD sales
at a band fan site or photographic book sales at a photography site), and when they are effectively integrated within the content of your site.
In fact, that is the most positive attribute possessed by affiliate programs. Since you must generate guaranteed sales in order to
receive revenue, sites offering these programs usually offer host sites the freedom to link to the site as they wish - through banners, text links, search engines, whatever! (with the exception of mass unsolicited email postings - thankfully).
This may enable you to establish a 'giftshop' of sorts within your site, or to place links within the text of an article or movie review. The
potential variations are limitless. In many cases, one can also place click-through or impression-based ads on the same page at
which commission-based text links appear (check each specific agencies terms and conditions to ensure that this
doesn't breach any contractual agreement).
The pages linked below will direct you towards some of the best and longest-running affiliate programs on the Web:
- Listing advertising agencies who represent a number of individual companies, and a variety of disparate programs.
- Companies paying host sites for revenue generated from the sale of various Internet/WWW-related products and services.
- Including books, videos, software, music and other entertaining products and services.
- Sales-based advertising for products not listed in the categories above.
- A range of individual programs that offer various services for sale, such as credit card applications, dating agencies, etc.