Affiliate Marketing is classified into many types. All kinds fall under two basic categories. These are pay/click and pay/performance.
It is also called PPC. It is considered to be the easiest and most popular affiliate marketing method. This is the greatest thing for small websites. With this method the affiliate marketer places the banners and text ads of merchants on his website. The affiliate is paid for every click made on these banners. When any visitor clicks on these banners and visits the merchant website, the affiliate gets credited. It is not essential that the visitor makes a purchase. However, the typical earning for a single click is very small, usually less than one dollar.
Pay/performance affiliate marketing, also called PPC, is extremely famous among big affiliates and all types of merchants. In this method the affiliate gets credited only when any visitor from their affiliate id performs the required action. This required action may be a purchase or becoming a member of a merchant website. This method is very good for the merchants because they will only pay when they are paid. For affiliates, it is attractive because they are getting a good share in the sales of merchant products. The usual share is about 15-20% of sale.
If we classify the affiliate marketing on the basis of depth, then it can be divided into 3 classes. These are single-, two-tier and multi-tier programs. Another type is the one in which an affiliate marketer is paid for every sale that is made by a person referred by him. This is called residual income affiliate marketing. Let us study these types in detail.
Affiliate Marketing: 1-Tier, 2-Tier & Multi-Tier
In an affiliate program of single-tier nature, the affiliates get the commission, only, for the visitor’s traffic or sales to the merchant’s website. Pay/performance and pay/click fall under this category.
Talking about Two-tier marketing, the affiliate gets the commission for every action done by the visitors referred by him. Plus he will get the profit whenever some other affiliate, referred by him, gets the commission. So in this way affiliate is earning directly as well as indirectly.
The multi-tier marketing is the same as two-tier marketing. But in this type, the affiliates get the commission for the sales made by their affiliated affiliates in multiple tiers. The depth of this type may be unlimited.
Residual Income Marketing
In this type of marketing, affiliates get the commission for every sale that his referred person makes on the merchant website. The only requirement is that on the first time visit, the person should come from the affiliate link of the affiliate. Next time if the same person visits the merchant website, even without using the affiliate link, the affiliate will be paid for every sale made by the visitor.
The question that arises is how the merchant will know the affiliate id. The answer is very simple. On the first visit of the person from the affiliate website, a cookie is created on the computer of the visitor. This cookie stores the affiliate id of the affiliate. This cookie usually expires after 3 months. In some cases it may be longer. Whenever a visitor visits the merchant website, the visitor’s computer is checked for the existence of any previously created cookie. If the cookie is found, the affiliate id is retrieved from it and the affiliate gets credited for any purchase made by the visitor.