Affiliate Marketing Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to many common questions about affiliate marketing.
What is an affiliate program? An affiliate program is a system in which your website posts a link to another website, and if a visitor to your website clicks on that link and then buys something you receive a commission. It is a great way to share in the revenue generated when you drive traffic to someone else’s site and works best when you have content that is relevant to the product being sold. For example, let’s say you have a site all about cats, and you are an affiliate of Petco. Betty the cat owner comes to your site to do some research on a rare breed, and sees the link to Petco. Realizing that she could sure use some more cat food for her Whiskers, she clicks on the link, goes to Petco.com, and buys $100 worth of cat food. Since you are the affiliate that sent Betty to Petco, you receive a commission.
What kinds of companies offer affiliate programs? There are literally thousands of companies with affiliate programs, ranging from big ones like Amazon and Target to smaller niche retailers.
How is my affiliate account managed? With Triad Media, you will have access to tools to add banners and links to your site with your unique tracking ID. Our network offers real time reporting. This system makes it much easier to track your income and adds a layer of protection. Each month we reconcile our tracking with our advertiser to ensure accurate commissions for affiliates.
Are there any startup fees or other costs associated with joining an affiliate program? No. There’s no risk to you, it’s free to sign up and free to add banners and links of merchants to your site or marketing efforts. Web merchants are looking to gain traffic and sales – they are more than willing to not charge you anything AND pay a commission for your help.
Do I need any special qualifications to be an affiliate? Not as a rule. However, individual merchants do have the power to approve or turn down your affiliation application, and some are looking for specific qualities in their affiliates. Triad Media will not approve sites that are sexually explicit, violent, violate international property laws, advocate discrimination, promote radical religious or political views, or advocate or promote any illegal activities. If you do any of things you will be turned down.
Do I have to have an operating site to become an affiliate? No. You can usually register a site that is not live as an affiliate, as long as you own the domain name. Just make sure that you use an email address associated with the website in development, otherwise it will be very difficult for you to get past the affiliate fraud screening process.
What are commissions? Commissions are the incentive a publisher receives from an advertiser for generating leads or sales through its website.
How often will I get paid? Triad Media will aggregate your commissions and then send you a check or make a direct deposit each month for the previous month’s sales. We have standard net 30 payment terms with flexibility for certain affiliates depending on the advertiser.
What is a cookie? A cookie is a small piece of data that is transferred to a computer in order to mark it for a later transaction. Affiliate programs are based on cookies. The way they work is that when a user comes to your site and clicks on the link of a site you are affiliated with, a cookie is placed on that user’s computer. Then, even if they leave the site and come back a week later to make a purchase, you will get credit for the purchase and receive a commission. A merchant can make the duration of a cookie as long or as short as they want, depending on their needs and strategy. Some are a year long, others only a few days. Triad Media typically uses 90-day cookies.
What is an API? An API provides programmatic access to an advertiser’s products and services and discovery functionality. An advertiser with an API allows a publisher with developer resources additional ways to monetize a site. API’s help you advertise products and services using search and look up capability, product information and features such as customer reviews, similar products, wish lists and other listings such as new and used items on shopping sites. API’s have become popular with both advertisers and publishers who have technical and web developer resources.
What does EPC mean? EPC is an acronym for “earnings per hundred clicks.” Think of it as a way to measure one program against another. If a program has a $20 EPC, that means that for every 100 people you sent to their site, you should net $20 in commissions on average. This number takes into account the program’s conversion rate, commission level, etc. Generally, a $20-$30 EPC is considered strong.
How much do I need to know about computers to become an affiliate? You or someone you work with should be familiar with HTML, so that you can copy and paste banners and links from merchants onto your site.
Do I have to live in the U.S. to be an affiliate? No. The great thing about the internet is that it makes geography irrelevant. Triad Media has many merchants looking for international traffic. Check the campaign settings.
If I have multiple websites, do I need to create multiple affiliate accounts? No. With Triad Media you can register multiple websites under one central account, allowing all your commissions to be aggregated.
What is a sub-affiliate? A sub-affiliate is a website that you have recruited to become an affiliate of a merchant. Ask your affiliate manager about a referral fee for sending us sub-affiliates.
Do I have to have a website to be an affiliate? No. There are many other ways to earn commissions even if you do not have a website. Many affiliates utilize email marketing, search engines, software and mobile advertising.