What Are the Different Types of Sales Affiliate Programs?

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  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
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  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2019
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A sales affiliate program allows individuals or businesses to sell the products or services of another company online and earn a commission for doing so. The affiliate, the individual or business, uses its own marketing resources to promote another company’s products or services. Generally, there are three primary types of sales affiliate programs: pay per click, pay per lead and pay per sale.

Pay per click sales affiliate programs pay a flat fee to the affiliate for every click that originates from the affiliates marketing efforts. For example, if an affiliate sends an email to their mailing list, they would include a link to the product or service website. The link has a special code embedded in it so that the company can track where the click came from to pay the affiliate. The pay per click sales affiliate program is one of the least popular of the programs because it does not guarantee that the click and lead will turn into a sale for the company.

Pay per lead sales affiliate programs are similar to a pay per click. When an affiliate refers a client to the paying company that includes the name and contact information of the interested party, then the company pays the affiliate for this information. Typically, the pay per lead affiliate commission is a flat rate fee. The fee can range widely, depending on the price point of the product or service.


The third type of sales affiliate program is pay per sale. In this scenario, the affiliate earns a commission when the company sells a product or service to a customer that originated from the marketing efforts of the affiliate. Some sales affiliate programs pay a flat rate fee, while others pay a percentage of the sale that is made.

The affiliates can promote the products and services of the company in various ways. Writing product or service reviews online is one way. Some affiliates promote the products or services with a banner ad or text link from their website or blog. Others even send out direct mail pieces to their list. Whatever efforts affiliates take, it is out of their own pocket and at their own expense and effort.

It is common for entire websites and blogs to be devoted to promoting and marketing affiliate products. Alongside content, such as tips, tricks and articles, the affiliate promotes products and services that are related to the topic. When visitors to their site or blog click on the link, banner ad or other type of information, the affiliate gets paid based on the structure of the type of sales affiliate program.


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