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Which Affiliate Program Makes You the Most Money?

The Internet is an awesome phenomenon. Think about it.
To become an affiliate for a Fortune 500 company can cost
thousands of dollars and takes time. The Internet has
opened a whole new world of money making opportunities.
I should know. I left my consulting business to become
a partner with AIS Media.

It seems like just yesterday, but a year has already
passed. During this time, I have seen many programs
to make money come across my email. I guess Iíve become
somewhat immune to these offers, as cynical as it may
sound been there done that.

When I was asked to join the company, one of my main
responsibilities was to increase the closing ratio of
applications to actual set up merchants. In my endeavor,
I experienced some disappointment. Certainly not in
our closing ratio (it went from .002% to an average of
18%), but what I was finding in the way of competing
programs astounded me. Programs offering from $50.00
per account to over $250.00, quite a difference.

Sure I, like everyone else, want to make as much as
possible for my efforts. Keeping that in mind, let
me tell you how we got here. Fourteen months ago, we
launched an affiliate program that offered merchant
services (online credit card processing) and we
outsourced the leads (a lot of companies do this)
to what we thought were several good companies.

Our experience was horrible and within two months,
we were in the process of bringing it in-house. What
was so bad about outsourcing? The companies to which
we were sending leads were closing only .002%! Sure
they were offering us $300.00 per sale, however they
werenít paying us on all the sales they made. I am
still receiving emails from merchants who signed up
with us, yet we were never paid the commission on
these merchants!

Okay, so enough about us and our trials and
tribulations. Letís talk about what makes a good
program. It is simple; the bottom line is the closing
ratio. Look, if

someone is offering you $200.00 per
referral, you have to consider a couple of things:

1. Will they pay me on each and every completed
2. How many applications do I have to send their
way in order to receive my commission (what is the
closing ratio)?

Then there are those programs offering just $50.00.
Consider this: If they are only paying $50.00, how are
they competing? The answer: they pay!

If the program is paying high commissions, the customer
is going to lose in the end and if you referred him,
guess what? You are not the good guy but the bad guy
who helped gouge him.

Letís face it. We walk a fine line. How do you win?
You focus on the program that makes it a win/win/win
for you, the customer and the company.

The first thing to do when signing up for an affiliate
program is to find out what is the closing ratio.
Naturally this will depend on the type of leads you
send to the company, but it should have a general idea.
Once you have that information, calculate what each lead
is worth, then make your decision.

Also, if you are willing to send a substantial amount of
business their way, find out what other benefits you may
receive as an affiliate. A good idea is to submit a news
release or article for publication in their ezine and
trade links periodically. Publicity for both companies
leads to more revenue. Keep in mind, it should be a
partnership if you are going to heavily promote their

About the Author

Denise Maling, VP of Sales for AIS Media, Denise is responsible for achieving
AIS Media's sales and customer support objectives. She
has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing
and an Associates degree in Merchandising.
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