The terms of an affiliate marketing program are set by the company wanting to advertise. Early on, companies were largely paying cost per click (traffic) or cost per mile (impressions) on banner advertisements. As the technology evolved, the focus turned to commissions on actual sales or qualified leads. The early affiliate marketing programs were vulnerable to fraud because clicks could be generated by software, as could impressions.
Answering these four questions will funnel down to the rates that work best for your business, at least to start. It’s good practice to evaluate your rates at least quarterly to make sure that they’re not only still competitive, but make fiscal sense for your bottom line. Additionally, having these four answers will help you if you find yourself negotiating new rates with your affiliates.

Affiliate marketing is very appealing to some publishers as well, because it can allow them to make considerably more money than they would under an alternative monetization strategy. Though the specifics of payout arrangements can vary a bit, in general affiliate payments will be significantly larger than the revenue generated from a click under a CPC pricing arrangement (or the effective CPC under a CPM arrangement). For high margin products such as e-books, for which there are no material costs, affiliate margins can be as 50% of the total purchase price. So it’s not unheard of for affiliates to generate $100 or much more from each referral.
Other than the limited licenses expressly set forth herein, we reserve all right, title and interest (including all intellectual property and proprietary rights) in and to, and you do not, by virtue of this License or otherwise, acquire any ownership interest or rights in or to, the Associates Program, Special Links, link formats, Program Content, PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, any domain name owned or operated by us, information and materials on any Amazon Site or the Associates Site, our and our affiliates’ trademarks and logos (including the Amazon Marks), and any other intellectual property and technology that we provide or use in connection with the Associates Program (including any application program interfaces, software development kits, libraries, sample code, and related materials).

An additional note that must be made at this phase is: do keep in mind the LTV or the life-time value of your customer here. In certain scenarios (e.g.: subscription-oriented affiliate programs) it makes sense paying significantly higher commissions on the customer’s initial payment to the company when the latter knows that they will make much more (from the same customer) on future payments. More about it later in this text.
"Navigate Digital has been working with the Commission Factory team since we entered the Australian market and it has been great to see how much they have grown and expanded their business in this time. I find their technology reliable, easy to use and the interface is particularly user-friendly. It's a real pleasure to work with such a personable and helpful team and I have no doubt we will continue to work with Commission Factory for many years to come."
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005.[19] MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.[20]
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