Affiliate programs are undoubtedly one of the most powerful systems of business available today. When they first appeared, they were a stunning example of how the powerful traditional strategy of joint-venture marketing, when combined with the power of the internet, created an entirely new industry that solved the biggest problems faced by webmasters and web merchants.
For webmasters who specialized in creating valuable web content and building web traffic, the problem was how to effectively convert their traffic into a viable source of revenue.
For web merchants who had to spend their energies on creating good products and delivering them to customers, the problem was how to do web promotion in a cost-effective way.
Affiliate programs quickly became a natural solution to these problems, offering merchants a way to market their products in a “cost per sale” manner, while allowing content publishers to profit from recommending affiliate products to their visitors.
As a result of the huge success of affiliate marketing, there is now an incredibly large number of affiliate programs for publishers to choose from. These vary in the type of products offered, the reliability of the affiliate merchants, and many other areas.
An unfortunate problem for affiliates is that it is often very difficult to decide which affiliate programs will make them the most money in the limited space available in their e-zines and websites.
A small but rapidly growing number of merchants, in their attempts to stand out from among the crowd of available affiliate programs, and sign up good affiliates, have begun to offer affiliate programs that pay affiliate referral commissions to multiple levels of affiliates.
In doing so, they offer affiliates the opportunity to leverage their efforts through the viral nature of such programs and maximizing the value of their visitors.
The opportunity to affiliate lies in the power of “lost” visitors to increase their earnings.
For example, a successful website may attract 1000 visitors a day and recommend a related affiliate product to them. Of these 1000 visitors, only a small number, perhaps about 5 visitors, would be interested enough to buy the product.
The other 995 visitors end up as “lost” visitors, of no value to the affiliate.
However, if the affiliate program paid commission on multiple levels, some 995 visitors (and also the 5 who bought products), would probably sign up as sub-affiliates of the original affiliate. When they in turn recommend the affiliate products and make sales to their friends and to visitors of their own websites, the original referring affiliate will also get paid a referral commission for these sales.
Depending on the number of levels of referral commissions the merchant offers, the original affiliate may even make commissions on subsequent levels of sales!
Through such affiliate programs, affiliates end up benefiting from the viral multiplication of their commissions generated through visitors who would otherwise be of no value to them.
While some people have compared these multi-level affiliate programs with the MLM programs which flood the net, web merchants have been careful to draw a clear distinction in that as with single level affiliate programs, no joining fees, training fees, nor “start-up” fees are ever required.
Since no money is ever required to participate in these multi-level affiliate programs, no money can ever be made by simply recruiting people to join these programs.
The value of these programs lies in their ability to unlock the huge earnings potential in the large numbers of web visitors who would otherwise be “lost” to affiliates.
If you already participated in affiliate programs, simply switch to a multi-level affiliate program and watch your affiliate earnings multiply.