Affiliate Marketing FAQ’s:
Q. What Is An Affiliate Program?
A. An affiliate program is a system where 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 legal information, and you are an affiliate to a Law Office. Jim the truck driver comes to your site to do some research on an accident , and sees the link to T&W Law Firm. Realizing that he could sure use some more information about legal rights during an accident, he clicks on the link, goes to T&WLaw.com, and buys fills out a case review form. Since you are the affiliate that sent Jim to T&W Law, you receive a commission of $100.
Q. What Kinds of Companies Offer Affiliate Programs?
A. There are literally thousands of companies with affiliate programs, ranging from big ones like Ebay.com and Target to smaller niche retailers.
Q. How is my affiliate account managed?
A. Leading Justice affiliate programs are managed by a “network” . This network will get you registered as an affiliate and then let you apply to individual programs. On the network site, you will have access to tools to add banners and links to your site with your tracking id. The network will also offer real time reporting and handle payments and tax forms. That way, if you earn commissions from 15 different attorneys in a month, you won’t get 15 small checks. Instead, the network will consolidate all of your commissions into one payment. This system makes it much easier to track your income and adds an added layer of protection because you are paid out of an escrow account at the time of a sale so that the merchant cannot run out of money before you are paid.
Q. Are there any start-up fees or other costs associated with joining an affiliate program?
A. No. It is free to sign up, and free to add banners and links of your affiliates to your site. 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.
Q. Do I need any special qualifications to be an affiliate?
A. Not as a rule. However, individual attorneys or law firms do have the power to approve or turn down your affiliation application, and some are looking for specific qualities in their affiliates. Often, attorneys 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 not do any of things and are turned down, you may want to check with the attorney you are applying to to see what they are looking for.
Q. Do I have to have a currently operating site to become an affiliate?
A. 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.
Q. How much are commissions?
A. Commissions range largely based on the margins for that industry. 10% is probably the average, however, this can vary. Big ticket items like settlements may carry lower commissions, while high volume affiliates (those who refer a lot of customers and generate a lot of leads) can get 15% or even 20% commissions. Check with your affiliate program to find out the specific commission available as well as their performance tiers.
Q. How often will I get paid?
A. Leading Justice will aggregate your commissions and then send you a check or make a direct deposit somewhere in the middle of the month for the previous month’s sales. If you enroll in direct deposit, you will generally receive your money a few days earlier than you would get a check in the mail.
Q. What is a cookie?
A. 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, other only a few days. Generally, smaller and more specialized vendors will have longer cookies, while big consumer companies will have very short ones.
Q. What is an RSS feed?
A. An RSS feed is a system that allows your site to be easily and automatically updated based on the banners, links and products you display.
Q. What does EPC mean?
A. 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 programs conversion rate, commission level, etc. Generally, a $20-$30 EPC is considered strong.
Q. How much do I need to know about computers to become an affiliate?
A. 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. If you are uncomfortable with technology, this is not an industry for you.
Q. If I have multiple websites, do I need to create multiple affiliate accounts?
A. Leading Justice affiliate managers allow you to register multiple websites under one central account, allowing all your commissions to be aggregated.
Q. Do I have to have a website to be an affiliate?
A. No. If you do not have a website, you can create special text links and either use those directly yourself to place orders on behalf of clients or you can e-mail the link to friends, family or customers.