Yet, if you are still not sold on the payoffs of offering high commissions, remember that your affiliates are not just bringing you sales, they’re bringing you customers. You’ll have access to people who you can re-market to time and time again. Repeat customers have a 60-70% higher chance of buying from you compared to a first time customer, and they also give your store more word of mouth marketing. Thus, it’s best to do what you can to foster a strong, mutually beneficial business relationship with them.

Ohhh making that first affiliate sale might be the greatest feeling ever, even if it’s 18 cents. Here’s the sad thing though: most networks will have a minimum payout threshold that’s typically $50 or $100, so it may be a LONG time before you see the money. I used to be an affiliate for BlueHost, and after my first sale, I was stoked to see $65 in my affiliate report!! Legitimately, I felt like a millionaire. Unfortunately, BlueHost has a minimum payout of $100, so that money went untouched until I made another sale, but even then…


Cookie – A cookie is piece of data stored on your computer. Cookies are usually used for authentication (forums, email) or simply storing preferences. With affiliate marketing, whenever you click on an affiliate link, a cookie for that specific merchant is stored on your computer. Cookie duration varies between merchants. For example: If “Mike’s Pets Store” has a cookie duration of 14 days, that means from the moment a customer clicks on your affiliate link, they have up to 14 days to make a purchase. This means that on October 1 they could have clicked your affiliate link to the merchant and not bought anything. But if they revisited “Mike’s Pets Store” on October 9 and made a purchase, you would still get commission for the sale.

As opposed to referral marketing, any affiliate marketing should be incentivized by an attractive commission rate and transparent rules. It is especially relevant to eCommerce newcomers: a solid monetary base can act as a means of building trust among prospective affiliates. If you want to prove the credibility of your new business, be generous when considering the reward.
Ahmad, Great post and great information. I have some more specific questions for you relating to my personal company and how affiliate programs can tie into it. Is there a chance we could talk sometime soon? I think you may have the answers to several of my questions on whether affiliate marketing is what I am looking for or not. And if it’s not what I am looking for I think you can direct me in the direction I need to go.
A 30-day cookie is good, but a 45 to 60-day cookie would be much better. A person must signup for a free trial within 30 days of clicking your link for you to receive credit. However, store/business planning can take a while in which case the referral period might expire before the user signs up. A longer conversion window would benefit affiliates.
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Alex, a Honda Civic enthusiast, is looking for the best exhaust for the money. He stumbles on John’s carmufflers.com after doing some research on Google. After much debate Alex decides to go with a Borla catback exhaust system for his Honda Civic. After spending enough time on John’s website, Alex clicks John’s affiliate link to the Borla Exhaust Honda Civic page. Right there is when the cookie is stored on Alex’s computer. John (the affiliate) will ONLY get commission if Alex decides to make a purchase within the 7 days. Luckily for John, Alex decides to buy a $239 exhaust system. This means that John would have just made $21.51 for this one sale. 
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