Selecting a tracking platform is one of the first tasks in launching an affiliate program. There are multiple options available to advertisers based on the type of affiliate program. The two main options are a direct/internal program or a third-party affiliate network. Below is a brief description of these.
Internal or Direct Affiliate ProgramAn internal or direct program is run on affiliate tracking software that is purchased by the advertiser. Advertisers can recruit and approve affiliates directly without needing the network to approve the affiliate first. Fee Structure Generally an advertiser will pay a flat monthly fee for the use of the affiliate tracking software. Tracking Platform Examples
Third-Party Affiliate NetworkThis type of program is run on an affiliate platform that is part of a larger affiliate network. An affiliate network will have hundreds of advertisers and thousands of affiliates utilizing the platform thus creating the “network”. Free Structure The following fees are assessed by affiliate networks for the use of their platform. Launch fee Monthly minimum fees Network access fees (charged as a percentage of sales generated or percentage of affiliate commissions paid) Fees for additional network capabilities (product data feed, additional media, item-based commissions, etc.) Affiliate Network Examples
- Commission Junction
- Google Affiliate Network