Before you research the many different types of affiliate websites you really need to understand what affiliate marketing is all about.
In basic terms it is an Internet-based marketing method whereby a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication are some of the methods most favored by online retailers, affiliate marketing continues to play an important role in e-retailers’ marketing strategies.
The primary thrust here will be an overview of the types of affiliate websites that are available as categorized by advertisers and the major affiliate networks.
While at the moment there is no widely accepted categorization used by the affiliate industry as to what defines an affiliate website, the following types are commonly used by affiliate marketers around the world.
Cost Per Action Affiliate Networks
These are top-tier affiliates that expose offers from the advertiser with which they are affiliated to their own network of affiliates.
See my post on Finding The Best CPA Network.
A price comparison program (also called shopping comparison or price engine) allows consumers to see diverse list of prices for respective products.
Price comparison services typically do not actually sell products themselves; rather they provide a list of prices from retailers from whom users can buy. Sites do not charge users anything to use them, but instead are financed by payments from retailers who are listed on the site.
Depending on the business model of the comparison shopping site, retailers will either pay a flat fee to be included on the site or pay a fee each time a user clicks through to the retailer web site or pay every time a user completes a specified action – for example, when they buy something or register with their e-mail address.
Pay Per Click Marketing
Affiliates that use pay-per-click marketing (or PPC) to promote advertiser’s products or services. PPC Advertising is a form of Internet advertising that is used on content sites such as blogs as well as the search engines and advertising networks. Advertisers post their ad content with various websites or blogs and the owner of that site is only paid if and when their ad has been clicked on.
Other topics you will see this discussed as will be “pay-per-click” (PPC), PPC Marketing which actually means what it states: the product advertiser pays a fee to the PPC advertising company whether that is Google, Yahoo or MSN and others for each time a visitor clicks on the advertisement.
Niche Marketing Is The Most Popular When You Talk About Affiliate Websites
Niche marketing involves cultivating smaller segments of larger markets. In an online context, a website is developed and promoted to uniquely serve a targeted and usually loyal customer base, giving the affiliate a small but regular income stream. This tactic is then mirrored across many other niche markets using websites or blogs until a sufficient income level is achieved.
Loyalty Affiliate Websites
Loyalty websites typically operate by providing a reward system for purchases via reward points, cash back (i.e. customers can earn cash rebates on online purchases that they make), or charitable donations.
Another Form That Is Widely Used Are Internet Coupons And Rebate Websites
Another form of affiliate marketing is what is known as coupons, these typically provide the customer with a reduced cost or free shipping, sometimes a specific dollar or percentage discount like many hosting companies offer such as Hostgator who are currently doing their Fall Promotion with Coupon code “Autumn” where you get 20% off your initial order you will these types of offers on many affiliate websites.
And there are those that offer things to encourage consumers to purchase specific products or to purchase from specific retailers at a reduced price.
Shopping Directories Can Also Be Affiliate Websites
A shopping directory is a web directory style website that focuses on sites that sell products or services. Shopping directories used by affiliate marketers are those that typically list merchants by category with such things as coupons and price comparisons (which often change regularly and thereby require constant updating).
E-Mail List Affiliate Websites
These are owners of large opt-in (i.e. people voluntarily sign up to be part of them, sometimes for a fee) e-mail lists. Such sites typically employ a technique known as e-mail drip marketing which is a form of e-mail marketing where a company sends e-mail messages to subscribers on a scheduled basis using e-mail marketing software.