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Don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning affiliate programs...my entire site is dedicated to topic. I just want you to know that some companies are starting to look at new methods of rewarding you for sending them customers. After all, you are a salesman for them. How many brick-and-mortar companies do you know of that will have a salesperson make a sale, pay them their commission, and then never pay them another cent for future business from that same customer?
Why should Internet be any different? It shouldn't...and program administrators are finally figuring that out.
There are many companies that will track visitor that came from your site, and credit you for sale even if they don't purchase something until next day, or week, or month. Others will make that visitor your lifetime customer. If they come back two years later and buy something, you will get a commission for that.
A good example of this is Ken Evoy's 5 Pillar Affiliate Program. If you sell one of your visitors a copy of his book: "Make Your Site Sell!"( http://www.sitesell.com/helpmakemy.html ), you will not only get a commission for that sale, you will also get a percentage of all future sales from that customer, no matter what product or service they purchase.
A new idea being offered by companies such as Vstore ( http://affiliatematch.com/vstore ), is to allow your visitors to buy products without ever leaving your site. This means that visitor has time to spend on YOUR site, and get to know what excellent content you have to offer, and to hopefully return to YOUR site for future purchases.
This concept allows you to sell products such as magazines, gifts, luggage, hats, cooking accessories from your site, without having to give up customer that you worked so hard to get.
Here is an example of power of this idea: I have a site that gives tips and hints for those hoping to become Microsoft Certified. An excellent product for me to sell from that site is books. Everyone studying for this certification will need books at some point or another to help them pass exams. They come to my site for information, and I sell them a couple of books while they are there. Does pretty well for me, but can I quit my day job? Not exactly. I get a great deal of traffic...highly targeted traffic at that.
I should be rich! I'm not. Problem is, they visit my site, I do my best to sell them on idea that they will need books to help them study for exams, then I send them off to Amazon, and they're gone. If I'm lucky, they might remember my site when they get ready for their next exam. But chances are that they will still have Amazon shipping box sitting on their desk, and will go directly to them to purchase additional books.
So what can you do about it? Look for programs that will compensate you for future sales, or give you credit for sale next day, or month after they first visited them from your site. Or, look for programs that allow you to sell products directly from your site, without visitor ever having to leave.
Chuck McCullough is the owner of http://AffiliateMatch.com offering FREE articles, tips, hints, and real-world advice on how to make money with your website. Visit his site or join his FREE newsletter, The AffiliateMatch Informer by sending a blank email to mailto:email@example.com