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If there is a guarantee period offered with the product sold, you will loose your commission altogether if the purchaser returns the product and requests a refund.
Pay Per Lead: (PPL) These type of programs are extremely popular. With this type of program, you are paid for every enquiry that comes from your site to the advertiser's site, provided the visitor meets the criteria required by the advertiser. For example, the visitor may have to be within a certain age group or have a certain income level.
Because no purchase is involved, the chances are higher that the visitor will be "converted" from being a website visitor to a prospective customer when they complete the required action of entering their contact information on the lead form on the advertiser's site.
Commissions for these kind of programs are not as generous as pay per sale affiliate programs.
Pay Per Action: (PPA) In this type of affiliate marketing program, the advertiser pays you when your referred visitor decides to download a trial version of their software or report.
Companies that offer electronic goods and services, such as publishers, computer and software companies dominate this particular market. Sometimes, campaigns for pay per action are often used in combination with pay per sale. The "try before you buy" option entices the visitor to download the product for a set trial period.
You are not guaranteed with this method of promotion that the visitor will eventually purchase the product, as having tried it, they might not like it, or they may just be content with using the trial version without upgrading to the Pro version.
Pay Per Click: (PPC) This method is commonly used by "contextual Ad" companies, Konteratm being the most widely known one. When a visitor hovers over a word their advert box pops up with a link to a relevant product. This is one of the easiest affiliate marketing programs to promote, as the content is already there on your website or blog.
Commissions for this type of program can be very small, some as little as $0.02c per click, payouts can take a long time to achieve when using this kind of advertising / affiliate method of promotion. The busier your site, the more chance you have of making money with this kind of affiliate promotion.
Most of the methods mentioned above require you to have a fully functioning and already indexed web site or blog.