It is the term used for a business or individual and is the key component of an affiliate-based internet marketing approach. This method of marketing is a performance-based system in which a business rewards the affiliate for each visitor or customer they provide. These commercial relationships between a small business or freelance operation directs their own audience to the merchant’s web page.

This information may come in the form of hyperlinks embedded in an article or blog post, a page on a website, a banner ad, or in the body of an email newsletter. The affiliate may also leverage ready to use ads or other marketing collateral provided by an online merchant to direct users to a sales or landing page. Typically this is a pay-per model in which a percentage of a sale is remitted to the affiliate.

Many affiliates take advantage of web 2.0 platforms such as blogging and interactive online communities to publish merchant links. For those affiliates that leverage email marketing, there are two options: 1) email list affiliates often own large opt-in mail lists and typically use email drip marketing techniques; or 2) newsletter list affiliates often have a targeted client base and send denser, content-driven messages to their audience. Both email affiliate types often implement contextual ads to entice users.

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