This is a VERY important question Its not the MOST important but its close

Super Affiliate Handbook

It's absolutely essential that you understand commission structures and compare the payout rates between the affiliate programs that you plan join. This will affect how and to what extent you promote individual products.

Let's look at some real examples. Imagine that you want to build a site promoting online credit card applications.

I visited Commission Junction and saw that they currently have 28 advertisers in the 'Credit Cards' category.

By selecting 'Lead' within the CJ interface, advertisers are sorted according to payout per lead, from highest to lowest amounts. When you click on 'Sale', advertisers are sorted according to payout per sale, from highest to lowest.

In the table below, I chose to view the advertisers according to highest payout per lead.

Please note that if you plan to visit Commission Junction and do the same search, that not all advertisers in this category offer credit cards. There were debt consolidation and credit card report services included in the category. I took my time and clicked on each advertiser's name to learn more about the products they offer, and removed those not applicable from the table below.

Program

Sale

Lead

U.S. Bank "Banking & Credit Card" Program

U. S. Bank will pay you $20.00 USD for every visitor to our site referred through your affiliate link that is approved for a Harley-Davidson Visa Card. Cookie Duration: 90 days

100.00%

$10.00

Morgan Stanley Credit Card

$6.50(GBP 4.20) per submitted application for a Morgan Stanley Credit Card. Partner sites need to operate in the UK. Cookie Duration: 45 days

N/A

$6.50

Barclaycard is the UK's favorite credit card, so do not miss out this great opportunity earn GBP 4.00 (USD $6.20) for every COMPLETED APPLICATION generated from a link on your website. Cookie Duration: 14 days

N/A

$ 6.20

Accucard pays affiliates $50 per applicant instantly provisionally accepted, and $5 per applicant requiring further manual checks. Cookie Duration: 365 days

$50.00

$5.00

Capital One UK - Cookie Duration: 45 days

N/A

$4.00

Bank of Scotland - A Hybrid Program with $4 per application and $30 per approved card - Credit for both on and offline sales. Cookie Duration: 45 days

$30.00

$4.00

marbles.com - Earn money for each person who applies via your website. Cookie Duration: 14 days

$22.50

$25 per approved Platinum Card Account referred from your site

$15 per approved Student Card Account referred from your site. Cookie duration: 1 day

100.00%

N/A

What a variety of commission structures and payout amounts amongst these merchants!

As you can see, it's very important to investigate each merchant's program very carefully before applying to join.

It would be a real disappointment to heavily promote the U.S. Bank "Banking & Credit Card" Program above, thinking that you are paid $10.00 per application, when in fact the applicant has to be approved before you are credited with the lead.

As a rough guideline, look first for companies that pay the highest per sale and per lead commissions in your category of interest. Once you've established a short list, then you can start weeding out those that don't make your grade from the top down.

Next we look at another important aspect of affiliate earnings - recurring commissions.

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