Affiliate marketing is a business platform wherein the merchant rewards its affiliates for bringing the customer to him through their efforts. In this sector of corporate world, there are four parties involved, namely – the business merchant (the manufacturer or retailer of the products or the service provides), the network, the affiliate (also known as the publisher) and, lastly, the customer or buyer.
In affiliate marketing, the affiliate uses its own websites (one or more) to drive potential traffic to the merchants’ websites. It was William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts, who conceived, put into practice and patented the concept of this marketing on the internet. It was launched on Prodigy Network in 1989 and remained in service till 1996. Apart from this, Cybererotica was among the inventors of Cost Per Click program in Affiliate Marketing. Nowadays, affiliate marketing is on the boom, and there are various websites available in the internet market, which are being operated just to drive traffic to the merchant’s websites.
There are various types of affiliate marketing websites, which are proving to be equally beneficial for the customers as well as merchants. Some of the examples of affiliate websites are comparison shopping websites, CRM websites, coupon & rebate websites & weblogs, among others.