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Different Types of Affiliate Marketing

Updated on May 5, 2014

Affiliate marketing is becoming more and more popular than ever before! I've been doing it for several years now. There could be numerous reasons for why it's becoming so popular, but the most likely reason could be because both merchants and affiliates benefit from it! Merchants are able to utilize an affiliate’s marketing of their products as a good way to lower their costs, and affiliates see it as a way to earn some (and sometimes a LOT) of extra money online.

Will affiliate marketing work for you? What are some of the different types of affiliate marketing? Do they all work the same or are there some programs that work better than others?

There are different types of affiliate marketing. You have Pay Per Click (PPC), Per Per Performance (PPP), Pay Per Sale (PPS), Pay Per Lead (PPL), and then you have tiered marketing and residual marketing. The most commom programs though fall under two categories: pay-per-click (PPC), and pay-per-performance (PPP).

Pay Per Click:

PPC is the most popular and probably the easiest way for an affiliate to earn money. Merchants pay an affiliate whenever a someone is referred to their site…meaning that when you market a merchant's text ads or banners and someone clicks on it, you will get some time of compensation even if that person doesn't purchase anything. The typical fees for PPC affiliate programs are usually small. If you’ve done any marketing on sites such as Facebook, you have most likely dealt with PPC traffic.

Pay Per Performance:

PPP marketing is the most popular among merchants and is also the most financially lucrative type for affiliates. You get paid only when your referral translates into an action— meaning whenever your referral actually buys something from the merchant's site or when the referral becomes a lead. As mentioned before, it becomes the most lucrative type for the affiliate since commissions in PPP affiliate marketing usually pay a higher commission or percentage of the sales price.


Pay Per Sale:

Pay-per-sale marketing pays the affiliate a certain fee whenever their referral actually buys something. Affiliates are usually paid on a commission basis, although some merchants opt to pay a fixed fee.

Pay Per Lead:

Pay-per-lead marketing is often used by companies who depend on leads for their company to expand and grow. The affiliate is paid whenever someone they refer fills in an application or completes some type of form related to the business of the company. You might have seen this type of marketing..."enter your name and zip code or possibly email address and one of our associates will get back with you immediately". Compensation for this type of marketing is usually a fixed fee per lead. This could be anywhere from 25 cents per lead, $1.00 per lead or sometimes even more.

Along with from these specific types of affiliate marketing, other marketing types exist. Tiered marketing allows you to be paid on one or more levels of your network. This could be only direct sales from you or possibly sales and leads from other affiliates you sign up under yourself. This is where the multi-tier payments come from. It may not be as much as if it was from a direct sale, but the more you have on multi levels the faster those amounts will add up.


With residual income marketing, an affiliate is paid for every customer he has referred to the merchant's site, but also gets paid whenever that customer comes back and purchases another product from that same merchant.

So which type of affiliate marketing will work best for you? It is not really for me to tell. You will first need to figure out what merchants you want to become an affiliate for, and then see what kind of promotional items they have for you to market. A Google search should pull up a variety of affiliate networks that you can join that offer many different merchants and products to choose from to best fit your current needs and marketing abilities. If you are interested in advertising by way of Pop-Unders (ads that automatically come up on your screen when doing a search for something), then you should check out sites such as DirectCPV and AdOn Network.

One of MY most lucrative affiliates is:

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