Conceived of slightly more than a decade ago, affiliate marketing has come a long way. It has grown from just a handful of affiliate programs in the late 1990s to a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry.

Affiliate marketing is essentially performance-based advertising, whereby affiliates promote a merchant’s product/service and get remunerated for every sale, visit, or subscription sent to the merchant. The most frequently used payment arrangements include pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, pay-per-call, and pay-per-click. Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful and effective customer acquisition tools available to an online merchant today. The merchant decides what commission to pay and pays only when the results (sales, leads, ...

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