May 30th, 2006 by Jamie Estep
Guide to Merchant Account Affiliate Programs – Part 2
There are probably thousands of merchant account affiliate programs on the internet. Because of the lack of a solid internet foundation that most merchant service providers have, most of these programs are completely worthless.
Affiliate Program Key Areas:
There are a few key areas that an affiliate should look for when finding a program to join. To get paid a commission whether pay per lead or pay per account, your referral is going to have to fill out an application on the provider’s website. The website and the way that the application form is setup are the biggest factors in turning your leads into commissions. A visitor needs to instantly be able to trust the provider’s website. The website should be clean, professional, and well established. An important fact about merchant services is that online applications are not the actual application for a merchant account. The longer the application, the less likely it will be for a visitor to fill out the application because they will have to fill out another application at some point. Make sure that the affiliate program’s website is above average in appearance and professionalism, and it has the shortest application form possible. If you have the time and/or knowledge, investigating things like rates, customer satisfaction, and business history will help you to find the best program, but these time intensive tasks are not mandatory to find a decent program.
Where to find a merchant account affiliate program:
There are several ways to find reputable merchant account affiliate programs. Affiliate networks have a few programs available, but most merchant service providers use in-house programs. By finding a good merchant account provider, you can then look to see if they have an affiliate program available. This way, you can ignore any potentially poor merchant account affiliate program right from the start. The most common affiliate networks, are commission junction, shareasale, and linkshare. As far a merchant services go, commission junction which is normally the leader in quality affiliate programs, only has one provider. Shareasale and link share have a few, but the majority of programs are in-house operated.
Affiliate Networks vs. In-House Programs:
Affiliate networks are great because they are a third party that helps to maintain the integrity of an affiliate program and all parties involved in it. Affiliate networks ensure timely and proper payouts, and help protect all parties from fraud. In-house programs are run by the companies receiving the application. Make sure that if you do decide to go with a company’s in-house program, that the company has a very good reputation. There is very little recourse for affiliates that are scammed by in-house affiliate programs.
One very important part of the affiliate program is how to get paid. Make sure the affiliate program you are interested in offers acceptable payout methods and amounts. I have seen a few programs payout only when commission reaches $500. While every affiliate would love to be getting $500+ checks each month, the simple fact is that most affiliates aren’t going to reach $500 in a reasonable amount of time. Unless you know from experience that the minimum payout is an easy target, look for a more reasonable $100 or less minimum.
Programs that I have found with reputable companies:
Pay Per Lead:
The Merchant Store Inc. – This is my company’s affiliate program. We offer $20 per lead, and 3% for equipment sales that our affiliates generate. We have both a shareasale program and an in-house program. By using 2 programs we can offer custom affiliate partnerships with select affiliates or affiliates with special needs. We have been in business for over 10 years.
Electronic Transfer Inc. – Offers $10 per lead and performance incentives for well performing affiliates. Electronic Transfer Inc. has been in operation since 1989.
Pay Per Account:
Merchant Accounts Express – Pays $80 / approved merchant account. Over 8 years of operation.
Paynet Systems – $50 – $100 per approved account.
Ecommerce Exchange – $50 / approved account. In operation since 1989.
3rd Party Processing Programs:
Paypal – You will receive an initial monthly bonus, equivalent to 0.5% of the new merchant’s net sales, as soon as that merchant reaches $200.00 in sales. Every 30 days for the next 12 months, you will receive a bonus of 0.5% of the new merchant’s monthly net sales. The maximum total bonus you can receive is $1,000.00.
2Checkout.com – All referrals earn $9, every third referral earns an additional $5.
Guide to Merchant Account Affiliate Programs – Part 1