The future of E-commerce looks bright as thousands of companies in hundreds of established industries flock to a new kind of pay-for-performance marketing

Online affiliate programs take away the risk

If you thought the dot-com crash was the end of e-commerce, James Martell would like to talk to you.

In promoting an e-book about his self-taught success with affiliate programs, the Vancouver, Canada, based author and lecturer is boldly predicting that not only has the Internet survived as a viable distribution channel for goods and services as diverse as baby formula to credit cards to high-powered motor boats, but because companies can now offer their wares risk-free throughout the world with affiliate programs, he predicts we will see soon unprecedented growth in e-commerce.

In his new downloadable book, entitled James Martell’s Affiliate Marketers Handbook - 2002, he chronicles the exact steps he took to establish himself as a profitable affiliated publisher for dozens of companies in three competitive industries: Credit Cards, Cell Phones and Satellite TV.

One of the things he discovered, as he made his foray into affiliate programs, was that some very well established companies, such as American Express and DIRECTV, in the U.S., will gladly pay a commission of $40 - $50 U.S. for each successful transaction resulting from a link that originates with an affiliated publisher’s website.

Industry experts agree that this pay-for-performance concept started with, who in 1997 began compensating webmasters around the world for book sales by setting a cookie on each visitor’s browser that identified the associated publisher so that a commission could be paid if a sale were made.

This unique business relationship, now known as affiliate marketing, neatly solves the problem of driving eyeballs to websites’ of merchandiser’s, because of the vast number of independent publishers and webmasters worldwide, who will generate targeted traffic on a pay-for-performance basis, thereby eliminating the high cost of advertising.

Martell says, “When I first got started I had no idea of how many people were online. Within only a few months of launching my first commercial website to promote a few of those “free Internet access” companies that were all the rage in 1999-2000, I was getting 5,000 unique visitors a day by properly optimizing my site at the major search engines.”

As a consequence of converging factors such as, growing consumer confidence in making online purchases, the need for many companies to downsize brick and mortar operations and the emergence of commission networks who act as go-betweens for merchants and affiliates, it has never been easier or more profitable to retail online.

Commission Junction, out of Carlsbad, CA, stands out as an industry leader in providing third party functionality for affiliates and merchants by acting as a trusted third party in managing the network, tracking and reporting on activity and handling monthly commission payments.

Martell says, “ I’ve joined several lucrative affiliate programs through the Commission Junction network of advertisers and their online reporting and tracking functionality is second to none.”

“Commission Junction has exceeded our expectations as a cost-effective marketing channel,” states Kari King, Affiliate Program Manager at,” We chose Commission Junction not only because they have an established network of quality publishers, but because their service and technology are scalable as our program grows.”

Mr. Martell adds, “there is tremendous confidence in dealing with CJ merchants, because CJ has demonstrated great efficiency in handling all of the collection and processing required to ensure fair and timely commission payments to me as an affiliate, as well as managing all of the administrative and verification necessary to ensure qualified sales and leads for the merchant.”

It would seem that large networks of affiliated publishers partly drove the well-documented 25% increase in online Christmas shopping following Sept. 11.

Martell says, “another trend, which is fuelling this industry, is the desire to work at home for middle-aged baby boomers and young professionals with computer skills.”

“My entire business is run from my White Rock, B.C. home, “ he said.

He cites a number of benefits to this, including the sense of personal freedom it gives him, but he said a major factor was spending more time with his wife and four kids in the pleasant seaside community in which he lives outside Vancouver.

“After getting a taste of financial freedom with affiliate programs from the comfort of my own home on my personal computer, and avoiding the stresses of long commutes and stifling work environments, I would never go back to that, ” he said.

To help others with similar aspirations, Mr. Martell has developed a website for work at home enthusiasts, where visitors can find out about his recent successes and also learn-the-ropes of this emerging new industry with his downloadable handbook.

Visit: for details.

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