Affiliate marketing is an online advertising channel in which advertisers (online merchants that sell products or services) pay publishers (independent parties that promote the products or services of an advertiser on their Web site) only for results, such as a visitor making a purchase or filling out a form, rather than paying simply to reach a particular audience. This "pay-for-performance" model is in essence the modern version of the "finders'-fee" model, where individuals who introduce new clients to a business are compensated. The difference in the case of affiliate marketing is that advertisers only pay their publishers when the new client introduction results in a sale or a lead, making it a low-risk, high-reward environment for both parties.
Advertisers in our network, the CJ Marketplace, populate their ad links in the interface, making them available for placement by publishers. Each link is assigned a commission, such as a fixed amount per lead or a percentage of a resulting sale on the advertiser's Web site. Publishers looking to monetize their traffic apply to join an advertiser's program. Upon acceptance, the publishers select and place the advertiser's links on their Web sites, in their email campaigns or as part of search listings.When a consumer clicks on a publisher's link, a cookie is set on the visitor's browser that identifies the advertiser, the publisher, and the specific link and payment rates. When the visitor makes an actual purchase online or fills out a form, that transaction is tracked and recorded by Commission Junction. Upon recording the transaction, Commission Junction handles all of the collection and processing required to ensure fair and timely commission payment for the publisher, and all of the administration and verification necessary to ensure quality sales and leads for the advertiser.
Commission Junction is one of the largest third party affiliate networks that acts as a liason between publishers and advertisers