The internet is becoming more and more connected, and affiliated.  We are in an early stage of what the internet will become.  Most offline businesses don’t realize the potential of online advertising, while many online businesses are surpassing the offline businesses in sales.  It is a revolutionary time.

Since learning about online advertising and online marketing through my own websites, I have become quite interested in different affiliation and connections that can be made online.  This post an a simple example of what I typically do before I buy a product.

VistaPrint has long had an affiliate program here, in which anyone in the world can promote their products in return for a commission on the sales they generate.  VistaPrint typically pays out $10-$15 per sale generated through an affiliate link.  One of the promotions that VistaPrint has had for quite sometime (due to its success) has been their “250 Free Business Cards – Only Pay Shipping”.  When it was time for me to buy some cards, I went straight to VistaPrint to pick these things up for only $4.99 shipping or so.  But wait, they payout around $15 per sale, so why not go through my affiliate URL to make the purchase?

It is as simple as that.  By going through my affiliate URL and making the purchase, I got paid around $10 to have VistaPrint send me some custom business cards.  Now from VistaPrint’s perspective, why would they do this?  Well, in general, they expect each customer to spend greater than $15 in their lifetime with VistaPrint.  If this happens, in general, each customer that is sent their way is profitable for them.  Will I likely go back to buy from VistaPrint again?  Of course.

Another similar story: when I bought my motorcycle helmet online, I looked to see if the company selling it had an affiliate program.  Sure enough they did, so I signed up for it, purchased the helmet through my affiliate URL (payout was only 5% of the sale) and got paid for the sale I made.  In other words, I got a 5% discount (on top of any other discounts) simply by creating an account with their affiliate program.  I typically do this with any product I buy online.