Software

Software affiliates come in two main varieties: a link to a software store or a link to the author's site. The key issue in the software category is the way referral fees are tracked. It is not a problem buying a full product from a retailer such as Amazon, but difficulties arise when someone downloads a shareware version and buys it at some time in the future. For example, Xara Software tracks its referrals through a cookie. A visitor downloads the shareware and if they ultimately buy the product, that cookie must be on the PC they are using when making the purchase, otherwise you don't get the referral fee. Carefully planned shareware programs can work, but require close monitoring. The most reliable option is to find an online store and link directly to products. Some to try are MicroWarehouse (up to a 7 per cent referral, www.warehouse.com), Amazon (www.amazon.com), or for games try Dragons Den (up to 15 per cent, www.dragon.ca).

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