A New System Of E-Commerce?
A MLAP, short for a multi level affiliate program, is a relatively new type of affiliate program offered by some innovative web merchants.
In addition to referral commissions for their direct sales, affiliates of MLAPs also get paid commissions when their sub-affiliates at multiple levels sell affiliate products.
Unlike MLM programs, which charge “recruitment” fees, “starter kit” fees, “product testing” fees etc, there is never any money needed to join a MLAP…Which means that there is never any money to be made by simply recruiting sub-affiliates.
The power of MLAPs lies in their ability to unlock the huge potential for increased earnings that lie in the “wasted traffic” that websites receive.
For example, out of 1000 visitors to a website, perhaps a maximum of only 5 might eventually buy any affiliate products that the webmaster would recommend. The other 995 become “wasted” as they do not contribute in any way to the affiliate’s earnings.
However, many of these “wasted” visitors, would see enough value in these products to sign up as affiliates themselves and sell the products to their own contacts and web visitors.
When this happens in a single level affiliate program, the original affiliate earns nothing. In a MLAP, the original affiliate would also be paid a referral commission on the sales made by these sub-affiliates.
Depending on the number of levels the MLAP uses, commissions from sub-affiliate sales get multiplied at each level, resulting in greatly increased affiliate earnings.
For the affiliate, MLAPs provide a way to maximize the value of their “wasted traffic” using the viral power of “word of mouth” marketing, without the risks associated with MLM programs.
For the MLAP merchant, an MLAP allows his affiliate program to sign up affiliates more effectively by standing out from the crowd of single level affiliate programs.
Because they are relatively new, certain issues, (such as the ideal number of levels a MLAP should have, and the percentage of referral commissions that should be paid at each level), are still open to debate.
What has become clear though, is that MLAPs have become an important option for both merchants and affiliates, to increase their share of the ever-growing size of E-Commerce.