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LinkShare Launches Hybrid Pricing Option in Affiliates Program

LinkShare Corp. in New York City, which hosts a network of e-commerce sites, has developed a hybrid pricing option for its affiliates program.

Through LinkShare's proprietary affiliate network, online merchants can now offer to pay sites for ads using a mixture of different pricing structures including Cost per Impression, Cost per Click, Cost per Lead and Cost per Sale.

This new option allows merchants to compensate affiliates for the value that they provide at each stage of the sales process. The hybrid pricing structure also offers merchants a new means to increase participation in their affiliates programs while keeping control of customer acquisition costs. LinkShare said it is the first and only company to offer a hybrid pricing structure.

"Although often providing a valuable service, affiliates currently bear all the risk in pure revenue sharing arrangements," said Stephen Messer, LinkShare chief executive officer. "LinkShare recognized early on that a hybrid pricing structure was necessary to provide both merchants and affiliates with the means to strike partnerships with the appropriate incentives. As technology to implement and track the necessary data decreases in cost and grows in acceptance, both advertisers and affiliate sites will realize an advantage in moving from the basic CPM model to the hybrid model. The hybrid model is the future of customer acquisition and product branding."

The LinkShare Network has grown to exceed 6,000 content sites and currently consists of more than 100 online merchants, including FAO Schwarz, Reader's Digest, Avon, Omaha Steaks, Fashionmall.com, Shades.com, Brookstone, Virtual Vineyards and major content providers such as Lycos, Prodigy and MasterCard's StoreSearch.