Xerox Betting on BeFree Affiliate Program

Copier giant Xerox aims to boost sales through a Web affiliate program, designed to boost traffic to its Web site.

The Stamford, Conn.-based imaging product manufacturer said its eBusiness Partner Affiliate Program will compensate Web publishers that provide links or buttons pointing to its Web site — with a cash commission if a visitor to their site buys a Xerox product.

Affiliate marketing technology firm BeFree is providing the infrastructure behind the program, tracking clickthroughs and payments for Xerox. Aegis’s online media planner and buyer Carat Interactive will provide affiliate management and recruitment services, Xerox said.

Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

The program pays a one percent commission on copiers, workgroup fax machines, and up to four percent commission on supplies, including paper and toner. The firm said other products would be included in the program during the coming months.

Xerox is also doling out icons and graphics to potential publishing affiliates, and providing marketing tools and sales information aimed at improving loyalty to their Web sites, while also driving sales on Xerox’s site.

“The program makes it easier for untold numbers of potential new customers to get right to the Xerox products they want from thousands of different online locations. It’s part of Xerox’s strategy to expand its online reach,” said Xerox e-marketing director Andrei Hall. “In addition, because partner sites are paid only when Xerox receives a sale, this program is an extremely cost-efficient sales and marketing tool.”

Xerox said its aims to have more than 10,000 affiliates participating in the service by next March.

The effort comes as a beleaguered Xerox is trying to put itself back on track to profitability — a situation worsened by the slacking economy, which makes companies less likely to purchase high-end copier or printing equipment. Earlier this week, the company raised $1.3 billion from the sale of its stake in a Japanese joint venture, Fuji Xerox.

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