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  1. #1
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    What kind of pay structure should I be asking for?
    I have been a salaried sales rep with the company that just made me the Affiliate Manager yesterday. We haven't hashed out the particulars yet. Should I be asking for some kind of commission on top of my salary? What is the norm in this field for someone in my position?

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    JAYMEDINC I can't give you any specific dollar amounts as I'm an affiliate not an AM, but I think there are a few things that you may want to consider in trying to formulate a pay plan.

    First and foremost is the fact that you have no program in place today and there will be a considerable amount of work required before a new affiliate program will generate it's first dollar of revenue. That being said you may want to structure your initial base and bonuses around specific milestones as opposed to revenue or sales goals.

    I would strongly recommend that you hire an Outsourced Program Manager (OPM) if only for the initial stages and launch of your program. An OPM will be able to guide you through all of the necessary steps to insure a successful launch. For each step that I mention here, there are probably another ten that I haven't even considered.

    I would think that the first step in launching a new program would be to start looking at the various networks and create a short list. Selecting and aligning your organization with an affiliate network should probably be your first milestone. Others may not agree, however, since it appears that you will be starting your program without the aid of an experienced AM or OPM the resources and guidance that a network can provide will be invaluable. I would also strongly recommend against starting an in-house program. Again, you lack the expertise to successfully pull that off.

    Once you've selected a network you need to start making decisions about program structure. Much of the structure of your program will be outlined in an affiliate agreement or TOS (Terms of Service) and this document could possibly be your next milestone. The TOS should define commission/bonus structure, PPC policies etc.. Your network of choice should be able to provide you with boilerplates of this document which will provide you with an outline for decision making. Besides the TOS, you need to also make decisions about the type of affiliates you want or don't want in your program. This would be a good time for you to start formulating your acceptance/rejection criteria.

    By now I've probably skipped at least thirty necessary steps and glossed over the rest, but if you're still with me I'll plod on.

    Now you need to start looking at what you can provide to help your future affiliates be successful. What creatives will be necessary to allow them to promote your products effectively. Besides banners and individual product links, will data feeds be necessary (or desirable)? How about customer incentives? Do you currently offer coupons? Will you offer exclusive affiliate coupons or allow your affiliates to promote your current offers? Putting these things in place could very well be your next milestone.

    At some point you're going to actually have to launch your program and start recruiting affiliates. Program launch has got to be a big milestone and some thought needs to go into how to recruit the affiliates you'll need to make your program successful. This also may be the point where your pay plan starts transitioning more toward a performance based plan. You don't want to starve to death the first several months, so it still may be advisable to make the performance incentive a small part of the plan at this point with it becoming a higher percentage of potential earnings over some predetermined time frame.

    So if you're still with me at this point, that means that you're as lost as I am. Now would be good time to buy Geno's book, A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing. The table of contents alone will provide you with a great outline of the tasks and decisions that will be required to get your program started.

    Remember, I've never launched an affiliate program before so much of what I say here is questionable. If you're considering using any of the advise that I've given then that is just further proof that you really need to hire an OPM, because that means that you're more lost than I am.

    Whatever you decide, congratulations on the new job and good luck with your program. Make sure you read everything you can here on ABW and don't hesitate to ask questions.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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  4. #3
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Congrats! and good luck with the new venture.

    Sorry I don't know the answer to your questions, but I'm interested in the answer(s) as well. (My husband is in sales & marketing at a local brick and mortar store and I am helping him research affiliate marketing, as he is evaluating the possibility of getting started with an affiliate program for their web site.)

    I think this weekend is affiliate summit? So, if the forum is quieter than usual that's possibly why. You'll probably get some actual helpful responses when everyone has returned.

  5. #4
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Hi rematt! I think we posted at the same time. Didn't mean to imply your post was "unhelpful."

  6. #5
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    I'm crushed .

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  7. #6
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice.

    As I mentioned in another thread, I purchased Geno's book and am waiting for it to arrive. Also, the company I work for has had an affiliate program for years, that had been run by the webmaster and annonomous sales people. I say annonomous because I don't even know which sales people were ever involved in this.

    The Pres wanted to hire an expert in the field. Maybe he was aware of OPM's. But the VP recommended me to head it up. So, I have been awarded the position, instead of an OPM. I'm not going to be telling them they should get an OPM because that would look like either I don't want the job or can't handle it. If anyone can handle this job without prior experience, it is me. I am more than confident in my abilities to learn quickly enough. We are the leader in our industry and our niche audience recognizes our name and products. Recruiting affiliates should be easy enough that we can be picky.

    My plan is to recommend we be Private and Invitation only. I also want our Affiliate Agreement to be friendly to the affiliates.

    I've found all the resources that will help guide me. I currently only have two questions remaining at this time. What kind of pay (not how much pay), should I be expecting? Does this mean I should expect my salary to stay the same? Or should I be asking for some kind of commission.

    My other question I started another thread for. I am looking for guidance to help start up an agreement. Geno's book was recommended to me this morning in that thread too. But as I've said, I'm still waiting for it to arrive.

    The Pres and VP will be contacting me this week via conference call, as we all work in different locations. Then I will learn more of their expectations. I figure if most people learned of this new position during lunch on a Friday, by Monday they still wouldn't even know what they are getting into. True, I didn't know an Affiliate Manager was an actual career field. That is why I've been doing nothing but researching and I will now I can at least talk to them and not sound clueless in the process. I'm so glad the internet has covered this subject as well as it has. I wasn't expecting to find such organized subject matter.

  8. #7
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amysolovay
    I think this weekend is affiliate summit? So, if the forum is quieter than usual that's possibly why. You'll probably get some actual helpful responses when everyone has returned.
    Yes, bad timing for me on the summit. People may come back from it being so behind, that they skip lots of threads and don't put the thought in them that they normally would. At least that is how I can be in message boards after being out of time.

    That being said, when I started researching Friday, I was excited to see that we even have Summits available to us. The next one is in Boston, and I have family there and still am in the Massachusetts Army National Guard (for the time being). I used to live there and any excuse to visit on business is a great opportunity for a family trip. One weekend a month is too frequent though, and that is why I am in the process of switching to the NC Nat. Guard.

    I look forward to learning all about the summit over the next few months so I can evaluate how to approach the next one.

  9. #8
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAYMEDINC
    The Pres wanted to hire an expert in the field. Maybe he was aware of OPM's. But the VP recommended me to head it up. So, I have been awarded the position, instead of an OPM. I'm not going to be telling them they should get an OPM because that would look like either I don't want the job or can't handle it. If anyone can handle this job without prior experience, it is me. I am more than confident in my abilities to learn quickly enough. We are the leader in our industry and our niche audience recognizes our name and products. Recruiting affiliates should be easy enough that we can be picky.
    I believe an OPM is more of a consultancy; an insurance policy especially during the first few months of a program.

  10. #9
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    I'm in the middle of writing the plan to my company for our affiliate program.

    I'd like to see if I can slide in there, a commission for myself, on top of my salary.

    Would this be considered a 1st and 2nd tier type of thing, where I am the only one to get the 1st tier? Or does this get computed completely differently, like I just count everybodies sales and report that to accounting that my percentage is X amount of dollars, should the powers that be decide to approve it.

  11. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    So how'd it work out for you? Hopefully you negotiated some bonus structure where upon reaching certain sales levels, you get a piece of the pie.
    Last edited by eljefe3; April 7th, 2008 at 02:12 AM. Reason: spelling

  12. #11
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eljefe3
    So how'd it work out for you? Hopefully you negotiated some bonus structure where upon reaching certain sales levels, you get a piece of the pie.
    No success with any commission or bonus at this time. Thanks for asking though.

  13. #12
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAYMEDINC
    I have been a salaried sales rep with the company that just made me the Affiliate Manager yesterday. We haven't hashed out the particulars yet. Should I be asking for some kind of commission on top of my salary? What is the norm in this field for someone in my position?
    but did you beg for this position? if not, there should be some reward for building their business beyond a certain point . . . and maybe even if you did.

  14. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Wow, that's kind of weak and near sighted on the merchant's end. Any sales job works on commission, and when you are an aff mgr your job is to create more sales, so you should get some sort of piece of increased sales.

  15. #14
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ
    but did you beg for this position?
    Not at all. I was asked if I would like to take on the position and not knowing what I was getting into, I naively said yes. I don't regret at all taking the position. I just wish I negotiated before agreeing.

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