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  1. #1
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    Don't know what an Affiliate Program is?
    I'm finding that nobody that I talk to within my organization knows what an affiliate program is. Am I to expect when I start recruiting affiliates, that the prospects are going to be just as clueless about it?

    If so, how do I educate them in a manner where they could quickly be interested?

  2. #2
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    If you are recruiting people who call themselves affiliates; chances are they know what an affiliate program is. You probably wouldn't waste your time trying to recruit people who aren't already involved in affiliate marketing or web publishing. This isn't Mary Kay.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAYMEDINC
    I'm finding that nobody that I talk to within my organization knows what an affiliate program is. Am I to expect when I start recruiting affiliates, that the prospects are going to be just as clueless about it?

    If so, how do I educate them in a manner where they could quickly be interested?
    I am a little confused.........How is the decision made to start an affiliate program, if no one knows what an affiliate program is??

    Are you trying to recruit affiliates off of the street.....so to speak...from your friends and neighbors???
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
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  4. #4
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    > "I am a little confused.........How is the decision made to start an affiliate program, if no one knows what an affiliate program is?" <

    Clearly, someone within the organization learned about the opportunities available to merchants via affiliate marketing, but even that person doesn't have in-depth understanding; others within the organization don't even understand the concept. Even the initial "recommender" may have fundamental misunderstandings (I've been called by marketing VPs who refer to affiliate marketing as a source of "free customers" or who perceive infinite opportunities with minimal cost).

    If someone just heard an "elevator sales pitch" from a sleazy salesmen for one of the affiliate networks, they may have very unrealistic expectations.

    > "If you are recruiting people who call themselves affiliates; chances are they know what an affiliate program is. You probably wouldn't waste your time trying to recruit people who aren't already involved in affiliate marketing or web publishing." <

    I disagree -- you absolutely should be spending part of your time recruiting people who aren't already involved in affiliate marketing, and who don't perceive themselves as "involved in web publishing." Recruiting only from among existing affiliates is just "picking the low-hanging fruit." Certainly, it's what you focus on first because it's easiest and can be quite productive, but your plan from day one needs to include ladders and perhaps even some heavier equipment (to extend the fruit-picking analogy).

    You're not "selling affiliate marketing." Instead, you're seeking out mutually-profitable ways to advertise on third-party web sites, and you have several payment options available: CPM, PPC, sponsorship, and share-of-sale (affiliate/commission). That's how you approach prospective affiliates: "We would like to advertise on your site." Depending on the prospect you're contacting, you may include one or more of these options in your contact; for 98% of prospects you are ONLY going to offer the affiliate program as an available advertising option.

    I do agree that it's highly unlikely that more than 10% of the webmasters who receive your email won't know what affiliate marketing is generally -- but there are some, especially if you seek out content-topic bloggers. But some folks won't understand.

    Many more will say, "been there, tried that, NO," because they were "oversold" by some other affiliate-program promoter, often one whose products didn't match the site's theme (or who defaulted on payment promises). Merchants in certain categories will encounter one or more specific companies that have "burned" affiliates in their niche before, either by building unrealistic expectations or by failing to deliver on promises made.

  5. #5
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    >
    > "If you are recruiting people who call themselves affiliates; chances are they know what an affiliate program is. You probably wouldn't waste your time trying to recruit people who aren't already involved in affiliate marketing or web publishing." <

    I disagree -- you absolutely should be spending part of your time recruiting people who aren't already involved in affiliate marketing, and who don't perceive themselves as "involved in web publishing."

    That's how you approach prospective affiliates: "We would like to advertise on your site."

    I do agree that it's highly unlikely that more than 10% of the webmasters who receive your email won't know what affiliate marketing is generally -- but there are some, especially if you seek out content-topic bloggers..
    If you are recruiting people who have a website then semantics aside they are involved in web publishing. I'm a blogger, I have a website, I run a community- ok, whatever you want to call it for the sake of using a term I am using web publishing.

    You aren't ringing your neighbors doorbell asking him to sign up for your affiliate program when they don't even know what a .com is. That was my point.

    Yes you'll have to do a little explaining but it won't be as bad as explaining to people who have NO concept of how the net works. *achooo* A lot of corporate types like my father *achooo*

  6. #6
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    To clarify a little, my company has had an affiliate program for a while. However, I was just picked to re-vamp and kick start it just 6 days ago.

    Little did I know until then, the reason it wasn't being run aggressively, is because we didn't have anybody designated to handle the tracking of it.

    Yesterday I was asked to speak about it during our weekly sales conference call. The sales manager explained to me that I was going to have to clue everyone in on what an affiliate program was, because those in the room with him, were giving "blank stares" while I explained what was going on with the program.

    So, I explained what an affiliate program is, and they had basic and/or off track questions. That made me realize that if this sales staff in a company with a pre-existing affiliate program didn't know what one is, my target audience may not either.

    We are in a niche market and our competitors don't have affiliate programs. So, most of those I am going to target, may have never been contacted by other affiliates. At least not within this niche.

  7. #7
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    Affiliate managers send me emails all of the time trying to get me to join their programs. The emails are written as if I don't know what an affiliate program is. I will try to find one for you.

    Oh yes, Marc was right when he said:
    You're not "selling affiliate marketing." Instead, you're seeking out mutually-profitable ways to advertise on third-party web sites, and you have several payment options available: CPM, PPC, sponsorship, and share-of-sale (affiliate/commission). That's how you approach prospective affiliates
    So that's what you do, present it as an advertising opportunity.

  8. #8
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    I am wondering if it is a comman approach to call the web publisher and enquire about getting your banner on their site, in exchange for commissions on the sales.

    I don't think emailing them blindly would have much, if any affect.

  9. #9
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    I get both and I find calls to be quite intruding. I'll take an email over a call though I'm rather antisocial so keep that in mind.

    Truth be told I tend to ignore both, because I don't like those kind of solicitations but at least the emails don't make me feel uncomfortable.

    That's just me. Your mileage may vary.

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager Stephanie Harris's Avatar
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    I see this from both ends. I used to work in-house on an affiliate program where most of the rest of the company had no idea what affiiate marketing, or even e-commerce really was. On the other hand, when you work OPM or with a pretty savvy internet team, it seems like everyone knows what you're talking about. In terms of dealing with the in-house issues, I would make a slide presentation that goes into what affiliate marketing is and how it is beneficial for the company wtih some FAQs and keep it on hand. Then just send this or present it whenever the questions come up.

    Regarding the affiliates, you may get requests from websites often where they ask for a link exchange or for paid placement etc. but what they really want but don't know they are asking for it is an affiliate relationship. The concept of affiliate marketing isn't really new but many webmasters who are not standard affiliates don't necessarily know that such formal partnerships and programs are out there for them to join. Send them to an FAQ or give a quick informational about your program and how it works and see if they are interested. IF they join through your network or ask to be an affiliate, then it is safe to assume they already know.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAYMEDINC
    I am wondering if it is a comman approach to call the web publisher and enquire about getting your banner on their site, in exchange for commissions on the sales.

    I don't think emailing them blindly would have much, if any affect.

    I know that it is a repeat.......but......you would make faster progress by placing this in the hands of a pro and also listing your program with SAS. You would gain a wealth of knowledge quickly and get your program moving with a lot less frustration.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  12. #12
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    I don't mind getting emails from merchants requesting "banner" placement, IF they have really visited my site and their products are a good fit. It's especially nice if they give me a "private offer" with increased commissions etc.

  13. #13
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    For affiliate recruitment, I make sure I have visited the site of the potential affiliate before ever sending an email. I hate getting unsoliciated emails so I assume so does everyone else. But email is also the best way 9 out of 10 times to reach new affiliates.

    As for your program, I concur with the recommendations made here, either hire an outsourced program manager, there are several of us on this board, or place your program on SAS and have them manage it.

    Again, you are not trying to sell what affiliate marketing is to your potential affiliates, if they work online, they know what it is, generally speaking. Instead spend your time explaining why they should sell your product, why are you better than your competitors? What makes you different? How will a partnership help them? What is in it for them? If they are going to go through the work of adding you to their websites, they need to know what is in it for them. How will you help them to convert their traffic to sales? What tools can you offer....

    I would concentrate of these things, rather than teaching what affiliate marketing is.

    That is purely my $0.02.....

  14. #14
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolet

    Again, you are not trying to sell what affiliate marketing is to your potential affiliates, if they work online, they know what it is, generally speaking. Instead spend your time explaining why they should sell your product, why are you better than your competitors?
    Best advice yet.

    Maybe that's why I tend to delete emails from AM's because they tend to start off by telling me what an affiliate program is. I never see the "what's in it for me" so I hit delete.

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