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  1. #1
    Join Date
    March 31st, 2008
    How Long Does It Take A Program To Start Producing
    Hi everyone,

    I am sorry if this is already been covered but I searched and could not find anything.

    I am a merchant and have programs with two different affiliate networks.

    Using my inexpereienced eye it seems like recruitment is going well with about 250 affiliates signed up between the two programs over a three month span for one and a one month span for the other. I am well aware that it is not a numbers game as much as it is a quantity mixed with quality game.

    Actual affiliate sales have started to trickle in but not too many so far.

    At what point does a program start to produce a steady stream of sales. My expectations is that it would be at the six to twelve month program before things start to flow naturaly.

    My assumptions are that it takes time for most affiliates from the when they signed up to when they actually get the banners/links on the site, then generate interest in the links they are using.

    I also assume that many affiliates will sign up and not produce much at all in the way of traffic or conversions.

    I am working hard to increase the conversion rate at my site with some modest success but will continue to do so into the near future. What else can I do to help my affiliates with regards to web developement and the like. I have an affiliate manager and do not want to step on their toes or do their job for them

    Any thoughts on my assumptions and expectations? What can I do to help my affiliates?

    All the best,


  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    Sounds like your expectations are realistic. You might want to read through the Affiliate Friendly Policies thread for a checklist of things you should consider.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Great question, hans, I never thought of it from the merchant standpoint

    I'm sure others will speak about stats, etc. but from a publisher standpoint, it can take time to integrate a new merchant.

    I'll tell you my process: my site is content-based, so I usually work in their presence over a 3-4 week period.

    My first sale is (usually) within 30-45 days, but generally starts as a trickle, as I'm also trying to figure out what converts for the new merchant. It isn't always easy to come up with new promotional ideas either. Since I have other screen space filled by current performers, trying to balance it with the new guy is a challenge, but everyone has a place.

    I know you are probably looking for more concrete info, but this is how I deal with a new merchant. I don't even assess the success of the relationship for the first 3 months while I'm integrating them into the flow of my site.

    Oh yeah, and sometimes it takes me a month to even start promoting them!

    Have you contacted affiliate sites directly, inviting them to apply? I don't always pay attention to new program announcements, and have been targeted by merchants who contact me directly from my site (ie. not a blanket network announcement).

    You have the right approach, and I just wanted to give you insight into "this" side of the fence!

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Park City Utah
    Hans, I get nervous if we don't start producing for a week when we launch a program. My last launch took a month to produce a sale. You should see clicks within a day or two of sign-up if you have some good affiliates. Otherwise, start contacting affiliates to see what you can do to get them going.

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager Stephanie Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 11th, 2006
    New York
    I think in terms of a "steady stream of sales" assuming you are seeing a steady stream of clicks, and a steady stream of applications in your queue, you can expect about a six month time period of ramp up for your program. This isn't a hard and fast rule since some programs can catch on like wildfire and be a huge success right out of the gate while others can take longer than six months to really get into a groove. A lot depends on the vertical you're selling, whether you have well known brand names, or your site is a well known name, and whether there is any seasonality with when you've launched. If your sites have better months than others, your affiliate program will reflect that overall sales trend. But within six months of launching, if you're doing all you should be doing (providing a continuous refreshment of creative, issuing out new and different coupon codes, monthly newsletters, individual email recruitment to specific targeted affiliates that fit your vertical, competitive payout, bonus commission offers, troubleshooting issues, and keeping everything current) you should start seeing steady sales.

    I find the programs that take longer than six months are usually those that affiliates might be resistant to promote or that visitors are reluctant to shop with because they aren't familiar with the merchant and what the merchant sells. If you feel you might fall into this category, then your first mission should be branding and getting your name out there (running promotions and unique coupons to get prime placement on your affiliate sites is a start) because that should yield results.

    Good Luck!
    Stephanie Harris
    Schaaf Consulting
    p/f: 323.386.2338
    AIM: stephschaafco |
    Our Programs: Baby Catalog | Blue Bee | Constant Contact | CourseSmart | ForMeToCoupon | Homestead | InTheSwim | Ipsos Survey Panel | | Moosejaw | Mrs. Prindables | Payless ShoeSource | simply youth ministry | | Specialty Pool Products

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Hello Hans, Affiliates may take a few weeks or few months to get going but the more you concentrate on your customers and what they are doing and buying the faster the sales will come in from the affiliate channel too.

    You can be doing as much as you can as a merchant to create customer interests and create a 'want and need it' for the items they are searching for and seeing on your store with impulse buys, free shipping offers on all products or a select few items, sales offers that last a few days, week, month, discounts with 'buy three save 10% off' and so on.

    I'm not saying this about you as I do not know you or your store but just from experience as I have seen some great programs with lots of great affiliates and work put into the program and traffic and the more you can do on your end the better they will do too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    March 31st, 2008
    Thanks for all of the great comments
    Thanks for all of the great comments.

    I am glad to see my expectations are probably where they should be.

    My company is a newcomer to our particular niche and have very little brand recognition at the moment. So we will continue to work on that.

    We will also continue to work on the site to make it as user friendly as possible and focus on the customer and what they need to see on a page or site to buy.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Are you doing direct recruiting of sites that already rank for your product/offers/leads? How about those that are in the PPC space? If you can find good affs in the ppc arena, chances are they will make sales for you immediately.

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