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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    December 30th, 2006
    Mansfield, Texas
    Thinking About Super Affiliates
    You ever wake up in the middle of the night with an absolutely arbitrary thought? Well I woke up and had a thought about Super Affiliates.

    I know various people have varying thoughts about what makes a Super Affiliate. Interesting it seems like the majority consider an affiliate earning $10,000 a month in commissions a Super Affiliate.

    For some reason I was thinking about that. I would suspect that it would be much much easier for a PPC or PPC/SEO site to reach that threshold much more quickly than a straight SEO site.

    However an SEO only affiliate earning $5,000 in monthly commissions might and probably is making more money than an affiliate spending heavily on purchasing traffic.

    So I think a Super Affliate designation should be determined based on net earnings and not gross commissions.

    I can not believe I actually stayed up for a while in the middle of the night pondering that!
    Last edited by visitourmall; June 10th, 2008 at 08:05 AM.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
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  2. #2
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 8th, 2007
    North Carolina
    Kind of like thinking in terms of net as compared to gross, which is really what counts anyway.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    It is probably very easy to earn $10,000 per month with PPC, if you spend a lot. An affiliate earning $10,000, but spending $15,000 can hardly be considered a super affiliate.
    So it only makes sense to use net earnings

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    It really depends on the perspective. From the affiliate perspective, that's right. A "Super Affiliate" should be someone who is well over the threshold of being able to do this full time, and $10k/month of profit is the key. From a network or merchant perspective, all they care about is sales and commissions. Two affiliates who both earn $10k/month are worth about the same to most merchants, even if one makes no profit and the other makes nearly 100% profit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    I agree that there's a difference, but this distinction is really not very practical -- and certainly no merchant can reliably "know" the profit margin for an independent affiliate. To the merchant, what matters are sales, not how much profit the affiliate makes.

    (I've never liked the $10,000 "standard" but if you've got affiliates generating more than $10,000 in commissions, you certainly should pay more attention to them! But an affiliate earning $5,000 per month in commisisons is also very important!)

    Certainly, if a merchant is worried about affiliates "poaching" their own internal PPC or SEO opportunities, this is an issue worth considering. But the issue would be "opportunity encroachment," not the affiliate's profits.

    If you have two affiliates, one spending $19,000 per month to generate $20,000 in commissions, and another spending less than $100 per month to generate $20,000 in commissions, which affiliate is worth more to you? Objectively, they are worth exactly the same (your company will earn the same net profit from each); but it seems reasonable to predict that you're more likely to have continuing sales at this level from the more profitable affiliate. But there may be "more opportunity" to help the less-profitable affiliate improve their ROI -- so spending time on the "less profitable" affiliate might bring you more return than spending the same amount of time on the affiliate who is currently earning more profits.

    I think I've only had one merchant that has ever generated $10,000 in commissions paid to me for a single month (it was a December), and most of that resulted from $2,500 to $3,000 in PPC expense (mostly "long-tail"). Over the past 13 years, I'm sure I haven't had more than three months where my gross earnings from affiliate payments exceeded $10,000, and only one where my "net earnings" from my affiliate-role work exceeded $10,000.
    Last edited by markwelch; June 10th, 2008 at 01:21 PM.

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