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  1. #1
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    Question Best Ways to Motivate Affiliates
    I was reading through the thread below about the best way to turn off affiliates (issuing ultimatums, deactivating due to inactivity, etc) so I thought I'd get some feedback on the reverse...

    In your experience, what are the best ways to motivate your affiliates to bring in more sales? Are contests effective, and if so, what type of contest has worked well for you? Any "best practices" in this area would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Cash contest does help.

    As opposed to rewarding the active, have some that favors the small guys too

  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMDub81
    Any "best practices" in this area would be appreciated.
    There's a thread here:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=85372

    Contests are fine, but I don't join an affiliate program or remain active in one because of a contest. I join & remain active because I can access specific product link images and/or other type of quality link/banner options and whatever is available to me in the affiliate program converts for me.

    Contests are fun but it's the day to day conversions that count.

    EPC or other statistical data does not sway me as an affiliate.
    I want to know what products does this merchant let me promote and can I envision weaving the promotions into my site[s]?
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  4. #4
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Here's a good post by Michael Coley to start from.

    Here's a poll of a one-program manager (at that time) on different kinds of prizes (not characteristic of anything, but may give you ideas).

    I'm sure you've already read a lot on how not to do it, but here's another thread on it.

    The following three have historically worked best for me: (1) cash for activation (putting up links), or Andy's famous CABs that nearly every affiliate manager is using in some shape or form now, (2) cash for performance (first sale, second sale, every second sale, reaching a particular monthly, weekly, etc. threshold), and (3) performance contests where a good little prize is given (as here or I was also giving away mp3 players last holiday season, and that worked wonders) for showing a particular activity (a sensible time constraint adds a feeling of urgency, and may give your affiliate program priority).

    G.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov
    Andy's famous CABs that nearly every affiliate manager is using in some shape or form now,
    I knew I should have TM'ed that procedure ..

    JMDub81,

    It's simple, build the relationship and they will want to work with you ... feel free to call me and we can spend some time on the phone discussing ideas ...

    Cheers,
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  6. #6
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    Free banners, cash incentives, bonus, free packages etc do motivate them for sales.

  7. #7
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    There is a wealth of information in Geno's "Affiliate Managers" book (see his sig, above, for a link).

    It contains many incentive-style ideas to add some fun, and attract attention to a program. It also outlines specific ideas to improve a program overall to make it affiliate-friendly. In agreeing with Rhia7 (above) I, too, do not join and/or remain in a program because of contests. I look for "things" like a leak-proof site, no parasites, attractive creatives, a clean datafeed, quality products, generous commission, Auto-Deposit on ShareASale, landing pages that convert, and good COMMUNICATION, among others.

    The "relationship" issue, as mentioned by Andy, is also important. I do not look at one of Andy's programs because of his CABs. I work in a couple of narrow niches and a five-spot or a twenty-dollar bonus will not entice me to put up links and/or narrative. However, when Andy announces a new program, I ALWAYS take a careful look to see if I can work it into one of my sites - just because it is Andy. 'nuff said.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager bs0101's Avatar
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    This question was put to audience during the "Anatomy of a Great Affiliate Program" session at Affiliate Summit in Boston. A gentleman, new to affiliate marketing, who works for a fantasy football site shared a great idea they came up with. I guess they have an all-encompassing tournament w/ 1k's of players. Their special promotion was: if you are the affiliate who sends the winner of this tournament to their site, you get paid $10K.

    I thought that was a great idea. It all boils down to $, but interesting little ways to frame that competition is what really entices people and keeps them talking about it. New twist on the same old promotion. Kudos to those guys...

    Good luck JMDub81

  9. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    VIP commissions offered to known producers, develop a relationship and ask what they need.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    Personally I think many employers make the same mistake of wasting inordinate amounts of time and energy trying to motivate their workforce.

    (I'm not implying that affiliates are employees, so don't anyone go down that route.)

    The answer is: run a good scheme with generous reward levels, generous cookie length, the normal incentives, then....here's the magic ingredient...

    Avoid DEMOTIVATING us.

    It really is that simple.

  11. #11
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    *Scratches head*

    Why not just go after pre-motivated affiliates rather than a motley crew of carrot chasers?
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  12. #12
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    Question Motivation is not necessarily the issue IMHO
    Hello.

    As I read about advertisers wanting to figure out how to motivate affiliates, I'm not so sure that motivation is necessarily why affiliates don't promote the advertiser especially when there's money that could be made by both parties.

    From my vantage point, it seems to be that over the years, there has been a major crackdown whereby now, there are very limited places that allow the placing of affiliate links.

    In a lot more Terms of Service or Terms of Use agreements, it specifies NOT to advertise or place affiliate links on their sites whatsoever or else run the risk of being banned. These are typically the sites where there is the most concentrated volume of where visitors hang out. This then becomes the best opportunity to promote the advertiser especially within the context of forum or other discussions that would lend itself to mention a specific website when pertinent.

    Many times you'll see in posts, someone will get real close to providing the name of a website but won't - they'll just speak of the website type in general terms as a lot of folks refuse to provide free publicity to an entity for which they have no relationship.

    I for one, love participating in meaningful discussions and have selected affiliate links that would fit right into discussions I'm interested in as are others within those same discussions, but can't. I don't mind promoting someone else; it's just many times my hands are tied from the affiliate perspective.

    From what I've interpreted, Terms for websites like Facebook, MySpace, and others don't even allow affiliate links on member profile, signatures nor other pages just so they can get members to go through them as long as it is advertising-related. I guess they also don't want to diminish the content quality by having folks participate only to place their affiliate link, which is understandable. Not following that rule would be grounds for banning.

    If any of you know of places that allow affiliates to advertise and are content-driven or other quality sites, could you PM me, please (versus publicizing it - that could cause an over-saturation)?

    Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Point noted.Thanks for the piece of advise,now I know what affiliates would like to have.

  14. #14
    Certified Affiliate Manager sunshiner's Avatar
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    As an affiliate I can tell you a few big factors in working with a merchant.

    First off, good communication. If I send you an email, don't reply 5 days later, thats too late. I probably need an answer some time that day if not the next.

    Second, don't pay me less commission because you don't "think" I can send you as much business. My business, whether its a lot or small, is still generating money for you, so why should I not make as much money as someone else who is promoting you the same way. In my line of business, its sort of a catch 22 for me because I can't compete against the other sites like mine that have huge commissions, therefore, naturally they are going to get more sales.

    And, heres a big one for me. If you send me notification of a coupon, have the link with my ID there, don't just tell me to go pull it from the interface. I get hundreds of coupons everyday, I don't have the time to go pull one little coupon link. Also, I'd like to have the code in the description it makes it so much quicker and easier for me to add the link that way.

  15. #15
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    If you pay me ... I will be very motivated ... how much depends on what you can afford
    or how much you want me to be motivated ... there is no free lunch. In the supermarket industry they call it a slotting fee ... you want shelf space, you pay X in advance by linear foot PLUS we buy it wholesale.

  16. #16
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Stop Trying To Motivate Me
    Every couple of months or so someone starts one of these threads or resurrects an old one. And each and every time I have to think, "why do they think we need motivation?". I'm up no later than 5AM EVERY morning (Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays included) working on one of my sites or sending e-mails to merchants or pouring over stats or creating a new PPC campaign or doing the books or one of the other thousand or so tasks that I need to accomplish every day. When I finish work every night around 10 or 11PM I'm pretty damn tired. If I were any more motivated I'd probably have a stroke.

    So Please, STOP TRYING TO MOTIVATE ME. The need to eat and have someplace to sleep does a pretty good job of keeping me motivated.

    If you want me to promote your program, then give me some compelling reasons:

    - Sell me on what's different and special about your program.
    - Sell me on the fact that you have reasonable return days.
    - Sell me on your competitive commission
    - Sell me on your low reversals
    - Sell me on the fact that you don't allow parasites in your program, and never will.
    - Sell me on how responsive you are (and then prove it)

    SELL me on your program.

    Don't waste your time or mine trying to MOTIVATE me. Because guess what? The programs that I'm up at 5AM promoting are the ones that SOLD me. They convinced me that the time spent promoting their program will provide a greater return than yours. WHY? Because while you were busy trying to motivate me, they were busy selling me.

    -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

  17. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    This is good stuff and am relaying the advice to my team. Sounds like the way to get to Rematt is by sending food and a comfy pillow!

  18. #18
    Banned Snowfinch's Avatar
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    QUOTE: "issuing ultimatums"

    ***Clearing Throat***

    That sounds more like a way of getting an affiliate to drop you than to motivate them.

    Which may be a good thing, you can avoid "deactivating due to inactivity".

  19. #19
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    This is good stuff and am relaying the advice to my team. Sounds like the way to get to Rematt is by sending food and a comfy pillow!
    ...and don't forget the coffee! Lots and lots of coffee!

    -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

  20. #20
    Newbie Clikio.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Every couple of months or so someone starts one of these threads or resurrects an old one. And each and every time I have to think, "why do they think we need motivation?". I'm up no later than 5AM EVERY morning (Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays included) working on one of my sites or sending e-mails to merchants or pouring over stats or creating a new PPC campaign or doing the books or one of the other thousand or so tasks that I need to accomplish every day. When I finish work every night around 10 or 11PM I'm pretty damn tired. If I were any more motivated I'd probably have a stroke.

    So Please, STOP TRYING TO MOTIVATE ME. The need to eat and have someplace to sleep does a pretty good job of keeping me motivated.

    If you want me to promote your program, then give me some compelling reasons:

    - Sell me on what's different and special about your program.
    - Sell me on the fact that you have reasonable return days.
    - Sell me on your competitive commission
    - Sell me on your low reversals
    - Sell me on the fact that you don't allow parasites in your program, and never will.
    - Sell me on how responsive you are (and then prove it)

    SELL me on your program.

    Don't waste your time or mine trying to MOTIVATE me. Because guess what? The programs that I'm up at 5AM promoting are the ones that SOLD me. They convinced me that the time spent promoting their program will provide a greater return than yours. WHY? Because while you were busy trying to motivate me, they were busy selling me.

    -rematt
    Awesome post Rematt!! I actually laughed out loud. And it was followed by some great advice. At least I hope its great advise because I intend to follow it. Thanks and go get some rest.

  21. #21
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    "Sounds like the way to get to Rematt is by sending food and a comfy pillow! . . . ...and don't forget the coffee! Lots and lots of coffee!" <

    When I was a reporter for InfoWorld magazine (wow, 23 years ago!), I was always annoyed when technology companies or PR agencies announced "news conferences" that forced me to waste 2, 3 or 4 hours, only to find that the "news" was neither new nor interesting.

    One of the PR agencies took advantage of reporters' disdain for time-wasting "press conferences" by sending (via FedEx) a "breakfast press conference in a box." It included a pastry, a coffee mug, some instant coffee/tea/cocoa, the "free thing" (t-shirt, tote bag, whatever), and the press kit -- all without my ever needing to leave the office.

    I liked it. It got my attention.

  22. #22
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    One of the PR agencies took advantage of reporters' disdain for time-wasting "press conferences" by sending (via FedEx) a "breakfast press conference in a box." It included a pastry, a coffee mug, some instant coffee/tea/cocoa, the "free thing" (t-shirt, tote bag, whatever), and the press kit -- all without my ever needing to leave the office.

    I liked it. It got my attention.
    Mark, I think you just hit on what's missing from a lot of programs today. Hey AMs, instead of trying to motivate, INNOVATE! Break up the tedium of placing 1,000 links today with something fun. Make me laugh, smile or at least chuckle. Do something that makes your program stand out from the crowd.

    It's amazing that I don't see "motivation" e-mails from the AMs active here. They have contests, activation bonuses and games and know the importance of just having a little fun sometimes. Some of them are actually interested in why we don't wear pants (sick puppies).

    So any AM that's tempted to send out an activation e-mail, pull the stick out of your butt, take the afternoon off and try to think of some way to create excitement; not resentment.

    -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

  23. #23
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Just following Mark & rematt in this post is motivating me.

    Great insight fellas. -

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  24. #24
    Banned Snowfinch's Avatar
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    Hmmm.... The problem with this entire thread is the fact that we are all different. What might work to "motivate" you may not work to "motivate" me.

    I know plenty of people, including post by some that I have seen in this forum, who consider pretty much any e-mail they get as that dreaded SPAM.

    Personally, I don't care if I wake up and find 100 e-mails in my box.

    To one affiliate... contest are fun. To another they are stupid.

    To one affiliate... games are exciting. To another they are a waste of time.

    People are different. They come in and ask us questions and the advice they get is from a very select few. The few don't really speak for the majority.

    Who are we to decide what will "motivate" ALL affiliates?

    We only know what will motivate us or a few others we have dealt with.

    Many of the AMs do great jobs trying to please as many of their affiliates as possible. But they can't please them all and can't "motivate" them all.

    Some AMs sit on their butts and don't do anything and then complain that we aren't motivated.

    If there is one thing we all have in common, it is the fact we are all different in one way or another.

    That "why don't we wear pants" contest brings excitement to this forum to many. To some, it doesn't.

    No AM will ever be able to please or "motivate" every affiliate.

  25. #25
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfinch
    Hmmm.... The problem with this entire thread is the fact that we are all different. What might work to "motivate" you may not work to "motivate" me..
    Yes, and every visitor to one of my sites is different, has different needs and desires. Can I appeal to all of them? Probably not. Should I just give up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowfinch
    No AM will ever be able to please or "motivate" every affiliate.
    Perhaps not. But I think we can all agree that get "get active or get out" e-mails are a great way to de-motivate. And I really think you're missing my main point. I DON'T NEED OR WANT TO BE MOTIVATED BY AN AM! My motivation comes from my desire to excel and my need for sustenance.

    I think motivation was a bad choice of words from the start. The problem faced by many AMs is that there tends to be a large number of affiliates in every program that join and never become active for a variety of reasons. Which when you stop to think about it, really isn't a problem at all, the smart AMs work with the affiliates that are active and producing.

    For some reason unbeknownst to us, the AMs of some of these programs forget that they are affiliate managers and begin to believe that they're sales managers. Now the job of a sales manager is to train, direct, correct and yes; to motivate. But I'm not one of their sales people. Affiliate managers manage an affiliate program, not affiliates. As someone once said, that would be like herding cats.

    -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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