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  1. #1
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    Our Lowdown, Your thoughts & opinions Please!
    Our company has been w/the google affiliate network since october, we have 600+ affiliates, only about 100 are active and a much smaller % are bringing in sales, this month we have made about 600- our Goal is for this program to pay for itself (it costs 500/month) by June, so in 4 months, getting it up to 10,000/month in sales via our affiliates.

    I am a brand new Affiliate Manager (in house), I've been working on the program for less than 2 months for 10 hrs / week and have been upgraded to 15 hours / week today,

    I am preparing our first newsletter

    Working on more creative and a data feed (is the feed very important/helpful?)

    thinking of adding us to popshops and greenaffiliatenetwork

    working on increasing our commission from 5% to something higher

    and working on adding new and better coupons/bargains for those site

    how does this all sound to you?

    thank you for reading!

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Sarah, I think that all of your ideas for growing your program are great, however, the 2 largest barriers to your success are the amount of time that you are allowed to commit to the program and (no offense intended) your lack of experience.

    Both of these can be remedied by hiring an OPM (Outsourced Program Manager) at least for a limited time to help you get the program off the ground. An experienced OPM can help with the recruitment of producing affiliates as well as provide the incentives needed to get you current affiliate base more active. They can guide you in determining the appropriate commission rate as well as help you set reasonable goals for yourself and your management.

    At the same time you could be trained/groomed to continue the program once it's reached an acceptable growth level. As the program grows your commitment will need to be expanded, ideally to full time.

    Of course this would add an additional cost to the program but may ultimately be your best chance at success.

    I think you "get it", you just need a little help in the implementation.

    Good luck!

    -rematt

    Oops, forgot to add: There are plenty of great OPMs here that I'm sure would be more than willing to give you a free consultation. Right Guys?
    Last edited by rematt; January 28th, 2009 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Oops, forgot to add:
    "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

  3. #3
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    thx for the reply....I'm thinking about what you say and would love to hear more opinions and thoughts, anyone?

  4. #4
    15 years and counting
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    Hi Sarah,

    I'm one of your affiliates and I made several sales, so I know your program convert. Your post sounds good. I noticed the comm. was pretty low, it's one of the reason I didn't push your program more. More creatives and offers should help, too.

  5. #5
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    Hi Zeus, thank you for your reply.

    Would you have some time to chat with me about specific creative that you would like to see?

    Do you Skype?

    thx

    once again, all your thoughts are wanted! thx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfinsarah
    Our company has been w/the google affiliate network since october, we have 600+ affiliates, only about 100 are active and a much smaller % are bringing in sales, this month we have made about 600- our Goal is for this program to pay for itself (it costs 500/month) by June, so in 4 months, getting it up to 10,000/month in sales via our affiliates.

    So you want to go from $600 per month to $10,000 per month in the next 4 months?

    You only work 15 hours per week, and you are new to affiliate marketing.

    You really need more than 15 hours per week. This should be a full-time position if you want to grow the affiliate sales. It just seems extremely unrealistic to want such an increase in sales with so little time and experience.

    I am not trying to discourage you though. Try to get more hours from your bosses. Also, try to get some help from an OPM as stated in a different post.

  7. #7
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    I want open and honest opinions here and I appreciate that.

    To Clarify, you are saying that even if I had 40 hours per week at this, given my lack of experience it would still be difficult to reach this goal?

    I am trying to see for myself what is realistic, I am struggling a bit with this responsibility as I am so inexperienced with this I feel unsure of what I am doing and I want to be able to tell my boss the honest situation and what we need to make this work.

    I am also wondering, is it Essential to work 40 hours per week to create a successful program?

    thx

  8. #8
    Newbie motivebrendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    So you want to go from $600 per month to $10,000 per month in the next 4 months?

    You only work 15 hours per week, and you are new to affiliate marketing.

    You really need more than 15 hours per week. This should be a full-time position if you want to grow the affiliate sales. It just seems extremely unrealistic to want such an increase in sales with so little time and experience.

    I am not trying to discourage you though. Try to get more hours from your bosses. Also, try to get some help from an OPM as stated in a different post.
    I agree this is a full time gig it will be hard to reach your goals with such limited time. 15 hours a week! Man that is one day for me I need to get a new gig

  9. #9
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    Is it ok to assume that you are going to learn affiliate marketing in your free time? and just use the 15 hours per week for your merchant duties?

    If you are willing to learn, you can boost your merchant affiliate program tremendously.

    Just maybe not in 4 months though

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Is it ok to assume that you are going to learn affiliate marketing in your free time? and just use the 15 hours per week for your merchant duties?

    If you are willing to learn, you can boost your merchant affiliate program tremendously.

    Just maybe not in 4 months though
    Julian, Please tell me what specifically my merchant duties should look like.

  11. #11
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    This sounds like an ebook in the making ... how to make $10K a mo with no knowledge whatsoever and working only 10 hrs a week.

    You ...

    1. pick a hot niche --- ECO stuff
    2. make a blog
    3. Add a shopping cart (doesn't matter that it's so damn user unfriendly)
    4. Don't test the site just put it on an affiliate program as soon as possible
    5. Yeah pick the one run by Google (GAN) it's google it'll work in 6 months
    6. wait

    Honestly it's merchants like these that never should open a program to begin with, the site sucks, the program itself is lacking and the AM won't work more than 15 hours a week ... are you freaking kidding me?

    Not saying that things can't be improved but this looks like the GAN sales team was recovering from an all-night binge by allowing this weak program to even see the light of day.

    No offense Sarah - I don't mince words.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  12. #12
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    wow, that wasn't very nice and loaded with assumptions. thanks for your help.

  13. #13
    Newbie motivebrendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfinsarah
    wow, that wasn't very nice and loaded with assumptions. thanks for your help.
    Yeah a little bit harsh - this 'aint wickedfire.com

  14. #14
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    It's real, do you want people to pamper you or you want the truth.

    As for "assumptions" there isn't any, it's all your own words.

    ------------

    BTW, Brendan ... easy with the whisper marketing campaigns OK?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    It's real, do you want people to pamper you or you want the truth.

    As for "assumptions" there isn't any, it's all your own words.

    ------------
    Yes I do want truth.

    It sounded to me like you were saying, our website sucks and its just a blog with an unfriendly cart...when in fact we collectively have put LOTS of effort into our website and cart to make it user friendly, we really care about what we do and are founded by some really kind great people.

    I am thinking of doing a manager training, anyone have any thoughts on:

    accertified.com

    We have a meeting tomorrow w/google to review our program.

    I am feeling I am in over my head with this and am trying to figure out what we need to do about this. I am not sure me training will be helpful enough...maybe we do need to outsource someone to help.
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; January 29th, 2009 at 07:52 PM. Reason: as indicated in my post below

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfinsarah
    I am feeling I am in over my head with this and am trying to figure out what we need to do about this. I am not sure me training will be helpful enough...maybe we do need to outsource someone to help.
    Yes, you are probably over your head with this. No merchant should hire an inexperienced person to manage their affiliate program.

    You need to start at the bottom as part of team and learn this business before you can run a merchant program.

    An inexperinced affiliate manager will kill a program very quickly.

  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Good, that means your serious about the success of the program and apparently overly constrained.

    1. Yes the site looks like a blog with a cart added on
    2. The site and cart are completely unusual from the standard norms look and feel wise
    3. The cart isn't user friendly - it's obtuse actually
    4. The work that has been put into it must have been by people who really don't know the business, I don't doubt the effort, I just don't think plumbers should do brain surgury ... that's and extreme example but this is business - it's about $$$
    5. Really great and kind people doesn't make them business people - this is a business right?
    6. You taking a course will not do anything at this juncture, you put the cart before the horse was even in the barn ... you set up an affiliate program for a site that has no idea how to do ecommerce. I'd suggest you drop the affiliate program, get someone to redesign the site then make it sell, then expand your reach with an affiliate program (that's the way it works - you sell the stuff (convert)). The way it is now, your expecting your affiliate program to create your brand based off the affiliate traffic and the products... that's not how it works. The only one who really makes money doing this is GAN, not you, nor your affiliates ... your site done right, should do millions a month ... not $10K

    I highly suggest you get a consultant to tell you the truth, rip the stuff up and start anew, the niche is hot, the money is there, the foundation as well, just do it right, and from the start.

    Thank you for not being offended, as I said it's the truth - you'll see the difference when you do it right, trust me.

    BTW, I'm going to unlink Acccertified, as I don't want it to look like we endorse them.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  18. #18
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    ---
    Last edited by surfinsarah; January 29th, 2009 at 08:49 PM.

  19. #19
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    You will gain a lot of respect if you stick around and listen to the suggestions.

  20. #20
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Sarah, I'm sorry that many of the responses that you've received seem harsh, I don't think anyone here is trying to be mean, just realistic. Believe it or not, you've received some very valuable information, it may not be what you wanted to hear but that doesn't change the validity of the assessments.

    Unfortunately you've been put in a position to fail. It's not your fault and it has nothing to do with whether you're willing to do what it takes to succeed or not. At this point in time, you simply don't know what you don't know. To make matters worse, it appears that your management is just as new at this as you are (pardon the assumption if I'm wrong).

    I'll go back to my original suggestion and again recommend that you consult with an OPM. Not just you, but you're entire management team. Let an OPM review your site, your cart, your goals for the program, whether you've selected the best network for your site, etc. Allow them to give you a fair assessment of how your chance of success looks today and what steps you'd need to take in the short and long term to improve those chances.

    It sounds like there are some very motivated individuals in your organization (including you), but unfortunately motivation without proper direction still usually leads to failure. Take advantage of the experience and knowledge that an OPM brings to the table. You certainly wouldn't build a building without hiring an architect first.

    Good luck.

    -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

  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Hi Sarah, you need to look at working your program long term. Have a goal that you will grow program and increase it about an extra 500.00 per month each month for the next year. Going from 600.00 to 10,000.00 in four months is not always that simple. Often it depends on your products, the way you do your own marketing on your store to help customers convert to sales. Get your customers buying now and coming back a few times more. While at the cart, get them to maybe buy one item more with a suggestion, etc. Even if you work at it 60 hours per week for the next four months, that alone will not get you quick sales.

    Stay here on ABW, keep working asking questions and motivate your affiliates. You already had one affiliate tell you "I know your program converts" and "more creatives and should help too". That is what you need feedback like that from an affiliate telling you they made a few sales.

    Don't get too tied down wanting to talk with affiliates on phone or by email, just keep at it especially here.

    Welcome to ABW

  22. #22
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    Thanks again for the replies...I agree, there is a lot of good practical info here...which is what I started to say yesterday in my post...then I talked to someone else and their perspective came into in it and I decided I didn't quite know what to say yet so I wouldn't say anything...so here I am again...

    I do appreciate all your responses, I was surprised actually, I wasn't sure if this thread would get much response or not and I am liking this forum even more because of all of these responses...our company and myself personally needed something to change in this situation.

    What matters is that now we know a lot more about what we can do to succeed at this and I am very relieved for that.

    I am now interviewing consultants to work with, any suggestions on finding someone?

    Have a great day all,
    Sarah

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfinsarah
    I am now interviewing consultants to work with, any suggestions on finding someone?

    Have a great day all,
    Sarah

    Take a look at http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=236

  24. #24
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfinsarah
    I am now interviewing consultants to work with, any suggestions on finding someone?
    Sarah, there are some of the best OPMs in the industry active here on ABW. I'd very be surprised if you aren't contacted by several of them after reading this thread. You need to provide an e-mail address for them as you can't receive PMs yet and they may prefer to contact you privately.

    Glad to see you're still with us, I thought that maybe we'd scared you off. With your attitude and the right direction you're destined to have a great program.

    Good luck!!!!!

    -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

  25. #25
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    thx for the info, I'll look into that, I did have one OPM contact me. It would take a lot more than that to scare me off.

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