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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Merchant new to Affiliate Marketing!!
    We are a start-up in high end consumer electronics. I was just wondering if you guys can give me some advice on which Affiliate network to go with? and once signed up, how we should conduct business to be a merchant that Affiliates would enjoy working with, apart from paying high commissions

    I can see from previous voting contests that shareasale seems to be the most popular one here. Are they the best for merchants also?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    SAS is good , buy.at also.
    READ the forum posts, there are plenty of threads on what affiliates want from a merchant. (basic rule - do unto others as you would want them to do unto you - ie. be fair, honest,communicate etc)

  3. #3
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    I use SAS and I've been really happy (From the affiliate end of things). One thing that I've noticed is that SAS merchants respond more often to my emails then CJ and Linkshare merchants.

  4. #4
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Make sure you look at this thread and others in the Linkshare forum if you are also considering them.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You need to do a competitive analysis by checking your competitors in the Top 4 networks: Commission Junction, Google, LinkShare and Shareasale. Find out what others are offering and see if you can meet or beat it.

    First and foremost, do not create an affiliate program for a non-converting site. You will only waste a lot of money and time. Not to mention burn relationships with affiliates.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Welcome newmerch! You will find ABW is the best place for merchants to learn all of the little things (and big things) about running a great affiliate program. If I can be of any help, let me know!
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  7. #7
    Member ETRdahir's Avatar
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    Hi Newmerch. You have come to the right place. Pretty much any and all questions or concerns can be addressed here from the best in the affiliate marketing arena. SAS is probably your best bet as many have already told you. You can run a program in house if you have a list to promote to which can help get the ball rolling, but an affiliate network is the best way togo.

  8. #8
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    Thanks very much everyone for your input...

    How about having a managed service? We are not sure if we should do this in-house as we still do not have any experience with Affiliate Programs and we really need a good start. Would it be worth paying extra to have the whole thing managed? and is management by the big Affiliate networks something we should consider?

  9. #9
    Member ETRdahir's Avatar
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    There are plenty of quality OPM's on here that can help with that. Using a Outsourced Program Manager may be the way togo if you don't have a Affiliate Manager handling your Affiliate Program and if you are limited in resources. Let an OPM take the stress out of Managing your affiliate program.

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    For a network to manage a program you need to be producing close to a $ million a month in affiliate sales or expect to pay $10k per month to the network.

    Yes, an OPM would be the best route to follow: http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=209

  11. #11
    Newbie Bill-VendoQ's Avatar
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    You should try SaS at the beginning, because the initial costs are lower at SaS and it is a network with a great reputation. Most affiliates like it more than CJ or Linkshare.

    Good Luck with you business

  12. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Bill, Shareasale is a great network and I have several programs there that are doing well. Still, you do a disservice to affiliates to throw a non-converting program to a network because it is cheap to launch. I have said this dozens of times and will continue to preach it. Adding an affiliate program to a non-converting site will not magically make it start selling. Work on the conversion with PPC and SEO and when you are getting at least 3% click to sale conversion then introduce it to affiliates. On the other hand, if you have affiliates contacting you about selling your products either an in-house program or a launch on SAS is a good idea.

  13. #13
    Newbie Bill-VendoQ's Avatar
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    Chuck, that's right but we don't know anything about the conversion rate neither do we know what products are exactly sold by the business in question. So i have to assume that this business is a startup that is already doing well and sells something that sets it appart from the competition.

    Everything you say is right, but it seems from the original post that the decision to use the affiliate sales channel has already been made. So our advice begins at this point.

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi newmerch

    Welcome to ABW, lots of good advise already on the network, and a lot will also depend on what you are selling, not every type of product succeeds on every network. Feel free to drop me an email at chris /at/ amwso.net if you'd like to discuss more regarding program management.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  15. #15
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    Very good advice from all, thank you

    I will tell you a little about the business so you can have a better idea. We will be selling high-end consumer electronics, anything from the latest digital cameras to Laptops and so on. The site will be auction based, to give you an idea it is similar to s w o o p o dot c o m however with a new twist, which unfortunately I could not discuss. The site will go live in 8 weeks and we have arranged quiet a lot of PR through newspapers, TV stations, and online which will start a few weeks before launch, and will continue throughout the year.

    So I suppose we also need to know at what stage we should introduce an Affiliate program? Or perhaps you have experience with this type of business and you do not think it will ever be converting at a high enough % anyway?!

  16. #16
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    From an affiliate's perspective: I prefer working with merchants who have a tried and tested business. In other words, a merchant who's built their brand and done some research into conversion rates on their site. So affiliate marketing becomes an extension of their brand and is built on their branded model.

    While it's up to affiliates to find unique ways of driving traffic and sales to their affiliated merchants, we do expect that the merchant has a brand/platform that will close the sale for us.

  17. #17
    Member ETRdahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibby
    From an affiliate's perspective: I prefer working with merchants who have a tried and tested business. In other words, a merchant who's built their brand and done some research into conversion rates on their site. So affiliate marketing becomes an extension of their brand and is built on their branded model.

    While it's up to affiliates to find unique ways of driving traffic and sales to their affiliated merchants, we do expect that the merchant has a brand/platform that will close the sale for us.
    Bibby, I may have the perfect program for you if you can drive traffic to niches like forex, real estate, finance, internet marketing, and marketing in general. If interested check out my profile and you can see if our affiliate program is up your alley.

    For NewMerch, I still think working with an OPM from this forum will save you a lot of stress and time managing your Affiliate Program. If you don't have an AM in house and OPM is your best bet. There are OPM's on here who have been managing affiliate programs for years and have brought in big $$$. But you have to see how it fits in to your bottom line of course.

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