Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    June 4th, 2008
    Posts
    3
    Question Recruiting customers as affiliates? E-mail signature referrals?
    Dear friends,

    Hello and thank you again for this forum and for the opportunity to ask a question!

    I am an affiliate program manager of an online niche gift shop. I have a question that I would appreciate your advice on. I feel that it may be of interest to other affiliate managers too.

    Until today we have excepted to our affiliate program only affiliates who run websites.

    The merchant I am working for has a big list of customers, and we have been playing with the thought of recruiting our customers (including those who don't own website) to join our team of affiliates. Our hope is that the affiliate commissions promised will motivate our customers to refer other people to our shop. In this context, we would like to ask our customers to add to their e-mail's signature the referral url code and earn commission with every customer referred to our shop by clicking on their signature's link.

    However, we are a little hesitant with the implementation this customer / e-mail signature affiliate program. Our fear here is that customers will purchase products during sessions initiated through their own affiliate links, instead of for referring friends, ending up in less referrals for our shop and more existing customers gaining discounts / commissions for their own orders.

    It is true that we can include on our program terms a clause that such conduct is not acceptable (I think Amazon Associates does that), but it seems it will be very difficult to enforce such a policy.

    By the way, if I am not mistaken, I remember reading somewhere that Barnes & Noble had an e-mail affiliate program offering customers to add an affiliate url code to their e-mail signature. As far as I remember this program was discontinued several years ago. Anyone know why it was closed?

    I would appreciate if anyone could share their thoughts on the above mentioned matter,

    Thank you in advance and have a lovely day!

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 21st, 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    2,838
    Hey pepo, can you shoot me an email? I am interested in discussing some ideas with you. Thanks!
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 23rd, 2009
    Location
    Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    328
    Instead of an affiliate program geared to your customer base, why not a "reward" program for referrals?

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,646
    If you offer the signature idea to customers you would expect them to use it for a discount. If you can offer a discount to existing customers equal to your affiliate commission then why not use that to drive more sales. Remember if you have a 30 day cookie and the customer uses an affiliate link to buy then after the 30 day period they would no longer receive a commission for their sales. But, if they have drive 3 more people to your program they made commissions and you increased sales. Affiliate programs can serve as customer acquisition channels too!

  5. #5
    .
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    There are three separate issues here:

    First, you identified the idea that your existing customers are likely to be effective affiliates. You're absolutely right; I always recommend that any new affiliate program be launched first to existing customers, who are likely to provide very positive endorsements and to be engaged in activities that bring them into contact with other potential customers. However, only a tiny fraction of your existing customers will actually become affiliates and generate traffic for you.

    Second, you identified the issue of customer/affiliates earning commissions on their own purchases. As you note, some companies prohibit this (Amazon being the biggest example), and you also recognize that it may be difficult to enforce such a policy. I assume that your goal is to increase profits by offering an affiliate program, rather than decreasing profits through "rebating." There is no right or wrong answer, but I think the vast majority of merchants allow their affiliates to earn commissions on their own purchases. One reason is that affiliates are then more likely to buy from you, and after buying from you, they will be in a position to endorse you if you exceed their expectations.

    Third, you identified the idea of encouraging your customers to include your affiliate links in their email signatures. This is a very, very bad idea. It will absolutely create an issue with spam complaints -- some people will complain that your customer/affiliate sent them spam email, and some of your customers/affiliates will engage in improper emailing activities in order to seek personal profit through your affiliate program. Don't do it.

    Personally, I think it's a bad idea for anyone to ever put third-party paid links in an email signature.

  6. #6
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
    Location
    The Windy City
    Posts
    4,140
    Funny you should ask. I just received an e-mail today from a merchant (one that I buy from but am not affiliated with) that's offering a 10% coupon for forwarding their promotional e-mail to a friend.

    * 10% off your total order through April 26, 2009. Must click the Forward to a Friend link and enter your friendís e-mail address to receive offer code. Sending this e-mail to a friend using our Forward to a Friend button will not automatically subscribe them to our mailing list. Enter code at checkout to receive discount. Cannot be combined with other offers, excludes gift cards and cannot be applied to previous or pending purchases.
    I'm sending them all of your e-mail addresses and demanding a 5,000,000% discount.

    -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

  7. #7
    Newbie
    Join Date
    June 4th, 2008
    Posts
    3
    thanks guys for all these comments, it is very helpful and appreciated.

    FriendlyPlanetTravel - what is exactly a "reward" program for referrals? How is it different from an affiliate program geared to a customer base? Could you please clarify? Thank you!

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 23rd, 2009
    Location
    Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    328
    Quote Originally Posted by pepo
    thanks guys for all these comments, it is very helpful and appreciated.

    FriendlyPlanetTravel - what is exactly a "reward" program for referrals? How is it different from an affiliate program geared to a customer base? Could you please clarify? Thank you!
    Reward program for customers vs affiliate program for customers differs in that affiliates want cash whereas for customers you pay them in product. That is for example refer 10 friends get a free trip. or $X in site credit per referral.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager brett-e2's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 19th, 2009
    Posts
    97
    I just finished sending out an email to all of our current customers to encourage them to join our program. I told them that they could do little things to generate traffic. Being in the web hosting business, all of our customers have websites, so I mentioned that a "hosted by eleven2" at the bottom of their site would be a good idea. In your case you could tell any of your customers who blog to give you a shout-out.

  10. #10
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    May 31st, 2006
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    4,731
    Brett-e2,

    I guess your customers are slightly differnet than the OP's customers. Your might be a bit mote tech savvy and know how to monitize their traffic as oppose to the OP.

    I would definately go down the Refer a Friend or Customer Reward program. Checkout companies like Continental Airlines or Victoria's Secret where they do customer loyalty and somehow tie it into your friend referal.

  11. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Ideal Revenue recruiting e-mail...
    By Geno Prussakov in forum Other Affiliate Networks
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: June 27th, 2006, 03:54 PM
  2. Ideal Revenue recruiting e-mail...
    By Geno Prussakov in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: June 25th, 2006, 12:50 AM
  3. how to e-mail your customers?
    By brickbug in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: November 11th, 2003, 03:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •