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  1. #1
    Newbie TimeCenter's Avatar
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    April 24th, 2009
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    Smile Help me setup a juicy affiliate program
    I am setting up an account with SAS, but I am not sure about what commission to offer.
    I don't want it to be too low, it should feel like a good opportunity for our affiliates.

    We have a subscription service with an average first sale being about $120.
    We would like to pay one time commission that is big enough to be attractive.

    Do affiliates prefer percent or a high amount based on our average?
    We would also like to offer a per-lead amount.

    How much should the CPA and CPL rates be to generate interest from affiliates?
    Meaning they should be over the usual rates of other merchants.

    Any tips are welcome!

  2. #2
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    It really depends on the niche you're in, and what you can afford based on a reasonable "drop-off rate" for your subscriptions.

    For web hosting subscriptions, there are many merchants offering 100% or more of the first month's hosting fees. A few require pre-payment for 3 months and offer more than 100% of the first month's fees.

    You might also consider a recurring commission (such as 25% of each months' subscription fees, for as long as the subscription continues). This can be a huge accounting and technical issue.

    You should also be very clear about any "contingencies" -- if payment is not based on the first month's payment but is actually contingent on renewal payment for the second month, say so.

    FYI, someone else announced a subscription-service (website monitoring) affiliate program today (http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=115500), so you might want to monitor that thread to see any affiliate responses.

    The first place to look, always, is at your competitors. What are they offering? How do their affiliates respond?

    One of the most common complaints about affiliate programs connected with "subscriptions" is that there are frequently very high reversal rates (due to cancelled subscriptions, credit-card disputes, and fraudulent orders).

    It may also be helpful to identify "aligned non-competing merchants," to seek out advice. For example, someone selling website-monitoring services would absolutely want to talk to some web-hosting resellers who operate affiliate programs, to get some advice.

  3. #3
    Newbie TimeCenter's Avatar
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    Hi Mark!

    We have an online scheduling service for small companies.
    So it's not near as overcrowded as web hosting.

    Very few of our competitors have affiliate programs.
    So I think that we will be first to join a big network.

    Our customers pay in advance.
    So we don't have any problems with chargebacks or the other issues you mentioned.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    January 6th, 2009
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    Orlando, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    It really depends on the niche you're in, and what you can afford based on a reasonable "drop-off rate" for your subscriptions.

    FYI, someone else announced a subscription-service (website monitoring) affiliate program today (http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=115500), so you might want to monitor that thread to see any affiliate responses.

    The first place to look, always, is at your competitors. What are they offering? How do their affiliates respond?

    One of the most common complaints about affiliate programs connected with "subscriptions" is that there are frequently very high reversal rates (due to cancelled subscriptions, credit-card disputes, and fraudulent orders).

    It may also be helpful to identify "aligned non-competing merchants," to seek out advice. For example, someone selling website-monitoring services would absolutely want to talk to some web-hosting resellers who operate affiliate programs, to get some advice.

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for plugging our thread that was posted today. We posted a reminder that it wasn't too late to participate in our April 2009 promotion.

    I had heard the same complaint about reversal rates for subscription program. Fortunately, we have had limited affiliate reversals that stemmed from fraudulent orders from a small number of affiliates that practiced fraud. Other than that we are not experiencing much in reversals in our affiliate program and outside or our affiliate program.

    As far as the commissions, I have found that the one time payment especially if it is large attracts affiliates. (For example our affiliates can make approximately anywhere from $26-$104 per annual subscription.) However, make sure you leave room to increase the commission rate for affiliates that take your program seriously and generate sales. You want to be able to reward the top performers.

    I agree with Mark point that it makes sense to speak to aligned non-competing merchants. Feel free to reach out to me. I will help you as much as I can.

  5. #5
    Newbie TimeCenter's Avatar
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    Hi Kathy!

    We are not that much aligned, but definitely non-competing. =)
    I think that you have a great offer - 65% is a lot!

    How do you discover and combat fraud?
    Is it something I have to do, or does SAS help me with this?

    Was the fraud related to lead or sale commission?
    I am guessing lead.

    Mark scared me a little with his guide in his sig.
    Check out the section about Reasons Not to Add an Affiliate Program.
    I realized that the SAS program doesn't give any SEO benefits.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    January 6th, 2009
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    Orlando, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeCenter
    Hi Kathy!

    We are not that much aligned, but definitely non-competing. =)
    I think that you have a great offer - 65% is a lot!

    How do you discover and combat fraud?
    Is it something I have to do, or does SAS help me with this?

    Was the fraud related to lead or sale commission?
    I am guessing lead.

    Mark scared me a little with his guide in his sig.
    Check out the section about Reasons Not to Add an Affiliate Program.
    I realized that the SAS program doesn't give any SEO benefits.

    Hello Timecenter,

    We strive to make our affiliate program and product better than all of our competitors. We offer a one time 65% on our monthly subscriptions and 25% on our annual subscriptions. You can program different commission rates through SAS with a little bit of extra work.

    The fraud we encountered was through a sale commission. Once our customer purchases our product, they need to set up their account so we can provide a service. When that does not happen, it sends a flag up immediately. Through SAS you can go to the page that the potential sale came from. If it does not have your banner or link that is also another red flag that the sale may be fraudulent. I have found that the folks at ShareASale have been great to work with. If you feel the you have potential fraud occurring they investigate it immediately. In the cases that we felt it was fraud they investigated and confirmed it was. They then banned the affililate from their network. I would also suggest getting from SAS their recommendations on how to set up your approval process to reduce fraud. Once we implemented their recommendations, we have reduced the amount of fraud significantly.

    FYI...Mark offers a lot of great information. I would check out his Affiliate Recruitment Strategies.

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