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  1. #1
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    I'm curious as to what is the best way to create a bonus, or incentive program to encourage affiliates to sign up and give prominent position to merchant new programs? I know affiliates are extraordinarily busy, so want to know what makes meaningful promotion?

    What type of promotion would be most appealing?

    a) 100% commission on first 10 sales during one week on launch
    b) Launch program and get a free gift ($20-ish) after first sale
    c) 100% commission on all sales over $5,000 during first month
    d) Special creative made for affiliates to co-brand affiliate/merchant

    Which of the above four is most appealing, or are they?

    What other promotions/bonuses have you seen that you consider the best incentive to launch, and really feature, a new merchant program?

    thnx

  2. #2
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    Hi Mark

    I have had success in the past with merchant clients doing a bounty for a certain # of orders.. such as $5.00 extra per order after your first 5 orders. Of course that works best for Q4 or Mother's Day etc when it's not tough for an affiliate to be getting enough orders to make it worth their while. Also a fair contest can be based on conversions rather than top # of sales, that way even your "smallest" affiliate has a chance.

    I have have actually had affiliates tell me that contests and prizes etc were no big deal but in the past I have done such promotions as sending a top affiliate to Hawaii after a 3 month conversion rate contest and I bet she had a good time

    I was able to set up bounties in beFree, not sure about other networks and their bounty payouts. If you want to chat more feel free to PM or email or call.

    Nice to meet you!
    Lizabeth Sorensen
    Affiliate Program Consultant
    lizATemerchantconsultingDOTCOM
    www.emerchantconsulting.com
    518-233-7431 EST.

  3. #3
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    100% commision, while it sounds appealing, also scares the crap out of me. You would be in trouble very quickly if someone abused that system.

    A free gift for first sale seems to have worked well for another program here. It wasn't why I signed on, but it was a nice bonus. Also, I have signed up for and promoted merchants that offered a bonus for reaching a certain dollar amount, again, example would be $50 bonus for reaching $50 in commissions (initially not limited in time, since it takes a while for sites to hit the Search Engines.)

    Things like that, that are achievable, have caught my eye. Things like "first sale this month for any affiliate" or "get a bonus at $1000 or 50 products sold" don't tend to get my attention because they seem unachievable.

    Another good one, is an extra 5% for using the data feed or adding a link or graphic above the fold. Although I do not like having to renew the bonus every month, as required by one merchant.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
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    Launch promotions are cool, but short-term. For the long term, I like multi-tiered performance incentives. Some tiers should be low enough to hit without a great deal of trouble, but some should be higher. That way, there's a good chance of getting some reward fairly quickly but there's still always another tier to reach for and keep the motivation up.

    Usually these are set up so it's like, "Sell XX items (or $XXX worth) in a month, and get $XX (or $XXX for the higher tiers) bonus"

    And the best ones are ongoing from month to month. So even though each month's bonuses are calculated on that month's sales, it's never really "too late" to get a bonus. If a site doesn't get a bonus one month, there's always the next month. Every month that the site passes the threshhold, a bonus is generated.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Hi Mark,

    I'll be happy to tell you what DOESN'T work for me and you can use it or not...

    A Poster merchant would only approve me if I placed a big ugly ad on my main page (not my posters page) for ... I forgot ... but I think it was for a month. I said no.

    Just last week a genealogy merchant offered a bonus ONLY if someone clicked on their new DRM link. I had 20 other links on that page (including the standard type your family name here search box), their current sale of the week, etc - but none of those would count. I said no! (And I feel gipped that I'm not participating in the "bonus" program!!)

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    one more Mark...

    100% commission on all sales over $5,000 during first month

    There are a lot of affiliates who wonder who these people are that make $5000 a month (or whatever) when they're only making $100 a month - and when they see a figure like $5000, it immediately scares them off, as they assume only the pros or the parasites will win it. Or they assume only an aff that specializes in that one product - has a whole website devoted to Barbie Dresses and you're a Barbie Dress merchant) will win.

    When I get these offers I immediately try to figure out how much work would be involved on my end, and what the odds are of achieving it:

    For example, if you were a car parts merchant, I'd burn the email!! They convert 1 in 1000 and it would take a LOT of work to get that many visitors to come, click, and buy.

    On the other hand, if you were one of my bread-and-butter merchants who I already do $5000, hey! I'd give you larger type!!!

    Anyway, I'd stay away from big scary numbers.

  7. #7
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    Great feedback gang, wow, thanks.

    Caveat, the promotional items outlined below are for discussion purposes only, they do not exist yet.

    Leader, how's this for a monthly incentive program?

    // Monthly Multi-Tiered Incentive Bonus Structure //
    0 - $249 12%
    250 - 499 13%
    500 - 749 14%
    750+ 15%

    Loxly, how's this for a sign-up, first sale bonus?

    // Free gift with first affiliate sale ($18 value) //
    Simply sign up for the Naked Zombie affiliate program, toss us on your site, and you get a free cool gift once we receive your first order. It's easy, it's simple, it should be illegal.

    Billy Kay, how's this for less scary big numbers, yet something to a: show we care, and b: would be kinda cool?

    // Stick-to-itiveness //
    Stay with the Naked Zombie affiliate program, build your cumulative sales to over $1,500 and get an official affiliate partners custom-made embroidered NAKED ZOMBIE BLACK JEANS JACKET. This jacket is made exclusively for our affiliate partners and not available for sale anywhere. If we catch you selling it on Ebay, we'll send goons to your house and things will get unpleasant.

    thnx

  8. #8
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    Free gift with first sale should exclude personal sales, I would think.

    And although the Black Jacket sounds really cool, I think that it might not appeal to many of the affiliates that hang out here, so an alternate item might be a good idea.

    For me, I think that all three of your ideas are fine. Having said that, I have not added your links to my site yet, because I don't have the right audience. My audience are older surfers that may not be very "hip". LOL. I will get them added to an appropriate site soon though.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  9. #9
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Mark,

    Just went to your site -looks great. I think you should do well (for my son's generation!!)

    To be honest, I'm not a fan of the bonus offers am's send me. The ones I could easily win, I always rec'v a follow-up email stating I don't qualify because I'm already participating in a "Private Offer", and the other ones, I usually equate with Megabucks (lot of effort, slim chance to win).

    But you're marketing to a younger crowd - and I assume younger affiliates(!) - so your "LOUD" offers might just work!!

    Most importantly, you've only heard from Deborah and myself. Don't make ANY major changes based on two people's opinions!

    Here's what I look for in a merchant (although they're numbered, they are all equally #1)

    1. The merchant or product has to fit in with our sites - sometimes we can stretch, but usually not

    2. We look for a verifiable track record. If it's CJ, we can check the stats to see if anyone is making money. I do other things like check Overture to see if anyone is searching for the company or the product

    3. We check for dirty tricks. We check ABW for any derogatory remarks. We check the parasite boards, etc.

    4. The AM HAS TO SHOW he is approachable (he'll answer an email), responsive (I don't know why the sale didn't track, but I'll check), helpful (like the AMs you see here who are always helping someone), open-minded (sometimes we aff's find things that work, and since it's not a standard 468x60 banner we feel we should run it by the am first) and don't micro-manage (goes beyond telling us we can't bid on their name which is fine. But some tell us what can and can't be on our webpage, what competitors aren't allowed to be within 3 inches of their name, etc)

    If we can get four out of four, everyone stands to prosper. If we loose only ONE, and get 3 of 4, it's nothing more than a cra*p shoot.

    (Off topic FOR JUST ONE MINUTE: Deborah, are you coming here to Vegas?)

  10. #10
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    Billy Kay, you are absolutely right that no one should make changes based on only a couple of opinions!

    And unfortunately I couldn't make it to Vegas. I really wanted to, but I had family obligations. Maybe next time....
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Mark,

    I read your post in the "Why don't Ams respond" thread. You have what it takes! You don't need our opinions. You'll do well! Try one of your own suggestions. If the results are low, try your Plan B!

    Deb,

    Now that I'm a datafeed pro - and a webmerge pro (sic!!), I had a great idea for a niche website that was about ... pets! I looked at your site and didn't see a single thing in common - different focus, different merchants, etc. The only thing in common was the word PETS! But I wanted to run it by you first, cause I "know" you. Would have been easier if you were coming here and I could have just told you, but now I'll have to write an email.

    Done for the day! Gotta' drive over to the Stardust and mingle...

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Leader, how's this for a monthly incentive program?

    // Monthly Multi-Tiered Incentive Bonus Structure //
    0 - $249 12%
    250 - 499 13%
    500 - 749 14%
    750+ 15%
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Assuming that's sales figures that are the trigger, it looks fine to me...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> (stick-to-it-iveness)get an official affiliate partners custom-made embroidered NAKED ZOMBIE BLACK JEANS JACKET. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Clothes prizes are a dud with me since they generally do not fit me. I'd much rather see something that I'd know I could use.

    Other than that, the bonuses should be fine, although you may want to take Loxly's suggestion about the free gift with first order offer...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  13. #13
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    Billy Kay,

    The Pet Market is huge, pm me if you would like to talk about it. Some of the products on Gifts For Animal Lovers are my own, not AM marketing....

    Enjoy networking with all those that are in town. It's fun when people come to your town
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
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    Thanks again Deborah, Billy Kay, and Leader

    We added new features to our affiliate program based on your feedback and great ideas.

    Loxly, free gift on first affiliate sale will NOT exclude personal sales, because we want really happy affiliates.

    Billy Kay, Thanks for the comment on the site, we're defiantly aiming for a younger market 15-29, but not necessarily younger affiliates.

    Thanks for the 4-Points you look for in a merchant. Unfortunately, I don't know if I hit #1 with you. We're brand new, so no verifiable track record. Dirty tricks department, well we're clean there. And AM approachable and open to anything interesting...here I am.

    Leader, accumulated sales figure now gets jacket, or $75 cash.

    http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale...erchantID=5267

    Beyond incorporating the great ideas you guys offered, we also added these:

    // Special Offer for Search Engine and PPC specialists //
    An Overture drill down search on: clothing, clothes, apparel, hats, shirts, and t-shirts gave us 6,769,244 monthly searches. Become a Naked Zombie affiliate and we'll provide you with the XLS spreadsheet. What's more, this drills down to as little as 5 searches keyword, per month, targeting keywords in the 5-24 searches few other people see.

    Affiliate account always has cash, so you're paid on time
    We REALLY want our affiliates to make LOADS of money
    Frequent, useful affiliate email newsletter
    Direct Deposit payments through SAS
    Bonuses, bonuses, bonuses
    Free to join
    100% uptime

    Good, Responsive, Approachable, Creative Affiliate Manager
    Fast, friendly support for good affiliates looking to make sales

  15. #15
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    Deborah, Billy Kay, and Leader-

    Your suggestions made our affiliate program better for affiliates (and therefore us).

    Thank you for taking the most valuable resource of all, your time and thoughts, to make your suggestions, many of which we implemented.

    Please PM me your shirt size and mail addy, free shirts for the three of you.

  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Mark,

    Best part about ABW is it's recriprocal.

    I posted that MerchantA gets zillions of hits, no sales. Someone here suggested AdSense. I now make a buncho' money with adsense, and MerchantA converts (still not a lot) because the visitor sees both the competition (thru adsense) and the merchant.

    And what about "the Virginia boys" who walked me thru Webmerge! I'm making a buncho' money with these tiny niche sites that I can create in 5 minutes.

    And countless other things I've learned and prospered from by ABW members.

    So there's no charge. As I've stated before. You got it! You should do well. You're just seeking "2nd opinions" to confirm what you already know!

    Nevermind: Put $1000 towards my Palms marker. Call the casino cage now!!!

  17. #17
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    Tell you what, the next time I'm in LV, dinner on me at Tsunami Asian Grill and front row tickets to Blue Man Group, bring your twinkie tarp ;-)

    That being said, I would like to chat with you about drop ship deals, if you would PM me.

    thnx

  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Ah! The Blue Man Group! How off-topic is this...

    I have a private host at the Luxor. Last Christmas she comped us a suite.

    A grandmotherly women knocked on the door. "Hi, I'm you son's Christmas present from [my host]". He got a free day on the second level. Blue Man Group, Imax Theaters, 3-D "dizzy rides".

    Few minutes later another knock on the door. It was a stunning 20-ish women in a sexy "Santa's Helper" outfit. "Hi, I'm your Christmas present from [my host]".

    What a town!!!! Makes you forget about "tracking issues"! I'll probably regret posting this. Hopefully I can delete it later!

  19. #19
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    Cripes, in that case, I'll upgrade the meal to Picasso's, and YOU take care of the BMG tickets and see if Santa's Helper has a twin.

  20. #20
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    Hi All, I have been pretty much offline for the past week or so for personal reasons. Mark, I will PM you Billy Kay, yes we share without need for compensation, but selling something you are wearing on your back is a good marketing tool

    And to go off topic with both of you, my son Chris would give about anything to see BMG in Las Vegas, I wish I could have gone to the "convention". Because flights out of our airport don't have airplanes big enough to handle power wheelchairs, to go to Vegas we would have to drive 7 hours to Newark Airport, spend a large amount of cash (more than the flight actually) to park our van while we were gone and then be able to fly to Vegas. Then rent a wheelchair lift enabled van to get us around. So while I can get to Vegas fast, cheap and easy, he cannot. He really wants to go someday, and hopefully we can. Perhaps we can drive there, we are driving to a Gaming (Gemstone) convention in St. Louis and I looked to see how much further to Vegas, but we can't be gone that long right now.

    When we lived in NYC we would have loved to see the NY BMG show, but it is in an old theatre that is *not* wheelchair accessible. And carrying a 450 pound chair down (and back up) a flight of stairs is not fun, been there done that with the help of 4 big guys at other events. Gave one or two people back pain...

    Debbie
    http://loxly.com/family

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