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  1. #1
    Join Date
    September 9th, 2010
    planning an AM program
    currently: finishing plans for website with components below; need plan for AM // AM budget: zero - the software application on the site is a massive investment and the site can be considered elite by design, information and presentation

    site components:
    -unprecedented online calculator for DIY home construction (for fee)
    -hi-end gas grill database (free)
    -example patio photos (free)
    -building techniques (free)
    -articles, from the trade; not found elsewhere (for fee)

    QUESTION: obviously can't pay upfront fees to CJ or others. What alternatives are there? Used cheap AM program years ago - zip. Maybe you get what you pay for. [I assume even CJ is no guarantee for success].

    If I were doing AM myself are there creative approaches. For example.. I call c-level execs like brushing teeth. If I target 20 top-priority sites (each having 500,000+ monthly visitors) what's the chance I can get them into some kind of referral agreement where I'm paying them for leads? Has this been done? I might say, hey, if you want to make money from my deal call CJ up and tell them to charge me on the back end and eliminate the upfront fee. That's what I mean by creative. I assume no one reading this does this stuff but I'm hoping... of course more low-keyed methods I'm very willing to undertake, as well.

    I also might want to share revenue with an AM person getting a very, very small hrly rate initially. But this is risky for them, unless they're working full-time already and want to moonlight. Or if some AM agency just sees this as an oppt'y then they might do it - who knows??
    Last edited by pmarc; September 10th, 2010 at 09:16 AM.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    A nice network to look at is Usually to get into CJ, you need a track record (site has been up a year or so) and have a certain level of income currently. That doesn't mean they won't talk to you though. Getting them to do it with a promise of payment of fees later is highly unlikely.

    If your site is new, I suggest you run your site for 6 months or more before jumping into affiliate marketing. Affiliates want to know how well you convert visits into sales. If you don't know this, why should they send their precious traffic to you? They also like to see a track record before investing their time, effort and money.

    Lastly, if you can't afford to setup your program you're not ready. This may sound harsh but it's not meant that way. It takes money to start and manage an affiliate program. Affiliate's accounts are credited when the sale happens so you, obviously, need enough money in your network account to pay for the sales or leads. No affiliate wants to hear a merchant is strapped for cash. They already get ripped off by merchants who are well funded and this statement will make most run away.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management info(AT) | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  3. #3
    Join Date
    September 9th, 2010
    Well, that'll save me some time, won't it!

    More importantly, I assume a potential affiliate will be calling me to discuss my business when they see my availability, correct? And since they dont call just anyone, they'd already know what I'm selling when they do call?
    Last edited by pmarc; September 10th, 2010 at 09:55 AM. Reason: i'm nuts

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by pmarc View Post
    I assume a potential affiliate will be calling me to discuss my business when they see my availability, correct?
    You assume too much. The "build it and they will come" theory only works in movies.
    Michael Coley
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
    The Windy City
    Use this time to learn as much as you can about starting and running your future program. Get to know the community and participate in discussions and ask questions. When you're ready to start your program you'll have a base of affiliates that already know who you are and you'll have the knowledge to avoid many of the mistakes new programs often make. You'll also have a better idea of which network might be the best for your program.

    A good place to get started here at ABW is Merchant Best Practices Forum.

    Good luck and welcome to ABW.

    "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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    September 9th, 2010
    ..."you'll have a base of affiliates that already know who you are"...


    More: I can see planning for AM is the way to go. Accordingly, here's some interesting thoughts:

    If the conversion rate is proportional to the number of offers you have (which is to say that the conversion rates of many of the reader's of this post would decline if they scrapped half of what they sell), then it behooves you to see what you're offering! My own conversion rate may be just fine for myself but not necessarily for others.

    I consider my offer to be extremely narrow and highly specialized. For the right referrers conversions could be wildly successful. But the main offer is a $49 software download. I guess I'd expect very few affiliates and probably, regardless of conversion rate, AM should be anticipated as a relatively small source of revenue. Not to say it's a bad idea, but this dialog tells me I should be selling a lot more things. And this isn't beyond the realm of possibility. It depends how bad you want to do AM and what other revenue streams you are planning. I'd say there's a diminishing return on the sheer number of different rev streams you can have; at some point they begin to dilute what you set out to do.
    Last edited by pmarc; September 10th, 2010 at 10:21 AM.

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    If you read the resources you were pointed to you will understand the affiliate channel much better.

    No budget = no program. Affiliate Programs are not a way to "get rich quick" with no budget. You need a consultant to get you on the right path, or you will be back here in 6 months saying that the affiliate channel didn't work for you. You have to work and invest in your affiliate program to get it to perform.
    Deborah Carney

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