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  1. #1
    Join Date
    September 10th, 2010
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Post Whats an appropriate number of affiliates?

    I'm new to this forum and this is my first post!

    I wanted to find out from other program managers approximately how many affiliates do you have total and how many of those actually make sales for you?

    This is my second job as an affiliate program manager and we are building a new affiliate program from scratch. At my previous position, I worked with an affiliate base of almost 6000, but only about 3-4% of my affiliate base was active (by "active" I mean made 1 sale in a 90 day time frame). For me, I feel like a 4% active population is not acceptable, but then again, maybe it's just the name of the game in the affiliate space. What do you think? I am looking to set a six month goal for the program in terms of either # of affiliates or % of active affiliates so I'd like to get some advice from more seasoned managers.

    Thanks so much! I really love this forum, its one of a kind.

  2. #2
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Number of affiliates is meaningless. If you are projecting growth based on sheer numbers of affiliates you are headed in the wrong direction.

    A good place for you to take some time to explore would be the Merchant Best Practices forum here.
    Last edited by loxly; September 10th, 2010 at 12:23 PM.
    Deborah Carney

  3. #3
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    only about 3-4% of my affiliate base was active.... I feel like a 4% active population is not acceptable
    That's in the "normal" range.
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  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    December 30th, 2006
    Mansfield, Texas
    In my opinion as many as you can sign up. Most will never amount to anything but you never know.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    It sounds a bit low to me, and that activation campaigns would be beneficial.

    I would be equally concerned about a ratio that was too high, in that the AM was probably being too restrictive on which affiliates they allow in the program. For instance, if an AM tells me that 50% of their affiliates are active, I would think either 1) he's a liar or 2) they don't have enough affiliates.

    Think of it as a sales funnel. You have affiliates at every stage. Ones who haven't joined. Ones who have joined but haven't put links up. Ones who have links up but haven't generated sales. One who have generated sales, but could do more. Ones who are top producers. Each group needs different things and are reached/motivated in different ways.
    Michael Coley
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
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  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    The correct answer is: All of them.

    You never know when one will have a need for a product you have, etc. And don't ever throw any out either, regardless of traffic volumes, unless they are violating your program rules.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    What's your goal? If it's to make more money then don't focus too much on the numbers. This doesn't mean to ignore them, it's best to always work to increase your active affiliates but don't just go after numbers of affiliates. Always work to get that percentage of active affiliates up.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management info(AT) | 330-259-1223

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    September 10th, 2010
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Thanks for all the replies. One things I love about this forum is that everyone participates, instead of just leaving you hangin

    I guess when it comes down to it, it's all about the numbers. The more you have the more likely you are to get results. At my last jobs as an AM, I felt like our affiliate base was "messy" with a variety of people that were poorly filtered before approval and then poorly organized after they were approved so my thought was to avoid that situation again by approving fewer affiliates. However, thanks to everyone's posts, I see that is not the right way to go.

    Since I am setting up the program from scratch, I will just need to make sure to put approval guidelines in to place and a use a quality CRM for management. I recently re-read Matt Ender's article in FeedFront Aug 2009 issue titled "Inside Information on Affiliate Classification" that was very helpful!

    Thanks everyone!

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager Ross Yamashita's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 29th, 2010
    Las Vegas, NV
    The good thing from starting from scratch is you have the ability to format everything the way it should be from the beginning - rather than fixing things later.

    Good luck to you.

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