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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    How to attract serious affiliates?
    Hi. I’m new to ABW and also to ShareASale, I joined and opened a program some days ago but are finding it a little frustrating…

    I used all the tools I thought were appropriate. I created and uploaded over 40 banners in different formats and sizes, DataFeeds, Coupons, Bonuses on monthly sales… joined the affiliate aquarium (doesn’t seem to be too much activity there…).
    At first I thought I was doing good since affiliates started to join, but now I have over 40 affiliates on my program (don’t know either if that is a good or bad number, I guess it depends) and I’m getting like 5 hits per day and of course no conversions at all.
    I guess this is because those 40 affiliates are not “serious” or “good” affiliates, they just join but don’t make any effort to promote products in any way.

    So my question is. I know there are great affiliates because I’ve been reading around a lot (great source of information I’ve found here in ABW by the way, congratulations to all ABW users for the great environment you have created here) and it seems like in some cases both merchants and affiliates are doing great business (that is how it’s supposed to be). How can a merchant attract this kind of affiliates? What kind of things/deals/promotions can a merchant offer that are attractive for affiliates?

    I will appreciate any comment, either coming from the merchant or the affiliate side.

  2. #2
    15 years and counting
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    Success takes time.
    I had a quick look at your program. It seems you are doing it right.
    SAS is launching many new affiliate programs everyday. You're competing for exposure.

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  4. #3
    Full Member justnet's Avatar
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    I agree with Zeus with what you currently have to work with. you're off to a good start. At least you have all the basics in place. You've done well in targeting some small niches. And, have lots of room for product expansion. I would hit the coming product lines hard even soliciting input from affiliates on new lines. Some affiliates might be put off by such a small selection of products especially since your website appears fairly young.

    You might try an new affiliate bonus, a few extra bucks for their second sale or something like that. You could post the offer in the "monthly merchant offer post" at the top of this forum and get higher visibility. Look at what others are doing, they're doing it for a reason.

    Reach out too your affiliates. Ask for their phone numbers and if it's ok for you to call and pick their brains. Many won't respond but a few will.

    I'm learning that there's a lot going on behind the scenes here. If you ask for help and are sincere, you'll get help.

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  6. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    Success takes time.
    I had a quick look at your program. It seems you are doing it right.
    SAS is launching many new affiliate programs everyday. You're competing for exposure.
    Hi Zeus. Thanks for your feedback, and thanks you for taking the time to review my program, glad to hear it is at list on the right path.

    However I’m new to this whole affiliate world and although glad to hear I’m doing things fine I’m doing them base just on my logic an intuition. I would like to get some more feedback of what affiliates like to find on a merchant program; higher commissions Vs. lower commissions + bonuses, percentage commissions Vs. flat rate…

    I know this all depends on every affiliate, each program, an many other variables, but I would love to hear you guys particular preferences.

  7. #5
    Affiliate Manager
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    Justnet, thanks for your sincere feedback, it is very much appreciated and will definitely look into some of the specifics you propose.

  8. #6
    Full Member justnet's Avatar
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    Here's a hint about affiliate sign ups. I only "applied" (hate that term in this context) so I could see your product data feed, I won't be sending you any traffic today.

  9. #7
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    There are some threads around that can work wonders to help a new merchant understand the workings of Abestweb. How to get the Most Out of ABW os one. http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=412 is another and see this one too: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=93894.

    One quick and popular method to at least get people looking at your program is to advertise it, this gives you your own branded announcement that is active for 30 days to lay out the details of your program and respond to questions. (Details here: Advertise at ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forums ) Before plunking down money, spend a little time getting more familiar with other announcements made there to see what they did right - and wrong - get your money's worth if you decide to do that.

    Another idea is to offer activation bonuses. Put up a link and get a quick $5, write an article that links to something in particular and get a $20 bonus. This gets people interested and gets your links up fast for anyone who has a related site.

    Good luck.

  10. #8
    Full Member justnet's Avatar
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    Another idea is/are/am (hum) the sub forums listed at top of the SAS forum. Milan at Decorative Ceiling Tiles has one and has done well. I would read it starting from the beginning. Don't copy everything he did though, a few of his ideas weren't cost effective.

  11. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thank you all for your fast response to my post! Glad to have joined this community!

    I’m going through all the material you guys recommended, although it’s going to take a couple of days, there’s a lot of good stuff! I’ll come back with some thought once I’m done with the reading.

    In the meantime if anyone else has any comment/feedback it will always be welcome!

  12. #10
    Full Member justnet's Avatar
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    Your bonus offer doesn't grab me (a little guy).

    If I were to be willing to invest the effort into generating 31 sales a month for you my motivation would be the 24% (maybe a little more) not a $15 bonus. That would just be a little extra.

    Your problem with me is that I test all my merchants. I put them through some phases of increasing promotion while watching their performance. I never just jump in with both feet from the start.

    2busy's and my ideas were to get people to do "something". 2busy's was to get them to start something and mine to get them to do a little more. I would combine the ideas. $5 CAB (I used to really like those) and a bonus for the 2nd sale.

    Maybe if you can show success with the little guy's, you'll start showing up on the bigger guy's RADAR.

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  14. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by justnet View Post
    Your bonus offer doesn't grab me (a little guy)
    Hey justnet! Obviously I’ll keep reading all the stuff and improving my program over the days, but as for today I created a 2nd sale bonus thinking of you! (no you have no excuse!) :P

    I know it’s not much (not sure if enough to motivate anyone). Maybe it was a mistake to set up the basic commission to 24% since it gives me very little margin for bonuses…

    I totally agree, It’s the small guys I need to start working with. I also like it better, it’s a more personal relationship. That’s why I appreciate so much all this first hand feedback I’m getting.

  15. #12
    Full Member justnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnetikmania View Post
    I know it’s not much (not sure if enough to motivate anyone). Maybe it was a mistake to set up the basic commission to 24% since it gives me very little margin for bonuses…
    Maybe you should lower the base rate now take "the image hit" and get the pain over with. You're not the first merchant who started out too high.

    We need some verterans to chime in on this one.

    it's "jon" to you now

  16. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Well hi Jon! Nice meeting you. I’ll be “Guillermo” from now on (I know, weird Spanish name…don’t try pronouncing it…).

    Lowering the commission might be the way to go… I’ll give it a little more thought, also wait to see if someone else has an opinion on this matter.

    I really want to be fair to the affiliates. I believe both parts need to be happy in order for this to work. I guess it comes down to a matter of what is perceived by affiliates as “more attractive”; high commissions + low bonuses or lower commissions + higher bonuses.

  17. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    magnetikmania, took a look at your site and see that it is new. Never a good idea to launch an affiliate program to a new site. You first need to establish your traffic and conversion. Most top affiliates know this and may avoid your program for that reason. On the other hand you have some unique products so treat your launch phase like a new product promotion phase.

    Cherish those 40 affiliates, you need to develop a relationship with them. Look up each one, see where you fit on their site and send them a personal email via SAS. Include links and banners in your email that will be coded for them and tell them exactly where to place them on their site. Make sure your subject line is personalized and compelling.

    I didn't join your program so can not see what your links and deals look like. Do you have coupon codes that are actionable? Have you offered your coupon/deal affiliate custom codes in their site's name?

    Rework your program description, less is more, do a spell check and grammar check. Your program terms are rather tedious and would scare me away. Consider condensing them.

    Looking at your banner images they don't represent your products. You have some interesting products, I recommend using those images or at least adding them as product images.

    I see you using the SAS promotional sub-forum, take advantage of the Consumer sub-forum. You sell to Canada and offer Spanish language as well, use those sub-forums too.

  18. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Just for ur info, many affiliates wait on new sites to see if they will be around after 6 months or so.

    set up a sliding scale for commissions ($500 in sales moves you to the next level $1,000 to the next and so on)
    also be VERY carefull about ever lowering ur commissions, affiliates don't like that but if its got to be done do it now before u start adding more affiliates and send them a very good reasson for it.

    Set up a first sale bonus and post it here as lots of affiliates look at that thread.

    Set up an affiliate discount coupon for them to offer their visitors, Offer vanity codes
    It takes time and stick with it,

    if u build it, and it is good, they will come
    Last edited by Richard - AMWSO; May 9th, 2011 at 11:24 PM.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  19. #16
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    Once again thank you all for your comments and recommendations, and thanks as well to Greg Hoffman for sending me his wonderful ebook I read it from cover to cover just last night, I count stop!

    I’ve been doing many of the things you guys propose here, not because I don’t have ideas of my own, but because your points made a lot of sense.

    I finally decided to take the commission down by 4% (to 20%) and back that up with sliding scale of bonuses that looks like this:

    • $5 on second sale
    • $20 after reaching $200 in sales
    • $50 after reaching $500 in sales
    • $100 after reaching $750 in sales

    The three last are ongoing, so affiliates can get those bonuses every month (not just one time), making their revenue rise from 20% to 34%.

    I also made the presentation of my program simpler, and redid my TOS to make it more short and readable (although SAS will not let me update it until May 15th…)

    Now I’m starting to get in touch with the affiliate who joined my program one by one; reviewing their websites, sending them an email… so if you joined you should expect to hear from me soon! :P

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  21. #17
    Newbie LivnLoud.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    Success takes time.
    I had a quick look at your program. It seems you are doing it right.
    SAS is launching many new affiliate programs everyday. You're competing for exposure.

    ^ 100% true. just keep focused on what your doing make smart business moves.

  22. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I searched SAS merchants for mangetiKmania - no results. You may want to make sure it's one of your keywords.

    As Chuck said, cultivate your 40 current affs... BUT... see who they are first. There seems to be a bunch of affs that apply to each and every new merchant... moments after the merchant joins SAS

    Best,
    Billy

  23. #19
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay View Post
    I searched SAS merchants for mangetiKmania - no results. You may want to make sure it's one of your keywords.
    Psst, it's magnetikmania not mangetiKmania
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  24. #20
    Full Member justnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Psst, it's magnetikmania not mangetiKmania
    I did the same thing. I copied and pasted the company name from his profile
    Last edited by justnet; May 10th, 2011 at 04:59 PM.

  25. #21
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay View Post
    I searched SAS merchants for mangetiKmania - no results. You may want to make sure it's one of your keywords.
    Thanks! Just did! I didn’t think about that… I guess I would have expected the SAS search engine to also look for search words on the program tittle and omit capitalization… I added both "magnetikmania" and "magnetiKmania" to the keywords.
    Last edited by magnetikmania; May 10th, 2011 at 05:17 PM.

  26. #22
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    Rereading all you guy’s comments I’ve seen that all of you agree that one of the reasons why affiliates will be hesitant to join the program or to promote my products is because our shop is “new” and they want to make sure we’ll still be around in 6 months. I was wondering, what exactly you consider “new”. Is it just the age of the domain? The founder’s background?

    We’ve been up and running for 6 months now, plus a 3-4 of moths more before that that were invested in market research, product and materials investigation and the design of our firsts products (we didn’t want to launch with just 1 product…).
    We’ve had a steady growing traffic since our launch and 1.5% of conversions (counting the first 1-2 months with almost no sales as we were “new”).

    We are (I am) serious people with previous background on on-line projects (of course I guess it’s hard to prove). We’ve been around for 5 years with WikiArqutiectura and almost 2 with ArchMedium. Of course this doesn’t necessarily mean manetiKmania will be successful, but I think it, at least, give some sense of confidence that if we fail we are not going away owing our affiliates any money… (if that’s what affiliates are worried about).

    Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the feeling and hesitation when working with “new” people. I was just wondering what exactly does this “new” term mean on this online affiliate world.

  27. #23
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnetikmania View Post
    I was just wondering what exactly does this “new” term mean on this online affiliate world.
    New to me means you don't have a proven conversion rate on your site and sales don't occur naturally yet. But you do. It's not very high, but at least you can show affiliates that there is hope...
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  29. #24
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Fair question. I judge all sites based on traffic and use several toolbars in FireFox.

    SearchStatus (Alexa and Google PageRank)
    SEOBook Toobar (couples with Compete.com)

    Neither is 100% accurate but they are relative. Your site show a zero PR and Alexa of 6,855,518. Compete shows no traffic: Site Profile Error | Compete

    Your Google description looks like you haven't attempted any SEO work yet:

    Welcome to magnetiKmania - Original Magnets 2.0. Welcome Guest! Would you like to log yourself in? Or would you prefer to create an account?

  30. #25
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Your store platform can be a concern for some affiliates:

    Lose the Powered by in the footer (SCREAMS FREE software)
    Swap out the Union Jack with Old Glory. I'll even provide it for you...

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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