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  1. #1
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    December 13th, 2011
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    New affiliate program, established product
    Hi All!

    The company I work for is looking to finally open an online affiliate marketing program, and I have a few questions:

    1) Do affiliates expect to be paid for consequential clicks? In our new program we credit only the first click that generated interest in the product line. If there exists an AdWords click, Bing click, or the visitor has been to our site organically before an affiliate click occurs, there is no commission granted. This protects us from cookie-stuffing and other malfeasance, and it also protects affiliates that add value from having their cookies overwritten.

    2) What conversion rates do online affiliates expect? When first testing the waters we found answers all over the map. I even had one affiliate concerned that their first 50 clicks did not result in a sale. Any input on the true conversion rate expectation is helpful! Keep in mind this is a single product-line company with a cost range of about $300-1000.

    3) Are affiliates opposed to a vetting process? I don't mean a phone interview, you-must-be-established, type of process but I was very shocked to read in several locations that affiliates expect to be automatically given access! What is the consensus on this front?

    I look forward to your responses!

  2. #2
    Newbie
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    December 13th, 2011
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    Follow up questions!
    Waiting for responses I've come up with another question!

    We have a single sale (large purchase) with recurring revenue after the fact (subscription service) and reading through the forums I've found subscription service affiliate programs to be floundering. So the new question is:

    4) Are affiliates interested in building recurring revenue streams? The recurring is small (about a dollar a month) and the revenue from initial sales is comparatively large. I've been under the impression that building a large guaranteed revenue stream would be a great incentive, but from reading through here it seems secondary to larger single cash infusions. Would slightly higher commission rates (1-2% higher) be more important to affiliate marketers than a small guaranteed revenue stream from all prior sales?

    Any responses appreciated!

  3. #3
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    April 6th, 2006
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    If there exists an AdWords click, Bing click, or the visitor has been to our site organically before an affiliate click occurs, there is no commission granted
    You will lose me right there..

    So a visitor clicks on an Ad, or visits your site organically... then they come to MY site, find more information, and a reason to return to the store to buy something.. and I don't get credit? Sorry, that's not affiliate marketing.. the first click didn't do anything, it was the last click that closed the sale. There are lots of discussions on the topic here, but you won't find many affiliates receptive to these terms. I agree cookie-stuffing could be an issue, but penalizing affiliates won't fix the problem.

    And the fact that they already visited your site organically isn't relevant - the affiliate "sold" your program.

    As for approval into the program, most affiliates expect some kind of vetting process, so long as you don't make them jump through hoops - just visit my site, and make your decision. Don't ask me how I plan to promote you, etc.. you should find everything you need on the site already.

    Hope this helps answer some of your questions!


  4. #4
    Newbie
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    December 13th, 2011
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    So a visitor clicks on an Ad, or visits your site organically... then they come to MY site, find more information, and a reason to return to the store to buy something.. and I don't get credit? Sorry, that's not affiliate marketing.. the first click didn't do anything, it was the last click that closed the sale. There are lots of discussions on the topic here, but you won't find many affiliates receptive to these terms. I agree cookie-stuffing could be an issue, but penalizing affiliates won't fix the problem.
    So the preference in the affiliate community is to pay last click commissions? This is interesting because I've seen nothing but vitriol spewed on these boards about coupon sites overwriting cookies. I agree with you there may be some value in assisted conversions (see: Analyzing Channel Contribution - Analytics Help) but the hard work comes from creating either need or brand awareness.

    If there were some assisted conversion payouts would that help affiliates if they're unable to create need or brand awareness on an on going basis? I would prefer no one targeting low level coupon searchers who are going to convert anyway, and paying for an assisted conversion seems to open these flood-gates.

  5. #5
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfd View Post
    So the preference in the affiliate community is to pay last click commissions?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by wfd View Post
    This is interesting because I've seen nothing but vitriol spewed on these boards about coupon sites overwriting cookies.
    If you offer coupons then you run the risk of alienating non-coupon affiliates. If you don't offer coupons - remove the coupon box from your cart (if there is one). Or, make it clear in your TOS only current coupons are allowed to be advertised AND only coupons within the affiliate interface. Or, simply don't allow coupon websites...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  6. #6
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    nothing but vitriol spewed on these boards about coupon sites overwriting cookies
    I think you're confusing "last click" with frustration when the coupon site doesn't offer anything, ie. claims they have a "coupon" when they don't.

    Sales attribution isn't a perfect science, but last click is the only program I would (knowingly) join.
    the hard work comes from creating either need or brand awareness
    The hard work comes from generating a sale (ie. conversion), brand awareness is secondary. Everyone knows Target, Best Buy, etc.. they have affiliate programs to generate additional sales. My readers come to my site as I write all about a specific niche, and have tools in place that show them products related to that niche. They find something they want to buy on my site.. they may already know the brands, but the sale belongs to my site.

    I don't really understand the concept of assisted conversions, but it sounds like you have a different view of the value-added provided by affiliate marketing. We don't do branding, we get paid for sales (yes, branding IS part of that, but we earn nothing for branding!).

  7. #7
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    This is interesting because I've seen nothing but vitriol spewed on these boards about coupon sites overwriting cookies.
    There's a big difference between bogus referrals and real ones. The problem with "coupon sites overwriting cookies" has nothing to do with the simple fact that a "coupon site" did it; it has to do with how and when the click was generated. If the click was garnered in a deceptive manner, there's a problem. Or if the click was generated after the customer was already in in the shopping cart, ready to check out.... think about it.

    There have been a lot of proposed solutions to these problems, but no matter how you slice it, there will be problems when you offer coupon codes. And no matter which way you handle it, and no matter how much reasoning and logic there may be behind whichever way you choose to handle these problems, somewhere along the line honest affiliates are going to be negatively impacted in one way or another, and somewhere along the line you are going to wind up paying commissions on sales that should never have been commissionable in the first place.

    The only real solution is to just offer the best price in town, without coupon codes.
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