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  1. #1
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    Need your advice ASAP : )
    I work for a small transportation company (Orlando, FL). Two months ago we started a new affiliate program and i was asked to "run" it. I have no experience and/or knowledge!
    I have so many questions!
    The number one questions - I have chosen Omnistar affiliate tracking software to manage affiliates and track sales. It is quite cheap (monthly payments only). BUT...now i'm having second thoughts. Do you think i should open an account with one of the affiliate networks (ShareaSale is the one i like and the one we can afford)? Obviously the extra cost does not guarantee that affiliates will fight to join our program. I'm worried i will pay all those extra fees and will end up with no new affiliates. What do you think????

    I know that "transportation services in Orlando" is a very high-demand niche. Our affiliates are making VERY good money. But i don't know how to attract / find new ones

  2. #2
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    I think Affiliate Manager Forums would be a better place for this post. Sorry : (

    After reading posts about affiliate program management i decided to rephrase my question.

    Do affiliate networks really worth the extra cost? Do you think an affiliate network would be a better fit then an in-house program for our company?

    I forgot to mention the fact that i decided to focus on attracting online bloggers/vloggers/writes to join our program. I think banners do not generate as many sales as travel articles/blogs/reviews (i am talking about our company).
    That is the reason i didn't join a network.

  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    As an affiliate I would be more likely to join your program if
    you were on a respected network like Shareasale: it's worth the
    additional fees.

    I'm not exactly sure what affiliates of a small transportation company (Orlando, FL) would sell but I'll take a guess: if affiliates could book
    transportation from hotels (let's say) to the major attractions in Orlando,
    then affiliates could include your services in travel websites and blogs.

    I forgot to mention the fact that i decided to focus on attracting online bloggers/vloggers/writes to join our program. I think banners do not generate as many sales as travel articles/blogs/reviews (i am talking about our company).
    So what type of materials will you give to your affiliates to use? Text?
    Do you want to sell a booking or are you interested in Lead generation?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  4. #4
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    We are interested in sales. Right now this is how it works:
    Bloggers write travel-related articles and post them on their blogs/websites. Affiliate chooses the subject of his/her article and just offers our services as an option/recommendation.
    We provide transportation from the airport to hotels, from the airport to Port Canaveral (very busy port), from hotels to attractions, private chauffeur services, statewide transportation and corporate transportation. It is not that hard to find an interesting subject to write about and we definitely have the services that match that subject.

    You just confirmed my fears that affiliates registered with networks will ask for banners, promotional materials and coupons. We do not provide that. Looking at our past experiences banner adds generated less the 1/2 of what articles/blogs did.

  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR TRANS-VIP View Post
    You just confirmed my fears that affiliates registered with networks will ask for banners, promotional materials and coupons. We do not provide that. Looking at our past experiences banner adds generated less the 1/2 of what articles/blogs did.
    Ooh I'm one of those affiliates that ask for promotional materials

    Often within a blog there will be promotional (clickable via hypertext) text
    with perhaps a clickable product picture as a focus and banners that
    correspond to the topic can be effective.

    You should speak with someone at Shareasale and perhaps OPMs/AMs here about your goals etc...
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  6. #6
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR TRANS-VIP View Post
    We are interested in sales. Right now this is how it works:
    Bloggers write travel-related articles and post them on their blogs/websites. Affiliate chooses the subject of his/her article and just offers our services as an option/recommendation.
    I'm not sure how the business transaction would work
    in favor of me the blogger.
    I'm a travel blogger: I just wrote a blog post that inspires people
    from around the United States to travel to a destination (Orlando) and
    I've let everyone know that you have the greatest transportation services
    in Florida.

    How does a reader click onto that portion of my blog and how do
    I get credit if a sale has been made? What gives my text trackability?

    Affiliates complain about lapses in tracking from the big networks.
    Tracking is #1 for affiliates. There are books about affiliate management, I suggest
    you read one. Look up the name Evgenii 'Geno' Prussakov.
    Last edited by Rhia7; October 27th, 2012 at 07:24 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Rhia7, the Omnistar software tracks impressions/clicks/sales. It gives you a personal referral link (you insert it your article) and when a reader clicks it takes him to our website. If that reader makes a purchase within 60 days after his first visit the affiliate receives 5% commission.
    It does work. If i could write (english is not my first language) i would better work as an affiliate. I sign checks for US affiliates...makes me jealous sometimes : ) ...just kidding!

    I guess i really need to read more about affiliate marketing...

  8. #8
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    It makes sense. Affiliates would prefer to join a program registered with one of the affiliate networks, but i'm not sure it is the best choice for us. But ...if i decide not to join the network...how do i find new affiliates? When i try to contact them directly they think i am a spammer : )

  9. #9
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR TRANS-VIP View Post
    Rhia7, the Omnistar software tracks impressions/clicks/sales. It gives you a personal referral link (you insert it your article) and when a reader clicks it takes him to our website.
    So then in answer to my first question, you must give some type
    of text links or it seems that you offer a code that will transfer an
    amount of text into a clickable link of some sort.
    Or maybe you're really a Lead Generation type.

    I recommend that you read a book by Evgenii “Geno” Prussakov.
    • A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing (2007) – author
    • Online Shopping Through Consumers’ Eyes (2008) – author
    • Internet Marketing from the Real Experts (2010) – contributor
    • Affiliate Program Management: An Hour A Day (2011) – author

    Here is the "About" page from his blog:
    http://www.amnavigator.com/blog/about/

    Geno's blog gives good information and is free.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  10. #10
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR TRANS-VIP View Post
    It makes sense. Affiliates would prefer to join a program registered with one of the affiliate networks, but i'm not sure it is the best choice for us. But ...if i decide not to join the network...how do i find new affiliates? When i try to contact them directly they think i am a spammer : )
    I'm using this conversation as my sole basis.
    According to this conversation an affiliate would not be
    too confident in your program. As an affiliate I prefer a model
    where I get paid for the sale of something tangible.
    Your description makes me wonder if you want to do
    Lead Generation Marketing.

    If you read Geno's book on affiliate marketing you'd learn how
    to describe your program in a more appealing way in order to get
    more affiliates and you would learn about this type of work.

    You can reach out to affiliates by becoming an active member
    of this forum.

    Another idea is that you could create a fan page on Facebook and
    reach out to people that way.

    You should post in the Affiliate Manager Forums and reach out to
    the other affiliate managers for advice.
    Last edited by Rhia7; October 28th, 2012 at 12:04 AM.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  11. #11
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    well...i just didn't explain what our company does. We are not just a taxi company. Our point-to-point transportation rates are fixed (displayed on the website). So it shouldn't make any difference for an affiliate ... it is the same as selling a tv or a book.
    ... thank you for your time. I will read more about affiliate marketing and maybe then i will have more specific questions to ask.

  12. #12
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR TRANS-VIP View Post
    well...i just didn't explain what our company does. We are not just a taxi company. Our point-to-point transportation rates are fixed (displayed on the website). So it shouldn't make any difference for an affiliate ... it is the same as selling a tv or a book.
    You are right. What your company does exactly is not what I was looking
    for but you said this:
    You just confirmed my fears that affiliates registered with networks will ask for banners, promotional materials and coupons. We do not provide that. Looking at our past experiences banner adds generated less the 1/2 of what articles/blogs did.
    Your statement made me think that you are interested in Lead Generation.
    Your statement also made me wonder about tracking.

    Blogs often incorporate what you fear: promotional materials, coupons, and either banners
    with a descriptive product picture that can be included in a post or something that will
    complement the post to the side.

    I've never heard of making random text writtern by the blogger clickable but I'm
    willing to learn something new.

    Your English is fine. Reading materials such as Geno's books will help you learn
    the lingo equated with the affiliate management side of the business. Knowing the
    terminology specific to a business and knowing how & when to use it is what makes
    one smooth.
    Last edited by Rhia7; October 28th, 2012 at 12:54 AM.
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  13. #13
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Do affiliate networks really worth the extra cost? Do you think an affiliate network would be a better fit then an in-house program for our company?
    As an affiliate I don't know you, I never saw you and I don't trust you. On a network at least you are vetted by the network plus they provide all the information you will need in materials to provide to affiliates.

    I forgot to mention the fact that i decided to focus on attracting online bloggers/vloggers/writes to join our program. I think banners do not generate as many sales as travel articles/blogs/reviews (i am talking about our company).
    That is the reason i didn't join a network.
    Banners are there for a reason, branding and to add color to a page, post, etc. Without it you are a text line. Look at the phone book and look at the blandest text listing, that's your business on an affiliate site.

    Give affiliates what they need to promote you otherwise they will work with merchants who do, your competitors.

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  15. #14
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    I think you should definitely take a look at launching on a network like ShareASale that is low cost and adds some third party trust to the equation. I think you'll see a boost in credibility when you contact affiliates. In terms of recruiting new affiliates - if you have trouble with getting labeled as a spammer - you need to take a look at your approach. I think one of the most common mistakes most new affiliate managers make is putting the "full court press" on in the first contact. When I recruit, I generally try to start a conversation/build a relationship first and then move the conversation on to the specific offer that I have in mind for that affiliate. Take a little time and do some research on their sites and what they are about and how they are monetizing, then make the approach not as a replacement for whatever the affiliate is doing, but as a supplement. If the site is established, chances are, the affiliate has some relationships that work and while they might not go "all in" immediately with you, they may give you a test.

    That and you could make some connections by hitting the Orlando Affiliate Meet Up - there's one tomorrow and making some connections face to face there can open some doors.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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  17. #15
    Merchant
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateWarrior View Post
    I think you should definitely take a look at launching on a network like ShareASale that is low cost and adds some third party trust to the equation. I think you'll see a boost in credibility when you contact affiliates. In terms of recruiting new affiliates - if you have trouble with getting labeled as a spammer - you need to take a look at your approach. I think one of the most common mistakes most new affiliate managers make is putting the "full court press" on in the first contact. When I recruit, I generally try to start a conversation/build a relationship first and then move the conversation on to the specific offer that I have in mind for that affiliate. Take a little time and do some research on their sites and what they are about and how they are monetizing, then make the approach not as a replacement for whatever the affiliate is doing, but as a supplement. If the site is established, chances are, the affiliate has some relationships that work and while they might not go "all in" immediately with you, they may give you a test.

    That and you could make some connections by hitting the Orlando Affiliate Meet Up - there's one tomorrow and making some connections face to face there can open some doors.
    Hi Wade!!

    I mentioned OSIAFFILIATE from Omnistar on another topic you are active and I just noticed that they are from Orlando, have you ever heard about them?

    Omnistar Interactive
    10551 Angler Court
    Orlando, FL 32825
    Phone (US): 1-800-660-0740
    Phone (International): +1-410-630-4775

  18. #16
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Hi Ryce, I have heard of OSI - never used it myself. I've run some programs on PosAffiiliatePro and iDevDirect and found them adequate. That said, I generally like a network involved do to the trust issues that were brought up earlier. It's also nice to not have to worry about cutting commission checks. As a program grows, that can become daunting in small business situations.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

  19. #17
    Merchant
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    Thanks for the quick reply. I will contact them. I searched PosAffiiliatePro but ir only returned PostAffilaitePro. Is that correct? Typo?
    Last edited by Ryce; April 24th, 2013 at 10:04 AM. Reason: wil->will typo

  20. #18
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    sorry on that - PostAffiliatePro is the correct name.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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