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  1. #1
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Do affiliate management companies charge a fee based upon the number of affiliates?
    Anytime I am rejected from a program and they list in the form letter as one of the reasons traffic levels too low, I sort of conclude that the affiliate management company must be charging per affiliate or what would they care. i.e. it costs the same thing to send 1,000,000 form emails as it does to send 1,000 so exactly who would a company turn down free traffic. Even if the odds were say 1 in 10,000 that I would make a sale isn't that better than zero?

    So how can managing lots and lots (to be technical or affiliates cost them any more than managing a few. So back to the original question do they charge more for more affiliate and does anything think this is a good idea for 1) the affiliates, 2) the vendor, 3) the industry in general?
    Expert who says Moo

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  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    maybe their EPC is a factor in what they can bill. superaffiliates only may apply.

  3. #3
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    No. I charge a flat fee. But I am selective on who gets approved in my programs. The majority of applications are from newbies that have coupon sites or under construction sites with no value or relevancy to my programs.

    If I see an affiliate that sends hundreds or thousands of clicks with no sales, I will talk to them and give them a heads up that they are killing my EPC and conversion
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  5. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    I've never heard of anyone charging on a per affiliate basis but I'm sure metrics like EPC and conversion rate could be tied into bonus or other compensation.

    EPC (and overall program conversion rate to an extent) is a horrible metric in affiliate marketing. It needs to slowly go the way of the dodo bird. It can easily be manipulated, both higher or lower, by affiliate managers/OPMs and provides almost no clues into what kind of success a prospective affiliate will have with a new merchant.

    I quit watching EPC years ago and it's been a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

    Bob


  6. #5
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Ok, I agree EPC isn't worth anything but conversion is everything. If a program is averaging 3,000 clicks a month at 5% conversion and has been growing consistently for a year, then adding an extra 1,200 with no sales all of a sudden drops it to 3.5%. Merchants notice those and say why are letting garbage traffic in?
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  7. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    To an extent but you can game conversion rates almost as easily as you can game EPC.

    Let's say you have an affiliate who sends 1000 clicks and 5 orders a month and another that sends 1000 clicks and 100 orders a month. Let's also say you and the affiliate do everything in your power to try to increase conversion rate for the 1000/5 affiliate but it doesn't work for whatever reason.

    An affiliate manager/OPM who wants to look good could give up and kick the 1000/5 affiliate out of the program and keep the 1000/100 affiliates to boost their overall conversion rate - the one shown to the public and prospective affiliates. Other programs may say 5 orders are 5 orders and keep the 1000/5 in the program showing a lower overall conversion rate to prospective affiliates.

    A potential affiliate who looks at the overall conversion rate of a program has no idea that one AM is boosting conversion rates by dumping lower converters while another program keeps affiliates who are driving sales regardless of conversion rate.

    Bob

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  9. #7
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    sniffle. I wouldn't want to live in a world where OPMs/managers would be that shady. Oh wait...
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  11. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    P.S. I agree if you have someone sending 5000 clicks and no sales consistently and you've done everything to get them to convert and it hasn't worked then it may be a good idea to part ways.

    Bob

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  13. #9
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oranges View Post
    Anytime I am rejected from a program and they list in the form letter as one of the reasons traffic levels too low, I sort of conclude that the affiliate management company must be charging per affiliate or what would they care. i.e. it costs the same thing to send 1,000,000 form emails as it does to send 1,000 so exactly who would a company turn down free traffic. Even if the odds were say 1 in 10,000 that I would make a sale isn't that better than zero?

    So how can managing lots and lots (to be technical or affiliates cost them any more than managing a few. So back to the original question do they charge more for more affiliate and does anything think this is a good idea for 1) the affiliates, 2) the vendor, 3) the industry in general?
    This is one of the many reasons we started Prosperent. Small affiliates like yourself can join and gain access to the large merchants that you would otherwise have no shot at. I ran into the same issue you are for years when I was an affiliate myself. Like others have pointed out, it really comes down to epc and conversion numbers. Merchants are insanely sensitive to any changes in those numbers, so we do a ton of click filtering on our end and also use our size to your advantage by directing your traffic to merchants that are more likely to convert based on our network wide metrics.

  14. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    EPC is what we have to work with as well as network ranking. You are correct it is not a perfect metric. When I was researching hosting programs several years ago I noticed Yahoo had an EPC of $10 while several hosting programs had EPC of $300. At that time Yahoo had nine different affiliate programs rolled into one account so it covered millions of clicks and thousands of sales a month. In that case EPC was the worse way to compare it for hosting. They have since separated their programs into product type.

    We need solid numbers like program conversion and returns. Few networks are confident enough to post those numbers and we certainly know of networks that started with them and removed to cloak and protect the merchants.

  15. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    I think you missed a "hosting" link in there somewhere...

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  17. #12
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    The only epc I look at is if it is zero other than that I don't care about the number at all. A merchant who hasn't made any sales in a month that might be red flag for me, other than that what do I care about the success of other affiliates.

    As a merchant I don't see why they would care about epc, the other true metric is E. Also as an affiliate if google smiles upon me with lots and lots of clicks such that my epc goes down but my earning goes up I would smile all the way to vacation time in Vegas :-) I don't need to maximize my epc, I need to maximize my earning or for businesses it might be ROI as opposed to earning, but EPC is meaningless in a world where bandwidth is essentially free.

    Prosperant: I'm rarely rejected. I just don't know why a merchant would reject anyone who wasn't doing anything shady. I can understand safeguarding the brand but rejecting an affiliate because they don't generate enough traffic is just plain silly especially for big companies you find in malls. I mean at the very least don't they realize that insulting me as an affiliate will probably mean that I won't visit their stores. And other, not me, because you notice I didn't mention who rejected me with a silly form letter that said 5 things and the only one that could possibly be true was low traffic. I was just wondering what the cost benefit analysis is about rejecting an affiliate for traffic reasons. Similar to when I get an email saying, well you haven't made much/any sales, we are going to drop you. How does that benefit anyone, as I said above isn't one sale in 10,000 better than no hope for a sale ever?
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

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  18. #13
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Drumm View Post
    I think you missed a "hosting" link in there somewhere...
    That's ABW's new automatic "keyword targeting"...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  20. #14
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    That's ABW's new automatic "keyword targeting"...
    Ugh...can we disable it on terms for AC Lens or Baseball Rampage if it's set up for our accounts?

    Sorry to hijack your thread Oranges.

    Bob

  21. #15
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by oranges View Post
    As a merchant I don't see why they would care about epc, the other true metric is E.
    Recruiting - you'd be surprised how often we get denied by affiliates who want $X EPC or they won't join your program. It's happening less and less it seems but it still happens. It used to be really bad.

    Bob

  22. #16
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Chuck I disagree. The only metrics that matter are you own. I big epc or a large amount of sales, whatever doesn't mean as an affiliate you can duplicate it. Let says the merchant allows brand bidding and that pushes up the epc. That doesn't mean your traffic will buy anything and if you compete on the brand bidding, you drive the epc down and the profitability out.

    Returned also seems to be a good metric, but that is assuming that the affiliates aren't doing anything shady. What if they are and it just takes the merchant a while to work through the problems, you don't know what caused the returns to be high.

    Your marketing strategy might work will with a given merchant while others might not.

    I say, if you are going to worry about metrics, join each program one at a time, throw it some traffic, keep the good, dump the bad and don't worry about the statistics of anyone else other than yourself.

    Right now for my site, my business strategy is to bring in as many merchant that sell the type of products I am looking for (those of you know which I mean...no not cows) Whether a particular merchant sells or not I don't care, adding the products increases the options for my visitors and makes my site better. This is why I am frustrated when big well known merchants reject me. I already have 150,000 products, they may add only a 2 or 3 thousand more, less than 2% of my total, but having them included makes my site seem more complete. i.e. I have macys as part of my site. People may come to my site looking for something from macys and find something else from a different vendor or vice versa.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


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  24. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    That's ABW's new automatic "keyword targeting"...
    That was supposed to be in beta on a limited basis and I asked to have it removed.

  25. #18
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Robert, that is short sited by the affiliates. But if you really want them sweeten the deal. You have to remember it is opposite for the affiliates, they are working for no money until they make a sale. Adding you products requires work to make new pages or they must remove another merchant who is already making them money.


    But (assuming the affiliate is not detrimental to the brand in some way or engaging in fraudulant activities ) allowing an affiliate into ones program costs a negligible amount. What does it cost the merchant to let an affiliate try to sell their products and fail. What would you rather have low traffic from an affiliate or bad traffic from an affiliate?

    (Wow I have posted more in 2 days that since the beginning of 2012
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance



  26. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    I agree entirely. I too have posted more in this thread than I have in a year haha.

    Bob

  27. #20
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Oranges, as an AM/OPM I have to report numbers and progress to my clients (merchants). Part of that is EPC because its what we have and what they see via the network. The bottom line is ROAS (return on ad spend) which takes into account many factors then is related to their other marketing channels.

    I will admit that I get beat up over why those 1000-2000 affiliates in the program are not all sending traffic/sales. Have seen AMs brag about the 250k affiliate they have in their programs as way of advertising themselves. Means nothing unless you are working on getting them to promote you.

    Years ago I inherited a long standing program on a major network with 10k affiliates. We were frustrated with the lack of metrics on newsletters so exported the list to our own server. Found that 5,000 had bad email addresses so that number meant nothing.

    From a management side I try to activate all affiliates in a program I manage with timely program information, product updates and contests. We also target all active affiliates (sending clicks) and reach out to high impression/no sales to see if we can offer better targeted banners. There is only so much time in the day even with staff to cover all of this so we want to focus on affiliates who are actively trying to market the merchant. Its a Catch22 and a solution to this would be a better 1:1 communication between affiliates and merchants/AMs. I am for a bounce back link in a reject email where an affiliate can send a comment. I remember a colleague who got an email response for a rejection with only a subject link: F@ck Y0@

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