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  1. #101
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    raisedbeds.com (SAS) just sent out notice of a 20% drop in commission rates from 10% to 8%.

  2. #102
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    Now merchants are making big changes in cookie lengths also.
    One merchant went from 30 day to 3 day.
    Another merchant 60 day to 1 day.
    I don't think so Mr. Merchant....
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?

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  4. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Lawrence View Post
    Now merchants are making big changes in cookie lengths also.
    One merchant went from 30 day to 3 day.
    Another merchant 60 day to 1 day.
    I don't think so Mr. Merchant....
    well the industry is now all merchant, affiliate manager and network run, owned and controlled, welcome to affiliate marketing 2014 +, hope all you AM's are now happy you have NEARLY GOT WHAT YOU WANTED, TO SCREW THIS INDUSTRY UP ONCE AND FOR ALL....

    once the last commission rolls out then we can all go home....
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  5. #104
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I am not sure where everyone (merchants) are getting their information. Its not from AM/OPMs or the networks as we are not going to talk our way out of business. I do agree that all other marketing channels are negative on affiliates and we are under siege. Met with my merchant this week and they thanked us for the 60% growth in the affiliate program from 2013 over 2012. Then they told us we need to cut our expenses. Then we discussed new initiatives for 2014. They were bought out by an equity firm so its bottom line management now.

    That said blue chip brands are phasing out affiliate programs which pleases the hell out of me. That gives smaller brands the ability to fill the void. My best performing merchant has a 120 day cookie and 12% commissions on $500 average orders. Its not sexy and not fun and not flashy but it sells. But at the end of the day brand trumps anything else. Apple with always outsell PC Laptops.

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  7. #105
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    Tyent USA ShareASale

    Previous Per Sale Commission: 20.00%
    New Per Sale Commission: 5.00%

    This is insulting!

  8. #106
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly View Post
    Tyent USA ShareASale

    Previous Per Sale Commission: 20.00%
    New Per Sale Commission: 5.00%

    This is insulting!
    Well, they're managed by PMG anyway - not a fan.

    KarmaLoop on LS went from 6% to 3% ...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  9. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Well, they're managed by PMG anyway - not a fan.
    Not a fan of PMG myself. Was doing ok with this program a few years back. Now it is the time to dump it...

  10. #108
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    Party Basics ShareASale
    Previous Per Sale Commission: 10.00%
    New Per Sale Commission: 5.00%

    Program Status: Low Funds
    Reversal Rates 7 Day: 50.00 %
    Reversal Rates 30 Day: 40.00 %

    That says all...

  11. #109
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    KarmaLoop on LS went from 6% to 3% ...
    I cannot mention programs here because of advertising rules but I have just taken over a competitor to Karmaloop (well more than one actually) and they are on Linkshare too. Downside is this one's a UK site but delivers to the US (they both do) if any good to you? I am at present sorting out a decent feed for them.

    Commissions a lot better too!
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  12. #110
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    EuroStyleLighting.com (CJ):
    Current: 9%
    New: 6%

  13. #111
    Newbie Namvet4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    . I do agree that all other marketing channels are negative on affiliates and we are under siege. Met with my merchant this week and they thanked us for the 60% growth in the affiliate program from 2013 over 2012. Then they told us we need to cut our expenses. Then we discussed new initiatives for 2014. They were bought out by an equity firm so its bottom line management now.
    I went down that road years ago in my primary job! Worked for a major player in the packaging industry, highly competitive! Company was bought by an equity firm...within 3 years the entire corporation, four manufacturing facilities and thousands of people..Out Of Work! As a newbie I thank you for making me aware that this is happening in affiliate marketing. just my 2 cents....

  14. #112
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I was in printing from '85 until '97, watched many companies go through it. With affiliates its been a slow death.

  15. #113
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    This is quite interesting however, I think there are 2 elements at play here. Demand on affiliate distribution can be cyclical. Separately, it also depends on how mature the industry and market is. The more mature the industry/market - the stronger the squeeze on commissions. Good news is there are still industries and markets ( countries) where affiliate marketing is still growing and good commissions are still available.

  16. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJREE View Post
    The more mature the industry/market - the stronger the squeeze on commissions.


    It should be the other way around since affiliate marketing is the least cost marketing channels out there. Merchants pay only when we sell, simple as that.

  17. #115
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Nothing is free but AM has the lowest cost of sale at 15-25%. There is a cost to running programs either an in-house employee or outsourced program manager. Affiliate programs don't run themselves and I learned that in 2001 when I launched several and just let them run. All were shutdown in six months.

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  19. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly View Post


    It should be the other way around since affiliate marketing is the least cost marketing channels out there. Merchants pay only when we sell, simple as that.
    I know it sounds counter-intuitive. However, as the market matures there is more competition ( amongst affiliates as well) and the merchants get more sophisticated they start testing commission rates and they also get more selective in the affiliation process.

    Having said that, I actually agree with you affiliate marketing is one of the most cost efficient ways of digital marketing. We manage a bunch affiliate programs and we have always advocated good commissions. So far none has reduced

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  21. #117
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I would guess (from history) that this will always be a point of contention for affiliates and merchants as well. From the perspective of the affiliate, commissions are never enough. from the perspective of the merchant, if their price points have to be lowered to survive a poor retail economy, they have to lower commissions as well. The first place they cut expense is on the lower producing revenue sources.

    If affiliate sales produced a larger part of a merchants revenues than they do, this might not be the case. However, where the vast majority of retailers with affiliate programs attribute such a small percentage of their revenue to affiliate sales, it stands to reason that the higher revenue producing sources have first priority and the lower producing sources are cut first. That doesn't make it any easier for smaller affiliates, but it is how it works.
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  22. #118
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    It doesn't apply to every affiliate program but I have noticed that it can be more cost effective in specific sectors to relax the marketing restrictions that affiliates usually operate under and this obviously creates the potential to increase affiliate sales. For now I have managed with one client to divert resources away from generally internal run or non affiliate channels in favor of the affiliate channel, which has saved quite a few thousand in costs every month for the client and at the same time delivered a 501.25% increase year on year for January in affiliate sales, at a time when the other channels were being squeezed by additional competition from other retailers. So no percentile commission increase but a better conversion rate, more relaxation of restrictions on marketing, an increase in sales revenue and an acknowledgement from the client that sometimes it's better not to try to micromanage every aspect of the operation but allow affiliates to have more participation and less bureaucracy.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  23. #119
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    IMO John, it would depend on specifically "what" restrictions you have in mind. A merchant is MOST interested in NEW customer traffic created legitimately without poaching, over-writing etc. For years I tried to allow PPC provided T&C's were followed. Some followed T&C, some did not. Unfortunately the only solution is to restrict it for all when that happens. You get tired of trying to police the practices of each affiliate and so an across the board action is sometimes necessary. If only everyone was ethical, the restrictions merchants have to apply would be unnecessary.

    I joined ABW in 2006 and this topic has been widely discussed numerous times with pretty much the same comments etc. Some things will always exist in affiliate marketing, we just bring them up every once in a while to vent again. But hey, if everyone was happy, forums would be empty.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  24. #120
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Kiyonna Clothing (ShareASale)

    Today I got two change notification from them:

    First Email:
    Previous Per Sale Commission: 10.00%
    New Per Sale Commission: Merchant Default

    Second Email:
    Previous Per Sale Commission: 6%
    New Per Sale Commission: 4.00%

    To bad I was make some good sales with them. Good Bye!!

  25. #121
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Alan a few clients have all gone the same route of trying to internally manage every channel with slightly differing results but all to be honest falling into the same trap again and again, namely an assumption that an internally managed channel is under their control ergo they determine the activity. What they then fail to understand is that while an internally managed channel is always subject to budget and targets, they lack the flexibility to respond to market demands.

    Say for example PPC as that's a subject you raised. The internally managed channel allocates a budget and expects a ROI based on forecast. All sounds good thus far right?

    So what happens when a competitor with similar products comes along and outbids on traditional keywords and price matches your products. You get hit short term. Medium and long term you respond to the price match and look at alternative channels to give you a bump back, enabling your PPC channel to restructure.

    Now look at what happens if it's managed internally. The internal structure has zero flexibility. A fixed budget (no variability) with no ability to switch emphasis to another channel, as each channel is predetermined based on forecast, budget and expected ROI, takes longer to respond when faced with a challenge or threat. I've seen this time and time again.

    Well the point I am making is that I leveraged my channel and got the merchant to trust affiliates, even when they (affiliates) tried to pull a fast one. I was always on top of it and looked how to still make use of those miscreants.

    Anyhow I was able to demonstrate that running additional channels under the umbrella of the affiliate channel granted increased flexibility and ability to respond to the very same challenges that flummoxed the internal management.

    So I got social media and PPC and email marketing, plus my affiliate side, plus retargeting and cart abandonment and mobile marketing. I then set the very same affiliate terms as before but selected single affiliates on relaxed terms who were demonstrably expert in each sector and approached them to do things on a CPA via the affiliate channel, whilst continuing proposition valuing for other affiliates.

    I did this for this particular client I mentioned 3 months ago. Took me two years to demonstrate how wonderful and productive affiliates could be and how we were on top of any issues but it worked. We got carte blanche and as of today, a 501.25% sales increase YOY.

    The client has saved $9,000 a month in staff salaries, $7,000 a month in direct fees and $30,000 a month in budget, so a saving of $46,000 a month, which is less than my performance cut and affiliate commissions. In terms of sales volume all channels, it has not had a detrimental impact. Now I am not saying this is a permanent fix. The scenario may alter and the client may want to regain internal management of a specific channel again (for example the PPC matrix alters enabling it to be preferable again to go internal). However a client which is flexible and works with affiliates and guys like me and my company who work with affiliates and handle the digital channels, well those clients have got a better chance of handling sudden and unexpected swings in fortune than those who manage by committee with set budgets and inflexible targets. Those are the firms I pity. They are the ones I read about going into administration.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  26. #122
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Amen Brother you nailed in with that post. Haven't worked out all the angles yet as I am working on the social channel but grew client by 60% in 2013.

    You are correct with the PPC piece as merchants often have under experience staff. Had one merchant who's PPC Queen had us remove a trusted affiliate who nailed a niche driving $60k per month in sales. She never came within 1% of that and was fired several months later for lack of performance.

    I have told this story before but worked for a merchant who was going to "buy" their sales through PPC and had 8 on staff. They never quantified what they were doing but certainly would allow me to use affiliates for same. A year later a new director analyzed their numbers and they only made money on 11% of keywords so in other words lost 89% of their spend. I had asked the president for 2% more to incent my cadre of trusted niche PPC affiliates and was told NO!

    We pitch 25% of sale cost with all fees included but get turned down for affiliates because the merchant doesn't actually know what other channels are costing them. And it goes on and on and on!!

  27. #123
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    "I could have been a bit more specific in detailing our traffic - but if the merchant takes a look at the link he can see we are not displaying "fluff" nor are we couponing. However we do have them listed among competitors and we also have AdSense on many of those section pages.

    One thing they might also like (that I neglected to tell them) is that section of our site has inbound traffic from places like zagat.com, baltimore.cbslocal.com, travel.nytimes.com - and a few other cool places, likely because we've had it online for over a dozen years. I can tell them this "if" they respond with some questions about our traffic."

    Bill, very good way to deal with it. By not responding in anger or ego, you have given the merchant some common sense things to consider. I'd be interested in seeing where it goes from there for you. Good luck.
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  28. #124
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    We are all seeing the same results from the 1-2-3 combo endured by panda penguin and ultimately the f*cking hummingbird on our hard earned passive, and from what i gather from this thread, even our main sources of income.
    Although ppc seems to be on the decline at the moment for whatever reason, other campaigns are as strong as ever & still earning/growing through the storm. After reading through the notes released after hummingbird I have literally given up with trying to take any kind of 'real' strategic approach in building my CPA sites for click bank offers (just for example) - whereas I can spent 2 weeks doing the same thing on a new build that I did with the one just finished & earning/ranking after 3 weeks & literally never make it past page 10... its a crap shoot now, and the only answer to the ppc virus of 2014 (as i have been unofficially calling it haha) is hopefully not having all of your eggs in one basket & having a diverse/strong enough network to weather these kinds of storms...

    For example, a more hot topic of conversation as of late was discussing the method (originally posted by Luke @ peerfly on his personal blog) of using TeeSpring & 20-50$ per day in Facebook ads (average of $23 per day) for a month.

    I am lucky enough to have a few of the guys at Peerfly on my contact list & have been testing this method myself for a few months now with invariably similar success (not quite what Luke is earning, but I am not as good with setting up campaigns as he is, clearly)
    However for those less inclined in relying so much on earnings from Google and other seemingly unreliable sources of income which can seeminly vaporize over night, there is a fascinating trend back to more creative methods such as the TeeSpring one, coming to the front lines... I am not sure if anyone has tacitly noticed this trend on the forums or not, but i think it is great
    So personally, first of all this is a great thread to raise awareness about this issue and hopefully help some of these newer guys who may be taking a bit larger of a hit than some of us in this on going saga of roller coasting stat sheets :P
    I think the most important thing to realize here is to remain diverse. No matter how much easier it is, or how much $$ you think youll make by doing it, never put all your eggs in one basket unless you can afford to truly lose it :P
    I look forward to seeing where this thread goes in the near future with the ongoing tenaciousness of Papa Goog
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; January 20th, 2014 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Removed image and issued warning

  29. #125
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Air & Water Reverses Trend
    Gotta give credit to Air & Water on CJ.

    In the past couple of years they got rid of incentives and lowered their commission rate to 4%.

    Now, for whatever motivation, they have seen the light, and raised their commission rate up to 7%.

    They sell a broad spectrum of home products, including a lot for kitchen and bar, and I'm glad to be able to enthusiastically promote them now.

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