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  1. #1
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    Affiliate networks (form merchants) that do not charge setup fees?
    Hi and thanks in advance.

    My first post here. I am hoping this is the right section to ask the following:

    I am looking for an affiliate network that (as a merchant/advertiser) do not charge any setup fees, monthly fees or support fees.

    Just transaction fees. Do they even exist?

    If you know of any could you please share their names?


    Thanks !

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Haven't seen one. You can check your shopping cart, a lot have free affiliate tracking i.e. referral links. Maybe check Magento.

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  4. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I don't know if they still do, but there used to be one. It is/was such a bad network, though, that I won't even give their name.

    If you want something that costs you nothing (but your time), running an in-house program is probably your best bet. But don't expect affiliates to come clamoring for you. Affiliates like the assurance and convenience that comes with a top notch affiliate network.

    Of the largest affiliate networks, one stands out as having the most reasonable fees for small merchants. ShareASale charges a one-time $550 setup fee, a 20% transaction fee (so a 10% commission costs you 12%), and a low monthly minimum ($25). Most other reputable networks (the last time I checked) have much higher fees and minimums.

    If you can't afford $550 upfront and $25 per month, maybe an affiliate program isn't for you.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; August 18th, 2014 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Correction: $25 is the monthly minimum, not a fee.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela


  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    I don't know if they still do, but there used to be one. It is/was such a bad network, though, that I won't even give their name.

    If you want something that costs you nothing (but your time), running an in-house program is probably your best bet. But don't expect affiliates to come clamoring for you. Affiliates like the assurance and convenience that comes with a top notch affiliate network.

    Of the largest affiliate networks, one stands out as having the most reasonable fees for small merchants. ShareASale charges a one-time $550 setup fee, a 20% transaction fee (so a 10% commission costs you 12%), and a low monthly fee ($25). Most other reputable networks (the last time I checked) have much higher fees and minimums.

    If you can't afford $550 upfront and $25 per month, maybe an affiliate program isn't for you.
    Too expensive for an untested product. Thanks anyways...

  6. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    And you think affiliates want to be your testing ground?

    If you want to experiment, use AdWords or your own traffic.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela


  7. #6
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm with Michael - affiliate programs are awful for untested sites/products. You'll have a hard time attracting legit affiliates if you don't have some performance metrics from testing other traffic. Affiliate Marketing is awesome as fuel for a working sales engine, but you shouldn't use it to try to start the car
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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  9. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    And even worse than not attracting legit affiliates is attracting them and not converting. Many affiliates will take your links down and never work with you again. You have one chance to make a good impression. You have to get all your ducks in a row FIRST.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  10. #8
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    I tried LinkHere.co (not dot com) for my Shopify cart. They charged a percentage (20% of whatever the merchant set as the affiliate commission). I didn't like them, though, because neither I nor affiliates had any way of tracking information. I had no idea who was using affiliate links, which is dangerous because unknown affiliates could ruin a merchant's rep by spamming, etc.

    I'm using LeadDyno.com now with my Shopify cart. I started using them recently, so I don't have significant data to share. However, I'd like to share what I like about them:

    1. Their customer service is very helpful and accessible
    2. Their software documentation provides very useful information for merchants
    3. Their fees are very reasonable
    4. Their merchant and affiliate dashboards are easy to use, informative (i.e. metrics, etc.)
    5. Their software is easy to install and implement
    6. Their affiliate tracking doesn't expire (although merchants can limit this in the settings)
    7. They offer tiered affiliate payments for recruiting other affiliates
    8. They allow merchants to create discount codes for specific affiliates to share
    9. Their dashboard is not cluttered with advertisements, links to other affiliate programs - it's dedicated to the merchant's affiliate program
    10. They give merchants the option of allowing affiliates to create SubIDs (product links with affiliate IDs attached) so that affiliates and merchants can track metrics of each specific SubID shared.

    I chatted with a LeadDyno manager who gave me a 30 day trial (instead of their normal 14 days) and 3 months / 50% discount. Besides this, he was extremely patient with me in answering all my questions. As I'm new to this whole process, I found his customer support very reassuring.
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; August 17th, 2014 at 10:56 AM. Reason: removed links

  11. #9
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    That's quite an ad you've put together there. Nice link structure, too - not just a home page link. And mentioning that you got a bump on the trial and implying that we can get the same if we reach out to the "extremely patient" manager? Genius.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  12. #10
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel M. Clark View Post
    That's quite an ad you've put together there. Nice link structure, too - not just a home page link. And mentioning that you got a bump on the trial and implying that we can get the same if we reach out to the "extremely patient" manager? Genius.
    I was simply sharing from personal experience. In no way, shape, or form, am I connected with or compensated by LeadDyno. I didn't even know they existed until I did a google search for best affiliate software + shopfiy.

    I am not implying that "you too will get a discount." I added my experience just to say how impressed I was with the customer service and support, considering that my biz in an upstart and I don't have the capital to pay for expensive affiliate management programs.

    I was trying to be helpful to the OP who was looking for info and is new to affiliate management. As I am new to this, as well, I would find it helpful to know in simple terms why an inexpensive program would be beneficial.

    Regarding "extremely patient manager," I've got chat transcripts to prove it.

    I won't apologize for spelling out my experiences in the format in which I did. If it is perceived as an advertisement is disguise, then it's not my intention nor responsibility.

    Now, because newbies cannot have signatures, I can't share my LinkedIn info that would hopefully affirm the fact that I'm not some cloak and dagger newbie who worms her way in under false pretenses.

    Yes, I'm being defensive. Your accusation is insulting.
    Last edited by SKR312; August 17th, 2014 at 01:06 PM. Reason: Fixed typo and added chat transcripts line.

  13. #11
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    You see how a moderator here went back and removed your links? That's because what you posted was formatted like an advertisement.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  15. #12
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Oh, I thought sharing experiences meant something in a forum. Turns out, being mean-spirited is the better way to go.
    Last edited by SKR312; August 17th, 2014 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Took out a derisive phrase.

  16. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Don't fret about that, Daniel. She "evidently" overlooked reading the rules, or simply ignored them. Looks like she also gave Denis (Convergence) a good put-down in another thread (not realizing he's got more web savvy than 98% of the members here).
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  17. #14
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Thank you for taking the time to way in on my errors. I took the time once again to read the rules. I will stop here an not any more to derailing the OP.
    Last edited by SKR312; August 17th, 2014 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Re-write. Original one-liner removed.

  18. #15
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    There are some factors which should also be considered if you are looking for a network, like:

    What is the composition of their affiliate base?

    The screening process for affiliates - does anyone get in, or are there quality requirements? Is the review a one-time thing, or are there ongoing compliance checks?

    What promotion methods are being used by each affiliate? Are there rules, or is anything okay?

    How are tracking links tested and confirmed? For example, are you sure that sales on mobile devices are being tracked properly?

    Just one last point - tiered affiliate programs trigger MLM rules and laws, so any program using that structure must also meet the government requirements concerning MLMs.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
    Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Affiliate Window
    US Programs | Canada Programs | UK Programs | Ireland Programs | Mainland Europe Programs

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  20. #16
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by skr312 View Post
    oh, i thought sharing experiences meant something in a forum. Turns out, being mean-spirited is the better way to go.
    -1

  21. #17
    Newbie SKR312's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam_park View Post
    -1
    Deserved. I took things too personally in this thread. My apologies.

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  23. #18
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walahappe View Post
    Too expensive for an untested product. Thanks anyways...
    Amen. It's nice to see a merchant realize this.
    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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