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  1. #1
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    Thinking about starting an affiliate program - need advice
    I have been thinking about starting an affiliate program but am not sure if my product would be a good fit for affiliate marketing.

    At one time I was an affiliate myself, so I am basically familiar with the whole thing and how it works, although its been a while and I don't know what has changed.

    I had a cafepress shop associated with one of my sites and got frustrated with how high the base prices are and how little I could make. So I learned how to sublimate myself and have found I can do it for much less than their base prices. However, I'm not the best salesperson and haven't been able to work on my site as much since becoming a parent. Now my dd is in school full days and I have time again.

    Mostly I am sublimating mugs, which people like but which of course are expensive and a pain to ship. I have quite a few designs, all nature related and related to the topic of my site - which also has lots of information. I've done a couple of earth day booths and people like my products.

    Given that I make them myself I can make a pretty good profit so can offer a commission that I think would be competitive with what CP offers, but I have fewer designs overall of course and fewer products to sublimate onto, although that could be expanded. I see CP offers 5%, but I don't know what that's based on - their base prices or something else.

    Anyway, what I'm asking - does it make any sense to create an affiliate program for (at this point) mostly sublimated mugs with my own designs? Would many affiliates be interested? Do nature related gift type products sell well enough through affiliate programs? If CP can make it work, its seems I should be able to except that I have less products and less designs to offer affiliates to promote. But my commission might be higher.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    What kind of conversion do you get right now for your website?

  3. #3
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    Not that much, but I haven't had the time to really promote it until recently.

    Do affiliates see that as good or bad? On one hand I get that they want to know a product will sell, on the other hand do they really want to compete with the merchant?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by trisha View Post
    Not that much, but I haven't had the time to really promote it until recently.

    Do affiliates see that as good or bad?
    Bad. If you don't convert now, affiliate won't want to send their traffic to you. They would consider that a waste. Traffic is valuable for all. So if affiliates think CP has a much better chance of converting they wd send their traffic there.

    Quote Originally Posted by trisha View Post
    On one hand I get that they want to know a product will sell, on the other hand do they really want to compete with the merchant?
    That's not correct....at all....that's affiliate marketing 101

    Merchants need to convert because affiliates can't, affiliates don't have a cart on their site, they don't take credit card payments. Sending traffic to a merchant that converts isn't competing with the merchant. It means a higher chance of earning a commission. Sending traffic to a merchant that doesn't convert is a waste of traffic.

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  6. #5
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    But you're talking about conversions not traffic right? So, I need to learn more about how to set up my site/cart to increase conversions? Is that correct? But I still need enough traffic without help from affiliates to prove that the site will convert?

  7. #6
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    Both. You need to have enough traffic and good conversion first. Affiliate marketing should be the last marketing channel, after you have exhausted all other possible ways of traffic generation, like SEO, Email marketing, PPC ads. Once your site is getting enough traffic and converting well, then add affiliate marketing to the mix.

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  9. #7
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Chicken and egg. You need both plus an extremely competitive offer. I agree with Sam...
    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

  10. #8
    Affiliate Manager DorkTees's Avatar
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    +1 on the conversion tip. We wen't through about 15 different versions of our site the first few months, split testing and more split testing. Funny enough, the one that converted the best was the most simple. Almost so simple that it looks bad haha!

    I think above all, this is what affiliates look for. I did back when I was an affiliate!

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  12. #9
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Conversion is everything.. if you're not doing it effectively, you will have a hard time gaining traction at all as affiliates are likely working with established vendors who do convert. Affiliate Marketing is really only good when used to drive traffic into conversion funnels that do work well.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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