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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    February 2nd, 2015
    Posts
    9
    Self hosted or Network
    Hello -

    I have taken my service oriented local business and created a dog training and behavior video program. My plan was to set up an affiliate program for our veterinarian, dog daycare and rescue partners. Hoping to build further credibility beyond our local reach and gaining more partners outside our local area. In reading many threads here, it is beginning to appear my plans may have been unrealistic.

    It appears a network is the preferred route to go for establishing credibility, overcoming payment issues, taxes, etc. Is there a charge for the affiliates to join these networks? Is it a simple process for them to get started? I am quite certain my prospects I was considering will not likely be interested in joining a network in order to share our resources with their clients.

    Any guidance is highly appreciated and if you just point me to the info I will do my homework. Just lost in where to even begin at this point. And quite sad that I had not found this resource long before now.

    smiles and wags ~

  2. #2
    Tax Paying Member
    Join Date
    November 14th, 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,119
    Affiliates do not pay to join a network.

    Merchants do pay for network services.

    If you are selling local services, stick with a self hosted website.

    If you are selling your video/cd to a wide area audience, then consider joining a network. You may wish to continue selling the video from your own e-commerce site until you get a feel of how well your product will sell.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by Witzer; February 3rd, 2015 at 12:09 AM.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

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  4. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,646
    Don't start an affiliate program until as Witzer said you have started selling first from your site. Try some low cost paid search to establish you conversion rate.

  5. #4
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    1,305
    Advice here is dead on. You need to make sure your product sells and site works before you have any business trying to launch a program. Paid search, local offline advertising using referral codes, or partnerships with the type of businesses you mentioned using referral codes (hopefully your ecommerce provider allows this) until you can make sure that the product sells, then once you are happy with the results, consider taking it out via a network like ShareASale.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

  6. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    February 2nd, 2015
    Posts
    9
    Thank you for the guidance! Our DogSense Online product has its own website and we launched the program the 1st of the year, so just over a month. I have 63 paid members to date, but many of them came direct through referrals and our social media efforts. Nothing through google search or ads yet.

    We just launched this week our marketing efforts through Marketing 360 that will handle our Google ads, retargeting ads and later social media ads. I have done my due diligence and have researched to death competition, leaving no doubt in my mind our program is the best out there. Our website, quality of videos and content are excellent in function and form.

    With these things in place, can anyone give me about how much data I need (or how many sales) before giving SAS a shot?

  7. #6
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    1,305
    Not sure what the affiliates will say on this, but I'd say that if you're converting better than 2% of your paid traffic (the higher the better obviously) and you're happy with the performance of traffic that naturally hits the site and comes in from other paid channels, you should be good. We're just wanting to make sure that you're not taking a completely new and untested site to a network as that is a recipe for failure. Affiliate Marketing is awesome for driving MORE traffic and sales... not nearly as good at being the ONLY channel for driving traffic and sales on a new site. Most of the network sales folks you talk with will (or should) question you on this stuff to make sure you've thought things out and are actually ready. It wouldn't hurt to reach out to some of the OPM's on the ABW board to see if they might be up for giving you a quick audit for readiness to launch.
    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
    Newbie
    Join Date
    February 2nd, 2015
    Posts
    9
    I feel like I have at last found folks that are knowledgeable and brilliantly helpful! I am on our 3rd web development company and our 2nd SEO/Marketing partner. I may as well have just flushed that money down the toilet personally! I feel like I entered the two most incompetence laden fields in the universe! Dog Training/Behavior and Technology. Considering technology and the pet industry have been listed as the fastest growing industries for some time, I'm thinking that is a significant contributing factor.

    An OPM audit after we have some stats and results over the next couple months on our natural/organic listing, adwords, social media and retargeting efforts sounds like a solid plan. 2% conversion rate seems a reasonable benchmark to reach prior to initiating audit.

    Thank you from the bottom and top of my heart!

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