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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Hey there,
    I'm not ready! But my business partner really wants to get going on our first drop shipping site and almost immediately get an affiliate program set up. I have made the point that first thing should be for me to sign up as an affiliate and make sure the thing can earn.
    We're starting off with selling videos, DVD's and video game software. My BP wants to sell posters on the same page, but if I can't get drop shipping, I'd rather just have a link to a poster page and lose the sale rather than screw the affiliate out of closing a video sale with a poster distraction.
    Currently we're working with a programmer that we've worked with on and off for a bunch of stuff and he basically asked me
    If you can give some thought to how you want the affiliate program
    to run and write it down so I can put it into a technical spec that we
    can discuss further.

    My BP is thinking tiered, and wants to have a "members area" that would be a larger sale which would allow customers to get discounts on their purchases. Problem is that then the customer never goes through an affiliate link again. I mentioned lifetime commission on that customer, but by giving the customer a significant discount already, we would lose all profit if we gave out residuals as well.

    My problem with tiered is that often it means the lowest tier has been lowered from what the merchant really meant to pay to allow for the higher affiliate earnings in the higher tiers. How does everyone else view tiers? I honestly haven't made enough with any one merchant to get bonuses yet, but some of you all have.

    You know, I'm so darned comfortable on this side of the affiliate relationship I'm freezing up a bit on how I'd build my own!

    Any and all suggestions appreciated. Also, since this is going into the technical spec mostly right now, I guess I need to think about what kind of reporting I'd want to offer (hehehehe, at LEAST what cj offers, right?).

    Okay, I'm overwhelmed, think I'll go eat chocolate now.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Webmistress.....As Elvis would say 'Welcome to my world.....won't you come inside' [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    You are running into some of the same issues I've run into while setting up our affiliate program. One thing I'd like to mention is that shareasale does have a tiered system in place. There is also a network coming out 'just around the corner' by a third trusted party. I don't know if the new network will have tiered. For right now at shareasale, I haven't set up our sales as tiered, but I have allowed a bounty for other webmasters referred to our affiliate program. I may open the other tiers on a % of sales, but for right now, I think I'd like to have top level, and pay them what I can. That is something you may want to consider...instead of tiers, pay a referral to other webmasters that join your program.

    I know you mentioned a programmer you are working with, but wanted to give some insight as to how shareasale worked (hopefully inspire some ideas).

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Go with a recruitment bonus and forget tiered commission hassles. In 4 years with over 300 tiered merchants I've yet to receive a downline check. Next look at for your shopping cart/e-catalog with interfaces easily with all inhouse affiliate management scripts and major networks.

    Do not go live with an affiliate program til you already test out your site with PPC listings. Tweak the site til it produces 1 sale per 100 visitors before attemping to affiliate enable it. The music category is crowded and there are plenty of con-artists who offer FREE CD's but rape consumers on freight charges and sell off e-mail addresses to spam lists.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Thanks for a recommendation on the shopping cart, Mike. I'll do some more research (I'd rather be typing out more affiliate pages myself [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ).

    I think what I meant my BP means is more along the lines of bonuses than tiering (sorry), and definitely the referral bonuses. It's the bonuses for larger amounts of sales that I'm wondering about.

    The suggestion of making sure an affiliate can make money was made when I first mentioned the idea, and it is an extremely valuable suggestion. I know that what I do works, so if I can make money then it is possible. Yeh, there are other models that work, and plenty that don't, but if the model that works on everything else I've tried works on our own at least I'll know I'm not opening up a total rip off program.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005

    You can buy better affiliate marketing software off the shelf than any programmer can make you for cheap.

    Try tracking can have your own program for $35 per month to start.

    DVD's is probably a good product to do, but
    can you sell them for less than Walmart thru your drop shipper?

    A 3 tiered program would be awesome if you can do it...tracking soft has that built in btw...can you handle 1,000 sales per day?

    It won't be hard to get 10,000 affiliates with a 3 tier program - they average 1 sale for every 10 affiliates and you are at 1,000 per day.

    The key deal with doing what you want is NOT what do you do if it fails but what do you do if it succeeds beyond your wildest dreams.

    The guy who started 123Ink was doing it out of his basement but he got so many orders he had to go do the real biz know with people and salaries etc.

    Not something that is bad but it is real time consuming and now you have to put on your real business hat and actually WORK.

    Ah the trials and tribulations of affiliate marketing.

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    New York

    Miva is a very nice cart and works with Shareasale [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    PS will PM you also

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