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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Sometime in the near future, we will begin working on our affiliate program for webhosting. Still looking at a month, maybe longer, but I want to get all the details worked out well in advance. How much interest would there be from ABW members in an affiliate program with TH Media? I would also like to hear your feedback about what we can do to make our affiliate program the best [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] The program I have in mind is either a percentage of each sale of the first months hosting, or a one-time payment for each new client. A residual type program would be too costly for us, however, I'm also considering a bonus type payment. For example, there would be a bonus if your referral is with us for 1 year. These are just a few ideas I'm working on, and nothing is set in stone. What else would you guys and gals like to see in our affiliate program, and what would make it appealing to you?

    Tom Pyles

  2. #2
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    Personally, i would prefer a one time payment per referred customer, with a bonus depending on how long they signed up for.

    Oh yeah, i'd some text links as well. Not enough on most affiliate programs.

    Sounds good so far!

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  3. #3
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    I prefer simple pay-per-sale.
    Are you planning to use a network or a direct program?

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm surprised (and glad) you guys want the one-time commission...I thought that would be a sticking point. We will be going with a network. It was considered to to do it in-house, however, I like the idea of a trusted third party (and that is not a hint towards CJ). It gives both the publisher and TH Media a means of acting on each others behalf, with a safeground for any disputes. I am leaning towards one network, and I will officially announce that at a later time.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    One time payment is great, especially when it's a nice amount. Bonus for longer signups sounds like a great idea.

    Let us know also what your decision process consists of, for those of us interested in such things.

  6. #6
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    OK...here is the latest....Our program should be launching sooner than I thought, hopefully within the next week or two. I still need to order the banners, etc. Anyhow, here is what I'm up against, and I appreciate your thoughts.

    1st thought. I had this 'dream' of paying out 50% of the first months hosting. I feel this is a reasonable amount, plus it keeps us out of the negative, even though with the commission there isn't much positive either (hoping to make that up in the second month).
    Problem with this scenario is we offer discounts to clients that pay 3months, 6months, and 1 year. It would be impossible for us to offer a 50% commission on these.

    Second scenario...we pay a flat rate of $20 on every sale, no matter what package they order (will have to stay with us for 1 month). With our lower 3 plans, we would actually be taking a loss, again, assuming the client stays for month 2.

    If I were to go with the first scenario, I would end up discontinuing the discount program for multi-month sign-ups. With that, we could offer the 50%.

    Anyhow, I'm throwing ideas out for you to crunch on. Let me know what you all think, or if you have any other suggestions, I'll listen.

  7. #7
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Maybe just set it as a proportion of the monthly fee (regardless if they pay for a year up front), so if they subscribed to hosting plan 2 you'd get a proportion of the $19.95 regardless of how they actually paid.

    On the links, plain text links are good as jq suggests, also tower ads and smaller 100x100 buttons.

  8. #8
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    Hey Moo...
    Plan 1=$a
    Plan 2=$b
    etc.....Thats great idea too...Thanks moo!!!

    [ 06-05-2002: Message edited by: TH Media ]

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    OK Gang....tell me what you think.


    Cost Aff. Commission
    Plan 1 14.95 $7.50
    Plan 2 19.95 $10.00
    Plan 3 24.95 $12.50
    Plan 4 29.95 $15.00
    Plan 5 39.95 $20.00
    Plan 6 49.95 $25.00

    As you can see it's 50% per sale. What do you guys think...too much, too little...just right.
    Also, I'm trying to get a feel for how many ABW members would be interested in our affiliate program. I try to be pro-active at ABW, and I've admired Andy, Brian, and the other merchants who stay active and listen to their affiliates...I'd like to hear any and all feedback on what would work for you. You can either address them here in public, or feel free to PM me with your suggestions and feedback.

    [ Edited to add the 'code' tag for the alignment of the table ]

    [ 06-05-2002: Message edited by: TH Media ]

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    I'm still thinking. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    See, I get this whopping $40 for an iPowerweb sign up ($95 sale), and I get a $20 signup for any package sold at FQ (FQ advantage for hosting with them).

    FQ doesn't pass on the longer plan purchase to affiliates, either. They also attract the customer to buy them via price breaks for the longer term payment.


    I have a sneaking suspicion that there is no way that iPowerweb will be able to keep up a $40 payout. But that's irrelevant to this thread.

    On your package description pages, I'd recommend putting what the monthly fee ends up being (or percent savings like on the comparison chart) if the customer pays for the quarterly, semi- or annual package. Some folks are not going to get it that there is a savings by just quoting the prices.

  11. #11
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    Webmistress, thanks for the feedback (I've been waiting to hear from ya [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ) I know you do good with webhosting so if you wish, you can PM with additional suggestions that you may have. I won't mention any hosts by name, but there are reasons that many of them can offer a very high payout, as well as cheap hosting. I was doing the math last night just as a test. I set a limit onto how much space is used on each server. The number of sites can vary on a server because of the webspace and bandwidth variables between the different accounts. Anyhow, I could take every site we host and cram them all together. If I did that, I could basically split the number of servers I have in half. That would cut my costs in half and still achieve a greater margin. Unfortunately, this is what many hosts do. I'm not one of these hosts...I want to grow this business, but its all not about profit. Its about customer satisfaction, etc. Keeping server resources down benefits us greater in the long run. There is less downtime, servers are not sluggish, crowed, etc. Unfortunately, putting our limits on servers obviously costs us more. That leaves less for large payouts and charging clients $3.00 a month for 500 megs of space. This keeps our customers satisfied with the type of service they are getting, and that stands with my principle. I can work on those commisshion numbers a little, but honestly, I couldn't afford to pay a $40 commission on a $14.95 plan for the above reasons.

  12. #12
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    personally for me, its about the money. i cant pay the bills with customer service! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    i too pay about 50% on my hosting

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    Ah, see THAT is the kind of info those of us who don't know the nuts & bolts of hosting need to MARKET one host over another. All I know is end user, and with that I can confidently recommend FQ.

    I will have to sign up for a package with you so I can get a real feel, since I have gotten more and more hinky about recommending services I haven't tried. I've already seen complaints here about iPowerWeb. With a $40 commish I might not take them OFF the page, but I will certainly have to add a fair warning. Last time I tried one of the other hosts I had on my pages .... they aren't on my pages and I moved the domain over to FQ also. Sigh. I hate shopping around. But I am confident that I'll be happy with your hosting [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img].

    Do well? I don't sell many hosting packages any given month, but they do add to the bottom line now. Thanks to just applying some of the same principles that drive the hard goods sales pages, that is.

  14. #14
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    quote:
    personally for me, its about the money. i cant pay the bills with customer service!

    Would your name be on that statement? If I paid more, but ran a crappy company, would you still promote it. If your users found me through your site, and they got screwed over, do you think it would be an indication of the quality of your merchants (that is what I mean by putting your name on it).

    I do well by customer service. I am seeing more and more sign-ups each day, and we are growing at a steady pace. What the customer services has earned me is good referrals to other webmasters. The last time I had a customer leave me was back in January. The guy moved from DC to NY and abandoned his sites. He didn't have the time to take care of them anymore and closed shop. He didn't leave because he was unhappy. With the amount of clients I have, and the amount that leave for other hosts, we have a pretty damn good track record. This one reason I am thinking of adding to the above commission rates. Perhaps a bonus system for referrals that stay with us for one year (even if they pay monthly). Also, I am considering doubling the commission to clients that host with us. If you are our client, and you refer somebody, you can make double commissions...just a few things I'm bouncing around.

  15. #15
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    Tom
    You beat ipowerweb on service (my downtime stats and the emails they don't reply to prove that) but the problem is that a $7.50 commission isn't going to get many takers when the competition are paying $20-$40.
    Just my 2c

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    quote:
    Also, I am considering doubling the commission to clients that host with us.

    Bingo. FQ also does this. That's why I make $20 instead of $10. And why I can very, very honestly recommend them.

    Oh, chinaski, now I know I've really gotta get those links at least seriously marked with warning.
    "Danger, danger sign up at your own risk".

  17. #17
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    chinasky,
    Thanks for the reply. Your right, $7.50 for plan 1 is easy to beat in commissions. I just hope folks will see it as a matter of quality. There isn't a lot I can do about the commissions, at least $20-40 a sale.

    quote:
    Danger, danger sign up at your own risk".


    I'd rather have you sign up for one of our plans, make double the commission, and talk about your 'good' experiences with your new host [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

  18. #18
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    quote:
    Originally posted by TH Media:

    Would your name be on that statement? .




    well ya, since my main site is called LaurenStephens.com and my name is Lauren Stephens I would absolutely say that. But actually, my point is this and i swear i mean NO offense whatsoever to you at all...
    it is absolutely silly to say you arent in it for the profit and id be scared to do business with someone with that perceived lack of business skills. meaning, if someone has no desire or way to make a profit, they can not stay in business very long and that is scary!
    so again, all i meant was NOT that im not giving out customer service BUT that a profit is the reason im in business!!! im not running a business to make friends ya know!!!! but it is nice to have them [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    make sense??

  19. #19
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    Absolutely...I know exactly where your coming from. We do make money, and we make decent money. We are in great financial shape. I understand your point, but it isn't all about profit, IMO. The point I was making in my post was I could take the number of servers we have and cut them nearly in half, and fill up each server with a site. I could fire half of my staff, and let them take care of things as they come along...if they get too busy, then the client could wait (Some hosts take days to answer support requests, if they answer them at all) Like I said, we do make a profit, but I don't see it as bad business practice to make sure we sell a good product, and provide the support to go along with it.
    And I'm sorry if it sounded harsh when I said would you put your name on it. My point there was if you refer somebody, and they get screwed over, would they come back to your site to shop?

    (BTW, absolutely no offense taken [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  20. #20
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    well then, its so nice to be in agreement with someone. (for once in my life!)

  21. #21
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    LOL...I was in agreement with you all along. That is why I was concerned my comment about putting your name on it would be/could be taken the wrong way. I think it may appear we are looking at 2 different angles, yet we are closer in opinion on the issue [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  22. #22
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by knucklehead:
    well ya, since my main site is called LaurenStephens.com and my name is Lauren Stephens I would absolutely say that. But actually, my point is this and i swear i mean NO offense whatsoever to you at all...
    it is absolutely silly to say you arent in it for the profit and id be scared to do business with someone with that perceived lack of business skills. meaning, if someone has no desire or way to make a profit, they can not stay in business very long and that is scary!

    so again, all i meant was NOT that im not giving out customer service BUT that a profit is the reason im in business!!! im not running a business to make friends ya know!!!! but it is nice to have them [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    make sense??



    Nice post Lauren!

    Haiko

  23. #23
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    thanks!

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    quote:
    I understand your point, but it isn't all about profit, IMO.


    It is all about profit. Long term profit.

    After several disasterous experiences with hosting, I've found a "home" where I get great service, 99.9% uptime (with guarantee), lightening fast FTP (I HATE slow FTPing now), a fantastically easy control panel, discussion boards (though I end up spending too much time here to take advantage of them [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] ), a new link directory for sites hosted by them, plus we finally went ahead and got a reseller id -- just for our company sites. I could never possibly give the kind of support they do, so I'd not want to resell to someone else and have that kind of responsibility.

    What started off as a little $14.95/month account for them is growing every month. The great service leads to profits. No ifs. No ands. No Butts.

    The more we all agree that profit is not an embarrassing foundation for action the better, IMHO. In the end, it is quality that makes more money, so a merchant providing quality will go further than one who doesn't.

  25. #25
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    Webmistress, thanks for the support (I think :rolleyes: ) You are correct, and I should be careful about what I say (or how I say it). I believe that the service itself, and the support provided, are grounds for the long-term profit. That was my point in saying it is more than just profit. I have customers that have been with me for years (I started as a reseller a long, long time ago). They are happy and contine to pay their bills each month. If I offered a bad service or no support, then there would be no reason for them to stick around, and therefore no income for the my business.

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