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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Long Island, New York
    We are ready to start an affiliate program, selling pet supplies. We have our own shopping cart software to accommodate the program, which will be online in about a week.
    The company will offer over 40,000 products, the largest such offering in this channel.

    Would it make any difference to an affiliate if we were under this program or simply our own.
    The main difference we see is a cost on our part of signing up with this company.
    Thereafter paying them a commission in addition to the commission to the affiliate.
    Since we sell at deep discount we could only offer a commission of 10%.
    If we have to pay a company such as this we would only be able to offer the affiliate 8%.

    What are your thoughts, do we need them or not?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Many affiliates would prefer an in-house administered program. There is one sticking point here though: meeting minimum payment thresholds. With Shareasale, affiliate payments are consolidated, so an affiliate who only makes a few sales per month will get paid for them in a timely manner, if combined with several sales piece from other programs under Shareasale's wing. Most affiliates are particularly enamored of consolidated payment plans

    There is also the trust factor; Shareasale is known and trusted by most. There is always apprehension about promoting independent programs, even those that are already well established.

    As far as set-up costs go, get real. The set-up cost at Shareasale is hardly any more than what it would cost for a classified ad to run for a week in a city newspaper, and the exposure is perfectly targeted, and does not expire after a week. It's a can't lose proposition so long as your offers are viable for affiliate promotion.

    [so much for being a CJ shill ]

    Hell wasn't big enough so I had to come back.

  3. #3
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Pet Dealer,

    In my estimation - the benefits of a network solution, and in this case a solution - include the following...

    1. immediate exposure to affiliates. this doesn't mean that recruitment of your own partners and affiliates should cease - but exposure in front of a large base right off the bat can get you off the ground with your program.

    2. cost. although your concern was that the cost of was higher than your in-house program - i would caution you against some hidden costs of running your own program, which would include: payment processing, customer and affiliate support, development and upgrades to affiliate software, server loads, etc... Our transaction cost of 20% is lower than most (30% normal), and there are no extra charges outside of any featured promotions that you do within the network.... i.e., no monthly minimums/banner serving/check processing costs...
    Basically, you have to find a way to run your program at a cost significantly less than 20% of a commission - which is harder than it sounds.

    3. trust. affiliates have come to trust us as a network, over the 3 years or so that we have been doing this. included in this, is the confidence that they will be paid for transactions posted - (as we take all payments up front from the advertisers, they won't be left without a commission should the advertiser go out of business/stop paying/etc). Also, they have a third-party to send complaints/disputes too, should anything bad happen. Of course, no one wants or expects these things to happen, but in the case that they do...

    4. We participate in ABW discussions frequently. Seriously, the benefit to that is that we like to hear from our friends at ABW among others - and we are able to make changes, improvements, accept critiques, etc... As everyone is aware, we are a much smaller company than Commission Junction, Linkshare, BeFree...and we feel that provides us with greater flexibility to make each program run the way that the merchant wants it to run. We have been able to make custom changes to software, in order to accomodate the requests of certain programs...some of those here on ABW.

    There are obviously good points to running your own in-house program - and many do so very successfully... the key for that, in my opinion - is getting a good software package that is flexible (or developing one yourself) - and making sure that you have someone on board who understands the software very well!


    -Brian Littleton

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Long Island, New York
    We have spoken to Haiko and will be setting up a forum for the affiliate program, and make a formal announcement when the time comes.

    The purpose of this post is to gather your thoughts on several issues.

    Are you using any affiliate programs selling pet supplies?

    If so which ones are successful?

    what are the conversion ratios?

    What cookie durations (besides forever) would be fair?

    What attributes would you like to see included in the program?

    Our initial plan is to setup a data feed
    Cookie duration is still being considered
    We will offer 43,000 items, more than anyone else in this channel.
    (More than Petsmart, Petco, Dr. Foster & Smith, Petfooddirect, Ferret store …….)
    The commission would be 10%
    The program will be managed in house, we see no benefit with CJ, linkshare etc.
    There will be a logon to see the number of links, sales etc. Payments would be monthly via check or PayPal.
    Our web servers are dedicated and managed by our own IT staff.

    A few items of interest relating to the pet industry.
    60% of the US population owns a pet or aquarium.
    The pet industry is a 26 billion market
    The company was started in 1974

    Your constructive comments would be appreciated.


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