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  1. #1
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    How to get noticed on SAS
    I recently uploaded my Shareasale merchant affiliate scheme, but have had zero interest in it I am not quite sure if I am just not being patient enough or whether I am doing something incorrectly. My rate is set to 65%, which is one of the highest for my areas, and is in an area that I feel tends to be quite profitable for affiliates.

    Are there any merchants in here who have suggestions on how to promote an SAS scheme?

    Also I'd love to hear from affiliates themselves as to what they look for in a program and even more importantly what would make them steer clear.

  2. #2
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    To start.

    1. You have outside banners on your site, big leak. I understand why, but still doesn't look attractive to the affiliates.

    2. And biggest, what are you selling? I looked at your program and your site, and all I see is free free free - what costs members money? What is the average sale price? How often do free members convert to paid? How many paying customers do you have? How many free? You simply offer zero information to any affiliate, affiliates are your partners not your enemy, you have to turn over information to them about your business for them to want to promote you.

    Chet

  3. #3
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    Some food for thought their Chet. I do list in my SAS programme information more about what I am offering though. There are three types of membership, two of which cost money and the basic one is free. As for the stats, well everything is quite new so it's difficult to be sure. I've probably got a regular user base of 1,000 and a casual userbase of a further 2,000. I've had about 50 people sign up to the memberships so far, and my calculations are that about 1% of people who sign up and use the site will pay. An affiliate stands to earn 65% of the membership cost, so could earn 65% of $13.99. I am more than confident that their CPM would comfortably exceed any banner advertising agency. I do know from a test that the CTR on my banner ad is extremely high, so at least I know that part is OK! lol!

    I don't understand what you mean about outside banners on my site? You mean the Fastclick ads? Why would that put an affialiate off?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Chunite
    I don't understand what you mean about outside banners on my site? You mean the Fastclick ads? Why would that put an affialiate off?
    It doesn't just put affiliates off. The first thing I saw on your site was the "You have won a free prize" banner that looks like a Windows confirmation box. BAD MOVE!!! Those are garbage and even the simplest of web surfers know that.

    Why would an affiliate promote your site if you have links to other sites on it? We spend time and money driving traffic to you so you can send them to some sleazy BS site through Fastclick? Affiliates will not only not sign up but they will run from you.

    You need some education. There are several good affiliate managers in this forum. If you are serious, hire one of them to do some consultation with you.


  5. #5
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    So are you suggesting that I should take the banner advertising off the front page of my site, or remove all advertising from my site? If I were to remove all advertising that would hurt a lot, maybe even to the point where I'd lose more money than affiliates could earn me anyway. It would also hand over a competitive edge to my marketplace rivals. Similar sites, such as MySpace, all have adverts on their landing page and throughout their site.

  6. #6
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    Remove the advertising from the areas where a potential customer would see it. Once they have signed up, have at it with the advertising. But affiliates will not send you traffic if there is a chance that the shopper will be detoured by ads.
    This is Affiliate Marketing 101.

    Edited to say: If the ads are that important, consider a PPC (pay per click) affiliate model.
    Last edited by UncleScooter; August 10th, 2005 at 09:37 PM. Reason: added another thought


  7. #7
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    you need to remove all advertising from your home page and any pages that show to anyone who is not a member visiting your site... failure to do so.. and you mite as well forget about having an affiliate program... because no affiliates especially ABW members are not going to bother with you and your program.... most of your rivals know what we want and expect from a merchant... the ones who plug the leaks get our support the ones who dont/wont... get no support...


    JOe
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Chunite
    So are you suggesting that I should take the banner advertising off the front page of my site, or remove all advertising from my site? If I were to remove all advertising that would hurt a lot, maybe even to the point where I'd lose more money than affiliates could earn me anyway.
    Either you're in business to sell products or to make money from ads. You need to decide which it is. If it's to sell products, an affiliate program will work good. If it's to make money from ads, you might as well shut down your affiliate program, stop selling stuff, and just become an affiliate yourself.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  9. #9
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    All i see on shareasale is (this is in your description)

    Thank you for expressing an interest in the Chunite affiliate program! Chunite is an online chat community, featuring chat rooms, profiles, BLOG's and forums. We are a professionally designed website, with a fast growing user base. We offer our users three membership types. The basic package is free, but we also offer two paid membership packages and have a very favourable basic to paying conversion rate. For every member who signs up to one of our paying membership packages, after clicking through from your site, you earn HUGE 65% commission on the sale, which could potentially equate to you earning $9 for every person you send our way! So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!
    I bolded the part that would make me not even look twice at your program. Don't sell me potential, tell me what i will make. You sell X it costs Y you make Z. Anything else is done either out of ignorance or because you are hiding something.

    Chet

  10. #10
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Chunite
    Are there any merchants in here who have suggestions on how to promote an SAS scheme?

    Also I'd love to hear from affiliates themselves as to what they look for in a program and even more importantly what would make them steer clear.
    Chunite, tough crowed here at ABW. You asked and you received. Most of the time their advice is "gold" and this advice is spot on IMO. Make some adjustments and good luck with your program.
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Either you're in business to sell products or to make money from ads. You need to decide which it is. If it's to sell products, an affiliate program will work good. If it's to make money from ads, you might as well shut down your affiliate program, stop selling stuff, and just become an affiliate yourself.
    That's fine in theory but the business model of my rival sites blows it out of the water. They make thousands from both subscriptions AND advertising.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents
    you need to remove all advertising from your home page and any pages that show to anyone who is not a member visiting your site... failure to do so.. and you mite as well forget about having an affiliate program... because no affiliates especially ABW members are not going to bother with you and your program.... most of your rivals know what we want and expect from a merchant... the ones who plug the leaks get our support the ones who dont/wont... get no support...


    JOe
    Thanks for your response. I think I will remove the advertising from my landing page. The funny thing is I also affiliate myself and it's never bothered me what ads someone shows on their sites, in fact it never even crossed my mind!! I think webmasters become hyper sensitive over such things without reason. 99% of ordinary internet users don't care about the adverts when they are from an ad agency and not targeted, and I suspect most of them don't even notice!! I'd be worried about Adwords, but not just general banner advertising. I have seen Fastclick come in for a lot of stick on a lot of forums of late for their "Win a million, click here!" type of ads, but from what I can make out the only people who care are webmasters. I have never received a single complaint from any of my users about the ads.

    The hard part here is the marketing. The most important thing here are my users. There is no point in having a great website to attract affialites, only for users not to be interested in using it. I am in a fierce marketplace. Some rival sites are huge and completely free. Some are huge and do both. What I do know is outwardly I must get across to potential customers that the site is mainly free. It's the only thing that will push the site along, people online do not like to pay for things such as chat and why should they when there are so many free services around. Do you think so many people would use MSN Messenger, for example, if Microsoft started charging for it?

    However, there is money to be made from subscriptions packages but these can only be pushed on the userbase AFTER they've signed up to the service. There is little point in advertising them heavily beforehand because the users will be suspicious and not sign upto the site if they think that they aren't going to be able to use the site effectively because to do so they have to pay.

    So clearly advertising Chunite to my customers has to come from an opposite angle to advertising to potential affiliates (who effectively are getting a free ride anyway, it's almost guaranteed they'll make money and all they have to do is show a few ads on their website). Well my customers just have to come first, so I guess I am left with a problem! I think I may have to contact an ad agency instead to market my site.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    All i see on shareasale is (this is in your description)



    I bolded the part that would make me not even look twice at your program. Don't sell me potential, tell me what i will make. You sell X it costs Y you make Z. Anything else is done either out of ignorance or because you are hiding something.

    Chet
    See, now the problem is here there are no absolutes in life. I can't say you will make money because maybe you won't. If you place my ads at the bottom of a page that isn't viewed much you aren't going to make anything.

    As for giving them exact pricing models, that is going to make the explanation extremely long winded and, from my own point of view, make people switch off before they've even finished reading.

    Basically I have two membership types:
    Plan A $7.99 for 6 months
    Plan B $9.99 for 6 months
    Buy both Plan A & B (again for 6 months) at the same time for $13.99.

    Affiliates make 65% of those sales. So if every person an affialite sends my way buys both Plan A & B, they could potentially earn $9 for each person they send my way.

    But I can't say they will earn money for sure and could have my rump sued for sure if I were to say so.

    Also I am a SAS affiliate myself and have been for longer than I have been a merchant and I have seen very little other adverts that display detailed, exact figures like you suggest I should show and yet some are very successful at getting affiliates to display theirs ads. I wonder how they manage to get so many affiliates??

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelin Man
    Chunite, tough crowed here at ABW. You asked and you received. Most of the time their advice is "gold" and this advice is spot on IMO. Make some adjustments and good luck with your program.
    It's all good I'm going to make some adjustments based on what people have said here but the problem I have, as I have explained elsewhere, is that designing a site to suit potential affiliates would drive away a lot of users. Affiliates want to see the potential to make $$$ on a website. Users want to see a site which they can use as much as possible for free....

  15. #15
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Mr. Chunite,

    I agree. And I would not push it too far (by offering too much to affiliates). Do your math and pay your affiliates whatever you are paying any reputable PPC search engine per every sale referred.

    Also, on the how-to-get-noticed-at-SaS theme I would highly recommend their "Featured Program of the Week" advertising. It works well for us.

    Geno

  16. #16
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    Mr Chunite, you posted what you need to have on your sas listing. I know you aren't going to tell me my end results with you, but currently you list no product and no pricing, just that one line about potential.

    But to be honest, if that is what you are selling, you will still have a hard time getting affiliates for all the reasons you mentioned. 65% of free is not very much.

    Chet

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    Mr Chunite, you posted what you need to have on your sas listing. I know you aren't going to tell me my end results with you, but currently you list no product and no pricing, just that one line about potential.

    But to be honest, if that is what you are selling, you will still have a hard time getting affiliates for all the reasons you mentioned. 65% of free is not very much.

    Chet
    Hi Chet, your feedback is appreciated and I will be making some changes to my SAS description accordingly.

    The frustrating thing is my ratio of sign ups that go to paid membership packages is very favourable.

  18. #18
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    OK, I've adjusted the text on my SAS advert. Any feedback would be appreciated!

  19. #19
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    I think one problem I have with your model is this - I send someone to your site, they sign up for the freebie membership, I get nothing. A month or two down the road, they decide they really like the service, and buy a membership. I get nothing. I don't know if I'm looking at this right, being a bit of a novice myself, but it doesn't seem to me the cookie would help me once someone has already signed up as a freebie. If I'm missing something, please tell me!

    I do however, like the program description change. And kudos for killing your landing page ads. Your site is much more professional looking this way - and less scary for potential affiliates.

    ~Lisa~
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  20. #20
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    Hi Lisa,

    From my understanding the cookie stays active for 180 days so if someone were to sign up to my site, from another site, and then 5 months down the line that person went for one of my membership packages the affiliate would get 65% of the sale. The cookie doesn't base itself on sign ups but on what type of membership the person has and where that personn came from.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Chunite
    If I were to remove all advertising that would hurt a lot, maybe even to the point where I'd lose more money than affiliates could earn me anyway.
    99% of ordinary internet users don't care about the adverts when they are from an ad agency and not targeted, and I suspect most of them don't even notice!!
    Contradicting statements
    The hard part here is the marketing.
    Ummm...that would be what we do. Everyone in here is a marketer first, and a webmaster second.
    I am in a fierce marketplace. Some rival sites are huge and completely free.
    Every business model requires an ROI analysis. What can you get back if you make $x investment. Perhaps this model is not right for you. Maybe you should stick to affiliate marketing.
    So clearly advertising Chunite to my customers has to come from an opposite angle to advertising to potential affiliates (who effectively are getting a free ride anyway, it's almost guaranteed they'll make money and all they have to do is show a few ads on their website).
    Nevermind. You will fail miserably at affiliate marketing too. Hopefully you have something to fall back on.

    I would cut my losses if I were you. Try to figure out how you can offer it for free and monetize it with your own affiliate links. Your outlook and opinion of affiliate marketing is enough to insure the failure of your affiliate program without any other factors weighing in.

    Best of luck with it.


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Contradicting statements

    Ummm...that would be what we do. Everyone in here is a marketer first, and a webmaster second.

    Every business model requires an ROI analysis. What can you get back if you make $x investment. Perhaps this model is not right for you. Maybe you should stick to affiliate marketing.

    Nevermind. You will fail miserably at affiliate marketing too. Hopefully you have something to fall back on.

    I would cut my losses if I were you. Try to figure out how you can offer it for free and monetize it with your own affiliate links. Your outlook and opinion of affiliate marketing is enough to insure the failure of your affiliate program without any other factors weighing in.

    Best of luck with it.
    There is no need to cut my losses because I am making a profit already The concept of my site is a sound one and I have a small but steady increase in the active user base every week. Out of my members who do sign up and create profiles most stick around and use the site. The amount of money being generated through advertising and memberships, compared to the amount of customers is decent and the best thing of all is that I know full well that I am only scratching the surface of the marketplace and I know this because I look at rival sites and their userbase is huge. Not only that their userbase isn't exclusive either as a lot of users who use one service will also use 2 or 3 other services too.

    My biggest problem is driving traffic to the site, especially targeted traffic. Online chatting is huge and it's users varied. Almost any website could display links or banners for such a site and drive traffic to it. Most visiting traffic to my site ends up signing up to it. I know this from stats I have. Now all I have to do is persuade affiliates

  23. #23
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Maybe you should run two web sites.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  24. #24
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    Persuading affilaites to drive traffic there that will sign up for free is going to be a tough sale. If a certain ratio of visitors sign up, then a certain ratio of that group signs up for the pay service, the affiliate has two hurdles to leap before making any money.
    I would seriously consider making this a CPC model or just plaster it with your own affiliate links and monetize it that way.
    You can always drive traffic via PPC advertising and other methods.
    I am not trying to shoot you down, but from the affiliate standpoint the rewards do not look good. Maybe you should offer $1 or $2 for every free user sign up to the affiliate. If the conversion to the pay program is very high, you will make money on that.
    I would consider sending you traffic if I got $1 or $2 for free signups. But I would not want to count on the "double filter" effect for affiliate conversions.


  25. #25
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    We get a free ride, eh?

    Well, I sure wouldn't want to take advantage of your generosity that way.

    I think I will, for sure, pass on this one.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

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