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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Help needed from Affiliate Marketing experts
    Hello. We have been using shareasale for a little over one year now with dismal results. We think our prices are good and the site is easy to navigate however, the traffic is just not coming in. What are we doing wrong? Despite having over 100 affiliates, sales simply are not coming in (we have about 5 affiliate sales in the past year).
    We have done the following:
    1. Sent e-mails to share specials
    2. We give 5% commission (& have low prices)
    3. Highlighted our Free Shipping Offer on our posted banners
    4. Provided text links sharing Razr accesories (Razr is the most popular phone in America).

    Do we just have low quality affiliates? If so, how do we get higher quality affiliates? Is it something we are not doing? Please share your thoughts.

    Our site is: pythontech.com

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Patrick
    PythonTech.com
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; September 27th, 2005 at 08:20 PM.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    You can start by removing all the leaks, see some LS banners up.

    I just clicked MP3 Players, goes to page with the 2 LS banner leaks to the rights. It says Displaying 1 to 3 (of 3 products) Actually just 1, in 3 different colors. Don't even have the #1 selling MP3 Player, Ipod.

    Leaks and no selection are just the beginning of the problems. Looking around the other categories and they have a better selection, MP3 Players was the first one i clicked.

    3rd edit Actually clicked Cellular Accessories and first brand i clicked went to this page:
    There are no products to list in this category.

  3. #3
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    If you put up a product data feed then many affiliates who would otherwise ignore you will jump right on it.

  4. #4
    Internet Cowboy
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    5% on toner and ink cartridges does nothing for me.
    As Trust said, why would I send you a customer when you have affiliate links on your site?
    Do you pay commission for sales from Wild-Smoked-Salmon and AllNutra.com? If not, remove the links.
    5% on Ipod or Blackberry accessories does nothing for me.

    Do you actually stock and ship this stuff? Don't take this personally, but your site screams DROP SHIPPER to me, which is not real attractive to affiliates.

    Mostly, the Linkshare links are a huge turnoff.

    I suggest you get some help from a professional affiliate marketing program manager. Jorge Ramirez is a great guy and knows Shareasale backward and forward. He specializes in Shareasale merchants and knows what to do to your site to attract quality affiliates.

    Best of luck and welcome to ABW


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    You can start by removing all the leaks, see some LS banners up.
    Thank you for your quick feedback Trust & UncleScooter. We have heeded your advice and immediately removed the leaks. You are right, you actually taught us the term "leaks" we hadn't realized the potential unattractiveness of leaks to affiliates. Again, thanks.

  6. #6
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pythontech
    Thank you for your quick feedback Trust & UncleScooter. We have heeded your advice and immediately removed the leaks. You are right, you actually taught us the term "leaks" we hadn't realized the potential unattractiveness of leaks to affiliates. Again, thanks.
    I was just joining new programs at SAS a few minutes ago and found a merchant I wanted to feature, but their site had so many affiliate banners and links on the main page, I didn't bother to look closer and certainly didn't sign up. Plus, if you're selling your own product, why distract your buyers by offering other merchants? Either you're an affiliate or a merchant. If you're drop shipping, no problem but you need at least pretend to be a merchant if you want affiliate partners. Trust & Scoot nailed it.
    Last edited by Rexanne; September 27th, 2005 at 07:38 PM. Reason: clarity :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    5% on toner and ink cartridges does nothing for me.
    Our rationale for the 5% is that, since we are selling things that have recurring sales, we need to have extremely attractive prices and the sales will repeat, as we have "great" prices. We tried higher commissions with higher prices in the past & when that didn't work, we went for the lower "out of door price" with lower commission. Are we still wrong?

    It is going to be hard to raise prices (higher commission) because we already have steady customers through other channels. Is 5% real a deal breaker even though it leads to higher recurring sales?
    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Do you actually stock and ship this stuff? Don't take this personally, but your site screams DROP SHIPPER to me, which is not real attractive to affiliates.
    No offense taken. We do actually stock & ship within 1 to 2 days. Gosh, we never thought our site would be looked at as a "dropshipper." Should we specify this on our home page?

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    I would add a status field to each item. Somthing like "In Stock - Usually Ships in 1 Day" or however long it takes to ship.

    Also, I would beef up the Shipping Information page and let the customer know that if the web site says it is in stock, then it is indeed in stock. If possible, come up with an objective timeline. ie: "Orders placed by 3 pm will ship the next business day." or something of that sort. "Orders placed by Noon Ship Same Day" is a strong statement, but does require logistical support.

    There are a LOT of web sites marketing cell phone accessories etc. that are drop shippers. Drop shipping generally leads to delays in delivery and other problems in the case of a lost shipment etc. Consumers tend to be turned off by a drop shipper and affiliates (I speak for myself) tend to think "Why add this layer of markup, there has to be another program somewhere selling this same stuff that has more margin and can pay me more."

    As for the 5%, the 120 day cookie is generous, but I would be more excited with a larger commission and less return days. Your margins are what they are. I understand that you have to be profitable. The life of a cookie is volatile these days in the era of Norton et al wiping them away. Also the customer could be shopping around, click on another affiliate link and POOF...the original affiliate loses the return days.

    I would also put your program on Auto Replentish with SAS. Although you have no history of going offline, all it takes is a good few days while you are busy doing other things and you are offline and your affiliates will NOT be happy about that.

    A datafeed will do two things. It will make your program more attractive to affilaites who use datafeeds, and it will also allow you to use the Make a Page feature at SAS which will make your program that much more attractive to affiliates with less technical knowledge, or the lazy ones like myself

    Also, near the Buy button, you might want to remind the customer that shipping on this item is free. Free shipping on the item level reassures the customer that there is no minimum order to get free shipping and even though it is clearly stated in the left column on your product pages, it can be overlooked. Also, on that same page I linked to, the Add to Cart button is at the very bottom of the page. It should always be above the fold. Don't make them scroll down to buy. If they want to read all the information, they will scroll down. Leave the button at the bottom but also put one further up.
    Again, Best of Luck!


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chocolate_Chicken
    If you put up a product data feed then many affiliates who would otherwise ignore you will jump right on it.
    Thanks for the info Chocolate Chicken. We have just e-mailed (per their instructions) a feed to SAS. Do you know how long it takes SAS to process a feed?

  10. #10
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Hi Patrick

    Besides the notes from above have you considered adding a little color to the site. That white and gray kinda makes me want to leave the site. Maybe something like a free shipping banner in color or something might increase your conversions. Just a guess on my part, have someone who is color blind look at your site too. It cant hurt.

    Vinny

  11. #11
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Wow that was quick lol big free shipping banner right on homepage wtg

  12. #12
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Is it me, or is this merchant actually listening? Thanks for coming in here... you found the right place to get some quality advice.

    And I second the Make A Page sentiment. I both lack technical knowledge and time, so I use make a page a lot.

  13. #13
    Internet Cowboy
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    Unlike many others who come in here seeking advice then get defensive when they get it, Patrick seems to be listening. That shows a sincere desire to improve and also shows that there aren't 9 miles of corporate red tape involved in making changes.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Also, I would beef up the Shipping Information page ...

    Drop shipping generally leads to delays in delivery and other problem...

    As for the 5%, the 120 day cookie is generous, ...

    I would also put your program on Auto Replentish with SAS. ...

    Also, near the Buy button, you might want to remind the customer that shipping on this item is free. ...
    Again, Best of Luck!
    Thank you for the amazing feedback. We have pretty much installed all your suggestions. As for the commission, we are thinking of raising it but need to do cost analysis. We already stated 5% commission on the feed that we just sent, and we would like to see the feed go through first.

    Per all the suggestions, we have added the following:

    1. We have installed the Auto Replenish on SAS per your suggestion.
    2. Our shipping page is also more thorough.
    3. We did indeed add a BUY Button above the fold.
    4. "Free Shipping" is now also right next to the BUY button.

    Again, thank you very much, we only wished we had joined this forum ages ago!! Any more suggestions are VERY much welcome.

  15. #15
    Internet Cowboy
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    For my part you are very welcome.
    This forum is a wonderful resource for affiliiates and merchants alike. We all work together...most of the time
    It is beneficial to us all if both merchants and affiliates are as sharp as possible.


  16. #16
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pythontech
    Thank you for the amazing feedback. We have pretty much installed all your suggestions.

    Per all the suggestions, we have added the following:

    1. We have installed the Auto Replenish on SAS per your suggestion.
    2. Our shipping page is also more thorough.
    3. We did indeed add a BUY Button above the fold.
    4. "Free Shipping" is now also right next to the BUY button.

    Again, thank you very much, we only wished we had joined this forum ages ago!! Any more suggestions are VERY much welcome.
    Dam ... I'm impresssed. Pythontech, you get a trophy for listening well.

    I hope these changes make your site convert like crazy.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  17. #17
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    Hi Guys:

    Chocolate Chicken, Uncle Scooter, Rexanne, Nyfalcon, Noth, we truly appreciate your insight. Since our last posting, our final change to the site was to increase commission from 5% to 20%, since you mentioned that 5% in our category simply didn't cut it. It took a few days to go through each item and ensure that we still made a profit after giving our affiliates their 20%. The great thing is during this process, we found that we didn't have to increase our prices for most of our items! And we still managed to maintain Free Shipping.

    Also, per your advice we have uploaded a feed with new pricing on SAS. We are still not sure exactly how affiliates apply the feed to their site. Can anyone give an example of this?

    Once again, thank you very much.

    Patrick

  18. #18
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    Hi Guys:

    Chocolate Chicken, Uncle Scooter, Rexanne, Nyfalcon, Noth, we truly appreciate your insight. Since our last posting, our final change to the site was to increase commission from 5% to 20%, since you mentioned that 5% in our category simply didn't cut it. It took a few days to go through each item and ensure that we still made a profit after giving our affiliates their 20%. The great thing is during this process, we found that we didn't have to increase our prices for most of our items! And we still managed to maintain Free Shipping.

    Also, per your advice we have uploaded a feed with the new pricing on SAS. We are still not sure exactly how affiliates apply the feed to their site. Can anyone give an example of this?

    Once again, thank you very much.

    Patrick

  19. #19
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Datafeeds are used in many different ways. IMHO, the most powerful one at shareasale for the "average joe" affiliate, ie one that isn't a Mysql and Php master, is through the Make A Page feature.

    It essentially allows us to use a keyword to pull related products from SAS's merchants offerings, and cut it into a webpage as simple html.

    I don't have a merchant account at SAS, so I'm not sure what you can see, but if you play around with that feature from the affiliate side, you'll see how we use it to create content rich (although often duplicate content) pages. They won't be the pages that draw people into our sites from the SE's, but when/if we can steer our customers into them, they can generate clickthroughs.

    Having said that they don't always do well as standalone pages with SE's, I find that not to be true with MSN for some reason. I have some Make a Page pages that rank very highly with MSN, and fairly well with Yahoo. Google hates mine with a passion hitherto unknown.

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