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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Cool The Ultimate AM Bonus
    Hi All

    So, out side of cash, what to you would be the ultimate bonus to be offered by an affiliate program, would it be something you could convert into cash, something that you'd likely never spend your own money on but really value to have, a holiday of a lifetime, 100 year old bottle of malt... lets hear a few dreams and then see if a few managers on ABW can't work on making some reality

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  2. #2
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Cash bonuses don't excite me - most are usually $25 or $50 - the amount of work invloved in winning twenty five bucks doesn't justify the time expended

    Nice gifts like a bottle of wine don't excite me - because merchants send them out automatically at Christmas anyway

    Really nice gifts - I think it was XY7.com who was offering a free car - don't excite me because the odds are as long as winning lotto. My rational is no matter how hard I work to win the car, they already have that one affilliate who has always been their top performer, and they're destined to win it.

    The only thing that gets me to do more than I currently do for any merchant is a good conversion track record and a significant increase in commissions - which is double their starting commission.

    That excites me because I know I'll be getting something NOW for my efforts, and it will continue into the following year and on. Whatever extra effort I do TODAY, will still be rewarded 2 years from now.

  3. #3
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    The only thing that gets me to do more than I currently do for any merchant is a good conversion track record and a significant increase in commissions - which is double their starting commission.
    What would be the maximum growth in sales (requested in return) that you would deem realistic for a "bonus" like this, Billy?

    Geno

  4. #4
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    You won't like my answer Geno...

    I don't handle sales - the merchant does.

    I send pre-screened visitors.

    Just speaking for myself, I do everything possible to promote a merchant already - I'm not one to join a program, put up a token link and then run and join another.

    Each marketing model I use is time-consuming. And I use methods I've tested over a period of years.

    For me to spend additional time on any merchant, I need to know my efforts are going to be rewarded before I even place the first additional link

    Again, that's just me

  5. #5
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Not to take away from the bonus, but if I joined 15 merchants last month, gave them my all, and noticed that THREE are my significant earners, then...

    1. Usually the merchant already contacted me with a private offer and

    2. I noticed the conversions in my report and have started devoting more effort to them anyway

    So if they want to send me a bottle of wine, fine... but my reward is in the direct deposit

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Just thought of a quick example:

    I have 3 merchants that have "identical products"

    (I'll use brand names, but it's not these companies)

    Target pays 30% but and converts at 2%

    Wal-Mart pays 15% and converts at 10%

    K-Mart pays 25% and converts at ZERO/Zilck/Nada!

    K-Mart is always sending me emails that say we'll give you a bonus in exchange for more exposure. My response (that I never actually reply) is why? Doesn't matter if you pay 100%. You don't convert. And 100% of nothing is still nothing.

    Wal-Mart recently offered me a nice raise to 25%, which is still lower than Target. I did the math. Even though Target pays more, Wal-Mart converts a lot better, and in theory, I'd make more money.

    What did I offer them? In the normal process of updating of my site, I'd choose their links over the others as I update/add products.

  7. #7
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    I guess I pre-supposed that Chris' question was about bonuses tied to performance, but you're right, Billy, bonuses can of course also be for just putting up links and getting active with the program... Thank you for good examples of decision-making in response to private merchant offers!

    G.

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    Find a program with popular products at good prices. Remove the coupon box from the merchant's web site and keep trademark poachers, incentive sites and parasites out...no exceptions.

    Pay an aggressive commission and you won't need bonuses. You will have a program where those who wish to actually promote the merchant's items can thrive and make money without losing their sales during checkout or in return visits.

    You will not have inflated affiliate numbers from coupon sites and trademark abusers that overinflate the worth of the affiliate program, but you will be able to tell the merchant undeniably that all sales from the affiliate channel are incremental sales. This will make you a hero in the eyes of many and bonuses will not be an issue.


  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    I would like a playstation 3 as a bonus

  10. #10
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    Find a program with popular products at good prices. Remove the coupon box from the merchant's web site and keep trademark poachers, incentive sites and parasites out...no exceptions.

    Pay an aggressive commission and you won't need bonuses. You will have a program where those who wish to actually promote the merchant's items can thrive and make money without losing their sales during checkout or in return visits.

    You will not have inflated affiliate numbers from coupon sites and trademark abusers that overinflate the worth of the affiliate program, but you will be able to tell the merchant undeniably that all sales from the affiliate channel are incremental sales. This will make you a hero in the eyes of many and bonuses will not be an issue.
    That will be my ultimate bonus.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Money is the ultimate reward.... I think the Overstock 4th quarter bonuses are pretty cool.

    Aside from money, I want this for christmas so I can check my stats ALL THE TIME!

    http://www.motorola.com/motoinfo/pro...alObjectId=113

  12. #12
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Just got the Holiday Bonus schedule from Brookstone. If I send them $1000 in October, they'll send me a Teddy Bear

    1st $1,000 NEW NAP™ Cuddle Bear
    Pretty safe to say the only extra effort I'll give them... is making this post

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    You know, I got the same e-mail and thought is was pretty cheeseball.

  14. #14
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Here's one that IS doable. As it results in double the base commission.

    PetCareRX base commish is 12%

    Reach a goal of … and earn a bonus of …
    * $500 sales / bonus $100
    * $1000 sales / bonus $150
    * $2000 sales / bonus $300
    $100 bonus + $60 commish on $500 in sales translates to 33% commision per sale

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Didn't quite get away from the cash bonuses :-)

    So something that offers a chunky target (or range of targets) related cash bonus is a good. But needs to be a tangible bonus that makes an impact on the overall commission.
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  16. #16
    The Beer Hunter LearnAbout's Avatar
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    Especially for international affiliates cash bonus or related, longer term incentives are king.

    Imagine the postage, shipping, taxes involved if you send me a bottle of red (unless of course you'd send me a 1787 Chateau Lafite).

    Or, what would I do with the car that Billy mentioned that sits in the US 14 time zones away from me?

    Cheers, Frank
    [URL=http://www.golfbeginnerguide.com/]Golf Beginner Guide[/URL] ; [URL=http://www.ladygolfersguide.com/]Lady Golfers Guide[/URL]

  17. #17
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Rhea's Avatar
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    Most of our expendable income is spent on our house. We regret not travelling more, so my splurge suggestions are travel related.

    2 weeks in the European country of your choice. (2 people)

    3 day weekend in the European capital of your choice. (2 people)

    3 day spa weekend. (2 people)

    3 day family weekend. (4 people)

    Travel vouchers (planes, trains, hotels, etc.)

    Luggage (Something nice like Hartmann.)

    Berlitz lessons or training DVDs/tapes for the foreign language of your choice.

    One year family membership at a gym or YMCA.

    One year family membership at a swim/golf/tennis club.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Here we are, with Q4 the incentive season starts.

    I tend to share Billy's opinion on this subject. This is performance marketing -- so I'm already trying as hard as I can. The truth is, with attention getting pulled in 10 different directions, that's not always true.

    Sometimes a good contest gets our attention, if it's the right combination of being a good prize and being somewhat attainable. Also, sometimes competition and a challenge adds a little fun to the whole thing. That just might be enough to get us focusing on one merchant over another.

    Sorry to drop a link, but I wrote about exactly this just about a year ago...
    http://www.jangro.com/a/2005/10/03/a...-to-read-this/

    To me, the best contests are those that not one person wins like the lottery, but that everybody can win at their own pace. Progressive contests are good too. Start out with smaller prizes and at different levels they get better and better. Study what BuyCostumes has done. Also, Audible has a good one this year that's almost over. I don't think they'll mind me posting it...

    - 10 subscriptions = $50 gift card from 1 of several major retailers (BestBuy, Home Depot, Starbucks, etc.)
    - 50 subscriptions = 2GB iPod Nano
    - 150 subscriptions = XBox 360
    - 275 subscriptions = Sonos System
    - 500 subscriptions = January 2007 Affiliate Summit package (includes registration, $500 airfare voucher, 3 nights of lodging)
    - 1,000+ subscriptions = an additional $5 bonus per subscription generated

    As for the specific prize? Electronics are always good, ipods, game consoles, but you can't please everyone.

  19. #19
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Thanks Chris
    lets hear a few dreams and then see if a few managers on ABW can't work on making some reality
    Ok, I'm up for the challenge.

    I think we meet some of the basics, like UncleScooter said:

    > Find a program with popular products at good prices.

    Done! - EverythingFurniture and EverythingOfficeFurniture has nice looking products and at real good 'delivered' prices, non of that free shipping gimmicks. Always receive great compliments from affiliates (thank you) for both EF and EOF stores design and products.

    > Remove the coupon box from the merchant's web site

    Done! - EverythingFurniture and EverythingOfficeFurniture customers have practically no need to enter any coupon codes. All the 5-20% discounts apply automatically at the cart, and other discounts apply to cart on auto also.

    > and keep trademark poachers, incentive sites and parasites out...no exceptions.

    Done! We don't allow it and police heavily, no parasites period!

    > You will not have inflated affiliate numbers from coupon sites and trademark abusers that overinflate the worth of the affiliate program, but you will be able to tell the merchant undeniably that all sales from the affiliate channel are incremental sales. This will make you a hero in the eyes of many and bonuses will not be an issue.

    Done! Our numbers are real numbers and real sales from real affiliate partners like many here from ABW (thank you). If you're an affiliate of EF and EOF your competitors real affiliates with a real coupon, content or datafeed site in which all customers are pre-sold by affiliate sites first, EF and EOF takes care of the rest with great convertions as in once they see our prices and furniture products they come back and buy, how do I know, I see many longer day cookie purchases, that means they come back, and buy our furniture becasue of you.

    We have a great q4 bonuses see here but if you do the math we also meet Billy Kay's doable numbers, how?

    Most active partners on shareasale are getting 7% commission with just even the first sale, that's just me and a way to say thanks for getting active, not having to wait for hundreds of sales to bump your commission. If you are earning 7% commission and get a bonus, do the match, your actual commission is almost like 14% on some sales and even higher like 18% with the higher bonuses. It's unheard of for our vertical, but, it's part of us saying thanks this q4 and for it being our 2nd year of jrami consulting partnered with great partners like EF/EOF and you promoting us and increasing our shareasale sales, going to be soon quadruple or last years sales.

    Visit the post q4 bonuses, then come back here and let me know what else you need, see if I meet your ultimate reality bonus.


  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi Scott,

    I certainly agree that bonuses have to be tiered to allow many people to win at many levels, that's a no brainer and I believe that many merchants (hopefully most amwso clients) follow that trend now a days.

    But I was also looking for what people consider as a great bonus away from cash, obviously for many (most) people 'cash' is the ultimate bonus. As Rhea mentioned (Thanks Rhea ) some people do spend all the money they get on covering costs, they never think to have a little splurge and stretch their legs or buy something on their wish list, even though might be able to afford it, it just goes into the bank or paying off another part of a mortgage / loan.

    Though as Billy has said, these kind of bonuses don't motivate many people to participage, nice to win, no loss if they are not won.

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  21. #21
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    One of the cooler bonus schemes I've seen was a points program offered by Adult Revenue Service. I'm not sure if they still offer it as this was years ago and I'm no longer with the company that was the affiliate.

    Anyway, the program worked something like S&W Greenstamps. Through normal everyday marketing and sales you earned points that could be spent towards a whole catalog of stuff you'd likely never buy yourself and a lot of stuff you probably would given the chance. They had stand-up arcade games, pool tables, computer equipment, plasma TVs, stereos, cars and on and on. The whole catalog was available via their affiliate interface, as well as points costs and your points balance.

    What I like about that bonus model, for the question at hand and from the perspective of the program offering the bonus is that every affiliate that did business could, over time, earn a bonus of their choosing, and that the affiliate could see their points balance every time they logged in and see it grow with every sale.

    The balance display ensures the bonus is always there to inspire the affiliate to more business, and the incremental growth makes it more attainable than "Send $10k and get a [blank]". Posts on their internal forums thanking the program for the new BBQ, etc just added further incentive. It was an effective bonus scheme.

    I think they're also the only affiliate program I've seen that offers affiliates health insurance which must be good for affiliate loyalty. I know the adult industry has a bad rap, but some of them really were and are innovative...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris - AMWSO
    But I was also looking for what people consider as a great bonus away from cash
    yeah, I realized I was getting away from your original question. I came around to it at the end... luxury-item electronics. The nice-to-haves like ipods and big TVs.

    I got on that point partly in case you're thinking of one mega prize. Like the lottery, that doesn't feel like it can be earned, only lucked into.

    An interesting idea I've seen is to give points (e.g. AMWSO-bucks) that can be earned for every x-dollars in sales. Then those points can be used in a catalog of items where there's something for everyone. Again, I know you're asking for what those things should be. If it's a catalog, that gets easier because you can fill it with lots of things instead of trying to find that one thing that appeals to all.

    So in that case, yeah, i'd suggest a rare single-malt in there, some computers (mac and PC), ipods, xboxes, travel vouchers, watches (I love watches), sports gear.

  23. #23
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Rhea's Avatar
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    Chris wrote:
    But I was also looking for what people consider as a great bonus away from cash, obviously for many (most) people 'cash' is the ultimate bonus. As Rhea mentioned (Thanks Rhea ) some people do spend all the money they get on covering costs, they never think to have a little splurge and stretch their legs or buy something on their wish list, even though might be able to afford it, it just goes into the bank or paying off another part of a mortgage / loan.
    That is exactly where a cash prize would end up.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    couple comments
    Rhea - I agree with you completely on that, sad to say. lol same thing goes when people give ya money as presents. Right into the bank...Why do we do that? lol
    Gift cards do actually get used by me, though. Usually don't get around to it til it gets close to the time it's gonna expire if it has an expiration date. lol ..but I do use them. Niece had given us a pretty nice one and we went there with my intention to get something for the house but spotted some handbags on sale and was just gonna peek to see if any reallllly had a good sale. DH spotted one (he just loves it when I drag him into that section or the undies and bras section. lol ) that was waaaay more than I woulda spent but he knew I'd fall in love with it..Finally threatened me that we weren't walkin outa that store unless I agreed to use the gift card on that. So have a very nice suede and leather handbag I woulda never bought for myself Really do love it.

    Still cash is always gonna be my favorite for anything cos it's there at least to be used for something that's either necessary when you need it like food sometimes lol or gonna be splurged on. (not likely but it's there)

    please, please, please dh is a contractor and always gets liquor or wine every year. Could open my own store and I still give some away each year.

    I'm easy to please....Christmas cards from my affiliate managers makes me happy. lol

    BillyKay
    - you oughta win that one where they're gonna give ya a teddy bear and ummmm not to drop any names or anything but a certain person's name here is purplebear so even if it ain't purple.......teddy bears are always nice to have Just teasing

    and one more comment - please.... not all coupon sites are bad guys. Just cos coupons are posted on a site doesn't mean they're a bad guy Honest.....I'm not doing anything bad

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    The purpose of bonuses is two fold as I see it - to make an affiliate work harder for you and produce more and to to give the affiliate a feeling of warm fuzziness about your programme that will ultimately lead to purpose number one being fulfilled.

    Money is the great motivator. Stepped commision rates and/or bonuses work best, BUT they have to be realistic, too big a first or second step and I won't bother as it seems impossible. Too small steps and it's a waste of money for you.

    On the receiving end, a lump bonus has the most impact - even if it's a stepped commision. e.g. standard rate = 10%. Stats show this all month, a week or so into month 2, I get an email saying I hit the 15% level and so a manual commision of $X is being paid to my account - check stats - it's there - Whoo Hoo!

    Feel-good bonuses for me are freebies from the programme, cheaper for the merchant and attractiveness depends on what they sell. Helps to promote new sections too -

    "sell 10 blue widgets by Christmas and get a free widget rack of your choice from our selection."

    "Hit your target and get $Y to spend in our January sale."

    The important thing for this kind of thing is that there is some CHOICE on my part of what I get. You don't know me and that great weekend trip that to you may be a big deal could be a weekend of penuary to me - on the other hand I may covet highly your worst selling product that you have a warehouse full of.

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