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  1. #1
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    November 19th, 2006
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    New Merchant Seeking HELP!!
    I have an outdoor site that I plan on promoting through affiliate marketing. It is a social networking/classifieds site.

    Becoming a registered user is free, posting a classified for either a want or a have is free, upgrading the listing costs a little but not much, ads can also be placed in print classifieds across the country from the site, social networking is free, (buddy list, file sharing, etc.) our main products are service pages (we call it a service front) This is a one page mini site that shows your location via a google map, general informaiton about your business, photos, testimonials, links, and product or service listings. And an ecomerce page (a store front) which is like an ebay store with full e-commerce. You can even drive your own traffic. The listings from both of these link right in with the classifieds listings, there is also a business directory. Other types of listings have fees associated with them, real estate, job postings specifically.

    Our site is part of a network of sites that each target specific communities/niches but share all of our listings in common. That means that if you key the same search tags into any of the sites you will be able to find the same listings although ranked by community. Listings from my site come up before listings from other sites. But you can still find all of them. The sites are administered by the site owners. The sites are hosted by the company who provides the application that runs the sites. There is a minimum price for each of these services. I can charge whatever the market will bear but there is a minimum. I split that 50/50 with this company who provides the applications. For example the setup fee for a service is $99 and the maintainance fee is $24.95 monthly. I get half of that. I would pay affiliates my half of the set up fee and $1.00 for every registered user who posts a free listing. There would also be commisions on paid listings.

    The current URL for the site is (is it ok to say?) We are currently switching over to a completely web 2.0 site that isn't ready to go yet. It can be seen at (posted in the review section) Is this a feasable plan? Would you promote a site like this? The company that provides the applications and hosts the sites also has some built in affiliate tracking and they would send the checks to my affiliates base on how I set up the revenue sharing. Is this better or worse than using SAS or my own in house program?

    Lots of questions I know but your input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    outdoordog

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Use SAS. You will already have a network of followers that trust SAS and you will have day to day support from them. Heading out the door or I would say more, but others can chirp in.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  3. #3
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    Thanks, just heading out myself, company party, day job, what do ya do? How is SAS for outdoor sites?

  4. #4
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    Ok, I've done a little more research. Here is my question now: What exactly do I put on my "thank you" page that kicks info back to SAS? Is it just a piece of code? Do I have to install a specific application on the server? What?

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    It is code that you add your variables to (sale amt, orderid etc) and cut and paste that onto your page. It is very simple.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
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    So I just put it on the page and presto?! No tie in to the shopping cart or anything? I ask because my site is a partnership and that part of the site is not something that I can personally tinker with. Plus the whole thing was developed in house and is somewhat unique. We have an in house affiliate tracking system but I really want to use SAS. So I don't have to seek out affiliates on my own. (haven't had much luck going that route)

  7. #7
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoordog
    So I just put it on the page and presto?! No tie in to the shopping cart or anything? I ask because my site is a partnership and that part of the site is not something that I can personally tinker with. Plus the whole thing was developed in house and is somewhat unique.
    Normally, you do not have to tinker with the shopping cart, but in your case it may be different. Talk to Brian at ShareASale. They are extremely helpful in setting everything up for you. Plus, their website is clear on this one:



    Quote Originally Posted by outdoordog
    We have an in house affiliate tracking system but I really want to use SAS. So I don't have to seek out affiliates on my own. (haven't had much luck going that route)
    It's a common merchants' misconception that once your program on an affiliate network, you do not have to do anything about the program. Affiliate network is not a network of affiliates hugry to go join every affiliate program that is started on the network. Affiliate network is in the business of providing affiliates and merchants with reliable tracking software and payment mechanism. Yes, ShareASale will offer you excellent recruitment opportunities, but they will cost you extra. Also, if you are really serious about your program, do some preliminary research on what your competitors (that already have affiliate programs) are doing, and aim at doing better than they are! Then, once your affiliate program is started, you want to announce it here, and seek affiliate feedback on your site, your program, your creatives, your coupons, your deals, etc, etc.

    Hope this helps.

    Geno

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    So I just put it on the page and presto?! No tie in to the shopping cart or anything?
    Well, not quite "presto" but it's not too hard, and this assessment is coming from a non-coder. It takes a bit of coding to pass on the variables, like order number and subtotal. In my case I used PHP, since that's what the rest of the site is in (no I didn't code the rest of the site, I just added in a bit to make the tracking work). Depending on your cart, all it *may* take is copying some variable-passing code out of some level-1 newb PHP book and editing it to suit (best-case scenario).

    But SAS says they'll help, so let 'em, if you're not inclined to chop through it yourself.

    Personally I had it going properly in, I think it was, 2 nights. It would have been a snappy 10-minute thing, but there wasn't subtotaling code on the conf. page and I had to hound out how to get it in there. I could have called SAS for help, but that would've meant trying to do it when they're actually open, and trying to code while mentally asleep generally doesn't work. And I wasn't inclined to wait 2 months until I would be up in the daytime again.

    I'm not looking forward to when I have to upgrade my site, though...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  9. #9
    Newbie
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    Thanks! I'll ponder all of this while I'm at work today and be back with more questions tonight.

    THANKS!!

  10. #10
    Newbie
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    Geno, thanks for directing me to the bottom of that page as SAS. My ADD kept me from getting all the way to the bottom the first time through.

  11. #11
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Any time, and best of luck starting that program!

    Geno

  12. #12
    Newbie
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    It sounds like using the built in affiliate tracking features may be my best bet.

    Seems like the biggest thing that SAS has to offer is the tracking and payment stuff which Matchbin can handle for me.

    Probably the best thing I can do is do some more research here on what affiliates want from merchants etc.. and then use this site to find professional affiliates.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Well, not quite "presto" but it's not too hard, and this assessment is coming from a non-coder.
    Just curious, and please let me know if this if off topic.
    But if you're using a hosted modified shopping cart system like Yahoo! Stores or Prostores (eBay) are the affiliate links still relatively simple to do?

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