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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    March 12th, 2007
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    I'm a Merchant. How do I get referrals?
    I just signed up on Shareasale.com and am trying to promote my web hosting site. However, it's just signing up about 3 new affiliates a day, with a total click count referral of about 5, without any sales.

    Now, I see some hosts out there growing like crazy and have lots of referrals. How do I get this thing to work?

    Any tips and hints would be greatly appreciated. It says I can't post my URL so I guess I won't.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
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    May 2nd, 2006
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    I highly recommend wearing out the search function on this site. You'll find tons of great info on how to build up your affiliate base and what to do once you have them.

    Best of luck.

    Bob

  3. #3
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    January 27th, 2007
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    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=83364

    Best book I read in a while. This will definitely improve your program.
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; March 12th, 2007 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Changed the link to the book thread from the aff program for the book thread.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    January 17th, 2007
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    I too recommend Geno's book.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Unless you are willing to work your program every day, recruiting affililiates, helping affiliates, datafeed management, new and creative banners, etc, you might want to consider hiring an Outsourced Affiliate Manager (OPM). You can find all the ones associated with ABW, includeing myself, here at http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=411

    Also check with Carolyn Tang at SAS, she helps programs get off the ground.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Web Hosting is a busy space to break into. You need a plan to promote your affiliate program and recruit your affiliates the same way you market your website. As Ron stated, there are Outsourced Program Managers here you can hire to run your program or as consultants through start up. Shareasale also has a quick start service you can purchase.

    And remember, there is no Magic Bullet.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Assuming that you are a hosting company which I don't know for a fact. As an affiliate, one asks the silly question, why would an affiliate promote a hosting company that that affiliate isn't using?

    I think this question sort of answers your question. I can tell you one thing, the only hosting company I ever promoted, gave me free web hosting for one of my sites. I never sold a hosting plan though ;-( They also went out of business without informing me.

  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by ojmoo
    Assuming that you are a hosting company which I don't know for a fact.
    Moo.. look at the first post he made:
    I just signed up on Shareasale.com and am trying to promote my web hosting site.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    March 13th, 2006
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    Adding to everything you've read here so far, I'd add: patience and persistence. It takes a while to get to know one another, and as you interact more and more, the opportunities come. If you get involved here, and share in the conversations, you will begin to network. With time comes good things, so welcome aboard, do your research, digest the feedback that so many great contributors here will offer, and grow as you go.

    Best Wishes For Your Success

    Alan
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  10. #10
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    March 12th, 2007
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    I'm a bit overwhelmed here. Too much info I guess. Still trying to figure out what a data feed is for, and here comes this OPM concept.

    I took a look at that book and it looks promising. However, I'm out of the states right now. Is there an electronics version of that book?

    Lastly, is getting an OPM effective, or is it better to train yourself and your own staff to recruit affiliates?

  11. #11
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Loxly, I guess I skimmed it too fast, but regardless, I still think he should try and get those using his service to promote it.

  12. #12
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptical
    Lastly, is getting an OPM effective, or is it better to train yourself and your own staff to recruit affiliates?
    That depends on your goals. You can find an OPM that is good at training and go into a relationship knowing that you want your own staff to be able to take over eventually. Expect to pay more of a base rate and little to no percentage if that will be the agreement.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    Skeptical, a datafeed is for allowing an affiliate to download a file full of products and store them in a database for site building. Since there's only one offer to promote, I don't think a datafeed can really come into play. It's hosting, promote hosting, and that's about it.

    As Deb said, it's a tought market to get into. Plus there are hosting companies out there promoting inflated/not so honest offers, which might make some wary.

    I'd go through the proper channels here on ABW (advertising wise), promote your service, explain why anyone should promote you over another hosting company, stay active and be a dedicated manager. It's not going to happen overnight, just like the affiliate side of marketing won't, but stay with it and give it some time.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Brent E.'s Avatar
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    September 26th, 2006
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    Hey Skeptical,

    When I started my program on SAS I purchased a space in the SAS interface that advertised my program to any affiliate that signed into their account. This was called the Merchant Spotlight. I dont remember how much it cost, but it was certainly worht it. I got over 200 sign-ups in two weeks. That will help draw some attention to your program.

    Hope that helps.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager BeachBDM's Avatar
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    December 29th, 2006
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    I also have to echo Geno's book (the link has been posted) A must read for any new Affiliate Manager like myself! It was enlightening, thought provoking regarding how, where, when to promote my program) and put affiliate marketing in terms anyone can understand!

    Sandee
    Sandra Martin
    sandeebottom at hotmail.com

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    Hello Skeptical,

    Without knowing which host provider service you are within the SAS listing ... I'll make a quick comment to your question.

    Our service offers hosting solutions as well, and I can tell you flat out ... it's a real tough niche to conquer compared to many other types of webmaster related services we operate.

    I would make a suggestion that you offer 'webmaster related products' to help your clients/accounts build their web presence. As soon as we started to offer free website templates and various webmaster utilities with each hosted account our signup conversions increased.

    There are many other things you can do as well ... but I'd be babbling without first seeing your current setup.
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  17. #17
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    In general how do you even approach a potential affiliate to come join your program? I see many large directories out there, and have contacted many. Most don't even reply back. I'm guessing it's because they get too many of these offers.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    If your a new host service then recruitment bonuses are great incentives to get affiliates to actually start promoting your service.

    Example,

    1. Get $X credited to your account for affiliate signup (X many unique visitors sent = actual credit point).

    2. Affiliates that refer X many signups will get an $X dollar bonus. (make this a regular monthly bonus and you keep them promoting)

    3. Top affiliate who refers the most signups will get an $X bonus. (can be monthly, quarterly and yearly bonus payouts).

    4. You could also try offering free space to affiliates who will promote your hosting service exclusively w/non-competitor clause.

    These are just a few quick thoughts that come to mind.
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  19. #19
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    Someone already wrote: > "Unless you are willing to work your program every day, recruiting affililiates, helping affiliates, datafeed management, new and creative banners, etc, you might want to consider hiring an Outsourced Affiliate Manager (OPM)." <

    I quoted this because it's exactly right -- you need to "work" your program with recruiting and affiliate-service. If you don't know what a datafeed is, you have some homework to do (I don't know how effective datafeeds are likely to be for a web-hosting provider, but it's one of the basic tools of affiliate marketing that you ought to know about.)

    An affiliate program doesn't just magically get discovered by the affiliates who can effectively promote it. Being in a network like SAS does provide some advantages in terms of access to an existing pool of affiliates, but your program is one of many dozens of hosting programs on SAS.

    You reach the "effective" affiliates by -- golly, gee -- contacting them. Identify sites that you think should be effective at drawing customers to your program. This will obviously include about a zillion "web hosting directory" sites and "top 10 lists" and such. It also may include your existing hosting customers -- presumably if they are your customers, they are satisfied with your service and may be more effective referrers.

    Recruitment isn't just sending emails (and you must be extremely careful in your email recruiting, to avoid accusations of spamming by webmasters, who are extremely sensitive to the practice). It may also mean making phone calls, sending postal mail, and perhaps even being present at conference events.

    Web hosting is a product niche where "endorsements" are extremely powerful. To get more endorsements, you need customers who have used your service; you might consider offering special pricing or even free service to some webmasters. (One idea that comes up often is paying a higher percentage to affiliates who are also customers, but I worry that this might trigger "franchise" or other legal problems, so I would not recommend it.)

    I haven't looked at your program, nor compared it to others on SAS or elsewhere, so I don't know how competitive it is (commission percentage, competitive pricing for attractive features, etc.).

    It is really important to recognize that web hosting affiliate programs are among the WORST in the industry in terms of defaulting on payment promises, accusations of improper reversals of transations, and of course poor service to customers. You probably will need to spend some time addressing these "trust" issues up-front.

  20. #20
    Newbie
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    March 12th, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Web Hosting is a busy space to break into. You need a plan to promote your affiliate program and recruit your affiliates the same way you market your website. As Ron stated, there are Outsourced Program Managers here you can hire to run your program or as consultants through start up. Shareasale also has a quick start service you can purchase.

    And remember, there is no Magic Bullet.
    What exactly does the SAS startup service do? I see that it's quite costly. What will they do that I can't do on my own, or say, have an outsourced affiliate manager do?

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    Good grief!!
    .... now I know why you have selected the nickname "Skeptical".
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

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