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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm fairly new to this board and I'm the AM for GoldenMine.com. I'd like your feedback on our affiliate program and affiliate programs in general so we can improve.

    1. What is your decision making process in trying out a new advertiser? What factors do you prioritize? ie. traffic interests, EPC, chargebacks, reputation, other affiliates' opinions...etc...

    2. How important are incentives/bonuses? How loyal are you to your advertisers once you start making consistent revenue from them?

    3. How important are monthly affiliate newsletters that advertisers send out? Most large affiliate programs send out monthly or quarterly newsletters, w/ new links and stuff. Do you find any of these of value to help you make more $?

    4. What is your opinion of our banners? (We are in CJ. We have every type)

    5. How come no one uses ads other than regular banners and text links? ie. We have new html banners that have a 5% CTR. But only a few affiliates use them.

    6. Do you use a datafeed? product links? content links? Are the successful? What should advertisers know when implementing the above?

    7. What do you think of CPL? I want to implement a CPL for joining our newsletter. Only First name and email are required. What do you think is a fair price for this CPL? (opt-in co-reg costs $.20) Does CPLs make you money compared to CPA?

    Thanks,

    I appreciate all feedback and it will help me run a better affiliate program. Ultimately, we spend the most resources on increaseing our CR, which is the determing factor in maximizing ROI for everyone's traffic. Any other suggestions are welcome.

    Brian Ree

    href="http://www.goldenmine.com>www.goldenmine.com

  2. #2
    Newbie
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    >How come no one uses ads other than regular banners and text links?

    If you have custom landing pages enabled, lots of affiliates might be modifying your links anyway. For instance Crucial probably think I only use the link that say 'crucial.com'. Well I do - but thats not what it says when I use it.


    I

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    >>1. What is your decision making process in trying out a new advertiser? What factors do you prioritize? ie. traffic interests, EPC, chargebacks, reputation, other affiliates' opinions...etc...<<

    There are two parts to the decision making process (and please note, this is all about how *I* do it, not everyone is the same).

    The first part is "What products am I going to Sell?" This question is answered by examining a number of factors:
    1. Do people search for it online?
    2. Is the market already flooded with people clamoring for the top SE spots?
    3. If it is flooded, do I think I can beat out the competitors?
    4. Do I have enough personal interest in the product (or its potential sales) to actually finish building a page/site about it?
    5. If the merchant I choose to promote drops its program, closes its doors, or quits paying me for any reason, is there an alternative merchant with the same/similar product line?
    Once all that has been addressed, THEN comes part two: Picking the Merchant. I have very different standards of due-diligence for high-cost products (thousands of dollars), medium-cost (hundreds of dollars), and low-cost (under one-hundred dollars).

    In general, though, I check numbers where available, but unless there is something just screamingly bad (e.g., 100% reversal rate), I don't give a lot of weight to the numbers at this earlier stage. I do spend some time reviewing the merchant's web site and checkout process (a confusing checkout process can KILL conversions). I'm not looking for designer web sites, but I am looking for ones that are easy to navigate and easy to do direct product linking (and if the merchant doesn't allow direct product linking, that's a BIG negative).

    Once I've narrowed the list of potential merchants, then I do some serious checking of the numbers. EPC and such is a temperature gauge, but not much more... high-reversal rate is much more of a concern. Beyond that? All else being equal, merchant with the highest commish wins. After that, merchant with the longest cookie wins.

    As to listening to other affiliates? There is a select group of affiliates who get my attention when they say "don't use THEM", but for the most part, I pretty well go on my own judgement of available facts.

    >>2. How important are incentives/bonuses? How loyal are you to your advertisers once you start making consistent revenue from them?<<

    If the bonus is CASH (and not a cruise or a coupon), the bonus can make a SIGNIFICANT difference in the coverage I give a merchant. But I have to think there is something there that I can sell. How loyal I am? I LOVE my consistently converting merchants and I am always looking for new ways to promote them and I'd rather build new pages for them all day long than look at new merchants...

    Of course, if I end up selling $20,000 a month for a merchant offering 5% commish and along comes a merchant with the same product line offering 8% commish, my loyalty only goes as far as offering the 5% merchant the opportunity to retain me by meeting the 8%. They don't meet the 8%, they get phased out.

    >>3. How important are monthly affiliate newsletters that advertisers send out? Most large affiliate programs send out monthly or quarterly newsletters, w/ new links and stuff. Do you find any of these of value to help you make more $?<<

    Depends on the info contained. I consider the following important: new product releases, any changes to the aff program, any changes to the merchant's web site, special offerings. If it doesn't have that info, I probably won't read it.

    >>4. What is your opinion of our banners? (We are in CJ. We have every type)<<

    Haven't looked.

    >>5. How come no one uses ads other than regular banners and text links? ie. We have new html banners that have a 5% CTR. But only a few affiliates use them.<<

    Text links are my best converters across the board and I don't mess with success. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    >>6. Do you use a datafeed? product links? content links? Are the successful? What should advertisers know when implementing the above?<<

    Datafeed, no. Product Links? Absolutely. Most merchants without them don't get much promotion from me. Advertisers should know that if they move their product images, pages, etc, it's going to hose up the people who direct product link and we rarely take kindly to that.

    >>7. What do you think of CPL? I want to implement a CPL for joining our newsletter. Only First name and email are required. What do you think is a fair price for this CPL? (opt-in co-reg costs $.20) Does CPLs make you money compared to CPA?<<

    Pennies in the bucket and it will have absolutely no impact on my decision to join or dump a merchant.

    -------
    Dawn is nature's way of telling you to go to bed.

  4. #4
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    Cedric is right on the money here. [and far more eloquent th [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]an me, as always]

    Two other factors that I consider are selection and price.

    Does the merchant have good selection of desirable items? You have that covered.

    Are the prices right? Not necessarily 'cheap', but competitive; tough to sell anything if the next guy has the same thing for a lower price. You've got that fairly well covered too.

    As far as 'lead generation', I would much rather encourage my site visitor to bookmark my page so that I may stand to get a sales commission in the future, rather than settle for the 20-cents or whatever for sign ups to a merchant's list.

    AS SEEN ON SE!!!

  5. #5
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    Hey Crankin,

    How high would the CPL have to be for you to actively promote it? Does anyone make any real money from CPL?

    Brian Ree

    www.goldenmine.com

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    to actively promote it


    May be just a matter of personal taste, but I do not wish to actively promote list sign-ups at all. I go straight for the sale.

    Unless the rate was ridiculously high. Like, say, $10 per lead? I know that this would be out of the question.

    You don't need to worry about appeasing *me* anyway. You are already on my list of merchants to develop more sales pages for. A better selection of product links would certainly make it easier for me to *do more sooner* though.

    AS SEEN ON SE!!!

  7. #7
    Member
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    There is only one way to make newsletter signups "worth it" IMO and that is to automatically record the affiliate ID that generated the newsletter signup and then embed that affiliate ID into all links in all newsletters you send out to that subscriber.

    Sure, it's not as straightforward as the one-newsletter-fits-all approach, but it's been done before and it really works very well in some cases.

    If you can guarantee to affiliates that:-

    A) ALL links in all newsletters sent to the subscribers they initially referred will be encoded with their affiliate ID for as long as that subscriber remains subscribed

    AND

    B) There is no "leakage" in the copy you put in the newsletter (e.g. nothing like "Call our toll-free number NOW and get 10% off - call 1-800-no-affid")

    then it's actually an attractive and positive proposition to offer affiliates.

  8. #8
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    One of the other factors for me is activity on ABW. You took some hits here when you dumped half of us without emailing us, but moved beyond that and appear to be attempting to start up some interaction with affiliates here. That's a really good sign! AM accessability is very important.

    Somewhere, I am sure, the Gods of War are laughing.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    What is your decision making process in trying out a new advertiser? What factors do you prioritize? ie. traffic interests, EPC, chargebacks, reputation, other affiliates' opinions...etc...


    I do look at several things...

    I try them out on a highly trafficed page, if I like the merchants product/services. If they convert, I promote them more aggressively; i.e. I start making pages promoting their services/products.

    I look at the epc, and pay out amount, i.e. 10%,8%, so forth and so on. I look at the reversal rate. One merchant in your category has a high reversal rate (I guess most jewelry merchants do), but not with me. I have only had one reversal with this merchant so far this year. My epc with them, as an individual is good, though their epc across the board is not so great.

    Mainly, I look at conversions. I have three merchants that convert like crazy for me. One pays out 8%, one pays 5%, and the other pays 15%.

    Conversions - clicks to sales is the determining factor. If I have a merchant that pays out 20%, but only converts one in a hundred click-throughs, and I have a merchant that pays out 5% and converts one in every 6-8 click throughs, then I'll use the 5% merchant.

    I hope this helps. Remember, we (us affiliates) have caviar dreams, and high hopes. We all want to make money while we sleep - lol! Money is the name of the game.

    Big Chuck

  10. #10
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated. It gives me more insight as to how we should focus our resources.

    Elbowcreek, one of our values is persistent improvement and to learn from our mistakes. So although I made a mistake of dropping some affiliates, I feel that I have actually gained much value by having Heidi direct me to this forum. THANKS Heidi! So I'll never make that mistake again AND I learned about this great community.

    Our first priority is to improve our site conversion rate by investing in a new site and adding new product categories.
    Our next priority is to implement a real-time datafeed so that advertisers can convert better as well and have a better commission structure.

    Regards,

    Brian Ree

    www.goldenmine.com

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