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  1. #1
    Holy Cow! I want to be a merchant, but I've concluded I will need a Manager??
    Ok correct me if i have come to a false conclusion, but here is what I am thinking.

    I have 2 types of merchant products. One in development and one that is finished with the sales cycle being refined.


    Being Developed:

    I currently am developing some real estate information products, various price points and strategies from the mother load (20 cds 20 dvdds and forms discs with a price point around $999???) to others $299, $199, $99, $49, $19.

    Finished with sales cycle being refined- currently ppc ads running-

    Websites with subscribers like (not sure if i can put the non-linked urls or not, so i won't but will post later if allowed)
    These sites have a sign-up fee of around $99-$199 and then a monthly.
    These sites customers are real estate investors and home improvement contractors (various trades)

    ok so it seems that most recommend having the affiliate program in house for the long term, but to also use a network like sharealink. But then there are so many details to manage to run a successful campaign that unless i wanted to immerse myself and ruin my other businesses, then it is better to get a manager to manage the creatives, offers, recruit, etc, etc, etc, and then they would probably receive most of their money in the form of a commission anyway, with some sort of set-up fee. ( i have web guys and copywriter)
    So i figure it would probably be best to have them pick the software, and the network?

    Also i figure it would probably be best to start screening? if so how and how do i spec, or will everyone come with their proposals after learning more about my products/goals.

    ok good enough for a start, Fire away

    thanks
    scott

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Scott, take a look at this forum and see if you can write an outline: http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=209

    Shout out if you need help, chamrick@affiliatecrew.com

  3. #3
    ok, yes i have skimmed that board before and just did again. but i am not sure if i am ready to start the hiring process yet, just researching and trying to get a feel of the process, and my exact needs as it pertains.

    So are you validating my conclusions, is this the way to proceed?

    What should my range of compensation expectations be?

    When should i hire a manager and what is a typical turnaround for a campaign/launch?

    Is any thing in my first post off-base or require further thought?

    thank you kindly

    Scott

  4. #4
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    Hi Scott and welcome to ABW.

    First off it's Share-a-Sale not sharealink.

    There are many attributes to developing a program and hiring the right manager. The first thing to do is be clear about your products and write a description in here that is easier to follow like:

    we sell widgets to real estate agents to pass out to clients to help them find houses more efficiently. I think the best way would be to set it up by leads for real estate agents and we will pay $2.00 per lead etc....

    You should also specify if you want the manager to work in your office or from a distance. Then you will start to get better responses. Clarity and Communication are key here.

    I would also advise letting your AM choose the network it should be on as they will have some more insight in the industry. Share-a-Sale is an awesome network that really looks out for merchants and clients, however they might not be right for every type of program.

    The set up and launch time of each program will vary on many factors including:

    how affiliate friendly your site is

    the creatives and how long until you have approved them

    setting up and deciding payout structures etc....

    to get the program up and running can take 3 weeks to 6 months IMO. It depends what connections the manager has within your niche or industry as well as how good they are at recruiting.

    Please also feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I'll shoot you an e-mail in a few.

    Actually you didn't include a send an email option in your settings. please feel free to write me through there if you would like.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  5. #5
    ok i changed my settings to receive email.

    The manager would need an outside contractor reachable by phone

    I would expect that the commission would be 20-60% of the product/service.

    Am i allowed to post the unlinked urls to better explain the website service/product?

    Please keep the advice coming.

    thanks
    scott

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Is any thing in my first post off-base or require further thought?
    IMO, these points merit some comments:

    So i figure it would probably be best to have them pick the software, and the network?
    Personally, if I was going to hire an AM, I'd pick the network I wanted to deal with, and then find a well-respected manager who's used to working with that network.

    BUT, and this is a biggie, I had several years of experience as an affiliate before going to the merchant side. So, I have some very definite (as in, set in stone) opinions of the major networks.

    Managers generally have opinions that are just as strong. They have a network they prefer to deal with, and work with others "under duress." So, the network you end up with will depend on the AM's preference, unless you pick the network and then find an AM to match.

    And for the record, everyone's got a different opinion, and that goes for both the merchant side and the affiliiate side. One person's "awful" network is always someone else's "finest ever."

    I want to be a merchant, but I've concluded I will need a Manager??
    Asking in the affiliate-managers forum is a great way to get a bunch of "YES you do" answers

    It's a matter of what you've got the time to do, how many clues/common sense you have...and how much it's worth to you to not spend your time doing management stuff.

    Personally I don't have a manager, but I could see the benefits of it--especially in the area of attracting affs who aren't clueless newbs! Newbs will come, like mushrooms, every day without you doing Jack Squat. It's getting the ones who can actually SELL something that's the hard part.

    Also they can be good for catching it when something fishy's happening.

    But I can do the "clerical" stuff myself. Uploading a new banner doesn't take but a few minutes. Same with sending out emails, and the like.

    (Falling asleep here...time to quit typing. Hope all this made sense!)
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    It's a matter of what you've got the time to do, how many clues/common sense you have...and how much it's worth to you to not spend your time doing management stuff.
    - Leader

    Don't forget the Trust issue. Watch what happens to a program launched here by one of the long time OPMs as opposed to someone simply making an announcement in the New Programs section.

    Can a program be run without outsourcing? Absolutely. At the same time, Leader's point and mine above need to be figured prominently into the affiliate strategy that you or any merchant moving into the space move forward on.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager 1av8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson

    I would expect that the commission would be 20-60% of the product/service.
    You'll probably want to consider a bunch of things before you pick your numbers such as:

    - customer LTV (essentially a function of your retention)
    - avg. ticket size
    - competition's payout
    - different payout structures based on the affiliate business model
    - coupon/discount offers
    - not to mention the typical stuff like overhead and expenses

    But, in the end if your wares don't convert, then it won't matter how much your paying.

  9. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    My top three questions are:

    What is your Unique Selling Proposition USP?
    What is your overall site conversion now?
    What is your existing marketing budget and what portion is slated for affiliate marketing??

  10. #10
    Thanks for every one's feedback, good advice and thoughts to ponder, i am only going to reply to items i think that furthers the discussion, but every one's advice was received and appreciated.

    You'll probably want to consider a bunch of things before you pick your numbers such as:
    Yes, those are things to consider, but I would probably defer to the affiliate manager to recommend the payouts, as my gross cost per good will be low, more, ~15% and much less on the website

    It's a matter of what you've got the time to do, how many clues/common sense you have...and how much it's worth to you to not spend your time doing management stuff.
    I have no time, so it is best to learn how this business works, how to hire, and then how to improve the process.

    What is your Unique Selling Proposition USP?
    ok, there are 2 types of products that i am selling

    1. Real Estate Investing Information Products in the form of cds/dvds/ebooks/marketing materials
    The USP is the typical get-rich-real -estate-investing, but with the idea that this is the "Practical Real Estate Investing" solution. Also my marketing materials will be niche specific within the real estate investing field.
    **note** these products are being developed/finalized now and will be ready in 60-90 days.(and therefore no conversion data) Also these products are more geared to be affiliate sales than the next one.

    2. Real Estate Investing Website and Home Improvement Tradesman websites, these sites sell licensing to territories(counties) to use the website as their own, they can use the premium domain name, get all leads in there territory etc. (i have 7 sites done now, with 4 more in process)



    What is your overall site conversion now?
    1. no history
    2. these are really 2 groups,
    a. Real Estate Investing Website- currently using ppc
    12% lead conversion (name, email)
    5% of the leads convert average sale $275-initial plus monthly
    b. Home Improvement- is running about 8%/2% respectively
    this sale process is being refined and I would expect the numbers to improve to the same as above, but with a sale at half the above ($150 plus monthly)

    What is your existing marketing budget and what portion is slated for affiliate marketing??
    1. Nothing existing and will allocate what is appropriate, would probably test ppc at $1500/month and increase as is profitable to.

    2. a. RE Investing- $3000 ppc- affiliate marketing to be in addition to
    b. HI sites- $1500 ppc (6 sites) hard to spend on these sites and still testing- affiliate marketing to be in addition to.

    Generally speaking, i can allocate the funds necessary to increase business assuming it is profitable.

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