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  1. #1
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    Question What do affiliates look for.....?
    Hey everybody. I'm trying to figure out what affiliates look for in an AM and what they want. General questions pop into my head, like;

    1.) What kind of information would you like to have?

    2.) What do you look for within the product?

    3.) What helps you feel comfortable when signed up?

    These are just a few, but being new to the Affiliate Manager world I would like some feedback from affiliates so I can make sure I rock at being an AM. I would also like to have feedback from AM's on how they became successful with their affiliates.

    Thanks in advance for all of your insight!!

    -Nicole

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Hi, Nicole.

    This is the place to start reading: http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=412

    Geno

  3. #3
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    As an affiliate, I generally prefer working with AMs that know their market and web marketing well enough to help me market their products better. If I send an email to an AM asking for tips, best practices, etc for their specific industry and product line, top selling product categories, etc and get a generalized response of "gee, organic search and PPC does pretty well, and our homepage usually has top sellers on it. Good luck!" I tend to write off the AM. I might still promote the program, but I won't likely look to build a relationship.

    This is one reason I'm not really a fan of your typical salesperson or recruiter turned AM. They always know the benefits, but rarely know much else. You call one with a technical issue and they generally try to sell you on how great the rest of the world is if you forget about the issue, because frankly, they don't fully understand it anyway...

    As an AM, I've always tried to avoid the things that annoy me as an affiliate. The first step is treating affiliates with respect - all of them. Don't talk down to them, don't insult their intelligence and don't pitch them like a 3 AM infomercial. Too many networks and programs patronize affiliates, or divide treatment into two classes: super affiliates and the unwashed masses. Avoid that.

    Your affiliates are business partners. Some may work 2 hours a week, just after watching Desperate Housewives and some may have 30 employees cranking out content and websites, but you have a business relationship with each. Remember that and you should do pretty well.

    As far as your specific questions:

    1) I'd like to have as much information about your market and products as humanly possible available to me, but I don't want it pushed down my throat via daily email.

    2) Something I think I can sell. Don't care if I've ever used it, seen it or even heard of it, just so long as I think I can sell it. The one caveat there is I don't promote certain products/services I find personally objectionable.

    3) See above.

    Best of luck!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  4. #4
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    Wow Eathan, I couldn't have asked for a more black & white answer, but soooo colorful at the same time!! This is very good feedback that I will defenitely be using, and hopefully we can build a business relationship someday, you seem like a very dedicated affiliate with strong business aspects. Thanks again!!
    -Nicole

  5. #5
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I try...

    You're quite welcome, Nicole. Good luck with your program and feel free to drop me a note when you're getting ready to launch. Time and timing is everything these days, but we still try to slip in new programs now and then.

    Cheers!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  6. #6
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    So, I'm getting ready to type up the letter to send out to hopeful future affiliates. I'm so excited because all of the feedback I've received from everybody, as well as the "As An Affiliate I hate..." forum, has helped me a great deal. I do however have a couple more questions that I would like to be more specifically answered, PLEASE?!
    How much time do affiliates like to have "special/promo" info before it starts? If you wanted to know, what kind of stats would you like to have about your merchant?
    Thanks again for everything guys, can't wait to let you know about the results!!
    -Nicole

  7. #7
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    > "How much time do affiliates like to have "special/promo" info before it starts?" <

    I almost never make any effort to promote short-term "specials" or "promotions" for merchants, nor do I promote "coupons" aggressively. (I recently set up a "coupons" section on one of my sites, and my criteria for inclusion were coupons that did NOT expire within 90 days.)

    Several merchants send me weekly or daily specials, and I wish I could "opt out" of those mailings, since I don't use them at all. (I did actually order an item for myself from one of those email newsletters last week, though, so I suppose it's not a complete waste of time.)

    My hunch is that emailed "specials" probably don't get much attention from most affiliates -- those who want to keep up to date are probably getting their data from the "Coupons/Deals" feed on SAS, or similar services elsewhere.

    I suspect that specials and promotions are mostly going to be promoted by affiliates who have automated much of the process, which probably means that less notice may be required than if affiliates were manually posting special offers. Likewise, while I limit my "manual" coupon section to offers with very long terms, I would hope that any automated "coupons and deals" sites would easily be able to handle much shorter expiration windows.


    > "What kind of stats would you like to have about your merchant?" <

    If I could trust the data that merchants share (which I certainly don't, after seeing so many merchants who manipulate EPCs) then I'd like to know:
    - Merchant's conversion rate and average order size (CR&AOS) overall;
    - Merchant's CR&AOS for all traffic from affiliates;
    - Merchant's CR&AOS for non-coupon affiliates;

    I'm sure that many affiliates (especially PPC affiliates) might want your list of top-selling products, high-traffic and/or high-conversion keywords, and similar data.

    What I don't want is data that is deceptive or distorted: for example, a conversion rate that includes mostly coupon sites, or an "average order size" for your best-performing affiliate, or a list of your "best keywords" which just means best for traffic, not for clickthrough or conversion rates.

    Again, I generally don't trust data from merchants, so I'm not really sure this is an area you should spend a lot of time on. Perhaps other affiliates are less skeptical/cynical.

  8. #8
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncurl
    Hey everybody. I'm trying to figure out what affiliates look for in an AM and what they want. General questions pop into my head, like;

    1.) What kind of information would you like to have?

    2.) What do you look for within the product?

    3.) What helps you feel comfortable when signed up?
    1. The more the better. Contact information helps.

    2. I ask myself if I was going to buy this, is this the one I would choose? Is this the merchant I would buy it from? Do I get a feeling of trust or fear? Are they promoted by parasites?

    3. When the welcome aboard message has a name, email, and a phone number that work. (If it's from "The Team@, affiliates@, etc". I know I've just been put in ignore mode.)

  9. #9
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Here is what I look for:

    1. A merchant site set up so a customer can easily find and purchase products.
    2. A reliable clean data feed with well-labeled fields with ftp access.
    3. An AM (or someone to cover) that is available if needed.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  10. #10
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    I like to see the companies AM participating in topics here ie: as in other than pitching their own programs.

    It shows that there interested in this great community at large.

  11. #11
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    I now ponder the questions "What do affiliates want?" almost as much as the question "What do women want?" - sometimes you just cant win...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoelover
    I now ponder the questions "What do affiliates want?" almost as much as the question "What do women want?" - sometimes you just cant win...
    Well, it is quite complicated. From the posts I read here, trust is a big issue. Also, building a real relationship is very important also.. This is not surprising because if you are really going to work at it (which you must to make any real money), then you're entering into a business relationship with this merchant. You are, essentially, a commissioned sales person for this company. I find many people viewing affiliate marketing as just "posting some links for something." I really think this is inaccurate.

    So what do affiliates need? They need to feel like they are a part of the business and have a relationship with the person on the other end of the email who is supportive... In my opinion, smaller is better for all of these reasons.

  13. #13
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    much thanks.

    I'm more than willing to bring affiliates aboard in that manner as they should be able to provide some feedback on what they see as working and not working in converting their traffic

  14. #14
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    That's good.. I suggest you make that clear to people in some fashion as they are considering joining with you...

  15. #15
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    ya, but first they need to respond to an email when I send it to them

  16. #16
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    This is all too true. And it's so sad how many just don't... I really don't get that...

  17. #17
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    bizarre isnt it

  18. #18
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    Seems like if an affiliate of your has extended a question in an email, it is a great opportunity for the merchant / am to engage and develop the relationship that will eventually make them money... Why would anyone pass on that? My only thought is that they are just too busy and have too many affiliates to care for. If this is the case, then the system is a little broken..

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoelover
    ya, but first they need to respond to an email when I send it to them
    Considering the fact that affiliates get many MANY emails a day from affiliate managers and merchants, they may put yours at the bottom of the pile. Or may delete it if they are not familiar with you or you have asked for too much information to respond too quickly.

    From the tone of your posts you sound frustrated. Are you contacting affiliates that have joined or are you recruiting and expecting immediate answers? You *do* realize we are in the busiest part of the year for affiliates and that if you don't have a prior relationship or a site that is established that it is going to be awhile before affiliates get eager to check you out right?

    It takes time and energy to build affiliate relationships. You are off to a good start by participating here, but you are still new and need to develop a rapport with the other posters. It also takes time for affiliates to realize you are sincere and not a fly by night merchant that will get them all excited and the up and disappear on them.

    Patience is a key element to developing a successful affiliate program.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  20. #20
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    What helps me the most is when an AM emails me about a bonus they're running, and gives me some coupon codes to help me achieve the sales goal. And I'm not talking about something ridiculous like "sell 100 copies of our software and make a whopping $10 bonus" - believe it or not I get those a lot and just ignore them.

    What I love is something realistic and achievable, like a $100 bonus after 20 sales, or a $50 bonus after 10 sales. That's enough for me to reconsider an existing advertising campaign and swap in that merchant's ads into my rotations.

    What I also love is when I reply to this AM's email with a request for screenshots or supporting copy (descriptive text) that will help me sell their product, and they actually get back to me that same day or hour.

    Take Paula with Avanquest - man, she is completely ON IT. She does all of the above and with a super positive attitude. She even made me a custom coupon code that shows up in buyer's shopping cart as "30% discount from mysite.com", which was more than I had asked for when I asked for a coupon code for one of their products.

    She runs test orders, sends me licensed versions of their software so that I can review it and pass on the info to my readers, and just plain follows her words with action every single time.

    That kind of service to me is far more valuable than they typical "I'm you're new AM and I'm here to pump you up" emails that I get on a regular basis... which I ignore because they don't provide me with any value.

  21. #21
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    Good suggestions.. I think you're right about the "attainable incentives" part. Everybody needs to reach for something. That makes sense.

    I don't know about the part about replying to emails within the hour. That's a tall order in today's email-happy environment. However, I do expect a 24 business-hour response. I don't know about the rest of you.

  22. #22
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purdue512
    I don't know about the part about replying to emails within the hour. That's a tall order in today's email-happy environment. However, I do expect a 24 business-hour response. I don't know about the rest of you.
    I guess the best answer I could give to that is "it depends". I don't ever expect a 1 hour response, even though I have received them on occasion. I have to assume that AMs have to prioritize their time just like the rest of us and would give a higher priority to more urgent issues. I wouldn't normally expect an immediate response for a request for a specific creative, however if my sales aren't tracking properly I really want the AM all over that ASAP.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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