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  1. #1
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    Question How To Help a Merchant You Want to Sell For Get Set Up To Track Your Sales
    Now that's a long thread title!

    What I'm trying to find out is if anyone here has any experience helping a merchant that you would love to sell for get set up with an affiliate program. There are some great niche products in a particular industry that I would like to sell, but this is high dollar low volume stuff, so low volume that they probably assume an affiliate program would not be worth it. But if there were a way, when one comes across a merchant such as this, to say "just go to this site, do this, do that, and then you can start tracking my sales. It's that easy!" that would open up so many new doors.

    I know about SAS etc. but was hoping there was something much simpler since promoting their product would not necessarily be part of the equation. Instead it would merely involve tracking the sales generated by their one and only new affiliate salesman, me. :-)


    Thank you

    - Steve

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    www.groundbreak.com - Don't get any simpler than that
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    Haiko
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  3. #3
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Steve:

    That's an area that's very interesting to me. I've been thinking about posting a question here about micro affiliate marketing. Really small white label type programs. With more and more affiliates getting skilled at DTM PPC, and more and more localized blogs, social networking opportunites, etc, I think it's something that could fly. And since a lot of my previous experience is in B2B aff marketing, I used to working with low numbers of affiliates Not on purpose, but that's what's out there for B2B for the time being.

    Feel free to drop me an email, and I'll bang some ideas around with you. Or we can bang them around in this thread. Your call
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It really doesn't get any easier or more affordable than ShareASale.com. The monthly minimum network fee is dirt cheap. The tracking pixel is very simple to implement. Affiliates are paid monthly.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    I echo what Haiko and M. Coley said. Choose between these two, and you will not go wrong... Maybe start with ShareASale, and then add the in-house program later on (when you have a reputation among affiliates), and know exactly what you're doing.

    Geno

  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    While what MC and Geno said is true, I'm not sure that he wants the merchant to roll out a full affiliate program. Unless I'm misreading, I think he's looking to develop a private relationship with the merchant.

    Very similar to a set-up we're building out for a merchant now. It essentially involves using traditional affiliate tracking to discover and build non traditional affiliate relationships.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
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  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think ShareASale.com has the ability to do a "private" program, as well. I would think that most merchants would appreciate the extra benefit of having their program public, though.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
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    Shareasale can do private programs and is an easy to implement solution for a program that has just a couple of affiliates. Then if the merchant wants to expand, they easily can.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  9. #9
    Newbie KristenG's Avatar
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    I was wondering about this same thing. I have a friend that has a product that I would like to promote and have talked with her about doing an affiliate program. I think she would really benefit from an affiliate program because I don't know of anyone else doing one similar.

    She thinks she can't afford it now.

    Thanks for the ideas ABWers.

    Kristen

  10. #10
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    Sorry for not replying sooner, I received an email for the first reply to this thread but none subsequent. I thought no one had replied.

    Yes, Noth has it right, my goal is to set up private affiliate relationships (away from prying eyes). There are plenty of merchants who are clueless about affiliate marketing yet could benefit greatly from it, and who could benefit me greatly as well. It would be great to be able to direct them towards a very simple sales tracking setup that does not involve exposing them to the vast networks out there in affiliate land. I want them to date me exclusively for a while.

    Noth, look for an email from me next week; I've got family in town over the weekend.

    Thanks for the replies.

    - Steve

  11. #11
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    Great thread. I've wondered the same thing for the last year, off-and-on, and never took the time to dig into it. I've sent a few (maybe 4 or 5) "hey-would-you-consider-starting-an-affiliate-program" emails to merchants, and haven't received one response. Being able to explain what setup actually involves would hopefully help my batting average.

    On a related note, I often wonder if I'm shooting myself in the foot when I promote goods for free and then ask if they'll consider paying for it going forward. Thoughts? If you've never promoted for the merchant before, they wont understand the amount of sales that I could generate for them and would probably be reluctant to enter into such new territory. But continued free traffic/sales are probably a beautiful thing for those merchants and it would be hard to start paying, I would think.

    Thanks,
    Sharon

  12. #12
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    I think the hard part is getting the merchant educated about the benefits of the merchant/affiliate relationship. I worked really hard to get a merchant to do a program and directed her to shareasale for further info and after much communication it just never materialized.

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I specialize in doing just this for small niche merchants who desire very targeted exposure to a limited group of value added commission resellers. I realize scm21st is looking at this from an affiliate's viewpoint, while seeking out merchants who fit his sites demographics. Objective is to develop a transparent trusted relationship with a merchant not exposed to a mass cookie setting affiliate base.

    The ebiz solution to a private group sales team has to be simple and easily duplicated for others, who qualify for the same preferencial treatment, by the chosen merchant. Obviously smc21st feels he can generate sales for a chosen merchant, but no merchant will easily bend over backwards to impliment a special commissionable relationship with a single 1099 enity.

    My private group sales services are fee based and is currently targeted towards merchants seeking this type relationship. There's no reason why this won't work for value-add affiliates seeking out merchants to duplicate this low cost bullet-proof referral sales system. Problem is the small fee to disclose the plan to an affiliate, seeking multiple merchants, turns into a one time revenue source. My phone and e-mail box will eat up my time from this one affiliate seeking my advice and influence on the next merchant on his hit list.... for free!

    Merchant clients conversely get a bonus in that the private group sales plan also works to increase in-house non-commissionable sales. It works equally well for merchants, who already have a network affiliate sales force, looking to start a new totally legit commission sales channel. Likewise the startup merchant has the option to expand with SAS, LS, CJ, Performics without negatively effecting the core private affiliate sales marketing group.

    The plan works so well the test merchants volunteer to pay a small monthly fee to grow and monitor all avenues to leverage ecommerce into their brick-n-mortar business. They want satellite sites for SEO link pop and SERP exposure as a merchant. They want recruiting of the private affiliate sales force. They want stocking resellers to increase their supplier discount structure. Add in Simple PPC campaign management to benefit their sites, and even jump start traffic to their private value added sales force pages.

    All transparancy trust issues and ROI analysis comes from controlling the shopping cart to valuate the performance of the private sales force. Therefore the cart limitations or capabilities becomes the starting point. Most affiliates, and even merchants, have limited knowledge of utilizing shopping cart programs. No advice is given that doesn't produce a profit.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  14. #14
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    I think I may just focus on "pay-per-lead" merchants for this. I could duplicate a merchant's form along with some value added content, store the submitted data in mySQL and email the lead to the merchant. I could also sell the leads to similar merchants. This could be achieved with zero work on the merchant end and is totally transparent; if the leads aren't converting they can cut me loose.

    The hard part is finding the niches and selling the merchants on the idea. Seems like there's unlimited opportunities at the local level, that is until PPC becomes ingrained in the common vernacular.

    - Steve

  15. #15
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve. I look forward to it.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

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