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  1. #1
    Member lookingfortips's Avatar
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    A newbie merchant looking for affiliate perspectives.
    Hello everyone! I am new to this board and first want to say that this forum is a wealth of information! I cannot express my thanks enough to every member here. All of you seem so knowledgeable and I have enjoyed soaking up your experience by reading threads like crazy this past week.

    I spent the last couple of days reading THIS THREAD to learn the dislikes of affiliates. I went through my website and removed things that affiliates do not like and added things they do. Kudos go out to the original author of that thread as it helped me immensely! I even bookmarked it as "Affiliate no-no's."

    However, I do have some added questions so here they are:

    1) On my website's affiliate page, I say something along the lines of, "To protect the interests of our current affiliates, we do not share information regarding our affiliate program on our website. If you are interested in becoming an affiliate, please contact us and we will reply with affiliate information."

    I did this because when I was an affiliate, I was always peeved to see huge "AFFILIATES!" links throughout a website I wanted to promote with commission information and even sales letters and text and ad banners on the site that any customer could read. However, on the above mentioned post, one affiliate expressed a dislike for merchants who do not offer the details of the affiliate program on their site.

    Should I update the information on my website so potential affiliates will know where my program is hosted? I really want to protect the interest of my affiliates but many affiliates seem to be annoyed so please let me know.

    2). My company used to allow purchases through the mail but after seeing how this can be bad for the affiliates, I removed that option from my website once I signed up with my first affiliate network the other day. I now only allow purchases through the website- no telephone or mail orders. And we never had links going to other websites to begin with so site leakage was never a problem.

    So, are there any other things I should look into? As a former affiliate, I am very sympathetic to the affiliate's point of view so any tips will be appreciated. Obviously paying commissions isn't an issue or else I would not have gone the affiliate marketing route! I would really like my program to be as affiliate friendly as possible. Any added tips?

    3). I was originally going to offer $25 per sale but the account manager at my affiliate network strongly suggested I go to a percentage rate instead of flat rate. So, I did this. However, I am a little worried. The percent rate I offer is 10% (which doesn't sound that great) but the two packages I offer on my site cost $389 and $589 which obviously offers either an almost $40 and $60 commission per sale.

    Although affiliates will now be making more with the percent program, I am afraid some will see the 10% at first glance and not realize just how much they can actually make per sale.

    In your professional opinions, should I change it back to a flat commission?

    4). I also signed up for sales target incentives in increments of 10 sales a month and also offer the optional 2 tier advertising for those who like those (although I never personally liked multiple tier advertising when I was an affiliate).

    In your opinions, do these incentives help the affiliate? Obviously the sales target incentives do but I am nervous about the two tier program if it isn't affiliate friendly. I want my affiliates to make money- not be worried about other affiliates taking away possible sales while the recruiting affiliate only gets a percentage.

    Ok, I think that is all for now but I am sure I will have other questions. I was very careful not to mention anything personal about my company as to avoid the accusation of spamming but if I have done anything against this forum's policies, please let me know.

    I am SO happy to be on this website and will no doubt making all of you sick of me eventually since I plan on using this forum as the excellent resource it appears to be.

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Member lookingfortips's Avatar
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    Yikes! I also just noticed merchants who encourage their site visitors to clear their cookies in order to view "new/best prices" and those who inhibit their affiliates from using certain trademarked words in PPC advertising. They can't be serious! LOL!

  3. #3
    Member TonyCafaro's Avatar
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    Hey Lookingfortips it's kinda of funny because that's my name too and everyone ele in here! I am a AM for several large companies and I'll share my answers that I feel work best.

    1. List your program on the site, your going to send them the information anyways, so don't deter them or double your work. Make content to approve them so you can structure goals and just get to know eachother.

    2. Very affiliate friendly- I don't get the luxury of removing numbers because we sell expensive electronic products and some may require tech support. Stay affiliate friendly I Believe in "KARMA"

    3. Unfortunately some AM's don't really care its just a job. You were an affiliate so you know what's going to make someone jump on the program. My suggestion is compromise you say flat $25 the AM says 10% = $40 - $60. If you like flat then go flat $35 use the leeway later on for jumpstart and holiday incentives.

    4. 2 tiers great for affiliates and companies alike, but we both know the pyramid reputation, so always offer it but you don't need to make it public. Your job is to drive revenue to the the company, the affiliate, and yourself so OPTIONS!

    What kind of person doesn't like cookies? LOL

  4. #4
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookingfortips
    Yikes! I also just noticed merchants who encourage their site visitors to clear their cookies in order to view "new/best prices" and those who inhibit their affiliates from using certain trademarked words in PPC advertising. They can't be serious! LOL!
    Any merchant that encourages visitors to clear their cookies is &@$*&@% evil.

    There are a lot of threads here on trademark and domain name bidding that you may want to search for. There are legitimate reasons why a merchant would not allow this. If you choose to go this route, then it's imperative that you police your program so that it remains fair to all affiliates.

    I think that all of the other steps that you've taken to make your program affiliate friendly will help your program be a success. Keep reading and stay active here, there's always something new to learn.

    Good luck!

    BTW, I'd rather have the 10% than a lower flat rate. That's what calculators are for .

    -rematt
    Last edited by rematt; October 5th, 2007 at 04:12 PM. Reason: added
    "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

  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookingfortips
    However, I do have some added questions so here they are:

    1) On my website's affiliate page, I say something along the lines of, "To protect the interests of our current affiliates, we do not share information regarding our affiliate program on our website. If you are interested in becoming an affiliate, please contact us and we will reply with affiliate information."

    I did this because when I was an affiliate, I was always peeved to see huge "AFFILIATES!" links throughout a website ...

    Should I update the information on my website so potential affiliates will know where my program is hosted? I really want to protect the interest of my affiliates but many affiliates seem to be annoyed so please let me know.
    Instead of having an affiliates link on the main page, why not put the affiliates link on the "About us page" or the "Contact us"?
    I don't mind a live affiliate link as long as the link is subtle (bottom of the page in small font etc... or on a different page within the site).
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I would recommend an inconspicuous "Affiliates" link in the footer of your home page, along with all the other standard links (Privacy Policy, About Us, Press Releases, etc.) There's no need to hide your program. What affiliates don't like is sites where every page of the site has a huge graphic promoting "EARN 20% LINKING TO US!". You'll have customers signing up as affiliates just to "save" on their personal order.

    Percent of sale is best. Affiliates know what 10% of $589 is, and that it's more than $25. If you really think it's a problem, why not offer affiliates a choice between 10% or $25? Even better, offer 10% with a guaranteed $25 minimum per order. (At least one other merchant does that.)

    As for the sales incentives, just make sure that there's not too much disparity from top to bottom and that the lowest level is easy enough for virtually any affiliate to reach.

    I wouldn't recommend the two-tier program. They're fine in some circumstances, but most affiliates feel like they're being paid less than they should if there's a two-tier program.
    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

  7. #7
    Member lookingfortips's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of your replies, everyone!

    This was my first thread here I believe so most of my questions have been answered. I also understand now why some companies prohibit trademark bidding although I thought it was insane at the time of this thread.

    Anyways, right after making this post I read the FAQ's and saw that asking for members to review your affiliate program was against site rules so I was just letting this post die.

    Thanks again but this post can be deleted.

    I also killed the two tier program and am still waiting for CG to take down my program so I can go solely with SAS. They already said they were doing so (minus some fees of course lol).

    This whole post is pretty moot now but I do appreciate everyone taking the time to help today!


  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    LOL! I didn't even realize it was an old post. I knew some of your questions were addressed elsewhere.

    No need to delete it. Good questions and good answers. It'll help some other newbie affiliate managers who have the same questions.
    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

  9. #9
    Newbie Hotel Chocolat's Avatar
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    The best advice I could ever offer is for affiliate managers to try and attempt to be an affiliate for a week...

    Trying to create the sites, check the links, manage for dead links/images etc keep you to date with offers etc and you will quickly learn that it's a very tough and usually a thankless job!

    From my experience (affiliate, working for an agency) and now managing the affiliate channel at Hotel Chocolat I can say that building strong relationships are key to success....

    I was actually asked to speak at the UK event in October about some good things we are doing in the UK market - so click here to view the link on my blog.

  10. #10
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hotel Chocolat
    The best advice I could ever offer is for affiliate managers to try and attempt to be an affiliate for a week...

    Trying to create the sites, check the links, manage for dead links/images etc keep you to date with offers etc and you will quickly learn that it's a very tough and usually a thankless job!

    From my experience (affiliate, working for an agency) and now managing the affiliate channel at Hotel Chocolat I can say that building strong relationships are key to success....

    I was actually asked to speak at the UK event in October about some good things we are doing in the UK market - so click here to view the link on my blog.
    click here

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