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  1. #1
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    New Merchant Wants Advice on Which Network to Join
    Hi Everybody,

    I have been researching the affiliate networks, and there are quite a lot of choices. ShareASale looks good to me so far, but it will cost me $350 to sign up. I'm wondering if there is a less-expensive, yet well-respected network that I could get started with to see if this is going to work out for me. I take it that ClixGalore is not liked by affiliates...

    I have been selling my shareware software for 10 years now. My products are good and I have thousands of customers. My prices are set at $30-$40. I dislike marketing and think I can do much better if I could just concentrate on coding while you make the sales.

    Matt

  2. #2
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    Less expensive than $350?!?! Yikes, that's already a bargain basement price! If you are software only places like reg.net and clickbank might be options, but I don't know their price points.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    SAS, as far as I know, is the least expensive and offers the most resources for small to medium merchants. And it has lots of support from the top affiliates.

    If $350 is too much you might not advertise that because those comments will scare away the better players that don't want to question your financial abilities.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
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  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    from the ABW voting booth...

    Best Affiliate Network '06
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=85532

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    >> I take it that ClixGalore is not liked by affiliates...

    only their commission payment policy

  6. #6
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Go with SAS and $3xx is not that much.. check out some of the other networks too.
    Linkshare, CJ, Performics...

  7. #7
    OPM Queen Kristin Kinsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    Go with SAS and $3xx is not that much..
    By far the cheapest among the top 4 networks.

    check out some of the other networks too.
    Linkshare, CJ, Performics...
    Definately, but be careful, you might get sticker shock.
    KK

  8. #8
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    The $350 is not a problem except that I have gotten $0 return on some other advertising efforts in the past. I know for sure that I would get good bang-for-the-buck for $350 worth of AdWords advertising. With PayPerPost, I would likely get $0 and 0 traffic. With an ad in a computer magazine, even one that costs thousands of dollars, I would get $0 and practically 0 traffic. Not all advertising mediums are created equal, and it costs money to just find out which ones actually work.

    Thanks for all the ideas. I am using your advice to continue my research.

  9. #9
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    If you just want to slap up a program and forget it then most likely you won't get the results you seek. You said you don't like marketing so that is why I am bringing this to your attention.

  10. #10
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    You would be paying affiliates for their sales not impressions... I don't see how 350 or so would be too much of an initial investment to get set up.

  11. #11
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by techsono
    With PayPerPost, I would likely get $0 and 0 traffic. With an ad in a computer magazine, even one that costs thousands of dollars, I would get $0 and practically 0 traffic. Not all advertising mediums are created equal, and it costs money to just find out which ones actually work.
    Pay per post - http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=pay+per+post+spam

  12. #12
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Don't sweat the $350 outlay. Some individual affiliates will put in more than $350 worth of labor and garner even more than $350 worth of exposure for you.... if you are selling a product that is worth promoting.

    Clixgalore sucks. You might do OK with them if you are selling penis pills or clitoral stimulators, though.
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  13. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    You have had some very experienced folks in the affiliate marketing industry take time to respond to your thread. Take heed.

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  14. #14
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    I don't think $350 is too much to setup if SAS is a good network where I will make additional sales. However, I compare it to AdWords where the setup fees are $5. Maybe SAS is trying to keep out the riff-raff...

    I was interested in PayPerPost because the blog-o-sphere is so huge, and it is very tempting to want a presence there. However, I have learned that Google frowns on such methods, and I want to stay in their good graces since I make more money on Google organic search than all other advertising methods combined - including AdWords.

    Yes, I am "taking heed". I posted here to get advice from top affiliates.

    If I set up an affiliate program, what then do I have to do to move it along? This is what I have surmised so far:

    1) Make it financially attractive to affiliates
    2) Make my product and advertising materials look as good as possible
    3) Recruit affiliates

    Is that right? Will I have to personally convince affiliates to sign-on to my program? Will SAS be charging me more money to advertise my program to affialiates?

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Just putting up an affiliate program won't be anywhere near as successful as it would be if it were actively managed. That takes a lot of time (at least a couple hours a day) or a lot of money (at least $2k/month for a good OPM). If you're balking at $350, I suspect that $2k/month is way outside of your comfort zone. And when you consider that it might take a good OPM a year or more to really get rolling with a program, it sounds like you'll be managing it yourself.

    Read through the links in my signature, and you'll find a wealth of information that will help you run a good program.
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  16. #16
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    (at least $2k/month for a good OPM). If you're balking at $350, I suspect that $2k/month is way outside of your comfort zone.
    The $2k figure is more for new OPM's, starting out. You will find $4K - $6K range is the going rate for experienced OPM's with a proven track record....
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  17. #17
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    Andy, 4-6 a month I never knew that was the rate.

    That's about 75K a year for a part timer.

    If I can ask how many hours is dedicated to a client a month?

    I guess a merchant needs to be working a good margin to pay an affiliate and a AM.

    What sales volume does a typical company do a year in just affiliate sales to justifiy the expensive.

    Or are these services used just to get a program up and running?

  18. #18
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan367
    Andy, 4-6 a month I never knew that was the rate.

    That's about 75K a year for a part timer.

    If I can ask how many hours is dedicated to a client a month?

    I guess a merchant needs to be working a good margin to pay an affiliate and a AM.

    What sales volume does a typical company do a year in just affiliate sales to justifiy the expensive.

    Or are these services used just to get a program up and running?
    Dan,

    A good, experienced in-house AM with a following and track record will earn $100K - $150+. This can be based on salary and or salary and commision combination.

    We provide an average of 40 hours a month to our merchants. Initially though, those hours can escalate to over 80 when we are starting with a new merchant, the program launch requires much work up front and lot's of legwork to make sure you have covered all the bases.

    Successful companies can expect to achive a 10% - 25% average channel and more if they are pure web play merchants.

    There are many components that go into building a successful affiliate channel, too many to explain in a few posts. I would highly encourage you to hire any one of the many OPM's here and at least do some consulting with them for a few months to get the basics down.

    We offer all merchants a free one hour consultation, feel free to take advantage of our experience and we can give you a basic intro to affiliate marketing. Have an awesome day ...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Read through the links in my signature.
    Thanks Michael, it's great stuff and exactly what I needed.

    I like all my projects to start out in the black and stay in the black forever. So, I will be managing it myself, at least at first. That's why I like AdWords so much, I can start off very slow with low bids and then scale-up if things look good.

    I actually make several thousand dollars a month as an affiliate myself, so I do have some experience. But I have a direct relationship with my partner, and no experience with third-party program managers like SAS.

    My first project will be with a software product where I make a decent number of online sales, but I think the big money is to be made offline in a retail niche that I could never reach myself. So I will need very highly motivated affiliates, very few of which know anything about affiliate marketing as far as I can tell. So I need to make sure they are also signing up with a good company. If I set my program up with SAS, then my affiliates will be judging me based on how good their experience is with SAS.

    SAS seems to be the overwhelming choice among affiliates, so I'm going to sign up with them.

    Thanks again to everybody for your input.

  20. #20
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    As others have noted, if you view $350 as a barrier to entry, then you really don't have an understanding of the work involved to build an affiliate program. It's not just a matter of signing up with a network and then sitting back to watch orders roll in -- you must recruit affiliates, provide creative, set up datafeeds, and much much much more. It sounds like you're following the advice you've received here -- keep reading and researching.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    I paid to be a merchant with 2 companies. I now have one. SAS

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager
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    I've found that when it comes to affiliate networks, it is often a case of different strokes for different folks. We happen to use LinkShare, and they drive me crazy with their clunky interface and somewhat goofy policies. However, I've seen people in forums that swear on the quality of LinkShare's network.

    Whichever network you use though, you'll get the most out of it by being active with your affiliate partners and a good communicator. Any network will have positive ROI if you do your job.

  23. #23
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techsono

    That's why I like AdWords so much, I can start off very slow with low bids and then scale-up if things look good.

    .
    Techsono,

    First thing you need to do is understand the difference between Adwords and an affiliate network set up.

    You are not buying advertising with SAS, you're buying into a network that will be managing your affiliate program back end. The set up cost at SAS is to "set up" your program and get it into the system and it's a one time deal.

    An Adwords campaign is buying advertising.

    You are not buying advertising by setting up an affiliate program, you are building an affiliate based business. And ditto what others have said about affording $350.00 to set it up. Consider if you wanted to start a business selling products and you wanted to recruit salespeople to help you sell those products. If you don't have (at the very least) $350.00 to invest in setting up your business, do us all a favor and don't start an affiliate program. Might be doing yourself a favor, too.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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