|Give Me Recommendations on Aff Program Software, Please :)|
I need to advise my dad on what to use for his business!
To all you WebmasterWorld merchants with affiliate programs, I'd love to hear your advice! I'm also interested in hearing affiliate managers' perspective.
Here's the situation:
My dad has a business organizing niche conferences in fancy locations. He sells the travel along with the conference. So your average order size per person is typically $2000+. Also, people frequently want some personalization (e.g. a few extra days before/after, tours of the area etc.)
We tried AdWords with the goal being to generate sales. The keywords and copy were very targeted, but we got no sales, and as this went on for about 2 months with a few hundred clicks and nada sales... we put it on hold.
What I'm trying to get him to try out now is affiliate marketing. I'd like you to answer as many of the following questions as you can find time for. No need to answer 'em all, but the more the merrier :). The questions I have are:
1) What affiliate software do you use?
2) What features do you use most often?
3) Why do you use those most often?
4) Is the flexibility to change between different payout structures important? E.g. If I find PPC works better than CPA?
5) Would you have my dad try to sell his product through affiliate marketing, or generate leads? My thinking is that a) his current clientbase is an older demographic who are less web-savvy and thus less likely to buy online and b) the ticket size is pretty high so leads would be easier to get. The catch is he's a risk averse guy and doubtful about more online marketing, given that
a) AdWords didn't pan out
b) he's worried about affiliates submitting fake leads
--->What would you do? WHY?
6) How do you recruit affiliates? I was thinking of informational contacting sites in the niche directly - any thoughts on that?
7) Are you better off with first-click attribution or last-click attribution, if you can't have both?
8) Does any of the out-of-the-box software around offer cookies that will track every touchpoint and divide credit accordingly? How expensive would that be to hack into the software you use?
9) What do you make of software that has the affiliate type in the domain of the site they're going to use to promote your product, so that the links affiliates use are SEO-friendly? I'm personally an affiliate of merchants using it, and the SEO aspect doesn't bother me - I can just prevent the link passing value - but I know some big affiliates don't want merchants to see how they're promoting the merchant's stuff.
Please share your tips and ideas with me!
[edited by: eljefe3 at 1:15 am (utc) on Nov. 19, 2008]
Welcome to WebmasterWorld!
Your question is really a two part question with a ton of sub questions 1) is adwords traffic good and 2) what software is best for me.
To answer your questions:
1) adwords can be good, but when you are selling high priced ticket items, don't expect conversions to be high. You'll get a lot of tire kickers.
2) Best if you tried out the software and see what works best for your dad. Most companies have a 30 day free trial, so give them a spin and see what works best. It sounds like you'll either need customization of a current software package, or you'll need to have some coded up.
AdWords can be good... it may have appeared that way between the lines, but I wasn't asking so much about that. Glad to get your experience with high priced items though - reassuring.
As to trying out the software, that could get pretty time consuming to try out all the different ones I'd listed initially (apologies if that broke forum rules btw). So yeah - anyone who can share their experience with various aff software? PM is fine if you can't mention them by name in a post. How about my questions on aff software generally?
There is no one size fits all for software, so it really depends on your budget and what you want the software to do. Time consuming yes, but necessary.
As far as all the other questions, really you will need to do some research and spend your time learning up on the issues. The answers are pretty much all out there. I'm sure if you wanted to drop a large sum on an "affiliate program consultant" they would have the answers for you, but still best to learn this so it won't end up costing you a much larger sum down the road due to lack of knowledge or understanding.
Any suggestions on finding those Q+As, then? All I get are affiliates intent on selling software 8-).