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Is Anyone Using Independent Affiliates Successfully?

 4:25 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi there, Everyone:

OK, for 2012, I am making my resolution to really get our affiliate marketing in gear.

So before I start, I have to ask; does anyone who sells anything really rely on small, independent affiliates to generate sales anymore?

Or are all the ecommerce sites just relying on the networks like share a sale, and the others for their affiliate marketing needs?

And, if you are making money by having independent affiliates, how do you determine whether going the independent route or going the network affiliate route is best?

Or do you use both?

Thanks in advance.



 8:21 am on Dec 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am an affiliate and I know that it's possible to make good sales figure using independent affiliates.

You need -

- Good product, that is already in demand. It's better if the product already has some goodwill. It's still possible to sell new product; but conversion won't be that good.

- Your hard work to find some good affiliates.

- If you find such affiliates, offer them killer commission and whatever they want. Always keep in touch with them, listen their demands and fulfill those demands. Some demands may cut your profit further. But still do so.

Example: They may want you to wire their commission (even if it's just $250) at free of cost.

Here the point is, if they can generate $250 commission then they can make $2500 too. It means they have to make more sale. Remember, any affiliate who has average 1 sale per month in 6 months (total 6 sales minimum) is an asset. Because most of your affiliates won't generate even 1 sale in 1 year or whole life time.

Don't try to cheat them, especially when you start making good sale. The point is, if they are good then you have to hold them. If they go somewhere else, you will loose a good number of sales. But those affiliates won't loose much as there are many like you want them.

- Others, please add more.


 5:06 pm on Jan 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the tip, Dinkar:

Let me ask you this: Do you go out looking for sites that you can be an affiliate for? Or do you wait for those sites to contact you?

do you have a recommendation of a site that a store such as ours should go to in order to spread the word about our affiliate program?

Thanks in advance.


 7:37 am on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

If I need new affiliate program, then I go out looking for sites. If I am satisfied with current then I don't.

Generally affiliates are lazy people. If they are happy with current affiliate program. They don't want to keep changing links. So keep them happy and they will be yours for lifetime :)

And yes, if they are happy with you then they will refer other affiliates, even if you are not paying any commission for referring them. And most of these new affiliates also generate sales. So you will get more active affiliates without doing anything extra.


 8:20 pm on Jan 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks again, Dinkar!


 8:00 am on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Affiliates are like brick and mortar commission only salespeople. Nothing wrong with having as many as possible promoting your program/product.

Now to get the really good affiliates, you need to find the sites that are ranking for your keywords and make them an offer they can't refuse, whether that's a big cash bonus up front, a guaranteed payout based on their traffic, or whatever else you can mutually agree upon.


 5:17 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

some experienced affs (projecting here) know the pitfalls of indie platforms... suggesting you'd be better off in a network. of course, there are many poor choices there too.


 1:49 pm on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

make them an offer they can't refuse, whether that's a big cash bonus up front

Once this happened with me. One website owner told me to setup new affiliate marketing website to promote his product. He gave me $200 (9 years ago) in advance just to setup the website (no need to make sale). And if that site generate any sale then all affiliate commission would be mine.

He took risk of $200; but this partnership generated good number of sale for him and nice commission for me. At the end, we both were very happy :)


 4:54 pm on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ RhinoFish:

...suggesting you'd be better off in a network.

Thanks for the suggestion. As a MERCHANT, knowing that there are many other merchants on the same network, how can we distinguish ourselves in the minds of potential affiliates (Without just offering the highest commission)?


 11:26 pm on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

hire an OPM that they trust, there are so many issues that can impact affs, comm rate is not the decider... comm channels, knowing an expert is advising the merchant on pitfalls, understanding fraud and the overwriting and rev share impact, and on and on. plus, you're recruiting will be broader and based on relationships, no the flash of highest payouts. while comm rate is certainly important, it is not an island.


 8:16 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ RhinoFish:

Thanks for the suggestions:

hire an OPM that they trust...

Umm... what is an OPM? I am afraid that I am not familiar with that TLA.


 8:50 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Outsourced Program Manager [a hired outside Affiliate Manager (AM)]

google 'Affiliate OPM'.

they know the waters so much better than any individual merchant, so affs trust OPM managed programs more.

for merchants, your OPM knows way more affs than your in-house AM can ever hope to know.


 11:37 pm on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the tip and explanation, RhinoFish,.

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