ShareASale is a good company to deal with, the only downside is as with most affiliates is its mostly coupon driven sales. So figure in 95% of your traffic not only costing you the affiliate, credit card commission but also the coupon value.
As a company though SaS has been great. They're small and focused and that seems to be a great value over the big boys that don't care unless you make them tons of cash.
ShareASale is really the only viable solution for most merchants, as it is very hard to get accepted by CJ and LinkShare. They want millions in sales and many years of eastablished operation.
I have been with SAS as both an merchant and affiliate and they are a great company to deal with. I never offered coupon codes as a merchant so I don't know how effective they are. But I would suggest the following
1. Offer a product datafeed - this should increase your affiliate sales by at least 100%. However, you have to be very careful with this or else affiliate sites may interfere with your own SERPS.
2. Pay by autodeposit - superaffiliates do not like working with merchants who run out of money all the time.
If you are willing to make an investment, you can hire a third party dedicated affiliate manager who will manage your affiliate program for you. But this is really going to cost.
Good advice above. I'm still working on my datafeed for shareasale and there is risk that you could lose position in serps by doing so but in hind sight it matters not since they're just doing work that benefits you either way. If they're that good at getting high ranks and can dedicate time & resources to do so then by all means they're earning their commission and then some ;)
You can exclude or restrict coupon driven affiliates by being very specific in your TOS, if you so choose. One of SAS' biggest merchants has just done exactly that, with both PPC and organic search restrictions.
"I'm still working on my datafeed for shareasale and there is risk that you could lose position in serps by doing so but in hind sight it matters not since they're just doing work that benefits you either way."
ByronM, can you please explain to me why there is risk of loosing serp position by providing datafeed ?
|ByronM, can you please explain to me why there is risk of loosing serp position by providing datafeed ? |
* Duplicate Content Penalty
* Some Affiliates can out SEO anyone/everyone
* Some Affiliates already have higher PR - see first mark - they would get the benefit over your site if you're new to the market
* Good affiliates break out into super "niche" sites that may be cooker cutter but quality enough that they get higher serps than you because they're more focused.
So on and so forth.
I provide different descriptions and product ids on my affiliate feed i'm building for this very reason - i can google it and see how it stands against our own serps.
Thank you very much for great replies !
Then how to solve the problem of Datafeed ?
How to create a datafeed which would not cause problems with Google.
Concerning datafeeds, there is no completely foolproof way to avoid interference with the SERPS, unless you give out a completely different product title and description. What I did was to give a brief description of our products only, not the full version.
By the way, an affiliate can also use a datafeed to mount a successful PPC campaign. Basically, you would have given him a list of keywords and landing pages as well.
Therefore you must think carefully before offering this option. All professional affiliate managers will recommend the provision of a datafeed but again they have a vested interest.
meh I contacted them to tell them about a merchant datafeed having all there links broken, they replied 3 days latter telling me to contact the merchant. Bye shareasale.
>>telling me to contact the merchant
That's because the feed is 100% the merchant's responsibility, to prepare and to upload. Once it's uploaded it's included in the system and made available to users.
The network has no responsibility or control over the feeds except to make them available, unless they're managing the program inhouse.
Seems to attract large numbers of low traffic affiliates, ie hobby sites etc.
"That's because the feed is 100% the merchant's responsibility, to prepare and to upload. Once it's uploaded it's included in the system and made available to users.
The network has no responsibility or control over the feeds except to make them available, unless they're managing the program inhouse."
They are the intermediate and that makes it their responsibility that everything is in order, no way would CJ or Linkshare tell me to contact the merchant.
|that makes it their responsibility that everything is in order |
Nope, it's the merchant that prepares and uploads the feed. All that SAS needs to see is in order is that the feed is available for affiliates to access. Their responsibility begins and ends there. Or have they started offering free datafeed preparation services in their merchant contract?
|no way would CJ or Linkshare tell me to contact the merchant |
So CJ or Linkshare has a department that prepares feeds for the merchant at no charge?
Either CJ & LS give merchants free database services, or some CSR would contact the merchant to fix it themselves, as an intermediary. But it would still land right back in the merchant's lap to correct a problem.
Sounds like this is simply a matter of who's sending an email to the merchant - unless the network is managing the program inhouse, which they all do, for a price.
BTW, if anyone wants a lot of hand-holding for feeds, they might also want to check out Avantlink.
[edited by: Marcia at 10:28 am (utc) on April 19, 2008]