What's a good place to find affiliates?
I don't want to join any network and would rather deal with publishers directly, but all I see are tips and offers for becoming and affiliate, and nothing for merchants.
Currently, it costs me about $2.20 on average to recruit an affiliate. Are there any sites/directories that help with this kind of thing?
The best way to find GOOD affiliates is do a search for you industry keywords and contact all those sites that are not a direct competitor. This is much better than listing your program in 1000 "affiliate directories". That having been said, it doesn't hurt to list your program in the directories, just don't count on it to bring in quality affiliates.
Why not join networks with low set up fees and monthly minimums?
with clickxchange and clixgalore you get to know the addresses of sites that sign up for your program.
At sign up tell them about an inhouse program if you want to be slick.
Also offering two tier incentives is a good idea.
I would not discount having a program listed in affiliate directories or sites that webmasters visit either.
|Why not join networks with low set up fees and monthly minimums? |
I would like to manage the whole thing myself and deal with affiliates directly. Most networks have their own opinions on how things should be done, and I got my own :)
The best way would just be to add an affiliate link to your site, or to create a free site that has affiliate resources and downlaods or ezine publisher resources, make it a free membership site. This way you can promote your affiliate program yourself.
This would be the low cost route. If you do not mind spending some money you can use a programer site like rentacoder, scriptlance, or something simular to those and find someone willing to build a affiliate or network type site for you based on one that you like but want to customize. This route would probly run you about $400. A medium priced solution would be to create an auction site for webmasters and ezine publishers to auction thier ad space. This last ideal is my fav because you can end up swaping ad space with the publishers for free by offering to send a mailing out about there products, in return they endorse and promote your affiliate program. Also you can make some cash of the listing fees for the auctions. make the auction listing fees cheap, this way more publishers will participate and you will make your profits by saving a lot on advertising.
In general, I prefer to deal with in house affilitaes and have avoided most of the networks.
When I'm looking for a new affiliate merchant to work with, I do a search of affiliate + keyword and then start filtering results and looking at programs. If I don't find good information before I have to join the program, then I shut down that site and keep looking, as if someone makes me join before giving me the details, in general, I've found it's not any easier to get info from them after you join.
IMO, it's best to make several pages of faq's with information about how you run the program, cookie times, comissions, etc. for people looking for affiliate programs.
$2.20 doesn't seem that high a price to get an affiliate as that money should be made up pretty quickly with a couple referrals.
I'm curious how you are currently recruiting affiliates. You say it is costing you 2.20 per affiliate now. What methods are you using to recruit?
Yes, I agree that there is a shortage of affiliate management resources out there.
One of the best resource site for affiliate managers I have found is the site - Affiliate Manager's Guide to Running a Successful Affiliate Program. The site lists a lot of tips, tools and resources and I consider him to be one of the top gurus in the industry. Hope this helps and best of luck!
[edited by: eljefe3 at 4:44 am (utc) on May 20, 2003]
[edit reason] No URL drops or self promotion please [/edit]
eWhisper, $2.20 does add up considering that 95% of affiliates are just dead weight (as sad as it is).
Catalyst - banners, ads in newsletters, popunders on webmaster related sites and publications.
I tend to search for websites using my specific keywords and approach the webmaster / contact direct of the top sites.
I have found that I am now getting applications from people who have followed an exisiting affiliate link. ( I don't have a 2 tier system but I can track referrals).
I have submitted to a couple of the large directories and have had a couple of applications form that.
I have also added a webmaster page onto my site with details of the program and a link to the sign-up form. Again, this has prompted somepeople to approach me direct.
It's still early days and and I'm still building up the affiliate side of the business but it's nice when you get an application right out of the blue.
Well, I tried sending emails and after about 200 I started getting spam complaints. There is a higher percentage of the "righteous" ones among the webmasters :) So lots of them (well us) freak out and start e-mailing everyone up to arin before even thinking that it might actually be a genuine offer.
Again, I'd have a look at associateprograms dot com
One of the most effective methods we've used is to find sites/companies we think would be a good fit and approach them directly. Email them directly or pick up the phone and call them with solid reasons why you want them involved. Be prepared to offer a bit more for good affiliates.
Search for sites with the right audience first. A few among them will be professional affiliates. Those are the ones you're after to get you off the ground fast. The rest are your solid foundation.
In addition to sites with the right audience, also consider the marketing firms and SEOs you normally might think of in the more traditional online marketing sense. These companies can drive lots of traffic, and if your site converts well, may be happy to work on straight commission, especially when other companies' budgets dry up. You may have to pay a bit of a premium rate, but it can be well worth it.
Also might talk to your merchant account provider. See if you can get them to commit to a lower rate when your volume goes up. With good affiliates, you'll get there eventually. Might as well get the commitment now... :)
I hope this helps,
[edited by: eljefe3 at 11:37 pm (utc) on May 27, 2003]
If you are contacting affiliates directly, make sure you have a COMPELLING reason for them to join your program. A
I get contacted every day by various companies telling me how great their program is, without much reason for me to join. I am not going to risk thousands of dollars testing you for a week without you offering me a nice deal.
parabola and others,
Do you prefer program managers to come out with an offer straight away, or leave it more open to discussion?
Basically I can contact a potential affiliate saying I can beat whatever they are currently getting and that I'd like to talk, or I can send an offer straight away - "Hi, I'd like to offer you..."
Which do you all prefer? I'm starting to suspect that a straight offer might be preferred (hope you can confirm or deny). They may reject it out of hand, but it's direct and requires very little energy expended to reach a decision.
When someone tells me they can beat anyone else and to make an offer, I have a tendancy not to belive them. Personally, I'd rather someone send me a proposal knowing that it's negotiable, and not want an answer right away, but that I can call them for questions. If it's high pressure sales, it'll be a fast no - if you need me to make a decision before I can research your company, it makes it look live you've got something to hide.
If I've heard enough to think this program might interest me, then you know the next step - research.
I'm going to check on you and your company and make sure it's all legit. If it is, then I'm going to look at affiliates similiar to your company and see how your proposal stacks up.
Now, if after all this, I've got an idea for a site, or think I can make it work, and if your proposal looks competive, or about the same as others, (and without seeing the proposal I'm guessing here), I might ask for something to be changed here and there, and if we're all agreed, then I'll build affiliate sites.
If I'm already an affiliate site, and you're looking for me to switch, I'd still follow every step, but instead of thinking of ideas, I'd be looking at the pain to switch all the code from one affiliate to another and if it's worth the time and effort.
Well, that post was longer than I intended - but I hope it gives you some insight into at least one affiliates opinion...
I prefer a straight offer. I get plenty of offers saying that "we can work out a beter deal" than what you have when they have no idea what deal I have.
I also like to hear the merchant talk about their conversion rates, key features that give them a competetive advantage, and affiliate bouses.
What it comes down to is sales. I have worked with 2 ink companies before. One offered 2x as much, but I made 3x as much with the co that offered less commission. Thye simply converted much better due to better site design and pricing.
Ok, eWhisper, I can beat any other deal you've ever seen. Go to the site in my profile ans sign up IMMEDIATELY!
Seriously though, I'm looking for small affiliates in large numbers. It feels safer if you have 1000 affiliates each making 1 sale a month from their home pages about dogs, famillies, sports, etc.
If you got one affiliate that brings 1000 sales per month, you'll be as dependent on him as lots of people here are dependent on google.
bcc1234 makes a great point. If you rely on only a handful of affiliates, then who's in control - you or the affiliates you're so dependant on?
A lot of companies lose sight of the fact that everyonce in a while the little affiliate grows up to be a big one - and if you've been nice to them for a while, then they'll be appreciative and work easier with you.