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Affiliates Forum

This 50 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 50 ( 1 [2]     
What do affiliates want?
Cast your vote
5stars




msg:535686
 2:03 pm on Aug 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

If there is another post out there that covers this please point me to it. I did search and didn’t find this topic.

In an attempt to get a better understanding of what affiliates want (aside from money) and what it takes to manage a good affiliate program and build lasting relationships I ask the following.

What do you prefer?

Commission:
Preferred commission: PPC, Fix amount per sale, % per sale or other

Sale notification:
Instant notice of sale, No email, other

Tracking:
What is the best tracking technology? In house, outsource (befree, CJ etc) or other

Stats:
What do you want from your stats?

Minimum monthly Payout:
How much

Final Payment:
What is the industry standard, to allow for refunds, chargeback’s etc…

Incentives:
What are the best incentives?

Where do you go to find affiliate programs?
What directories or other sources do you use to find merchants?

If you were offered an incentive to sell a product exclusively (meaning you wouldn’t promote another competitors in the “same field” on your site) would you do it?

What other things would you do for a monetary incentive (where talking affiliate program ; )

If I have missed any other key points that are important to affiliates please feel free to elaborate.

Thanks

 

paybacksa




msg:535716
 1:14 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

** don't promote your affiliate program on landing pages used by your affiliates! And if you MUST expose your program obviously on the web, do NOT expose the payout. What offline sales program tells the customers what the sales commission is?

** don't hide your payouts behind a bunch of rules and conditions, such as chargebacks, "official" stats vs. real time stats, etc... IOW, make sure it is very clear what the earnings are in real time (deduct a chargeback whenever necessary with a similar real-time notice). When I check my stats I want to know what I've earned. Of course I know there may be adjustments, if good reason.

** If you require me to use your banners or graphics, make sure they are professional, modern, and good. I hate signing on to what I know woul dbe a good program only to learn I'm limited to old-school, ill-conceived promotions that will never work on modern web pages.

** make sure your check stubs say who you are! It is amazing to me how many affiliate programs send checks out from different states/locations than their home base, without the company name anywhere on the check! Not that I woul dtrun down the check (!) but it is annoying, and reflects poorly on your operations. Use any name you like, but at least have a consistent name on the stub!

** have your AM send notices of other products that match a demographic I am sending. For instance, if I am sending good converting traffic to your cowboy boot collection, and you also sell western shirts, send me a notice that includes some of your western shirt promotional materials with a suggestion I try cross selling into that department. I'd appreciate the tip, and so might you.

** I love to see "our best selling promotions" on the private affiliate page. It tunes me into changes in the market, and I can adjust accordingly (instead of waiting for my sales to fall). Works great when it's maintained.

** NOBODY DOES THIS YET! Send me demographic data on the customers I sent to you! Some of you vendors are good at collecting data on converted customers... you know all sorts of things about them. Guess what? You also know if I sent them to you, and for those people, I know where I found them and what made them click thru. Share your demographic info with me and we can both put it to good use.

Lots more.. no time to write them all.

webdev




msg:535717
 10:43 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Q: Preferred commission: PPC, Fix amount per sale, % per sale or other
A: I prefer fixed amount so I know were I stand but on an escalating scale depending upon volume.

Q: Sale notification
A: Live statistical tracking is best.

Q: Tracking: What is the best tracking technology? In house, outsource (befree, CJ etc) or other
A: In house

Q: Stats:
A: As much as possible on this, demographics, times, repeat customers etc...

Q: Minimum monthly Payout:
A: $100, any less and the checks aren't worth cashing after fees etc for many.

Q: Final Payment: What is the industry standard, to allow for refunds, chargeback’s etc…
A: Make sure that enough time has lapsed so that people know when a sale is guranteed, before payment...but also give information on the chargback.

Q: Incentives: What are the best incentives?
A: Money money and more money

Q: Where do you go to find affiliate programs?
A: Forums, message boards etc..

Q: If you were offered an incentive to sell a product exclusively (meaning you wouldn’t promote another competitors in the “same field” on your site) would you do it?
A: Yes, I already do this.

Q: If I have missed any other key points that are important to affiliates please feel free to elaborate.
A: Personal talking either on the phone or email, not like Amazons Ebay etc.. or any of CJ's affiliates. Personal is the way to go for flexibility.

alleffort




msg:535718
 11:54 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's nice when companies make an honest and long-term effort to track visitors sent by each affiliate's campaign.

As affiliates, what do we want? Proper cookie tracking! It's a given that not all people accept cookies. But the percentage of people who do accept them is good enough to create measurable results.
So the cookies ought not to crumble.

The problem is that companies often set their cookies without regard for the affiliate's best interests.

Many companies set different cookies for company_site.com and www.company_site.com. Unfortunately, this means that when you, the affiliate, send your traffic to www.company_site.com, you probably won't get credit when your visitors choose to go directly to company_site.com.

Also, do you ever get the feeling that more and more companies are expiring their cookies earlier and earlier...especially the ones containing affiliate tracking variables? Cookies should last a long time...especially the ones containig affiliate tracking variables!

It's particularly disturbing when companies issue cookies that expire at the end of the session, or within 24 hours. Clearly, a long-lasting cookie is a draw for successful affiliates.

Also - it's nice to have the company indicate very clearly who gets credit when a new affiliate sends the same visitor. Does the first click get the sale? The last click? Is it split?

Finally, it's nice when companies that do measure conversions the first time around store the affiliate info in the database (from the cookie) in order to give proper credit for future actions.

is300




msg:535719
 5:47 pm on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

i want a 360 day cookie credit. that is all.

twoline




msg:535720
 6:01 am on Aug 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

1. Don't spam me with multiple emails of the same message. I belong to one program that sends out as many as 5 emails a day with babble about the same topics/issues. I really don't want to hear from a merchant this often. Edit your communication. Don't send a newsletter if there really isn't any news.

2. Don't make me change my links unnecessarily. If a great selling product gets discontinued, the merchant should make every effort to redirect that traffic to another similar product, rather than kill the link and deliver the customer a 404. Links are very sticky...once they get installed on a site, they persist for a long time. If you redirect them instead of killing them, you're more likely to get a sale.

paybacksa




msg:535721
 5:04 pm on Aug 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

Has anyone tried setting cookie length based on affiliate productvity? IOW, the more sales from that affiliate, the longer that affiliate's cookie time period?

Seems to me a win-win for all involved. Superafilliates get even richer, with a longer commitment to the program (it's easier to walk away from a thousand unconverted leads that will exprie in 30 days anyway than a thousand with an infinite life).

I just dealth with a client that lost a super affiliate that was producing 50% of leads and >50% of sales. It has seriously hurt the business. The loss was due to health factors... which is a reminder to those dependent on their super affiliates.

plumsauce




msg:535722
 7:05 am on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)


paybacksa,

should that be cookie first or cookie last?

i mean, who gets the credit?

thanks

Richard Overvold




msg:535723
 2:52 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)


Has anyone tried setting cookie length based on affiliate productvity? IOW, the more sales from that affiliate, the longer that affiliate's cookie time period?
Seems to me a win-win for all involved. Superafilliates get even richer, with a longer commitment to the program (it's easier to walk away from a thousand unconverted leads that will exprie in 30 days anyway than a thousand with an infinite life).

I just dealth with a client that lost a super affiliate that was producing 50% of leads and >50% of sales. It has seriously hurt the business. The loss was due to health factors... which is a reminder to those dependent on their super affiliates.

This would be great for me and the current merchants I was with. If this was to be done. I wouldn't join a new program that conducted business this way.

SmartDraw




msg:535724
 7:07 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Custom cookies based on affiliate productivity is a very interesting idea. I'll be rolling that one around for a bit! :)

Currently, our program offers a 90 day cookie, which works very well for our affiliates. Our purchase cycle is such that sales occur fairly quickly (~within the first 10 days of referral), hence 3 months is a sufficient tracking period.

I noticed a trend early in this thread that many affiliates prefer in-house tracking systems. I was happy to read this (as we operate our program in-house), but am curious to learn more.... why are affiliates shying away from CJ and the like?

TIA!

[edited by: jcoronella at 8:33 pm (utc) on Oct. 27, 2004]
[edit reason] please no self promo url drops or unlinked URL's [/edit]

5stars




msg:535725
 7:28 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

I dido Smartdraw.

I have also wondered why a lot of affiliates prefer in-house.

I am not a super tech but our affiliate program stores the affiliate id with the customer information... and gives the affiliate credit for any repeat sales made virtually forever.

I havent heard this factor mentioned and I was wondering if this is common?

Thanks again everyone for all your feedback.

buckworks




msg:535726
 8:04 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

One significant advantage to in-house affiliate programs is that adblockers such as Norton are more likely to leave their links alone and let them function as intended.

5stars




msg:535727
 8:10 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

good point...

SmartDraw




msg:535728
 8:22 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have a similar system. A customer is linked with the referring Affiliate; hence if they return in 90 days to upgrade or purchase an add-on to their original order, the affiliate receives another commission.

Residual revenue is the name of the game in affiliate marketing.

Richard Overvold




msg:535729
 8:37 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

To me, residual income is when someone is doing 2nd tier work under me, and I don't have to move a muscle to make the money, someone else does.

Richard Overvold




msg:535730
 8:43 pm on Aug 25, 2004 (gmt 0)


why are affiliates shying away from CJ and the like?

For me, I shy away from CJ, and the other *networks* because they charge a fee to the merchant per sale/lead/ect, and since they do that, the merchant lowers the commission to compensate for that. So, I like to deal directly with the merchant so I can offer a price of my own. As an example, if my merchant pays me $20/lead, and CJ charges them 30%/lead, the merchant gets charged $26 all together. Now, if I was dealing directly with them, I could offer them $24-$25 and still be saving them money in the long run AND making more money for myself.

paybacksa




msg:535731
 12:24 am on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Richard, you said

This would be great for me and the current merchants I was with. If this was to be done. I wouldn't join a new program that conducted business this way.

I'm sorry But I don't understand this. Can you clarify for me?

Does this mean you wouldn't want to join in at the bottom, but you would like it if you were already in? I don't see why it is so bad to join...

ebess




msg:535732
 1:35 am on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

a way to deal with ad blockers like Norton Firewall and Norton Internet Security!

More and more internet users are installing software such as the abovenamed, often without even realizing that the default feature is to block third party ads, and the end result is that affiliate sites are broken. I've written to CJ to ask them what they're going to do about this as I watch my earnings slowly dwindle over the past year, but they've done nothing about it.

We need a workaround if your ads are being blocked by popular software. As someone who makes 5 figures a month through nothing but affiliate marketing, I can't afford to continue to promote programs whose URLs and images are blocked by major software packages.

Also, don't support parasiteware - ever.

Allow for deep linking and make it easy for the affiliate to do so.

Provide tools for your affiliates, as well as assistance in implementing those tools. For example, amazon offers some scripts to help affiliates utilize their web services. If you have a datafeed, teach your affiliates how to use it or create scripts for them that help them implement it.

Long return dates -- the idea of a customer being a customer for life is a fantastic one and would sure motivate the heck out of me to promote your site. Especially if the customer is linked to the affiliate in your database, then we needn't worry that we're losing future sales when someone goes and deletes their cookies at the end of their internet session.

Just my 2 cents..

chrisnrae




msg:535733
 2:15 am on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Norton"

I haven't tried it, but I know several who say cloaking your links works to combat the Norton issue.

Pibs




msg:535734
 3:06 am on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can't answer for those asked the questions but since this thread seems to run and run..

The question was asked "Why do you like in-house?" and my own answer is simply "I don't".

2 things strike me about in-house:

1. If the company is a well-known (even if only on the internet) brand-name, then many will head straight for brandname.com. Amazon being a classic example, many make fortunes but as a percentage, the majority just stick books up on their site that match their interest or hobby and sometimes even sell one.

I think this model only works because there are thousands upon thousands of unique, interesting products that can be themed. Everyone knows Amazon but not many know about this great book I just read..

2. If you are NOT well-known then you're just a website. I've got one of them too, so have a few of my mates, lots of people have and it provides no assurance that you're a solid business or businessman.

The 'net is actually known for dodgy characters, you'll 'meet' more dodgy characters online than in real life. When was the last time you popped round to visit a friend and had some weird guy in the corner flashing at you and promising you free stuff if you'll only give him your phone number? And if you do talk to him some of his mates will pop-up from nowhere..

Add to that viruses, malware, spyware and other hi-tech rip-offs, redirects etc etc etc.

So why on Earth should I presume you're someone trustworthy that will actually pay me? You'll have control of the technology, you'll have control over the statistical reporting, the products, refunds, everything.

For a super-affiliate who knows he can throw 10,000 people a day onto your site, perhaps he can accurately predict conversions and tell if something is wrong. For most normal humans that doesn't apply - at what point do I decide that the sales seem too low and figure you're only paying me 1 in 5 or 1 in 3?

I have no way of trusting you. Even if you ARE with a network, when I see you're running a stand-alone affiliate system as well, I walk away. If you're presenting me with a different business model depending upon how I enter your site, you've already proven to me that you're a slippery character, saying what I want to hear, not the full truth.

Clickbank for example recently changed their set-up so that merchants cannot offer 0% for 'social' products, forcing a minimum of 1%. Too many were gaining affiliates then re-setting the commission rate to 0, now the affiliate notices a $0.25 commission and realises what the merchant has done. Bye bye merchant.

Personally I feel the rate should be locked, period.

Being able to trust the merchant is, to me, THE most important part. Like I said, why should I trust some website floating in space?

So the question is, do you wish to spread your product wide and deep into the net, reaching nooks and crannies, or do you want to bang out large volumes quickly and then, once the flow has peaked and is dropping, be dumped by the super-affiliates who'll move on to the next fresh product/s?

The next Amazon or flavour of the quarter? Bear in mind on this site you're hearing primarily from the big guys, these people here will track everything and dump you in a heartbeat if their ROI drops below their average or what they could earn from a rival.

Little guys like me will stick to you like glue if you're giving me a profit each month. Think of it like cooking, do you want the outside seared and crispy quick, or cook it slowly all the way through?

Your call.

Pibs

Richard Overvold




msg:535735
 4:26 am on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)


Does this mean you wouldn't want to join in at the bottom, but you would like it if you were already in? I don't see why it is so bad to join...

I would not want to join in at the bottom. If you want more results from affiliates, offer bonuses, not extended cookies.

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