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Why in the world wont people sign up with my program?

I don't get it...



9:57 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We are a merchant new to affiliate marketing. We have a great site, and use Shareasale as our program (which everyone seems to love). Our commission is in line with what our competitors offer. But we get very few signups, and the ones that do, don't do anything.

We joined ABW, "announced" our program - nothing. Nobody cares. Posted in affiliate directories... nothing.

We've had about 65 affiliates signup in the 3 months we've been running the program. 2 sales - both from the same affiliate, and that was because he bought keywords with out website name. So he got some former customers that were just looking for our site.

So basically ZERO real affiliate sales in 3 months.

I'm so frustrated I'm ready to throw in the towel with affiliate marketing.



10:05 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well, either people don't know about it, or don't think it's promising for them. I'd call a few of the folks you wished would sign up with you and just ask for an honest assessment of what they think of your program. Don't try and sell it to them, or they'll spout what they think will make you go away. Just ask for a straightforward assessment. You're trying to learn here. Ask several. Don't argue with them or disagree, just thank them.

Email is likely to come across as spam. Pick up the phone.

Then think life over carefully.


10:48 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am a medium-weight affiliate marketer, sticky me the URL if you want and I'll give you some feedback.


11:50 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Does the offer seem like someone could make money from it or is it set so that an affiliate may see it more as free advertising on the aff site than a legit money maker? Affiliates will probably size up the site (does it look like it will convert, does it have any leaks - outside links, phone numbers, etc..), what is the average order value likely to be and is the payout high enough to make it worth the effort?

While SAS is popular among some, I've never really done much with it because the EPCs seem low across the board, it often looks like merchants are low on funds in the accounts and the more popular merchants often seem to be on CJ or LinkShare.


1:34 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Raise your payout rate.

Programs I get serious about involve building sites, buying PPC advertising, getting into industry directories, getting PR and rankings etc.

Most companies that start aff programs don't realize what it takes to make a good aff site and think the process simple to the point where I hear many aff managers comment about how we do very little and should be happy with the low commission rate.

Play the whole scenario through. Pretend your an aff in a particular keyword space, make an educated guess as to how many sales are likely and what it would take to get a site up and running to get those sales. Then do the math and see if it is worth the effort.

If you cannot spot scenarios where you could make enough commissions to make yourself happy, others will not be happy either.

As an experienced aff marketer I have gotten pretty good at checking out various product lines and judging my revenue potential in short order. The aff programs I do not sign up for are those I really do not think are worth the effort.

Raise your payout.


4:07 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am a merchant who is researching affiliate programs right now. I like the low start up for shareasale but I have read about a lot of people with the same problem. They just are not getting enough affiliates to sign up. The next thing that I am going to look into is outsourcing my affiliate program. I just do not have enough time to run my own anyways. Does anyone have any suggestions on a GOOD affiliate management program?

[edited by: eljefe3 at 8:16 am (utc) on Feb. 15, 2006]


5:46 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Building a program up even on a good but small network like SAS still takes pro-active recruiting efforts on your part. If you sit back and 'hope' the good ones find you and get active - they won't. Some top affiliates are on SAS but they are hard to find and you need to have the right stuff.

You don't say what type of site you have but if you have multiple products - GOOD SAS affiliates really like datafeeds so get one. Also it's really important on SAS to be on auto-deposit as top affs have been burned by merchants that didn't keep funds in their account.


I don't do management any more, only promotion - I refer people out for management to the best company based on their needs and budgets.

Hope this helps and best of luck!


[edited by: eljefe3 at 8:18 am (utc) on Feb. 15, 2006]


6:16 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Our commission is in line with what our competitors offer.

Great, but you didn't mention why anyone should use your program in preference to your competitors' programs. Or more importantly, why anyone who is already making money in the industry should go to the trouble of switching. Where's the competitive advantage?

It's not just the details of the agreement either. Affiliates have to guess which sites will actually succeed in converting clicks to sales. The difference in profitability from merchant to merchant is far higher than the difference in program details (e.g. a 10% commission vs 15%).


6:20 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Just ask for a straightforward assessment. You're trying to learn here. Ask several. Don't argue with them or disagree, just thank them.

This is excellent advice. It's hard to listen to painful facts or opinions without interrupting, but if you want to know the REAL answer to your question this is how to get it.

Also strongly agree with the advice to use the phone. I'd be unlikely to participate in some kind of email survey. Too much like work.

[edited by: jomaxx at 6:24 pm (utc) on Feb. 14, 2006]


6:21 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

jomaxx makes a very good point. I'm an Amazon affiliate, for example, and I wouldn't switch to another, similiar, online bookstore program even if it paid double what Amazon does. I've tried other programs and they don't convert nearly as well.

You have to make it worthwhile for people to switch.


7:52 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Some things I look at are:

*Phone numbers, if the site has them I call them. If the rep does not ask for a "code" or a way to track how I came to call I would not join.

*Cookie duration, how long is the duration of yours?

*Other bleeders, anything on the site that could bleed my refferal. Links to other sites,etc..

*AM, is the AM interactive? Do they try to help? Do they treat you like you only put up a link so be quite?

*AM, do I recognize the AM in charge? If so was he/she good or bad at their job?

*Payouts, I lookup the program and research from forum posts if they pay on time.

These are jsut a few thZAt I could think of.

Take care,



5:38 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree with Jon_King about raising the payout. Many affiliate marketers won't bother if it's not worth the effort.

Also, you might consider that maybe you are not with the right program. You mentioned that everyone seems to love Sharesale and it seems that you chose them based on this.

Did you do any research on networks before picking one?


7:34 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The only way to recruit affiliates is to reach out. Be very proactive. Networking is the key.



8:10 pm on Feb 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The first thing that turns me off and makes me bail out of 95% of the affiliate programs I investigate is: Where the heck is the information?

I'm always shocked by the number of program sponsors who expect me to waste my time digging into every little corner of their sites trying to find answers to simple questions.

Where is the affiliate agreement? What strictures are place on my marketing? What's the payout? How often? Minimum? How do you track sales? Cookie duration? My customer? Or is it a one-shot? What are the linking options? Do you have a feed? Product photos? What are your customer service policies? Etc, etc.

Especially irksome are the folks who expect affiliates to "sign up" before divulging any information. I'm gone without looking at their offers.

<added>That "bail out of 95%" above simply refers to the programs I don't even start seriously investigating because of the problems I noted. I probably only deeply investigate 1 in 20.</added>


5:29 pm on Feb 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What are you selling? I mostly pick merchants that have a product/products I am interested in.


6:19 am on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's all about the money. You need to pay more than your competitors or convert better and hopefully both. If you are in a competitive space, then why should affilaites promote you over your compeitition.

Good luck



7:39 am on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

opps, that last question, why should affiliates promote you over your competition...you need to be blunt and answer that. Sorry just spaced finshing the statement



5:32 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Consider volume-tiered payouts (the more sales an affiliate brings in, the more you pay them). You won't have to raise your current payout for small fish affiliates. But the big-time affiliates will always pick the higher-volume payout program when all other things are equal. You won't need hundreds of affiliates if the few you have are very productive.


2:09 am on Feb 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'd like to reiterate among all these that if I go to the landing page of my affiliate link, and I feel like it's confusing or wouldn't convert well, I won't bother either. As an example, if it's "pay per lead," and the affiliate landing page is a "Sign up FREE" form that the user can fill out right there, that's a good sign. If the landing page has some tiny little "signup" link in the corner, and it's not immediately obvious what I (the user) should do, it's not worth me (as an affiliate) trying to promote that.

Yeah, payout rate vs. ppc prices, cookie duration, readily accessible information about the program (Is PPC allowed? Incentivizing? Newsletters?) -- all that is important, but when it comes down to it, it's whether or not the program will convert.

At least for me. :-)



10:08 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think a good example is no follow up from the merchant for a long time... :)

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