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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?
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.
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]
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.