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I am now looking at a hotel chain consisting of household name brands, predominently a USA operation but with several local properties. Their affiliate scheme is with BeFree and offers 3% of room rates on completed business.
That seems quite low but then I have no knowledge of what is typical. Can anyone enlighten me?
I think I know which brand you are talking about. I had a look at their program a few months back, the commission is very poor and the program is very restrictive in terms of usage of their brands in your site. It's almost like they are saying please sign up to advertise us but don't mention us in your site :)
I would advise you to go through one of the intermediary providers, some pay a starting rate of 6% on net rate bookings. You may be able to use the same hotels and receive double what the brand are offering!
There are more brands offering their own affiliate programs now. It's an effort to take control away from some of the more powerful intermediaries. Unless they can at least match the commission I don't think it's worth the effort.
Hope this helps
However, it's not the commission rate that counts, it's your earnings per click-though and your difficulty or cost in providing those click-throughs.
Some affiliate merchants can't convert your traffic to sales, so you just waste your time, even if they pay out 20% in commissions. Others work out OK in the 5-10% range because they convert traffic well.
Some merchants pay out well for one person, but not for the another because of differing approaches and targeting of traffic.
Still, I've not yet seen a program worth bothering with that pays less than 5% commission, in any industry.
With such a low % plus the fact that we are talking about a regional area with a limited number of hotels, my initial response was that this would be a waste of time.
What I am not sure about is whether the pulling power of high profile brand names may be enough compensation to make it viable.
The only way we'll ever know is to trial it, so I'll run it for 90 days to see what happens.
That is really the heart of the matter. All hotels want to reduce commissions, and this is one way of doing it.
Apart from IHG mentioned originally, has anyone got others that are going direct in the same way with their own affiliate programs?
Thank you for that info on Accor - it looks quite interesting.
Whilst I could do with 6% rather than 3% from IHG it does seem to work fairly well in income terms
I'll try the Accor program as well to see what that comes to in financial terms
IHG have some very strong brands so one seems to get a reasonable number of bookings, it will be interesting to see if Accor generate the same sort of convertion rates.
I used the Accor program on a large site I used to manage, it provided a reasonable amount of commission although we didn't push it much and the Accor site was awful back then. The European Accor brands are pretty strong.
Just out of interest have you seen [travelweb.com...] before? If this opens up to the affiliate market things could get interesting :)
As you say interesting!
To be clear, our commission starts at 3% with a 7 Day "look back" period. (You receive a commission on sales that take place up to 7 days after you send someone to our site). This is a significant differentiator from other hotel affiliate programs. Most hotel affiliate programs have no look back period at all.
Affiliates have the ability to generate higher commissions with increased sales volumes and through special bonus and incentive programs
Affiliates earn full commission directly from IHG – no splitting commissions with third parties.
Hope this helps.