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Calling all Affiliates for Advice

Incentives that motivate



2:57 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Incentives that motivate

First I would like to thank everyone for all the feedback I got from the “What Do Affiliates Want” Thread. I have a new designer working on a brand affiliate program based on all the responds I got. I would have cost more to revamp the old one then build a new one : (

I just have a few lingering questions.

I was surprised that no one commented on Multi-level affiliates i.e. earning a commission on affiliates you refer? In the spirit of offering lots of incentives my question is:

Q) Is multi-level not so important to affiliates? Any thoughts?

Someone mentioned >>>has anyone tried setting cookie length based on affiliate productivity? IOW, the more sales from that affiliate, the longer that affiliate's cookie time period? <<<< I think this is a particularly great incentive.

Q) I need to be able to explain this to my programmer? Is this something that can be easily achieved?

Q) What is the industry standard on cookie life? (I want to know the standard so I can beat it plus some)

Someone mentioned that for stats they wanted >>> Everything. Especially we want to see logs of visitors who have not became customers<<<

Q) Other then showing the number of impressions vs. hits (CTR) and the number of clicks vs. sales (CR) what else can I provide regarding visitors who have not converted?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!


5:04 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Wow, a lot of questions again! Maybe you can share some advice as well? What has helped you succeed on the web?


5:05 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can be useful to know what products people bought.

Some generous commission tiers are good aswell for getting the sales volume up


5:39 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


What has helped me succeed is following my heart and selling a service that I am passionate about. After 5 years I am making a very nice living and could at this point sit back and relax and let others do all the work, but this is my baby and I love it! I can work 18-20 hours a day 7 days a week and still be excited to start work the next day.

I love it as much today as the day it started. It took two whole years to turn a profit but at the time... it was painless because I love what I do.

Obviously, I prefer to get paid and I love making money, (I repeat... I LOVE MONEY) but money is secondary to my own personal happiness.

And WW has been a great source of info.

That’s my story. Thanks for asking.


5:52 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

To get me to sign up to a program, the commission percentage and the security and trustworthiness of the program, as well as a well designed product site are the things that I most look for.
A second teir isn't a big motivator for me, but I do find it slightly annoying when the issue comes up (i want to recommend the program to another webmaster, and it'd be nice to get a bit of compensation for it) and there isn't one attached to the program.
Any cookie length is fine for me when considering signing up (15 day is okay), though when I see my sales taking that nice upward curve after some time-saturation with a product that has a longer cookie length, it almost always motivates me to increase my efforts with that product. I LOVE programs that allow you to retain your customers (get a commission off of future orders as well).
If comparing to otherwise equal programs, a frequent and fast payout is nicer than one that is infrequent and comes a month or more after the pay period ends.
Thats about all I can think of right now...


5:54 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Oh yeah, in my experience, depending on the industry, somewhere between 15 and 60 days is standard for cookie length.


6:02 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I keep thinking of extra things :)...
Statswise, I will sign up and begin promoting a program even if they don't have really great stats,
but if after a period of time I am not getting many sales, I am way more likely to stick with the program if I have ALOT of data to help me analyze where my traffic is going, what i am getting sales on, why, when etc...it gives me the input I need to tweak and continue trying. Also, even when I am making great sales, I can use this kind of data to really focus in and make lots more sales whereas without the great stats I reach a mental plateau as far as ideas of how/where/what to promote within a program.


7:33 pm on Sep 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


How successful was your "old" affiliate program? Did it contribute significantly to your business revenues?

Take a look at my post at [webmasterworld.com...] and you'll see why I'm asking!

Your threads have been excellent, by the way.



1:30 pm on Sep 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Long cookies are nice, but not critical. 30 days or more is great. Stats to help analyze use patterns and conversions are important. But the most important thing to me is that the program is diligent in keeping scumware thieves out of the program.

Michael Anthony

5:10 am on Sep 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

"(I repeat... I LOVE MONEY)" Hope that pays for some good medical help when your health's shot to pieces and the whole family's left :) 5stars, don't work so long each day, there's a real world out there dude.

OK, with that corrected, what I want as an incentive is....

Service - not email, not anasafone, REAL PEOPLE that recognise that I am a high producer and give me some priority.

Regular communication to build win-win merchant/aff relationships that grow together, rather than the merchant taking a big brother approach.

An occasional human contact meeting is always the best way to grow an aff relationship once the numbers show that you're both doing well. Of course, I am here in the little 'ol UK and I appreciate that this advice may be a little over the top for someone producing a few hundred bucks a month, but if you are a real producer as an aff, or have a few top producers as a merchant, taking the time to build trusting, long term relationships has always yielded me far more results than any silly incentive.

And the main point I suppose is this - most top producing affiliates don't really need any more money. Every day my inbox is filled with "revised terms" from merchants who are clearly struggling with conversons. It's NOT usually about money - as mfishy regularly says on here, we want to set it up and wait for the cheques while we work on next season's robe styles.

So if you're aff program's not working too well, call up some guys/gals that have sent you reasonable traffic and TALK TO THEM about it - a problem shared is a problem halved, and a top aff knows what works and what doesn't.

From my own point of view, I'll take a second tier any day, but that's because I have a ready made gang of loyal second tier affs already.

And finally, 5stars, nice post and a refreshing change from the "help me make money" stuff - thank you.


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