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Finding Affiliate Partners

If you have products but need vendors...

   
12:21 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)



Scenario: I have several niche B2B (expensive) products (software).

As well as marketing from my own sites, I wish to find other sites for an affiliate scheme (without using the likes of Commission Junction).

Anyone else embarked on such a crusade? If so, which worked best:

a) Identify and email other sites in same niche and email webmaster

b) 'Affiliate sign up' link on own site (don't really want to disfigure it with this)

c) Newsgroup or other postings.

d) Other ideas?

There is a need to be selective, as I don't want Joe Spammer involved.

Any experiences of this out there?

12:39 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Sounds to me like a few phone calls are the best way to get the ball rolling. Are you able to contact the other webmasters this way?
12:57 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)



Not normally... I only know the other players from their web sites. Apart from that, I couldn't bring myself to cold call.
1:16 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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



I used to do cold calling in a past life, after the first 100 or so calls you do tend to switch off :)
1:31 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>I couldn't bring myself to cold call.

Yes, it is not fun at all.

It sounds like e-mailing is your best shot. You get to be selective and proactive. Do your current sales take many communications before the sale is complete?

1:38 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)



>> It sounds like e-mailing is your best shot. <<

That's what I am edging towards.

>>Do your current sales take many communications before the sale is complete? <<

Interact with customers? Jeez... no way!

1:49 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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



>Interact with customers? Jeez... no way!

Heheh! Exactly. Oilman and Toolman will be along shortly to induct you into our "Just-Me-And-The-Keyboard Club."

1:49 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



;)

That is good, affiliates generally don't like to interact with customers either.

2:53 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member



If you do go the email route, make sure to personalize it as much as possible and explain the benefits to the prospecitve website.

I would advise a whois lookup but with all the flack that's going on in the google thread, I'd consider this option.

3:20 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Excellent point eljefe3, the e-mail has to sound nothing like marketing speak...

Lots of times it is good to ask for the correct person in the first message, and get to the pitch once you have established you are legit.

3:35 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I would have thought the biggest obstacle would be to convince others they could rely on your execution of honesty and fairness if they joined your affiliate program. Third parties, such as CJ, provide the important sales, commission payment and audit functions that obviate the need trust the other guy. Would you like to participate in any program having to do with commissions where the other party keeps track of the action and is also the sole referee?

Car dealers swap cars around between themselves all the time. The car that doesn't sell on their lot sells on another. Taking this approach, why not offer to sell complimentary products on your site in exchange for others selling your products on theirs? Each receives a "finders fee" from the other equal to an affiliate commission. If you make a sale for them, they fill the order and vice versa. Both sites become more interesting from a visitors point of view. That kind of deal is easy to sell and is more attractive. People don't have to worry about placing a banner/link on their site to yours for fear of losing a customer because you also carry their products on your site.

(edited by: nell at 3:48 pm (utc) on April 24, 2002)

3:40 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I would also go with the email. Apart from not having to talk to the customer directly it could be something they read and have time to think about. I personally would much rather be contacted by email. That way I don't feel pressured to make a decision right away.
3:41 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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



Good point, nell. The honesty of a self-reporting partner is tough to verify. Of course, I suspect that even CJ et al depend on sales reporting by the participant. I.e., they can track exposures and clicks, but the actual transaction occurs on the partner's site. Nevertheless, they provide some level of assurance to the affiliate that they are trying to keep everyone honest.

I think in the absence of the third party, the best bet is to establish plenty of personal contact, provide good reporting, and prompt payment. Eventually, the early affiliates can be used as references to later ones.

3:43 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



napolean, stickied you with some ideas.
3:46 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>the biggest obstacle would be to convince others they could rely on your execution of honesty and fairness

He's not looking for CJ types.
The best way for a potential affiliate to judge would be to site down and talk it over face to face.

4:06 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)



Thanks. Some good stuff here.

We are indeed looking for non-CJ type arrangements. We only actually want 2 or 3 niche affiliates.

I think that openness is important in gaining trust and hopefully we will be able to acheive this by being up front with everything.

There are plenty of issues to resolve though.

4:15 pm on Apr 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Maybe snail mail?
 

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