So you are ready to take the affiliate world by storm. The first big hurdle is to decide what you are going to pay your affiliates. Affiliates who refer sales to you get a commission once a sale (or a different conversion action) is completed. Payments can be either (a) a flat amount (in whatever currency you operate) or (b) a percentage of the total sale (exclusive of taxes and shipping). So, how do you determine what your affiliate program commission rate should be?
FriendFinder is an adult-friendly network of dating websites that has a terrific affiliate marketing program, both in terms of customer service and commission rates. Because they rely heavily on affiliates to recruit new members, they treat their affiliates like true business partners. They have a solid reputation for payment and security, and have frequent special offers. Checking into your affiliate account at FriendFinder is always a fun experience, and often a profitable one.
You will use Program Content solely in accordance with the terms of the Agreement and within the express scope of the license granted herein. Without limiting the foregoing, you will (a) use Program Content solely to send end users and sales to an Amazon Site and will not link any Program Content to, or in conjunction with any Program Content, direct traffic to any page of a site other than an Amazon Site (however, parts of your Site that are not closely associated with the Program Content may contain links to sites other than an Amazon Site) and (b) link each use of the Program Content solely to the related Product detail page or other relevant page of an Amazon Site and not to any other page.
If at any time there has been no substantial activity on your account for at least 3 years, then we will have the right, with 7 days’ written notice to withhold the accrued fees for your inactive account, up to a maximum closure withholding of an amount equal to the minimum amount listed in the Payment Minimum Chart for payment by gift card. Further, any unpaid accrued fees in your account may be subject to escheatment under applicable law.
Bounty Events are available in select countries as referenced in the Appendix (“Special Program Fees”). You will earn Special Program Fees described in this Section 4(a) in connection with “Bounty Events” which occur when (1) a customer, who must be eligible for the Bounty Event as described in the Appendix, clicks through a Special Link on your Site to a bounty-specific homepage on an Amazon Site, and (2) during the resulting Session the customer completes the bounty action described in the Appendix.
For example, building up a big base of traffic won’t deliver much of a reward if you’re working with the wrong affiliate offers. Similarly, doing a great job marketing the ideal offers to an extremely small traffic base won’t translate into much revenue. Each of these three points must be implemented and improved together, or else you won’t see results.
An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.
First, you will be subjected to some up-sells. This is nothing new, but it’s still annoying. Up-sells are only tolerable when they offer true value, but that isn’t the case with Copy Paste Commissions. These up-sells range from $17 to $37 and while Copy Paste Commissions makes you feel like these are necessary, they really aren’t. In fact, these up-sells provide little value.
A challenge with a lead-based commission structure is fraud prevention. If the form is easy to complete and the payout high enough, a dishonest affiliate can determine ways to auto-fill that form and collect commission on bogus leads. To prevent this, you would need a dedicated affiliate manager to police the quality of inbound leads. Warning signs include multiple leads originating from the same IP address, or patterns in data entry such as spelling variations on a single name — such as “Jonathan Smith,” “Jon Smith,” and “J. E. Smith.” When you detect fraud, boot the affiliate from the program immediately, and inform the network. And don’t forget to reverse any recorded leads associated with the bad affiliate.
2. Product categories with varying margins. If you have many products, your margins on each one will likely vary. Electronics might have a tight margin, while home decor may have more leeway. If you are looking to establish a flat commission structure — i.e., a set revenue-share percentage, no matter what item the affiliate sells — then evaluate what your product mix is. What percentage of your sales are low margin? What percentage are high margin? From here, develop a blended commission rate that will be profitable for both you and your affiliate.
Upon your request but subject to our approval, we may issue you additional “sub-tag” Associate IDs that permit you to monitor and optimize the performance of your Special Links by including different sub-tags in the URLs of different Special Links. Under no circumstances may you associate any sub-tag with a specific end user of your Site (e.g., you may not dynamically assign sub-tags to users as they arrive on your Site for purposes of monitoring such users’ behavior).
(f) You will not (i) interfere, or attempt to interfere, in any manner with the functionality or proper working of PA API; (ii) compile or use Product Advertising Content for the purpose of direct marketing, spamming, unsolicited contacting of sellers or customers, or other advertising activities; or (iii) remove, obscure, alter, or make invisible, illegible, or indecipherable, any notice, including any notice of intellectual property or proprietary right, appearing on or contained within PA API, Data Feeds, Product Advertising Content, or Specifications.
“I literally screamed so loud that I shocked even myself! … It is hard to describe the feeling one gets when one makes the first money from blogging. … I have felt that feeling several times since then, but nothing compares to the first time when I actually did make some money from my blog. And this sale came less than one year after starting my blog!”
Furthermore, no information about their packages has been mentioned on the website. There is no dedicated page which lists the products and services offered by this company. Few additional links on the site direct you to video tutorials and you are forced to watch them in order to know what this Super Affiliate Network is all about. You need to spend your valuable time in knowing whether it would be worth dealing with this company or not. You are directed to more and more videos which seems more like a strategy to engage you in their network. Whatever the company claims to offer is something that you can learn over the internet for free.
Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors, or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%. Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building domain authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort.
This is where we put the “marketing” in affiliate marketing. It’s up to you as the affiliate marketer to make sure that your audience sees the affiliate links and offers you have on your site. You can’t simply throw them into the right sidebar and hope that your audience seeks them out and clicks on them. There’s a great deal that you can do to increase the likelihood that your visitors click on the links and get in front of the affiliate offer.
4. Sales incentives. Structure your commission rates so that you have additional margin to offer sales incentives. For example, perhaps you are launching a new product line and you want affiliates to focus their marketing efforts on it. If you have room in your commission structure, you can offer a temporary increase — or perhaps sales bonuses — for hitting established revenue targets. I addressed sales incentives here previously, in “Affiliate Marketing: 3 Incentives to Drive Sales.”
“In the midst of chaos, there’s also opportunity.” Those are the words of Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese warrior, as quoted by Michael Cheney and Omar Martin to drive their point home. They remind you that over 4 million dollars in affiliate commissions doesn’t happen by accident. They highlight how they worked very hard through 23 years of making mistakes, taking note of what worked and what didn’t, tweaking, failing, dusting up and starting over again until it clicked.