Affiliate loyalty

Associate Programs Newsletter #134

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CONTENTS:

1. How to make your affiliates enthusiastically loyal
2. You CAN refine your Commission Junction tracking
3. For Affiliate Managers Only
4. Affiliates should trust their gut feelings
5. Filemaker is much more than database software
6. PlugInGo now pays you $5 for joining
7. Restriction on PayPal program
8. CallWave acts fast to improve agreement
9. Affiliate marketing case study
10. Merchant tip: How to find more good affiliates


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=====================================================
1. How to make your affiliates enthusiastically loyal
=====================================================

You know that affiliates are switching frantically from program to program hoping for something better.

But what can you do about it?

I've identified 21 ways to make your affiliates enthusiastically loyal. How many of these are YOU getting right?

28 ways to inspire affiliate loyalty


===================================================
2. You CAN refine your Commission Junction tracking
===================================================

If you're careful, you can alter your Commission Junction tracking codes to track sales more accurately.

"Drewbert" posted this handy hint for affiliates on the Associate Programs Message Board:

"I only discovered this because I hit a help button on the CJ site by mistake.

"If you look on your transaction reports, you will notice a column marked "SID" which is usually filled with "N/A".

"If you use the same button/text link on multiple sites/pages, you can use this column to track which link the transaction appeared from.

"Simply add &SID=1 or &SID=2 etc to your CJ links in your HTML, and the SID number will magically appear in that column on your report...

"Now I can REALLY see where the links are working and where they're a waste of time."

After more testing, Drewbert added:

"It's been an absolute GODSEND. I can now track where my best results are coming from, using the same banner/text link on different pages of my site.

"If I have a page with, say, 10 text links from different merchants on it, I give them all the same SID. So results from that page stick out... Highly recommended!"

I asked Affiliate Program Manager Claudia Gonzalez about this and she confirmed that "CJ supports an additional variable known as SID or shopper ID".

This allows affiliates to do what Drewbert says.

"Adding the SID does not affect merchant tracking at all," Claudia says. "It just allows affiliates an extra level of control."

However, be VERY careful when you're changing the code. Double check. Make sure you don't use any "improper" characters. If you make a mistake, you could make the link useless.

Commission Junction:
http://www.AssociatePrograms.com/cj


==============================
3. For Affiliate Managers Only
==============================

Ken Evoy, who has inspired ardently loyal affiliates because he does so much to help them - free 224-page affiliate manual, free "Affiliate Masters" e-mail course, free "80-20 Report" and three newsletters - is now helping affiliate MANAGERS.

He has launched a new section of his site:

"SiteSell: For Affiliate Managers Only"

http://www.SiteSell.com/rejuvenate.html

I strongly recommend it.

It helps your affiliates while you earn substantial lifetime commissions.


=============================================
4. Affiliates should trust their gut feelings
=============================================

Here's a good letter from Richard Sayers:

I enjoy receiving your newsletter and have a story to share. One of the few affiliate programs I found worthwhile was BigWords.com. When I first started running their ads on the college links page of my site, the money came rolling in. Their program was in-house until April, 2000. When the administration of BigWords affiliate program moved to LinkShare, the click-through and conversion percentages went down, so I started watching things closely.

The peak college book buying season is September and October. Prior to then BigWords changed their policies, eliminating the low price guarantee and placing restrictions on the free shipping. I knew conversions would go down, but thought they deserved a chance to make a profit so I kept exclusive links to them instead of adding or switching to another bookseller affiliation.

Watching the LinkShare reports, commissions were suddenly non- existent. In an e-mail sent to LinkShare and BigWords on October 13 I said: "There must be some problem with sales not showing up (or the BigWords site must be about ready to go under?) Please reply with any missing sales numbers." On October 16 I removed all BigWords ads. On October 20 they went out of business!

So the moral of the story is affiliates should trust their gut feelings. I'm glad the banners were off my site before they went under. It's too bad I did not add another affiliate program earlier to make some money during the peak season.

By the way, I noticed some sites still running BigWords ads as recently as today!

Richard Sayers
President & Founder
http://10-10PhoneRates.com/


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================================================
5. Filemaker is much more than database software
================================================

Last week I mentioned Filemaker, which some merchants use to write their checks and address their envelopes when they send out affiliate checks.

The software can do a LOT more than that.

"It's my favorite software, anywhere, any time," says Ken Evoy of SiteSell.com .

"We do all our client-side stuff with Filemaker. But what most people don't realize about Filemaker is that it's way, way more than database software. Its easy scripting turns it into a wonderful software development platform. And anyone can learn this and do it. I did my first product entirely in Filemaker, starting from a zero knowledge base. And made CAD$750,000 doing it, over the first two years of my Net debut (pre-SiteSell.com).

"But their commission of 5% is rather stingy, don't you think?" Ken says.

http://www.Filemaker.com


=======================================
6. PlugInGo now pays you $5 for joining
=======================================

PlugInGo.com has announced that new affiliates who join the affiliate network will accrue a $5 sign-up bonus.

All you have to do to earn the bonus is place an active link from one of PlugInGo's merchant partners on your site. Your $5 will be paid when you reach the $25 minimum payout in commissions.

PlugInGo is a growing network listing about 60 affiliate programs covering a variety of subjects. It's worth checking out for products which fit your niche.

[UPDATE: PlugInGo died.]


================================
7. Restriction on PayPal program
================================

An alert reader says I didn't make it clear that PayPal's referral program is no longer available to the basic user account holder. It's available only to Premium or Business Account holders in the US.

Check out PayPal here


==========================================
8. CallWave acts fast to improve agreement
==========================================

CallWave, whose affiliate agreement I criticized last week, has quickly improved the contract.

"We apologize for the confusing wording in Section 4 of our Affiliate Agreement, says Marie Spaulding of CallWave.

"We do roll over payments, such that a minimum of $25 in commissions must be earned to receive a check and if an affiliate earns $20 in month # 1 and $10 in month # 2, they will receive a check for $30."

Marie says CallWave is an honest company with a true appreciation of its affiliate partners. "It is largely due to our affiliates that we now have over 4 million users of our Internet Answering Machine just 12 months since the product launched."

So if you see something odd in an affiliate agreement, PLEASE complain about it. Some merchants listen and act fast to solve problems.

[UPDATE: Here's the slightly amended affiliate agreement:
http://www.callwave.com/affiliates/affiliatetc.asp ]


=================================
9. Affiliate marketing case study
=================================

Return On Investment: An Affiliate Marketing Case Study
internetday.com/archives/110600.html

Branders.com Doubles Affiliate Sales Revenues by Focusing Banners on Strong, Simple Offers
adsguide.com/news/2000/10/20001027-1.htm

E-Tailers Fine-Tune Affiliate Sales
nytimes.com/2000/11/06/technology/06ECOMMERCE.html

What Your Link Request Should Contain and Why
clickz.com/cgi-bin/gt/article.html?article=2775


==================================================
10. Merchant tip: How to find more good affiliates
==================================================

"Your own affiliates are a great resource. Do you reward them for sending you more affiliates? Even if you do not have a two-tier system, you can still give better commissions or bonuses to those affiliates who send you a quality affiliate."

- Brad Waller
VP, Affiliate and Business Development, EPage
http://ep.com

 

  All the best
    
  Allan Gardyne

November 9, 2000

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