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Commission Preferences

 
 
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DylanBaxendale
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Commission Preferences Reply with quote

I was having a chat with Paul on a previous post and he was talking about how he preferred being paid on a rev-share basis within the ticketing industry as he feels this benefits the affiliate more than getting a flat rate on a per ticket basis.

I have to agree with Paul on this one, which is why we are going to be offering commission on a rev-share basis, affiliates put in a lot more effort than is lead to believe by a lot of merchants and affiliates should be rewarded accordingly for this effort.

What I want to ask, with there being various types of commission payouts like CPA, CPC, CPM and rev-share as an example. What would your preference be and what situation would make CPA, CPC and CPM worth while to you as an affiliate?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and getting involved with this one.

Dylan
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again, Dylan...

When I see things like CPC and CPM, to be honest... I just ignore it. I'm really only on the look-out for a revenue share and I think that's the fairest system to all concerned. There's little point in me sending you clicks if they don't convert, however many I send. Similarly, it wouldn't be fair on me as an affiliate if the clicks I sent had an extraordinarily high % conversion.

A couple of random thoughts from me...

- tell people what you're paying in commission from the 'off'. Don't just break the news once they've gone through the process of applying

- be generous with your commissions (obviously within the bounds of what makes it viable for you)... it will help you to attract the top-performing affiliates. I know there are probably some accountants sitting there who don't like seeing the 4-figure sums go out every month to a guy just working from his bedroom. But, quite frankly, if he/she delivers the goods, that really shouldn't matter. The top affiliates are the ones you really want on board, regardless of whether you end up paying them a lot in commission. If you pay a lot in commission, then don't forget you're also doing a lot of sales. Speaking from a hotel affiliate background, I've often got frustrated when we hear things like "we've run out on the budget for our affiliate scheme" and then they suddenly stop paying out. Did they want the sales or not?! Brick Wall

- keep in close contact with your top affiliates. At one time, we were doing over 100,000 a month in sales for a big hotel chain in the UK. It was really successful for us (and them). They ended up doing a site re-design and conversion rates (and sales) plummeted. I tried to talk to them about what was going on, but they were adamant it wasn't a problem at their end. I beg to differ. We ended up promoting a competitor more in preference as, although they commission was smaller, the payouts were much better. Now over a year on, they've been in touch again. I've explained once again that I wasn't happy. They said it needs looking at urgently and they would call me at the end of the month. Hardly urgent!!!! Not only have they taken over a year to get back to me, even then it takes them a month to pick up the telephone. Shocked Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul

Once again thank you very much for your feedback.

I have now been involved in the affiliate industry for over 5 years. I have headed up 3 very successful affiliate programs (all in-house).

I tend to agree with all the comments you mentioned. I originally came from a sales and service background and have utilized the experienced that I developed there in the affiliate arena as well. So many affiliate programs do not provide any form of service, they just expect the affiliate to come on board and make sales for them. I believe in providing the best possible service to the affiliates and get involved with them as much as possible.

This also then ties in very much with the commission levels that are paid out. The accountants might be worried about the payments that go out to affiliates, but once they see the bottom line they will always tend to understand.

I truely believe that a combination of paying out good commission rates as well as providing the best possible service will always be a benefit to us as a company and to the affiliate. At the end of the day, if I look after the affiliate it is only going to be a benefit, so I don't understand why so many companies ignore or turn a blind eye to getting involved with the affiliates or affiliate program. After all, they must have seen some benefit in affiliate sales in the first place to have the program. Some approaches baffle me to be honest.

Cheers
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dylan

You are quite right in that it is an area that is highly lacking in service. Not all merchants of course, but arguably the majority. We sometimes get approved for affiliate schemes some 6 months or more after we apply for them (by which time we've invariably already made a commitment to using someone else). You wonder what on earth is going on within an organisation when that kind of thing happens.

DylanBaxendale wrote:
The accountants might be worried about the payments that go out to affiliates, but once they see the bottom line they will always tend to understand.


You'd like to think so, wouldn't you? Sadly, I'm not sure it's always that simple. Sometimes large organisations will allocate certain budgets to different areas of their advertising. Maybe they'll devote 1 million to TV ads, another 1 million to their affiliate scheme, etc. If that 1 million is exhausted because the affiliates perform well, sadly it doesn't necessarily always seem to follow that they expand the programme further. Instead, it's not too uncommon to see affiliate schemes suspended for this and other reasons.

DylanBaxendale wrote:
I truely believe that a combination of paying out good commission rates as well as providing the best possible service will always be a benefit to us as a company and to the affiliate. At the end of the day, if I look after the affiliate it is only going to be a benefit, so I don't understand why so many companies ignore or turn a blind eye to getting involved with the affiliates or affiliate program. After all, they must have seen some benefit in affiliate sales in the first place to have the program. Some approaches baffle me to be honest.


Couldn't agree more, except with the very last bit. I think sometimes they just go ahead with an affiliate scheme as they think they should have one, or they see their competitor has one. They come up with their own, offer poor payouts or poor service, and then conclude that affiliate schemes are a waste of time. It doesn't occur to them that it was the way the scheme was being run.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Couldn't agree more, except with the very last bit. I think sometimes they just go ahead with an affiliate scheme as they think they should have one, or they see their competitor has one. They come up with their own, offer poor payouts or poor service, and then conclude that affiliate schemes are a waste of time. It doesn't occur to them that it was the way the scheme was being run.


Well said Paul, that is very true indeed!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a case in point of how I think affiliate schemes can really suck sometimes. For a while, we have been an affiliate for WH Smith, generating a small-ish but steady commission from sales we sent their way. The sales came from a retail site that we run and own.

Anyway, recently we had to re-apply for the scheme (I think they may have changed networks or something). We did so and - as so often happens - were rejected. Now normally, although a bit irritating, we would just have to reply with an email querying the rejection, and then we would find we would be re-instated, so this is what I did.

But no, not this time...

Quote:
Hi Paul,

I have spoken to the WHSmith team and unfortunately at this moment in time they are not looking to add any new sites to their campaign. However please feel free to try again at a later date.

Kind Regards,
Adam


Someone please tell me what logic there could be in this. WH Smith are presumably try to sell as many of their products as they can. Affiliates are a channel that they can use to sell more than they might otherwise. What possible logic could there be for rejection? The only thing I can think of is that if we were trying to sell via an adult site or a site that they deemed in appropriate... then I could understand. But it's just a site about shopping in the UK, so I wonder what the problem is...

Yours frustratedly,

Paul
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul

I can understand your frustration. Nothing worse than not getting the full details or even an explanation from an affiliate programme regarding matters of this nature.

Did they maybe change their whole affiliate structure and team and not have any awareness of what had been happening with the affiliate programme before, as you mention that you were already an affiliate for them? Very Weird, maybe they decided to go the Super Affiliate route only, which is also a bit degrading and most definitely the wrong way to go about things. Have they not got a dedicated Affiliate Manager that you can talk to?

I hope that you get this frustration sorted out soon.

Dylan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all very well having a dedicated affiliate manager, but it needs to be someone who has some clue about what they're doing. I used to do quite well with a particular merchant but then there was a problem which I tried contacting the firm to resolve. Unfortunately the new guy was a complete waste of space. To say that he was as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike is a huge compliment to his competence and abilities.

I think getting paid for performance, ie a commission on your sales is a fair way to go, as long as the merchant has independent third party tracking (some don't) and doesn't try to shave you (some do).
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To say that he was as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike is a huge compliment to his competence and abilities.


That is hilarious! Love it!

I personally think the problem with a lot of Affiliate programs as you mention Kay is that the dedicated Affiliate Manager does not have a clue, and that is something that seriously needs addressing by a lot of companies. The commission deal will go along way to having a successful Affiliate programme but it can only improve with a combination of a good comm deal and top class service from your affiliate manager.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again, Dylan. There's a great long saga about that issue here on one of my forums:

http://www.tinnedmince.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=238

Even then, that's not the whole story as I didn't go public with it all in the hope of reaching some kind of reconciliation - clearly a forlorn hope.

I know that thread is a lot to wade through but there are several examples in there about how NOT to run an aff. programme. Not least this:

Quote:
The aff. manager can't respond here because it's against company policy on surfing for him to visit this forum. What kind of company prohibits staff from seeing what their customers are saying about them?


Really, if you have the time have a look at all the carry on. (BTW, that forum is pre-modded for newbies so if you want to comment, you'll need to wait for our approval.)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kay

I have had a brief look over the thread, thank you for sending me the link. I will have a good look over it when I get a chance.

From my first glance I can definitely see the chances they take, also agree with you on the comment regarding the Aff mng not being able to comment on the forum. That to me is just a line telling you to %$&*$% and we don't really give a %^%^^%.

Also, I do agree that it should be opt-in and not opt out, there are to many sneaky people and companies out there so I always check with those kind of things and make sure I opt out if I really have to be involved in a site that gives you that option. I hate it even more when they give you a number of options and some are opt-in and others are opt-out. That is just trying to confuse the matter and by doing that they are actually tricking you into something you don't want.

Catch up later
Dylan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's very helpful when companies will talk to you about their aff. progs. and any concerns you may have about them. I'm aff'd with some people where I'm only an email away from the MD, owner, or manager. Now, that makes things very easy.

Keep talking to us, Dylan! Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not having time for your affiliates is the same as a retail store not having time for their customers, not very good business sense!

I look forward to being involved in a lot more posts on this forum.
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