What an affiliate wants

by 6 comments
I make most of my living as an affiliate. I have my own products, but around 60% of what I earn comes from recommending other people's products.

So I have some opinions on what, as an affilate, I need from the vendors I represent.

Unfortunately, with many of the affiliate management programs that are popular at the moment, my 'needs' are often overlooked.

Here is my ideal wish list. It should be noted that I don't know of anyone running an affiliate program that manages all 10!

#1. Email notification of sales made.

#2. A comprehensive stats panel that gives:
* number of clicks in real time
* number of sales/signups in real time
* the ability to stay 'logged in' for more than 5 minutes

#3. The name and/or email address of the customer (for some reason, many merchants seem to hate giving that information, when after all, the customer is my prospect to start with. All I want is to know who on my list is responsive!

#4. A clear and unambiguous declaration of when payments will be made.

#5. Easy access to review material. I understand that this needs to tempered with common sense, but don't penny-pinch where big affiliates are concerned. If I want to review a product, I don't want to be sent a 'trial' version that is barely more than an ad in itself.

#6. A working email address that I can use to quickly reach the vendor in case of difficulties. Don't make me jump through hoops with so-called support systems. And don't expect me to act as your support staff.

#7. Clarity on whether the system is first cookie or last - and how long said cookies remain active.

#8. Clarity on what the commission levels are, whether they apply to upsells and future purchases.

#9. Occasional emails from the vendor to acknowledge my efforts and perhaps to suggest special offers that can be provided for my list.

#10. Where a squeeze page is used, a regular list of who bought and who didn't would be really useful so I could do a personalized follow up.

I'm sure there are more things I'd like, but I'll stop at 10!

Who wants to add more wishes, or comment on mine?

By the way, what I really DON'T want are pre-written emails. The sooner they disappear the better!

#internet marketing #affiliate
  • Profile picture of the author Christopher R Everson
    I'll create a quick list to give you an idea of what I feel affiliates want, and what I know I want, but they aren't ranked by importance:

    1. To make money. It's obvious, but I have to mention it. If your offer converts and makes money, people will line up to promote it. Affiliates on the fence will want proof, so they don't waste their time. Money is generally the reason people are doing this stuff to begin with!

    2. "A clear and unambiguous declaration of when payments will be made." Spot on.

    3. What I get commission on, and what I don't. I shouldn't have to spend 2 hours going over every single bit of your site checking links to make sure I get credit for your monthly billing, for your coupon code, for your exit grabber sale, for your upsell, downsell, sidesell, whatever. Tell me what I get and what I don't get!

    4. CONTACT INFORMATION. You'd be surprised how many affiliates I promote / promoted and I still don't know 100% who they are! Disclose your information, or at least a very viable and personal way of contacting you. If you are launching a product, and need my help, at the very least cough up a damn email. Your time isn't worth THAT much.

    5. If you are offering a contest, update the damn thing. Nothing more annoying that waiting weeks, wondering if I should have promoted again, or maybe shouldn't have, just to find out that Shawn Casey killed the whole damn thing by a thousand sales.

    6. Have your s%^t tested! Make sure everything you have set in place is ready for a promotion. If I promote, and all my visitors can't buy because you didn't have the right links in, or you had the wrong price up, or your paypal froze, I could lose those sales forever, or never even make them in the first place. That can be a serious business hit, especially when you are preparing that list with more than just two emails about your offer.

    I also have a few contradictions, which at least in IM, might apply:

    1. I like having cookie cutter emails. It gives me a base to quickly modify something. When you write broadcasts all day for different stuff, it can be a real test to write another quality one. Give me a few options, and let me know pick one and modify it quickly. Sometimes they are just better written than something I would have wrote anyway.

    2. Many affiliates won't disclose those people who bought back to you because those leads are worth a lot of money to the right people. They may see that as an effort for you to get back your leads so you can also profit from them. This may come across as confusing, I'm not sure how to word it really. It can also be a pain in the ass, not to mention many tracking programs will give you that information easily anyway.

    3. I don't like HAVING to optin to a list of some sort to join an affiliate program. If there are any serious offers or information I need to know, you should have my personal contact information. If not, and I absolutely have to be added to a list, make sure you only send important crap. I don't want to hear that 'it's going good yay for us". I, and many affiliates, have tons of email addresses, tons of other stuff going on, that we really don't need more lists sending us crap. Not to mention, many affiliates take advantage of that, and will even try to sell us services, or just use it as a base to spam us with your latest offering. No thanks!

    Thats all I got right now. I think some of our points overlapped.
  • Profile picture of the author wf_ken
    nice list, I hope our affiliate management software supports it all.
    but i will review all points once again and plan improvement if needed.
  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    How about the one thing that pisses me off as an
    affiliate more than anything else..

    When you use your affiliate list to promote to me!

    When I sign up as an affiliate I expect to be treated
    as an affiliate not another prospect.

    Yes, I'll drop you and your products in a hearbeat if
    you ever pull that stunt on me.

  • Profile picture of the author Christopher R Everson
    Exactly John. We may not be your biggest affiliate, but at least acknowledge that we are important, and often vital to your products success, so treat us as such.

    I won't mention names, but not too long ago I contacted a well known marketer regarding a potential joint venture, and received no response. No biggie. A few days later, I started getting email promotions from that marketer! I had never opted in my information ANYWHERE else, so that marketer most likely saw my email, and just manually entered me into his lists!
  • Profile picture of the author alfardo
    I have to agree with John here. I sign up as an affiliate and then get bombarded with crap emails telling me about products and great it would be if I brought them. Stop it, you are loosing credibility for your business

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