Building an Affiliate Strategy that Affiliates will flock to

10 replies
Hey everyone,

I am looking for some advice. I have a niche website I've been running for nearly 8 years now. I recently relaunched it as a WP Multisite, membership site.

My primary site has over 5,000 articles I've written myself and has always been free to read. If you do a simple keyword search on any topic within my niche, you'll find one or more of those articles. Each of my new 7 subdomains are all related to my primary site and offer inexpensive (my readers/visitors run businesses on narrow margins) products and services.

Up to this point, my primary revenue has been through advertising and book sales (I've written an official "for Dummies" book on my niche). With the membership, I hope to build an additional revenue stream. I am currently working with several partners to create discounts our members will receive outside of the discounts they'll receive on my products and services. This will provide additional value to a membership purchase. Once I have a few more partnerships locked up, I will be working on my marketing/advertising plan.

Part of this plan is to include an affiliate program, and that's the reason for this post.

I am struggling to develop an affiliate plan that will attract professional affiliate marketers. My membership plan costs roughly 20 bucks a month (recurring) or 200 for a year subscription. My subdomains offer products ranging in price from 10-50 dollars.

I would like to know what type of percentage you think I should be offering? I've seen similar sites in different niches offer anywhere from 20-50% to affiliates for only paid membership sign ups. Also, should I offer percentage commissions on sold products by non-members they refer?

Since my memberships and products are so low priced, a split won't be big money if you look at a single purchase, but at the same time, if they build a strong funnel to the site, they could end up with a lot of smaller recurring commissions.

I would love to hear your thoughts on building my affiliate program the right way. One that will entice not only the beginner affiliates, but also the true professional and experienced affiliate marketers.

FYI, I am currently planning on running the program in house and use AffiliateWP to help monitor affiliates, if that matters to your advice. I'd like to stay away from the affiliate groups so I can provide more to the individual affiliate instead of losing the percentage of the split with the Clickbanks of the world.

Thanks in advance.
#affiliate #affiliates #building #flock #strategy
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Goodnight
    An additional throw in. Should I include recurring member fees or make the commission based on the first payment? This would lead most to pushing for the 1 year payment priced packages as opposed to the monthly payment package. Thoughts?
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    Want to be part of the fastest growing segment of the foodservice industry? Earn a 20% residual affiliate commission on membership referrals. Get the details today.

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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Offer 50% recurring commissions, provide the tools and marketing materials for your affiliates, put up a customized email series exclusively for affiliates showing them how to get sales with your membership site.... and to find affiliates consider some of the tips below:

    How To Get Affiliates
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    • Profile picture of the author Charles Goodnight
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Offer 50% recurring commissions...
      I am curious if having a tiered program that led up to 50% would be a turn off to serious affiliate marketers?

      Example: 1-25 Member sign ups - 30%
      26-50 Member sign ups - 40%
      51+ Member sign ups - 50%

      I have worked as an executive recruiter in the past, and it seemed every job I had in that field had a graduated fee structure for placements. I was considering this, but forgot to include it in my original post.

      Thoughts?
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      Want to be part of the fastest growing segment of the foodservice industry? Earn a 20% residual affiliate commission on membership referrals. Get the details today.

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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Charles Goodnight View Post

        I am curious if having a tiered program that led up to 50% would be a turn off to serious affiliate marketers?

        Example: 1-25 Member sign ups - 30%
        26-50 Member sign ups - 40%
        51+ Member sign ups - 50%

        I have worked as an executive recruiter in the past, and it seemed every job I had in that field had a graduated fee structure for placements. I was considering this, but forgot to include it in my original post.

        Thoughts?
        Tiered commissions have worked well for a number of companies, Amazon being one of the best known. When they reworked the commission structure more in their favor, they lost a lot of affiliates.

        Here's an out of the box idea for you...

        I've seen similar commission schemes in the insurance industry. Typically, almost all of the initial premium is used to pay the selling agent or agency, while renewals generated a smaller commission.

        In your case, you might want to pay 100% on the initial sign-up, then something like 20-30% recurring for monthly subscriptions. Professional affiliates will see the potential for a growing residual income while still getting a decent payout for continuing to promote the program. 50% straight up on yearly would pay $100, so would attract affiliates.

        I know a few insurance pros who have done very well with a setup like this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
    Here's my 2 cents.


    I normally only go for affiliate programs that have recurring income.

    I'm not giving you my best people from my list for just one commission. No thanks.


    I look at 50% as being normal.


    I do like it if you give 10% ongoing commissions on their sales to me for anyone I refer that becomes an affiliate.



    Then, other than that, the #1 thing you need to do is pay on time.



    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Goodnight
    Thanks folks great advice so far. What do I need to look out for in regards to getting scammed from affiliates. I've read that this can be an issue and I wonder if there is a way to structure an affiliate program to help curb possible scams?
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    Want to be part of the fastest growing segment of the foodservice industry? Earn a 20% residual affiliate commission on membership referrals. Get the details today.

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    • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
      Originally Posted by Charles Goodnight View Post

      Thanks folks great advice so far. What do I need to look out for in regards to getting scammed from affiliates. I've read that this can be an issue and I wonder if there is a way to structure an affiliate program to help curb possible scams?



      Sure.


      Don't alow them to get a commission from buying your product.


      If you do a 10% payout for them bringing on other affiliates don't let them get that for sponsoring family members. Or, they will sign up their spouse and put all sales under them for the extra 10%.


      Don't pay commissions until after your refund period is over.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    Also, should I offer percentage commissions on sold products by non-members they refer?
    If I send someone to your site I want credit for anything they buy for at least 30 days.

    If you go the self-hosted route try to develop a "qualifier." You should be very careful who you let promote your products and how they promote them, or you may find your site flooded with low-quality and or bot traffic.

    I don't promote anything without documented EPC, conversion and refund rates. If you have good numbers it will go farther to enticing affiliates who can actually make sales than anything else. If your site is flooded with tens of thousands of bots or un-targeted visitors, your numbers will suck.

    Seven Things to Investigate When Approving Affiliates
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    I would not be as concerned with the structure as I'd be focused on building friendships with potential affiliates, by helping them out. For me it is always helping bloggers and potential affiliates out for a few months, however I can. Retweet, genuine blog comments, mention on my blog, advice. Then over time, when I do a launch or whatever, they are on board.
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  • Profile picture of the author salsym
    Originally Posted by Charles Goodnight View Post

    Hey everyone,

    I am looking for some advice. I have a niche website I've been running for nearly 8 years now. I recently relaunched it as a WP Multisite, membership site.

    My primary site has over 5,000 articles I've written myself and has always been free to read. If you do a simple keyword search on any topic within my niche, you'll find one or more of those articles. Each of my new 7 subdomains are all related to my primary site and offer inexpensive (my readers/visitors run businesses on narrow margins) products and services.

    Up to this point, my primary revenue has been through advertising and book sales (I've written an official "for Dummies" book on my niche). With the membership, I hope to build an additional revenue stream. I am currently working with several partners to create discounts our members will receive outside of the discounts they'll receive on my products and services. This will provide additional value to a membership purchase. Once I have a few more partnerships locked up, I will be working on my marketing/advertising plan.

    Part of this plan is to include an affiliate program, and that's the reason for this post.

    I am struggling to develop an affiliate plan that will attract professional affiliate marketers. My membership plan costs roughly 20 bucks a month (recurring) or 200 for a year subscription. My subdomains offer products ranging in price from 10-50 dollars.

    I would like to know what type of percentage you think I should be offering? I've seen similar sites in different niches offer anywhere from 20-50% to affiliates for only paid membership sign ups. Also, should I offer percentage commissions on sold products by non-members they refer?

    Since my memberships and products are so low priced, a split won't be big money if you look at a single purchase, but at the same time, if they build a strong funnel to the site, they could end up with a lot of smaller recurring commissions.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on building my affiliate program the right way. One that will entice not only the beginner affiliates, but also the true professional and experienced affiliate marketers.

    FYI, I am currently planning on running the program in house and use AffiliateWP to help monitor affiliates, if that matters to your advice. I'd like to stay away from the affiliate groups so I can provide more to the individual affiliate instead of losing the percentage of the split with the Clickbanks of the world.

    Thanks in advance.
    I think you should have multi tier commission setup. Like 1$ for membership and 25% when it is upgraded to paid membership and 50% when a product is sold..
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