31 January 2014 ~ 18 Comments

What’s the Goal for your affiliate program?

Adding an affiliate program to your product or service is an excellent way to reward your customers for spreading the word, but there has been a trend lately in small businesses to increase limitations on the affiliate program, which begs the question – what are you trying to accomplish with your affiliate program?

It seems every day more and more websites pop online with strangely limited affiliate programs that are in complete contradiction of the idea of an affiliate program.

Waiting Periods
One of the most common practices is a waiting period, many websites will tell you that you must wait 14 days before any commissions will be validated.  This one actually does make some sense because the claim is that the person could file a chargeback or reversal, the pitfall however is that chargeback periods are typically 90 days, so what does a 14 day period really benefit anyone? I’ve always had no waiting period for my affiliate programs because the rate of people that actually do file reversals or refunds is so small that it is of little consequence.  If you want to hold a purchase due to chargebacks, then your waiting period should probably reflect the actual time period, if not then you as a business are not really reducing any loss by having a short waiting period, and all you are doing is slowing down your affiliates.

Requiring Purchases
One thing that is also becoming increasingly common is forcing people to make a purchase in order to receive commissions.  I have no problem with giving free membrs or free trial members a 0% commission rate, but allowing them to earn a commission, but not paying it, doesn’t make sense to me.  One of the most motivating things of affiliate sales is seeing those commissions come in, and for me personally if you offer a higher commission rate to upgraded members, then when I see those commissions come in as a free member, it is very motivating to me to want to upgrade at that point.  When I promote your product and you tell me I earned a commission, but am never going to see it, then what is the reason for me to continue to promote your product over your competitors?

Requiring Activity
I have even seen some sites now that require you to do certain arbitrary actions in order to get paid.  I’ve had my commissions deducted from my account at one site for not surfing, and other sites for not logging in for a certain period of time.  Why?  If it is a traffic exchange and I am earning credits from my referrals, why should I have to surf in order to get my commissions?  Why are you taking commissions away from my account that I have earned?

Limits
More common in PTCs, but also becoming more common in Traffic Exchanges also, is the idea of limiting earnings.  Having either a maximum amount of money you can be paid, or a minimum time period you must wait between payments.  I don’t understand this one at all, if I earn money using your product, then why are you limiting how much of it I actually get? If you didn’t want me to get paid, then why are you paying me to begin with?

 

RESPECT YOUR AFFILIATES
What this comes down to me is.. Why do you have an Affiliate Program?  What is your motivation for providing people commissions and cash prizes?  What are you doing to that motivation when you add stipulations and hoops to jump through?  Why are you even offering an affiliate program, if you aren’t going to pay anyone? Your affiliate has worked their butt off to promote your product in the good faith that you will reward them for their efforts – they brought you not only new members, but are actually generating sales for you — that is literally money that they are putting in your pocket, so don’t disrespect them by trying to increase your haul by taking from theirs.

Paying People to Use your Product?
It’s OK to not give out ridiculous cash prizes or to pay people for actions on your site — in fact I’d argue that it’s even better not to;  if it takes monetary motivation to get people to even use your website, then you have a serious flaw in your business model and your business that you desperately need to address immediately before becoming completely bankrupted.  If you can’t sell your product or get people to actively use your website, without having to pay them to do so, then your business is not going to succeed.  Sorry to be a downer, but it’s just simply not.  This is a massive indication of a huge flaw in your business model or execution of that model.  Obviously if you have to pay somebody to use your product, you have very small chance of someone actually buying it.

Giving Vs. Taking Away
When you decide to make changes to your affiliate structure, are you adding value or removing it?  If you have a flaw in your affiliate program and it is not working as you intended, what do you think is going to happen when you start removing features of it?  Do you think that is going to motivate people and make it more effective?  Telling your free members that they can’t do this or are limited to that, isn’t going to motivate them to support you, it’s going to run them away.  Take a dedicated affiliate who may just not have the funds yet to make purchases at the level you want and then punishing them by limiting what they can do is very far from motivating.

Don’t want to pay? Don’t give it away!
Pretty simply.. if you are not wanting to pay people, wanting to limit what they can get, or simply not pay them at all unless they’ve met some condition – then why are you even giving it away in the first place?  If you don’t want to pay the cash, then don’t stop telling them you will.  If I have a bag of skittles and I don’t want to share, then why would I offer one to everyone in the room?

So… What’s your motivation?
So why do you have an affiliate program on your product?  What’s the point?  What is it you are trying to accomplish by offering commissions for your product?  Is what you are doing support the goals of your affiliate program, or does it limit them?  Quite simply – if you don’t want to pay people; then don’t offer it to them.  If you don’t want to pay cash prizes, then don’t give cash prizes.  If you don’t want to pay commissions, then don’t give commissions.  If you have to pay people to use your product then you are grossly misunderstanding the market you are in, and likely wondering why you are failing.  Address the cause of inactivity or failing sales by getting to the root, are you really providing a product that is of value?  If your members can’t see the value, and if you have to pay people to use your product, then how do expect any of them to actually be able to sell it anyway?

I’d like to ask all business owners reflect on their business and ask themselves – What are the goals of my affiliate program, what can I do to accomplish them, and is what I am doing now support or hinder those goals?

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30 December 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Are you a Traffic Exchange Owner?

If you own a Traffic Exchange then I have some awesome new stuff at Traffic Swirl that is just for you..

If you’re familiar with Traffic Swirl then you are I’m sure familiar with our Top Promoter contest.  Members advertise Traffic Swirl at other Traffic Exchanges to earn points, each week the contest winners get tokens and can also win cash.  This is a hugely popular contest with Traffic Swirl, and on average our members receive 99,000 views from each ad source.  This means these members are heavily advertising at the sites listed, dozens join as new members and the activity at the participating sites goes through the roof.

For years I’ve been begged, even hounded, by traffic exchange owners to get their site on the list…. well now you can!   Login to your Traffic Swirl account, and visit the ‘Traffic Exchange Owners’ page on the Account Menu for more details.

 

We’ve also unleashed our new Executive upgrade.

The Executive Upgrade isn’t cheap, it’s designed with program owners in mind who will easily see the value and advantage in this upgrade. The Executive Upgrade gives you our highest commission rate, 50%, on all sales and referral PTC earnings – making it the obvious solution for people who are actively advertising Traffic Swirl to maximize their earnings – this is especially beneficial for site owners because as a site owner you know how easyily you can build referrals using back-end advertising leveraging your own site, so this commission rate makes it easy for you to earn a return.  Since we cover all the paypal fees, you’re actually earning more from your sales then we do with this upgrade.

The Executive Upgrade also gives you UNLIMITED advertising.  Yep, Unlimited.  Unlimited website views and banner views for 25 campaigns (each).  You never need to waste time surfing, or waste money buying credits – just add your campaigns and you’re done.

The Executive upgrade also gives you a spot in the Top Promoter contest (mentioned above) as well as 2,000 Tokens a week to set up free PTC ads, tasks, or to make purchases on the marketplace.  These bonuses alone amount to  a $47 a month value.

And of course, the Executive Upgrade also still gives you all the benefits of our Pro upgrade.  It isn’t for everyone, but for the serious business owner it will be easy to see how you can leverage this upgrade to bring massive profits to your own business, especially since Advertising at Traffic Swirl is second to none.

Cathy says that over all sources this last 12 months, “Traffic Swirl outproduced all other traffic exchanges by a landslide

Tony Tezak showed us that in December, nearly 10% of ALL new Tezak Traffic Power members came from Traffic Swirl, almost double the amount of  referrals than the next highest performing Traffic Exchange

Affiliate Funnel has ranked Traffic Swirl the 2nd Best Traffic Exchange based on member votes, and results, for almost the entire year of 2013

Advertising at Traffic Swirl obviously has it’s advantages, and with the Executive Upgrade not only do you get unlimited advertising, but bigger commissions from the members you refer.  I believe, and I know you will too, that the Executive upgrade is perfect for anyone who is serious about leveraging traffic exchanges to take their business to the next level in 2014, and you can find it in the ‘Account’ menu.

 

See you in the Swirl

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