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Affiliate Commissions? What?s Acceptable?

Linda Buquet

Rosalind Gardner, a top super affiliate, has a good article on her blog today about affiliate commissions - what is acceptable and what is not.

Read the rest then come back here to discuss it.
<a target="_new" href="">Rosalind Gardner - Affiliate Commissions: What?s Acceptable?</a>

I know you all want 100% but seriously... I know commission rates depend somewhat on the product but what do you think?


It depends on a lot of things. 50% of nothing is nothing. I think affiliates purely looking at commission rates and comparing are missing out. You need to experiment if you're first getting into a new area. E.g. Join all the shoe merchants, test them all out then focus on the top performing ones. What works for me, may not work for you. Our sites are different, our traffic is different, etc.

A merchant with a lower commission rate may convert better, have international shipping, lots of special offers, a better website and/or ordering process, etc.

Experiment, then focus, then experiemtn some more, then refocus, then experiment even more.

Judging programs on commission rate only is like saying the best basketball player is the tallest one - have you seen Shaq on the free throw line?


A lot of what Rosalind talked about in the article resonated with me and I'd have to agree with most of it.

I also agree with what Ben has said as well - choosing a merchant strictly based on commissions could mean you miss out on some good opportunities.

One point Rosalind touched on was eBook sales and their lack of back end customer service. I have to say that it depends on the subject of the eBook. Some subjects naturally demand more interaction than others, and the author may be inundated with requests for assistance, and various other customer support questions.

What's best for one may not be best for all, so I would also recommend testing the waters with the different affiliates and going with what works best for your business.

Linda Buquet

Ben said:

Judging programs on commission rate only is like saying the best basketball player is the tallest one - have you seen Shaq on the free throw line?
Great line Ben!

Glad you guys weighed in on this one. I was hoping to get some good a varied opinions. I think one of the most important pieces of the revenue puzzle is conversions. Unfortunately you can't know what the merchant's conversion rates are until you test, but once you find one that pays high with nice long cookies AND converts, you are heading in the right direction.


What to pay vs. How its tracked

What to pay a super affiliate is a good topic. It should come down to numbers that show conversion sales succes.

What if one merchant pays less but converts better then the other?

Then you should pick the higher converting partner.

Part of making it be the higher converting site is how you work together to target your customers and make it succesful.

The numbers don't lie. But the relationship you build can go beyond the numbers.

your affiliate partner,