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Merchants - Dont Start an Affiliate Program

Linda Buquet

Don't Even THINK About Starting an Affiliate Program until you do this! I don't work with or consult for brand new sites with brand new affiliate programs. The last thing I want to do is set up affiliates to be the guinea pigs...

Go read the rest at the 5 star blog then come back and let us know what you think.

Don't Even THINK About Starting an Affiliate Program



I readthe article... and strongly agree... I find that many merchants have no idea how well they stack up against there compedition when it comes to conversion of visitors to sales and PPC via adwords and yahoo are the fastest way to find out...

One thing to remember, adwords and yahoo visitors are a different demographic meaning they convert at different ratios... and if you throw in MSN you have three different demographics to sort through... all converting at different ratios...

I find adwords, while the most expensive PPC clicks are the fastest way to see how one stacks up... if you cant make it with adwords it's time to go back the the drawing board and rethink your plan...

this is based on my experience of over 1,000,000 clicks on many different programs... thus far i have found only a few programs that work for me with PPC..



New Member
Gotta Get 'em Ready

I have to give my vote as well for your suggestions Linda. In our program, we test every single new offer via several methods including email marketing, ppc and banner placements ourselves before we launch it to our affiliates.

Affiliates are putting their time and money into promoting your products. The least we can do is give them something that is READY to promote.


Hi Linda,

I just found this old Blog Article from November, but I think it is as important now as it was then and will also stay that way for some time to come.

I agree and disagree with Linda. I believe that an Affiliate Program could even help a new Site to become successful and convert better. You should be honest with your Affiliates though and let them know this facts. Some Affiliates are willing to take a risk (that includes us) and promote new Merchants with new Affiliate Programs.

It is important in this case that experiences are shared between the merchant and affiliate and that the merchant listens to the feedback and recommendations from affiliates and quickly acts on them.

This is especially important when it comes to the usability of the Merchant's Site which is in combination with other factors important for Customer Conversion.

This partnership can be very beneficial and profitable for both sides.

This does not work for all types of Sites and Types of Affiliates. It works well for Niche Merchants and Affiliates with a wide range of expertise and promotional methods.

The benefits for the Merchant are obvious. The benefits for the Affiliate are

1. less competition to worry about

2. getting the promotional tools EXACTLY the way they work best for you

3. special commissions and treatment later, when the merchant and his program are well establish (and competition increases)

4. sometimes getting some insights and knowledge of business secrets in that niche the merchant would not give any John Doe Affiliate/Partner (this can work both ways, because the affiliate might leaks some advertising secrets to the merchant in return)

As Joe mentioned already, PPC can only provide you with some information. It will basically help you to tweak the site to a point where major flaws are eliminated. A good Conversion for a AdWords Campaign does not automatically guarantee the same conversion when advertised differently (method, location, medium used).

You can tweak your site for years to convert good for PPC AdWords, Y! Search Marketing, Ask Sponsored Search and MSN AdCenter referrals as well as Referrals from the Organic Search Results from the previously mentioned Search Engines. You then find out via your Affiliate Program that there is more than Search Engines and see very bad conversions for things that don't work and extremely higher conversions for advertisement by affiliates that hits the head of the nail, reaching your targeted audience in a way Search Engines will never become able to in the same way.