Taylor BarrAffiliate/Referral/Partner Program Expert.
Bio

Affiliate programs can be downright confusing. How can you grow one ethically, get real strategies to attract the RIGHT affiliates, all while maintaining your brand? I'd love to help you because I have been there. I have worked with over 30+ SaaS and Technology companies growing their affiliate programs - everywhere in the fold; from starting at scratch launching an affiliate program with a startup to running global affiliate programs generating consistent 7 (and sometimes 8) figure revenues from the affiliate program alone. Whether it is broad over arching questions to the nitty-gritty details about affiliate marketing or affiliate programs - I can provide clear, actionable answers. Need more? Read more about my experience here: https://upfoundry.com/about



Recent Answers


Hi there,

The only way you would be able to see micro conversions and behavior beyond conversion tracking (and the other interactions) is if the merchant (for which the offer you are promoting) offers 3rd party S2S (or postback) tracking of *that data* (email signups, bounce rate, trial signups, upgrades, etc.) to the affiliate network and your internal tracking of choice (Voluum, BeMob, GA) supports it as well.

The unfortunate reality here is the willingness of most merchants to share data and steps to partners (and the tools they use) that would help you optimize upstream promotions to give them better qualified customers.

If you'd like to chat about this or construct some possible work arounds - feel free to schedule a call.

Thanks and good luck!


Blue Aprons affiliate program: Is on Impact Radius: https://www.blueapron.com/pages/affiliates

Peleton: Looks like they had a referral program, but removed it (info here: https://www.reddit.com/r/pelotoncycle/comments/71b2k1/peloton_has_banned_referral_code_sharing_and_how/)

Leesa: On Impact - https://www.leesa.com/pages/affiliates

Boll & Branch: Looks like they were on ShareASale but no longer (although Viglink signup is still there: https://www.viglink.com/merchants/53747/boll-and-branch-affiliate-program)

As you can see - there is not one central network that these types of merchants run their affiliate program through. I would decide who you want to work with and then go the route of seeking their affiliate program out. If that is too manual (i.e. if you are talking about 100's of merchants for which you don't want to signup for each) and don't mind parting with a small amount of the total offered commission - you can signup for skimlinks or viglinks and auto monetize your links that way.

Hope it helps!


What you are really talking about (given the info) with the two programs is:

-Refer-A-Friend/Customer Referral Program: This is often implemented for customers of the service only and usually the bounty/reward is credits not really commissions. It can be dual benefit (Referrer and Referee get credit for the transaction, or one sided).

-Closed/private Affiliate Program: Open to your network of people you want to offer it to, and they receive commissions for referred clients.

There is no one-size-fits all solution given there will probably be some technical requirements to do what you'd like on the Service Provided Referrals. Nonetheless, check out Tapfiliate.com. You can create multiple partner programs with different commission rules and regulations, all under one platform. It also fits your requirements above.

If you'd like to discuss this more, just schedule a call on Clarity; happy to help out.

Thanks!


Don't doubt yourself:)

My suggestion is: start off doing the reviews and getting the word out there. It doesn't have to be perfect. As you gain traction, confidence, and understanding of the market - you can always go back and update the reviews.

You will surprise yourself; the journey of learning the industry is often the motivation to provide good content and value for your readers. Those who fail, often put the monetary aspect in front of it.

Hope it helps and good luck!


More information needed to provide a helpful answer. If you are referring to" paying another affiliate or entity for a new affiliate signup (as in, the new affiliate is the "lead" in this instance): I would advise against this.

Unless the affiliate you are working with has a solid track record and you trust that they are a "connector" whereas, you are confident he/she can bring other successful affiliates: you are more than likely going to end up paying for affiliates that don't perform given the 90/10 rule of affiliate programs.

Along with this: Affiliates might ask you to make it an MLM strategy where they get a cut of the commissions of their down stream affiliates (they recruited). In my experience - I have never seen this really work to a merchant's advantage at all.

Separately, If in your original question you were referring to how much should your commission rate be for affiliates - then, pretty good answers are here: https://clarity.fm/questions/4466/i-am-planning-to-start-join-affiliate-program-but-not-sure-how-should-i-go

Hope this info helps! Happy to take a call to provide you tailored advice. Thanks!


It really is all about your cost and margins; How much margin do you have on your products and services to account for a commission and how will that cost structure play into your marketing budget month to month.

Unfortunately, the only one who can answer that is you. I always recommend to start out at a lower, conservative commission structure to test. If things work out, you can always increase the commission rate to make it more competitive and enticing for affiliates.

I run through this scenario as I see it a lot with clients in my post here: http://upfoundry.com/guides/2016/02/how-to-set-your-commission-ratestructure-for-affiliates/

If you find it helpful and have more questions - don't hesitate to request a call.

Thanks!


In my experience, the biggest hurdle when "cold contacting/emailing" a potential influencer is: TRUST. You might have a stand out product but they don't know you from Adam and in essence: you are asking them to do something. Most people don't do something because a stranger asked them to - and this is no different.

You have to remember: These influencers get pitched daily; someone always wanting something from them so human nature tells us -- defenses would be up. I would suggest not mentioning the affiliate program at all on first contact. Perhaps you first add value to them by: asking if you could write a non-product blog post for them. Or perhaps you ask them if they have the same pain point your product is solving and work with them to solve that pain point - with no strings attached. You have to prove to them you want to build a relationship - not get them to push or promote a product.

If trust is built and the time is right after that - you could ask them if they could share their honest (good and bad) pain point story to their audience (then, the affiliate program is just ancillary -"oh, and we track and compensate you via our affiliate program, for any sale you bring over as a result"). I'd also try to really make it clear that you want to work one-on-one with them to make it successful and as so you should offer them something you don't offer 95% of your other affiliates (discounts, giveaway to just their audience, etc.).

With this, you will build strong bonds, aligning your success with theirs - which makes for a good influencer/merchant relationship.

Good luck! If you have any questions - I am just a call away:)


At the foundation: Affiliate marketing can be termed as marketing a product or service better than the merchant itself. But what I have seen (from the Affiliate Management side) on what distinguishes high performing affiliates from lower ones: They show a different side of the product or service, incoporate it into a larger service offering, and/or push for real value to their audience. That, in turn, builds a loyal audience base because of their unique or specialized position on these products or services.

My suggestion, take a look at Zac Johnson: http://zacjohnson.com/ He has some great tips; from starting out picking a niche to scaling your current, successful affiliate marketing tactics.

Good luck! If there is anything else I can help with, I am only a call away:)


Have you thought about providing clients with a dual benefit to referring other clients? For instance, offer them a discount on future videos if they provide a referral (when that client purchases). That new customer would get a discount as well. Win-win.

Also, consider the "ask" time; seems like you are asking them after service is rendered. I would try asking when those customers come back for their second video: "Refer someone and we can take a discount off this video you need right here."

Happy to do a call if you wish to explore this more. Good luck!


I think you have your answer if clients are welling to refer without a fee. If there is a fundamental reason (for instance, you want to influence the pipeline for new prospects), then why don't you segment some of your clients and test the monetary referral aspect at a lower than intended rate. If you find the quality of prospects doesn't tarnish when doing so, you can release it out to all clients. However, if there is no effect or you are not getting the return from those prospects they refer - you can always discontinue the referral program (and go back to clients referring without a fee).

I think you will have a gut feeling + seeing the #'s if there are cases where clients are doing it for the money (i.e. prospect quality is down).

If this answer resonated with you - feel free to request a followup call.

Many thanks and good luck!


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