Marketing Madness

How to Get Higher Payouts or How I Stopped Worrying and Beat my Affiliate Manager with a Stick

   I commonly hear from affiliates the same thing: that they need better payouts and more importantly, why they aren’t getting a better payout. In this industry affiliates have become damn smart and with that a little more demanding than say 12 years ago when I started in this industry.  Let me tell you a little secret then that many affiliate networks don’t want you to know: despite all their complaining about how their margins are very little, most of them are not completely honest and they have a lot more room for payouts than they are telling you. With that in mind, and armed with some knowledge about what other networks are paying, plus the following tips, you can approach affiliate networks and increase your payouts.

  1. Ask for Tiered Pricing. Most of the newer software platforms such as Cake Marketing have the ability to price the leads or sales based on quantity made.  If your affiliate manager is not giving you the best price, then ask them what they can do for more leads per month IF you hit that goal. While this can be a little risky, it shows the affiliate manager that you are interested in being a partner, producing more, not just asking for more money.

  2. Find where the Network is getting the offer. If you haven’t figured out by now, many networks just get offers from other networks. While its great to use stuff like OfferVault (yes, a little plug here) to find better pricing, it doesn’t always mean that you can get a better price. If you can find where  your current affiliate network is getting their offer from, you can often approach the other network with wanting to run the offer. Use HttpWatch for tracking the clicks and seeing where it goes – it will show you ever jump from your click on an advertisement, to what network it is going to and then to the end advertiser. One of the great methods about this technique is that you can often approach networks, tell them that you are running “so many” leads for another network that they work with, and it’s more likely that you’ll be accepted into that network.

  3. Tell your Affiliate Manager that you will rotate similar offers from another network into the mix (and do it!). If you haven’t learned already about rotating similar offers to find what works better, then you need to learn about this. It’s also a very, very effective method of making networks pay you more money, causing them to bid for your best traffic.  Also there is a factor where for whatever reason (well, there are actually lots of reason) sometimes offers don’t always consistently perform and rotating offers gives time for the “other” offer to refresh and perform better.  Frankly, it’s also a good “don’t put your eggs in one basket” method, for the “just incase” times when an affiliate network might have an “issue” about not paying.

  4. Offer to test other offers.  Don’t be a one-hit wonder, ever. Ask your AMs what is doing well, and then tell them that you’ll start testing that offer if they raise the other one. If you are an emailer especially, this is a very particular and great strategy. Many AMs know what offers will work on your email list, but it makes sense that you want incentivize to try something new. Many times an AM will give in a little if you give a little back.

  5. Ask Networks about their “Discrepancy Account.” It’s called by many other networks other names, but it exists in almost every single ad network and is probably one of the biggest secrets that affiliates don’t know about and that Affiliate Networks don’t want you to know about. You know when they tell you that you are getting paid a certain amount per sale or lead? That is based on their numbers and almost half of the time, campaigns on their system will underreport compared to their advertisers. Instead of crediting it to their affiliates, many of the networks will keep that money. Ask your AM if there are any unreported leads and if they can give you a boost from that account.

  6. Be Nice. Seriously. Affiliate Managers would rather deal with a nice guy than a jerk. While there are a few people out there who might take the abuse, you’d be amazed how many networks and managers would rather turn off your account than deal with a total putz.  Do things like add your AMs to Facebook, send them cards on their birthdays, and in general keep in touch. Don’t depend on conferences for the only time that you really engage the AMs! AMs spend their entire time in front of a computer, often only getting up once in a while to drink shitloads of diet-coke and then return for hours at a time. Asking them about their life and offers will make you a friend and a business partner.

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Pace Lattin

Pace Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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  1. Using httpwatch to track where a link actually goes is a good advice. It can give you many good insights and also help you finding a better offer.

  2. One is not better than the other. Clickbank is great for digital products, the Google affiliate program (like CJ, Shareasale, etc.) is good for physical products and CPA offers. It really depends on your niche. I find that I get more sales from physical products, but the payout from digital products is generally higher. (Last month, I made three times the money from Amazon sales of physical products – even though their commission rate is shameful – than from all other venues combined. Of course, that was due to the holiday season.) There are a lot of B.S. products on Clickbank, so my advice would be, if you go with Clickbank, only promote products you actually use and like. Try some products yourself, and share your experience with them. If they aren’t all that they promise, ask for a refund! I ask for refunds for probably 90% of the products I try from Clickbank. Lots of people are making money promoting Clickbank products for “one click” software that is supposed to fill your bank account with affiliate commissions. My experience with these is they are crap software not nearly as good as straightforward products like Micro Niche Finder, Article Marketing Robot, Aweber, SENuke, a few domain names and a hosting account, and accounts on free web 2.0 sites – really the only tools you’ll ever need to make money on the Internet. Maybe a price comparison script. That’s it. There’s no magic to it.
    thnaxx for the above.

    1. This is very sound advice. There’s so much rubbish on Clickbank you could go mad if you started promoting it all. That being said, there is the odd jewel there that’s actually a useful product and worth getting stuck into.

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