Rethink Commerce Blog

Behind the Scenes: Tips from Affiliate Managers (2)

Posted on November 30th, 2010 by

Continuing our first article on this series, in which you found out how to make sure your affiliate partnership request is approved by the vendors, let’s see some tips on how to promote software products online and the ways in which vendors motivate affiliates to sell more (we hope this post is also helpful to software vendors who are starting to use affiliate marketing).

A big thanks, once again, to the people we got the answers from:

  • Claire Waledisch, Commercial Manager at VSO-Software,
  • Frank Chang, Marketing Manager at DVDFab,
  • Keros Tudos, Relationship Manager at IObit and
  • Alex Lamba, CEO at RSJoomla!

1. What is your number one advice that can help your affiliates be more successful?

  • VSO: Once the vendors products have been put on a website or have been promoted in one way or another, send this information to the vendor so they can check out your integration.  A vendor might have some comments that may help your conversion rate.  If you have a big PAD based website, this might not be worth it, but if you have a site where you are only promoting particular products or plan to do an emailing or AdWords campaign, the vendor can provide you with extra tips to increase your conversion rate.  If you take this first step, it could change dramatically your potential success.  Also, do not hesitate to ask for help, coupons, a personalized banner, keywords, or software keys to try out the product yourself.  Vendors cannot just offer everything or imagine the needs you maybe have as an affiliate, so ask for it:).
  • DVDFab: Try to use the promotion material from vendors to offer your clients a professional look and feel when purchasing.
  • IObit: Keep in touch. When you keep in touch with us, we can inform you of the latest information and promotional marketing material of IObit products and we can provide you with our professional suggestions and instructions. In this way, you can improve your conversion rate and in the end generate more sales.
  • RSJoomla: Involve the community in commenting and reviewing the products to attract more clients.

2. How do you incentivize best performing affiliates?

  • VSO: Affiliates making the most sales get the highest commission. In reality, the best performing affiliates are clever and use innovative ways to promote products. They reward themselves by promoting in smart ways, choosing quality products and negotiating the best commission rate they can with each vendor.
  • DVDFab: Through higer commission rates, promotion advice.
  • IObit: First, we will consider to increase their commission rate accordingly. Second, more resources and dedicated support will be provided. Third, possibilities to develop a deeper business relationship in ways of exclusive promotion on their websites, generating a custom-build version for them, a faster response and support and more.
  • RSJoomla: Top affiliates get higher commissions on our products. In order to be one of our top affiliates, you must earn at least 150 EUR/month – this way, you will get a higher payout.

3. Suppose an affiliate requests a bigger commission – how do you deal with these situations?

  • VSO: If an affiliate asks for a bigger commission, we evaluate their sales and the manner in which they are promoting our products. Perhaps just changing the way they are promoting our products will result in more sales which means more income, and eventually getting higher commission. We also ask why they need higher commission, maybe it is to cover certain fees or experimentation. How well we know the affiliate prior will be a factor in our consideration of their request.
  • DVDFab: We have conditions for every level; if an affiliate fits the requirements, the affiliate will get the corresponding commission rate.
  • IObit: Yes, actually we are giving bigger commission to better performing affiliates. When saying better performinge I mean more sales or more exposure through the affiliate’s channels. Commission raise is possible but also limited, as we are already providing a very attractive starting commission rate which is 60%.
  • RSJoomla: We are open to discussions, but the affiliate has to prove the first 2 months that he is really doing a good job in selling our products.

So, to wrap this up, constantly communicate with the software vendor and ask for their advice & support when promoting their products, even if you’re experimenting with new ways of promotion. After all, they should know how to outline the benefits of their own products :)

Also – if you’re performing well, most of the vendors will offer you increased commissions and, of course, more attention and support. But remember – you first have to prove that you are able to earn more.

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Cristi Miculi

Senior Manager, Affiliate Services

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