Creating the Right Deal For You and Your Affiliates

Declan Dunn

Editor’s Note:  This is the second in our series of live coverage from the Affiliate Management Days conference. Creating the right deal for you and your affiliates is the topic in this 2nd article in the 2013 series. This series of articles is on topics of interest to businesses that offer affiliate programs. More coverage of #AMDays.


Declan Dunn (pictured), CEO of Dunn Direct Media, spoke at #AMDays about the art of creating the right deal. He spoke about the ongoing challenge of balancing the high acquisition cost of affiliate programs with the right payout to motivate and qualify affiliates.

Here are highlights of his session.  There are 3 things to consider when creating the right deal for affiliates – one that works for you and for your affiliates:

  • Mobile:  If you’re not doing mobile, you’re going to be dead in 5 years.
  • Data:  Start learning about really managing data.  By understanding data you can determine why customers and affiliates are loyal, and what the long term value of each is.
  • Social:  Social media is a communication channel, not an advertising platform. The real value of a business is how many people bought from you more than once. Social influence comes through when social validation happens.

If you are on social or mobile, you probably see affiliates every day, without even thinking about it. The next generation of affiliate marketers will be be data people.  Five percent (5%) of affiliates generate all your sales. If that’s the case, you’re not looking for affiliates — you’re just looking for that 5%.

When you go out and just copy your competition, you are creating no opportunity to differentiate yourself. Adapt and find your own swing of things.

Do you predict when your customers are most likely to buy? Do you ask qualifying questions?  Do you use data to convert higher sales?  What are the key action points and key data points asked of you that you need to keep track of and have access to in order to make better decisions?

You’re going to hear about people talking about attribution, multi-touch points, and it’s not because people are being difficult, but because people are on multiple devices for multiple reasons.

You want to learn how to do mobile properly? Get your attention out of the United States.  Focus on Asia and Europe where they  are exponentially more advanced in mobile strategies and data analysis than we are here in the United States.

Who are the best affiliates?

  1. They get attention in social to drive qualified leads
  2. High Intention to Buy – Qualify
  3. Repeat Customer Retention

New customers – this is what it looks like right now:

  • Direct visits (new don’t have to pay to get these customers to your site) – 20%
  • Organic Search  – 16%
  • Paid Search – 11%
  • Others (e.g. CSEs – comparison shopping engines) – 11%
  • Email – 5%
  • Affiliates – 3%
  • Social – <1%

Creating the Deal – Choose from 3:

  1. Flat CPA – Customer Acquisition Cost
  2. Per Sale Commission – doesn’t work for either party.
  3. Per Lead – Financial leads run $5 – $500 at least.

Social is driven by status and subscription. Check out – these guys target women in a heavily male dominated industry. No one can touch them because they are going after an industry everyone else is too scared to touch.

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Sarah Bundy Sarah Bundy is the founder and CEO of All Inclusive Marketing, Canada's leading full-service Affiliate Management Company, which offers personalized Affiliate Management training and consulting services for Internet Retailers. Sarah speaks at industry events, contributes to industry leading periodicals and blogs, and teaches at the Online Marketing Institute. Sarah has also been interviewed on radio shows such as QAQN and Webmaster Radio.