Do Affiliate Bonuses Really make any difference

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I put this question “Do bonuses make any difference to you?” to which the majority answered “no not really”, or in a couple of the more detailed replies “Only if I am working on something the bonus is linked to when it is running, if not….no.”And so we reach an Affiliate Managers nightmare scenario of offering a $10,000 bonus and it having no impact,to which the marketing manager says “no more pennies for your marketing channel”We’ve tried various ways to test interest, ranging from “email us to join in” to “email us to claim your prize” and the generic, “Just make more sales/ your first sale and we’ll give you a bonus”One issue we’ve seen time and again though is that bonuses don’t necessarily attract people who plan to support you long term, running a bonus on an affiliate program with a good brand, tends to attract PPC bidding on that trade mark that then vannishes after the bonus ends. The participants banking on the bonus covering their PPC fees and that they will still come out ahead.

Right now I’m leaning more and more towards Organic SEO based bonuses where long term benefits for merchant and affiliate should be good if the merchant can convert the traffic.

As I type we’ve just launched the latest Mondera Bonus Campaign for Wedding Season and a GoodTimes Entertainment SEO campaign…. running side by side it will be interesting to see which pays out the most for the most growth in sales.

An interesting idea I saw on Aff Boards the other week was a bonus based on maintaining a google position for specific keywords. Paid every month for as long as the position is maintained (obviously with the listed page being mainly focused on the merchant running the bonus), that’s a very interesting concept I think I have to try very soon!

posted by amwso @ 3:11 PM  0 comments |

WEDNESDAY, MAY 04, 2005

Content is King if you want to win on Google…

It is, I believe, every affiliate’s wish to have unique site content absent of any re-write or editing restrictions, effectively content with an “open license.” Many sources do exist for content that can’t be changed, but there are very few sources which allow an affiliate to manipulate the article and make it unique and specific to their site(s). However, this trend could be changing in the near future.There is a war between content sites and sites which purely provide product lists. Google, for the moment, has clearly indicated that sites providing unique content will prove victorious in the battle. This means affiliates who want to compete on Google need to have unique content for their sites or risk vanishing into that ever increasing special black hole Google seems to reserve for affiliates.

So where does an affiliate get unique content from? Some affiliates can write their own, but it’s generally a minority that has the time or desire to do so. A few pay for content to be produced by freelance writers on networks such as Elance (www.elance.com) or by professional copy writing services such as InfoSearch Media (www.infosearchmedia.com).

Others are lucky enough to get content from their merchants. That is until the merchants realize that distributing their own content is only a short term gain for long term oblivion. The content’s value is diluted and degraded due to being repeated and copied to a point where the merchant loses control of it. Affiliates absent of the gratuitous merchant turn to sites such as ArticleCity (www.articlecity.com) and ARA Content (www.aracontent.com) where the content is free, but can’t be edited or changed. In most cases, content provided from these sources must also retain links and/or credits to the author as well as the source site.

The obvious solution is to have merchants develop content specific to their affiliates, no credits required, no back links requested (well other than affiliate tracked and tagged ones that is), the right to edit, cut, slice, dice and the expressed permission to generally edit the content to make it unique.

The niche of “open license” content has but a few players in the arena. For example, Wikiepedia (www.wikipedia.org) while not a merchant, does allow articles to be re-written; however, this permission does come with a few strings attached as they apply a fair number of requirements in order to use the content. In May, the Affiliate Management team AMWSO (www.amwso.net) will commence a copy development service for the 15 or so merchants we manage. At the end of the day though, each individual affiliate still needs to sit down and work out how to make the content unique to them if they want to win their battle with Google.