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What makes a good affiliate bonus campaign?

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As an affiliate for many years and now as an affiliate manager I have seen both sides of what it takes to have a successful affiliate program. Much of the success come from balancing the needs and wants of the affiliates with the needs and wants of the merchant. We need to give the affiliates what they need to be successful and profitable but also give the merchant what they need to be profitable.

If one side wins and the other loses this isn’t a partnership but a parasitic relationship. Either the affiliates are taking too much from the merchant or the merchant isn’t giving enough to the affiliates. Both sides need to come out ahead on whatever deal is in place. If it favors the merchant too much an affiliate will look elsewhere. If it favors the affiliate too much the merchant will lose money and go out of business.

This is true for any affiliate program and it is even more true when it comes to bonus campaigns. Whether it is a campaign designed at recruiting new affiliates, helping existing affiliates increase their sales, or just rewarding affiliates for their hard work these campaigns need to strike the balance of being attractive to affiliates but also provide long term growth to the affiliate program and ultimately profit for the merchant.

As an affiliate I can think back to many times where I started promoting a merchant strictly because of the bonus campaign that was running. They were attractive to me as an affiliate because I could earn more money for the same amount of work which is always nice.

Here are a couple aspects of a successful affiliate bonus campaign:

1. It is attainable – I have seen many affiliate promos in the past where the sales tiers or overall numbers are just way too high for any significant number of affiliates to achieve. If your top 5 affiliates are averaging $5,000 in sales and you make the top sales tier at $20,000 there is very little chance anyone will hit that.

2. It is accessable – By this I mean that it is open and achievable to many affiliates. There is a place to reward the top 3 affiliates in a program or something like that or give a bonus to the first affiliate who can reach $10,000 or whatever but to really get a large number of affiliates excited about a bonus I think it needs to be open to as many affiliates as possible.

3. It needs to provide proper incentive – For an affiliate to take the time to ramp up their sales or get active with a program or whatever the bonus is trying to accomplish it needs to be a bonus that will give the affiliates proper motivation to put in the extra work. There are so many variables that it is hard to give specific figures as to what is reasonable but I kind of go off the idea that I want to increase an affiliate’s commission by around 20% with any bonus campaign. So if the standard payout on a program is 10% I would want to give out a $20 bonus on $1000 in sales or somewhere around there.

4. It needs to lead to growth of the affiliate program and profit for the merchant – If the bonus payouts don’t benefit the merchant in the long run it won’t be worth it for them. For most content and organic search affiliates if they make one sale there is a very good chance they will keep making sales since the blog post or site or product review or whatever they have on their site will still be there after the bonus campaign is over. If they add more content about a merchant to get from $500 to $1000 in sales there is a good chance their sales will stay up in subsequent months. If an affiliate gets active there is a very good chance they will stay active. So paying out a bit more up front to get the long term growth can be very worth it.

With that said, I want to share a few of the affiliate bonus campaigns the Snow Consulting team has going for the month of September. There are a couple merchants we are still waiting to hear back from so there might be some more added next Tuesday:

CompAndSave.com: In CJ and SAS (Top 100 PowerRank Merchant):

For affiliates making their first sale: $30 bonus for 3 sales – 3 sales shouldn’t be hard to make.

For active affiliates: $50 bonus for $200+ in sales, $70 bonus for $500 in sales, and $100+ for $1000+ in sales.

DiscountWatchStore.com: In CJ and SAS

$20 bonus on $1000 in sales, $50 bonus for $2500 in sales, $80 bonus for $5000 in sales, and $200 bonus for $25,000 in sales

HFLSolutions.com: In CJ and SAS (Top 100 PowerRank Merchant)

For the Shareasale program: $100 bonus on $1000 in sales and $300 bonus on $2500 in sales

This program already pays out 35% commission (15% for coupon affiliates) so with $1000 in sales you are already making $350 and you get an extra $100 on top of that. Pretty sweet deal.

For the CJ program: Make 3 sales get a $20 bonus. Make 10 sales get a $100 bonus.

Hyperwear.com: In SAS

$25 bonus for $500 in sales – with a high AOV this shouldn’t be too hard to hit.

Lightake.com: In CJ and SAS

Increase sales over your August sales $500-999 – $25 bonus
Increase sales $1000-1999 – $50 bonus
Increase sales $2000-$4999 – $100 bonus
Increase sales $5000-9999 – $150 bonus
Increase sales $10,000 – $200 bonus

Maps.com: In CJ

$20 bonus for $500 in sales, $50 bonus for $1000+

OnlineSports.com: In CJ and SAS

For SAS affiliates: $5 bonus for first sale of the month, $20 bonus for 5 sales

For CJ affiliates: $20 bonus for $500 in sales, $50 bonus for $1000 in sales

ProHealth.com: In CJ

$50 bonus for $500 in sales.

SupplementsToGo.com: In CJ

Get a $1 bonus on every sale over the number of sales in August. So if you made 10 sales in August and 20 in September you get a $10 bonus. If you made 0 sales in August and make 5 in September you get $5.

Ties.com: In CJ

Increase sales over your August sales $500-999 – $25 bonus
Increase sales $1000-1999 – $50 bonus
Increase sales $2000-$4999 – $200 bonus
Increase sales $5000-9999 – $400 bonus
Increase sales $10,000 – $500 bonus

WorldClassNutrition.com: In SAS

Get a $1 bonus on every sale over the number of sales in August. So if you made 10 sales in August and 20 in September you get a $10 bonus. If you made 0 sales in August and make 5 in September you get $5.

We will probably add a few more on Tuesday as well. We really want to push for growth with these merchants in September to get affiliates ramped up for holiday shopping season and Q4.

If you have any questions about any of these merchants please drop me an email at joe@snow-consulting.com and either I can help you or I will pass you off to the affiliate manager in charge of that program.

The merchants want to pay these great bonuses. Earn them and take their money!!! In the words of Blake (Alec Baldwin’s character) from Glengarry Glen Ross: “The money’s out there, you pick it up, it’s yours”. Join up to some of these programs and earn some of these bonuses!

So affiliates, what do you think of these bonuses? What, in your mind, is a good, effective bonus that will get you active in a program? Merchants and affiliate managers, what makes a good bonus campaign from your side of things? Leave a comment and let me know.

Also, join up for our NFL Football Pick ’em contest and win some great weekly prizes from our merchants.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Not bad, but I'm still waiting for someone to offer Seahawks season tickets as an incentive. Then I'd definitely care about the program.

    • I can talk to some of these merchants Logan. Send enough sales and they would be happy to hook you up. And maybe the would give me another pair for recruiting such a great affiliate.

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