Get More Money Out of Your Affiliate Managers

Written by Rich B
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How to get on a higher tier for making money through affiliate programs
Reading this article could be the most profitable thing you do today!

Almost all affiliate programs operate on tiers - the more business you give them, the higher your payout rates are. CPA payments generally get higher with each signup, while Rev Share tiers depend on the amount of money the site makes. A few sites (like Chip Split) operate on lifetime tiers, but for most, it's "what have you done for us lately". This makes higher tiers easier to sustain on Rev Share plans, because all the players you gave them last month still count towards the monthly total. Once you seem to to comfortably in the top tier at one program, why not give another program more exposure, spread your player base out a little (so one big winner doesn't wipe out a whole month's profits)?

Here's a dirty little secret affiliate managers don't really want you to know. They have plenty of money in their piggy banks. I heard a rumor that a lot of the big sites have enough money in their affiliate budgets to pay everyone top rate. Obviously, they don't pay everyone top rate, because then they would have no flexibility. What this does mean is that your affiliate managers are quite able to give you a better rate if they want to.

So how do you go about getting a better rate out of popular affiliate programs? Well, the first thing to do is ask. While a few proactive managers will contact you after signup, most will send out their form mail and forget about you. Most new affiliates signup and then do nothing. If you email your manager, you're saying "look at me, I'm making an effort" and they will be motivated to reward you.

Affiliate managers are also looking to impress new affiliates with how good their program is. Almost every program has some sort of special deal for the first month or three. If they don't, tell them you want one. It's easy enough for them to manually bump you.

Affiliate managers are like Hollywood stars (or perhaps their agents). The thing that they crave the most is top billing. This is what they are after. The only thing they want is as much space on your site as they can grab. Of course, space you give to one site can't be given to another site. So they usually try and trade better pay structures for guaranteed exposure. That's fair enough, it's give and take.

Affiliate managers love to make you admit that they are giving you the best deal. When they get you to say "that's a great deal" or answer yes when they ask "is that the best deal you've been offered?" they win - you have no excuse not to give them top position. Their thinking is that it's too much work for most webmasters to change their pages around all the time, so if they can get top position in the first month of your site, they'll keep it for longer than you're on the higher payment structure. Unfortunately for them, with CashMirrors it's very easy to change things around.

Obviously, you will want to give top position to someone, but don't do it too hurriedly, and don't make it permanent. The way to commit is to give a site top position "for a month or two, to see how you do". If they are performing, you keep them there. If they are not, well, offer some other affiliate managers the top spot and see what they are willing to do for you - "we're considering increasing the profile of your site, but to be frank, your deal isn't as attractive as others we've been offered". Ninety percent of affiliate managers will bump your deal if it means they can get top spot.

I prefer to negotiate by email (it's much easier not to say anything you don't mean to), but since affiliate managers tend to prefer the phone (because they're good on the phone and it's easier for you to give in). Since they are much more willing to give concessions over the phone, it's worth making the effort. Treat them like you would any salesman who is offering something you want, and you'll do OK. You don't want to make a commitment that you will regret, but similarly, you don't want to drive them away. Phrases like "that is an attractive offer, but I am can't comment on what other sites have offered" are very useful.

Hopefully this article gave you a quick introduction to affiliate marketing strategies for dealing with your affiliate managers - they can be very useful resources (beyond just giving you more money, they can help you with promotions, special events, marketing advice, and so on), but never forget that their goal is to do the best they can for their site, yours is to do the best you can for your site, and the two goals, while often close, are not the same.

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