Special Report: Affiliate Marketing
Lastly, the networks provide tracking services that allow you to see how each affiliate is performing. This allows you to segment your affiliates, a practice recommended by several networks. The network also may recommend ways in which you can improve a given affiliate program based on the tracked results.
The costs involved in employing an affiliate network vary. While some networks don’t charge a startup fee, others will charge from $2,250 to $10,000. Monthly access fees from $2,000 to $15,000 also apply in some cases. Finally, in addition to the commission paid to each affiliate, a percentage commission often is given to the network. This fee ranges from 3 percent of sales conducted through the network to 30 percent of the commission paid to each affiliate, and often is negotiable as part of your contract with the network.
Case Study: Shopping Affiliate Pays Off
Problem: Officials at General Mills’ Betty Crocker division wanted to build brand awareness for a new catalog venture.
Solution: It partnered with comparison shopping site Shop.com to drive traffic and orders to its Web site.
Results: Orders delivered by Shop.com steadily have grown and comprise nearly 5 percent of Betty Crocker’s online sales.
Housewares and kitchen products merchant Betty Crocker began posting the product line of a sister home products catalog, Making a Home, on comparison shopping site Shop.com in 1999, as a way to build brand awareness for the new title.
While perhaps best known for easy-to-make meals and desserts, General Mills’ Betty Crocker brand also markets housewares and kitchen products through its catalog and Web site. While initially conceived as a loyalty program for customers who collect points from General Mills products, Betty Crocker now mails 10 million catalogs each year.
Realizing that kind of brand awareness is tough to come by, officials at General Mills began looking for a way to generate interest in a fledgling catalog unassociated with the Betty Crocker brand, Making a Home.