While I strongly disagree that the highest affiliate program “payout” is the best criteria for choosing an affiliate program (because the actual payout you’ll get will always be determined by a combination of the affiliate program’s commissions, conversion rate, and reversal rate), today I’d like to address a question that many
and especially beginning affiliates wonder about: How can one find the maximum commission a merchant is willing to pay through their affiliate program? It is absolutely reasonable for affiliates to seek an answer to such a question. After all, why settle for a lower commission when that same merchant can often afford to pay you more?
Here are some tactics you may employ while seeking to get the highest possible pay/commission from an affiliate program:
- Talk to the affiliate manager (or merchant), tell them you’re interested in their program (you better have a good website or a convincing marketing plan to go with your interest), but would like to see if they offer higher-than-the-default-level payouts (often known as “private offers”) to select affiliates.
- See if it’s a two-tier program and they also pay you commissions on sales driven in by affiliates that you may refer to them. In case it is, check how much they are paying in second tier commissions? Normally, you may expect at least the sum total of the first and second tier commissions.
- Become an active and producing affiliate, and when you have demonstrated to the merchant what exactly you can do for them (especially as far as the conversion of your traffic goes), reach out to them asking for a higher commission. Out of the four “methods” I’m listing here, this one often works best.
- Attend an affiliate marketing conference (or other gathering) to meet the merchants you’d like to negotiate with, and talk to them! A well-negotiated commission raise will pay off your trip expenses. Of course, you want to clearly understand what exactly that raise will mean for you (i.e.: how many sales of what value you are certain you can refer to the merchant, and what that additional percentage or dollar amount will translate into).
Whether you’re reading this as an affiliate, or an affiliate manager, and can think of other effective ways to find out the maximum commission an affiliate program can pay, I’d highly appreciate you chiming in with your comments below.