Cross-functional dialogue is an essential first step. Before launching your campaign, you need to have holistic conversations with your internal team and your program management agency about results, goals and metrics. It’s one tactic to generate a certain number of leads; it’s another to determine the end goal of a particular lead.Rather than generating leads that simply dial in somewhere or fill out a form for a slice of the commission, it’s more valuable to base performance on whether your lead is helping you reach your goal. One of the most important questions you and your team can ask is, “What do we ultimately want from this lead?” Is it: Their information? For them to purchase your product or service? A referral?Additionally, you will want to ensure the commission payout is structured around that goal. This way, your affiliate partners are working towards the same internal strategy as your company.
There are other alternatives to reducing the affiliate commission. It’s possible to shorten the cookie life, so that the only channel credited with the sale is the last click. The company could opt to only payout the last click, so that an affiliate cookie set prior to the last click receives no credit. A better solution may be to establish weighted payouts to reflect the proximity between the purchase and the affiliate click, but honestly I’m not entirely convinced any of these options is better than reducing the commission. How would you approach the challenges of balancing the marketing budget?

Pay per lead is attractive because the bar is set low. Getting a person to sign up for something is more feasible than getting someone to make a purchase. Many CPA programs have secondary payout tiers for leads that become customers, which is advantageous. PPL programs are helpful during slow periods and commission droughts (droughts happen to the best of us). On the other hand, because the trigger event is less demanding than a sale, pay per lead programs typically pay low amounts, for example, $0.01 per lead. Also, focusing exclusively on PPL programs will not lead to making thousands monthly.
Particular groups of customers can be targeted or even individuals. Offering individual customers special deals on merchandise and/or services on the customer's birthday, for instance, is one example of email marketing personalization. (A restaurant might send an email to customers on their birthday offering 50% off an entree,) Email marketing helps a business develop and maintain a relationship with a customer over time that hopefully results in increased sales and increased customer loyalty. 
This may have sparked your interest, but it may also sound really complicated. You might be wondering how these magical affiliate links get created or who handles the payouts when an affiliate earns commission. There are companies out there, such as CJ Affiliate by Conversant or LinkConnector, that serve as affiliate networks. The merchant can post their offers in the network (for example: what they are willing to pay per conversion), and that merchant uploads graphic assets and other links that the affiliate can simply embed into their website on sidebars, blog posts, text links, and so on.
Emails triggered by milestones, like anniversaries and birthdays, are fun to get -- who doesn't like to celebrate a special occasion? The beauty of anniversary emails, in particular, is that they don't require subscribers to input any extra data, and they can work for a variety of senders. Plus, the timeframe can be modified based on the business model.
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