The title of this post is a question I was recently asked over on Quora.
Here’s my answer…
Yes, I would object.
- First, 20% is a very low commission rate for a digital/online product/service so, unless that 20% was worth at least $50/month, it wouldn’t be worth my time promoting. If the product/service requires a one-time payment, then the commission would need to be in the hundreds of dollars range for promoting it to be worth my time.
- Second, you’re expecting affiliates to do the marketing for you, sometimes at a cost as with paid advertising, yet you’re offering a low commission rate in compensation (unless the commission has a high Dollar value).
- Third, you’re asking affiliates to pay to advertise your product/service with no guarantee they’ll make any sales/conversions. So they’re out of pocket right off the bat.
- Fourth, if what you’re suggesting is that affiliates have to become members in order to promote your product/service then you’re artificially inflating the popularity of said product/service and in some countries saying you’ve got X subscribers (including affiliates) could be seen as misrepresenting your “real” number of subscribers.
I know some programs require that people must own or subscribe to the product in order to promote it.
The idea being that those people will be able to speak with knowledge and enthusiasm about the product and be able to generate more sales as a result.
I don’t subscribe to that viewpoint.
If a product is good, it should be able to sell itself with a little front-end advertising from the company or affiliates.
If the commission has a large dollar value, then some affiliates will sign up and pay a fee just to promote the product to try and get those commissions.
That doesn’t mean they’ll do any more research other than looking at the sales page.
It doesn’t mean they’ll use the product so that they can speak from a position of knowledge and authority.
For them, the affiliation fees are worth the gamble of making sales of a high-ticket item (and it is a gamble).
If you believe in your product/service then you should get as many affiliates on board as possible, for free, so that you can get the word out about it to as many people as possible.
Affiliates are effectively salespeople working on commission except you have no base salary to pay them.
Why should anyone have to pay to go to work for you which is what you’re proposing with an affiliation fee?
You can think of commissions as an after-the-fact advertising cost.
You pay for the sale rather than for advertising on platforms that may never generate a sale.
It’s a very cost-efficient way of promoting a product.
That’s my $0.02 worth anyway
What are your own thoughts on this affiliation model?
Have you signed up as an affiliate for such programs in the past?
All the best,
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