I'm working in online advertising since 1998 and finally decided to start my own blog.

How to get better payouts from your affiliate network?

Affiliate Marketing is a very competitive business, some niches are so crowded that it’s impossible to make any profit without some kind of competitive advantage. But don’t worry, sky isn’t falling and as always, there are several ways of winning the battle with your competitors.

The advantage that can set you apart from your competitors can be a range of things, some obvious, some less so …

– Experience / Knowledge – this alone can make you the winner at times, for example when working in a niche that you are pro at. It might require special language that you know and the competitors don’t. There might be some crucial parts that only pros understand etc …

– Cheaper traffic – maybe you know a traffic source that is not so popular, but their traffic is good. Maybe you can come up with banners that have super high CTR, which translates to cheap traffic…

– Quality Creatives – related to the above point, but it can also mean you can make killer Landing Pages that will convert like a charm.

… there are many more I could mention, but I want to aim your attention at one more factor that can help you a TON : Better Payouts.

Getting a payout bump from your affiliate network means an instant ROI boost. You don’t have to do anything and your profits will simply go up, the minute you receive a better payout.

SO HOW DO I GET A BETTER PAYOUT?

You need to understand one thing first, it’s the same with any offer so pay attention : Advertiser makes a deal with an Affiliate Network, they agree on certain payout that the network will receive from the advertiser for every lead that they deliver.

The affiliate network then offers a bit lower payout to it’s affiliates, usually the cut is 15%-30%, based on network. These 15%-30% are the profit margin that the affiliate network works with and such base payout is called “Street Payout”.

Since the affiliate network wants to make as much profit as possible, they can decide to give part of their margin to the affiliates, in order to motivate them to send more volume. It’s simple math, they will make more money when keeping just 8-10% but getting 1000 leads from an affiliate compared to an affiliate that sends 50 leads per day on the street payout.

This is the first way of getting a higher payout from your affiliate networks – SEND THEM VOLUME! Large affiliates are the dream of every affiliate manager, they will do all they can to get and keep these.

EVERY affiliate network and I mean EVERY SINGLE one, has enough margin to reward it’s large volume affiliates with a 10% payout bump. Many could even give you 20% straight off the bat. The networks that I work with the longest, automatically bump every offer that I’m about to test, I don’t even have to ask for it anymore. That’s the benefit of working with a limited amount of networks and forming your relationship with their managers.

WHAT IF THE BUMP FROM THE NETWORK DOESN’T HELP?

Sometimes, the network bump isn’t enough thou and it’s also not what you should settle with. You can also get a bump from the advertisers. The principle is the same, they are in the game to make money… so if your traffic is making them profits, they will want more of it.

The easiest way to motivate an affiliate to send more traffic is offering a higher payout, right? Now, advertisers are usually not so prone with offering bumps, in many cases you have to ask for it. Before they will actually give it to you, they need to run a so called “quality check”.

A quality check is nothing else than checking how much they paid for your leads and how much revenue they generated for them. In case the results are good, they will offer you a higher payout. This can also work the opposite way thou, in case the results are not so good, they can even lower the payouts for you.

In order to avoid this, don’t ask for a quality check too fast and make sure your leads are of as high quality as possible. In case you’re wondering how to achieve this, you might want to read my guide on Increasing Lead Quality.

HOW BIG CAN THE PAYOUT BUMP BE?

The possible payout bump depends on several factors. Some GEOs are known for larger possible bumps, countries like Norway or Switzerland can really get wild when it comes to lead prices – the problem is, these are usually small GEOs.

Street payout can already tell you something about possible bumps, in case you start with a $0.50 offer, don’t expect to get a $5 bump. You need to stay realistic and don’t hope for miracles to happen.

In order to give you an idea about what is possible, let me give you a few example of payout bumps that I have personally received :

– $2.0 street payout, my aff manager bumped it to $2.25. after quality check I ended up a bit below $2.8.

– $4.5 street, bumped to $5 by aff manager – booted for quality after about 500 leads.

– $1.75 street, bumped to $2.0 by aff manager. Ended at $2.5 after quality check.

– $3.95 street, bumped to $4.5 by aff manager. Quality check took me to $5.2 and later on it went over $6.50

– $2.1 street, bumped to only $2.2, this was a pretty strict offer. Too me about 2 months to get a real bump, but then it jumped to almost $3, my aff manager told me there are guys running at almost $4 so Im still trying to get it up.

The biggest payout bump I ever received with a lead-gen offer was going from $10.50 to $21.50! This was a one time thing thou and nothing to consider a “norm”.

CAN A PAYOUT BUMP SAVE A LOSING CAMPAIGN?

Yes, I had this happen to me several times already. Even the very first campaign I ever made profitable, needed a solid payout bump to start making profits.

It took me a while to get used to this, I mean running a campaign for 2 weeks, losing on it and counting on a payout bump that would put me into profits … that didn’t sound like a good plan at all. But this is exactly the case sometimes.

But again, stay realistic here! A -50% campaign will not become profitable because of a payout bump. But if you see a campaigns with lot’s of potential when it comes to available volume and it’s sitting at -10% … this definitely looks like a candidate for becoming profitable with a solid bump.

The tactic that works the best for me in this case, is to send stable volume that is close to the allowed daily cap for about a week or 10 days. Once the period is over, I stop for 2 or 3 days, giving the leads some more time to mature … then I ask for a quality check to see where we stand.

Thank for reading!


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3 comments

  1. Hey man,

    I appreciate the effort you put into your article…I see street payout but I never knew what it means.

    However, you definitively need to lose the habit of using “loose” for “lose”. They are not synonymous and don’t mean the same thing.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    1. I’m aware of making this mistake from time to time, it’s one of the harder ones to avoid. English is not my first language, so these things happen from time to time. I corrected the text for you 🙂

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