What kind of affiliates do New Zealand merchants want?

I’m happy to introduce the first in a series of four articles on affiliate marketing in New Zealand from a merchant perspective by Antony Ellis, Affiliate Manager for NZ Fine Prints, New Zealand’s largest retailer of art prints and posters; www.prints.co.nz.

The next articles in the series will be;

  • Where to find New Zealand affiliates
  • What makes the Merchant – Affiliate relationship work from the Merchant’s perspective, and
  • What to consider when setting up an Affiliate program for your New Zealand Store – Merchant basics

What kind of affiliates do New Zealand merchants want?

Why should a New Zealand merchant care about the kind of website that is signing up to their affiliate program?

No retailer wants to set up shop in a shady part of town. They want to associate their brand and products with quality websites. If your affiliate program offers the option merchants should always thoroughly check the content of sites that apply to join their affiliate program. Infringing copyright? Objectionable content? Think hard about whether the extra sales are worth associating your company, brand and products with dodgy looking websites.

Merchants should read the applicant’s “About Us” or “Contact Us” – check who owns the site. If this is not clear try using whois or domainz to look up the owner. It’s hard to trust any site that doesn’t have clear contact and address details. I’m not bothered by the lack of a physical address – many of our best affiliates are run from a home office and don’t want people dropping by as a matter of course – but a contact form with no other details will make a merchant less likely to accept your affiliate application.

If your merchant program includes pay per click think very hard about the signals you pick up from your research. Unless you have sophisticated tools in place to prevent it click fraud may mean paying out more to the affiliate than they deserve. Pay per sale is harder for a dishonest affiliate to fake – but there is always the possibility the site owner is just signing up to get a discount on your products for a one off sale!

A word on expectations. Owners of new websites in particular may have unrealistic expectations of what they can earn in the short term. Let you affiliates know how much traffic your site needs to make a sale (your conversion rate expressed as sales per 100 visitors) so they don’t give up on your program within a couple of weeks if they are not sending through much traffic. Savvy affiliates will also want to know the value of your average sale. Remember that your merchant ads are competing with alternative affiliate programs for screen share on the affiliate’s site so be as open with them as you can – while imagining one of your competitors is reading the email too so you don’t let slip any commercial secrets in you haste to impress an important affiliate!

Merchants – once you have signed up the right kind of affiliate make sure someone in your company is given the job of keeping in touch with them so they send you visitors for many years. It’s hard for a merchant to find quality New Zealand affiliates – a problem that I will explore in my next article.

Learn more about the New Zealand Fine Prints Affiliate Program.

Thank you to Antony for his contribution.

Close communication with the affiliate market is a very important tool for Affiliate Managers to show their commitment to providing value in the industry so I’m glad to see the Fine Prints Affiliate Program is willing to help the community of New Zealand affiliates.

If you have any comments or contributions feel free to contact me on affiliate@nzbase.com.

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