Ever wondered how to navigate the labyrinth of affiliate marketing? Do you want to be in sync with the latest strategies and affiliate program structures?
Tune into our latest episode where we've got the low-down from Bob Sparkins, an affiliate virtuoso and veteran from Lead Pages. Bob provides a comprehensive guide to the world of affiliates, discussing the commission structure at Lead Pages, and why they've chosen a lifetime value proposition.
This episode goes beyond the surface as Bob delves into his journey of transitioning Lead Pages from one affiliate platform to another. It wasn't all smooth sailing, and he shares the hurdles he faced and the lessons learned. Bob emphasizes the importance of communication during such transitions, and his insights are gold dust for anyone in the affiliate marketing world.
Ever thought about what makes an efficient affiliate marketing strategy?
Bob's got the answer!
With his experience in managing affiliate partners, he highlights how combining tasks and focusing on top affiliates can lead to successful outcomes. As we wrap up, Bob leaves us with his proven tips and a glimpse into the future of Lead Pages.
This episode is a must-listen for anyone keen on understanding the nitty-gritty of affiliate marketing.
For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com
Hey folks, welcome to affiliate nerd out. I'm your Renerterator, Dustin House. Spread that good word about affiliate marketing. You're going to find me nerding out every Tuesday and Thursday around noon or anywhere you can find your podcast, so please consider subscribing. My nerd guest today is Bob Sparkins, over at Lead Pages. He's going to come on and talk about commission structure and the right way to do it. That's your company. So, bob, welcome to the nerdy Torium.Bob Sparkins:
Thank you so much. It's a privilege and honor to be here.Dustin Howes:
Awesome, fantastic, and tell it. Tells me where you're calling in from here, bob.Bob Sparkins:
So I'm a lifetime I 95 kid, mostly Marylander, but today I am in Minneapolis, bloomington area, where I've been home for the last 13 years Beautiful.Dustin Howes:
All right, and if you want to hit up me or Bob, come into the chats, jump in, talk some business here with us and we can discuss anything affiliate that you guys would like to talk about. So please come on in. The water is nice. Bob does not bite from what I hear. Bob, go ahead and tell us who are you.Bob Sparkins:
Very existential start to our conversation, I see. So I have been a professional high school teacher for a decade. Then I had my own business for a few years, got to start using lead pages, both as an affiliate and as a customer, and eventually the founder of lead pages called me over for breakfast at a little shop in South Minneapolis and asked me to come on board and that was about nine years ago. At this week that we're recording this, and so I've been involved with the affiliate program both sides of it, and I'm now the manager of partnerships and education here, helping our folks to understand what the importance is with lead generation and getting more people to know why that's so important for their businesses.Dustin Howes:
Fantastic. I dropped a link to Bob and put his email in the chat so anybody can get a hold of Bob if they would like. If you would like to be in Bob's seat and come be one of my guests, go to DustinHoundscom. Slash nerd and sign up to put in as your best application for what we should be in here. And nerd about Kristen Evans jumping in happy nerd time. She's a big follower, Love her energy. Thanks for being here, Kristen. Bob, tell us more about lead pages and who you guys are serving.Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, so we just hit our 10 year mark at the beginning of this year. Serving small businesses, entrepreneurs, service professionals, basically people who love to transform the lives of their clients through that personal direct relationship. We're there to provide them with the proper lead generation platform that's easy to use, powerful, converts super well and doesn't cost an arm and leg to do it. We do that through landing page builder, website builder, popups, etc. As well as a strong, very strong support team and coaching network of people that helps people actually take our tool and use it to get the leads, to get the right clients in the door, so that they can impact those folks lives really nicely.Dustin Howes:
Awesome. I've heard nothing but good things about your platform and I can't say that about all the platforms that are out there that are Swiss Army Knives and in terms of what marketers can utilize it, for I know you guys have some great email capacities to it and funnel marketing and landing pages just really look top notch when in terms of UI and what people are looking for in a UX. So love what you guys are doing over there and what would you say, like the main clientele that is coming to you, is it entrepreneurs that are trying to make landing pages as affiliates? Do you find a lot of them utilizing your product?Bob Sparkins:
We do have a good number of folks that are affiliate marketers, that use us as like click through pages, lead capture pages that they want to build their email list with. But I would say our bread and butter are those folks that are folks like fitness folks who run a boot camp, or authors, coaches and consultants, real estate agents, financial service people basically, again, people who want that personal connection and they want to see the results of the transformation their clients have. We don't specialize on e-commerce super much. We don't specialize on doing like text messaging and things like that, but for the people who want to have that engagement with a list of email subscribers, that want to become high value leads, then clients, that's where we serve the best.Dustin Howes:
Fantastic. All right, bradley is in here saying hello, what's up, bradley, thanks for joining us. If you've got a question for me or for Bob, don't be afraid, let's get on in here and we are ready and willing to listen to anybody and answer any questions here. So probably, pages seems like it's doing a lot of things right Now. How did you get mixed up in the partnership business? You have a big background in it, it sounds like, but you've been with lead pages a long time since the great product. But you guys, like, were you the original owner of this affiliate program? Did you have to go out there and like, create the commission structure?Bob Sparkins:
I was not the creator of it. It predates me and that's actually was to my benefit, because I wasn't affiliate of lead pages before I came on board as a team member, so I created a course on how to use lead pages. That is how I caught the attention of the founders, as I was making videos better than their team was at the time. It was a very early startup right and, as some of you may know, early startups sometimes they don't have the best training that some of their customers need. They try to paint the picture for as many people as possible, but don't always hit everybody, and so I was creating challenges and helping people learn lead pages, getting a cut as an affiliate and then, as I mentioned, eventually the Clay Collins, the founder, said, hey, you should do what you do, but for us in house. And so when I did come on board, I was actually just doing education. I wasn't running the affiliate program. We had a couple of other business development folks that predate me Kevin Raheja, brandon Lytle, liv Wink eventually some really sharp people that have gone on to different types of platforms Kevin's at Bitly right now, for example. We've got some folks that are throughout the lead pages history are in some really nice companies as well, but about four years ago I became the de facto leader of the affiliate program, and then by title about two and a half years ago. So now I do run the program. I have a small team within the lead pages team that make sure that the affiliates world taken care of, and during that time period of three to four year ago time period we made adjustments to what our commission structure would look like and made some difficult decisions that both made some people really happy and pissed some people off, to be perfectly frank, and that's sometimes a decision that you have to do. I'm sure we'll get more into the weeds of it here in a second, but I think overall we have a really attractive affiliate program that rewards engagement, rewards consistency of effort from our affiliate partners and at the end of the day, that's what we're looking for.Dustin Howes:
Oh, that's awesome. You know, one of the worst things you can do is keep a program stale with the commission structure and like not vary your offer because whenever you establish this years ago, things have changed on the internet, your competitors have changed, their payouts are changing all the time and like you need to stay competitive. Obviously you have a base commission that you showcase on your landing page where you're getting people signed up, but like essentially, when you recreated your commission structure, what are some of? The main factors that went into this process.Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, I think that there's two main things. One is your commission structure has to be attractive to get people to get out of bed and want to promote your product right. But at the same time, you have to maintain profitability, because if you err on the side of the affiliate and give them too much, you're going to run short of cash flow for your business. You know, lead page is now 10 years in, so we have a little different maturity perspective than what some of you may have if you are in the first two years of your program. Some of you have been doing this longer than we have at lead pages, but those two factors really need to be super important, an attractive thing that also will help you to grow your business and bottom line. So for us, the principal factor was how can we encourage consistency on an ongoing basis from our affiliate program, because we're a SaaS company. Like many SaaS companies, we want to entice people with a lifetime referral commission. Right, okay, but if you do that wrong again, you might lose too much money on the front end or you might not be able to get the ROI on the long term, and so we originally had a 30% flat commission rate. A few people might have a little bit of a higher deal based on the relationship we had with them, but what we found, dustin, was that people had promoted us back in 2014, 2015,. And they stopped promoting us three years ago, still cutting them a check, and now they're promoting competitors. Now they're actually doing something that, in the terms of service, like we could actually cut them off if we really wanted to be jerks about it, but what we were mainly worried about is just how can we get people re-engaged who might have dropped off for a little bit and get them back on board. So now we have a 10% flat rate, but if you do $49, just $49 is based on one sale and the other is your commission is $49. And so, and if you go over 3,000 in a 30 a window as a super affiliate, then you're at 50% commission, and that's on renewals as well as new accounts. That $49 or $3,000 is based on new sales though. So, as an affiliate, if you know that you're building up all these referrals over time, you're gonna get 40 or 50% as long as you're still engaging with their program and making occasional sales. And again, it's 49 bucks. You don't have to make a ton of activity, but it is rewarding you for that consistent effort.Dustin Howes:
Okay, that's, that's super smart. And you're saying the Is that every month, every month, they have to bring you at least one customer. Is this like once a year, you have to bring us at least one. Need to stay in that. 40%.Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, so with the platform we're using, we actually have it as a rolling 30 days. So whenever we see a transaction, we just look back 30 days, and I guess it's this way. We look back 30 days and if you've had a new sale, including the sale, you're getting the commission on. If it's a new customer, or within the last 30 days, then that commission is going to be 40%. As you can tell, the biggest challenge we've had is explaining it right, because it's a little bit more complicated. Then your average affiliate program, but it's again a partnership. It's a performance-based program and for those that are engaged and involved, it works super well because we get to give you more money than we did in the past. I mean.Dustin Howes:
Yes, it is a little bit difficult to like comprehend just because it's not the norm. But that doesn't mean you can't like make a two-minute video For your first email and like explain that commission structure to all of your affiliates. Like that would be the first thing I do to like alleviate some not all the affiliates are gonna watch that video, or like some of them still aren't gonna get it after they watch it. But like you could have a very good like workflowed and understanding for your affiliate partners if you have that in your first email once once they join. So love that concept. Very interesting. Where where did you like figure out you know dropping them down to 10% and where did you come up with the 40 number to give your for everybody? That was sales active.Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, so, first of all, if you want to see a video, just like you're talking about, we have it at apleapagescom. That's exactly what we wanted to do, so it's in the commissions area of our website. But basically, our parent company, red Brick, has two leaders that founded that company that came from the affiliate background and and a really sharp guys, tobin Salton and Marco Pimentel, and so as we were discussing what the financials and the Projections and all this stuff looked like, it came to the you came to the realization that for this to work, we had to give people who were with us a long time more money if they were engaged. If we're gonna drop down this base level, right, and, and so this 10% level still rewards that long-term effort and still, you know, has gratitude towards it, even though it's, you know, it's obviously substantially less than what they were getting initially. But For those that are re-engaged on an ongoing basis, they were able to get more money and again, even up as high as 50% if they were one of our more engaged partners. And so it's just about doing the math and I don't know if we got it exactly right, but I think that we did a pretty good job at taking that guess of where the the money would both serve our needs as well as the Affiliates, to engage them and incentivize them to be active participants.Dustin Howes:
Okay, great, that all makes sense. What happens to the partners that want a CPA, like an upfront CPA, so they can reinvest that money into Driving more sales or increasing their, their spend, because they're doing native ads or or PPC ads or whatever it may be to drive traffic? I I have a Recurring revenue fantastic, like a lot of affiliates appreciate and love it. But like there are a lot of affiliates that are trying for to ask for a flat front, upfront CPA, like how do you combat those partners that are asking for that?Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, well, right now, to be honest, we're not serving them. They're asking for that and we don't have it as part of our program. But we do have as an annual account option and we pay within about five weeks of that sale. So whatever sales are made in one month, you get paid by the 13th of the next month. And so, although it's not as attractive for some affiliates as like five bucks per trial start or 10 bucks per trial start, whatever, in our field we just find that there's too much rampant fraud with that kind of activity that's really hard to dampen. And so, for right now, at our at our particular priorities, we just don't have the CPA as an option for our program. Yeah.Dustin Howes:
Yeah, and that's a great point for those folks out there that are considering a CPA. Rev share significantly drops your risk of fraud From a program. If there's an affiliate that is doing self submitting leads and sales and they're getting 40% about what they're paying, that's not gonna make sense Logistically. But if they get a $200 payout and they have to pay $30 for a subscription, they're gonna do that all day long until you catch them. And that's that is one of the risky parts of having that CPA that it might be 200% or more than the first month's revenue for, but it's very consistent in sass Products that have that kind of commission structure. So, like what you're doing the risk factor you're mediating the affiliates that might be trying to fraud you out there. But why lifetime value? Why are you giving away the lifetime of the client that you guys are working so hard to keep?Bob Sparkins:
Mm-hmm. Yeah, well, again, that part of that is why we have the retention percentage where we have it, so that people who are affiliates are well served to not just be a smash-and-grab partner. They are, you know, bringing us quality people who are gonna renew and go, you know, past that first year, hopefully in the second year, third year, etc. And they continue to get better and better commissions as those things mature. One of the things that we do see in the our landscape is we do have some competitors who do only pay for that first year, or they pay some some amount for for one year and then they either cut it off or drop it down, based on the longevity of the client and we just feel like our sweet spot here of giving people that upfront 40% on that first sale and then the renewal as long as they are staying engaged with new business, is really that that sweet spot that will incentivize the right people to continue doing business with us as a partner. Again, it may you comment the cost of some of those big affiliate network folks that are driving a bunch of traffic that we're missing out on right now. But for right now, our our priorities about relationships, whether it's ours to our customers or to our affiliates and their customers, and so that's the the avenue that we've chosen to go down.Dustin Howes:
Beautiful, beautiful, pick a lane. I like it. So, along with this Commission structure, like I'm sure you had to, you did your own evaluation and figured out. You know this is what we're gonna go with as a consistent basis with the partners are bringing on and starting of structure, but did you do any kind of survey to your partners to ask them what they were looking for? I know you historically were lead pages affiliate and you kind of had a thought process of what you would want as an affiliate. You could empathize with that. But, like, did you survey? Did you ask some of your best affiliates how they were gonna take this?Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, we did, and some of them were like I'm out to be honest, and some were like I'm all in, and so, as with any changes of a program, you're gonna lose some and you're gonna gain some, and over time, we've gained some really, really, really great folks that have made up for any of the ones that had had left behind. But, yeah, calling, calling into some of the people that are with you for a long time and Either via email or through a group chat or even just a one-on-one we had a few of those just to make sure we're on the right track and to help us avoid Some of the communication errors that I think plague a lot of programs, and they make changes. We always made changes with several months lead time of communicating when it was gonna happen, over communicating when the deadlines were, and We'll talk, I'm sure, in a minute about switching platforms, but same thing goes with the commission structure. We just went really ad nauseam to make sure people knew this is what the changes were. These were when they were going into effect, and if they had questions like, we'd make sure to support them as best as we could.Dustin Howes:
That's, that's smart, great way to communicate with your affiliates. Hey, this change is coming. We would like your feedback on it. They want to feel heard first of all. So like Great way to interact with them and like get some more interaction with your partners as well when you do actually make that kind of change. And Looks like we got a question from the audience here. Bradley says who is the most ideal affiliate partner for lead pages these days? What kind of traffic do they drive?Bob Sparkins:
Give away all your secrets here. That's a great question, bradley, and I think it opens the door. I'll be specific with you in a moment, but it opens a door to something super important which we actually picked up a bit more from Dustin's course on it, actually which is to try to be more clear about your affiliate persona, which we weren't doing super well on the front end, and we're always trying to communicate that a little bit more effectively moving forward. But the people who have always been the best affiliate for us are the folks that are teaching their audiences how to do business online, and so they are course creators, their workshop people, they host their own live events or at least their own virtual events. They have coaching programs of some kind and lead pages as a critical tool For their own business and they're teaching it to their clients as a way to get up to speed quickly when they're marketing their businesses online. So we do have some folks that are not that, that do well, but the the people that are super good, have programs in which they're basically saying module two it's time to build your list. Go get your lead pages account, step one, step two. Go get your email provider. Here's how you hook them together. Let's go through this module and make it work. Those are the affiliates, honestly, that work the best for us, because they make it such an ingrained part of their own revenue, generating their own course creation, and it's just an obvious choice that they use it and they want their followers to use it as well. We do have some other person, other folks that are the youtubers of the world who are doing affiliate marketing and they're really good at showcasing, like, here's how you do, different aspects and you need a landing page. And then we have some PPC folks that are really good at just driving traffic through keywords and they're driving folks to our trial and they just know the math of that. Who we focus on, to be honest, are those course creators, the folks that are really good affiliate marketers via PPC, etc. They know what they're doing. They just need a really good product to send people to. They convert. Well, well, we happen to have one of those products and the lifetime commissions obviously work for them, even though some of them would prefer initially that that CPA that you mentioned earlier, dustin. But when you're getting paid, you know, hopefully 40% on 50 bucks a month, or 100 bucks a month, 900 bucks a year, etc.Dustin Howes:
It's you know it adds up quite nicely for people's efforts yeah, and Maybe one of the best ways to like highlight to those ones that are asking for a CPA, like a flat structure, is your. Our lifetime value is X, amount of months. Your average commission, with this 40% tier, is this much. You're gonna make four times as much money with this commission structure in place and that number is going to be appealing to those partners that are interested in promoting you in the first place. So great answer. Thank you for the question, bradley. Way to go jump it in there. And it sounds like you have a very diversified Portfolio there and maybe some of your best partners are the ones that you used to be. Is like the course creator that is teaching and preaching the use of this product and how to use it. So love that, and seems like Like your history of being an affiliate has served you well to empathize with your partners, right?Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, 100%, because I've been on that either recipient of an email that says hey, sorry to break it to you, but we are closing our affiliate program. That's happened how many times in the last year for some significant programs. They just pull the the rug out from people or people who are used to Amazon and they're like you're 15%, no wait, you're getting 8%, no wait, you're getting 4%. But those are, you know, just things that happen right, and so I've been on that side of it. I've also been on the side of being invited to co-host a webinar with the company Spokesperson, even with lead pages, before I joined as a team member. So I know what it's like to have to drive X number of visitors or clicks to a registration page to qualify for the higher level partnerships that some companies do. I've been on leaderboards and I've won gadgets and I've won money and I've won Preciprical mailings and stuff like this. So I know that you need a variety of incentives when you do affiliate contests, for example, cuz sometimes different people respond to different types of rewards. So that definitely has helped us. Help has has helped our program to have me and a couple other people on the team to have that experience as an affiliate and it's also helped with the networking right. So before lead pages I was doing my own stuff. I had some affiliates, one I'm able to reach out to them and say hey, I don't know if you remember that we used to work together a while back.Dustin Howes:
Why don't?Bob Sparkins:
you hop on the lead pages train and that's you know. It's nine years since I had my own business, so it's not as important now, but certainly four or five years ago that was critical as I started to get more and more into this role.Dustin Howes:
Yeah, and on top of all that, like, you guys must have a good base of customers that are happy about your product and are making a living doing Entrepreneurial things like being an affiliate, know how to drive traffic no, that's a great batch of folks that you guys can tap into it within your internal network to be great evangelists. So love that thought process of you understanding what affiliates really want because you've been in those shoes and I can't emphasize that enough to Affiliate managers to go out and build your own web page like lead pages is a great way to do that, you guys. It's a cost per month and you could just go out and try to be an affiliate and see how hard it is for yourself so that you can put yourself in their shoes, and then that makes your outreach and your empathy better with those partners Once you have a better understanding of what that's like right.Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, yeah, I mean anytime you can have people on your team that have Fear in a business that serves entrepreneurs, if you are in a business that serves anybody else type of clientele, if you've been in their shoes. Obviously it helps both in how you communicate but also how you think through what are the different pieces and and Features of what you're putting together.Dustin Howes:
For sure, Well, let's talk more about those engagement strategies that you're talking about, and one particular that stuck out there was a leaderboard, and I'm mixed thoughts on leaderboards. For first of all, I love seeing leaderboards Because that means I can Generate a new list of affiliates that I can go and try to poach for different programs. But on the other side, this is a very, very alpha like go get them kind of Community that affiliates are and they're trying to compete and beat each other. I remember some of my top ten affiliates all time are always asking hey, where am I on the list of like other affiliates, who am I beating out Like? They want to know that information because they're ultra competitive. What's your thought process? Do you do leaderboards with lead pages?Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, funny enough, just yesterday I sent out our top 15 so far of this quarter, so Absolutely love to do periodic leaderboards. We don't do a lot of affiliate contests Superactively with. You got to be the number one through ten to get some reward. We can probably do that a little bit more, to be honest, but we do acknowledge and share gratitude for the efforts that our top affiliates are doing. We'll probably talk about this more in a minute, but you know we're in that 90 to 95 percent of our revenue is driven by that top 5 10 percent of affiliates. So being able to acknowledge who they are show them that we are paying attention, that we're seeing their activities. It's and they're not just about it. Getting a commission, but also getting that acknowledgement is really good. We had one of our top affiliates actually the number one for last year, for 2022 who asked like do you have a badge or do you have something that I can put on my website for being number one? And we didn't. But two days later we did. You know it was one of those things were now every quarter. Every quarter now we send out a number one of the quarter badge, a top 10 of the quarter and a top 1% Badge, and so that helps us to acknowledge Everybody else. I mean, part of that, to be honest, is also not just from that one affiliate, but also as part of lead pages, efforts to be more Known as the leader in our space, because we've had so much competition come up in the last 10 years is we're in the top quadrant of g2, right, and so if you look at g2 reviews and you see lead pages as a momentum leader, it is the most implementable, it is the easiest to do business with. Like all these badges Help to showcase the quality we have as a company for lead pages. Well then, the thought was well, I shouldn't just give a top one badge, our number one badged, but I should go ahead and give people who are in the top 10 or the top 1% A acknowledge them, but also to incentivize those that aren't in that group to strive for that for the next quarter. So, yes, we do do leaderboards. We do it a little bit differently and it's mostly around that acknowledgement and gratitude of the efforts that we're seeing people put forward.Dustin Howes:
Yes, awesome. I love that thought process. I've never even considered like creating a badge. I don't think I've ever had an affiliate Ask me for a badge, but now that you say it like it could be something that is appealing to partners, so love that you guys are creating that. And Putting that on a LinkedIn profile seems like a fun way to Enhance pupils efforts Well great. What about events? Do you guys have events with your affiliates, bringing them in, treating them nice? Do we need anything like special for your top affiliates in that capacity?Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, so far we have not done that and that's been a shortcoming that I think we would like to address in the future. We have done some roundtables with our affiliates. We have also done a few ways to acknowledge them through, again, rewards and incentivizations, but as far as an event goes, at this particular time, we have not done that. But I think that's something that we would, we would love to do.Dustin Howes:
Awesome, fantastic, all right switching gears. I know you guys. When you came on board you were on a certain affiliate platform without like dropping names or Running in anybody into the ground. I think naturally some brands are going to outgrow certain platforms in the affiliate space and the thought of you know, doing that switch and bringing all of your affiliates over is just such a nightmare for so many affiliate managers out there and I've been through it and You've gone through it. Tell me about, like, what's your checklist here for this, this process, since you've done it before.Bob Sparkins:
Yeah. So the first ten items on the checklist is don't do it 11, and you have substantial reasons for doing it. Then you start to discuss, you know which one to move to, how the process is going to go, because it is a nightmare, to be honest. You have to communicate, you have to deal with dead links, you have to deal with some people might just, you know, get lost in the shuffle. I've been again an affiliate where a the program just stopped. Another program where they switch platforms, but they didn't carry anybody over from the previous Referrals, and so you lost all that history, and so there's a number of things that you want to think about if this is going to be the case. We all grew a platform because it was focused primarily on that CPA and e-commerce model, where there wasn't really a relationship for repeat buyers. The platform we're using before and when we switched to the other one, it had some components that we really loved, and One of which was that it allowed for this creative commission structure, but also it allowed for that long-term connection With our with our partners. I will share that. We are using partner stack now, so I think, since we're talking about the one that we chose, I will be happy to drop down on. But it allowed us to do a few things that we really appreciate it. So a couple things. One number one is, I think we gave about us about a six month heads up that this transition was gonna happen. So I mentioned this earlier in our conversation here of like over communicating, and so I believe it was at least six months that we said hey, as of November 1st I think it was 2020 when we did this we're gonna change platforms, and we know it's frustrating, we know it's gonna be a pain in the butt. We know some of you have links going back ten years. Actually that point, it was six years, but this is why we're doing it. We're doing it because these are the features we're looking for and our current platform won't do that. We also need to do these things. We also need to have you have a better experience, because, honestly, the UI of the other one that we had was a nightmare for people who weren't professional affiliates, and partner stack is a really nice, clean, streamlined dashboard for people to utilize. Another thing that was very important to us was the ability to move people from the historical one Into the new one, and so we were able to do that. So everybody's historical data. All their referrals were able to come over.Dustin Howes:
And so we didn't lose anybody.Bob Sparkins:
The only thing we lost and again this is why we communicated for six months was the people who didn't respond to our numerous emails to change their links. So from day one we've always told people and I encourage anybody who's on this call Please always use a redirect whenever you're promoting an affiliate program, because any affiliate link you have out in the world, if you're using that raw link, it's gonna break at some point. It's just the nature of the the beast. But if you have that redirect, then you can go back in your little redirect directory, make the changes you need and all your links are still going to be live. So that was the biggest challenge that we had was to emphasize that your links are gonna die. We actually kept both programs running for about seven months, so we had the additional cost of both programs fees and All the commissions and stuff that the fees come off of. On top of that we paid. We didn't pay twice on the fees themselves, but on the actual you know, program one versus partner stack. We paid their licensing fee for an additional set of months so that we could have the overlap and Security of trying to get as many people's traffic still to be retained. And then we just hit up some private email messages via e-mail and Linked-in messages and saying, hey, we're still seeing traffic on your link, you need to change your link. And we still get. This is two and a half years later. We still get people that emails and say I never saw any messages from you. What's up? Yeah, we have you know 20 messages of outreach that just went to a spam folder or whatever, that we just can get a hold of them, but for the most part, those are the things that we had to deal with, that this was not the first time we changed as a, as a company, to a different platform, but we learned a lot from the previous one and I think we did a really turn good job of moving people over with minimal impact on the Efforts of our partners awesome and yes, it doesn't have to be an exact checklist, and I loved your first top 10 like reasons I Go through that so much.Dustin Howes:
Are we sure we're gonna do this? Like, do we really need to do this? And if it's glaring enough, like you pull the trigger and spite the bullet, you have to put growth for the most part on pause while you try to do it. I can't. You've never gone through a migration. Good for you. I hope you never have to go through it, but when you do, you're gonna find that all of your time is spent like just begging people to move over for the most part.Bob Sparkins:
And then you're gonna get kickers and scrimmers as well, like if.Dustin Howes:
If you're on a platform like cake that affiliates absolutely love, it's hard to get them off, even parts. Tartness X got a beautiful UI and Some really great bells and whistles for you guys, and I know they're super huge in the in the sass world, so there's a great publisher pool there. But, like you know, really some love change. That's why I put that link to pretty links. Just as you were emphasizing, go to dustinhousecom. Slash pretty links. It will make your life so much easier, you know, whatever side of the business you're on, especially if you're an entrepreneur, though pretty links is such a great time saver. All right, bob, as we wind this thing down, tell us about how people can connect with you.Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, well, as my role of lead pages. I do coaching once a week as part of the conversion coaching series within lead pages. So if you're already a lead pages customer, make sure that you're coming to do those every week with myself and a couple other coaches. I'm Bob the teacher everywhere on social. So, whether it's LinkedIn or Instagram, facebook X if we're gonna actually call it that you can find me as Bob the teacher and really looking forward to seeing any additional questions that you may have, even below the recording of this video. I'll be sure to check in, at least for the next week or so, and if you tag me, I'd be happy to respond past that. And, yeah, that's where you can find me online.Dustin Howes:
Fantastic, great, and for the guests that are coming here on a regular basis, my guest on Thursday is gonna be Randy Crane. For those of you who are looking for any help with affiliate marketing, I will give away 15 free minutes to anybody. Go to DustinHousecom slash pod and sign up for free 15 minutes so I can point you in the right direction. If you want to join Bob and his army of affiliate managers who are going through my training course, go to this QR code up here and join my community and check out performance marketing manager Just might help you make some changes to your affiliate program that you didn't know you need to make. So, bob, appreciate you being a client and recognizing the importance to join a community and get some more training from people that might know something a little bit different. You're a veteran and you don't have the time to spend getting people up to speed on the right way to think about affiliate. I love that you outsource that for the folks that you're working with.Bob Sparkins:
Yeah, it was a super cost-effective way to do it and, like I mentioned to you earlier, it helped overlap some things that we just hadn't been thinking about yet at all, but really replicated my own brain a bit, so that the time I could spend was on the top 20 or 30 affiliates, so that I could have my new team member do the same kind of activities that you teach about with a larger group. It's really been great.Dustin Howes:
Fantastic. Well, appreciate you coming in here dropping some knowledge. Great session with you today. Appreciate your time and for all those out there watching Affiliate Nerd out, appreciate having you and we'll see you out there, Take care.