This installment of “Affiliate Marketing Report Card” evaluations WP Engine, a worldwide WordPress internet hosting platform. WP Engine has a powerhouse associates program listed at quantity 38 within the ShareASale Prime one hundred Energy Rank. WP Engine’s program is unique to the ShareASale community.
In response to a ShareASale consultant, the WP Engine program is within the prime 1 % on that community, with greater than 21,000 permitted publishers. This system gained reputation by providing minimal payouts to associates of a minimum of $200 per sale or one hundred pc of the primary month’s cost, whichever is larger. The only highest fee up to now is $eleven,000.
WP Engine’s associates program administration workforce of 4 is led by Dustin Howes, an eight-yr veteran of the business. Howes has labored as a blogger, a coupon website supervisor, and an company proprietor. He’s been the WP Engine affiliate supervisor since 2015.
When he began, seven of WP Engine’s prime 10 associates have been coupon publishers, which is typical in most networks. Howes says immediately that each one prime 10 associates are content material publishers, recognizing that this system additionally has many company associates, too.
The WP Engine affiliate group is utilizing superior attribution guidelines to handle the clickstreams. When a coupon website closes a content material affiliate’s transaction, the coupon website receives no fee. Different transactions, nevertheless, are based mostly on final click on.
When associates are pre-paid for sponsored content material in this system, they need to embrace a disclosure from the U.S. Federal Commerce Fee on the prime of the promotion. The WP Engine staff screens the content material for compliance. If associates are selling strictly for fee, the disclosure is advisable however not obligatory.
The model usually doesn’t have to offer away merchandise for critiques as a result of its greatest associates are loyal clients that perceive the worth of the corporate. Howes stated his staff is engaged on an influencer technique and can be providing choose influencers free accounts for his or her firsthand expertise critiques.
Specializing in Particulars
One of many admirable factors of this affiliate workforce is its promise to answer to associates’ emails inside 24 hours. “Even when we don’t have a strong reply, it’s necessary for our workforce to answer to let the companions know we're going to get them a solution as quickly as attainable,” Howes stated.
A typical day for the WP Engine affiliate staff consists of buyer help, outreach to new associates, monitoring visitors and conversion spikes, tagging associates, and documenting interactions within the buyer relationship administration system. Each affiliate is tagged in line with mannequin of promotion and whether or not the affiliate has reached its first sale. That is necessary for publication segmentation.
WP Engine continues to work with coupon websites however regulates the offers each month. There are easy evergreen and brief-time period offers out there for associates to advertise. WP Engine’s clients are sometimes all the time in search of an affiliate deal. As a result of its clients have such a excessive lifetime worth, WP Engine can award to them larger commissions and deeper reductions. Buyer-associates also can negotiate decrease commissions for deeper internet hosting reductions.
Apparently, WP Engine has a locking interval of sixty two days, which means it doesn't launch the preliminary fee till sixty two days after signup. Regular locking durations in ShareASale have a minimal of 20 days. I questioned Howes concerning the semmingly odd quantity.
“We've a sixty two-day locking interval in place to guard us from fraud. With a month-to-month recurring income mannequin, we need to guarantee we acquire three full funds from a buyer earlier than we launch commissions. Beforehand, fraudsters have been solely paying $29 and amassing $200 commissions, then canceling the account. We discovered the endurance degree of fraudsters decreased dramatically when self-submit gross sales would require them to pay $87 to earn $200 after a 3-month interval.”
Howes stated his group additionally has checks in place to ensure the lifetime values of the referrals from every affiliate meets primary requirements. They discontinue relationships with associates that regularly ship excessive-cancellation clients. “That is the staple of our fraud-free program.”
Howes stated his workforce additionally has checks in place to ensure the lifetime values of the referrals from every affiliate meets primary requirements.
With such a big footprint within the business, WP Engine has simply grown the variety of associates. These associates usually discover this system on their very own or by studying its spectacular community statistics. Howes says maintaining with the calls for of the inquiries may be daunting.
Just lately, WP Engine started working with Mediarails, an affiliate recruitment service, to assist with exterior outreach and new signups. There are tremendous associates within the WordPress internet hosting area of interest that Howes might courtroom sooner or later.
There's one factor, nevertheless, about WP Engine’s associates program that has bothered me for years. That is the place I'll deduct probably the most factors from this report card: WP Engine routinely approves associates once they submit their software. That follow goes towards every thing I consider in as an affiliate supervisor. However, Howes explains it nicely.
“With our fraud checks, we're capable of see the worth of companions with the lifetime worth of the purchasers they refer. If there are purple flags, we examine. We discover the time saved in reviewing purposes supersedes the time spent in fraud audits.”
Howes and I'll comply with disagree with this technique. However I commend his staff for locating a system that works for its program. Most professionally managed packages solely instantly approve associates that meet minimal requirements. They don’t need to retroactively cope with fraud or violations.
As an apart, WP Engine created its personal vacation to facilitate hosting modifications. It’s “Net Week,” between Christmas and New Yr’s. Howes stated it’s one of many firm hottest affiliate campaigns — whereas clients will not be sometimes shopping for issues on-line. It’s the most effective time to make modifications to web sites, together with website redesign and hosting.
WP Engine’s associates program will get an “A.” Its devoted program administration workforce and strong technique provides associates what they want for fulfillment.
My first report card, from Jane.com, additionally acquired an “A.” The second, from Fanatics.com, acquired an “A+.” However look ahead to future installments in 2018. I’ll assessment packages from numerous networks that aren’t so stellar.