Affiliate Drive Time – How do you negotiate with Affiliates who want high fees or CPA’s?

You’ve done your research, you’ve found a partner that has the right volume of traffic in the right geo locations. You reach out – and get a response, you’re excited to get started getting a deal hashed out but you hit a roadblock on price. What do you do?

This is a question we get asked frequently. The answer is actually quite complex, because there is no simple one size fits all approach.

The key to successful negotiation is to come prepared with knowledge about the supply and demand for the traffic you’re trying to gain access to and be willing to compromise to a point that you still feel comfortable with.

I talk about this in today’s #AffiliateDriveTime video above.

Here are my 3 top tips for negotiating high fees with affiliates or publishers:

1. Assess how important it is to be on the page

Knowing your numbers before you get on the call to discuss price, is key. You may feel like you need to be on this affiliate site for a variety of reasons – they could have the right amount of traffic, they could be ranking for a good keyword you think is a great fit for your business, you could just want to be in a top position to build brand awareness and create a bit of FOMO to get other affiliates onboard your brand, whatever the reason – before you start a conversation with an affiliate to do a deal, you need to know why you want to be there and what you’re prepared to pay. Going into a commercial conversation with no plan and no budget and no research is just a recipe for disaster. Get clarity on where you want to be , get specific and go into the conversation with a clear plan of what you are asking for and what you expect to receive.

2. Determine why the pricing is so high

Traffic increases and decreases all the time. Affiliates have to juggle this volatility and also please their partners. There are going to be times when supply and demand impact pricing. We saw this throughout COVID where some CPA’s and listing fees tripled as affiliate traffic sources were suddenly in demand due to the pay on performance model and because advertising and media budgets were paused or stopped altogether.

Your job as an affiliate manager is to ask questions and then listen.

If you understand how an affiliate is pricing their traffic, what their overheads and running costs are, and review what is happening in the marketplace they operate in you’ll be able to understand pricing a little better and be able to negotiate from a place of confidence.

Asking questions gives you valuable clues and it also helps you understand how your partners are marketing their businesses and what challenges they face. These are things you can use to your advantage to negotiate better deals.

3. Keep an open dialogue and be prepared to walk away

If you’ve tried to meet in the middle, adjusted pricing, revised incentives and still can’t meet at a point you feel comfortable both sides, you need to learn how to walk away – gracefully and keep an open dialogue for beginning that conversation again at another time. Sometimes it’s just not possible to get a deal done due to a multitude of factors. When that happens the best thing you can do is keep the conversation going in a positive direction to revisit again later.

The fact is timing is everything when it comes to commercial negotiation. Sometimes you’ll get it right and sometimes the timing will just be wrong for you and for your affiliate partner. The key is to keep your lines of communication open and remain professional at all times.

Affiliate Drive Time will be back next week with another episode filled with tips and tricks. Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss a tip from Lee-Ann.

Don’t forget to sign up to join the waiting list on our AMPP (Affiliate Marketing Performance Program) – for our next 12 week live training program – if you want to improve your affiliate program growth and reach.


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