Choosing a good sponsor

Picking a sponsor may seem like a simple task. Find a program that has some hot sites and promote it, makes sales and cash checks. But there are some things that people over look when they pick who to promote. This article will discuss some ideas to keep in mind when selecting new sponsors.


This is the age old question. What it really boils down to is do you prefer to get all of your money up front, or would you rather get it paid out over time and have the opportunity to make more than you initially would? Revshare is a bigger risk, but if you find the right sites it can payoff nicely in the end. I suggest to everyone that you keep a nice mix of both types of programs.


When you are selecting a pay per signup program to promote there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Reputation. Do you know anything about them? If not I would suggest asking around. A great way to get info on a sponsor is to do a search for them on some of the bigger webmaster boards and see what people have said about them in the past. If the company has been around a while you can probably trust them and has good things said about them on boards, it’s probably safe to trust them.

The sites. This is critical. Just because they pay well and pay on time doesn’t mean that their sites will work for you. Take a long look at the sites they have to promote. Look at them from the surfer’s point of view. Are these sites you personally would join? Check the sites for traffic leaks (see my article here for more info on that subject). 

What stats program do they use? Shaving is an ongoing controversy in this business. It is now common knowledge that some of the affiliate stat software out there has a shave option built into it. Recently NATS has grown larger and is becoming almost a standard because of the well publicized fact that they have no shaving built into their software. Personally, if it’s pay per signup, a company using NATS or a third party billing company makes me feel much better. NOTE: Just because a program doesn’t use NATS doesn’t mean they shave there are a lot of programs out there that have been around a long time and have great reputations and they don’t use NATS. This is why I suggest you try to learn something about the program’s reputation as well.

Promotional tools. I’ve always felt that the best content to use when promoting a site is content from the site itself. This gives the surfer a true sample of what is in the site and what they can expect from it. So I always check to see what kind of content the sponsor offers. Do they only have a few sets that will be oversaturated or do they have a lot of stuff for you to use? Some programs will even give you access to their sites to use their content.

Payouts. What is their minimum payout and how often do they pay? What I like to do when I try a new sponsor is send enough traffic to reach the minimum payout then I sit back and wait for the check. If it comes on time and doesn’t bounce and I was happy with my conversions, I start sending them more traffic.

Customer service. Something I love to do is send an email to the account reps for program and ask them a simple question and then wait for a reply. If it takes a week to get a response, I typically move on. What if I had a major question? I don’t want to have to wait days and days to get help if I need it.


I would suggest you do everything listed in pay per signup as well as a few other things. Remember, you are now more at risk. With pay per signup, you send a surfer, they join, you get paid and you are now out of the equation. With revshare the happiness of the surfer can directly affect the thickness of your wallet. 

What percentage do they offer and how much do they charge? Most programs offer somewhere between 50%-70% revshare and charge around $30 per month for a membership. Check for yourself and make sure you know what you are going to get per membership. 

Check the site out. I personally ask for a 24 hour pass to the site to check it out before I start heavily promoting it. If they won’t let you into the site, that could be a bad sign. Once inside check to see how much content is there, how the site looks, if it is any good and how often it updates. Remember the happier a surfer is, the longer they will stick around and the more you will make.

Who pays what? You will want to find out who pays the credit card processing fees. Some programs pay all the fees for you while others split them and there are a few out there I have seen that stick the affiliates with 100% of the fees. Be sure you know what’s up with the fees before promoting them.

What don’t you get paid for? This is a big question. I check consoles and traffic leaks on revshare programs very closely. If this is supposed to be a partnership between us, I should also be getting credit for exit consoles and there shouldn’t be any real traffic leaks on the site that I don’t benefit from.

How much per signup? There are some billing companies like CCBILL that have this stat built into their system. You can chose a date range and it will tell you how many signups you have done, how many rebills and what the average per signup is. You may be shocked. I have one program that, because of good rebills, pays me an average of $62 per signup. If they are not using CCBILL and the stats don’t keep this info, I suggest building a spreadsheet and doing it yourself. Track all your signups and rebills and figure it out on your own. If, after 6 months, a program is paying you an average of only $20 per signup you may want to move on, if it is higher than normal, you may want to send more traffic.


In the end what will determine your success is your ability to sell a sponsor’s sites. So after you have checked them out and made your decisions, give the new sites a try. Start small and see how it goes. I never launch a big new project with sponsors I don’t know because changing if they don’t work out can be a real pain. If they work well on a small scale, they should work well on the larger scale too. There are a lot of great sponsors out there. There are also some that are not so great. The key is finding one that works well with you and your traffic to maximize your profits. So go forth, investigate, build and earn.




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