Exciting Changes to the AWeber Affiliate Program

TrumpetsOur affiliates responded to the recent survey about the affiliate program with a lot of helpful feedback.

Your input was very helpful, and will allow us to better serve your needs. Thank you very much for responding!

Based on your feedback, we are happy to announce the following changes to the AWeber affiliate program:

  1. All commissions will be raised to 30%. This includes existing 1st tier commissions of 20%.
  2. Affiliate cookies will last 1 year instead of the previous 10 years.
  3. All affiliates will be paid once a month, on the first of every month.
  4. The minimum check payout will be $30.00 for US affiliates and $50.00 for affiliates not based in the US.

All of these changes will be effective on April 8th, 2009.

How Your Input Helped Our Decisions

We feel that your input is always very important. So the information you provided us in our last survey was instrumental in our decisions.

36.1% of you voted for the 1 year cookie.
23.6% of you voted to keep using the 10 year “lifetime” cookie as we have up until now.
However, since the remaining 40.4% of you voted for a cookie duration less than 1 year, we thought a happy medium would be the 1 year cookie.

Now, as for your feedback on our commission proposal of 30%, a commission hike of 30%, plus the removal of the second tier affiliate commissions was met with very strong approval. It was apparent that this change would be welcome, so we certainly are going to implement it.

With the rest of the changes to our affiliate program, we followed the same guidelines. We took your feedback and came up with the best possible changes based on that feedback.

Moving Forward…

As the months go by, look forward to many other exciting changes that will benefit your AWeber affiliate campaign.

We hope you enjoy the new changes to our program thus far. As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us.

This should be an exciting year for all of us!

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57 Comments

  1. Those are great changes! For people living outside The U.S, it?s great that you have taken PayPal as a way to receive commissions.Banks charge quite a lot for cashing in a check, so this will save us a lot of money and we will get our commissions a lot faster.

    2/26/2009 8:47 am
  2. DK

    These changes are really very exciting.
    I hope we can make some more sales now.

    I would also suggest one month free trial offer for new customers who signs up.

    2/26/2009 8:49 am
  3. Well it’s too bad about the cookie. IMO whoever sells it should get the commission, and with people cookie stuffing cloakers it’s way easy to make sure your cookie is set and the page isn’t even visible…

    So I could write a really compelling blog post about why you should use Aweber, get a bunch of people convinced and signing up, only to find out they had some cookie already. And it’s way lame to ask people to clear their cookies every time you refer them somewhere..

    2/26/2009 9:03 am
  4. You guys rock! How often to the merchants I promote RAISE my commissions? Like never…. Looking forward to bigger checks in the future. Thanks again for an awesome service.

    2/26/2009 9:48 am
  5. I’m with Tim Linden on this one, as I completely agree with the comment he made. Not everyone who visits AWeber for the first time is going to purchase, majority of the time they’ll be checking out the service, before possibily thinking about investing in it.

    Something happens, and they are maybe offline for 2-3 months before they are really back into the swing of things. It could happen, and I know people this has happened too!

    Anyway, they decide it’s time to head back over to AWeber.com and see what’s been happening and signup, so they can now start building their list. (This was influenced by a blog post including my affiliate link!)

    …This is when the problem kicks in, and I’m 99.9% sure you all know what I’m about to say.

    The person that has been offline for a period of time, would like to invest in AWeber through the link in the blog post. Now I’m not going to tell him to go clear his/her cookies just so I can get the sale! – You’re almost begging them at this stage!

    Now I’m not sure how many people completed the survey, but would you not rather go for something that is fair for all your affiliates?… That’s what I’d have done at least!

    Looking at it from a different angle, if you’d oly offered 1 Year, 6 Months and 1 Month for people to pick, how different would the results have been?

    Most affiliate programmes I know of, give the credit to the last person who referred them. Maybe I’m seeing something different to others, but I would have thought something like that would be more appealing?!

    I’m just a customer/affiliate at the end of the day! ;)

    2/26/2009 9:49 am
  6. I agree with Tim.

    Affiliates, me included, run a mile from first cookie systems. Ask Michael Cheney – he decided to run a first affiliate system last year for his "Golden Thread" and had to reverse his decision.

    First cookie systems cause a "one time promotion" to take place for NEW products if you’re lucky. Once people have been cookied, there’s absolutely no incentive for other affiliates to promote knowing the competition involved.

    For instance, all it takes is for the big guns in the IM industry to promote Aweber ONCE and it’s game over for everybody else for 12 months.

    First cookie systems are bad for affiliates and bad for product owners which is why we don’t use them. First cookie might work if you had a short term cookie, say 2 weeks, but other than that there’s no point in anyone promoting for you.

    You’d be wise to seriously reconsider your decision despite what people may have told you in a survey. ;-)

    Also, I’m in the process of switching all my own self-hosted affiliate programs to 10-year latest cookies. People change their PCs every couple of years anyway, or have to re-install in that time, so it’s not really ever a 10-year cookie. But it certainly is as you’ve said "lifetime", and affiliates like the idea of that.

    2/26/2009 10:29 am
  7. I also agree with Tim and Mark that the last affiliate to refer someone should be getting the sale. After all, it’s this affiliate who finally convinced the person to buy, so he/she should be getting the reward.

    Also, it’s great that the commission has been raised to 30%, but it’s too bad about the second tier commissions. IMO, that was a great element of this affiliate program.

    2/26/2009 10:55 am
  8. Great Adjustments guys.

    A quick comment: Many times it takes a person a few times before they sign up for anything even if it is Free. In my 7 Years Experience I have found that these types of things Break even in the long run. You may think someone got a commission that you are entitled to only to find that you received one later that you were not entitled too. This 1 Year Plan makes the playing ground level for everyone who wants to play.

    As a side note, usually it is the person who makes the biggest noise whos does the least work anyway.

    2/26/2009 1:56 pm
  9. I liked raising he affiliate commission and Paypal as payment option. Abolishing 2nd tier is a bit of let down especially for those who have huge number of sub affiliates.

    One needs to concentrate on selling now rather than generating an army of subafffiliates.

    2/26/2009 2:25 pm
  10. Love the changes, love this service.

    2/26/2009 2:30 pm
  11. Darn! I was fired up on reading the changes, and mentally considering my promotion strategy to my Lists – until I realised the implications of the 1 Year First Cookie.

    I suggest you give people time / means to consider this problem and then conduct another survey.

    2/26/2009 3:00 pm
  12. I can reflect on others comments here.

    My concern is the one year cookie on a first time basis. This can kill it for smaller affiliates who want to promote a good product.

    With bigger list owners able to do a fire and forget campaign, this may push others into promoting Get Response and other Autoresponders.

    Personally I think this is a negative thing as for me Aweber is still the superior product and would prefer to promote something that delivers for my readers and members. But by us doing the work, others may well be picking up the benefit…

    Time will tell of course, but as Frank mentioned earlier, it has led to many people going back on this type of first time promoting.

    Great to see the Paypal option coming in though, I certainly applaud faster payout and direct rather than cashing cheques every month :)

    2/26/2009 3:28 pm
  13. Thank you for all of the comments!

    A couple of you have commented on the affiliate cookie as if this
    is something we did not have before and have now added.

    In reality, we’ve always cookied referrals in this way, and up until
    these changes had used the 10-year "lifetime" cookie that nearly
    one-fourth of affiliates voted to keep.

    We’ve updated the post above to reflect this more accurately.

    All in all, a shortened affiliate cookie, more commissions and bigger
    check payments mean a considerable boost in your overall compensation
    from AWeber.

    You are an exceptional group of affiliates and we are glad you
    are a part of the team.

    Let’s make this a great year!

    2/26/2009 4:06 pm
  14. Really positive changes guys! Great to see you take the time to think about these things rather than just set & forget. It’s what makes AWeber such an exceptional company.

    2/26/2009 5:53 pm
  15. A 1 year cookie means you may as well forget AWeber commissions because there will be a very long queue in front of you even if you are the site owner that really made the sale.

    Ad copy, support and pitch will have little to do with it, just get them to click once a lot and wait a year!

    I’m not convinced this was a good idea.

    2/26/2009 8:31 pm
  16. I would have to throw in my opinion about the cookies. I have no incentive promote Aweber if I have any data saying a launch or big promotion was already done.

    I do like the Paypal, thank you.

    Smart affiliates always have choices of suppliers.

    2/27/2009 12:04 am
  17. Both changes raising affiliate commissions and adding paypal option are very nice and useful. One year cookie will also help real promoters get real sales.

    That is really of great boost

    2/27/2009 12:08 am
  18. Excellent.. !!! Thanks for an awesome affiliate program

    2/27/2009 5:51 am
  19. These changes are highly welcomed and will definitely mean I get a significant increase in my monthly affiliate commission from Aweber.

    This is why I LOVE Aweber and the guys at Customer Support.

    You did it once again Ron!

    Way to go!

    2/27/2009 9:50 am
  20. Referring back to what Ron said above!?

    "In reality, we?ve always cookied referrals in this way, and up until these changes had used the 10-year ‘lifetime’ cookie that nearly one-fourth of affiliates voted to keep."

    Unless AWeber has made any changes yet, I have NEVER read anywhere on the site that you had a 10-year ?lifetime? cookie setup before? In fact, how many other affiliates knew that?

    When the question in the survey was asked about the cookie length, WHY wasn?t it made clear then? An extra couple of words could have been added so that everyone knew if they picked it, it?d be the ?same? as before apparently?!

    As was said, 40.4% of your affiliates voted AGAINST the 10-year cookie along with the 1 year cookie! While it?s not quite 50%, it?s still a majority of your affiliates!

    "All in all, a shortened affiliate cookie, more commissions and bigger check payments mean a considerable boost in your overall compensation from AWeber."

    That statement isn?t strictly true for everyone!? Let me break it down! ? So you?ve (Aweber) shortened the affiliate cookie from what it used to be, and I never had any idea about that, but it?s still a year! (12 months, 365.24219 days, I?ll not bother searching Google for the number of minutes!)

    A whole year that some affiliates will be referring new people, but not getting the credit they are meant to because someone pointed them towards AWeber 9 months ago?! That?s just crazy!

    So more commissions, but you?ve removed the 2nd tier program. Are affiliates really getting the best deal here, although I will say that with the PayPal option, it might make up for this! You say about bigger check payments, that might not be directly the case! As I already said, the 2nd tier affiliate program has been removed!

    If anything, it?s not giving me a boost in overall compensation, but turning me away from the service completely. And that doesn?t just mean the affiliate side of things. Look, I?m not here moaning about the fact I could have referred people here and not got any credit for it. I?m all for looking after my subscribers, the money is something extra on top!

    "You are an exceptional group of affiliates and we are glad you are a part of the team."

    The way things are going, this groups of affiliates might just decide to go elsewhere, and decide not to be part of the team. The sale SHOULD go to the last referred affiliate!… Period!

    Before anyone thinks I?m have a go at Ron I?m not, it just so happens being in the position he is with AWeber, he responded to the comments!

    2/27/2009 11:45 am
  21. Once an affiliate refers you a customer will they get paid for life?

    2/27/2009 5:21 pm
  22. I fully agree with all who had voted against the 1st affiliate cookie.

    As Frank has aptly put it – it’s "game over" for average guy for the next 12mths.

    Definitely not a good incentive motivate affiliates to actively promote aweber.

    2/27/2009 10:08 pm
  23. Very nice changes.
    Now this will be even more interesting and fun to promote.
    Thanks guy’s, keep up with the great work and support.

    2/28/2009 8:17 am
  24. I for one am always THRILLED to hear that I’ve just gotten a commission increase. Needless to say I don’t get thrilled too often in that regard as more often than not merchants lower the rate or kill recurring… so thanks guys!

    I’m with Tim and the others on the cookie issue though as it favors arbitragers instead of publishers who in the end do the real work of endorsing products.

    So, Arbitrage Affiliate sends traffic direct from Google Adwords to Aweber and gets credit for the referal, despite the fact that in most cases the prospective client will do more research on the product before buying and ends up on a site like mine where there’s a full product endorsement … but I won’t get credit for making the referal.

    Would prefer to see credit where credit is due.

    2/28/2009 12:20 pm
  25. Very good! Fantastic with the paypal option and also the increase of 30% instead of 20% commissions on the first tier.

    2/28/2009 2:23 pm
  26. Thanks again for all the care and effort you put into your affiliate program. Not many do.

    2/28/2009 6:07 pm
  27. I also agree with Tim.

    The last affiliate is the person who makes the sale and therefore the last affiliate should always receive the credit. In fact this has put me off promoting Aweber as I know my efforts are wasted.

    In fact I can’t think of any other program what supports first cookie, it’s always last cookie.

    Come on Aweber, you can see the opinion of most, make it last cookie and see more affiliates promote you.

    3/2/2009 9:57 am
  28. Was first/last cookie part of the survey? Even if it was, I don’t think affiliates gave it much thought… until now.

    I also strongly suggest you use "last cookie wins". Purchasing aweber is not a quick decision – the choice of email service provider is a mission critical part of an internet marketing strategy and so a fair bit of research is required before a customer buys.

    So the first link they hit is most likely not the one that affects their decision the most. "Last cookie" would seem more fair to all of us and is typical for membership affiliate programs as well.

    In taking a closer look at your site, I’m also wondering about your toll free number – if people can order by phone then that is a "leak" for affiliates unless you have a way for the call center to identify a caller who has been referred by an affiliate. To solve this you could remove the display of the tel. numbers for affiliate referred visits, or put in a different phone number and handle those affiliate-referred calls differently.

    So pls make it "last cookie" and remove the phone leaks.

    You’ll make more affiliate sales this way.

    3/2/2009 12:00 pm
  29. It’s not surprising that Aweber.com comes through once again with some great improvements including their affiliate program.

    They seem to always be on the cutting edge when it involves service and products for their customers.

    3/3/2009 9:09 am
  30. Rick L'Amie

    I am considering becoming an affiliate. Your affiliate sign up page still links a TOS that lists a 20 percen commission. When will a new TOS be linked to the sign up page?

    If any current affiliates have any testimonials or advice to share, I’d love to hear them!

    Thanks!

    3/3/2009 12:38 pm
  31. Thank you very much for all of your input.

    One could easily state a case for a first or last visit
    cookie and the opinions regarding such are certainly valid.
    Since the creation of our affiliate program, AWeber
    has always employed the use of a first time visit cookie.

    Any information regarding the way AWeber cookies their
    affiliate referrals has always been readily available to our
    affiliates via our knowledge base.

    http://www.aweber.com/faq/questions/296/How+Are+Affiliate+Commissions+Tracked%3F

    Per the results of our survey, we were able to
    shorten the length of our affiliate cookie as well
    as add some great additions to our affiliate program
    that will enable our affiliates to reap greater
    benefits for their promotion of AWeber Communications.

    Thank you once again for your feedback, and as always,
    your input is always welcome.

    @Peter,

    Yes, you earn a recurring commission for the entire duration of the purchaser’s account.

    http://www.aweber.com/affiliates.htm

    Phone orders are extremely rare (less than 0.2% of all orders) and those
    customers are always asked how they heard about AWeber so appropriate
    credit can be given to the referring affiliate. Anyone on our customer
    solutions team can assist you or your referred client with this at any
    point – either upon initial sign up or afterward.

    AWeber is built on the foundation of excellent customer support and removing
    a toll free number, live chat, or other communication methods is far from
    representing those qualities.

    http://www.aweber.com/contact-us.htm

    @Rick,

    The changes to the affiliate program, when they take place on April 8th
    of this year, will be updated within the affiliate TOS.

    http://www.aweber.com/affiliate-agreement.htm

    3/3/2009 1:08 pm
  32. This is becoming better and better, love this one. Thanks.

    3/4/2009 2:37 am
  33. C

    Although I welcome the change for Paypal. But the reason I signed up for the affiliate program was the 2-tier commission. So if the 2-tier will be phased out, that means I have to work harder to get a decent commission. :(

    I would prefer rather built my down line ….now I can’t retire early…bummer!!

    3/4/2009 3:34 pm
  34. At last…
    Very happy to hear this and will try to promote more :-)

    3/6/2009 1:10 am
  35. I see both sides of the one year/last referrer. I had never thought about the difference. I was at Aweber several times before I bought. I do not know who got my commision.

    I do not think the first cookie is the fairest. I just thought I would weigh in along with almost all the comments you have gotten. I belong to another affiliate program that just had a significant reduction in the payout.

    3/18/2009 10:08 pm
  36. John

    I’ll chime in here as a new affiliate and after reading through the previous posts, I still don’t understand the defense Aweber’s position on the first-cookie issue – it sounds like – "used to be 10 years, but now its only 1 year, so deal with it.."

    I think in the long run there’s a lot less incentive for affiliates to promote aweber if they may not get the sale because of a pre-existing cookie.

    Basic common sense:

    If I can’t make the sale from my site, then I shouldn’t get the commission.
    If I CAN make the sale, I SHOULD get the commission

    3/26/2009 7:37 pm
  37. Chris

    That is an awesome change. I think I am not only goign to affiliate Aweber but signup myself now after reading the Aweber unleashed guide

    4/2/2009 6:38 am
  38. It?s wondeful that the commission has been raised to 30% for the 1st tier, but it?s too "BAD" and "NOT FAIR" for abolishing 2nd tier commission especially for those who have huge number of sub-affiliates.

    4/8/2009 1:34 pm
  39. Well, I have to say that there is good & bad change & these that have been taken are a combination of both.

    I like #1 above but #2 & 3 is a different matter.

    Lost commissions on both on those issues. I wonder if people really thought about what they where voting on.

    4/9/2009 10:35 am
  40. I find these changes very encouraging without a doubt. Having had a few commission checks lost in the mail I am looking forward to receiving the commissions via Paypal instead. Strong move Aweber!

    5/15/2009 12:43 pm
  41. Gary

    There is a simple way to get around the 1 year cookie issue. Any affiliate worth their salt would know.
    As for the 2nd tier issue, can any of you seriously say you make more with 2nd tier payments than you do the now increased difference in payouts?
    My understanding is most affiliates make very few sales, so even if you have a legion of sub-affiliates, its unlikely many will get alot of sales if any.

    6/3/2009 1:33 am
  42. I have recommended AWeber since the first time I begin helping beginners. I have yet to receive any commissions. This is not why I recommend AWeber.

    I recommend it because it is the best in my opinion. That is always my first concern for those that I am helping.

    6/8/2009 6:45 pm
  43. Carol,

    If you contact help@aweber.com with your affiliate ID as well as the information about the account that you feel you should have credit for, I would be more than happy to assist you.

    I just need a little more info, and I will make sure you get proper credit for any sales you have made for us.

    I look forward to helping you.

    6/9/2009 12:19 pm
  44. Karan

    Sorry if im bringing up an old thread, but I am very close to starting a big website project around email marketing, and linking to aweber through it.

    I just stumbled across this page, and reading the above I absolutely agree with everybody that has stated their disagreement about the 1-year ‘first visit’ cookie. I Think this policy is absolute rubbish!

    .. to the extent that I am now reconsidering whether I will put the time and resources into going ahead with this project, because I will probably not get the credit where I deserve!

    Aweber – you are driving affiliates away using this ‘first visit’ policy. Im not sure how many of the people in your survey actually understood the implications of it.
    Plus I have not seen the first cookie rule anywhere else to be honest – there is a reason why!

    Not very happy about it at all.

    11/15/2010 10:26 pm
  45. Karan

    Info from a blog (not mine) summarizing the issue:

    http://www.gobalakrishnan.com/first-cookie-affiliate-programs/

    11/15/2010 10:30 pm
  46. Dan

    I’ve been shopping around for a good autoresponder service for awhile now, and Aweber looks like a winner. I love that you have so many advanced tracking features and custom opt-in templates. The fact that you can earn an affiliate commission with the service makes it all the better. I’ll definetly have to check it out.

    1/23/2011 3:12 pm
  47. Great web site. A lot of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few pals and additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you in your sweat!

    9/19/2011 4:53 am
  48. Excellent artical, I unfortunately had some issues printing this artcle out, The print formating looks a little screwed over, something you might want to look into.

    9/22/2011 10:38 pm
  49. Jayne ~ Thanks for letting us know! We’ll check into it. In the meantime, if you run into that problem again, copying and pasting into a word processing program may solve it.

    9/23/2011 8:43 am
  50. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

    10/1/2011 11:00 pm
  51. Is it available the paypal option to receive commisions?

    7/10/2013 12:30 pm
  52. Mary – Not yet, but I’ll re-pass the suggestion along. :)

    7/11/2013 9:21 am
  53. Why is the Paypal payout option still not available? It’s been over 4 years since this post was published. It’s a real pain for non US citizens to get their money as cashing/depositing a US check is extremely expensive. Please do sth. about this!!!

    8/12/2013 8:53 am
  54. Bassam

    I second Mary’s and Matt’s suggestion above (which is also the suggestion of most of your international affiliates).

    I’ve been a long time affiliate as well as a customer of yours. Your service and aff program has been one of my few favorites.

    However, as an international affiliate, I too would strongly (and kindly) request addition of either or both of the following payout options: Paypal or Wire Transfer.

    We go through a lot of trouble trying to cash out foreign checks here, that usually take around 40 to 60 days to clear (plus significant bank fees), in addition to the trouble of having to wait at least 6 months should a mail check goes missing by mistake for whatever reason, in order to re-cut and re-issue it again, as per the rules.

    Paypal or Direct Bank Wire Transfer… either of them would solve our problem and be of great help!

    Thanks in advance…

    10/9/2013 9:50 am