Ancestry Ups Affiliate Commissions

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I just got an email from Ancestry announcing new affiliate commission and better support for affiliates starting on August 1st. The new commissions include 5 tiers and get top affiliates up to 50% commissions. Plus, the call center now has a way to track phone calls and credit affiliates for generating the calls.

This is probably the best marketing move I have seen MyFamily.com make in the past few years. This should really motivate the top affiliates. Years ago, when I was running all the online marketing, our affiliate channel was our biggest channel and our lowest cost source of new customers. Rewarding affiliate partners with better commissions and credit for phone orders is a very good move.

Kudos to whomever championed this change in affiliate commissions!

(I hope some of the top Ancestry affiliates will comment on the changes…)

(Note: Although I founded MyFamily.com and Ancestry.com and initiated affiliate marketing there, I am currently not affiliated with MyFamily.com in any official role, and my opinions are simply private thoughts.)

While I’m blogging about MyFamily (for the first time in a long time), I might as well mention that I found it very interesting that the Seattle office is trying to hire Web 2.0 engineers for a long-overdue MyFamily site redesign. At a recent family reunion I fielded all kinds of complaints from relatives who are having problems with the current MyFamily.com site (which really hasn’t changed much in five years.) I get pretty excited when I think about what MyFamily.com could be doing with this property. It’s going to be exciting to watch. Seattle is also looking for a marketing director (for this property) that also has affiliate marketing experience. I tried to spearhead the launch of an affiliate program for MyFamily.com more than five years ago, but it never got a high priority from the company.

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4 Responses

  1. midlevel independent

    While it sounds like an in increase, it really isn’t. Based on the way the tiers are structured – and compared to the current bonus structure for monthly subscriptions – it’s a pay cut.

    Many affiliates will lose about 20% to 25%.

  2. This new structure is sugar coated to sound good, but the bonus tiers are not applied to total sales as they were before, only to the sales in each level. For instance, the 10% bonus for exceeding $3,000 in sales only applies to sales over $3,000. For instance if your sites generates $3,100 in sales in a given month, your bonus is not $310, it is $10 (Whoopie, isn’t that a motivator!). The vast majority of Ancestry.com affiliates never exceed the first bonus level so the new structure does not effect them. However, sites that work the hardest and earn the most revenue for Ancestry.com will lose the most money, some into the thousands! Many of these sites spend lots of money promoting their sites in order to drive sales to Ancestry.com. It is now becoming cost prohibitive to devote great amounts of money, real estate and time to servicing Ancestry.com’s ads. With only so much prime space on a page, this move by Ancestry.com opens the door for other genealogy affiliate programs to fill the gap. I look for a push from other online genealogy sites to grab a bigger slice of the affilate sales generated from the thousands of family sites online today.

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