Most efficient way to setup an Affiliate program?


I'm looking for a low-impact way to implement an affiliate program for a web app. Looking for a reasonably priced turnkey solution that doesn't require a lot implementation. Are there simple to implement solutions out there? I don't want to distract my dev team from our product.

Affiliate Program

asked Dec 3 '09 at 16:45
892 points
  • Hello Justyn, was just wondering why don't you try to raise your accept rate (which atm reads 0%!!) by accepting appropriate answers to your nice questions. – Atul Goyal 13 years ago

3 Answers


I hate to unask your question but: why do you want an affiliate program? It's vanishingly rare for an affiliate program to generate a reasonable number of leads. It works for Ebay and Amazon because they have gigantic catalogs, but the spam, and the headaches, and the cost of cutting a million little checks every month are not worth it for many (most) sites.

My experience at Fog Creek setting up an affiliate program was that is was an almost total and complete waste of time that we should have spent making our product better so that more people would actually want it.

Your mileage may vary, of course... I don't know anything about your app or your market.

answered Dec 3 '09 at 18:21
Joel Spolsky
13,482 points
  • Thanks Joel, and I'm very familiar with the woes of such programs, which is why I'm looking for something turn-key that I don't have to screw with, cut checks for etc. Being a social-centric app, there is some opportunity for incremental revenue through an Aff program and some in our space are doing well with it. I put this type of marketing somewhere between grass-roots marketing and traditional advertising. We're not certain it's something we'll do, but I want to be as informed as possible. – Justyn 14 years ago
  • I've heard stories on both sides of this fence... I'll ask a new question to get a proper discussion going. – Jason 14 years ago


I am not contradicting Joel. That is, I don't know if there is value in setting up an affiliate program.

However, for information's sake, I have seen use of Commission Junction by Best Buy Remix and Biblio.

answered Dec 4 '09 at 02:38
303 points


Joel, interesting, thanks for sharing your experience with this.

Justyn, I know another company that uses - might be worth looking into. I don't know too much about it other than I know someone that uses it.

answered Dec 3 '09 at 19:45
460 points

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