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Asking for an increase in commission, also known as a “bump,” can be tricky. There are many things that factor into whether or not you’ll get a bump, including traffic volume and your traffic’s quality. How can you most effectively ask for a commission increase? Here are a few tips.

=> What Gives You Leverage?

There are a few things that give you leverage when it comes to asking for a bump.

First and foremost is whether you have alternatives. If their product is the only product your site can realistically promote, or if they’re already the highest paying in the industry and switching would only lose you money, then it’s hard to negotiate.

On the other hand, if you’re working with an affiliate network promoting an offer that’s also on five other affiliate networks, the network will know that if they don’t give you competitive commissions, you can take your traffic elsewhere.

Another thing that gives you leverage is traffic volume. How much traffic are you sending? In general, the more traffic you send, the more you’ll be catered to. Send a lot of traffic and asking for bumps becomes a lot easier.

Finally, the quality of your traffic also matters a lot, especially on CPA and CPL offers. If Match.com is paying you $4 a lead for a six-form submit and at the end of the day they’re making $10 a lead from you, they’ll gladly give you a bump to $5.

On the other hand, if they’re only making $6 a lead, after paying the affiliate network they most likely won’t have any room left to give you a bump.

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=> Your Relationship with Your Affiliate Manager

Believe it or not, how much your affiliate manager likes you plays a large role in whether or not you’ll get a bump.

You should always, always be on a phone call basis with your affiliate manager. Affiliates who only interface with their AMs by email will always get lesser treatment than those who take the time to introduce themselves by phone.

When you ask for a bump, your AM is often the one that has to make your case to the actual network managers for a pay increase. How hard they’ll fight to get you a bump depends entirely on how much they like you.

Build a relationship with your AMs. In fact, if they’re going to a major affiliate conference, make it a point to meet them in person. Take them out for a drink if you can. Making friends with your AMs can really pay off in the long run, in bumps and in other advantages.

=> Know the Norms

Always keep your finger on the pulse of what’s “normal” in your particular field.

For example, if you’re an Amazon.com affiliate, you have basically zero chance of getting a bump. That’s just the norm with Amazon.com, since they’re a major company that can’t play favorites to certain affiliates.

On the other hand, ClickBank.com has a cap of 75% commission. Yet major affiliates sending more than $1,000 a day in traffic can often get their commissions up to 90% “under the table” by having the merchant send the extra 5% to 15% by PayPal.

Again, that’s especially true if the traffic could just be directed to other offers. The merchant has every incentive to bump the affiliate’s payments, even up to 90%, and still be taking 10% on $30,000+ a month rather than lose out to another merchant who’s willing to make that deal.

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In CPA and CPL marketing, know what each network is paying and what kind of bumps other affiliates are getting. This will give you leverage to negotiate with your AM.

Negotiating for increased commissions isn’t hard if you have all the pieces in place. Build a solid relationship with your affiliate manager, know your space and send lots of good traffic. Do this and your AMs will respond very favorably when you ask for a pay increase.