Translation Affiliate Program for Internet Marketers
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The demand for the translation of information in the meeting planning sector is expanding at a steady pace. In fact, meeting planners who cater to a globally-oriented clientele are witnessing a year-over-year increase in the demand for translated products (promotional material, presentation documents, delegate handouts, etc.).
Meeting planners who take the lead in recommending culturally appropriate and professionally rendered multilingual conference-related material position themselves ahead of their competition. Competitive motives aside, it's arguable that meeting planners have an obligation to promote a culturally sensitive approach to meeting service delivery, namely the provision and availability of multilingual material where appropriate.
The business case for translation is straightforward: It's good PR! In that context, a translation affiliate program is a virtual 'no-brainer'. Such a program can be implemented in a number of ways within the operations of a meeting planning practice.
Context: Ethics – Business Posture
The first step in the process is for a meeting planner to sort out the context within which she or he is operating. It goes wihtout saying that an employee does not have the same operational independence as someone who is self-employed or operating a meeting planning business. In fact, most employees are contractually bound NOT to accept commissions. Some contractual restrictions may also apply to self-employed people who operate under contract. A meeting planning business may have far more leeway for arranging for and accepting referral income. They key considerations as we see them, are: ethical, contractual, and practical (including contextual).
The ethical aspects of accepting commissions (aka affiliate income) for referrals are best dealt with by means of a full disclosure approach. Most business relationships typically involve the sharing of information by way of promotional literature (presentation material, website publicity, formal submissions and contract proposals.) Meeting planners who 'plan' ahead, simply spell out their business practices where and when appropriate. As an example, a key line item in a contract proposal should include one key disclosure sentence that would read something like: "The Contractor may receive referral income." (In this example, the Contractor being the meeting planner or service provider.)
A key component of an open business and disclosure process lies in the development and maintenance of a price list. In addition to the inclusion of a disclosure sentence (as outlined above), specific pricing can be outlined in a price list (e.g. translation word rate pricing as would apply in the context the CILFO Translations OFFICIAL RESELLER program.)
Essentially, a reseller postures herself or himself as the official service provider; much the same as a retailer does when selling products which have been bought wholesale for resale at retail prices. As the "Translation Service Provider" you retain full control over the client management process and YOU set the price for the service.
Of course, the adoption of a Reseller business model, be it for translation services or other products and services, while being potentially more profitable, also involves the assumption of broader responsibilities and by extension, potential liabilities. In other words, if you elect to posture yourself as a Translation Service Provider you also acquire the management responsibilities and service 'issues' associated with that role. In effect, higher profitability translates into more service delivery responsibility. Business volumes will usually dictate whether or not the trade-offs associated with various roles or postures are worth the time and effort.
Active Referral Approach
A simpler business approach option would entail the adoption of an active business referral strategy. Referral income disclosure for such arrangements may or may not be required. In the meeting planning sector, it's not uncommon for meeting facilities to 'favour' a particular A/V service provider; arrangements that are obviously motivated by referral fees without being openly disclosed unless addressed head on. It's an open question as to whether or not a lower price for the service could be secured directly from the A/V service provider by circumventing the meeting facility.
In the case of CILFO's CLIENT REFERRAL program, the price being quoted to clients approaching us independently is the same as the price being quoted to the meeting planner. (There are parallels to this approach in the hospitality sector, e.g. rooms rates.)
Passive Referral: Translation Affiliate Explained
The most broadly available example of a passive referral approach is available through the online affiliate model. The process is simple and easy! You don't have to do any selling, just send your visitors to the CILFO Translations website through an affiliate URL assigned and unique to you. Our system tracks visitors with cookies and ID numbers to make sure you get your commission.
Simply place a link to the CILFO Translations website on your own site (either our logo, a text link or content information) and every time one of your visitors clicks on a link that brings them to our site and they buy translation services from us, you earn a commission on the sale
(amazon.com is one of the biggest adopters of the affiliate business referral and commissioning model on the web). You will receive an e-mail notification of any sales that are attributed to you.
You can be more pro-active through the use of affiliate links embedded in e-mails you send out. A prime example of such an application would be in the e-mail announcement/promotion of a "Call for Presentations" where the e-mail recipients are provided a link to our website submission service.
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