6 Sep

2012

SiteGround new Affiliate Program – did we sell our souls?

The standard web hosting affiliate market was a place we had been reluctant to go to. It somehow seemed wrong to us to pay more than a whole year of income for a sale generated by someone, who chooses which hosting services to recommend not based on personal experience but only based on the commission rates offered. And now here we are: launching a new affiliate program that is extremely competitive with commission rates among the highest and withhold periods among the shortest in the industry (see affiliate program comparisson PDF).

SiteGoround Affiliate Program

Why did we decide to have a competitive affiliate program?

So what happened, did we changed our philosophy? Well, actually we did not. We still believe that the main motivation for recommending our services should be its quality. We still believe that our own customers have a great potential to be successful brand ambassadors, based on their own experience. However, we realized that if we want to motivate more people to get to know our service and recommend it, even when they are not using it on a daily basis, we need to invest some more. Additionally, we believe that even among the hard core professional web hosting affiliates there are people that are willing to choose their partners more carefully, paying attention to quality too on top of commission rates and they are the ones we now target. We entered the affiliate market because we realised that it can offer much more than the standard directory with 10 listed hosting companies that are no different from each other, and we already see that we have made the right choice.

Is it really worth it?

Even though the new affiliate program is still quite young and it is just now that we are officially launching it and starting to promote it more actively we have already seen some really good results:

  • We have managed to motivate many of our existing customers to spread the word even more.
  • We currently count some respected open-source developers among our affiliates. These people know everything there is to know about getting the most from their web applications, and they have selected SiteGround as the best place for the job. To mention just a few of them:
    • WordPress and Joomla developer GavickPro refers customers to SiteGround because we go the extra mile to help people work with these applications.
    • BuildaJoomlaWebsite helps people get started with Joomla and recommends SiteGround due to our unique Joomla expertise.
    • Customer Paradigm, a Magento service provider, decided to send customers to us, after personally testing Magento performance on our servers.
  • We have also seen some of the hosting directories actually go the extra mile by opening test accounts and writing detailed real reviews about our service:

For more information on the SiteGround web hosting affiliate program, visit this page.

Author: Lilyana Yakimova

Marketing Director

I have been with SiteGround since it was born and it has always amazed me to watch this company grow and develop its unique personality. My rewarding and challenging job is to help SiteGround communicate its strengths in the best way possible, learn from its mistakes and become a better person, oops, I meant a better brand!

Comments (19):

  1. Syed Faran Akhtar says:

    Many people were waiting for this affiliate program from Siteground, and at last we have it. Thank you, We will definitely take advantage of affiliate program.

  2. Rod Krause says:

    I am a classroom teacher and put the resources that I develop on the web for other teachers to use. To be quite honest I didn’t realise there was an affiliate program untl I received an email from Siteground.

    I have been recommending Siteground to other teachers for years simply because I have found the company so easy to work wth and the resources to be wonderful.

    I won’t hesitate in recommending Siteground whenever I get the chance.

  3. Bojan - Alpha Efficiency says:

    I’ve been with SiteGround for over a year. And it’s been the single best decision in my online life.

    Now I am moving 2 of my other websites to their servers. I call them home now.

  4. Paul Hastings says:

    I have been using Site Ground as my hosting service for some time.

    I have always found the technical support fast and friendly.

    They do seam to go the extra mile for the customer.

    I am pleased to have become an affiliate and spread the word.

  5. Arafin Shaon says:

    Seems very promising to me :) just signed up .. lets see how well it works for me…

  6. tre2215 says:

    Were excited to feature siteground affiliate on our website. Were glad you decided to go in this direction and theres enough to go around, thanks !

  7. Dan says:

    I can’t believe you waited so long to have an affiliate program, they generate so many leads and back links. I also don’t know why more people don’t have a competitive program. Capitalism is what drives innovation and that holds true for affiliates too!

  8. Keith Jenkins says:

    Having problems and no one will help.

    I have sales with my affiliate account with siteground and no one is helping me. In fact they told me that I was fired from the program. If I knew what the problem is I could fix it.

    My accounts are way older than the 30-40 days it says it takes to approve the accounts. Siteground owes me 400.00 in affiliate commissions and they will not pay.

    What is the problem, why I am out of the loop on what the problem is, and why won’t anyone help me? I’m sure this isn’t how you run your company?

    • Tina says:

      Hello Keith,

      I am aware about your case and I would like to assure you that all legitimate sales you have generated so far for SiteGround will be paid accordingly.

      However, it is true that we will not be able to continue to work with you, as we believe that your promotional methods are not in line with what we are trying to achieve in long run as a company.

      We are still thankful for your referral efforts, and we wish you good luck with your future endeavors!

      • Keith Jenkins says:

        Can you tell me specifically what the problem is?

        Can you tell me why it takes so long to approve my accounts?

        You don’t give anyone a chance to fix any problems you may be having?

  9. Tina says:

    Hello Keith,

    Normally, each sale goes through a standard 30-90 days verification period. Once this verification period is over, all your legitimate sales will be paid out accordingly. 3 of your sales are due for review this week and they are expected to be paid this Wednesday. You can easily monitor the status of all your sales in your affiliate area -> Stats & reports section.

    Like we said, we believe that your promotional methods are not in line with what we are trying to communicate as a company and deteriorate our image. As a result, your referrals lack involvement with their SiteGround hosting accounts and are highly unlikely to renew their service with us.

    All the best!

  10. SuperAffiliate says:

    I am another affiliate (Super Affiliate – Thousands of hosting sales yearly ) who is extremely unhappy with the SiteGround Affiliate Program. The customer service is some of the worst I’ve ever seen. (No exaggeration – I’ve been involved with all of them – This is hands down the worst) and the way Siteground treats their affiliates is appalling.

    - Irritated and Disillusioned

    • Tina says:

      Chad,

      We are sorry to hear that you are irritated and disillusioned. Indeed, you have shown that you have the capacity to generate a high volume of sales, which we highly respect. Unfortunately, generating thousands of sales is not what we aim for if we have to sacrifice the quality of these sales over quantity.

      The way you refer us sales is through an incentivized program – your referrals sign up for hosting not because they want and need hosting, but because they want to get a completely different service You offer them. That kind of incentivized programs are forbidden by our Terms of Service because they bring abnormally high percentage of customers who are not in good standing: they do not actively use their hosting accounts and they usually have high cancellation rate. Very often, such incentivized programs also build false expectations for the clients, who believe that something for example, an effortless setup of a profitable online business, will happen only because they have ordered a hosting account. When the expected thing does not happen, or turned out to require much more efforts than what they have been led to believe is needed, they felt misled by SiteGround itself, which has actually never promised any of the things included in the incentivized program. So such affiliate practices not only bring customers with very low chances for real hosting service usage, but they also harm our image.

      We had some hopes that you are not following the typical incentivized program and not only attract the clients, but actually work with them to build content on their accounts. Unfortunately, after a few months, it turned out that almost 90% of your referred sales were not in good standing, which is why we had to discontinue our partnership.

      Despite all that, we offered to pay you the sales that could still qualify for good standing customers. Please reply to the email we have sent you with the possible payment options and we will take care of the payment.

      Regards!

  11. New Affiliate(mike) says:

    Hi
    I am thingk of signing up with your affiliate program but had a questions concerning your terms and wanted to make sure that an ideal i have in mind will not be breaking your terms. If possible could you please provide me with your email so I can explain what i would like to do.

  12. Tina says:

    Hey Mike!

    Drop us a line at affiliates [at] siteground [dot] com. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Cheers!

  13. SuperAffiliate says:

    Interesting response Tina seeing as how I ran my entire campaign through your Affiliate Manager prior to signing on board. Should I post his emails here? And his promise after promise that there would be “no problem?”

    I would also like to hear you explain yourself on “Your customers aren’t buying hosting because they want hosting – But because you offer them something completely different…”

    Really? I offer them a website theme Tina! You know, a website, as in that thing you need hosting for. How could anyone possibly claim that is “something completely different?” Really? Your customers buy hosting for the fun of it? Or because they need a website? Your argument is as poorly thought out as someone claiming he/she bought a nail when what he really wanted was a hole in the wall….

    People get hosting because they want a website. I offer them that website. Again, Siteground and Affiliatemanager.com have proven to be ellusive when its time for payment – And promised me so much – But thus far delivered nothing. I have been an affiliate for many web hosts – As well as worked with many affiliate managers. This is far and away the worst experience, and worst treatment I’ve seen unfortunately.

    When you must resort to verbal gymnastics (Forgetting my entire sales funnel was REVIEWED by Jon Nunez of Affiliate Manager.com prior to me sending a single sale) claiming I offered something ‘different” and “incentivized contrary to terms of service” – Something is seriously wrong… Or would you prefer I post the emails from your very own Affiliatemanager.com showing approval of my sales process prior to me joining to demonstrate how wrong your comment is?

    Heads up to potential affiliates – Wanna know what it’s like to affiliate with Siteground? I’m here still waiting on payment for sales made in the month of May! It’s nearly October! A quick search of Google will show this is not uncommon. Tina I’ve already personally spoken to over a dozen other affiliates who received similar treatment. Apparently this is a far more common practice than you’d have us believe.

    Bottom line is at the end of the day, Siteground got paid for a large amount of hosting – And I’ve yet to see payment for them. I contacted you and AffiliateManager back about my payments nearly 3 weeks ago and still no reply.

    It appears I have to come here and publicly complain to get any response.

    • Tina says:

      Hello Chad,

      Like I said in my previous reply here, in our email communication we have offered you 2 options regarding the payment of your approved referred sales, however we haven’t received any confirmation about which option you would prefer. To finalize this matter, we will go ahead and pay you via PayPal according to the 2nd option we have suggested, which is also in your favor as you won’t have to wait for your pending sales to clear the verification period.

      We wish you all the best for your future promotions and business endeavors.

      Regards!

  14. Keith Jenkins says:

    SuperAffiliate

    It’s sort of a drag when have a business such as ours and you are trying to help other people get onto the internet, only to have problems like these. If I was doing something wrong I was more than happy to fix it.

    Problem is with these companies and Siteground specifically is that they will not tell you if there is a problem, until after you figure out that the held your commissions up.

    What would it be like if we did that for our customers. Oh sorry you can’t have your website because you paid for it and you want it… Siteground doesn’t seem to think that the end user is important. Only their perceived “image” which is pretty lousy looking at these comments.

    I just don’t get it… They sell hosting, we provide them customers. If the clients don’t keep the service… Maybe that is a reflection on the client?? not the referring agent? We are just working through the oppotunity that was presented.

    In your case, even though you had prior approval, they still tried to screw you out of your commissions.

    Doesn’t make sense

  15. Tina says:

    Hey Keith,

    I appreciate your comment. I just wanted to highlight that SiteGround does not have anything against both yours and Chad’s businesses, we are aware that they are working affiliate sales generation models for many other providers.

    They do not work for SiteGround though, as we found out that they bring clients that have a slightly different profile than the one that we’re looking for. This is why we will no longer be accepting such affiliate partners in our program.

    Thanks again for your input and best wishes!