LightsOn Graphics Local Affiliate Program
The Mission of LightsOn Graphics
The mission of LightsOn is to reinforce (some would say to recreate) the “local” in the graphics and print business. Print and graphics used to be a craft and trade, even at the smallest and most local level. In the 1960’s and 70’s came the franchise printer; the franchise maintained the local craft and trade while collaborating in name recognition and defining a product and quality level consistent from one outlet to another. Both the craft and local service levels were maintained; in business we knew our printer like we knew our butcher in our personal life. The trade printer (one with no direct sales force) serviced and supplied the local printer with specialized capabilities that were not available to small printers simply because there was not the economy of scale to produce many products locally. The local printers provided a collaboration that gave trade printers the economy of scale to specialize; local printers were the local sales force for the trade printer.
In the 80’s and 90’s we saw a shift in specialty products, like business forms, to standardized semi-custom, marketed, promoted, sold and delivered mail order to small business. Companies like NEBS (New England Business Services), the Drawing Board and Deluxe made this an art. This was not a shift in the market, but the creation of a new market as very short run was not cost / profit effective for even the local franchise printer to service effectively.
Then came the Big Box and Internet marketers and a technology shift to short run digital in the later 90’s and 2000‘s. Both quality and product definitions became less clear as the market shifted away from the local craftsman to what I and others have called McPrint ( http://blog.lightsongraphics.com/2013/01/mcprint-vs-local-its-no-different-than.html ). This is analogous to the local diner trying to compete with the marketing machine of the fast food giants. At the same time Internet marketing of print came about further removing the supplier from the consumer convoluted by misleading quality and pricing practices inherent to many Internet marketers.
LightsOn Graphics objective is to recreate that local service and quality by providing a web presence that addresses the following issues:
· Price competitive with Internet Providers (their real price) http://blog.LightsOnGraphics.com/2013/01/local-competing-with-internet-print.html .
· Price controls at the local level so the craftsman can address specific situations.
· Under one name (URL) making it Internet efficient yet localized for the local printer or graphic specialist.
· Customer and client protection capabilities.
The Big Box stores (OfficeMax, Staples and Fed-X Office) have this capability and efficiency by having one web site, yet are local everywhere. So why can’t the Local guy do this themselves? Very simply - economies of scale. They will be out of business before they can beat the McPrint – ask your local diner if you can find one.
Internet only printers (you know who they are) have the advantage of being able to use misleading pricing practices, providing low quality levels through both unclear and/or undefined quality levels and finally, never having to “Face Up” to the customer. Call one sometime and ask about why their cards are smaller, produced on inferior materials or how and why the $3.50 set of business cards ends up costing $65.? http://blog.LightsOnGraphics.com/2013/01/local-competing-with-internet-print.html .
The Website LightsOnGraphics.com:
Your number and contact information, along with other localized affiliates will appear in the contact area above our “Everywhere” 866 number as well as any broader based affiliate (county, state) we have.
If the prospective client comes to LightsOnGraphics.com from a URL referral link with an Affiliate referral code (assigned to the affiliate by LightsOnGraphics.com), only the referring affiliate and our “Everywhere” number is displayed. This creates the opportunity for “out-of-area” client acquisition for affiliates that specialize in vertical markets. These links are not to be used in posts to any LightsOn social media fan page (Facebook) or posts or comments in the LightsOn blog as there would be competing links from different affiliates in on the page. We do encourage you to use the links on other social media products you use as well as any blog you may own or post your content.
After a client has logged in, the number of the affiliate who owns that customer account will display as well as the LightsOn Graphics “Everywhere” 866 number; other local affiliate numbers will not appear after the customer is identified. Our “Everywhere” number is only displayed as backup to you and will have no effect on your client ownership if we are contacted directly.
If you want a blog placed on the site (will appear below our blog) it will appear in your defined named cities. The blog must be informative and educational in nature, and link to the LightsOnGraphics.com website doing so on both the blog and within the bodies of the writings/entries.
We strongly encourage you to use the referral system built into the website. This will track and identify your prospects – If they use the referral code within 90 days, the client will be automatically identified as your client.
Run Quantity 1000+ 30%
Run Quantity < 1000 10%
Banner/Signage Product 20%
Design: 10% - We encourage you to do your customers art and design and keep 100%. If the customer buys online, and you do the artwork, we pay out only 90% so we can cover CC charges and handling. Art supplied that does not meet LightsOn specifications may incur extra charges or be rejected in extreme cases.
Art, design and file guidelines can be reviewed at http://www.lightsongraphics.com/designdiy.php
No commission on shipping or sales tax when it is applicable (rush).
Commissions will be paid on the gross charge less any discount you, the affiliate, may give.
Provide greater service rather than devalue the product.
Example scenarios and calculations:
1. No Discount:
Ex 1: 1000 Business Cards: $74.99 x 30% = $22.497 ($22.50) Commission
2. LightsOn Discount
Ex 2: 1000 Business Cards: ($74.99 less $20 NewCust2011) x 30% = $16.497 ($16.50) Commission
3. Affiliate Discount:
Ex 3: 1000 Business Cards: ($74.99 less $10 Affiliate Discount) = $64.99 - - Commission = $64.99 x 30% = $19.497 less $10.00 Affiliate Discount = $9.497 ($9.50) Commission
Note the difference between example 2 and 3.
Customer Acquisition and Ownership
As far as customers, if you identify a customer as yours, it is yours, assuming they order within a 30 days of your notification of such to LightsOn. If they have already placed an order, it is still your customer – Just inform LightsOn within 30 days of their order. Try to have customers register on the site - “Create Account” in the upper right of the website. The customer/affiliate relationship is based to the account the customer logs into. Note that a customer could have multiple accounts, each owned by a different LightsOn affiliate.
There is a referral program built into the system as well for customers to both give and get discounts based on referrals.
· Referral coupons are cumulative.
· Referral coupons are treated as a LightsOn Discount and not an Affiliate Discount; commissions are paid on the net.
Referral Link/URLs as well as Referral Coupons identify the Affiliate and the ownership to a client’s account.
A client’s account who has been assigned to an affiliate is not effected by referral URLs and Referral Coupons are only valid for new accounts.
In the event of conflicted customer ownership, the customer will have the final say on who their affiliate is. LightsOn will arbitrate and communicate the customer decision to the involved affiliates. The account the customer uses will normally be enough to solve the conflict.
Payments to Affiliates:
· Payouts occur during the first week of the month following the commission being earned.
· Payments are made only when commissions exceed $100.
· If the relationship between LightsOn and the Affiliate is terminated for any reason, the balance in the account will be paid no matter what the balance is.
Print / Postal: As of 1/1/2013 - $100 Annual Fee (Secondary Territories - $20)
Vertical Market Providers: As of 1/1/2013 - $100 Annual Fee (Secondary Territories - $20)
Graphic Designers (no Retail Location): As of 11/2013 - $50 Annual Fee (Secondary Territories - $10)
Program Materials and Collateral
Each paid affiliate will receive a startup of LightsOn Affiliate Business / Referral Cards.
Affiliates with Primary Markets may receive a LightsOnGraphics.com email address if needed.
Affiliate information will display on the LightsOn Graphics.com website based on where the Internet user connects from and specifically where the Internet user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) tells us the user is connecting from – this IS NOT an exact science from the ISPs. Vertical Market providers do not have Primary Markets.
There are two levels to the territories: Primary Market and Secondary Market(s).
The affiliates Primary Market is where they are located (or have chosen to locate). When the Internet user’s ISP identifies the territory and that territory matches the Affiliates territory, the affiliate information will appear. Optionally, an affiliate may have secondary territories where their information also appears. Secondary Market affiliate information will appear below affiliates from the Primary Market. Affiliate information will always display within their Primary Market.
Example: ISP identifies the Internet user’s locations as “Big City, ST”. If there are both Primary and Secondary Affiliates, the information for those affiliates could display as follows (without the “Primary” and “Secondary”):
“Affiliates Primary City” (PRIMARY)
Call John Smith at XYZ Corp
In “Affiliates Primary City” (SECONDARY)
Call Bill Jones at ABC Corp
Design Services (Graphic Designers (Non Retail))
Call Alpha Design
Exclusivity of a Primary Territory will be assigned only when agreed upon by LightsOn.
Secondary Markets are optional and assigned with the agreement of LightsOn.
Graphic Designer Market displays may be in Primary or Secondary Markets.
Order of appearance within the Primary / Secondary Territory will be sorted by the date the affiliate joined the program. In 2013, our current plan and direction is to change this to sort on Affiliate order volume. This is primarily a large city/urban issue.
LightsOn may provide broader based territories on a state level where Time4 offices or LightsOn offices exist. This information will always be treated as a Secondary Territory below the Rural classifications, thus below all primary and secondary partner/affiliates contact information. This is done for the Internet User’s convenience and perception.
Note: An exception to these Affiliate Territory rules occurs when either the customer has logged in to their account or is directed from an Affiliate link. The information of the affiliate then displays as described earlier.
LightsOn will Identify classifications to territories as “City/Urban”, “Suburb” and “Rural” and display the affiliates in the order of classifications that apply. As examples, if the territory is Rural, only the rural affiliates will display; if the territory is a Suburb, both Suburb and Rural affiliates will display based on the affiliate territory(s); if the territory is a City/Urban, all City/Urban, Suburb and Rural affiliates will display based on the affiliate territory(s).
All terminations will be made with 30 day notice. Removal from the LightsOnGraphics.com website may occur immediately at the discretion of LightsOn based on the severity of the reason for termination.
Reasons for Termination:
Affiliates not in the top 80 Percentile are subject to termination from the program.
Affiliates not performing in the best interest of the collaborative efforts of LightsOn Mission.
Affiliates misrepresenting LightsOn, the LightsOn Mission or any of its other affiliates.
Modifications to this document and this agreement:
Expect changes and clarifications as we believe we are doing something that has never been done and we will all learn as we progress forward in this endeavor. Territory classifications and assignments should not change, but do expect the definitions to become clearer and more precisely defined as we learn and as technology provides. Commissions may get further defined as products get added and/or changed and the market dictates. Any commission changes will be made with 90 day notice.