Networks: LinkShare and Google Affiliate Network (expected to launch on Commission Junction in 2011)

Affiliates: More than 4,700

RockBottomGolf started by selling golf equipment on eBay and a couple of years later, in 2004, launched its website. Since then it has evolved into one of the top discount golf retailers in the world and currently has 50 employees. The company’s philosophy is to provide golfers with incredible deals on top-quality new golf equipment, including clubs, bags, balls, apparel, shoes, accessories, carts, electronics, gifts and more.

It accomplishes that by purchasing huge lots of closeout merchandise from third parties in order to keep overhead as low as possible.  RockBottomGolf guarantees the lowest prices possible and has a price matching guarantee. If  a customer finds a  lower price they can send an email to the company with the item, the price and link to it on the Web. The RockBottomGolf crew will check it out and if everything is accurate, the company will give the customer the same product at the lower advertised price, plus an additional 15 percent of the difference off the price.

Headquartered in Rochester, NY, the company ships all goods from its warehouse in Suffolk, VA and all orders have the 24/48 hour shipping guarantee. Most orders placed before noon ship the same day.

RockBottomGolf’s affiliate program has been running for more than two years and currently runs on LinkShare and the Google Affiliate Network. It plans to also be running on Commission Junction in 2011. The company has more than 4,700 affiliates.  There are a wide range of affiliate types that perform well, but coupon affiliates seem to have great success promoting offers from RockBottomGolf, according to Brian Schwank, director of marketing.

The company is actively recruiting new affiliates and reviews each affiliate site for approval. Affiliates across the board are paid 7 percent commissions, but top performers often receive exclusive coupons to offer their customers shipping or a specific percentage off anything on the site.

“We may not have the highest commission rates – by just a percentage point or two – but our site converts really well, “ says Schwank, who added that on average affiliates have higher conversion rates than the company sees through its other marketing channels.  “Once affiliates get customers to our site, there’s a better than average chance they’ll convert.”

More than 5 percent of the company’s sales come through the affiliate channel and RockBottomGolf is aiming to increase that amount to 10 percent in 2011.

The company doesn’t allow affiliates to bid on their trademarks, but welcomes competition from affiliates on other paid search terms, Schwank says.