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    Oldest Engagement Wins

    Oldest Engagement Wins rewards the first collaborator to engage a customer.


    Oldest Engagement Wins is a program structure designed to reward the first collaborator who successfully engages with a customer. This model is great for incentivizing the efforts of collaborators who play a pivotal role in the early stages of the customer journey.

    In this structure, when a customer converts, the reward is given to the collaborator who was credited with the earliest engagement with that customer. This could be through a referral link, an introductory email, or any first touchpoint that can be tracked back to a specific collaborator.

    When To Use This Structure

    This structure works well in scenarios where early interactions play a crucial role in customer conversion. It is particularly useful for high-value product sales, where the initial engagement involves significant effort or persuasion, or Services that require a long decision-making process, such as educational courses, agency services, or real estate.

    An ideal scenario for the “Oldest Engagement Wins” structure is in high-value sales. For example, consider a software company that sells complex enterprise solutions. These solutions often require significant upfront engagement to educate potential clients and nurture leads. An affiliate who initially introduces a client to the company’s software—perhaps through a targeted blog post or a webinar—plays a crucial role in starting the sales process.

    In this case, the initial engagement by the affiliate is instrumental in eventually leading to a high-value sale, possibly months later. Rewarding this initial collaborator acknowledges their pivotal role in the long sales cycle, where the lead nurturing process is gradual and involves multiple touchpoints before reaching the sales team for final conversion.

    This type of program engagement works really well as a way to pay affiliates for leads that actually convert. If you combine an affiliate program with the “oldest engagement wins” incentive type with a sales program, you can incentivize collaborators to focus on bringing in leads, and let the sales team focus on converting those leads, and still pay both parties for their actions.

    When To Avoid This Structure

    Products or services that are typically bought on impulse, the customer’s decision-making process is quick and often influenced by the most recent engagement. In such cases, rewarding the oldest engagement does not align well with the nature of the purchase. The affiliate or collaborator who directly drives the conversion plays a more critical role, and a program structure that rewards the newest or most influential engagement right before the purchase would likely be more effective.

    In such a scenario, an affiliate who initially introduced the brand months ago has less influence on the customer’s immediate decision to buy compared to a more recent interaction. Rewarding the first affiliate does not effectively incentivize the last-minute engagements that actually drive these impulse purchases. A structure that rewards the most recent or most influential engagement before the purchase, like “Newest Engagement Wins,” may be more effective in this case.

    While “Oldest Engagement Wins” is excellent for rewarding early lead generation in a structured sales process, it’s less effective for direct, impulse, or low-value transactions where the final engagement is more decisive in driving a conversion. Assessing the nature of the customer journey and the roles of collaborators in your sales process is crucial in determining if this structure aligns with your business goals.