CloudZow Review: $5 a month cloud backup service
CloudZow operate in the technology MLM niche, specialising in computer backup solutions.
The company was launched in early 2012, operates out of Texas in the US and is headed up by co-founder and company President, Bob Wood. The other founder(s) of CloudZow are not disclosed by the company.
Wood appears to have an extensive history in online e-commerce with his company bio listing the many tech ventures Wood has been part of, along with
twenty-five years experience with over fifty corporations as an Information Technology Consultant, Systems Analyst, Systems Programmer, Application Developer, System Tools Developer and Systems Architect in the corporate and commercial software development environments.
MLM wise Wood (photo right) seems to have been more involved in the consulting side of things rather than management, with CloudZow appearing to be the first MLM company Wood has been involved with in an executive role.
Read on for a full review of the CloudZow MLM business opportunity.
The CloudZow Product Line
CloudZow offer a subscription based cloud-based backup service. For the non-technologically minded of you out there, essentially you backup your PC data and store the backup online, or “in the cloud” as it’s commonly referred to these days.
The main advantage of cloud storage is that your backup data is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
CloudZow offer “unlimited” storage space “starting from” $5 a month for cloud backup services for 1 computer, $15 a month for 3 computers and $25 a month for 5 or more computers.
I note that the CloudZow product page specifies all prices as “starting at…”, however no further information is provided as to what is provided at the higher price points.
If potential customers wish to know more, CloudZow request they ‘contact (their) referring affiliate to get started today!‘
The CloudZow Compensation Plan
The CloudZow compensation plan pays affiliates retail commissions along with team based commissions, tied into a unilevel compensation structure and an affiliate’s respective membership rank.
Upon sale of the CloudZow backup service to retail customers, affiliates are able to earn a 10-30% commission on the sale of the product.
CloudZow state that how much of a retail commission an affiliate earns “depends on (their) pay title (membership rank)”, however the company does not disclose what percentage each rank earns.
CloudZow Membership Ranks
There are four membership ranks within the CloudZow compensation plan and, along with their respective qualifications, they are as follows:
- Affiliate – basic company affiliate membership
- Manager – recruit 2 new affiliates and be generating at least $240 in group sales volume
- Director – recruit at least four Manager ranked affiliates in four separate unilevel legs and be generating at least $1,200 in group sales volume
- Executive – recruit at least four Director ranked affiliates in four separate unilevel legs and be generating at least $6,000 in group sales volume
Team commissions in CloudZow are paid out using a unilevel MLM compensation structure.
A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a unilevel team with every personally recruited affiliate placed directly under the affiliate in a new leg (level 1).
Any new affiliates recruited by level 1 affiliates are placed directly under them, forming level 2 in the initial affiliate’s unilevel organisation. Any affiliates recruited by level 2 affiliates form level 3 and so on and so forth with each initial level 1 recruitment leg operating independently from the other legs.
Using this compensation structure, CloudZow pay out down 7 levels on the sales volume of an affiliate’s unilevel team:
- Level 1 – 10%
- Levels 2 to 7 – 5%
In order to qualify for bonuses in the CloudZow compensation plan, affiliates must be generating at least $40 a month in personal sales (either to customers or affiliates).
Affiliates do not need to qualify to earn retail commissions.
As CloudZow affiliates grow their unilevel teams and advance their membership ranks, they become eligible for Leadership Bonuses.
Starting at the Manager membership rank, every new affiliate recruited upon gaining the Manager rank is placed into an affiliate’s “Manager team”. This continues until an affiliate hits the next rank (Director), upon which any new affiliates recruited after the new rank is achieved are then placed into a new team (in this case, “Director team”).
Under the Leadership Bonus affiliates can qualify for an additional percentage bonus, based off the sales volume made by their respective ranked teams:
- Manager team – 10%
- Director and Executive teams – 5%
Note that when advancing in rank and building a new team, an affiliate does not lose their existing team (ie. going from Manager to Director leaves an affiliate’s Manager team intact as they start to build a new Director team).
Also note that if an affiliate is not yet ranked Manager, any new affiliates they recruit are placed into their upline’s currently open team.
Matching Leadership Bonus
CloudZow’s Matching Leadership Bonus pays out on the Leadership Bonus earnt by an affiliate’s downline.
The Matching Leadership Bonus is only applicable to personally recruited affiliates, with how much an affiliate earns dependent on their current membership rank:
- Affiliate – 10%
- Manager – 15%
- Director – 20%
- Executive – 25%
In their compensation plan material, CloudZow state that ‘a 5% Promotional Bonus will be used to provide special promotions, awards and recognition for the affiliates‘, however no further information is provided.
One would assume this was a seasonal bonus and tied into promotional sales offers, with the bonus being paid out as a 5% bonus on top of an affiliate’s existing earnings subject to bonus qualification.
Membership to CloudZow is free, with there appearing to be no distinction between retail customers and company affiliates.
With an obvious retail offering, I’m a bit confused as to the lack of separation between affiliates and retail customers within the CloudZow MLM opportunity.
Unfortunately the CloudZow compensation plan is not available via the company’s website. Attempting to access the compensation plan delivers the following message:
CloudZow offers a rewarding affiliate program that benefits both the affiliate and their customers.
Please contact the affiliate that referred you to CloudZow to sign up.
I don’t know how CloudZow are expecting new affiliates to want to sign up when they don’t have any idea on how they’ll get paid, but the company seems to have no problem with a lack of transparency compensation plan wise.
Upon signing up, it appears as if all customers of CloudZow join the company as base affiliates, with the opportunity to resell the company’s cloud-based storage services and generate commissions for doing so.
The company’s login page does make the distinction between “affiliate login” and “customer login”, but with no charge for affiliate membership I’m not exactly sure what the practical difference between the two is. Nothing seems available for purchase from the CouldZow website unless you go through an affiliate’s website (you can’t even sign up to the company without an affiliate referral link).
Apart from paying out retail commissions to customers who haven’t signed up as a free affiliate, there seems to be no practical need for the token distinction between CloudZow affiliates and customers.
That said, CloudZow don’t offer straight recruitment commissions so that’s a plus, however with the cloud service being subscription based and tied into company membership, it is possible that strictly speaking the retail commissions could be seen as recruitment commissions payable on a monthly basis.
Technically speaking with each new “customer” being given access to the compensation plan (signing up to the same company twice at no charge isn’t really a distinction), you could just ignore the backup side of things and focus on CloudZow being a $5 a month recruitment scheme.
Certainly the membership ranks being tied into affiliate recruitment support this, however the marketing side of the product itself I feel does not and would ultimately be a hard sell for those considering this possibility.
Firstly at $5 a month let’s face it, unless you were capable of recruiting thousands of affiliates on the idea of making peanuts per recruited affiliate each month, that’s one hell of an uphill marketing battle.
Although with affiliate sales counting towards an affiliate’s monthly $40 sales requirement, not entirely impossible. For those not convinced on the value of a monthly backup service, it’d be a far easier sell if you could market an attached MLM income opportunity, which, unless I’m missing something, seems entirely possible with CloudZow.
Like I said, it’s a bit of a grey area due to their being no distinct recruitment commissions paid out and the melding of affiliates and customers.
I guess in approaching CloudZow as a prospective affiliate, one possible way to determine whether or not those in the company are focusing on customers vs. affiliate recruitment (with backup purchase) would be to ask a potential upline how many non-affiliate customers they have vs. affiliates.
Anything less than a break-even ratio could indicate an emphasis on affiliate recruitment and indicate a lack of interest and/or value in CloudZow’s backup offering as a stand-alone product.
In this case, those participating in the scheme would then also find themselves having to recruit affiliates (on the merit of the income opportunity) rather than sell the service to customers.
It also wouldn’t hurt requesting the same data from a potential upline’s upline to compare.
All in all having to recruit 8 affiliates ($5 each a month) to unlock bonuses within the compensation plan doesn’t seem attractive as an income opportunity, however being entirely possible as a possibility it doesn’t hurt to rule out the possibility.
Personally I think CloudZow could benefit greatly by a greater distinction between retail customers and affiliates but in the absence of any distinction, it then falls on prospective affiliates to evaluate whether or not in a practical sense that distinction exists, or whether CloudZow is simply full of affiliates paying a monthly membership fee and earning on the monthly membership fees paid by other affiliates.