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The Official Magazine of Affiliate Summit

Issue 20 · October 2012

Register for

Affiliate Summit West 2013 January 13-15, 2013

How Bad Do You Want It? by Shawn Collins · Page 2

Creating Offers That Work With Neuromarketing Secrets by Tim Ash · Page 12

Making the Work from Home Transition by Kim Salvino · Page 19

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· Issue 20 · October 2012

The Official Magazine of Affiliate Summit · Issue 20 · October 2012

Table of Contents 2

Editor’s Note: How Bad Do You Want It?

3

Affiliate Marketing with Online Video

Jake Ludington

4

Get Involved With the Summit Newcomer Program

Daniel M. Clark

5

Building Your Affiliate Site for Maximum Resale

7

A Reminder to Hire Slow, Fire Fast

Nick Loper

8

Understanding the Role of the Affiliate Network

Matt Swan

9

Affiliate Summit East 2012 Recap

12

Creating Offers That Work With Neuromarketing Secrets

13

Creativity as an SEO Approach

14

Hidden Secrets of World Class Communicators

15

How to Attract Fortune 500 Company Advertisers

16

5 Mobile Pay-Per-Call Mistakes

17

How to Protect Your Online Reputation

18

Grasping Software Distribution and Monetization

19

Making the Work from Home Transition

Kim Salvino

21

Native Advertising and User Experience

Oliver Roup

22

Hit-and-Run Affiliates Spoil the Fun

Richard Betanzos

23

Creative Ways to Contact Affiliates

Tony Cohn

24

Beyond the Metrics With Affiliate Programs

25

The Importance of Content Popularity in Google

26

Enabling Product Catalogs on Facebook

27

The Traffic Affiliate Networks Lose Out On

Jackie Parkinson

28

Why Every Affiliate Should Leverage Retargeting

Ratko Vidakovic

29

Incompatibilities of Affiliate Marketing and Social Media

30

Do They Serve SPAM in Jail?

31

Herding Cats, Effectively

STAFF Co-Editors in Chief Missy Ward, Shawn Collins Co-Publishers Missy Ward, Shawn Collins

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Contributing Writers

Tim Ash, Michael Bek, Richard Betanzos, Dustin Christensen, Daniel M. Clark, Tony Cohn, Shawn Collins, Sarah de Diego, Eric Ewe, Nick Loper, Jake Ludington, Matt Mickiewicz, Jackie Parkinson, Rey Pasinli, Marc Phillips, Oliver Roup, Kim Salvino, Vyara Samoukova, Matt Smithson, Matt Swan, Dave Taylor, James Thompson, Ratko Vidakovic, Kyle Whitford, Steve Wiideman

Graphic Design Logan Gattis Designs www.logangattis.com Magazine Coordinator Amy Rodriguez Cover Photo Credit: Steve Hall

Shawn Collins

Matt Mickiewicz

Shawn Collins Tim Ash Steve Wiideman Kyle Whitford Rey Pasinli Michael Bek Vyara Samoukova Matt Smithson

Eric Ewe Dave Taylor Marc Phillips

Dustin Christensen Sarah de Diego James Thompson

Affiliate Summit 522 Hunt Club Blvd. #411 Apopka, FL 32703 tel (417)-2SUMMIT (278-6648) fax (908) 364-4627

Articles in FeedFront Magazine are the opinions of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine, or its owners. FeedFront Magazine always welcomes opinions of an opposite nature. For more information, visit: www.FeedFront.com Interested in advertising? Please visit http://feedfront.com/advertising/ or email us at: feedfront@affiliatesummit.com

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© 2012 Affiliate Summit, Inc. and Individual Authors.

10/10/2012 03:05:42 p.m.


Shawn Collins

· Issue 20 · October 2012

Editor’s Note

Bad Do You Want It? How

by Shawn Collins

I

am frequently contacted by prospective affiliates who want to know the secret to success. Some are looking for a magic button. Others are in a

state of desperation with stories like how they’re about to lose their house if they don’t get a big infusion of cash in the next three months.

not moved by that parable. You want a real life example, right? OK, so at the recent Affiliate Summit in New York City, we continued our Pay It Forward scholarships, where we give out up to 50 free VIP passes to folks who need a little help. One of the recipients was Paul Wallace. We received a nice, hand-written thank you after the show from him.

In both cases, I explain that affiliate marketing probably

In the letter, he briefly explained how he had a bad busi-

isn’t for them. It won’t enable them to get rich quick. Maybe

ness experience and he was rebuilding things. That’s a com-

they will get rich slow with affiliate marketing.

mon story, but what he had to say next really had an impact

They don’t like that answer.

on me…

The reality is that it’s hard to succeed on any level in affiliate marketing. It requires sacrifice, patience, dedication, and innovation. And there are plenty of opportunities to fail. Failure is an easy way out along the way, and it seems like FRANK wants it for you. FRANK doesn’t believe in this affiliate thing. Who is this FRANK? That’s your Friends, Relatives, Associates, Neighbors, and other people you Know. You not only need to want to make it happen really bad, but you need to keep FRANK out of your head. So my question is this… how bad do you want it? If you were at Affiliate Summit West 2012, hopefully you caught the keynote from Eric (ET) Thomas (it’s on YouTube if you missed it). He shared his story about a student who pursued a guru for the answer on how to be successful. Long story short, they went out to the ocean, and the guru nearly drowned the student. He then explained, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” It plays a lot better when Eric is telling it, so I get if you’re

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“Money is tight + had packed crackers for food + thrilled to have meal tickets included. I even slept in my car to conserve $. Your show + ticket provided me with enough contacts to keep going.” Do you want it bad enough that you’ll sleep in your car and have crackers for meals just so you can learn and network? Really, how bad do you want it?

Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, and you can follow him @affiliatetip on Twitter.

10/10/2012 03:05:44 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Affiliate Marketing

Online Video by Jake Ludington

A

Jake Ludington

With

ccording to the latest comScore Video Metrix report,

about recent purchases, like clothes, household decora-

U.S. Internet users watched 37.7 billion videos in

tions, or groceries. A haul works as an affiliate video be-

August 2012. This affinity for video is an amazing op-

cause people like seeing things before they buy them.

portunity to generate sales and leads from affiliate programs. As an affiliate, I see less competition with video, in part

Creating a Call to Action

because creating video is hard. Extra effort has rewards, in-

Viewing the video is the first step to an affiliate conver-

cluding less competition in search results and an opportu-

sion. The next step is getting viewers to click. I strongly rec-

nity for an additional listing on a results page. Video is also

ommend reminding viewers to click as part of the video.

shared frequently on social networks.

The first line of the video description is one place where

For my own videos, I focus on affiliate promotions us-

you should include a link. A significant percentage of viewers

ing YouTube as the platform. YouTube is the second larg-

will click a link, particularly if you tell them to during the video.

est search engine, with integrated infrastructure for buying

A video overlay ad is the second place to create a call to

PPC ads. YouTube also makes linking offsite easy.

action (CTA). An overlay ad looks similar to an AdWords ad, with an optional 55x55 image included as well. In my own

Choosing Your Video Style After testing several styles, I found the most successful

tests an overlay with an image gets more clicks than one without by at least 2x.

marketing videos have one thing in common - they demon-

In both cases, make sure the landing page is your own

strate the usefulness of a product in some way. Here are

site. Some affiliate programs prohibit direct linking from

what I find to be the best affiliate video styles.

YouTube. In my own tests a landing page outperforms send-

Product Feature Review - While review implies some

ing the viewer to an advertiser site.

sort of impartial evaluation of a product or service, the type of review I have in mind is more of a rundown of features. By highlighting major features and benefits of a product, your video helps viewers make a purchase decision.

Buying Video Traffic To use a call to action overlay on YouTube, you need an active video campaign in AdWords. The campaign doesn’t

How-to Demonstration - People want solutions to

need to generate impressions or have a specific bid price,

problems. The formula for a how-to is pretty simple: Out-

but it must be active. Using the minimum video campaign

line the problem; talk about the requirements to achieve

settings in AdWords enables your video CTA.

the solution; then show the user how to solve the problem. Shopping Hauls - Haul videos show someone talking

Now that you have the basics, get out there and start creating your own affiliate videos. Just be sure to test!

Jake Ludington blogs for HasOffers and is the author of Marketing with Online Video.

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10/10/2012 03:05:47 p.m.


Daniel M. Clark

· Issue 20 · October 2012

Get Involved With

Summit Newcomer Program the

by Daniel M. Clark

Y

working event in one of the conference rooms. There are ear after year, show after show, Affiliate Summit

always drinks and snacky things, but for Affiliate West 2013

grows. Affiliate Summit West 2011 had 4,627 at-

we are working on a few items that will elevate the meet-up

tendees and Affiliate Summit West 2012 had 5,087.

to greater heights.

The turnout for Affiliate Summit West 2013 is expected to

The benefit for newcomers is clear, but the benefit

continue the trend with well over 5,000 folks showing up to

for the veteran volunteers? Besides the good karma that

participate in three fast-paced days and nights.

comes along with helping others, veterans also get a link

During the day, dozens of educational sessions and a massive exhibit hall. Every night, parties and networking op-

back to a site of their choice from the Affiliate Summit website, and a meal.

portunities abound. For people who have never attended

Newcomers are expected to treat their veteran volun-

an Affiliate Summit, this can be an extremely intimidating

teer to a meal during the show. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner…

prospect.

whichever the newcomer-veteran pair decide on. “The Newcomer Program is the best way to jump-start

The Newcomer Program to the Rescue

your networking before you even get to Affiliate Summit,”

Both of the main Affiliate Summit events, East and

according to Tricia Meyer of Sunshine Rewards, a frequent

West, feature a program designed solely to help first time

Newcomer Program volunteer. “Being paired with an indus-

attendees ease into the hustle and bustle of the show. The

try veteran gives new attendees access to an entire network

program is absolutely free to join and does not require a

of veterans with a lot of connections.”

huge time commitment, but the benefits are enormous. First timers are paired up with an Affiliate Summit veteran volunteer, someone who has been to at least one past

Getting ready for your first Affiliate Summit? Nervous?

Affiliate Summit. These veterans offer a phone or Skype call

Intimidated? Sign up for the Newcomer Program! If the next

before the conference to give advice and answer questions

Affiliate Summit isn’t your first rodeo, we want you as a vol-

about the show. The calls last 15 minutes or more.

unteer. Sign up as either at AffiliateSummit.com/newcomer.

One of the best aspects of the program is the Sunday night meet-up. On the first night of Affiliate Summit East and West, newcomers and veterans are invited to a net-

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Join In

Registration for the next show is open now. Please note: this is not a business consulting or mentoring program.

Daniel M. Clark podcasts at QAQN.com and coordinates the Newcomer Program for Affiliate Summit West.

10/10/2012 03:05:47 p.m.


Matt Mickiewicz

Building Your

Affiliate Site for Maximum Resale by Matt Mickiewicz

A

ffiliate sales aren’t the only way to monetize an af-

idly, while health and sports topics have more longevity.

filiate site. Once a site is generating stable revenue,

Websites with a longer history of stable revenue tend to sell

it’s easy to sell it for a multiple of its monthly profit.

for higher multiples, as they are regarded as having better

On Flippa.com, we see hundreds of websites sold every week with all kinds of revenue models.

long-term potential. After choosing a winning niche, the most influential fac-

What we’ve noticed by watching almost $90 million in

tor in a site’s resale potential is whether it generates rev-

website sales over the last 3 years is that affiliate sites tend

enue from a variety of sources. The top revenue model in

to bring some of the highest multiples. This means that even

2011 sales was advertising, an easy option to combine with

low-performing affiliate sites can keep their resale value, as

affiliate sales. Unsurprisingly, methods that require higher

long as they are built with some specific characteristics.

overhead, such as product sales and subscription models,

Not all topics are equal: different affiliate niches will re-

sold for lower multiples.

turn vastly different multiples when auctioned off. Sites in

A good example of combining affiliate sales and adver-

certain niches will sell for as low as 5 times their monthly

tising to create a high-value site is the recent sale of Mili-

revenue, while other niches will bring back almost two

taryBases.com, a two year-old directory of domestic and

years’ worth of revenue.

international military bases.

In 2011, the two top-selling niches, in terms of multiples,

Through a combination of Google AdSense placements

were sports (selling for, on average, over 23 times monthly

and various affiliate programs, the site’s original owner

revenue) and health (pulling in a respectable 20 months’

built up revenue to just over $5,000 per month. Had that

revenue). The lowest-selling niche was Internet Marketing,

revenue only come from affiliate sales, it may have sold

with sites being sold, on average, for a measly 5.4 months’

for about $65,000. By combining both, the site’s creator

revenue.

sold MilitaryBases.com for $125,000 -- 25 times the site’s

Why’s that? Trends in internet marketing change rap-

monthly revenue.

Matt Mickiewicz is co-founder of Flippa.com, the world’s #1 marketplace for buying and selling websites.

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10/10/2012 03:05:49 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Nick Loper

A Reminder to

Hire Slow, Fire Fast by Nick Loper

A

strong team is the foundation of sustained business success. In Good to Great, author Jim Collins

Even though I wasn’t super-impressed by any of the ap-

found that getting the “right people on the bus”

plicants, I reasoned the job wasn’t rocket science and they’d

was a critical first-step toward long-term growth.

figure it out once we got going.

In fact, having the right people on board – and in the

Lesson learned: If a candidate isn’t outstanding before

right seats – was even more important initially than figuring

you hire them, they’re not likely to be outstanding after you

out what direction to drive that metaphorical bus.

hire them.

Like many affiliate marketers, I started my online endeavors as a part-time hobby.

And why would you want anyone less than outstanding working in your business?

I was alone on that bus.

Fire Fast Hire Slow

It became evident right away my new hire was not a

After reaching the limit of my personal know-how, I

good fit. I thought maybe I should give it more time; that

brought on a contract developer. Then, it was another 3

maybe the performance and communication would im-

years before adding a full-time assistant.

prove down the road.

It’s true I may have been able to “scale-up” faster by

Despite my wishful thinking, I knew deep down that

hiring help earlier on, but the learning experience of doing

more time wouldn’t solve the issue. More time would only

every job by myself was invaluable.

make things more difficult. If you’ve ever been stuck in a

By hiring slowly, entrepreneurs end up with a better pulse on their business and are better equipped to train

poor relationship in business or in personal life, you know what I mean.

workers when they do come on board. They intimately

Firing people is not fun. When you’re negatively impact-

know the ins and outs of the operation because they’ve

ing someone’s livelihood it’s a stressful, painful, and emo-

been living and breathing it on their own.

tional decision.

But there comes a time when even the most efficient entrepreneur needs help. And when the time comes, there’s an excitement and a tendency to rush to fill a position. Recently my longtime assistant announced she was

But it gets harder the longer you wait. Sometimes you just have to rip off that Band-Aid. I let my new hire go, and I’m confident we’re both better off for it.

leaving the company. With her 30+ hours of work every

Hiring mistakes happen; it’s a fact of life. It’s up to you to

week suddenly back on my plate, I was in a hurry to find a

correct them quickly before they do lasting damage to your

replacement.

business.

Nick Loper is an affiliate marketer who’s made every possible mistake. He runs VirtualAssistantAssistant.com.

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10/10/2012 03:05:52 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Understanding

Role of the Affiliate Network

Matt Swan

the

A

by Matt Swan

key strength of an affiliate network has traditionally been that it provides access to a large publisher

significant resource behind managing large-scale publisher

base. By utilizing their technology, the network is able

relationships. Rather than sitting back and watching sales

to foster relationships between publishers and advertisers.

accumulate from the usual top performers, the focus is on

With a significant number of publishers on a network,

identifying publishers that will contribute to future growth.

it is not feasible to expect each of them to be a suitable

With a significant volume of publishers on the network,

brand fit for all programs. A mature affiliate program can

there is considerable potential that remains untapped. Net-

grow to thousands of publishers, yet only a fraction will ac-

works should provide a marketplace which allows advertis-

tually make a sale - some may not even actively promote

ers and publishers to connect, and showcase their offering.

the brand. In addition, there are likely to be several suitable

This concept will facilitate communication between the two

publishers on the network that are not currently signed up

parties for mutually beneficial results.

to an advertiser’s program. With the channel becoming more sophisticated, the

cilitating the relationships between its advertisers and pub-

challenge for networks is that advertisers are not necessar-

lishers. It is important for the network to provide insight and

ily looking for quantity in publishers; rather, they are search-

expertise into the channel and provide leadership on issues

ing for quality. The network should provide a platform al-

that affect the industry. Changes in US affiliate tax laws are

lowing the two parties to build these relationships.

an example that has the potential to affect what happens

Some advertisers are beginning to question why they

within the channel.

can’t just establish direct relationships with their key pub-

Networks are also instrumental in raising the profile of

lishers running the majority of their programs in house,

the industry to the wider online marketing community. With

while letting the network handle the longtail. Networks

access to a considerable amount of data, networks are able

should respond to this challenge by showing how they are

to provide compelling insights – from what is happening in

continuously indentifying and recruiting new, high quality,

mobile commerce through to looking at a typical customer

publishers to advertisers’ programs.

journey through the channel. This data helps to structure

Advertisers need to be confident that if a publisher has

performance marketing strategy and is invaluable.

a network account, the network has done the necessary

In the future, the network’s role will evolve further.

background and compliance checks and is confident that

As well as facilitating and maintaining relationships, data

the publisher is suitable to join the programs.

insights will play a more significant role. In depth analysis

As the performance channel comes under greater scrutiny from advertisers, networks are required to put

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However, the networks role is not simply limited to fa-

will allow advertisers to ensure they are partnered with the most suitable publishers to promote their offering. Matt Swan is a Client Strategist at Affiliate Window.

10/10/2012 03:05:54 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Affiliate Summit East 2012 by Shawn Collins

S

unday, August 12, 2012 was the first day of Affiliate Summit East 2012 at the Hilton New York. Registration check-in and set-up for the Meet

Market kicked off the day at 8:00 AM. I gave my First Timers Guide to Affiliate Summit East 2012 session at 10:00 AM.

Recap

During the day, exhibitors built out their booths in the exhibit hall for Monday and Tuesday. The day wrapped up with a keynote panel on women in affiliate marketing. This was followed by the Newcomer Program meetup, and then everybody heading out for their Affiliate Summit

This was followed by sixteen breakout sessions through-

evening plans. I checked out the ShareASale Under the

out the day that covered local lead generation, crowdsourc-

Stars Party at the Hilton New York, which was a great mix of

ing, analytics, persuasion, email, and more topics.

networking and disco.

The Meet Market opened at noon and ran through 6:00

Lots of folks dressed up – I was doing my thing as

PM with a steady stream of attendees meeting with the

Wooderson from Dazed and Confused, but my mustache

table exhibitors.

kept falling off.

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10/10/2012 03:05:57 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012 was the second day of Affiliate Summit East 2012 at the Hilton New York. The day started at 8:00 AM with the Early Bird Whiteboarding session, where Eric Nagel reviewed sites submitted by the audience and gave advice on usability, SEO, conversions and revenue streams. The opening session was followed by a tasty breakfast for VIP and All Access pass holders.

The exhibit hall opened today and thousands of affiliate marketers came together for a full day of networking. In addition to all of the business talk in the exhibit hall, there were also educational sessions throughout the day at Affiliate Summit East 2012.

Later in the morning, Affiliate Summit East 2012 Emcee Daniel M. Clark gave some brief announcements. This was followed by Sara Levinson, who is on the Board of Directors for Harley Davidson, Macy’s Inc., and CafeMom, delivering the keynote address.

After the education sessions, there were a series of Ask the Experts roundtables. Day two of Affiliate Summit East 2012 wound up with the Affiliate Ball, which was hosted by Ice-T and Coco, and entertainment included Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys and the Sugarhill Gang. The Affiliate Ball also included the first Aff y awards, and both myself and my partner Missy Ward, were proud to be honored with awards.

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· Issue 20 · October 2012

This was followed by an inspirational keynote from Ntiedo (NT) Etuk on his entrepreneurial journey. The final day of Affiliate Summit East 2012 also featured Thanks a lot to Darren Blatt for putting on a top notch party for attendees of Affiliate Summit. Tuesday, August 14, 2012 was the third and final day of Affiliate Summit East 2012 at the Hilton New York. Just like Monday, we kicked things off nice and early with an Early Bird Whiteboarding session from Eric Nagel.

a series of breakout sessions and lots of networking in the exhibit hall. The conference closed out with an energetic keynote from Dave Cupples. Thank you to everybody who came out to network, learn and have fun with us!

Shawn is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, and you can follow him @affiliatetip on Twitter.

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10/10/2012 03:06:13 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Creating Offers That Work With

Neuromarketing Tim Ash

Secrets

by Tim Ash

T

he brain is truly the last frontier. Despite our focus

visual presentation looks rich and professional. If your web-

on the “logical” brain, it turns out that 95% of our

site is cheesy or even average, visitors will be less willing to

decisions are made pre-consciously and we only

pay a premium price.

justify them after the fact, when we become aware of them.

Use precise pricing – Round numbers leave money

The latest research in neuromarketing is giving us in-

on the table. The presence of the extra non-zero digits fools

sights about how to influence and persuade people more

the mind into thinking that there was some kind of precision

effectively. Several recent research studies point to spe-

in the pricing and allows it to anchor more effectively. So

cific ways to make your online offers more compelling. The

offer your product at $99.99 or $101.97, but never at $100!

following examples are drawn from Roger Dooley’s book, Brainfluence.

minds get irritated when a choice is difficult to make. We

Money cues make you selfish – Images or mention

will look for easy tie-breakers to help us make the decision

of money can prime someone to behave more selfishly,

when offers seem equally attractive. Our brain is not good

less likely to help others, to be more self-reliant. Such cues

at making absolute comparisons, but it looks for relatively

should be used with “making money” types of products, but

better value when making comparisons. If you introduce a

should be avoided for high-ticket items, or in the context of

decoy offer that is clearly a worse deal, it will stimulate sales

gifts (which involve empathy and generosity towards others

of the other offer (even in the context of other competing

as motivators).

offers). So leave the “not so good” option in the mix to create

Display the most expensive option first – If you offer

the right bias.

a service or product at several different price points, always

Reduce choice – We’ve all heard about the “long tail”

present your most expensive option first. This serves as a

and consumer’s preference for more choice. If you have

psychological “anchor” to which the brain compares subse-

too much choice (especially many similar options as noted

quent prices, which seem like relative bargains in comparison.

above) it is too hard for the mind to make decisions. The

Context influences our experience – The “Folgers

advantage of wide selection online should be reconsidered.

effect” tested instant coffee in an expensive restaurant, and

Choice fatigue sets in for buyers. Paring down your inven-

it was perceived as very high quality. People can often be

tory to a few key items can actually stimulate sales.

swayed by the presentation and context to pay more. For web-based experiences you need to make sure that your

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Use decoys when showing similar options – Our

So take advantage of your visitors’ irrational minds and make more money with your offers.

Tim Ash is SiteTuners CEO, chair of Conversion Conference, and author of Landing Page Optimization

10/10/2012 03:06:15 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

SEO Approach by Steve Wiideman

I

Steve Wiideman

Creativity as an

t’s very possible that the secret to higher ranking in Google may be creativity, built off a foundation of the unbreakable SEO principles of relevancy, popularity and

user behavior. The latter being the secret to my own ranking for the term “SEO Expert”, which you’ll learn in a moment. So what exactly are the three principles of SEO?

“linked to the most”. Sorry Googlebombers. To be creative with popularity, start thinking like Office Max and “Elf Yourself”. Think like Progressive with “Dress

Principle 1: Relevancy

Like Flo”, and consider crowdsourcing creative ideas that

To get to the first page of Google’s search results, it

will increase searches for content on your website. I like to

doesn’t hurt to have content to match the user’s query. If,

use Amazon Mechanical Turk, where I get 1,000 ideas for

for example, someone searches for “affiliate marketing ser-

$.05 cents each.

vices”, is there a page on the website that best correlates to that key phrase?

Principle 3: User Behavior

Does that page offer different types of content, such as

Relevancy and popularity may get your webpage to the

video, images, diagrams, bullet lists, downloads, references

first page of Google, however, Google uses user behavior

to additional results? Does it contain search terms semantic

signals to determine if that webpage is deserving of the top

to the keyword? Use Google’s Related Searches option for

spot. To impact user behavior, your listing should be clicked

inspiration, and be as creative as possible.

on more frequently than those other nine listings and be the page the user stays on, as opposed to returning to

Principle 2: Popularity

search results.

According to Link Building Expert Eric Ward, “the defini-

Google can detect patterns of irregular behavior, so

tion of what constitutes a link is changing as the web ma-

don’t try to game this one; instead use creativity. For me,

tures”. The volume of brand name searches modified by

simply asking others where I rank every so often is enough,

relevant keywords comes into play here; not to mention fea-

for others, it might mean changing your marketing message

tures, attributions and mentions on authoritative webpag-

to encourage search. In other words, you might try using

es around the web. Throw in social sharing by authoritative

“search Google for Joe Locksmith, Seattle” rather than just

personalities, and the signal gets even clearer. Research the

say “go to JoeLocksmithSeattle.com.” It’s simple enough to

term “Author Rank” to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

do, and imagine the impact if one were to do this in a com-

In other words, brand omnipresence beats links hands

mercial or radio ad.

down. The Google Vince update of 2009 should have been

Building a plan founded on these simple principles and

an indication to marketers to change their strategy to be

enhanced with creativity might be all it takes for you to grab

trust and authority-based, rather than just be the site

that top spot. Where do I rank?

Steve Wiideman is an independent online marketing consultant for new and emerging brands, specializing in paid, natural, local and eCommerce search engine marketing.

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10/10/2012 03:06:17 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Kyle Whitford

Hidden Secrets of

World Class

Communicators by Kyle Whitford

Y

our podcast introduction is an attention killer. Let’s fix it. Wrong way- “Hi, and welcome to today’s podcast

about internet marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimiza-

Rules of Engagement

tion). This show will delve into the who, what, where, when,

1.

and how of all things IM. Our special guest today is John Q

a few natural ahs and uhs. Listen to Gallup’s Jim Clif-

Expert. He holds a PHD in bore-ology from the University of

ton. He is a master of this technique. ‘Shucks, I left my

Hog Gobble and has worked for such notables as The Presi-

speech notes in the car, and now I’m kinda glad I did.’

dent, The Vice President, and the Department of Ho Hum.

2.

There is a rule in standup comedy. Fake doesn’t

In another few minutes, (I’ve counted up to seven that

make it. Same here. You must portray some version of

are filled with this attention sucking gibberish), we will con-

your real self. It can be a bit of a caricature like Gary

tinue to offer uninteresting, self serving, ‘look, Ma, I’m on

Vaynerchuk, or Frank Kern, but it must contain dimen-

a microphone’ pabulum, but first, our common knowledge,

sions of you. 3.

trite tip of the day... “

Stop yammering. Larry King interviews brilliantly.

Stop. Don’t ever do that.

Staccato questions, “Why did you join the French For-

Instead, always start your communication with one

eign Legion?”

sentence that includes a combination of news, self-interest,

4.

Write down vital points and cute sayings. When

and curiosity.

the time is right, and only then, you will have one to

Like this…

feature. “So, Prince Charles is drawing now, hmm, the

“Right now, SEOBook’s Aaron Wall tells us the three SEO

artist formerly known as Prince.”

pitfalls that will cost you thousands and the one easy fix for all three. I’m John Q Host .Welcome, Aaron”. (Thank you, great to be here.) “So, Aaron, pitfall number one is...”

“But, my guest IS a big shot” you say, “I must give credentials.” No. Jack Canfield has been in my studio. The true art of

Now, extend this attitude.

conversational weaving allows you to work his credentials

Howard Stern jumps right for the jugular. You should,

in anywhere. “So, Jack, when you were putting together the

too. Crafting speech really is an art. Listen to Rick Dees,

first “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book, were you certain it

Oprah, Ryan Seacrest, and understand that they are good

would be a hit?”

on purpose.

See? No list of boring bunk. The facts come alive as they

If you won’t dedicate time to the mastery of words and phrases, but insist on talking, then you are indeed being a blowhard, a windbag, and a bore.

14

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Be real. It is OK, even desirable to stammer a bit, have

ride the wave of the conversation. Having a microphone is like owning a cannon. You don’t have to use it, but when you do, aim carefully.

Kyle Whitford is an award winning marketer, writer, broadcaster, producer, director, and musician.

10/10/2012 03:06:19 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

How to Attract

Rey Pasinli

Fortune 500

Company Advertisers by Rey Pasinli

F

ortune 500 retailers expend massive amounts in ad-

As a result, it’s critical to provide statistics and case

vertising dollars each and every year. Apple, Inc. spent

studies that clearly show how PBM can significantly improve

$500M in total advertising during 2009. Wal-Mart

the advertiser’s return on investment.

spent $2.4B in total advertising during 2010.

Our the biggest challenge to growing our industry is ed-

The total amount of online advertising revenues for

ucating the Fortune 500 companies of what we can accom-

2011 was a staggering $31.7B. So how can we, as the perfor-

plish while overcoming any fears, concerns or prejudices

mance-based advertising industry (PBM), capture a larger

they may have regarding PBM. Put yourself in the potential

share of those advertising billions?

Fortune 500 Company’s shoes for a moment. They invest

The answer involves identifying qualified advertisers, improving their advertising investment ROI and most importantly, educating prospective advertisers.

dollars and expect a return on that investment. That ROI doesn’t have to specifically mean your CPA campaign has to be cheaper than their internal PPC cam-

The first step is to identify which types of advertisers

paign. It can mean a variety of metrics like higher retention,

are a good fit for your specific type of traffic. Part of that

more loyalty, breaking into certain verticals or niche markets.

process involves weeding out “brand” versus “product” type

So if you get the chance to present to a large, potential

advertisers. Coca-Cola is easily the world’s most recognized

advertiser, think outside the box and look for key differen-

brand yet not a good candidate for PBM.

tiators enable you to outperform traditional media outlets.

Apple, Inc. is a hybrid advertiser because they focus

Most importantly of all, you need to take into consider-

on both their overall brand with “I’m a Mac” while targeting

ation that your large client may have previous negative expe-

specific products like the iPhone5. GEICO sells low cost in-

riences or has misconceptions about what PBM is all about.

surance direct to consumers. The point is narrow down the

Your prospect may have seen that so-and-so got flamed on

list of potential clients to those selling their products direct

the internet as a result of rogue affiliates. Or even worse, they

to consumers.

were the subject of a friendly knock on the door by the FTC.

Secondly, PBM has a distinct advantage against tradi-

The point is that it only a handful of rogue publishers

tional media like print, radio and television. Our industry

scare away billions of dollars in potential sales. Educate and

guarantees “X” results per dollar of advertising spent which

inform your potential clients about what tactics you utilize

traditional media cannot. More importantly, the Fortune

and what internal safeguards are in place to ensure the

500 companies invest millions into PPC and CPM ad cam-

highest level of performance and integrity.

paign which are occasionally slightly more effective than burning mounds of cash.

Remember, your success is 100% predicated upon the long term success of your advertisers.

Rey Pasinli is an E-commerce engineer with 15 years’ experience, specializing in online payment processing.

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15

10/10/2012 03:06:21 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Michael Bek

5

Mobile

Pay-Per-Call

Mistakes by Michael Bek

I

n pay-per-call marketing, just like in any business endeavor, you need a solid business plan to be successful. You must know what processes should be implemented that

can be repeated successfully while mitigating error.

Do a test call. You should be on the lookout for a few main criteria: 1. How the representative greets you (is s/he wel-

Before you attempt this lucrative avenue of mobile marketing, consider these 5 mistakes you should avoid when running your first pay-per-call campaign.

coming?). 2. How long it takes to reach that representative (is it quick or does the process wear out your patience and make you want to hang up?).

1. Conducting Improper Keyword Research

3. How well the representative knows the product or

You should understand the metrics that drive conver-

service in question (can s/he answer questions correctly

sions specifically for calls through mobile devices. For ex-

before the prospect hangs up, due to lack of knowledge

ample, you might see fair desktop computer search volume

on behalf of the phone representative?).

for a particular search query, but more often than not, mobile traffic will have substantially less volume for the key-

4. Producing Ineffective Ad Copy

word in question. Learn your mobile traffic numbers in the

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impres-

Google Keyword Tool’s “Advanced Options and Filters” be-

sion, and when that impression has little chance of getting

fore you start.

a click, you’re wasting your time. CTR (click-through rate) is just as important with pay-per-call as it is with any other

2. Not Paying Attention to Offer’s

form of PPC (pay-per-click) marketing. Make sure your ad

“Connect Duration” Requirement

copy is effective.

Take an offer where the call has to be 15 minutes or more to get paid. That’s a lot of time in order for you to get a

5. Improper Bidding Strategy

$10 payout, for example. Of course, the more the offer pays

As with most forms of pay-per-click advertising, learn-

out, the lower conversion rate you’ll need to be profitable.

ing proper bidding is primarily a function of testing, so be

Conversion rates will decrease as the required “connect du-

wise and test small. If you bid too high, Google or Microsoft

rations” go up. Sometimes these higher “connect duration”

will certainly be more than happy to take your money. If you

offers convert well. Just be cautious.

bid too low, you risk not getting the traffic you need to justify your efforts, lower CTRs (click-through rates), and ultimately

3. Failure to Do a Test Call If the representative doesn’t answer the phone and talk

on your own budget and what money you feel comfortable

in a way that facilitates conversation and conversion, you are

spending. Refer to the Adwords Traffic Estimator tool for av-

out of luck, especially in a case like the previous example.

erage CPC bid estimates.

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higher click prices. Initial bidding strategy will also depend

Mike Bek is a pay-per-call marketer and writer with the MobileFused.com network.

10/10/2012 03:06:22 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

How to Protect Your Vyara Samoukova

Online Reputation by Vyara Samoukova

O

nline payment transactions are monetary driv-

approach that thoroughly addresses the client’s concerns.

ers in e-commerce, but a company’s good online

Make sure you keep your positive attitude and openness to

reputation impacts the business’ bottom line

ongoing feedback and ensure that your client is absolutely

in the long term. After all, wouldn’t you rather buy from a trustworthy and established company rather than from a company you don’t know about? Here are some tips:

satisfied with your proposed solution. Take your time to analyze your target markets and your consumers’ real needs, and create your communication messages accordingly.

Be aware of fraud transactions, how they can arise

Establish your communication objectives and

and implement systems of guard against these. Sometimes

goals. What do you want to achieve? What values do you

very minor changes to your systems and procedures can

want to be associated with your company, and what brand

have a huge impact. Work with your processor to review

attributes will drive the customers to your door?

your systems. Any good one will be more than willing to as-

Decide on your online communication strategy.

sist you as it’s in their best interests to minimize fraud as

For example would you like to write a blog or to actively

well.

engage in social media? Would you like to do an industry

Monitor relevant industry publications for com-

research article and present your company as an expert in

pany mentions, trends, and updates. Adjust your PR actions

your business field? Or do you want to present an innova-

to the trends and to the industry expectations. Exceed the

tive idea and establish your company as a pioneer in tech-

expectations of your customers, outperform.

nological enterprises?

Do constant research on customer opinions and at-

Communicate your company news on product de-

titudes towards your online services. Any feedback good or

velopments and solutions, on partnerships and operational

bad can help you fine tune your business to get more out of

improvements, with a careful eye on timing. You can follow

it. Sometimes you can learn more from comments on what

that model – what happened, why it happened, what parties

you are doing right, rather than what you are doing wrong.

were involved. Tell your stories, share your results. When

Respond quickly when you identify an issue or see a

you communicate news do not forget to give the credit to

negative comment. This will help in building a company im-

the people who worked behind that development, those

age that is open to comments and discussions. But make

who made it happen.

sure your response is always factually correct and address-

These simple steps will surely not just build your online

es all the issues raised. A good first response is often all you

reputation but will also enhance your sphere of influence on

need to set the record straight, but do stick to the personal

the e-commerce market where you operate.

Vyara Samoukova is a PR and Marketing Manager at the international online payment provider eMerchantPay.

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17

10/10/2012 03:06:22 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Matt Smithson

Grasping

Software Distribution and Monetization by Matt Smithson

S

The trouble that many businesses and developers face oftware holds an interesting place in the digital mar-

is after you have created software that adds value, what

keting landscape. It has become an afterthought

do you do with the users? There are multiple schools of

of our computer navigating livelihoods, yet has

thought on the best way to manage the monetization of

emerged as a burgeoning vertical in internet marketing. Downloadable products, browser extensions, and web

Often the software is free, asking for a donation from

enhancers allow online users the freedom to navigate and

the user after downloading the product in support of the

function on their browser and desktop within the manner

business. Normally, however, if you give someone the op-

they deem fittest. To capitalize on an interested and loyal

portunity to get something of value for free, they likely will

user requires multiple factors, but can be simplified down

take advantage.

into two major channels: distribution and monetization.

Another more widely used strategy is the freemium

Creating an allegiance between interested and en-

model. Users get the product or service for free for an initial

gaged active users seeking products or services, and top

period and after that timeframe is over, they are prompted

tier advertisers to meet their needs requires diligent focus,

to get the premium paid service. This has been used by

constant testing, and innovative thinking through distribu-

companies like Pandora and Evernote. Pandora, however,

tion and monetization.

switched to an ad-supported model and saw their user

From creation by the software developer to installation on the end users machine, getting the product out to your

numbers quadruple overnight, according to Liz Gannes of Giga OM in 2010.

target audience is the most crucial aspect in the first chan-

Pandora’s success leads me to the most commonly

nel of creating successful software. Applications, toolbars,

found and successful utilization of the software monetiza-

web-extensions, online games, and browser-add ons are

tion channel, ad-supported. With the addition of advertise-

constantly being developed.

ment into the mix, conversion rates sky rocket and user ex-

Separating yourself from the pack can be a daunt-

perience is not affected.

ing task. It is vital to maximize the value of every platform

This gives you the capitol to continue to produce great

potential users could see your product on. High organic

products, while providing your users with the utmost value.

search rankings, targeted paid search, display advertising,

Weighing which method to implement is a decision that

bundling, and affiliate marketing have all been successful

combines many factors from technical difficulty, potential

measures in distribution.

earnings, and most importantly user experience.

The trick to finding the most value out of these plat-

When all options have been thoroughly analyzed, ad-

forms, however, is the manner in which you align the next

supported provides the most compelling route towards

channel of the software funnel; monetization.

software superstardom.

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software products, but results widely vary per method.

Matt Smithson is a Digital Marketing specialist across multiple channels from software to affiliates.

10/10/2012 03:06:23 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Work from Home

Kim Salvino

Making the

Transition by Kim Salvino

Increase Your Physical Activity In my first 2 months of working from home I gained 10 pounds. My activity level changed drastically and I was no

I

longer walking, taking steps, etc. I’ve since joined a gym and ’ve worked outside of the home since the age of 13, in posi-

am making it a priority to be more active.

tions that varied from babysitting to retail sales, frontline

Here are additional tips provided to me by those I admire:

customer service to affiliate program management. That

“Eat lunch somewhere other than where you sit to

changed for me in June, when I began the next chapter of my life as Director of Publisher Development for Chateau 20. The idea of working from home had always intrigued me. No commute, less fast food, flexible work hours. Now that I have completed my first 90 days, I’ve comprised this list of tips for others.

work.” – Greg Bennett “Make sure everyone else knows that you work during the day.” – Tricia Meyer “Teach your kids what FBI means – unless there’s a Fire, Blood or Intruder, [no interruptions].” – Eric Nagel “Treat it like the job it is. Dress and arrive on time.” – Judi Moore

Create a Schedule

“Try to establish ’work hours’…It’s great that working

Working from home has allowed me to create my ideal

from home offers you some flexibility, but I find I have to set

schedule. I’ve found the best setup for me is designating 2

boundaries and defined times or I won’t get ’work’ done.” –

days in the week for calls/meetings, 2 days for strategizing

Laura Parvey-Connors

and completing action items and 1 day to handle priorities.

“If you are having a tough day getting started or staying

Failing to have a schedule could result in longer work hours,

focused, move yourself and your work to your local library,

getting sucked into social networking sites and being dis-

etc. for the day.” – Karen Birsner McMahon

tracted by a personal to-do list.

“No matter what anyone else says or does, you have to do what works for YOU.” – Jill Swartwout

Find Time for Face Time Working from home can be isolating. There isn’t interoffice commentary, shared lunches or one-off discussions. You are now an office of one. Create a network of people

get some fresh air.” – Vinny O’Hare “Realize that working from home is the dream of many and the reality of a few.” – Bill King

that you can reach out to and serve as a resource for them

“I love working from home because I choose when and

as well. I make it a priority to attend my local Affiliate Sum-

how I work and if I have overseas clients (I do) and clients on

mit Meet Ups to meet new people and touch base with long

both coasts (we do) and affiliates all around the world (we do)

term contacts.

we can be available when they are.” – Deborah Carney

Kim Salvino is Director of Publisher Development for Chateau 20.

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“Take breaks in the middle of the day… go outside and

19

10/10/2012 03:06:24 p.m.


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10/10/2012 03:06:24 p.m.


Native Advertising and User Experience

Oliver Roup

· Issue 20 · October 2012

by Oliver Roup

T

echnology companies are starting to invest heavily in developing and improving user experience (UX). Why? Because now, more than ever, people are real-

izing how important UX is to a company’s success. Distracting, often irrelevant display ads have a way of pulling attention away from a site’s content and negatively impacting UX. There’s no doubt that times are changing when it comes to what readers expect when they visit a site. No longer are they willing to put up with pesky pre-rolls and flashing banners. This “new” Internet (poster children of the “new” Internet include Pinterest and Medium.com) is one

Rather than interrupting the content experience that

where display ads are often considered nothing short of spam.

viewers came to the site to enjoy, advertisers are discov-

How, then, are publishers going to make money off

ering more and more that they can somewhat seamlessly

their sites, and how are advertisers going to reach their

integrate with native content in a way that feels much more

audience? Turns out, the hot word in advertising right now

organic than the display advertising efforts that have de-

is “native.” Advertisers are willing to pay a premium so that

fined the last 15+ years.

their content is less distinguishable from the native content

To what can we attribute this new and urgent need for

on a site. In other words, advertisers want to pay to be pres-

advertisers to be present in content? The dramatic shift in

ent in your content, not just around it.

reader expectations that has recently taken place is the

Whether that means inserting a hyperlink to a product within content or embedding a sponsored “how to” video

Now, more than ever, the way that publishers earn reve-

about a product or service in between site posts, native ad-

nue from their site is directly tied to user experience, which

vertising is already on the rise.

many argue is a benefit to everyone involved.

Oliver Roup is Founder & CEO of VigLink, a content monetization company.

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main suspect.

21

10/10/2012 03:06:25 p.m.


Richard Betanzos

· Issue 20 · October 2012

Hit-and-Run Affiliates

Spoil the Fun

by Richard Betanzos

T

Now one might think that in performance marketing, he relationship between affiliates and merchants

just as in e-tail affiliate marketing, the business goals of ad-

in the e-tail world is often a respectful partnership,

vertisers and publishers would need to align in order for

where common business goals align and open com-

everyone to achieve on-going success. Indeed they do! This is why many top-notch CPA networks continually strive to

munication flourishes. Networks play their role as “middle men“ and arbiters,

foster quality relationships with professional publishers and

merchants do their best to provide the affiliate base with

advertisers alike, and also make efforts to keep the lines of

highly-optimized offers that pay out well for talented mar-

communication open between both.

keters, and affiliates rightly consider themselves to be valued partners whose hard work will result in financial gain. The fact is, in the e-tail world most relationships are built on revenue sharing agreements, where both the affiliate and merchant rely on the continued success of the

revenue model with its immediate payouts unwittingly invites a certain type of publisher whom I like to refer to as the “Hit-and-run affiliate”. Without warning, a hit-and-run affiliate will pounce on an advertiser’s offer and quickly begin to drive enormous

other for money to be made. Performance marketing is an equally rewarding form of

amounts of qualified and/or unqualified traffic. Just as quick-

affiliate marketing, albeit with a slightly different lexicon and

ly, they will drop the offer and move on to the next best thing,

business model. Affiliates are often referred to as publish-

hoping for a higher return-on-investment elsewhere.

ers and merchants as advertisers. The role of the publisher

This strategy wreaks havoc with an advertiser’s budget,

is to promote and drive traffic to the advertiser, whose fo-

makes forecasting difficult for both advertiser and network,

cus it is to convert the traffic successfully for their purposes.

demands more resources to ensure compliance and ulti-

The publisher is then paid based on the performance of the

mately means less revenue for quality publisher partners

traffic they send, and by extension, on their own skill and

who build their businesses with stability in mind. And ironi-

performance in capturing a qualified audience that is well

cally, this strategy inevitably leads to disappointing and un-

suited to the advertiser’s offer.

stable revenue for the hit-and-run affiliate.

The payout structure in performance marketing is

Profitable partnerships require equal consideration

based on a cost-per-action, or CPA model. Actions can in-

and open communication. In my experience, real wealth is

clude cost-per-lead (CPL), cost-per-install (CPI) or cost-per-

generated when you focus on the big picture and build your

sale (CPS) just to name a few. The common denominator is

business strategy around the importance of relationships.

that the advertiser pays the publisher upon conversion, or

Consider yourself a valuable partner and you’ll be rewarded

as the action takes place.

as such.

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ff20_full.indb 22

But unique to performance marketing, the CPA based

Richard is the Director of Acquisition for Woozworld.com and a 9-year industry veteran.

10/10/2012 03:06:25 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Creative Ways to Tony Cohn

Contact Affiliates by Tony Cohn

G

etting in touch with your current affiliate base

including: monitoring social media for affiliate activity (includ-

and contacting new affiliates are two of the most

ing hash tags, Foursquare and Facebook check-ins), attend-

important duties for affiliate managers. Whether

ing sessions and parties, and researching which affiliates will

it’s due to time zone differences, language barriers or com-

be attending or speaking at a particular event.

munication preferences, more than a simple phone call or email is often needed to reach an affiliate. So how do you reach an affiliate who you can’t get a hold

A quick message through social media or an in-person introduction to an affiliate attending a convention is usually all that is needed to get that affiliate active with your com-

of via traditional methods? The answer is to get creative.

pany.

Facebook

Skype

This leading social network has 901 million monthly ac-

Skype is a great tool for reaching affiliates as it provides

tive users (pcworld.com, April 24, 2012) and is a great tool for

you with several tools to connect with affiliates. You can in-

reaching affiliates. If you can’t reach an affiliate via email or

stant message, call, share files and shares screens with an

phone, Facebook is often the next best option.

affiliate through Skype. One of the best uses of Skype is to

Facebook also gives affiliate managers many options to

reach international affiliates.

track down their affiliates including profile/fan pages, and

Skype allows affiliate managers to communicate with in-

industry groups. Facebook provides several contact options

ternational affiliates on Skype for free and Skype’s availability

for affiliate managers to use including profile messaging, in-

indicator allows affiliate managers to know when it’s ok with

stant messaging and wall/page posts.

reach out to an affiliate in another time zone.

Facebook’s search box should be every affiliate manager’s best friend. Simply type in an email address or name and

Apps, Instant Messaging, Social Media

you will probably find your affiliate. Once an affiliate is located

With a name or an email address, affiliate managers can

on Facebook, often a simple informal message is all that is

find affiliates through all sorts of online services including

needed to start a dialogue with an affiliate.

phone apps, check-in websites (i.e. Foursquare, Facebook, GetGlue) and through social media websites.

Conventions and Events

Many social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook

Conventions, like Affiliate Summit, can provide affiliate

and Pinterest also allow you to import contacts directly from

managers with many ways to connect with affiliates. Besides

your email address book. Once you find an affiliate, you can

the traditional practice of meeting affiliates on the exhibit

send them a quick message introducing yourself. As long as

hall floor, savvy affiliate managers can find new affiliates and

the message is personalized to the affiliate, chances are, you

reach their existing affiliates in many different ways at events

will get a response.

Tony Cohn is an affiliate manager with NDemand Affiliates (ndemandaffiliates.com).

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10/10/2012 03:06:28 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Eric Ewe

Beyond the Metrics

Affiliate Programs

with

by Eric Ewe

C

racking the code on working with the right merchant can be a very daunting task for any affiliate when there are many networks to choose from, nu-

merous verticals, and abundant merchants.

Networks Highlighting Top Advertisers Affiliate networks often try to make it easier for affiliates

This wide selection can be a blessing and a curse. While it’s helpful to compare a wide selection of advertisers, the options can be overwhelming.

by identifying top advertisers, such as Linkshare’s Premium Advertisers to ShareASale’s Power Rank. These statuses usually signify that those advertisers

Many affiliates can rely on the statistics and policies

have exceeded the basic requirements of a successful affili-

when identifying new programs to apply to. Commission

ate program and have been vetted by the network. At the

rate, return days/cookie duration, earnings per click (EPC),

same time, one should take these labels with a grain of salt.

average order amount, reversal rate and many other fac-

Some of those “successful programs” end up going offline

tual statistics are helpful indicators; but there are other ele-

or delinquent.

ments to consider in your decision making.

Homework + Finance Offline Multichannel Presence

Once you have found what appears to be the ideal ad-

You might be missing a great opportunity if you do not

vertiser, do your homework on the company. In this tough

take a second to reflect on what you see offline and apply

economic environment, some companies have closed their

it online –even when you are watching TV. Merchants that

affiliate program without giving sufficient notice, or paying

maintain a presence on TV, direct mail, radio, magazines or

the bill.

billboards have a broader marketing strategy and invest

A good safeguard is to Google “Merchant+Name+Finan

more in marketing; at the same time, the merchant’s multi-

cial+Report” and scan for red flags, such SEC investigations,

channel approach will help lift conversion rate.

or stock price taking a tumble. If you have not done it yet,

The SCOOTER Store was able to identify a strong correlation between their DRTV presence and the lift to their

are promoting.

online conversion rate. When comparing between affiliate

Selecting and joining affiliate programs can be an over-

programs to participate in and if everything remains equal,

whelming process, but it does not have to be when you take

go with the advertiser with a stronger offline presence.

these steps in advance.

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ff20_full.indb 24

setup Google Alerts to email you about each merchant you

Eric Ewe has been an affiliate manager since 2000 and a Linkshare Golden Link Finalist.

10/10/2012 03:06:28 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

The Importance of

Content Popularity

Dave Taylor

in Google by Dave Taylor

Y

ou already know that there’s been a major change in how Google ranks content in the search results. It used to be it was about getting inbound links

from high PageRank sites. Links from Facebook were nice,

What this means to you is that it’s critical you not only

but essentially irrelevant because those profile pages were

make it brain-dead easy for visitors to “like” your content on

never going to rank well and so their “votes” were never go-

Facebook, to “+1” your pages on Google Plus, to share them

ing to be that important either.

on Pinterest, but that you actively encourage them to do

Enter the beast with the lovable name Panda. Intro-

the same.

duced as the latest in search algorithm updates by Google,

Most easily, it means you need to drop one of the many

it began a major change in how content is evaluated and

social plug-ins onto your site, and if you’re using WordPress

popularity ascertained.

as your content management system, there are quite a few

For the last year, if you weren’t getting positive “signals”

choices.

from social media sites in addition to everything you’ve al-

We can blame Panda and Penguin for forcing these

ways needed to do for good SEO, you were slipping down

changes on us, but I see it differently: Google reflects the on-

the ranks.

line world, not vice versa.

Then Panda’s little cousin Penguin arrived and added

Our use of the Internet has been changing for the last

further tweaks and modifications to the algorithm, causing

few years and we’re now just as likely to find content due to

sites that slipped past Panda to drop down the rankings

it being shared on Facebook or LinkedIn as we are to do a

anyway because they didn’t have good social signals.

Google search or read about it in an email newsletter.

That both animals are black and white is a message

Ergo the search algorithm has to change too.

from Google: The Internet is a social place now, and the best

The takeaway? Update your pages, whether they’re af-

method for them to ascertain the value of a given Web page

filiate product sales pages or blog entries or any other con-

on the Internet cannot rely on links from other Web pages.

tent, to feed Panda and Penguin.

Frankly, we’re now spending more time typing in Face-

Let your users share your great stuff, focus on adding

book status updates and posting photos on Instagram than

value and selling well and you’ll find that those black and

we are blogging and creating articles for our Web sites.

white animals are surprisingly benign after all.

Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980. Find him online at DaveTaylorOnline.com.

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10/10/2012 03:06:29 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

S

Enabling

o you’re an affiliate manager who relishes new opportunities to monetize traffic. You know Facebook is huge, yet conversions are low, and you’re curious

to test monetization options. Good news. Facebook App developers are enabling distribution of product feeds on Facebook. The magic number is 900 million users who spend over 20 minutes on average each day on Facebook. While Facebook has not formalized their affiliate marketing strat-

Product Catalogs

on Facebook

by Marc Phillips

egy publicly, they have enabled their developer platform to build apps for brand Facebook pages that suit affiliate marketers. Facebook pages for brands commonly feature Pinter-

Yet, enabling a product catalog on Facebook by import-

est, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram app. There are also

ing product feeds from affiliate networks on a CPA Basis can

Facebook store apps, which enable transactions within

be powered now by third party applications.

Facebook and Product Catalog Apps.

These applications not only surface brand names, pric-

However, affiliate marketing on Facebook is still very

es and product descriptions into Facebook, they allow users

nascent. Affiliate networks, as well as advertisers, have not

to share product images and details with friends, as well as

yet capitalized on the vast opportunity of traffic which visits

including the deep links of each product with affiliate IDs

Facebook every day.

into Facebook.

There are many Facebook commerce (F-Commerce)

There are some caveats. Facebook apps are difficult to

technology solutions which can be deployed, yet all have a

develop. They take time. Facebook can be hard to work with,

subscription billing model and a percentage of transaction

as their platform continually evolves, and changes occur

volume.

constantly without Facebook giving notifications. Finding

However, the game is changing. Affiliate marketing ap-

third party developers who have already built applications

plications are emerging and charging how affiliate market-

to enable for Facebook is a smart move to avoid lengthy

ers like it, on a performance only basis. That’s right, on a

technical development cycle.

CPA basis only.

Monetizing Facebook traffic is a very important compo-

Specifically, data feeds of advertisers can now be fed

nent in not only Facebook’s future, but for affiliate mangers

through approved third party developers and deployed

and brand marketers. There is no silver bullet to Facebook,

within Facebook on a CPA basis.

other than adding compelling content to your advertiser or

This is where your product data feed comes in. Your feed has everything Facebook needs to display product

But providing product data feeds from affiliate net-

catalogs. Facebook users like to browse images, comment

works onto brand Facebook pages via third party product

on colors of products in the catalog as opposed to transact

catalog and social shopping apps is the ideal way for affili-

within Facebook.

ate marketers to increase distribution and of course sales

Makes sense, right?

revenue.

Most customers have existing relationships (not to men-

This encourages greater engagement, discovery of con-

tion their credit card details) on the merchant site. Shopping

tent, and extends affiliate marketing into the Facebook so-

inside Facebook is not working for many merchants.

cial network.

26

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merchant’s Facebook page.

Marc is the CEO of SKUmatic.com and founding shareholder of CommissionMonster.com

10/10/2012 03:06:30 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

The Traffic Affiliate Networks

Jackie Parkinson

Lose Out On by Jackie Parkinson

D

riving traffic is the name of the game, knowing your traffic is the key to winning. Many affiliate managers

offer or redirect solution there then you could have made a

out there hit up their publishers every day asking

nice chunk of change off that traffic.

to send more traffic to their offers. Yet, when all is said and done, what about the traffic that is being left on the table? By paying attention to where your traffic is coming from,

Then, think of all the countries like Morocco that you have a small amount of traffic that you aren’t monetizing. It all adds up into dollars that you are missing out on.

finding solutions to monetize it, then running consistent tests, you’ll see returns you never thought were possible.

Back in 2007, the World Bank ranked China at 211,437,110 internet users and was below the United States

If you have 10,000 impressions coming to one of your

with 226,713,423 internet users. As previously mentioned,

offers from a foreign country and you are showing a blank

in 2011 China now has almost double the amount of inter-

404 page generating zero revenue, that’s definitely a golden

net users than the US.

opportunity. In 2011 there were 516,117,519 Chinese inter-

By keeping up with current research and statistics for

net users and 243,777,735 American internet users, accord-

the international market, it’s very simple to know where op-

ing to the World Bank.

portunities abound for your traffic, as well as help you know

While affiliate networks have thousands of US offers,

where to keep your focus.

what about the Chinese offers? While international regula-

How do you make more from your international traffic?

tions can make it more difficult to monetize this traffic, it still

Test redirect solutions or find offers for those countries and

stands as an opportunity to take money off the table.

test/monitor your efforts. Working with different providers

After all, even if EPCs are typically on the lower end; making a little revenue is better than making no revenue.

that specialize in this arena can mean more to your bottomline every month.

However, even countries that don’t have the quantity

After all, if there are 1,000 Chinese views redirecting

of internet users that China commands still have potential.

from your US offer and the EPC drops from $0.10 to $0.05

For instance, if you have 100 views a day in Morocco going

on the Chinese offer for 10 days, the loss will add up over

to a blank page, and then multiply times 365 days in a year,

time. By consistently monitoring redirect traffic and testing

you have 36,500 views sent to nothing. If you had placed an

different solutions, gains can easily be made.

Jackie Parkinson is an Account Executive for Redirect.com and The Parking Place.

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27

10/10/2012 03:06:31 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Why Every Affiliate Ratko Vidakovic

Should Leverage Retargeting by Ratko Vidakovic

T

hey say you never get a second chance to make a

a mailing list. This is a great way for affiliates to derive

first impression. With retargeting, you not only get

long-term value from their campaign budgets.

a second chance, but a third, fourth, fifth, and more.

3.

Visitors abandon the sales funnel for many reasons:

placing a retargeting pixel on conversion or “thank you”

they are ‘just browsing’, comparison shopping, don’t have

pages, you can build an audience list of high-value us-

a credit card handy, and so on. Retargeting allows market-

ers. If they’ve converted before, and you have another

ers to show ads directly to visitors after they’ve left a site or

compelling offer, there is a good chance they will con-

landing page, giving you multiple shots at the conversion.

vert again.

Take, for example, a PPC search campaign, where an

4.

Illusions of grandeur. Visitors that are subject to

advertiser is bidding on high-cost vertical like mortgage

retargeting campaigns often comment that they “see

or insurance. When the visitor clicks the ad, the advertiser

your ads everywhere”. It’s easy for a visitor to believe

gets charged, and is given basically one chance at convert-

that you’re running a million-dollar ad campaign when

ing that visitor.

they see your ads on most of the sites they visit. This

With retargeting, a small piece of code is added to the

is perfect for overcoming trust issues and building a

landing page (or website) owned by the affiliate or publisher, which places a cookie in each visitor’s browser, adding them

recognizable brand. 5.

Fantastic performance. A retargeting campaign,

to an audience list. That audience can now be retargeted

which only purchases impressions for individual users,

with a specific campaign aimed solely at them.

means a cost-effective campaign. From an affiliate’s

There are numerous reasons why retargeting is so powerful, especially for performance marketers: 1.

2.

6.

You can leverage existing traffic sources. Retargeting is the perfect complement to SEM and SEO

majority of your traffic is made up of one-time visitors,

efforts. If you already have a steady supply of visitors

whether from paid or organic sources, that would have

coming to your site, you should leverage that traffic into

otherwise gotten away, retargeting allows you to con-

your own retargeting list.

tinue marketing to those visitors to get them back into

In the highly competitive world of affiliate marketing,

the conversion funnel.

you want to utilize every advantage possible, and maximize

Build an asset by capturing your audience data.

the value of each of the visitors you drive.

build audience lists, creating a valuable asset much like

28

perspective, this can translate into high ROI.

Get a second chance to convert a visitor. If the

Affiliates can use the traffic from paid campaigns to

ff20_full.indb 28

Up-sell and cross-sell to converted visitors. By

This is what makes retargeting so compelling and why its use should be a part of every affiliate’s strategy.

Ratko Vidakovic, aka. “Dr SiteScout” on marketing forums, is the director of marketing at SiteScout.

10/10/2012 03:06:31 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Affiliate Marketing and Social Media by Dustin Christensen

T

Dustin Christensen

Incompatibilities of

he wild growth of social media provides affiliates with a new avenue to reach customers. According to the 2012 AffStat Report, 60 percent of affiliates use

struggle isn’t about the initial reach; it’s about developing

social media to drive traffic, second only to search engine

a loyal fan base. But affiliates who promote one-time prod-

optimization (SEO).

ucts, like mortgage loans, have trouble engaging and retain-

But social media and affiliate marketing don’t always

ing customers after a sale.

click. In some cases, your social media strategy may need

The Fix: Consider offering complementary products

tweaking in order to become an effective part of your affili-

or resources. Providing links to relevant influencers, online

ate endeavors. If you’re experiencing social media discon-

communities and industry blogs can result in repeat visi-

nect, one of these common situations may be to blame.

tors that recognize you as a source of value in your niche. You can even improve your revenue by offering additional

1. When not everyone wants

affiliate products.

to follow an affiliate product. Affiliates often promote products that many consum-

3. When social media isn’t as measurable.

ers won’t readily follow. Stigmas associated with products

Sales, leads, revenue, earnings per click and conver-

like payday loans, debt relief and weight loss may keep your

sion rates are the lifeblood of affiliate marketing. Without

customers from publicly sharing your brand or product.

measurability, affiliate marketing simply wouldn’t survive. To

In this case, it can be difficult to build a following, en-

affiliates, social media can represent a world of unknowns.

gage customers and expand your social media presence.

Even as social media measurement improves over time,

When you’re in a niche that relies heavily on privacy, it can

affiliates may feel like social networking’s return on invest-

be hard to get customers to open up and interact with your

ment is ambiguous at best. After all, time spent on social

brand.

media could be invested in crafting content, acquiring links

The Fix: Create and share content that’s related to your

and optimizing landing pages.

product, but more publicly appealing. If you’re promoting

The Fix: Adjust your expectations. Realize that social

payday loans, a video on an unconventional way to save

media might not lead to direct revenue, but rather, expan-

money may get shares, likes and links from consumers that

sion of your brand. Gauge social media’s effectiveness by

wouldn’t necessarily associate themselves with payday

shares, likes and referral traffic and base your success on a

loans. But they’ll find the information useful all the same.

new benchmark. Social media and affiliate marketing are both in their

2. When an affiliate product

infancies, and may merge seamlessly with time. Until then,

discourages repeat business.

affiliates can minimize the disconnect between the two by

Nielsen reports that social media reaches 80 percent of US Internet users. For most affiliates, the social media

continually adapting their approaches and expectations of social media.

Dustin Christensen is the Director of Content Marketing at Blue Global, a product development company.

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29

10/10/2012 03:06:33 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Do They Serve

SPAM in Jail? Sarah de Diego

by Sarah de Diego

of such messages” or conspires to do so can be subject to penalties ranging from fines to five years in prison. Header information “is materially falsified if it is altered or concealed in a manner that would impair the ability of a recipient of the message, an Internet access service processing

T

the message on behalf of a recipient, a person alleging a viowo years in Federal prison for spamming! Seriously?

lation of this section, or a law enforcement agency to identify,

Although mailers, networks and most advertisers

locate, or respond to a person who initiated the electronic

are familiar with the requirements of the CAN SPAM

mail message or to investigate the alleged violation.”

Act of 2003 and know that violation of the law can result in

So if domains that are used for mailing are not regis-

huge fines (up to $16,000 per email), very few realize that

tered with accurate information you are in violation of this

CAN SPAM also carries criminal penalties, i.e. jail time.

section and if caught subject to possible jail time.

On June 29, 2012 Brian McDaid reported to Federal

The use of fake information to register domains is fairly

prison to begin a two-year sentence for aiding and abetting

common among affiliates, as many affiliates think it’s neces-

violation of 18 USC §1037(a)(3). According to the indictment,

sary in order to avoid black lists, but is getting past filters

during 2005 and 2006 Mr. McDaid aided and abetted the

worth a couple years in jail?

transmission of e-mail messages containing false header information in violation of the law.

tion and fines. For example, the first conviction under CAN

Specifically the indictment alleged that McDaid regis-

SPAM was Nicholas Tombros, who pled guilty in 2004 of vio-

tered domains using fake names and addresses and then

lating CAN SPAM by driving around Venice Beach, CA, with

gave those domains to his affiliates for use in mailing. The

an antenna wired to his laptop so he could use open wire-

indictment also alleged that many of the subject lines did

less networks to send porn.

not accurately reflect the content of the emails or were mis-

Jail time for spamming is rare but considering that fed-

leading. For more info see United States v. Brian McDaid, Case

eral investigations and indictments move very slowly and

No. 2:11-cr-00171-SD.

can easily take three to five years, it may soon become a

18 USC §1037(a)(3) says that whoever “materially falsi-

common sentence as more of these cases reach the courts.

fies header information in multiple commercial electronic

Lesson to be learned: false headers + commercial email

mail messages and intentionally initiates the transmission

30

ff20_full.indb 30

In the past, sentencing has largely consisted of proba-

= jail time.

Sarah de Diego is an experienced internet attorney who helps affiliate marketers be compliant (sarah@dediegolaw.net).

10/10/2012 03:06:36 p.m.


· Issue 20 · October 2012

Herding Cats,

James Thompson

Effectively by James Thompson

A

solid team with a good dynamic will always find success, even against amazingly poor odds. They are able to execute effectively and consistently.

There are many different sizes and flavors. Think about

the duo that started Google, five-man S.W.A.T. teams, and the many thousands of people involved in landing the Curiosity Rover on Mars. Teams create stability and diversity. The burden of a missing person’s workload can be distributed amongst other members. The more people involved, the easier this gets.

or accountants. Movers come in two styles: sprinters and

Other minds also provide additional perspective because

thinkers. Watch out for both, because sprinters don’t take

everyone has a different set of experiences. Good ideas be-

their foot off the gas pedal, but thinkers get paralyzed by

come great ideas.

choices and edge cases. Sprinters and dreamers together

In the affiliate marketing and startup industries, with

can be catastrophic because of short-sightedness, while

very few exceptions, teams start small and evolve to be-

thinkers and organizers together will never get anything

come larger over time. They usually consist of four basic tal-

done.

ent sets: dreamers, movers, organizers, and peacemakers.

The peacemaker is responsible for herding the cats.

Those talent sets aren’t relegated to four different people.

They aren’t concerned with the forward progress of the

There are often two-man teams where each person has

project; they’re concerned with the forward progress of the

some of each talent.

team. People tend to create alliances with certain types to

Dreamers exist to have the idea. They’re entrepreneurs

gang up on others. The peacemaker exists to make sure the

and excellent motivators. People with dreamer talents tend

friction is minimal. These people tend to be team leaders or

to be marketers and product managers. Because they are

work in human resources.

so good at motivating and selling, they can often times so-

Most ideas start with the dreamer, who hires movers.

licit the help of the hidden fifth man on a team: the bankroll.

Movers keep piling on until productivity drops off. This is

Organizers exist to make sure a team can grow beyond

when the organizers come in and clean things up. Eventual-

something small. They set up all of the systems for people

ly factions emerge and everyone starts to fight. Peacemak-

to communicate and stay out of trouble. These people are

ers step in late in the life cycle and quell the rebellion before

what make up legal teams and middle managers. They don’t

it tears the company apart.

usually become part of the team until much later in its life cycle. Movers execute. They’re detail oriented and focused on the task at hand. Movers tend to be programmers, analysts,

The best thing to do is recognize that one person can’t do everything alone. Build a team, no matter how small, and recognize what’s missing for talent. Start by figuring out your talents and weaknesses. Act accordingly.

James is a web developer and affiliate, working for Kohort.com, a social groups platform.

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10/10/2012 03:06:37 p.m.


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10/10/2012 03:06:40 p.m.


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10/10/2012 03:06:42 p.m.


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10/10/2012 03:06:42 p.m.

FeedFront Magazine, Issue 20  

Issue 20 of FeedFront Magazine, the official magazine of Affiliate Summit. This issue of FeedFront Magazine includes How Bad Do You Want It?...

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