Page 1

Register for Affiliate Summit East 2015 before it sells out

Issue 30 — May 2015

Is Your Business Planted or Buried? By Shawn Collins - Page 2 3 Common PPC Management Mistakes By Miles Olson - Page 11

How to Write Content People Will Read By Helen Fang - Page 19

Twitter Cards, What Affiliates Need To Know By Kyler Patterson - Page 32


FOR THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS,

THANK YOU.

For the last fifteen years, ShareASale has been an innovating force in the Affiliate Marketing industry. Well known for our top notch personal service and powerful, easy to use tools, the ShareASale network is solid and robust enough to help both Merchants and Affiliates alike see their creative visions turn into money making reality.

SHAREASALE IS BUILT FOR AND BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU. THANK YOU FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS! SHAREASALE.COM BLOG.SHAREASALE.COM

TWITTER.COM/SHAREASALE

FACEBOOK.COM/SHAREASALE


Issue 30 · May 2015

Table of Contents 2

Editor’s Note: Is Your Business Planted or Buried?

By Shawn Collins

3

Learn to Leverage the Power of Reddit

By Josh Waldron

4

5 Tips to Successful Affiliate Recruiting Emails

5

Grow Your Pinterest Following Through Collaboration

6

Tell Your Brand’s Story Through Testimonials

7

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

What to Expect When Selling or Buying Websites

By Taylor Barr By Kimberly Danger By Missy Ward By Victoria Duff

8

Growing your Affiliate Program with a CRM

9

Use Site Sales to Peg Program Performance

10

Key Issues in Mobile Ad Network Agreements

By Slade Cutter

11

3 Common PPC Management Mistakes

By Miles Olson

12

5 LinkedIn Steps to Build Your Business

By Michael Yublosky

13

5 Steps to Improve Your Email Strategy

By Ellie Johnston

15

3 Tips to Maximize Global Reach

16

Optimizing Steps for Effective Paid Search Campaign

By Sumit Dhawan

17

How To Grow Partnerships With Your Affiliates

By Nadia Kuznets

18

The Style Guide for Conference Clothing

19

How to Write Content People Will Read

21

Be Authentic to Increase Conversion Rates

By Keri Lyn Renner

22

3 Tips to Leverage Coupon & Loyalty Sites

By Bryan Flanaghan

23

Affiliates and Family: An ASW15 Aha Moment

24

How to Prevent Fraud with PIN Submits

25

Curate, Don’t Just Create!

27

Affiliate Summit West 2015 Recap

30

3 Tips to Leverage and Monetize Apps

31

Affiliate Fraud Nearly Destroyed My Business

By Monica Eaton

32

Twitter Cards, What Affiliates Need To Know

By Kyler Patterson

Contributing Writers

Taylor Barr, Shawn Collins, Slade Cutter, Kimberly Danger, Sumit Dhawan, Victoria Duff, Monica Eaton, Helen Fang, Bryan Flanaghan, Jochem Gratama, Michelle G. Held, Dustin Howes, Ellie Johnston, Nadia Kuznets, Sean McCormick, Miles Olson, Kyler Patterson, Keri Lyn Renner, Julie Stepkowski, Robin R. Talbott, Lisa Tufts, Josh Waldron, Missy Ward, Michael Yublosky, Ryan Zimmerman

Graphic Design Logan Gattis Designs www.logangattis.com Magazine Coordinator Amy Rodriguez

By Dustin Howes By Julie Stepkowski

By Lisa Tufts

By Ryan Zimmerman By Helen Fang

By Michelle G. Held By Jochem Gratama By Robin R. Talbott By Shawn Collins By Sean McCormick

Affiliate Summit 9532 Liberia Avenue, #127 Manassas, VA 20110 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 © 2015 Affiliate Summit, Inc. and Individual Authors.


· Issue 30 · May 2015

Editor’s Note

Is Your Business

Planted or Buried?

by Shawn Collins There were options to grow faster. We had offers from people to invest in Affiliate Summit over the years, and we could have leveraged credit cards to speed things up. Instead, Shawn Collins

we opted for organic growth. We started small by throwing some seeds in the dirt. How about you? Are you willing to dig deep to plant your busi-

I

ness… to be patient through the darkness and uncertainty? was chatting with some people at the recent SXSW con-

Sometimes there will be conditions beyond your control and

ference about the origins of Affiliate Summit, and they

unpleasant circumstances, but you can’t stop if you are dedi-

were surprised to hear that we started with nothing, but

cated to your harvest.

some passion and ideas.

There are no shortcuts when you plant your business. A

Our initial investment was literally the domain registra-

lot of people like to believe they can reach that end result with-

tion. The rest was a matter of using our hosting and email

out the various mundane processes. Those businesses are

accounts, calling in favors, and making things up as we went

buried from the start, whether it be by debt, grandiose plans,

along. The whole thing came together as a solution to a prob-

or other factors.

lem. The industry didn’t have a professional event.

It all comes down to your perspective and how you design

Also, Missy and I were sort of bored with the “right” way to

your business. Are you planning for the future and taking the

do corporate events. We had our own ideas on how to start up

time to develop things slow and steady, or are you trying to do

a business that was all about the attendees/customers. We

too much too soon?

don’t get lost in the problems, but rather focused on solutions.

You know that sinking feeling when money is going out

Affiliate Summit was planted on May 19, 2003 when we

faster than success is coming in? When that happens to you,

bought the .com. That began a long season of cultivating the

it’s by design. You have buried yourself, and only you can push

business for our first harvest, which was the inaugural Affili-

away some of the things that are getting in the way of your

ate Summit in NYC on November 3, 2003. We didn’t make any

success.

money with that one, but we didn’t lose any, either. We did,

Figure out what you need for your business to move

however, grow our experience and list, as well as connections.

forward and not want you want. Cut your spending, become

More than a year after we started, the second Affiliate

more efficient, and outsource things you are lousy at doing if

Summit took place, and another year passed before the third one. By this time, we were finally making more than minimum wage, but still working full-time at other jobs.

2

you have the funds to do so. You reap what you sow, so don’t obstruct your own growth.

Shawn is Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, and blogs at affiliatetip.com.


tl;dr – Site owners often invest energy into Twitter and Facebook, but it’s time to explore what Reddit has to offer.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Learn to Leverage

the Power of Reddit by Josh Waldron

T

Josh Waldron

witter and Facebook are often touted as the social networks that you can’t ignore. These giants can be useful in growing your business, but “likes” and “fol-

lows” don’t necessarily push more traffic to your website.

2. Avoid self-promotion. If you sign up for Reddit and imme-

In 2013, one of my websites developed a significant fol-

diately start dropping links to your site, you’ll get banned

lowing on Facebook and Twitter. However, the growth of my

or downvoted fast.

fan base generated very little traffic for my actual website –

Once you’re on Reddit, your goal is to generate traffic for

you know, the one I created to generate income. Like any motivated entrepreneur, I invested valuable time

your website, but in order to do that, you need actively contribute to the community.

reading tutorials for “increasing fan engagement” and “maxi-

Your first step is to find subreddits that match your skill-

mizing the value of my tweets.” I tried some of the ideas, but

set or the topics addressed on your website. If your business

the results did not justify the efforts.

focuses on jeans, look for subreddits that discuss clothing,

I also invested money into advertising on both sites.

fashion, etc.

Again, I was disappointed with the results.

Once you’ve found appropriate subreddits, you should

These frustrations forced me to rethink my assumptions,

add valuable content, share insights, and earn upvotes (which

and I decided to walk away from the idea that Facebook and

ultimately serve as a trust metric). There is no quick way to do

Twitter were necessities. With my newfound energy, I shifted

this, but investing the effort is absolutely worth it.

my attention to Reddit, a social network that’s often left out of marketing conversations. Reddit is one of the most popular sites in the world (Alexa

I spent months building my reputation on Reddit before I ever included a link to my website, but when I did, I couldn’t believe the results.

ranks Reddit in top 25 worldwide, top 10 in the United States).

My first Reddit post led to a 750% increase in social traffic

Because of the way the site is organized, Reddit can be a gold-

and a 92% increase in overall traffic for that day. I could hardly

mine for targeted traffic.

believe my eyes.

I know you may be skeptical, so let me share what I’ve learned and observed. Ultimately, you can decide if it’s worth

I worked for three years to build my site’s traffic, and one Reddit post nearly doubled my numbers.

the experiment. Before you jump into Reddit with both feet, you have to learn how the site works. Here are two important notes before

Perrin Carrell of NichePursuits gives an excellent introduction to Reddit and more compelling data at feedfront. com/reddit.

you get started: 1.

Carefully review Reddit’s rules and functionality before

I’m no genius, but I’ve honed these skills over time, and I’ve duplicated or exceeded my results consistently.

you post anything. Josh is an award-winning web designer whose work can be found at studiojwal.com.

You can do the same thing.

3


tl;dr – Strategies for more effective affiliate recruiting emails. Photo: Cole Gorman

· Issue 30 · May 2015

5 Tips to

Successful Affiliate Recruiting Emails

Taylor Barr

A

by Taylor Barr s affiliate marketing landscape evolves, the importance of gaining the immediate attention and trust of potential affiliates for your program is

paramount. According to the 2014 AffStat Report, one of the

managers push their brand, what they can offer in terms

top three ways affiliate marketers discover new programs is

of CPA (Cost Per Action) aggressively. The key to working

through an affiliate manager reaching out to them directly.

with affiliate marketers is building personal, healthy rela-

As an affiliate manager, this makes that first email your

tionships based on mutual trust. To do that, use anchoring

one chance to make an impact.

to understand two points: what is their definition of suc-

In this article, I’ve compiled my top five tips for improving

cess in terms of their affiliate marketing efforts as a whole,

open rates, click-throughs, and, recruitment of new affiliates

and how can they leverage you and your company’s offer

into your program.

to make that happen?

1.

Make it personal. According to Dale Carnegie, remem-

should be about building personal, authentic relation-

est and most important sound in any language”. There-

ships with affiliate partners. Instead of creating a flashy

fore, it is crucial to use a potential affiliate marketer’s first

HTML email, send a direct, plain-text email. Use the re-

name in your salutation and merge fields. Even better?

search you have gathered to show you have done your

Reference anything you draw from their website— com-

homework and express a personal interest. 5.

Follow-up. Don’t underestimate the value of following up

nent information that may be helpful. Doing your home-

with your potential affiliate marketing partners. Provide

work first helps to build trust from send to open.

gentle reminders to gauge their continued interest, but

2. Brand your email. With the prevalence of free email pro-

4

Keep it simple and personal. Your recruitment emails

bering “that a person’s name is to that person the sweet-

pany goals, traffic, current partners, and any other perti-

3.

4.

don’t be discouraged if he or she doesn’t answer your

viders like Gmail and Yahoo!, you may think the email

email the first or even the second time.

address you use to send recruiting emails is unimport-

At the end of the day, quality affiliate recruitment is about

ant. Not so. Add professionalism and legitimacy to your

a long tail, authentic approach to working with affiliate market-

emails by sending your emails from a corporate address.

ers. A great affiliate marketer can be an advocate and friend

Use anchoring techniques. Sometimes there is a discon-

of your brand if you are patient and able to build a trustworthy

nect between affiliate managers and marketers. Affiliate

relationship.

Taylor Barr is the Affiliate Manager for A Small Orange, a homegrown web hosting company.


tl;dr Strategies and techniques used by savvy bloggers to grow Pinterest following through collaboration.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Grow Your Pinterest Following

Through Collaboration by Kimberly Danger

C

Kimberly Danger

ollaborating with other pinners is one of the quickest

Typically this is how it works: there is a daily thread where

and most effective ways to build your Pinterest fol-

group members post a link to the pin they would like others

lowing, but a strategy that’s often overlooked. When

to repin. In exchange, you repin everyone else’s pin. Or, social

others share your pins, your work is exposed to an entirely

bartering takes place. You ask to have something of your re-

new audience.

pinned and others will ask you to re-tweet them on Twitter,

Here are a few easy ways to make that happen.

“like” their Facebook post, etc. To find groups like these, simply enter the search keyword

Join Pinterest Collaborative Boards Collaborative, or “Community” boards allow multiple pinners to add their pins to a board of common topic or interest.

“Pinterest” and peruse the closed groups available. When you join them, similar suggested groups will show up on your Facebook sidebar.

You can tell a board is a community board by the three-person icon in the upper right-hand corner. Group boards require that you follow them first. Next, read the board description. Often, it will include instructions on how to be included as a pinner. PinGroupie.com is a site that allows you to search for Pinterest group boards by category (such as health and fitness)

Hire Inexpensive Social Proof In today’s internet culture, social proof may be bought and sold online. E-commerce sites where media-savvy people sell shares, “likes” and re-pins are easy to find, and many of their services are available at rock-bottom rates.

and filter, according to criteria, such as number of followers,

For example, on Fiverr.com, type “Pinterest” into the “Find

as well as number of collaborators. The best boards to join

Services” search box and no less than 1000 results come

are those with a high number of followers and a low number

back. One such “gig” is for high-profile pinners to re-pin your

of collaborators. That way, your pins are seen by a large audi-

pins on their boards. If you’re new to Fiverr, you’ll have to be

ence but not lost in the shuffle of thousands of other pins.

careful.

In order to be invited to pin to a group Pinterest board, you

While lots of legitimate services can be found, many sell-

must follow the other pinner and they must follow you. Don’t re-

ers violate Pinterest’s terms of service (TOS), using robotic

quest an invite before you follow (Pinterest common courtesy).

scripts to do their work for them. Also, if you are using Fiverr to promote pins for commercial gain, you’ll need to be using a

Join Pinterest “Share” Groups on Facebook There are many private Facebook groups where bloggers participate in social sharing to boost traffic to their sites.

Pinterest Business Account. Bottom line: Read up on the Pinterest TOS before using Fiverr.

Kimberly Danger is founder of Mommysavers.com and Beachreadynow.com, and author of three books.

5


tl;dr Help your brand break through all the marketing noise by using testimonials.

F

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Tell Your Brand’s Story

or as long as marketers have sold products, they’ve

Through Testimonials

sought customer testimonials. In the age of social media, testimonials have transformed, but they still

serve the core purpose of establishing trust between seller and buyer.

The Importance of Testimonials

If you’ve ever written an elevator pitch, you know it should

by Missy Ward

be brief. However, many experts recommend including customer testimonials even in this very quick form of communication — that’s how critical testimonials are in telling your brand’s story. Using customer testimonials in your pitch increases the credibility of your business. It can also help tell compelling stories about it, through the eyes of your customers. With the frenetic pace of marketing today, it’s critical that we create personal stories to make our customers, and pro-

»» Social media: When you post a link to an article or a thought for the day, ask for commentary. If you receive a compelling comment, contact the person who posted to seek permission to use the comment elsewhere. »» E-mail marketing: In your e-newsletter and other com-

spective customers pause. There’s no better way to do that then soliciting testimonials from customers who’ve had a great experience interacting

munications, ask customers to contact you if they’ve had a great experience they’d allow you to share. »» Personal interactions: If a customer relays a great experi-

with your brand.

ence, ask if they’d be willing to provide a testimonial.

Social Sharing of Testimonials Testimonials have always served to provide the peer-to-

Questions to Solicit Great Testimonials

peer recommendations that attract customers. But today’s

Create a survey with standard questions that will result

social content is even more powerful, because social media

in great testimonials. I use SurveyMonkey for this, as you can

users believe that other users endorse your product or service

easily integrate it into your site and link it via email, social me-

because they want to, not because you’ve asked them to.

dia, etc.

It’s those endorsements from regular consumers that serve to persuade other prospective buyers by lending credibility, humanizing your brand and adding a variety of perspective.

Your survey should include open-ended questions that encourage them to speak freely. For instance: »» Please describe your experience with our company. »» How did the interaction make you feel?

Channels for Requesting Testimonials

»» How have you shared this information with others?

Sometimes you’ll have a customer who takes the initiative with a testimonial. But typically, you’ll need to ask. Here are opportunities for asking for testimonials. »» Your website: When you write a new blog post, include a blurb at the bottom that engages your readers in conver-

6

Ideas to Increase Testimonial Response Rate To increase response rates with requests for testimonials, use incentives, such as raffles or drawings for a desirable prize, program points, discounts on products, etc.

sation. You can provide commenters with an option to

With so much noise in today’s digital landscape, your

allow you to use their comments elsewhere in your mar-

marketing program needs a way to break through the clutter.

keting program.

Testimonials can do that for you. Missy Ward is the Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine and blogs on MissyWard.com


tl;dr Key information about buying and selling web properties.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

What to Expect When

Selling or Buying Websites by Victoria Duff

T

Google Analytics and AWStats. These are easily activated by introducing a small amount of code into a website’s source code. »» Ownership Network Solutions provides a “WhoIs” lookup that will give

here is an active investment market in websites.

you website ownership information for a domain name. The

You might not be aware of this marketplace, but it

hosting provider can round out the information regarding own-

is growing rapidly. Several very active web property

ership of the website. Provide information on trademarks, copy-

brokers and website auctions are facilitating the purchase and

rights, and proofs of photo or graphics ownership or licenses.

sale of web properties every day.

A buyer wants to know if there is potential liability from images

A website is an asset, whether or not it makes money. If it makes money or has a lot of monthly visitors, it can be a very valuable asset that investors clamor to buy. There are a few basics involved in selling or buying any asset, including a website: »» the buyer’s letter-of-intent (LOI) to purchase,

that are just lifted off someone else’s site, without a license. »» Financial Records Records of advertising network payments, affiliate commissions, marketing expenses, hosting and maintenance expenses should be clear and well-organized. Include costs of content and web development as they are important expenses.

»» a period of due diligence that allows the buyer to examine ownership, »» records proving traffic and financial performance, and

Using a Website Broker or Auction A quick search for “website brokers” will introduce you to

»» an escrow agent who holds the transaction deposit

several firms. Take the time to visit their sites, examine their

money from the date of the LOI until the buyer is ready to

listings, and talk with their sales reps before choosing whom

complete the transaction.

to work with if you are a seller. A buyer should work with any

There are legal contracts, trademarks, copyrights, financial

companies offering appealing sites for sale.

records, or the terms and conditions of the sale agreement to be

Most revenue-producing web properties such as web-

negotiated. You might want to consult an attorney or accountant.

sites, affiliate sites, or any web business; are handled by bro-

If you work with a web property broker, the firm handles

kers who appraise the properties, perform preliminary due

the work of marketing, negotiating, and transferring the web-

diligence, prepare marketing materials, and present the sites

site between seller and buyer.

to their investor groups. Brokers also work on the Letter Of Intent, escrow, contracts of sale and transfer of ownership.

Records needed for a website sale »» Traffic (unique visitors and page views, traffic sources,

Website auctions generally require the seller and buyer to do more of the work of marketing and research, but are a

and backlinks)

good way to buy or sell websites that have only modest or no

Standard ways of proving these traffic and rank figures are

revenue.

Victoria Duff, Business Analyst with Latona’s, researches and prepares prospectus and presentation materials for web property listings.

7


tl;dr How to best use a CRM tool to grow your affiliate program.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Growing your Affiliate Program

with a CRM by Dustin Howes Dustin Howes

Tenacity is the sharpest knife in the drawer; keep setting reminders until you get a solid answer, then set reminders to make sure the program is live and to optimize.

H

Get a hard no? Try again in six months; they might have a ow do you keep track of your affiliate relationships? Ask this question of any affiliate manager, and

change of heart or a change in personnel. You can also assign another team member a task to try a new angle.

the answers may surprise you. Some might set cal-

endar reminders while others go old school with pad and paper.

Institutional Memory

Throughout my first year in the industry, I naively expect-

Good affiliates are hard to come by; direct contacts are

ed everyone to reply to my emails and for deals to just to fall

even harder. Documenting account names, emails, calls, and

in my lap. After years of learning the hard way, I learned to

reminders are the safety net your company needs to ensure

embrace the power of CRM (Customer Relationship Manage-

the relationships continues.

ment) to stay organized.

Having these contacts documented makes life easier on everyone in the company. As roles change in your market-

Document Hot Leads Did you find the perfect affiliate for your merchant pro-

ing department, good CRM documentation will help the new point of contact hit the ground running.

gram? Create a lead and work towards making it a live account. Documenting your efforts will show how hard you are working to grow the program. It also helps you figure out what style and methods are working for you.

Predicting Affiliate Performance Forecasting is another essential tool to showcase your efforts and predict the growth of the program. At Marketing

Logging each email is easy: just BCC the email address

Clique, in addition to the abovementioned contact info, we

connected to the account and the full thread is instantly docu-

also document potential revenue and percentage of closing

mented. This helps you remember where you left off in the

opportunities.

conversation and what topics to follow up on.

To estimate monthly revenue with a potential affiliate, we compare their traffic and demographic to past or current af-

Task Reminders

filiates in the program.

More often than not, one email isn’t going to magically

Once a connection is made with the affiliate, we docu-

get affiliates to start promoting your program. After you send

ment all interactions and estimate the likelihood of closing the

that first email, set a reminder to follow up in two weeks. Set

deal. Using the CRM creates full transparency of the current

another one to try a new approach in a month.

state of the program and the growth in the near future.

8

Dustin Howes is the Director of Marketing at Marketing Clique.


tl;dr Understanding the controls in play within your affiliate program can help managers better gauge performance expectations.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Use Site Sales to Peg

Program Performance by Julie Stepkowski

Julie Stepkowski

T

here are basic, key performance indicators that ev-

In contrast, programs will lean toward the lower end of

ery affiliate marketer is familiar with: revenue, cost

the range if strict (and rigorously enforced) trademark bidding

per sale, average order value, conversion rates. In-

policies are in place, few promotional offers are available, or

crease this, decrease that, and optimize your program - great!

if there is a restriction on the types of affiliates allowed into

But, where most marketers get stuck is having insight into when good is good; and when good is bad. How big should an affiliate program be? Is it under-performing? How much revenue can I expect from my affiliate program? These are the questions we hear time and again from our clients. Here’s a tip: use your total online site sales as a benchmark for your affiliate program’s potential. Understand the nuances of pegging program size to your total online revenue, and you can set realistic expectations for your affiliate program in 2015.

a program. If a program doesn’t fall into this revenue range, it should raise a red flag. If a program is below this range and looks to be underperforming, it is a sign there is more revenue out there for you. Focus on the individual optimization of top affiliates as well as overall affiliate recruitment. Also, ensure that you review your network configuration to ensure that sales are trackign properly. If a program exceeds this revenue range, take a closer

According to our benchmarking, retail-based affiliate

look at the numbers before presenting the success to upper

programs, range from 12% to 25% of total online site revenue.

management. A higher-than-average percent of total online

Programs that push the higher end of this range usually have

revenue often signals compliance issues with unmonitored

fewer restrictions, such as an open trademark policy, available

trademark violations, duplicate order issues, or overall fraud

coupons and discounts, and aggressive commission rates.

in the program.

Merchants who use affiliates to replace or supplement other

Understanding the levers that expand and contract affili-

marketing channels, like retargeting, email, and price compari-

ate program revenue can help marketers have a better gauge

son channels; fall toward the higher end of the range as well.

on 2015 affiliate expectations.

Julie Stepkowski manages affiliate programs at Schaaf-PartnerCentric.

9


tl;dr Key negotiation points in mobile ad network agreements and provides some tips for minimizing legal risk.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Key Issues in

Slade Cutter

F

Mobile Ad Network Agreements

by Slade Cutter

or affiliate marketers, the mobile channel promises to engage consumers like never before. With a wide variety of ad units, tracking and targeting technologies, and

network marketing models, mobile has the potential to extend advertisers’ reach dramatically and improve ad-spend ROI.

apps. There is, of course, a wealth of data available through apps, including location data, device identifiers, and contact lists. User data is the central piece of the targeting puzzle, and

However, this opportunity comes with its share of legal

it’s part of what makes mobile affiliate marketing so compel-

risk, especially when working with large mobile ad networks.

ling; but if this data isn’t collected and stored properly, it can

This article highlights some of the key negotiation points in

present significant risk.

mobile ad network agreements and provides some tips for minimizing legal risk.

Consequently, marketers should expressly require networks to collect all user data in compliance with the network’s

As is true in the desktop world, traffic quality is the para-

and the apps’ privacy policies. Additionally, networks should

mount concern for mobile affiliate marketers. If you’re buying

store all user data in an encrypted format to limit liability for

traffic on a CPM basis and getting paid on a CPA basis, bad

data breaches, which are all too common these days.

traffic can be economically devastating. Consequently, marketers should get a firm representation from networks that all apps and WAPs (i.e., “publishers”) in the network will (1) comply with a set of content restrictions that suits your marketing objectives (e.g., no incentive, gambling) and (2) prevent fraudulent traffic (e.g., bots, click farms). Often, networks attempt to soften their obligations in this area by only committing to exercise “reasonable” efforts to ensure publisher compliance. Another tactic is for networks to merely agree to contractually require their publishers to comply. In either case, you’re getting weak representations from the network, enabling it to wiggle out of direct liability and shift

Other key areas for mobile affiliate marketers to focus on in mobile ad network agreements are: »» Use of Third-Party Ad Networks. Can degrade traffic quality and increase legal risk. »» Creative Modification. Networks should not modify advertising creatives. »» Offsets and Penalties. Can provide an effective way to enforce network compliance. »» Termination/Suspension Rights. Provides optimal contractual flexibility. »» App Disclosure/Traffic Segmentation. Ensures you’re getting what you pay for.

blame to the publisher, a party with whom you do not have

»» Reporting. If the network requires you to rely on its re-

a contractual relationship and who may not even be around

porting, marketers should require the network to con-

long enough to redress your harm.

tractually stand behind the accuracy of its reporting.

Privacy and data security are also significant sources of

This is only a brief overview of some of the legal issues

legal risk in the mobile ad network space. Networks feed their

associated with mobile ad network agreements. For impor-

targeting algorithms by purchasing user data via the network’s

tant agreements, always retain experienced counsel.

10

Slade Cutter is a partner at Wittliff Cutter, PLLC in Austin, TX.


tl;dr .Here are three common pay per click mistakes that can destroy campaign performance.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

3 Common

PPC Management Mistakes Miles Olson

by Miles Olson

a pop. But as Google keeps reminding you, there’s more vol-

I

ume available if you raise your budget cap. ’ve become somewhat of a broken record around the office

If you, instead, lower your average CPC to $0.90, the

preaching about the cost of mistakes, and for good reason.

same $1,000 will get you over 1,100 clicks a day. Assuming

We might spend weeks implementing some new per-

the same conversion rate, you’ll receive 10% more leads at a

formance strategy, and if we see a 10% to 15% performance

10% lower cost. As long as budget caps are restricting spend,

gain, we’re jumping for joy. But, if we forget to carry over the

you’re overbidding. It’s that simple.

geo-targeting when copying a campaign from AdWords to

Set your budget caps 15-20% higher than what you want

Bing, we might blow half our budget on traffic from Malaysia.

to spend. Use bid levels to keep your spend in line with bud-

Mistakes are expensive. Here are three common places

gets without paying excessive CPCs.

PPC analysts make costly mistakes, and a good place to start with an internal review of your campaigns.

Mistake #3: Unintended Keyword Matching If you haven’t reviewed your search term reports recently,

Mistake #1: Default Campaign Settings

you’re almost certainly experiencing keyword/search term

I already mentioned geo-targeting, but there are many

mismatches. And I’m not referring only to irrelevant matching

others that will end up wasting spend. AdWords campaigns

like a search for ‘widget photos’ being matched to a ‘widget

default to: target users in the US & Canada, include the search

repair services’ keyword.

and display select networks, a 0% mobile bid modifier, a 24/7

All too often, searches for “widget repair services” get

ad schedule, no frequency capping, etc. If these default set-

matched to keywords like “widget installation services” and

tings are not what you intended, you’re going to lose money.

vice versa. You want your ad to show for both, but mismatch-

Our company prevents these mistakes with a campaign

es like this still cost you money.

launch checklist form that must be reviewed by a second analyst prior to launching new campaigns.

The performance loss comes from inefficient bid management, since you are not able to exploit the performance difference between brand and non-brand searches. The mis-

Mistake #2: Shortsighted Budget Management Are you using campaign budget caps to control how

matching blends performance into a misleading average that does not reflect true user behavior.

much you spend? If yes, then you’re wasting money, and

Review your search term reports regularly. When mis-

here’s why. You might be allocating $1,000 per day at a $1.00

matches are identified, use match types and negatives to en-

CPC. At a 10% conversion rate, you’re getting 100 leads at $10

sure proper matching.

Miles Olson is the founder of Hoot Interactive and a 10-year PPC advertising veteran.

11


tl;dr You should be using LinkedIn to build your business and five basic steps to do it.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

5 LinkedIn Steps to

Build Your Business by Michael Yublosky

Michael Yublosky

Use a Hero Image LinkedIn calls them background images. The exact di-

F

mension is 1400 by 425 pixels and can be up to 20,000 square rom my perspective, LinkedIn is the world’s largest

pixels. You may also add a tagline, products, images, etc.

online searchable database of business profession-

If you have a premium account, I advise you to avoid

als. There are currently 350+ million users and that

stock images. They tend to be too bold and vibrant. A visitor’s

number is growing.

focus should be on your profile picture, not the hero image.

LinkedIn’s tools offer businesses many potential benefits if they are used properly. These benefits include lead genera-

Add a Value Proposition to Your Headline

tion, visibility on Google search, forming partnerships and al-

Your ‘Headline’ is the area below your name. It follows you in

liances, finding suppliers, niche marketing, competitive and

a number of places on LinkedIn and is your second place to make

market intelligence, and more.

a great first impression. Add a unique value proposition here, not

According to LinkedIn’s (2014) Sophisticated Marketer’s

just a title. You have a total of 120 characters to work with.

Guide To LinkedIn: “B2C marketers are rapidly discovering LinkedIn” with 51% reporting that they’ve acquired a customer through the site. “LinkedIn drives more traffic to B2B blogs & sites” than Twitter, Facebook, and others combined.

Leverage Your Summary In my opinion, your “Summary” belongs near the top of your profile. It should be written as if your ideal client sat across from you and you spoke directly to her. Write in first

Why Should You Use LinkedIn?

person and state what makes you more unique than your

When someone checks you out on the Internet, your LinkedIn profile is at or near the top of most search results. You, there-

competitors and why they should choose you. What problems do you solve? What questions can you answer?

fore, need to establish your profile as your professional brand at the very least. At the other extreme, you can use LinkedIn to become a key influencer in your niche and grow your business.

Add Your Contact Information and Website Links Make it easy for people to get in touch with you and read the rest of your story. Be sure to include your email address

Add a Work-Ready Profile Picture LinkedIn says you are seven times more likely to be found in searches with a professional picture. I recommend your

and phone number on your profile. Add your “Contact Info” to your “Summary’” section as a call-to-action, and include it in your “Advice for contacting” section.

photo is work-ready; how you would greet a client. The allow-

Provide links to your website using link text rather than

able square size is between 400 and 20,000 pixels. Maximum

the default “Company Website”. Use all three provided for dif-

file size is 10MB. Formats include PNG, JPEG, and GIF.

ferent pages if you only have one website.

12

Michael helps businesses market on LinkedIn and shares tips and hints through his Website: diywebjem.com


tl;dr Email marketing is thriving, so you should be leveraging it.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

5 Steps to Improve

Your Email Strategy by Ellie Johnston

Ellie Johnston

E

mail marketing still rocks. Hard. According to the eConsultancy 2014 Email Marketing Industry Cen-

Step 3: Domains

sus, “email was ranked as the best channel in terms

Use common sense. Domains are more about engage-

of return on investment, with 68% of companies rating the

ment than deliverability. Choose a domain name that comple-

channel as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.”

ments your messaging. There is no need to assign a single

Email marketing can benefit just about any company.

IP to a single domain or buy super expensive, aged domains.

Whether you are sending one-thousand messages a day or one-million, there are just five steps you need to rock the in-box.

Step 4: Software The ability to send high volume should be a major consid-

Step 1: Data

eration when choosing email software. A reputable ESP will

Great data sets the stage for great mailing. To be suc-

do fine for most e-mailers. If, however, you mail to millions of

cessful at email marketing, you must know your data. It does

records a day, you may want to choose software which allows

not matter if your email records were generated off a product

you to manage your own IPs. Mailing off your own IP space

purchase or come from a third-party, to properly tailor your

can be more challenging but, it is a great way to scale-up your

messaging you must know how your email recipients opted-

business economically. Just remember that no ESP or MP is

in. You must also maintain great list hygiene. Otherwise you

powerful enough to overcome bad data or spent IPs.

will be pummeled by complaints and bounces.

Step 5: Creatives Step 2: IPs

Creatives require creativity and science. If you have done

IPs are the ultimate inbox gatekeepers. They are the rea-

all the work to get to step five, you owe it to yourself to have

son email service providers (ESPs) have such rigid sending

strong art direction. There are oodles of articles online about

policies, and also why ESPs charge a premium to high-volume

design, a/b testing and how to write compelling ad copy. Read

senders. Procuring and maintaining your own IP space might

them. Implement these ideas, analyze the results and imple-

be the best option if you are sending millions of emails a day.

ment even better ideas. Rinse and repeat.

Binding your own IPs to a mailing platform (MP) gives you

A strong email methodology can seriously amplify your

the freedom to send as much as you want cost-effectively.

marketing. Just focus on these key elements and you too can

Always opt for the very best IPs you can find.

rock-n-roll all night and email every day.

Ellie Johnston, head of marketing for VoloMP, is funky and likes her oatmeal lumpy.

13


tl;dr Tips to help advertisers expand their global presence by curating content for local audiences.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

3 Tips to

Maximize Global Reach by Lisa Tufts Lisa Tufts

A

lthough your business may ship worldwide, you

ship to Canada, add Canada Day sales to your copy. This small

might not be doing the right things to attract a

change will show that you’re in tune with the people of that

global audience. Here are a few tips to help your

country and proud to service them.

affiliate program succeed on a global scale.

Allow them to browse products in their currency, so they know exactly what their cost will be. If you supply publishers

Be Aware of Cultural and Regional Differences It’s good to keep in mind that each new country you launch in is different from the next; so, be thoughtful when

with a product feed in a country-specific program, be sure to remove any products that can’t be shipped to that country from the product feed.

setting up promotions for events or seasons. Words, phrases,

Failure to do so will cause confusion for the customer. On the

and colors might mean something different in another coun-

site, be specific about where items can and cannot be shipped.

try than what you’re used to. Keep in mind that depending on the hemisphere, the sea-

High Shipping Costs

sons might be different- promoting winter coats to Australia

Shipping costs are probably the biggest hurdle when sell-

in December wouldn’t be relevant and probably wouldn’t get

ing products internationally. In some countries, even domes-

much traction.

tic shipping can be pricey. When I was living abroad, I wanted to order some things

Have a Global Presence with a Local Feel

from my favorite store back home. However, the shipping cost

With e-commerce booming around the world, we’re now

made me walk away from the purchase, as the cheapest ship-

more of a global community with international trends cross-

ping option was more expensive than the total of the items I

ing many cultures. The borders are becoming less of an is-

was buying.

sue, but still it seems some advertisers get stuck in the same promotions.

If margins allow it, try to run free or reduced shipping offers for international customers every once in a while, or have

It’s always good if you can call out, in your copy, an event

a standard high threshold order for free or reduced shipping.

unique to that country. For example, many stores have 4th of

Doing so will encourage shoppers to buy more products from

July sales that start early. Canada Day is July 1st. So, if you

your store in order to get the free shipping deal.

Lisa Tufts is the International Marketplace Manager for SHOP.COM/Market America.

15


tl;dr Optimization tips to get the most out of your paid search campaign in order to maximize your return on investment.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Optimizing Steps for

Sumit Dhawan

Effective Paid Search Campaign by Sumit Dhawan

O

ptimizing for positive returns is key in paid search

computers and tablets. You can increase or decrease the bid

advertising, and there are a number of strategies to

adjustment depending on the performance. The user intent

optimize performance.

on a mobile could be very different which can help you to tar-

The trick is to focus on positive keywords and expand

get users appropriately.

them at the same time, but it’s very important that you care-

Both the mobile site and landing pages should have a very

fully scrutinize your keyword list. Keywords with high com-

clear headline with specific details. Mobile ad copy should be

mercial intent also have a high search volume.

direct and without any confusion on what a user is expected

Here are five tips to maximize your return on investment.

to do.

Relevant Calls-To-Action

Importance of Negative Keywords

Your landing pages have to be carefully designed and

Keywords that don’t convert to a lead or sale still have

need to be highly relevant. A strong headline and a clear call

costs associated with them. If a keyword doesn’t contribute,

to action are the most important elements of a landing page.

you should pause/remove it. In order to get more visibility for

When they are represented clearly you just can’t miss them.

best performing keywords you can increase the bids slightly.

In paid search optimization it is all about relevancy and speed, both of which should be there on the landing page.

Traditional keywords prompt your ads to display for relevant searches; negative keywords prevent your ads from being triggered. Therefore by adding negative keywords you can

Dominate Ads Quality Scores

stop showing your ads to the wrong people. However, please

Your keywords and ad copy combinations should be wa-

keep in mind that adding a negative keyword will stop your

tertight. Well-connected keywords and ad copy contribute

ads from showing up for affected words, so use them very

towards increasing your CTR (click through rate) which sub-

carefully.

sequently increase your quality. Relevance is the key here, and it is directly proportionate to the conversions. Always monitor the changes to ensure they are moving in a positive direction.

Create a Seasonal Campaign For search marketers, seasonal shopping periods can impact conversion rates in a big way.

Optimize Mobile - Tablets Search

If your business does not sell seasonal products, you can

Now is the best time to optimize your mobile paid search. Analyze the results for mobile devices with full browsers vs.

16

isolate time periods of irregular performance and exclude those days from bid calculations.

Sumit Dhawan is CEO of Dhawans Enterprises LLC and blogs at SumitDhawan.com


tl;dr 5 methods networks and advertisers can practice to grow their partnerships with affiliates.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

How To Grow Partnerships

With Your Affiliates by Nadia Kuznets

A

Nadia Kuznets

3. Be Aware and Responsive Links break, offers get unexpectedly paused, and campaigns get capped out - be aware and let your affiliates know as soon as these issues occur. There is nothing worse than finding

s a network or an advertiser, you know how impor-

out that the offer you are running has been down for two days.

tant it is to have a good relationship with your af-

Respond quickly when affiliates notify you of an issue

filiates. They are the ones who drive traffic to your

with the campaign. Help resolve the problem and thank them

offers and help increase your revenues. Regularly communicating with your affiliates helps build

for being so proactive in running your campaigns. Communication is key in this business.

trust and confidence in your partnership. However, there are a lot more specific things you can do.

4. Meet in Person Thanks to conferences like Affiliate Summit, you can now

1. Resolve Issues Together There are many issues that you can encounter with your affiliates, such as fraudulent traffic, not accepting your scrubbed leads, etc. You don’t want to lose an affiliate due to an issue that can be easily fixed. If there is fraud coming in, figure out which sub-affiliate of theirs is responsible and block that specific sub-affiliate,

meet your affiliates at least twice a year in person. Getting to know whom you work with face to face will help grow your partnership as you can connect on a more personal level. Buy your affiliate lunch/dinner/drink to discuss how everything is going and how you can grow the relationship. Take notes, so you remember what to follow up on once you get back to the office.

instead of the primary affiliate. If the affiliates don’t want to accept your scrubs, ask them what information is needed to

5. Continually Analyze and Increase

accept the scrubs and provide them with all the required data

Earning Opportunities

in a timely manner.

Assign each Affiliate Manager specific accounts, so each affiliate has a direct contact. Encourage your affiliate managers

2. Reward Performance

to regularly look for opportunities for the accounts they oversee.

Do you have affiliates that regularly drive quality traffic? If so,

Understanding your network and its capabilities is very

provide them with higher payouts. It takes time and effort to find

important and will help it grow. Prior to letting your affiliates

good affiliates. Even a small payout bump makes a difference.

know about the new opportunities, make sure that the offers

You can also provide your top performers monthly or quarter-

have been correctly implemented and successfully tested.

ly bonuses. That will encourage them to optimize your campaigns

Don’t wait until tomorrow to start practicing these meth-

and drive quality traffic. Another way to reward performance is

ods. Start today and watch your partnerships grow and your

to change your payment terms to pay your best affiliates faster.

revenues increase!

Nadia Kuznets is the Network Manager at iGain Network/ Marketing Manager at massfinity.

17


tl;dr A simple guide to fashion etiquette for your next conference trip.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

The Style Guide for

Conference Clothing by Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman

A

s a kid, I remember sitting at the foot of the bed in my parents’ room, kicking my legs back and forth as they hung off the edge; trying to muster

up some guilt-laden conversation in hopes of keeping my dad from going out of town.

2. Shoes Wearing comfortable footwear is imperative at a conference. The miles you’ll end up walking during the show add

It never took him long to pack. He would typically grab a

up quickly, and the last thing you need are sore feet. Tennis

couple suits, some button up shirts and ties, and that was all

shoes are common as are other “dress” shoes with a cushiony

he really needed. This was his typical attire and all I saw him

sole to aid in the pounding your feet are sure to take on. Flip-

ever pack.

Flops, however, are ill-advised. Not for the comfort aspect,

Now, conferences are full of an eclectic mix of style choic-

but mainly for the “feet are kinda gross” aspect. Not everyone

es- from tees to tank tops and cargos to capris, the clothing

feels this way, but I guarantee you that when you plop down

carbon copy of yesterday is long gone. However, just because

in a chair with a client, they may not be too impressed. They’ll

times have changed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that attend-

try to keep eye contact, but once you move a leg up and cross

ees should ignore certain fashion faux pas or common sense.

it over the other, revealing the pale and hair engulfed bare ap-

Here are a few notes to remember the next time you grab

pendages just a few (no pun intended) “feet” away from their

your lanyard and head out on the show floor:

face, things can go sour quickly. Sandals are for beaches, not for business.

1. Sunglasses Sunglasses are fantastic accessories and have one main

3. Shirts

job, which is to keep sun out of your eyes. They enable the

To button or not to button? That is the question! Actually,

user to perform tasks like driving, skiing and other outdoor ac-

it’s not and it’s rather easy to answer. The answer is “to button”

tivities without being blinded by the brightest object in the sky;

and I’ll do a quick rhyme to remember in case anyone forgets:

the sun. Wearing sunglasses indoors is reserved for costume

“If the hair from your chest is catching my eye, either button

parties, those who just had their eyes dilated or reenacting

your shirt more or put on a tie”. Simple.

any 80s movie scene. That’s really about it. Walking around

Please take these tips into consideration… or don’t… what-

the exhibit hall floor with sunglasses on is a surefire way to get

ever you prefer. After all, I am the guy that had a faux hawk for

noticed, however, for the wrong reason.

two-years too long.

18

Ryan is a thirteen-year internet marketing veteran, focusing on lead generation and business development.


tl;dr Seven ways to write compelling content people want to read.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

How to Write Content

People Will Read by Helen Fang

T

Helen Fang

4. Invest in your content. When hiring writers, the impulse is to go with the cheaper end of the spectrum. Fight this urge as you’ll waste time and

here’s no shortage of inaccurate or boring content

effort on a result that will either require a lot of edits or isn’t us-

on the web. With so much of it, how do you stand

able. Content is a marketing vehicle that needs an appropriate

out? In this article, I will show how to write compel-

budget for it. Would you buy traffic at $.01 per click? Maybe.

ling content people want to read.

But it probably won’t be very high quality.

1. Understand your audience.

5. Network your way to excellent content.

The topics that you would like to write about may be in-

While the notion of “guest blogging” is overused, leverag-

teresting to you, but it matters less than understanding the

ing someone else’s knowledge through interviews is interest-

topics your audience is interested in. Free web tools, such

ing and gives your content another voice. Craft questions you

as Google Analytics and SurveyMonkey, can help you under-

think your audience would want to know. Ask an expert out to

stand audience behavior and interests.

share their expertise surrounding a topic. It’s much easier to get a conversation out of someone than a 500-word article.

2. Speak the same language. There are 20+ ways to talk about saving money on shop-

6. If you write it, they probably won’t

ping. I know, I’ve tried them all. Once you know your audience

come. So, please, show your content

and the topics they are interested in, learn how to write for

some love and tell the world about it.

them. From tone to voice, structure, length, images, and de-

If you’re proud of the content you’ve created, then put

sign impacts everything. Knowing how to speak to your audi-

some money behind marketing it. SEO alone won’t get you

ence means that you can find new angles that will resonate.

there. The good news is that you’ve identified your audience and now know where to find them online. Facebook and

3. Incorporate trends into your

Twitter are obvious platforms, but where else does your au-

content—when relevant.

dience live?

Did you participate in the #thedress optical illusion debate? Hashtag-based trending news provides an opportunity

7. Reuse, recycle and repurpose.

for content creators of all sizes to reach a captive audience.

You don’t need to create amazing content from scratch. If

Brands of all types participated in the conversation, not just

you have older content that was very successful for you, find

fashion or e-commerce. However, if it feels cheesy or con-

ways to revisit it every year, or repackage and update the infor-

trived, it probably is better to skip than to create content that

mation. If you have a great series of blog posts, put it together

isn’t staying true to your brand and identity.

in an e-book and offer it as an incentive for new subscribers.

Helen manages the e-commerce business at Coupons.com, and recently launched its magazine, The Good Stuff.

19


· Issue 30 · May 2015

tl;dr Conversion is key when it comes to strong affiliate performance and you can use authenticity to increase your conversion rates.

Be Authentic to

Increase Conversion Rates by Keri Lyn Renner

C

onversion is one aspect of affiliate marketing that

Keri Lyn Renner

fascinates me. In fact, I’m a bit obsessed with it. If you run any affiliate marketing, it should fascinate

you, too. Your conversion numbers can speak directly to how

ated. Ask for their input and feedback on products with which

your audience is reacting to the information you share, which

you might not be as familiar. All of these things will strength-

is ultimately money in (or NOT in) your pocket.

en the confidence of your community, which in turn leads to

One of the most valuable things you have is your audi-

those higher conversions that we love.

ence and your relationship with them. Over time, they grow to

Third, always be prepared to step in to assist with an is-

trust your voice, your space, and the information you share.

sue, should one occur. Things happen, but your ability to as-

For these reasons, nothing is more authentic than personal

sist in making things right can only further build the trust that

experience.

you have with your audience.

Does this mean that you need to have a personal con-

Not only does a higher conversion mean more profit, it

nection to every product or piece of information that you

also means your audience is responding positively to the type

share? No. It means that when you CAN offer personal ex-

and quality of information you are sharing. On the contrary,

perience, such as “I recently ordered from this company and

lower converting offers might not only be a disappointment

was thrilled with the shipping time” or “I have been a member

financially, but over time can lead to a disengaged and unin-

of this subscription club for two years and just renewed for

terested audience.

another year!”. Your audience will find comfort in your expe-

Trial and error is a great way to test your audience, so

riences, which will give them confidence in their purchasing

keeping a close eye on performance is key. If you run too many

decisions.

irrelevant offers, you might run the risk of losing the trust of

When you do NOT have personal experience with a brand,

your audience and, ultimately, their attention altogether. Con-

there are other things you can do to increase the authenticity

version performance can be very telling to the effectiveness

of what you are sharing. First, research the product. Share any

of the information you are sharing and a wonderful gauge for

reviews, ratings, or even price comparisons. Include a 1-800

detecting your readers’ needs and wants.

number or FAQ website address for the product to assist consumers in furthering their research before buying. Second, use your audience for assistance. Your audience is a community of like-minded individuals that you have cre-

Best of all, you might even be surprised at what you find-which will have you fascinated with conversion performance. Make it a habit. Check your stats, brush your teeth, and go to bed. Get up the next day and do it all over again.

Keri Lyn Renner has blogged and obsessed with conversion performance for 7+ years at SheSaved.com.

21


tl;dr - Effectively manage your program by working with coupon and loyalty sites – not against them.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

3 Tips to Leverage

Coupon & Loyalty Sites by Bryan Flanaghan

Bryan Flanaghan

I

f you’re going to allow coupon and loyalty sites into your

On one of our websites, our team noticed that a few af-

affiliate program, here are three tips to help you maximize

filiates had begun advertising an exclusive discount that had

their profit opportunity.

been offered via our weekly newsletter. Instead of demanding that they remove the discount or rejecting those sales, our af-

Speak with Your Coupon & Loyalty Reps Directly

filiate coordinators worked together with these websites to of-

It’s important to take your affiliate program off auto-pilot

fer vanity codes specific to their site. We were able to maintain

and speak directly to representatives from coupon and loyalty

profitability on those sales, the consumer was able to benefit

sites. Working with these types of sites on certain promotions

from the discount, and our affiliates had an exclusive offer

can vastly improve your sales.

that drove additional traffic.

Rather than assuming that they ‘steal’ sales that would have already occurred via different channels, merchants need

Monitor Success on a Daily Basis

to start looking at the opportunity presented by these sites.

I’ve seen merchants advertise several discounts to cou-

Many coupon and loyalty sites can drive higher conversion

pon or loyalty websites, hoping that one of them is successful.

rates from consumers that are debating a purchase or would

Within our own industry, we see individuals run promotional

have gone to a competitor instead.

campaigns for weeks or months, only waiting to measure suc-

Regularly speak with your contacts at these sites to see

cess upon completion. It is imperative to track your growth on

what additional services they offer. Do they send out weekly

a daily basis so your team can anticipate fluctuations before

newsletters or do they advertise products on their social pag-

they happen.

es? Can you boost your pay-per-click strategy by working to-

As an affiliate manager, you should be regularly tracking

gether on certain campaigns? Do they have special placements

traffic and conversions on these sites and modifying your

on their site or promote certain products via retargeting?

strategy based on the data you collect. If a ‘Free Shipping’ coupon is driving 50% of your sales, but the average order val-

Consider Site-Specific or Unique Vanity Codes Working on an e-commerce website can often mean jug-

ue is low, you may want to consider raising the cart threshold for the coupon.

gling traffic from a number of different areas. Website manag-

Conversely, if your 5% discount has only had two conver-

ers or product owners routinely run channel-specific promo-

sions in the past three weeks, maybe it’s time to up the stakes

tions that get picked up by your affiliates, even if it is against

for the consumer and try to garner a few more sales with a

your program terms. Rather than punish an affiliate for being

richer discount.

vigilant about your product, you should alter your strategy to ensure that these discounts are profitable for both of you.

22

Never wait till it’s too late to alter a promotion to meet your needs. Bryan Flanaghan is the affiliate manager for TicketNetwork and Ticket Liquidator.


tl;dr The realization that affiliate marketing was a way for my daughter to break into entrepreneurship.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Affiliates and Family:

An ASW15 Aha Moment

Michelle G. Held

by Michelle G. Held

A

ffiliate Summit West 2015 was an enjoyable and memorable experience. I have attended the east

The nail polish brand name was familiar. The company

coast version many times, but this was my first

belongs to an industrious entrepreneur who broke into the

time at the Vegas venue. One of the best parts was meet-

beauty market by clever marketing and excellent use of social

ing the other speakers during the High Roller cocktail hour.

media. I read about her in Forbes Magazine.

It was nice to see how many were long-term friends, not just

One of the vendors mentioned that her daughter was

colleagues. Another favorite part was meeting the behind-the-

doing a little affiliate marketing. Doh! What an aha moment.

scenes people who make the event run well.

Why didn’t I think of that (first)? My daughter has a respect-

After I had spoken about Pinterest during a Monday ses-

able social media following, does beautiful makeup artistry on

sion, I had the pleasure of chatting afterward, in the hallway,

her already beautiful face, and is producing video tutorials for

with the photographer and others I met. The photographer

friends. She has always talked about a fortunate friend who

proved his skills and snapped the new profile photo included

earned sponsorship from a major clothing retailer.

at the top of this page.

It is an absolute no brainer for her to break into entrepre-

I was tired and looking forward to winding down for the

neurship through affiliate marketing. I looked over at her and

night. As I headed up to my hotel room to change into com-

asked if she was interested in a nice search engine optimized

fortable shoes, I received a text message with an invitation to

(SEO) website and a YouTube account to host her videos.

a vendor’s cocktail hour. This is Vegas, and another Affiliate

“Do you think you can commit to blogging at least once

Summit after-party sounded like fun. Change of plans. Relax-

a week and be open to tracking on the website?” She said,

ation was struck from the evening agenda and off we went.

“Yes!” Another affiliate marketer is born. Video and images are

After making my way from Paris over to Bally’s, I sat in a suite chatting with three affiliate program managers who

a great way to add content to any website. It boosts your SEO effort, entertains, and adds value for your followers.

demonstrated a few of their affiliate products. We did our nails,

Entrepreneurship is a family affair. My son sells jewelry

made jewelry from Swarovski Crystals, and had some wine.

online. Kids are eager to make some cash of their own and

This was heaven. The entire time I thought how these products

many are naturals at social media. Encourage them and help

were a perfect fit for Pinterest and Instagram marketing.

them get started on their own.

Michelle is an entrepreneur, author and philanthropist who blogs on metrony.com and pintalk.net.

23


tl;dr: Achieve long term partnerships by detecting and preventing fraud as swiftly as possible.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

How to Prevent Fraud with PIN Submits

Jochem Gratama

P

by Jochem Gratama

romoting mobile content/PIN-submit offers can still be very lucrative these days. That said, it’s extremely important to find the right mix between type of traf-

fic, type of offer, payout, and CR (conversion rate). As a publisher, you always want to keep receiving budget for the offers in your portfolio with a competitive payout. In

3.

Thoroughly analyze the traffic that comes in, and do so

order to make this happen for a long period in the PIN-submit

on a daily basis. There are about 20 different parameters

vertical, it is crucial to deliver users with a good ARPU (aver-

to look at in order to spot suspicious patterns or real

age revenue per user) to the advertiser.

fraudulent traffic in your data. If you spot any fraud activ-

A good ARPU or ROI (return on investment) can only be

ity, you need to optimize your sources. This is something

achieved when you are generating conversions that are actual

which goes beyond the regular fraud tools.

users entering the database of the advertiser. If not, the adver-

By constantly optimizing your traffic, you will prevent re-

tiser is potentially paying for fraudulent or low-quality conver-

versals and other issues with your advertisers, which will

sions and your CPA and budget will drop or stop.

allow you to focus on growing with your best performing

At all times, the full chain needs to prevent paying for any fraud traffic, so it is important to know how to prevent and de-

sources. 4.

It is very important to be proactive on quality and the in-

tect fraud traffic as swiftly as possible. The following are the

stant churn rates with the advertiser, as it will take them

main methods to prevent or spot fraud in this vertical:

a relatively long time to determine the real user value. Make sure you are passing your publisher IDs through

1.

Be in control of your traffic sources. Double-check pub-

to the advertiser, so you can optimize per publisher and

lishers as soon as they sign up by verifying if their sign-up

don’t need, for instance, to decrease the payout on all

IP location matches, whether the company name exists,

traffic you send.

examine the website, and make a quick call. Last month,

5.

Whitelist the IPs of the advertiser’s server, so you don’t

we had a Fish and Chips restaurant on the phone instead

get any fake conversions into your platform that the ad-

of a publisher. Before running with a new publisher, find

vertiser has never seen.

out exactly what type of traffic you will be receiving. 2. Agree on a conversion confirmation on a billed sale with

Make sure to reverse fraud conversions with your publish-

the advertiser. If the advertiser can support it, have the

ers ASAP and be open about it to your advertisers to cultivate

coversion pixel fired when the user is successfully billed.

a long-term partnership.

24

Jochem Gratama, VP-Sales at Pocket Media, works mainly with mobile content and app installs.


tl;dr Learn to work smarter by using content curation.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Curate,

Don’t Just Create! by Robin R. Talbott

H

aving the trained eye of a curator is an asset in many fields, including affiliate marketing. We’re fa-

For example, if you’re a food blogger, offer a post about,

miliar with museum curators, who decide what art

“The Five Best Chocolate Recipes on Pinterest,” mentioning

is noteworthy and what’s commonplace, but have you considered your online personal tastes might be valuable as well, just because you’re you? And, have you realized that, in addition to taking time to create original work, when you gather and share other author’s posts, you come out looking like a hero?

your affiliate link, for “Little Katie’s Cocoa,” in the intro. You might explain how, “These five chocolate recipes are very good as written, but I’ve found Little Katie’s Cocoa with its cocoa beans hand picked by wombats gives me consistent results every time.” Then, list five titles to the wonderful chocolate recipes

That’s a win-win for everyone.

you found on Pinterest, a few introductory words about the

When you ReTweet, Share, Pin, Like, or Comment on blog

blogger, along with their product photos, and links.

posts and social media, that’s curation. You’re taking a stand by giving opinions and promoting them with your name and avatar. Your selections, pro or con, tell the world a great deal about you, and the parts of the world that agree, line up to be your followers and fans. By curating out-of-house content, and having the confidence to offer your opinions openly, you establish yourself as an authority.

And, you might conclude that, “When I bake brownies with Little Katie’s Cocoa, the aroma of baking brownies permeates our home. The kids come running!” Working your affiliate links into your part of the post will allow your affiliate income to grow, with less original thinking, while you win friends by having their content promoted. In addition, let’s hope these featured guests return the favor, mentioning your content in their future posts.

Perhaps you’ll think it a grand, “fake it ‘til you make it,” il-

As display ads decrease, due to platform contraints, edi-

lusion at first, but when you hit the right mix of presentations,

torial content will command more online marketing dollars

readers will follow your lead.

since copy flows smoothly on all platforms.

Soon, you’ll find your confidence growing along with your Klout Score.

This creates an enormous opportunity for affiliate marketers for product placements in blogs and social media.

Curating takes the pressure off beating out original con-

But, along with more opportunity comes more work to

tent 24/7 to maintain your online presence. And, blog posts

follow-through. And, as we affiliates learn to work smarter,

and social media posts don’t have to be clear-cut one or the

content curation is another tool fitting nicely into our promo-

other, original or curated.

tions toolbox.

Robin R. Talbott (@SunbonSmart) digitally markets at SunbonnetSmart.com.

25


路 Issue 30 路 May 2015

Affiliate Summit West 2015 Recap by Shawn Collins

S

Shawn Collins

unday, January 18, 2015 was the first day of Affiliate Summit West 2015 at Paris Las Vegas. Registration check-in and set-up for the Meet Market kicked off

the day at 8:00 AM.

This was followed by twenty breakout sessions through-

I gave my First Timers Orientation for Affiliate Sum-

out the day that covered conversion marketing, email market-

mit West 2015 session at 10:00 AM, and I was glad to see

ing, inbox zero, pay-per-call, social media, WordPress, and

a packed crowd of folks eager to learn how to optimize their

more topics.

time at the conference.

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

There was a selection of breath fresheners set up at the

PM with a steady stream of attendees meeting with the table

orientation, so the first time attendees could make big things

exhibitors. During the day, exhibitors built out their booths in

happen with the best breath at the conference.

the exhibit hall for Monday and Tuesday. The day wrapped up with a series of Ask the Experts Roundtables, where experts on various topics held interactive discussions. The agenda finished up with a Blogger meetup, as well as a get together of participants in the Newcomer Program. There were lots of networking options in the evening for Affiliate Summit West 2015 attendees. I checked out the ShareASale Under The Stars Party at Hyde @ The Bellagio Hotel. It was a great event that was up close to the Bellagio fountains where folks in the industry celebrated the 15th anniversary of ShareASale.

Shawn is Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, and blogs at affiliatetip.com.

27


路 Issue 30 路 May 2015

The Refuel, Rendezvous & Refresh Room was very popular throughout Monday. Attendees were able to grab some coffee or tea and take advantage of the tables and WiFi to have meetings, catch up on work, or simply take a break. Day two of Affiliate Summit West 2015 wound up with the Affiliate Ball, which featured Sean Paul. Tuesday, January 20, 2015 was the third and final day of Affiliate Summit West 2015 at Paris Las Vegas. The day started with a series of educational sessions. This was followed by the 9th annual Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards, which recognize exemplary affiliate marketers. Monday, January 19, 2015 was the second day of Affiliate Summit West 2015 at Paris Las Vegas. The day started with a tasty breakfast for VIP and All Access pass holders. Then there were fun opening remarks from Emcee Jon Levine and an inspiring keynote from Chad Hymas. The exhibit hall opened on day 2 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 West 2015. And we had a nice spread for lunch that included marinated artichoke salad; Penne pasta with Roma tomato basil sauce; grilled chicken breast with pesto roasted garlic sauce; Sicilian meatballs with Lyonnaise tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper; and a selection of desserts: Biscotti, tiramisu, lemon tart, ricotta tart and espresso tart.

28


· Issue 30 · May 2015

After the awards, we got to hear a powerful keynote from Noah Kagan, Founder of AppSumo. During the keynote, Noah Kagan gave out over $3,000 of his speaking fee to the crowd, so they could chat with their new relationships and buy small gifts, based on the interests of their conference friends. The final day of Affiliate Summit West 2015 also featured a series of breakout sessions and lots of networking in the exhibit hall. The exhibit hall closed out with a pub crawl, which was a fun way for the crowd to get in one last networking party. Thank you to everybody who came out to network, learn and have fun with us – there were approximately 6,000 attendees at Affiliate Summit West 2015. The following were the winners and runners-up for the 2015 Pinnacle Awards:

Register now for the early bird prices for Affiliate Summit East 2015, taking place August 2-4, 2015 in NYC.

»» Affiliate of the Year: Tricia Meyer (runners-up: Rae Hoffman, VigLink) »» Affiliate Manager of the Year: Joe Sousa (runners-up: Luke Kling, Adam Riemer) »» Exceptional Merchant: Wayfair.com (runners-up: Abe’s Market, Fanatics) »» Affiliate Marketing Advocate: Brian Littleton (runnersup: Bob Glazer, Tricia Meyer) »» OPM/Agency of the Year: Acceleration Partners (runners-up: ebove & beyond, Schaaf-PartnerCentric) »» Tool/Service of the Year: FMTC (runners-up: BrandVerity, Shareist)

29


tl;dr Find an app, pick the right campaign, and select a traffic partner to make money in mobile.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

3 Tips to

Leverage and Monetize Apps Sean McCormick

by Sean McCormick Step 2: Pick the right campaign.

I

am amazed that in such a short amount of time I’ve become an addict. My wife threatens to leave me if I don’t “put the phone down.” However, that’s a story for another

edition of FeedFront.

Picking the right campaign can be tricky business. How do you find the best ones? »» Do your research in a particular vertical, e.g., gaming, dating, retail, travel, health, etc. Check the app stores

The crazy thing is, it’s not just me, it’s global. With wear-

(iTunes and Google Play) to see what’s trending. Pay at-

able technology advancing, I expect that mobile apps are go-

tention to the campaigns you see running in apps like

ing to become even more prevalent.

social networks, news publications, and sporting apps.

Think of a world where every device you touch is connected to an application. It seems inevitable that apps will

Only run campaigns that are iOS and Android friendly on mobile traffic.

be everywhere, whether we embrace it or not. Being an In-

»» Campaigns can come up and go down without notice.

ternet marketer, it seems to me the logical remedy here is

Ask your affiliate manager which campaigns have been

to monetize it.

active the longest.

Step 1: Find an app to market.

Step 3: Find a traffic partner.

There are tons of mobile affiliate networks and mobile

Similar to finding an affiliate network, you need to do your

app discovery companies out there, so how do you find the

due diligence. A few methods that I have found helpful while

right one?

promoting these campaigns include:

»» Attend an industry trade show. Some of my favorites

»» Mobile Video: Find an app that has a video ad unit. There

and more affordable options are Affiliate Summit, Apps

are a lot of video-distribution marketplaces that are do-

World, and Game Developers Conference. Another great

ing for more pre/post-roll offers.

show, albeit on the pricier side, is Mobile World Congress. Nothing beats live networking, and these shows are full of informative panels and topical workshops. »» Search for CPI (Cost Per Install) networks online. There

tons of opportunities within PPV marketplaces. »» Incent: Some offers allow you to run incentivized campaigns. Rewards/coupon networks perform really well

are many to choose from, and some may offer unique

for incentivized offers.

benefits that better fit your needs. Search, ask ques-

Like any strong, profitable campaign, analytics is king.

tions, and search some more. Look for the network with

Find a traffic source that allows you to dive deep into the data,

the best combination of unique offers, payout and pay-

then optimize, optimize, optimize.

ment terms.

30

»» PPV: Just like traditional desktop PPV traffic, there are

Good luck, and may the addiction be profitable. Sean is the Chief Growth Officer of React2Media, LLC.


tl;dr My battle with the unforeseen consequences of affiliate fraud and strategies to best to protect your business.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Affiliate Fraud Nearly Destroyed My Business by Monica Eaton

T

Monica Eaton

hanks to the power of affiliate marketing, our online

ready processed the transactions and paid the affiliate

business was turning a steady profit in an incredibly

their commission.

competitive niche. We had several hot selling prod-

Later, the cardholders rightfully dispute the charges with

ucts, and it seemed as if everything was smooth sailing. That is, until the day we watched the business begin to

their bank and demand a refund. 2.

crumble.

The deceitful affiliate revives old-school telemarketing techniques and pulls a bait-and-switch. They make all sorts of promises—anything that will land the sale. The consumer

The Repercussions of Affiliate Fraud

makes the purchase, based on the affiliate’s claims that you

Reach Farther than You Think

didn’t authorize. When you aren’t able to live up to the con-

Affiliate fraud isn’t a new topic. Anyone who has consid-

sumers’ expectations, they file chargebacks.

ered using affiliate marketing is aware of the risks associated with the technique.

Prevent Affiliate Fraud and Chargebacks

Determined fraudsters are capable of tipping the scales

If your merchant account, and ultimatelyly the longevity

in their favor. We thought we understood this part of the equa-

of your business is at stake, preventing affiliate fraud takes on

tion - what we didn’t know was how this type of fraud could

a new sense of urgency.

lead to chargebacks. This lesson was the most expensive

1.

education we acquired.

Review your chargeback reason codes; they will help you understand what type of fraud is being perpetrated.

Chargebacks happen when the customer contacts their

2. Use filters that will label potentially fraudulent transac-

bank instead of the merchant for a refund, and here’s where

tions “high risk.” Don’t process anything that raises sus-

things get nasty. If you sustain too many chargebacks in a

picions.

given period, the bank can terminate your merchant account.

3.

Without a way to process payments, even the most innovative online business will fail.

Validate your transactions. Call the cardholder. Check IP addresses. Look for active social media accounts.

4.

Invest in a system that allows you to quickly identify affiliates who may be masked under a network, with higher

Chargebacks that Result from Affiliate Fraud Two chargeback reason codes that are often linked to af-

than average chargebacks. 5.

filiate fraud are “unauthorized transaction” and “products not as described or services not rendered.” 1.

Monitor the incentives your affiliate network and affiliates are using. Are they making promises you can’t keep?

6.

Choose affiliate networks carefully. Check online forums.

Here’s how these chargebacks can happen:

What do other businesses have to say about that particu-

The deceptive affiliate obtains a batch of stolen credit

lar network?

card numbers and places tons of unauthorized transac-

We learned from our mistakes and you can, too. Don’t

tions. Before the cardholders detect the fraud, you’ve alMonica Eaton-Cardone cofounded Chargebacks911, eConsumerServices and Global Risk Technologies—fulfilling executive management roles in each.

wait until it’s too late before you get help.

31


tl;dr – Use Twitter cards to increase the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

· Issue 30 · May 2015

Twitter Cards,

What Affiliates Need To Know by Kyler Patterson Kyler Patterson

H

ave you done any advertising on Twitter? If so,

your tweet. This is desirable. Otherwise you will be paying for

you’re likely aware of Twitter cards. This article will

people to view your full-size image.

break them down for those who have used, or look-

Lead Generation Card

ing to use, Twitter ads.

Capturing leads directly within Twitter is possible via the

What Are They?

Lead Generation card. As with the Website card, you get to

Twitter cards are an advertiser’s way to increase the ef-

include a call to action, a header, and an image. The differ-

fectiveness of their promoted Tweets. As some of you may

ence with this card is that users can submit their information

know, Twitter charges per engagement (CPE). This means

(name, username, and email) without even leaving Twitter.

that if you include an image (which you should since there

You can either download the information to your email

have been many case studies to prove they work), you will be

client or integrate it if your email client allows for POST data.

charged if someone clicks to see it. With cards, your image

This is perfect if you’re offering a free eBook or white paper to

will send the clicker to your desired location.

generate leads.

There are five different Twitter cards with different uses in your ad manager. I’ll be breaking down three in this post:

Video Card

Website, Lead Generation, and Video. The two other cards

Video cards are created in campaigns with the Video

deal with App installs and I don’t have enough experience on

View objective. This allows you to incorporate videos with a

those to break them down properly.

clear Call to Action upon completion of the video. Based on my own tests, there were very little clicks on the Call to Ac-

Website Card

tions on average.

The Website Card is to help drive clicks to your website.

Therefore, I generally put them in the “Brand Awareness”

These are, in my opinion, the best type of card to use if you’re

category. If you have engaging video creative that create a

trying to increase conversions on your own site.

good direct response, then you should give this card a try.

Twitter’s Website Card decreased my company’s cost per acquisitions (CPAs) by 46% and increased engagement rate by 10% compared to program benchmarks.

Conclusion If you’re looking to try Twitter ads, you need to incorporate

Website Cards allow for a standard image within their size

at least one type of Twitter card to increase the campaign’s

recommendations, a title, and a Call To Action (CTA). It effec-

effectiveness. They help make your tweet stand out in the sea

tively allows you to take up more clickable real estate within

of the user’s stream.

32

Kyler is the Marketing Coordinator for HostGator.com. Find him at @TheKylerP or @HostGator.


FeedFront Magazine, Issue #30  

This issue of FeedFront Magazine includes Is Your Business Planted or Buried? by Shawn Collins, 3 Common PPC Management Mistakes by Miles Ol...