Page 1

Issue 32 ― October 2015

Affiliate Marketers

Give Back!

Over $47k Raised for the Avon 39 in Santa Barbara Page 20

Life Hacks to Improve Your Work Day By Shawn Collins - Page 2

Turn Negative Customer Experiences Into Positive Opportunities By Missy Ward - Page 5

Actionable Tips to Increase Landing Page Conversions By Zac Johnson - Page 15


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 32 · October 2015

Table of Contents 2

Editor’s Note: Life Hacks to Improve Your Work Day

3

A Code for Me, A Code for…

4

The List Building Tactic Affiliate Publishers Miss

5

Turn Negative Customer Experiences into Positive Opportunities

6

Four Musts for Mobile Ad Campaign Success

7

Giving Affiliate Marketing a Second Chance

8

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

Better Program Strategies Through Affiliate Behavior

By Shawn Collins By Julia De Friel By Anthony Kirlew By Missy Ward By Dale Carr By Linda Woods By Jonathan Goodwin

9

Four Best Practices for Recruiting Out-of-Network Affiliates

10

Four Strategies for Juggling Entrepreneurship & Parenthood

By Nick Andrews

11

FCC’s TCPA Ruling: Five Notes for Affiliates

By David O. Klein

12

Five Ways to Market Your Business Locally

By Matthew Perl

13

Become the MacGyver of Digital Marketing

By Shannon K. Steffen

15

Actionable Tips to Increase Landing Page Conversions

16

Five Ways You’re Wasting Your Time

By Dan Fink

17

Fixing a Struggling Affiliate Program

By Jennifer Parker

18

Connecting Paid Search and Content Marketing

19

New FTC Requirements for Affiliate Marketers

20

Avon Breast Cancer Walk in Santa Barbara

22

Proven Strategies for Gaining Merchant Affinity

23

Are Toolbars Good for Your Affiliate Program?

24

Embrace Digital Citizenship

25

Streamline Your Accounting by Using the Cloud

27

Top Three Ways to Make Money Blogging

28

Affiliate Marketing Career Progression

29

Retargeting On Facebook Like A Master

30

Social Media Metrics: Quality vs. Quantity

32

Target on Your Back? – Navigating Subpoenas

Contributing Writers

Elesha Aflalo, Nick Andrews, Phil Ayres, Khaled Azar, Dale Carr, Shawn Collins, Julia De Friel, Dan Fink, Jonathan Goodwin, Rachel Hirsch, Zac Johnson, Anthony Kirlew, David O. Klein, Sarah Kostusiak, Karl Kronenberger, Cadence Morrison, John Nardolilli, Jennifer Parker, Kyler Patterson, Matthew Perl, Steve Root, Shannon K. Steffen, Robin R. Talbott, Missy Ward, J. Greg White and Linda Woods.

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

By Cadence Morrison

By Zac Johnson

By Khaled Azar By Karl Kronenberger By Missy Ward By John Nardolilli By Phil Ayres By Robin R. Talbott By Steve Root By Sarah Kostusiak By Elesha Aflalo By Kyler Patterson By J. Greg White By Rachel Hirsch

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 32 · October 2015 ·

Editor’s Note

Life Hacks to

Improve Your Work Day by Shawn Collins consider this as an exercise – break out how much each person in a meeting makes per hour (yeah, they are on salary – you have a calculator on your phone. Figure it out!). Unless Shawn Collins

T

you are having the sort of super-efficient meetings that only exist on TV shows, you’re wasting a lot of money.

Take a Break for Fun Stuff he term life hack is pretty overused these days, but

Sometimes you just need a mental health day or after-

it applies here, so I am going with it. If you are not

noon. A good day for this is Wednesday, at least during base-

familiar with life hacks, they are strategies or tech-

ball season. This is often the last day of a series with a game

niques to increase productivity or efficiency. Here are some life hacks that have helped me get things done and feel better at work.

played around lunchtime, so the visiting team doesn’t have to travel too late to the next game. Years ago, this was known as the “businessman’s special”, but that term isn’t cool with the PC police, so let’s call it baseball hooky. I also love to see

Stand at Your Desk

a movie matinee or get out on a boat on a weekday – less

Sitting at a desk all day is bad for you, according to James

people, more water to enjoy.

Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic. So stand up. No, not to work at a standing desk. Stand up, walk away from your desk, and out of your office. Get fresh air to clear your head.

Keep a Schedule for Drinking Water Well, you should always be hydrated for good health, but

Don’t Eat Lunch at Your Keyboard

also, it’s good to have a reason to get up and stretch every

I won’t lie… if I turned my keyboard upside down right now,

hour or so. Lots of water has a way of making that necessary.

there would be all sorts of nasty crumbs and food bits on my

Bring a water bottle to work and make marks for how much to

desk. I eat at my desk a lot, but I also make it out to lunchtime

drink on the hour and gulp down a pint or so an hour.

meetups or just to lunch with a person or two as often as I can. Those lunches outside of the office are great to share ideas, vent, and experience sunshine.

Use Caffeine as a Nap Alarm I won’t bother trying to sell you on the virtue of naps. It’s obvious that they are awesome. Various studies indicate that

Avoid Meetings

caffeine kicks in between 30 and 60 minutes. When I need a

You know and I know that the majority of meetings are a huge waste of time. If you run your own company or team,

2

quick nap, I’ll chug a can of Diet Dr. Pepper and jump in bed. I am refreshed and ready around an hour later. Magic!

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


tl;dr – Compliance issues with referral codes and how to take action.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

A Code for Me,

A Code for... by Julia De Friel

P

eer-to-peer referral codes are sometimes handed

Julia De Friel

out by thankful merchants to customers after a purchase. The customer is given this code to pass along

Peer-to-peer referral codes, by contrast, are showing up

to friends and family. Retailers see these codes as a simple

much more frequently in paid search and often go unnoticed.

way to drive traffic.

Whereas merchants are often intentional about monitoring

But with the increase of codes in the marketplace, the

affiliates, they have yet to implement restrictions on referral

need for clarity around rules and best practices, as well as

sources. This results in heavy amounts of ads placed by those

better monitoring, has become apparent.

referrers, which can be quite costly when it goes unnoticed.

Compliance Issues

Website Content

Affiliate programs are often carefully overseen. There are

The FTC, CFPB, and other governing bodies are strict

restrictions on whether affiliates are allowed to bid on brand

about what marketers can and cannot say. Merchants are ex-

terms in paid search, how they are allowed to market online,

pected to monitor their partners’ sites to ensure that the con-

and how they should send traffic to the merchant’s site. Mer-

tent is compliant. If it isn’t, they can face large fines.

chants monitor paid search and other channels to ensure that

Unfortunately, a brand may not know when or how refer-

their affiliates are toeing the line, and will take action when

rers are promoting it since they are undocumented. Without

they are not.

using monitoring tools, they are left in the dark. If a governing

In contrast, peer-to-peer referral programs often have no restrictions. The codes are meant to be shared with friends—

body were to find compliance issues, the company could be held liable.

not to be advertised online—and so they seem innocuous. With little oversight comes room for abuse. Referral codes

Takeaway

are showing up across the Internet and individuals are obtain-

As we have seen for many years with the rise of affiliate

ing and sharing multiple codes. With a lack of rules and en-

marketing, outside marketers using incentivized traffic tech-

forcement, merchants find themselves in a difficult position.

niques can be very helpful, but also costly. With the increase in referral code programs, regulation and monitoring are con-

Paid Search Monitoring

sidered by many as necessary next steps.

Merchants, affiliates, and referral partners all use paid

Introducing a referral program can be beneficial to a

search to drive traffic to their sites. For affiliates, this type of

brand and bring in traffic that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.

advertising will often come with many merchant-specified

However, in order to establish a successful program, one must

rules. Since advertisers are spending money to show up on

institute rules, manage the release of the codes and monitor

their own branded keywords, they will prohibit affiliates from

paid search and website content to ensure compliance - much

competing with their own ads.

like one would do with an affiliate program.

Julia De Friel is a Sales Manager at BrandVerity.

3


tl;dr – Build your list and sell more products by implementing one simple step.

Issue 32 · October 2015 ·

The List Building Tactic

Affiliate Publishers Miss by Anthony Kirlew Anthony Kirlew

I

t’s no secret that having a solid email list in a niche mar-

On your landing page, you will now ask for their name and

ket is a great way to make money as an affiliate marketer.

email address (using an autoresponder system), and now you

You find a great offer, send it to your list, a percentage of

are building a list in your niche.

them buy it, and you get paid. Life is good! But what do you do if you don’t have a big list? There are

Sell Lots of Affiliate Products Instead of One

many affiliate marketers who are running offers on their web-

The upside is that as you empower your list members

site (either through banners or direct links), and while that can

by sending follow-up information about the problem you can

generate some sales, it typically produces lower sales conver-

solve for them, you are building trust with them, which will

sions than emailing your list and doesn’t help you build a list

increase the percentage of people who purchase the affiliate

for future sales.

offer. You will end up selling more of the initial offering, as well

The Interim Step to Build Your List One tactic that I find helpful is to replace the text or banner link to a landing page, where you can make a free offer (a

as follow up affiliate offers, because now you have created an interest list instead of getting a one-time sale where you would never acquire the customer email address.

PDF download or whitepaper) that discusses a solution to the

Creating Your Offer

problem your affiliate offer solves. For example, if you are promoting a credit repair affiliate

All you need to create your offer is a word processor, a

offer, you could link to a download on “The top 5 ways you can

PDF converter (there are many free options online), and an au-

boost your credit score without spending a dime.” If your tar-

toresponder system (there are a few of those that have free

get customer wants to fix their credit, they should have some

trial options for up to several hundred members).

interest in your free offer.

4

I hope this helps grow your list and your affiliate income. Anthony is an affiliate marketer, affiliate manager, and digital marketing consultant, and blogs at AnthonyKirlew.com.


tl;dr How you handle negative customer experiences can turn into an opportunity for your company, or simply make your competitors happier.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Turn Negative Customer Experiences

N

into Positive Opportunities by Missy Ward

o matter how much you love your business or how

This is a small sample of the audience responses.

well it is run, there will always be customers who

While some of these first reactions may seem natural,

are dissatisfied with your product or the service

how you actually respond to a customer that just called your

you provided, for whatever reason. While complaints are not always a sign that something is

baby, “Ugly”, can either turn into an opportunity for your company... or simply make your competitors happy.

wrong, reading a letter packed with grievances or a negative

Complaints, even enraged, off-the-wall ones may have mer-

review online about your business… double sucks. Not only

it. Being able to put your pride aside and take the time to evaluate

can the words hurt your feelings, but they may also be devas-

those bitter little pills left for you to swallow may provide you with

tating to your business if left unchecked.

valuable feedback to make your business even better.

A Harris Interactive study indicated that only about 4%

Additionally, statistics indicate that customers will contin-

of dissatisfied customers complain. 96% just go away. Ad-

ue to do business with you, even after you screwed up, but only

ditionally, RightNow’s “Customer Experience Impact Report”,

if you completely remedy the issue, the first time and quickly.

showed that 82% percent of U.S. consumers said they have

But to make that happen, it requires a business owner to

stopped doing business with a company due to poor service.

understand that a negative review isn’t the problem; it’s the

55% of those said that the main reason was due to slow and

result of a problem.

inefficient resolution to a customer service inquiry. Brian Littleton, CEO of ShareaSale.com recently gave a keynote address during Affiliate Summit East 2015. During his presen-

It also requires a significant investment in training customer service staff to evaluate complaints and empowering them to make it right, promptly.

tation he asked the audience to respond to the following question,

Companies that recognize that negative reviews can live

“What’s the first word that comes to mind when you find out that

online indefinitely, sometimes costing more than resolving

someone has filed a Better Business Bureau complaint against

the customer’s complaint in the first place have a much better

your company or left you a really bad 1-star review on Yelp”?

chance of sustained success.

Missy Ward is Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine and blogs at MissyWard.com.

5


tl;dr These insider tips reveal technical, visual, and campaign delivery considerations to help marketers achieve top performance from their mobile campaigns.

Issue 32 · October 2015 ·

Four Musts for

Mobile Ad Campaign Success

Dale Carr

Customize

A

recent poll, conducted by the IAB, found that 80%

by Dale Carr

of users prefer ads that are tailored for mobile devices vs. ads that are repurposed from online or TV.

Customizing a campaign for mobile means removing disruptions such as Flash creative, sliders, Lightbox image galleries, and removing modal pop-ups and required log-in for entry to

Do your part to maintain Credibility and Trust. Test that the campaigns deliver a quality experience for the customer.

a mobile site.

Target Design

There are several broad targeting options to help you reach

“Less is more” for creative design, given limited screen

your desired audience. Consider targeting by: Device Type, Car-

sizes on mobile devices. Short text, a clear call-to-action, and

rier, Geography (local language, special offers, weather, rural vs.

buttons or links that are set apart from ad copy will accommo-

urban), Demographics (age, income, education), or Contextual

date fat thumbs and help prevent accidental clicks. Maintain-

(special interests).

ing branding and style consistency across all channels is key to fostering brand recognition and aiding engagement.

Keep in mind that more audience doesn’t always equate to higher-quality audience. Start broad, and refine as you go, using advanced targeting strategies, such as Wi-Fi usage, retargeting

Adapt

based on past mobile behaviors, or a user’s similar interests to

Did you know that nearly 30% of our daily screen time is

what you are advertising, look-alike modeling, and deep linking.

spent looking at smartphones, and we hold them vertically?

Remember that the more targeted your approach, the more

Therefore, create a vertical-oriented ad or video so that audi-

narrow your reach becomes. Some advanced strategies rely on

ences don’t have to turn their smartphone sideways to watch

the accuracy of the data from your network. Check that your net-

your ad.

work collects the necessary information to support your desired strategy.

Test Remember the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would

Test, Track, and Measure

have done unto you. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential

Use unique tracking IDs to measure performance.

customer and view the app environments, and view your ad

Be prepared with alternate creatives and split test the cam-

in this app environment. See what happens when audiences

paigns to find out which creatives perform higher - then optimize

click on your ad or install an advertised app. Will accepting

accordingly. Update your ad creatives frequently to avoid desen-

your offer corrupt, slow, or spam their device? Will clicking on

sitization.

your ad lead them to a questionable site? If it’s a rewarded video view, does the player get the promised reward?

6

Measure the metrics that matter: install attribution, engagement and LTV (Lifetime Value of a User).

Dale Carr is founder and CEO of Leadbolt, an award-winning high-performance mobile advertising platform.


tl;dr Why companies should give affiliate marketing a second chance and six reasons previous attempts failed.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Giving Affiliate Marketing

a Second Chance by Linda Woods

S

Linda Woods

greatly so choosing wisely can save you a lot. Look for preferred rates from agencies. Also, the type of industry categories the network favors matters. Does the network focus largely on CPA offers while you sell retail products? Do your homework.

Lack of Commitment

omeone recently told me that they tried affiliate mar-

Many companies haphazardly throw up a program, join a

keting before, but it didn’t work, so they weren’t inter-

network, but stop at hiring a good manager. You’ll need a very

ested anymore. While this was disappointing, I got

experienced affiliate manager that has a large number of affili-

to thinking about why it’s so important to give this powerful

ate relationships and can map out a detailed strategy to make

marketing channel another shot. In my experience, here are

the program successful. Also, that manager will need internal

the top six reasons why programs fail.

support. Whether you hire someone in-house or use an OPM (Outsourced Program Management) agency, the manager

Inexperienced Management/Lack of Attention

must have support from your IT, creative, and executive teams.

Successful affiliate programs require daily attention to achieve increased sales, brand growth, and customer acquisi-

Poor Conversion Rates

tion. Vetting new affiliate applications, recruiting, promotions,

Often, companies blame affiliates on the poor productiv-

reporting, there’s always something. Managers must also

ity of the affiliate channel. However, the underlying issue may

deal with data feeds, tax nexus, compliance, and attribution

be the low conversion rate of the site itself. Affiliates can only

issues. I once reviewed a prospect’s program and uncovered

send traffic, they can’t force a visitor to buy something. It’s

691 affiliate applications pending. That’s countless lost sales.

the job of the brand to be constantly improving the customer’s path to the cart. Since affiliates are only paid when a sale

Wrong Affiliates

takes place, a healthy conversion rate keeps them happy.

Not reviewing affiliate applications means your brand may end up on unsavory sites or rely mostly on deal/coupon

Unrealistic Expectations

sites that don’t produce profitable results. Deal sites are great,

Just as building a website doesn’t guarantee visitors,

because they drive lots of sales, but you need many different

starting a program and joining a network doesn’t ensure re-

kinds of affiliates, in specialties like paid search, retargeting,

sults. Too many companies terminate their program within

cart abandonment, niche content sites, and employee loyalty

six months. Frankly, that’s not long enough to judge its po-

programs. Developing a diversified mix of affiliates ensures a

tential. Even with good management, a program needs time

profitable program.

to mature. Unlike paid search programs that can calculate net results within hours, affiliate marketing requires patience, skill,

Wrong Network

relationships, and commitment to succeed.

Networks are not created equal. A well-known network

If you’ve tried affiliate marketing before and didn’t get the

isn’t necessarily right for your business. Cost is a factor: access

results you wanted, it can still be valuable to your business.

fees, transaction fees, monthly minimums. These can vary

Give it a second chance.

Linda Woods, an 18-year veteran in affiliate marketing is currently heading up boutique agency, MadrivoOPM.

7


tl;dr Fully understanding how each affiliate behaves will be instrumental in the success of the affiliate program.

Issue 32 · October 2015 ·

Better Program Strategies

Through Affiliate Behavior

Jonathan Goodwin

A

diversified affiliate program is instrumental to the growth of the channel. Most programs tend to be dominated by a single segment of affiliates, and

diversifying the program creates significant growth opportunities. Each affiliate is different in their own right, so having the

by Jonathan Goodwin

right strategy in place with each segment of affiliates is important. Loyalty, coupon, niche/content, and other publishers can contribute greatly to the affiliate channel.

eyes and realize how much coupon sites help close sales. If you believe

Loyalty

coupon sites are just swooping in last minute, ask yourself why conver-

Ebates, Upromise, FatWallet, Cartera Commerce, Mr. Re-

sions aren’t near 100%. The best recommendation is to optimize with

bates, Goodshop, and others can significantly impact an af-

coupon sites. I bet you’ll continue to see increases in conversion rates

filiate channel. They not only present the opportunity to drive

and higher sales figures.” – Kevin Sloan, Coupons.com

substantial revenue but also can assist in increasing the average-order-value (AOV) in the cart. “Loyalty partners offer significant growth impact through spe-

These publishers are proven to drive not only the most traffic but also create the best opportunity to capture new customers.

cific areas for merchants. For instance, we offer marketing efforts

Working with coupon affiliates is a must if your program

for targeting only “new” customers or we can provide feedback on

strategy is to increase new-to-file (NTF). Tactics that normally

potential offers or sales that resonate strongly with established us-

drive the most customers are: exclusive offers, vanity codes,

ers.” – April Spigarelli, Ebates

and paid placements.

Since most of these affiliates offer rewards, points, or cashback, consumers pounce on opportunities to earn more

Niche / Content

rewards and add more items to their cart. A great tactic to em-

Everybody wants more content publishers. These pub-

ploy with these publishers is to increase commission levels to

lishers have significant value in validating the brand’s prod-

offer higher incentives to the consumer.

ucts. In spite of their popularity with advertisers, these pub-

When working with affiliates, ask them to pass 100%

lishers are not typically heavy revenue drivers for the program.

back to the consumer, for a short duration. This will create a

What’s important is to have this affiliate segment com-

sense of urgency and entice consumers to shop over compet-

plement the channel’s overall growth. These publishers need

ing brands.

items to review on their site to highlight the benefits of the brand’s products to their specific demographic. Giveaways

Coupon Typically coupon publishers are the most popular affiliate

within this affiliate sector will also create beneficial brand exposure.

segment and tend to get a bad rap. Many advertisers assume

To achieve the best affiliate program strategy, program

they generate sales without the coupon affiliates, which sim-

goals must align with the advertisers internal goals. Having

ply isn’t true.

the right blend of affiliates in the program with the right strat-

“eCommerce businesses should look through their shoppers’

8

egy will set you up for success in managing the channel. Jonathan Goodwin is the Director of Accounts at JEBCommerce.


tl;dr Recruit out-of-network affiliates to your program by using these four steps.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Four Best Practices for

Recruiting Out-of-Network Affiliates by Cadence Morrison

O

Cadence Morrison

should be contacting, your email or phone call will likely go unanswered.

ne of the biggest challenges for an affiliate manager

After doing your homework, you can begin to identify pos-

is recruiting out-of-network affiliates. This guide will

sible contacts using social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) or

help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of out-

asking industry colleagues. Find out what your contact does,

of-network recruitment.

who they work with, and how long they’ve been in the industry. All of this will help in tailoring your message to include

Why Is Out-Of-Network Recruiting Difficult?

pertinent information that will help both parties determine if

Before getting into best practices, it’s first important to

this is a mutually beneficial partnership and viable opportu-

understand why out-network-recruiting poses such a chal-

nity. Remember that a good first impression could help in the

lenge. To do this, let’s look at things from the affiliate’s per-

future—even if there isn’t a partnership opportunity today.

spective. Integrating with a new network means managing an additional set of payout rules, tax forms, and tracking links, and monthly commission reconciliation—which is a headache for a business of any size.

Make a Compelling Offer Remember that adding a program on a new network can be a big “ask”, so make sure you set yourself apart from the crowd by offering something compelling. A VIP commission

Do Your Homework When you start recruiting out-of-network affiliates, it’s im-

rate, special terms & offers for the first few months, or even exclusive coupons can help set you apart from the rest.

portant to do your homework. A good first step is to see if the

If you’ve done your homework, you should be able to pres-

site you’re recruiting is currently involved in affiliate market-

ent a value proposition around why you should work together,

ing. Checking for affiliate links and FTC disclosures is an easy

based on your research about their website, and how they

way to determine this, as you don’t want to send a message

align with your program.

introducing affiliate marketing to someone who’s been in the industry for 10 years. If you find affiliate links on their site, do some research

Make it Easy for Them to Join Your Program and the Network

and find out what kind of merchants they’re working with,

Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, don’t make new af-

marketing specialties (blogging, coupons, reviews), and any

filiates jump through hoops that discourage or prevent them

other relevant information about the site you can find.

from getting into your network program. Every network has its own sign-up processes, and some

Find the Right Contact and

are easier than others. Most networks offer a merchant spe-

Personalize Your Message

cific sign-up link. Send the link that takes them directly to the

It’s easy to send a message to the company you’re trying to recruit as an affiliate, but unless you know who you Cadence Morrison is the Director of Client Experience at iAffiliate Management.

application page and include instructions around the sign-up process with the specific information they’ll need to join.

9


tl;dr Tips on finding a balance between the demands of entrepreneurship and family life.

Issue 32 · October 2015 ·

Four Strategies for Juggling

Entrepreneurship & Parenthood by Nick Andrews

Nick Andrews

Y

Still, even with this constant digital bombardment, I’ve ou might not admit it, but you’ve done it. Maybe

found that you need to prioritize family time if you want to

you’ve taken a client call during dinner? Or thought

maintain your sanity.

about an outstanding bill while trying to play with

Here are four strategies that have helped me: 1. Understand what is truly urgent. I’ve made the mis-

your kids? As entrepreneurs, we wear so many hats that the dynam-

take of taking a phone call from a client and jumping into the

ic nature of our work often blurs the line between work and

office during dinner, only to realize that it would have been

family time, but you can find balance.

perfectly okay to call back later in the evening. We all need to realize that not everything is an immediate crisis and that

Corporate Life Vs. Entrepreneurship

most issues can wait an hour or two.

Work/life balance was much easier in the corporate

2. Trade sleep for family time. I’ve found it to be much

world. You could put the phone away and pick things up in the

more productive to wake up at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. and have an

morning with little risk of pissing anyone off. Vacations were a

hour or two of time to focus 100 percent on the business,

breeze — just put an“out of office”message in your email and

rather than sleeping until 6 a.m. and being distracted when

enjoy the week.

everyone in the house is awake.

Now that I own my own business, it has become a lot

3. Make it fun. My daughter has a pink princess laptop,

trickier. For example, things are extremely busy on the first of

and she loves it. She knows when I go into the office to work

every month, when I reset many of my client’s promotions, so

and often wants to join me. She’ll sit next to me and pretend

any vacation we take as a family can’t include the 1st of the

to type away. It makes it a lot more enjoyable for me to have

month if I actually want to enjoy it.

her at my side.

To be honest, there never really is a perfect time to take

4. Have a separate quiet space. We have a hybrid home

a vacation. I often have as many as 200 viral marketing cam-

office/playroom in my house, which doesn’t cut it when I need

paigns live at the same time, and they always need tweaking.

to get serious work done and take important client calls. I real-

Feedback from clients and partners is constant, and given

ized this early on and found a small commercial office space

that I work with companies in nearly every time zone, the busi-

just a few miles down the road from my house that serves

ness quite literally does not sleep.

perfectly as a quite space to work and think.

10

Nick Andrews is CEO of ReviTrage, an agency that helps organizations execute viral/social marketing campaigns.


tl;dr Five ways that the FCC’s recent TCPA ruling could affect your affiliate marketing campaign.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

FCC’s TCPA Ruling:

Five Notes for Affiliates

David O. Klein

by David O. Klein

T

3. Prior consent only valid for one call his July, the Federal Communications Commission

after a number is reassigned.

(the “FCC” or “Commission”) released its long-await-

The FCC ruling establishes new restrictions related to the

ed Declaratory Ruling and Order, which was prompt-

transfer or reassignment of a phone number from one person to

ed by nearly two dozen petitions and letters from marketers

another. If a number is reassigned, telemarketers must now either

requesting clarifications relating to the Telephone Consumer

stop calling and texting the number after one call/text or obtain

Protection Act (the “TCPA”).

the prior express written consent of the new owner of the number.

The recent FCC ruling raises some issues for affiliate marketers seeking to comply with the TCPA and its imple-

4. New exemption for one-time,

menting regulations. Five of the most notable examples are

on-demand text messages.

explored below.

The Commission determined that a text message does not violate the TCPA or FCC rules if it: (a) is requested by a consumer;

1. Marketing text messages must

(b) is a one-time-only message sent immediately in response to

comply with the TCPA.

that specific consumer request; and (c) contains only the infor-

Among other things, the TCPA establishes steep statu-

mation requested by the consumer, with no other marketing or

tory penalties for engaging in certain telemarketing activities

advertising information. The FCC applied this limited exemption

without proper consumer consent. July’s ruling reiterated the

to on-demand text messages sent to consumers to facilitate pur-

FCC’s stance that text messages are “telephone calls” for

chases, such as advertising offers to reply with a coupon code

purposes of the TCPA, which means that affiliate marketers

when shoppers text a keyword (e.g., “25OFF”) to a short code.

implementing text messaging (SMS) campaigns could be liable for up to $1,500 per non-compliant text message.

5. New exemption for certain app providers.

2. Practically all calling/texting

certain app providers that do not “make” or “initiate” text mes-

systems are “autodialers.”

sages delivered via a mobile application. The Commission will

The FCC’s ruling provides additional TCPA protections for

Marketers are generally prohibited from making/deliver-

weigh some factors to determine whether the app provider or

ing commercial phone calls or text messages to a consumer

app user controls the timing, content, and targeted recipients

with an Automatic Telephone Dialing System (more common-

of the text messages.

ly known as an “autodialer”) without the person’s prior express

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

written consent. The recent FCC ruling takes an expansive

issues surrounding the FCC’s recent ruling. Because the TCPA

stance on the TCPA’s autodialer definition, labeling practically

and its implementing regulations are nuanced and in a state

every telemarketing device on the market as an autodialer

of continued flux, affiliate marketers should obtain guidance

(and subject to regulation under the TCPA), even if it is not

from an experienced legal professional before engaging in

presently used for that purpose.

such marketing practices.

David O. Klein is Managing Partner of the marketing law firm Klein Moynihan Turco LLP.

11


tl;dr National brands have leveraged local market advertising for years—now technology is allowing them to target on a new level.

Issue 32 · October 2015 ·

Five Ways to

Market Your Business Locally by Matthew Perl

Matthew Perl

F

rom Madison Avenue to Main Street, businesses of

2. Hypertargeting – Much has been written in these

all sizes have looked for a foothold in both local and

pages about geo-targeting, and while there are different tac-

national marketplaces for quite a while. Whether it’s

tics in getting to these customers, it’s important to acknowl-

Domino’s attempting to displace the local pizzeria or Home

edge the tools already at our disposal. From Facebook’s

Depot pushing out the corner hardware store, brands have

wealth of consumer knowledge to ad-planning tools in Google,

long attempted to take their message to customers locally.

researching and isolating certain groups is all about the data

Today we are seeing a paradigm shift as advertisers are

you have access to. There are companies that specialize in

starting local and trying to build outward. This inside-out

pulling out lookalike audiences from your existing consumer

approach challenges the “meta” approaches of the past (TV

list, and exploring those is a great place to start. 3. Ambassadors on College Campuses– We all re-

spots, newspaper ads). So, how do you take your company from meta to micro?

member the guy promoting credit cards on campus or pass-

Carefully. You don’t want to start a dialogue with a community

ing around free swag. This method is still out there, and big

and come across as inauthentic. Below are five ways that market-

players like Uber have returned to this model to create buzz

ers can wade into the waters of local advertising on a micro level:

on campus. Don’t abandon this old tool with your brand—it’s a

1. Community Engagement– Throwing your logo on a

great way to break into a new market!

Little League uniform has long been a method of connecting

4. Yelp – According to Business Insider, local adver-

audiences with a brand. But no company has the bandwidth

tisements on mobile devices constituted “40% of Yelp’s over-

to insert on such a micro level. To work around this, many larg-

all local ad inventory in the last quarter of 2013”, and that

er companies have smartly engaged their communities on

number continues to grow. Small businesses have seen

different levels. Technology superpower Raytheon leverages

great success in this area and taking a portion of your online

engineering employees to support their community through

budget to this relatively-untapped venue is a great way to get

mentoring programs, which underscores a larger effort by the

audience share.

firm to engender good will. While Raytheon could go out and

5. Offline Media Buys – Each major media outlet in

sponsor baseball uniforms, an engagement strategy like this

the U.S. can target advertising by city, neighborhood, or even

is more sustainable—and, according to Cause Marketing Fo-

zip code. Same goes for television and outdoor signage. This

rum, 89% of U.S. consumers are likely to switch brands to one

form of advertising can be expensive--but when purchased

associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality.

correctly, advertisers can target very astutely.

12

Matthew Perl is the Emmy Award-winning Chief Marketing Officer for Silver Rock Funding.


tl;dr What you can learn from MacGyver to increase search engine ranking and conversion to stand out and get found online.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Become the

MacGyver of Digital Marketing by Shannon K. Steffen Shannon K. Steffen

I

f you’re an affiliate marketer or new business, you don’t

2. Learn from the masters.

have a lot of money to waste on expensive advertising

Do you know someone else that is already killing it online?

like your bigger competitors. To succeed online, but with

Watch them and learn from them. See how they are repurpos-

a smaller budget, you have to learn market like MacGyver. MacGyver always started out with a goal. Start outlining specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals, connect brainstorming with business partners, and

ing content, aligning products, and sharing with social media networks. Pay special attention to how their customers are responding. Then, slowly, start testing your own waters.

connections to come up with several inexpensive outside-thebox marketing strategies. Goal setting produces ideas that are tailor-made for your business; incorporating your key values and mission. Then, if you’re really feeling stumped for ideas, get creative with these:

3. Measure the options. Too many decisions! Do you cut the red wire or the white wire? Do you buy the t-shirt with short or long sleeves? Which color is better for that dog bed, purple or brown? It’s tough being a customer with so many products to choose from. Help your customers with a marketing comparison guide.

1. Create something that helps others. The best types of content are those that focus on your target market - not you. Know your customer: what frustrates them, what makes them happy, and what will make them want to share what you have with their loved ones.

Lay out the details and guide your target market to the best choice. Never leave them guessing their purchase. Digital marketing doesn’t have to be limited to paid advertising and catchy jingles. Why not think outside the box?

Winning content solves their problems. Make sure to add

See what you already have to create something new, ex-

visual elements to all your digital content. Human beings are

citing, and so fascinating that your customers will have no

visual, and graphics catch the eye and emotion.

choice but to become your brand champions.

Shannon is a twenty-year SEO veteran, award-winning independent Human SEO strategist, and Founder of daymarkdigital.com.

13


(1. 2. 3. 4. 5) See affiliatesummit.com/16w-register/ for full details on all pass type inclusions and exclusions.


tl;dr Got a landing page? Implement these tips to see increased earnings.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Actionable Tips to Increase

Landing Page Conversions by Zac Johnson

E

Zac Johnson

veryone knows that a landing page is simply one of the best ways to convert traffic into high-quality leads. With that being said, I probably don’t need to

are getting an exclusive offer and saving some money in the

bore you with the specifics of how to create a landing page,

process. Create unique coupon codes and discounts for your

what to put on it, and how to setup your tracking.

landing pages based on your target audience, advertising lo-

Instead, I want to give you some actionable tips on how

cations, and seasonal / holiday events throughout the year.

you can improve your existing landing pages by playing around with different call to actions.

Time Sensitive and Limited Supply

Target Your Demographic Audience

time” offer is another great way to increase conversions on

In addition to coupons and discounts, having a “limited One of the most powerful assets for online marketers is

your landing page. As online marketers, we probably think

the ability to create ad campaigns based on their target au-

those countdown clocks and “limited supply” call to actions

dience. Thanks to powerful demographic targeting available

are silly... but guess what, they work!

through self-serve ad platforms like Facebook Ads and Plenty of Fish, anyone can build out their own unique landing pages that are specifically targeted to their direct target audience.

Test Your Button Ad Copy While you might think the submission button on your landing page looks fancy and blends in well with your current

Use Retargeting to Bring Them Back

design, it might not be so obvious to your general audience. A

Not every person who comes to your site is going to re-

great way to quickly swing conversions on your landing page

sult in a lead. For times like these, retargeting is key! Retarget-

is to mess around with your submit buttons by changing their

ing gives site owners and marketers the ability to track who

text, color, sizing, and placements.

visits their site and then display follow-up ads to them as they continue to browse the internet. This is commonly seen when

BONUS TIP: Split Testing is Everything

browsing through Facebook, as you will see ads from sites

Split testing is truly the difference between a successful

you previously visited. The majority of these ads are catered

and failing ad campaign. No matter what type of call to ac-

to reminding you to come back and complete your order or

tion you are using on your landing page, it’s important that you

take action where you last left off.

split test everything. With split testing, you can make minor changes to your landing page that could heavily swing conver-

Offer a Coupon or Discount Everyone loves saving money and one of the best call to actions for your landing page is to have someone feel like they

sions in your favor. A small increase of just a few percentage points could result in thousands of dollars over the life of your next ad campaign

Zac Johnson is the entrepreneur mastermind behind ZacJohnson.com and Blogging.org.

15


tl;dr A dive into five ways affiliate managers waste time on programs and how that time could be implemented more effectively.

Issue 32 · October 2015 ·

Five Ways You’re

Wasting Your Time

by Dan Fink Dan Fink

I

t’s always easy to find something that you could be do-

3. Surfing The Net – While this is more of a general

ing for your affiliate program. Filling up a full 24 hour day,

time-waster, losing time on the internet is very easy. A whole

executing on various projects and initiatives, is possible,

world of information is at your fingertips, so why not go over

but should you be?

that Fantasy Football roster one more time real quickly. Easy,

A lot of the time during our day is potentially wasted on

because that doesn’t figure into your clients ROI and doesn’t

the wrong tasks. When we find ourselves working late at night,

help your publishers advertise your clients more effectively.

or through the day with little to no breaks, it’s simply because

Using browser add-ons to control your surfing habits is a

we’ve wasted time.

great way to enhance your productivity.

So, we should ask ourselves how are we wasting time and what can we be doing more effectively?

4. Ignoring Data– Underutilizing various data sets available to affiliate managers, such as demographics, con-

1. Using Email at The Wrong Time– Most of us use email

sumer behavior, and others can lead to large amounts of

as our main form of communication, and in most cases that is

wasted time in the shape of ill-conceived recruitment initia-

fine. However, email can be a rather poor form of communication,

tives and poor offer development. Make sure to utilize data at

especially on issues of importance. If a publisher or your client is

hand to be creative and go after those small niche publisher

working through an important issue, rather than email about it,

verticals that are customer-rich for your brand.

pick up the phone and discuss the subject. Discussing issues on

5. Living In Your Comfort Zone– Working on the same

the phone can provide a lot more clarity than using emails, which

type of initiatives and never expanding the breadth of your

do not convey tone and may confuse an issue further.

program’s channel is a major way to waste time. New technol-

2. Too Many Initiatives– As mentioned earlier, it’s easy

ogies and affiliate marketing strategies are popping up faster

to come up with a lot of ideas to enact in your affiliate pro-

each year. The affiliate world is a much more complicated one

gram. Many people try to do too much at once, resulting in

than it was even a few years ago. So if you are simply resting

poorly run campaigns that return poor results. Instead, pick

on your laurels and being complacent, there are many oppor-

two or three ideas that help to grow the program incremen-

tunities to grow your program that are being missed.

tally the most and focus on them until completed.

16

Dan Fink is a Senior Affiliate Manager at Schaaf-PartnerCentric.


tl;dr A first person account of the steps taken to turn around a failing affiliate program.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Fixing a Struggling

Affiliate Program by Jennifer Parker

W

Jennifer Parker

hen I started at Decision Analyst, I was an Ad-

mated and is too much trouble for fraudsters looking for a

Words girl all the way. I was certified, which put

quick buck.

me on the mailing list to receive pumpkins, com-

plete with carving kits, and Jelly Belly-filled plastic droids.

»» We notified our existing affiliates of our change in Terms.

It wasn’t just the swag that had my loyalty, though. Ad-

There are no shady shenanigans around here. As a bo-

Words was working for my small business clients. They were

nus, the evidence of a sent email came in handy later when

spending about $60 a day, converting a few leads a week into

there were questions about proper payouts.

hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars in new business. With this mindset, I began looking for ways to build up our

»» I researched affiliate networks to replace our outdated in-house platform.

consumer panel. I started my research and to my utter shock,

While all of these changes were going on, we were search-

found that the average cost per click was around $5.00. It

ing for a new network to work with. Being unproven in this

didn’t take long to realize that this strategy was not going to

world of affiliates, I decided to take the safest route that, for

work for us. Here’s what happened next:

us, turned out to be ShareASale.

»» We identified that affiliate marketing was the most

»» We doubled our payout to affiliates and offered them a

cost-effective advertising for us.

little something extra.

Once I realized that we only paid on a conversion, that

If our affiliates were going to have work harder to get

we determined the terms of and paid a price that we felt was

leads, we felt compelled to reward them for it. We started

fair, I knew that affiliate was our jam. Our old tried-and-true in-

sending out newsletters, and we held contests. In short, we

house affiliate program just needed some serious polishing.

added value to our offer.

»» We changed our Terms of Use to get control of fraud and useless leads.

»» Bonus: We reduced the overall cost per conversion. It sounds too good to be true. But it’s not. It’s about qual-

We were paying affiliates for each double opt-in but were

ity and retention. By cutting down on fraud, and asking for a

not getting satisfying results. Requiring the added step of an

larger commitment on the front end, we’ve been able to retain

initial completed survey not only improved the quality of our

the folks who actually want to be members.

leads, but we also found that it cut down on fraud. Filling out

Since we’re not paying for people who aren’t all that in-

a registration form, opting in from a confirmation email, and

terested, and who are likely to close their account within the

then filling out a five-to-ten-minute survey, is not easily auto-

month, the cost per conversion is reduced overall.

Jennifer Parker is a Panel Administrator and the Affiliate Marketing Manager at Decision Analyst, Inc.

17


tl;dr How search marketers can transform their current paid search campaigns into sponsored content marketing.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Connecting Paid Search and

and Content Marketing Khaled Azar

C

by Khaled Azar

ontent marketing started gaining traction in 2006

and image, which leads to a landing page. Content marketing

and is defined by the Content Marketing Institute as:

requires news-like content for promotion, which requires a small tweak to your campaign funnel to match the experience

A strategic marketing approach focused on

people expect from reading helpful blogs.

creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearlydefined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Write an Advertorial Create an interesting article or video that evokes emotion and desire that links to your landing page. Some are extreme, such as health and diet products; others simply state pains

Native advertising in the form of content recommenda-

and gains from their software or service.

tion widgets, such as Outbrain and Taboola, is one channel

Host the content on your site’s blog or a third party au-

to distribute content that paid search marketers are starting

thority site, such as a guest article. Do not host on your

to leverage.

homepage since that will get rejected by the content recom-

On average, 28% of B2C marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing with 55% of consumer marketers planning to increase spend. Content marketing is effective for a variety of objectives:

mendation networks. For example if you promote a month to month wireless service, pound away at the frustration about two-year wireless contracts and the high cost to cancel. Toward the end

»» Lead Generation

of the article (some do it in multiple places within the article),

»» Earned Media Amplification

prompt the user to see how much they may save on month to

»» Brand Awareness

month service.

»» Customer Acquisition

The best call to action will connect to the landing page

The current state of content marketing in the native format

after you have built up suspense to escape the pain of long-

is in a similar stage of search at its early adoption stage: grow-

term contracts, in this example. Adjust accordingly since you

ing rapidly, less competitive, and minimal targeting options.

know your market best. Once you create and host the article, ensure it is cohesive

How do search marketers apply this new

from ad to action. This means ensuring you are using a vari-

channel to their marketing strategy?

ety of images, titles, and descriptions to optimize on click thru

Here is a lead generation scenario to adapt a current search campaign to a relevant content marketing campaign. Most search campaigns have a standard text ad, or text

18

rate and conversion rate. As with search or any other campaign: launch, experiment, analyze, and optimize. Khaled Azar is the Co-Founder and COO of Brax.io, a content promotion software.


tl;dr New FTC guidelines require disclosures near affiliate links in reviews, blogs, and tweets.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

New FTC Requirements

for Affiliate Marketers by Karl Kronenberger

I

Karl Kronenberger

n May of 2015, the Federal Trade Commission released new guidelines that directly affect most affiliate marketers. The last time the FTC published guidelines related

terms of use or within the page footer are not adequate. Also, the

to affiliate marketing was in March of 2013 when the FTC re-

disclosure should generally be above the affiliate link, in the event

leased its updated “.com Disclosures”.

that a consumer does not scroll down past the affiliate link.

In May 2015, the FTC updated its “Endorsement Guides,”

The FTC also clarified that merely using the words “affiliate

covering issues such as disclosures in close proximity to affili-

link” in the link text will not be an adequate disclosure, nor will

ate links, buying “Likes” and incentivizing Tweets, and required

the use of the words “buy now” in the link text.

disclosures in consumer reviews.

Buying Likes and Incentivizing Tweets Disclosure of Potential Commissions Near Affiliate Links

The FTC now states explicitly that if marketers buy Facebook “likes,” marketers could face an FTC enforcement action.

Many affiliate marketers create content around to prod-

If the “likes” are from non-existent people, or from people who

ucts that would appear on blogs or consumer reviews sites,

have no experience with the product, it is now clear that buying

with affiliate links to retailers embedded into the content. The

likes violates the FTC guidelines.

new version of the FTC’s Endorsement Guides clarifies that

If a marketer runs a promotion where consumers are

affiliate marketers must disclose their relationship with the

compensated in some matter for publishing Tweets, then the

retailer in a “clear and conspicuous” manner, so that consum-

advertiser must require that the consumer disclose the promo-

ers can decide how much weight to give the product review or

tional nature of the Tweets. The FTC provides some examples

endorsement.

of ways to make disclosures on Twitter, like using the words,

Reviews can be multiple paragraphs long, containing mul-

“Sponsored, “Promotion,” or “Ad:”.

tiple affiliate links, so the FTC has clarified that in many situations, the affiliate marketer need only disclose the relationship

No Astroturfing

once. As an example, the FTC suggests language such as, “I get

While many have viewed FTC guidelines to prohibit so-

commissions for purchases made through links in this post.”

called “astroturfing” (i.e. masking the sponsor of a message

However, if the affiliate link is separate from the review on the

to make it appear as though it originates from grassroots par-

page, the FTC recommends multiple disclosures.

ticipants), the new FTC guides reiterate that affiliate marketers,

The disclosure should generally be close to the actual recommendation in the review, so putting disclosures in linked

or employees of retailers, may not create consumers reviews without disclosing their connection to the retailer.

Attorney Karl Kronenberger, of Kronenberger Rosenfeld, LLP, represents businesses in the performance marketing industry.

19


· Issue 32 · October 2015

Team Affiliate Marketers Give Back

Raises over $47,000 by Missy Ward

O

n September 12-13, 2015, Team Affiliate Marketers Give Back took on another Avon 39 challenge, this time in Santa Barbara, CA.

The Avon 39 is The Walk to End Breast Cancer – 2 Days,

39.3 Miles, 7 Cities Across the United States. The money raised during the event helps fund research, awareness and education while providing assistance for families currently battling breast cancer. It also supplies muchneeded screenings and treatment to detect breast cancer and stop it in its tracks. This was my ninth breast cancer walk and as captain, I was privileged to walk with these incredible 39’ers: Robert Duva, FinandField.com; Liz Fogg, MyBlingPlace.com; Joel Garcia, Lab6Media.com; Adam Riemer, Adam Riemer Marketing; Kevin Strawbrige, Rackspace Hosting and Melissa Salas, WorldOfWatches.com. Nearly 2,300 other walkers conquered the 39.3 miles to crush breast cancer with us. In total, $5.3 Million was raised in conjunction with this walk with our team coming in fifth place, raising nearly $48,000. I was excited to see that I was the Top Fundraiser this walk, coming in at $34,513.81. If you would like to help us take breast cancer down for good, consider joining us on an upcoming Avon 39. Visit AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com for more information.

20


路 Issue 32 路 October 2015

21


tl;dr Successfully foster your merchant relationships from the ground up using strategies proven to help achieve your partnership objectives.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Proven Strategies for

John Nardolilli

A

Gaining Merchant Affinity

by John Nardolilli s an affiliate, it is your responsibility to educate merchant partners on your marketing methods. Al-

simplify your explanation to anyone who is new or unfamiliar

lowing merchants to understand how you will be

to your active relationship as an affiliate partner.

promoting them is the first step to a successful, long-term relationship.

Maintain Consistent Communication

One consequence of not doing so is getting all set up,

Next, you should maintain regular communication with

finding some success, and then having the merchant termi-

the merchant to find out about special promotions, opportu-

nate the relationship with no warning or explanation. More of-

nities, etc. This will not only provide information to help you

ten than not, this negative experience forces a permanent end

successfully promote, but it will also keep you top of mind for

to your relationship with the merchant.

the merchant when new opportunities arise.

One consistent pattern I have found in these sudden shut-

I have seen this lead to increased commission tests, new

downs is the merchant’s reasoning: they don’t understand the

traffic sources, exclusive offers, and countless additional op-

affiliate’s promotional methods, and instead of reaching out to

portunities that otherwise may not have been offered.

the affiliate for clarification, they simply pull the plug. If you introduce your affiliate brand upfront, the merchant

Provide Useful Data

is less likely to shut down when they have questions about

Most importantly, merchants may look at data for their

your promotional methods. In fact, the increased transparen-

overall program, but not for specific affiliates. Try providing

cy will give the merchant representative a better understand-

as much data as possible to your merchant partners, report-

ing and will allow them to provide their superiors (the decision

ing both the successes and the failures in your promotional

makers) with information on how successful you have been

efforts.

in promoting. This new understanding could lead to more opportunities down the road.

A good tip is to talk with your network partners to see if they can provide merchant-specific traffic data. Networks can sometimes retrieve additional data from their reports that you may not have known to ask for.

Document Your Relationship

The merchant will appreciate the information and will also

Once you’ve contacted a merchant and explained your

help them provide more informed updates to their superiors.

preferred marketing methods, you should document the re-

The more your contact thinks about you and the more infor-

lationship. Keeping track of your communication with a mer-

mation they can provide up the chain of command, the better.

chant can aid you in various ways, including acting as a quick

Transparency within your affiliate program is essential to

form of education should someone within the merchant’s or-

your success. Documenting your relationships, maintaining

ganization question your course of action.

consistent communication, and providing actionable data will

When you get these inquiries, you should always include your main point of contact. Keeping them in the loop will help

22

lead to successful relationships and will help grow your affiliate business long-term. John is the Director of Affiliate Relations at LinkConnector Corporation.


tl;dr Reasons why toolbars may not be a good thing for Advertisers.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Are Toolbars Good for

Your Affiliate Program? by Phil Ayres

P

ublishers provide a very valuable service by delivering Phil Ayres

traffic to advertisers who might not otherwise be on a customer’s radar. However, as the proliferation of

toolbars and browser extensions has grown, advertisers have seen revenue from toolbar publishers also grow. Given this,

How Advertisers Can Limit or Eliminate Toolbars

we have to ask: is this growth in toolbar usage a good thing?

For an advertiser, simply figuring out how to begin limiting or eliminating toolbars can be a challenge. Finding tool-

Toolbars Aren’t Creating (Real) Traffic For some publishers, toolbars and extensions are a

bars may be easier said than done, as some publishers fail to self-report toolbars to networks. Nevertheless, there are a

means of creating traffic out of thin air. Rather than invest-

number of analytical means at the disposal of advertisers:

ing in Google clicks or mastering SEO tactics, it proves to be

1.

Use Omniture or your site’s analytics software to lo-

easier to simply extract branded clicks from an advertiser, and

cate toolbars. Examine referred domains to locate pub-

sell them back to that advertiser.

lishers who have a significant amount of traffic coming from domains other than the publisher’s site of record.

Although there is discussion about the negative ramifications of toolbars for advertisers looking to generate legitimate

2. Google “[Publisher name] + toolbar”. I have found a

traffic, there remains a lack of understanding across advertis-

significant number of forum discussions on specific

ers, publishers, and networks as to why a toolbar or extension

toolbars. Customers writing about how difficult it is to re-

may not be the best source of traffic.

move certain affiliate toolbars from browsers show how important it is to be mindful as to whether a particular

Toolbars and extensions represent an unnecessary ad-

toolbar should be in your program.

vertiser expense with little to no incremental return. The typical affiliate toolbar or extension represents an “affiliate tax”

3.

Compete.com (if you have it) can be a valuable ally.

that an advertiser pays to the publisher over and above the

Compete offers a report that allows a site’s organic mar-

initial source of traffic.

ket share of visitors for an advertiser’s branded terms to be analyzed. If you see a high concentration of organic

Questionable Justification for Toolbars Citing additional functionality, such as coupon and pop-

clicks for your branded terms coming from a particular publisher; that may indicate the presence of an active

up deal finder links that are triggered when visitors come to

toolbar.

the advertiser’s site, publishers often justify these toolbars as

Each Advertiser must decide upon its own toolbar policy.

a “value-add”.

While the first step begins with identifying which toolbars are

But rather than paying for traffic that is reaching the adver-

active for your site, the next – and most important - is to begin

tiser’s site organically, I would argue that the advertiser should

the process of aligning your affiliate traffic with your compa-

put more effort into the optimization of onsite deals and sales.

ny’s business goals.

Phil Ayres is the Director of Marketing for Travelocity.com in Dallas, TX.

23


tl;dr The wild west of Internet participation has been tamed, as Digital Citizenship is the new Sheriff in town.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Embrace

Digital Citizenship by Robin R. Talbott Robin R. Talbott

W

ho could forget those reckless early days of the Internet when modems wheezed and, “bongbonged,” on to a connection with our comput-

ers? Hooked up to a telephone line, the relay was similar to the

accounts to affirm your primary user-name’s stance, pointing

telegraph wires strung throughout the continent, as men and

out your own brilliance for all to see. Now, thank goodness,

women with families headed out to follow Horace Greely’s at-

the reins have tightened for the commonplace user. There are

tributed admonition to, “Go West, young man.”

accepted practices forming to guide us in the responsible use

Determined to drive Conestoga wagons toward the Pacific, many families got more than they bargained for. Being from

of technology, while instructing our up and coming, younger generations.

the east, where law and order were established, they expected

As proper Internet usage has become more defined, a set

a certain level of civility, but often found it lacking. Man’s in-

of ethical considerations and rules of engagement are guiding

humanity to man could be unbridled and unrestrained, in an

what has become known as Digital Citizenship. These list the

upstart land where might often meant right.

various concerns surrounding digital access and the civilly re-

And, so it was in the early days of the Internet when

quired for the prudent use of digital media. An even playing

anonymity was not only allowed, but also encouraged. User

field has been created to encourage the mindful participation

names cloaked identities, as the burgeoning e-mail providers

of all Internet users.

allowed any number of accounts. In fact, e-mail user accounts

Now, Digital Citizenship has evolved through discussion

flourished in number and unaccountability, as many people

and information dissemination to include nine elements as

had several accounts with different providers, and used them

defined on DigitalCitizen.net : 1) Digital access; 2) Digital com-

in a compartmentalized manner.

merce; 3) Digital communication; 4) Digital literacy; 5) Digital

For example, consider one person participating on a discussion board, what we later called chat rooms, now better

etiquette; 6) Digital law; 7) Digital rights and responsibilities; 8) Digital health; and 9) Digital security.

known as forums, under one user name with a certain tone

In fact, July 2015, was Digital Citizen Month, @DigCitizen-

and established presence. With multiple e-mail accounts, the

Month, promoted by Founder Ananda Leeke @madelynleeke

same person could come in under another one of his user

of anandaleeke.com who encourages those on the Internet

names and back up his own point of view. Or, they could easily

to use their digital citizenship voice to educate, empower and

third-party troll to an opponent and offer resistance without

engage people and communities. Digital Citizen Month was

sullying their established primary image.

so successful, the #DigCitizen project is asking everyone

For those of us who are verbally conflict oriented, it was a great system. What fun to use all of your five or six e-mail

24

to #DigCitizenVoice all year long. Won’t you please join Ms. Leeke in defining the world’s Internet experience? Robin R. Talbott (@SunbonSmart) digitally markets at SunbonnetSmart.com


tl;dr Five ways affiliate marketers can streamline their accounting by using the cloud.

路 Issue 32 路 October 2015

Streamline Your Accounting by

Using the Cloud by Steve Root

F

Steve Root

ew occupations offer the personal freedom and work-life balance that affiliate marketers enjoy. You

If you use other cloud-based software applications, like

have the opportunity to work the hours that suit your

a CRM system or an expense-tracking tool, there is a good

lifestyle, and run your business from anywhere on the planet.

chance it can integrate with your cloud-based accounting ap-

However, before you can quit your day job and travel the

plication, too.

globe, your affiliate business needs to be both profitable and manageable.

3. Pay Your Bills Smartly

Cloud-based accounting software is a tremendous tool

As an affiliate marketer, you might employ freelance

when it comes to knowing where your business stands finan-

graphic designers or writers to keep your content fresh and

cially. Since the software lives in the cloud and not on your

looking sharp. Cloud-based accounting software can make it

hard drive, you can access it from any computer or mobile

easy to pay your contractors and account for the expenses.

device through a standard web browser.

You can keep track of whom you owe money to and schedule

Here are five benefits of using a cloud-based accounting

payments accordingly.

application that affiliate marketers can and should be using:

4. Dig Into Your Data 1. Go Mobile

Being financially efficient is one of the most important

A huge advantage of being an affiliate marketer is that

parts of running any business. Accounting software comes

you can work from anywhere you want. But that means that

with reporting features that make it easy to analyze your fi-

your business tools need to be accessible wherever you are.

nancial data. You can generate reports that shed light on the

Cloud-based accounting software is not only accessible on any computer with an Internet connection, but also acces-

areas of your business where you are doing well, and where you can improve.

sible on your mobile device. You can complete essential tasks like bank reconciliation or bill payment, simply by resourcing your phone or tablet.

5. Take Advantage of the Time Savings Cloud-based accounting software has numerous benefits that combine to offer great time-saving options for af-

2. Connect With Bank Account

filiate marketers. Its ability to connect with other applications

and Other Online Applications

drastically cuts the time spent on time-consuming data en-

Software that lives in the cloud can connect with each other software and automatically share data. This means that your accounting software can link with other online applications you use to run your business, including your bank account. Your transactions are fed directly into your books while you sleep, saving you from the tedious task of data entry.

try. And since it is accessible 24/7 from anywhere, you can always check on your finances. Implementing a cloud-based accounting system is a great first step to take if you aspire to grow your affiliate business, live the lifestyle you want, and become a more successful affiliate marketer.

Steve Root is an 8-year affiliate industry veteran and the Affiliate Program Manager at Xero.

25


tl;dr Making money blogging is easy if you know where to start.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Top Three Ways

to Make Money Blogging by Sarah Kostusiak

B

Sarah Kostusiak

logging is increasingly being seen as a career, and not just a hobby, as there are many people online making good money from their blogs. I will give you

your traffic. The trick here is finding products that you can

some of the basic ways to make money, and suggestions of

stand behind and that have the right mix of commission and

where to start if you are looking to build a business around

conversion.

your blog.

My number one recommendation for beginning bloggers is to sign up as an Amazon affiliate (or Target, if you are in a

#1 – Ads The first way to make money on a blog is through the use of ads. Most people start by signing up for Google Adsense

state where Amazon does not work with affiliates, due to tax nexus laws). It is very easy to find a product that you already own, and you can write a review of on your site.

and installing those ads. You must remember that you are only allowed to have three of their ads per page load.

#3 – Sponsored Posts

There are other ad networks that you can layer on top of

There are many brands that understand the power of

Google Ads. Google “blog ad networks” and come up with some.

blogs these days and are willing to pay to get in front of your

This method does require a fair amount of traffic to ac-

audience.

tually make money, so make sure that you are continuing to

You may think that this method of monetization depends

put out great content and promoting it on your social media

on traffic, also, and honestly that does help, but you can get

networks.

jobs with a small audience. So don’t write this one off. There is an art to writing a sponsored post. You must mix

#2 – Affiliate Marketing Affiliate marketing is really just word of mouth marketing. You like a product. You recommend that product to your

the brand requirements with your audience wants and needs. But when you hit that sweet spot, your traffic and your bank account will both grow.

friends. They buy it. Same idea, but with affiliate marketing

One place to start is Weave Media. They only require that

the company gives you a commission to compensate you for

you have been blogging for three months and have 7,500 page

sending traffic their way.

views per month.

This can be a very lucrative blog monetization model,

There are almost as many ways to make money with your

but it hinges on three things: the commission percent of the

blog as there are blogs out there. Choose one, study it, master

product you are recommending, the conversion rate, and

it, and move on to the next.

Sarah Kostusiak specializes in helping new bloggers learn the ropes of blogging at TheBloggingBunch.com.

27


tl;dr The paths of an affiliate to advertiser and advertiser to affiliate.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Affiliate Marketing

Career Progression by Elesha Aflalo

Elesha Aflalo

G

etting into a shiny new car, being at the helm of a

The transition from affiliate to advertiser shows the truth

yacht, and walking up to a brand new home are im-

in metrics and operations about each advertiser that we have

ages that you might remember just before you be-

delivered traffic to in the past.

came an affiliate or an advertiser. While others may remem-

Similar to affiliates, as an advertiser, my goal is to get the

ber being flat broke in their car, dorm room, or parents’ house

highest quality customer over and over again. Advertisers typ-

when they first started their career.

ically learn how to become affiliates from their affiliates. After

You could also be like me, escaping my last corporate

writing the checks direct to affiliates or networks, we are curi-

meeting to join the ranks of affiliate marketers to gain free-

ous how we can earn cash without the responsibility to the

dom from an office.

end users of their product or service. Then, it is about choos-

It is like a switch, after you get your first big payday, the

ing the different campaigns that will benefit us the most.

goal is now to earn more revenue while doing less work. Would

Advertiser or affiliate, we create what we believe is most

becoming an advertiser be less work than being an affiliate?

important to us. My career as an affiliate, media broker, and

For me, the answer was no. I still did it.

advertiser has surrounded me with motivated people who I

Affiliates naturally transition into becoming advertisers

enjoy spending time learning from.

by learning more about products and the profit margins of

The ability to see each affiliate and advertiser relation-

those products. I like the way Ian Fernando of IANternet Me-

ship cultivate their career is a reward. I feel that I may have

dia words it best, “Creating is fun.”

contributed to their success at some point in their career. My

Ian has made the transition from affiliate to advertiser. He

focus is to cultivate the best relationships and to stay on task. My career path from being broke in my car, corporate, affiliate,

prefers to be an affiliate. “There are less operations tasks as an affiliate,” says Ian.

and now a media broker and advertiser has been shaped by

As advertisers, we create products that solve problems

the people who believe in me and my decision to believe in

or benefit end users. Operating a brand as an advertiser has

them. Believe in your greatness and decide what path works

more responsibilities than being an affiliate.

best for you.

28

Elesha Aflalo is the President of Learn More Media & Managing Partner of EKM2 Software.


tl;dr Convert previous visitors with these Facebook retargeting tips.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Retargeting On Facebook

Like A Master by Kyler Patterson

R

etargeting is an easy and cheap way to convert customers. Unless you’re a super affiliate with a great Kyler Patterson

connection to the company you’re promoting, you

probably won’t score a retargeting pixel on their site. So, how can affiliates take advantage of retargeting? By building your own email list.

Audience by Relevance Does your blog have different categories? With our exam-

This article isn’t going to show you how to place your

ple, you have articles about WordPress, Joomla, and Magen-

pixel, set up a landing page, capture leads, or how to create a

to. If people are on those articles, they’re probably interested

funnel. You’re reading FeedFront, so I believe that you’re more

in that program. If you retarget everyone with a WordPress ad,

advanced than that. This article is about different ways you

it won’t be effective. If your ads are more relevant to the user,

can retarget people on Facebook like a master.

then your chances of converting them are higher.

Say you have a blog about how to build a website, and

To do this, set up different audiences in Facebook for

you’re driving traffic organically (or with advertising). Great!

each category. If the category is in the URL (/wordpress/)

The problem is, they’re not clicking your affiliate links in the

then it will be easier. If it’s not, you’ll need to add the URL slugs

post or sidebar. They got their free tips and then left. However,

for each of the pages you want.

they may still need a domain or hosting. Here’s where retar-

This isn’t just for blog posts. Say you sell watches. You

geting comes in.

can retarget based on brands or even price!

Target People That Didn’t Convert

Video Retargeting

As an affiliate, you can’t see who converted on an offer.

When you promote a video, did you know that Facebook

However, you can track who converted into your email opt-in.

automatically creates two audiences for you? Viewed (those

Back to the website example, you probably have a popup or

that have watched 3 seconds) and Completed (have watched

sidebar widget to capture emails. With a lot of these, convert-

95%). Completed is better since they’re the ones that are prob-

ers are taken to a “thank you” page.

ably most interested in the video, niche, or product. You can

When you create the audience in Facebook using Website Visitors, you can split people that have visited specific

target these audiences with relevant offers using more direct response ads.

pages. This includes people that have visited some pages but

You’ll need to be careful about copyrights. You can’t just

not others. Here, you’ll want to choose anyone that has been

steal a movie trailer, promote it, and then send people to a re-

on your site (domain.com) and then exclude people that con-

lated offer.

verted (/thank-you). Now you don’t waste money on people that have converted.

I’m sure your imagination gears are already turning. Use these tactics to master Facebook retargeting.

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

29


tl;dr Conversions and commission do not occur on social media. Find out why those numbers so important to affiliate marketers.

· Issue 32 · October 2015

Social Media Metrics:

Quality vs. Quantity

I

by J. Greg White

n the race for Follows, Friends, Favorites, ReTweets, Replies, and Reviews, how valuable are those totals to your bottom line? Do your social media metrics also measure

your success? In this world of bots and bytes, social media strategists all drink from the same trough. Between the digits and dollars lies dignity (aka organic results). Alas, if Fred Phelps can get

But without a sales path or plan, “faking it” is more likely

2,500 Likes on Facebook and 8,000 followers on Twitter, then

than “making it”. Then, what is our purpose and where are the

surely the scales of internet popularity are skewed.

profits?

I ask those of you at the water cooler, do you think his

To answer both items: we are super affiliates of CBSS-

quantity of followers is comparable (or co-related) to the qual-

tore.com. Approximately four percent of our traffic will visit

ity of his content? That’s rhetoric. Please do not visit or read

CBSStore.com via the blog. From shopping cart to checkout,

his blog.

3.7% of those visitors will convert from viewer to customer.

Six months ago, my blog TheGCBuzz.com went live. We

An astonishing 61% of them return to the store for future pur-

committed to Delivery Agent Inc. to monetize it. The URL’s

chases. Thus far, zero conversions have taken place via social

placement on CBS’ The Young & The Restless redirects 4% of

media platforms.

current ratings (5.1m) to my site. Yet somehow we just barely

Data is collected via social media, but unlike the blogs it’s

scratched an audience of 100 on both Twitter and Facebook

never credited with commissions. A conversion and commis-

this summer. My YouTube score is sad (pathetic even). My

sion from one customer via the blog is currently worth more

dog has more followers and Likes on Instagram (she probably

than 100 Facebook fans. The value of any affiliate’s social me-

has more than you and I combined). Insights and analytics

dia metrics is merely a redirect for its traffic. If coupon codes, product placements, SEO rankings, and

however tell a different story of TheGCBuzz.com. I’m addicted to my blog’s stats: the who, what, where,

newsletters have solidified their placement in your strategy,

when, and how of our readers. We’ve got Skinnygirl Bethenny

will social media stats soon pay for themselves too? Until af-

Frankel, who has liked and shared on Facebook. Celebrity Ap-

filiates see Pay-Per-Like and Pay-Per-Follow programs, strate-

prentice Leeza Gibbons has sent words of encouragement via

gic content is the key to strategic conversions in your social

Instagram. Oscar Winner Mira Sorvino is a fan. Bravolebrity

media metrics.

and Emmy Winner Eileen Davidson (Real Housewives of Bev-

Share strategically (tag that celebrity), schedule strategi-

erly Hills) has given us the thumbs up. Sheryl Underwood of

cally (timing is often everything), and sell strategically (embed

CBS’ “The Talk” was our first Twitter follower.

links to your shopping cart or relevant affiliate programs).

30

J. Greg White is Editor-In-Chief of TheGCBuzz.com from CBS’ The Young & The Restless.


tl;dr Best Practices for Responding to a Documents Subpoena

路 Issue 32 路 October 2015

Target on Your Back?

Navigating Subpoenas by Rachel Hirsch

Rachel Hirsch

R

eceiving a documents subpoena can be unnerving and an unexpected diversion from normal day-to-

enced counsel contact the FTC to discuss the scope of the

day processes. This is especially true when the sub-

subpoena. The subpoena requests may have been written as

poena is received from a federal or state agency like the FTC.

intentionally broad at the outset because the FTC may want to

Often a subpoena is simply a means for a party to a liti-

ensure it is casting a wide net for information.

gation to gather evidence and information that is helpful to

The goal in responding to a subpoena is to reduce the

its case. In other instances, a subpoena can open the door to

amount of documents to be searched and reviewed while still

further inquiry about your business and may even result in a

providing the information the FTC needs. Your counsel may

separate proceeding against your company.

also be able to ascertain from a simple phone call whether the

It is not unusual for government agencies to use the sub-

FTC has any intentions of adding your company as a party to

poena process to not only learn more about the target of their

the underlying litigation or pursuing your company as a target

investigation but also to uncover information about potentially

in separate proceedings.

new targets. The key to determining whether a subpoena is

Often, FTC counsel will be upfront about their intentions

more than a simple documents request is to understand the

regarding your company; other times, their intentions may not

scope of the underlying litigation and the purpose behind is-

be as obvious. Whether or not you suspect that you may be

suing the subpoena.

a potential target of investigation, there are certain best prac-

The former can be achieved by reviewing publicly-filed documents in the litigation and understanding the procedural

tices to keep in mind: 1.

formation.

history of the case. What is the nature of the claims alleged? What is the amount of damages at stake in this case? Are

2. Consider filing for a protective order to limit the scope of the subpoena or motion to quash the subpoena.

their multiple-named defendants? How contentious is the litigation? The more you understand about the underlying litiga-

3.

broad or not relevant to the underlying case.

Review relevant third-party marketing agreements to determine up-to-date compliance.

tion, the better prepared you can be in responding to the subpoena and objecting to any requests that appear to be overly

Preserve all relevant papers and electronically-stored in-

4.

Respond in a timely and meaningfully to a subpoena. Failing to comply properly with a subpoena can have seri-

Understanding the purpose behind the subpoena can

ous consequences. But with the help of experienced counsel,

be achieved by simply communicating with the issuer. If the

you can navigate the daunting prospect of responding to a

issuer of the subpoena is the FTC, for example, have experi-

subpoena and avoid a future target on your back.

32

Rachel Hirsch is a Senior Associate at Ifrah PLLC, a law firm in Washington, D.C.


(1. 2. 3. 4. 5) See affiliatesummit.com/16w-register/ for full details on all pass type inclusions and exclusions.

FeedFront Magazine, Issue 32  

This issue of FeedFront Magazine includes Life Hacks to Improve Your Work Day by Shawn Collins, Turn Negative Customer Experiences Into Posi...