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Issue 34 ― April 2016

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ark ete r’s

Affiliate Summit East 2016 in NYC: July 31 - August 2

Safety Needs

Physiological Needs

By Shawn Collins - Page 2

Bloggers, Here’s Why You’re Not Making Money

4 Apps to Stay Organized and Indispensable

Top 5 Places to Look for Affiliates

By Janet Thaeler - Page 6

By Brendan Lash - Page 8

By Victoria Galperina - Page 26


Issue 34 · April 2016

Table of Contents

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

2

Editor’s Note: Affiliate Marketer’s Hierarchy of Needs

By Shawn Collins

3

Blueprints of Successful Pay Per Click Campaign

By Sumit Dhawan

4

5 Affiliate Marketing Success Tips for Bloggers

5

Monetize Your Customer Data with Facebook Ads

6

Bloggers, Here’s Why You’re Not Making Money

7

Can You Advertise Affiliate Sites on AdWords?

8

4 Apps to Stay Organized and Indispensable

9

Europe’s Hottest Markets: Advertising That’s Gaining Adoption

By Jen Goode By Dmitriy Kruglyak By Janet Thaeler By Tim Felmingham By Brendan Lash By Monica Eaton-Cardone

10

5 Court Decisions Important for Affiliate Marketers

11

Improve Your Blogger Outreach

12

4 Ways to Protect Your Online Reputation

13

Niche Publishers: Find the Right Affiliate Programs

15

Recognizing Valuable Performance Higher in the Funnel

16

5 Ways To Land Your Ideal Position

17

SEO Strategies for White Label Dating Sites

18

Constant Contact – Debunking Common Can-Spam Misconceptions

By Rachel Hirsch

19

Navigating E-commerce for Profit and Glory

By Eric Gerritsen

20

Should You Outsource SEM via Affiliate Marketing?

By David Troop

22

5 Things to Look for in Advertisers

By Ricky Ahuja

23

Top 10 Traits of Successful Advertisers

24

E-commerce Sales and Your Northern Neighbor

25

The Crowdfunding Success Matrix

26

Top 5 Places to Look for Affiliates

27

Working to Minimize Fraud on Cashback Sites

28

Generating Sales with YouTube Video Ads

29

8 Must Haves for a Business Card

30

Why Analytics Can’t Address Your Tracking Needs?

31

Defining New Ways to Engage Customers

By Jason Levesque

32

Five Productivity Hacks You Can Use Now

By Travis Glenn

Contributing Writers

Ricky Ahuja, Thomas Alvord, Mike Carney, Kelby Carr, Shawn Collins, Eric Crusius, Sumit Dhawan, Monica Eaton-Cardone, Tim Felmingham, Victoria Galperina, Eric Gerritsen, Travis Glenn, Jen Goode, Rachel Hirsch, Rachel Honoway, Zac Johnson, Dmitriy Kruglyak, Brendan Lash, Jason Levesque, Laurent Malka, Steven Page, Christopher Park, Nathan Smith, Srii Srinivasan, Robin R. Talbott, Janet Thaeler, David Troop, Sam Van Campenhout, Jace Vernon

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

By Eric Crusius By Kelby Carr By Zac Johnson By Nathan Smith By Rachel Honoway By Mike Carney By Sam Van Campenhout

By Srii Srinivasan By Steven Page By Thomas Alvord By Victoria Galperina By Christopher Park By Jace Vernon By Robin R. Talbott By Laurent Malka

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 © 2016 Affiliate Summit, Inc. and Individual Authors.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

Editor’s Note

Affiliate Marketer’s

Hierarchy of Needs

by Shawn Collins benefits. Also, get a business bank account and credit card, so you can keep your finances separate from your personal stuff.

Shawn Collins

I

Love and Belonging Needs was thinking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the other

After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third

day. Not only because it interests me, but also because it is

level of affiliate marketer needs is the feeling of love and be-

one of the only things I remember from my five years of col-

longing. This comes in the form of networking and establish-

lege. That and how Edward Hall was the “Father of Proxemics”.

ing friendships online and offline with mentors, colleagues,

University of Maryland alum – Fear the Turtle!

confidants. The love and belonging can be fulfilled in forums,

Anyhow, if you’re not familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of

email lists, Facebook groups, meetups, and conferences.

needs, it’s a theory proposed in a paper by psychologist Abra-

Esteem Needs

ham Maslow in 1943. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often depicted as a pyra-

We all feel a need to be respected and valued for our ef-

mid, and the five stage model of needs (starting with the more

forts, and this includes self-esteem and self-respect. This can

basic needs at the bottom) is broken down to physiological,

come in the form of an industry accolade, or a social share

safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

from somebody we admire. Esteem also comes from support

While the original hierarchy is based on the needs expe-

of family and friends outside of the industry, and this is a key

rienced by most humans, I’ve adapted it for the needs of the

need, because family and friends can either be the biggest

affiliate marketer.

skeptics or cheerleaders.

Physiological Needs

Self-Actualization

There are a handful of essentials for affiliate marketers

Finally, self-actualization is the realization of an affiliate

to get started and survive, and they include quality hosting,

marketer’s full potential with their business and site(s). This

good domain(s), Wi-Fi, naps, caffeine, foods that won’t ruin a

need is self-defined, and it can take the form of accomplish-

keyboard, and exercise.

ments such as flipping a site for a windfall of cash, becoming cash positive, quitting a day job to focus on affiliate marketing,

Safety Needs

or whatever measure of success is established at the start.

When physiological needs are fulfilled, safety comes next. The safety of an affiliate marketer is really the safety of their

But in order to understand and realize self-actualization, you must accomplish and maintain the first four needs.

company – separate finances from personal for tax purposes.

Think about where you are in this process. Maybe you’ve

Incorporating your business is important for personal asset

even made your way all the way through once or more. If so,

protection, enhanced credibility, deductible expenses, and tax

are you ready to do it again?

2

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


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Five techniques to create a pay per click campaign that achieves your goals.

Blueprints of Successful

Pay Per Click Campaign by Sumit Dhawan

A

Sumit Dhawan

strong pay per click campaign delivers converting actions within positive ROI (return of investment). To understand the foundation of pay per click advertis-

tion only inserts the keywords you’re are bidding on, so it will

ing, we need to learn simple mechanism behind it. In short, it’s

serve more relevant ads to your audience, as long you have

an open auction where sponsors or advertisers bid against

done your keyword research correctly.

each other to display their ad on the top placement of a search engine or websites.

Selection of Ad Copy

This is so they can reach their targeted potential custom-

Ad copy can either make or break your online business,

ers who complete desired actions, such as purchase, leads,

depending on the techniques you use when implementing

filling out an inquiry form, or making a call.

your ads. First, make sure your ads are original. Second, they

The blueprint for setting up a successful, profitable pay

must be unique and captivate the customer’s attention. Third,

per click (PPC) campaign is measuring, managing and refin-

understand the psychological niche of product you are adver-

ing your campaign and it’s really much more than just bidding

tising and target pages that pertain to it. Bad copy does not

higher on keywords of your niche. The most common reason

convey the message you want it to deliver, which results in low

behind failed pay per click campaigns is poor management

quality traffic and a waste of money.

which results in you spending a fortune which generates many visits but all ends up with no converting actions.

Testing New Elements

Five effective techniques, which you can apply to your campaigns, are discussed below:

Testing is key for success in pay per click advertising; this is not limited to testing new ad patterns, but also split testing between two landing pages, testing specific time of day or

Utilize Ad Extensions Ad extensions are a really powerful, feature for a variety of

weekends, new countries, new call to actions headlines, and many more.

effects, including increasing click through rate, boosting conversion rate, and decreasing cost per actions. And the best

Track Everything

part is you actually paying nothing extra to get these several additional calls to action in your ad copy.

The best thing about pay per click advertising is the capability to track where every penny of your budget is being spent, which allows you to optimize your best converting keywords,

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

by implementing conversion tracking, while deleting non per-

A lot of people have misconceptions about using dynam-

forming keywords. These small adjustments can result in suc-

ic keyword insertion: they think searcher’s search query will

cess for any campaign, which will help improve overall quality

show up in their ads, but it’s not true. Dynamic keyword inser-

scores and click through rates of ads.

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

3


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Five tips to help you increase affiliate marketing success with your blog no matter the topic niche.

5 Affiliate Marketing

Success Tips for Bloggers by Jen Goode

Jen Goode

A

ffiliate marketing is a great way to earn extra income

Don’t Compete with Yourself

from content you are already sharing as a blogger.

Affiliate marketing and contextual ads can work together

Partnering with a brand as an affiliate can earn rev-

on a blog however, they can also compete. Depending on the

enue long after a sponsored content piece has ended. As an

content, a contextual ad might promote the same brand or

affiliate, your goal is to inspire your readers to click to the retail

even a competitor to the affiliate promotion on a page. If there

partner’s website to buy the items you are recommending.

is a merchant you’d really like to promote, consider removing

Regardless what your topic focus is, from fashion to family travels, you can incorporate affiliate marketing to earn ad-

contextual ads from that post, so you have a better chance of gaining a click for an affiliate sale.

ditional revenue from your blog. Here are five tips to help you increase affiliate marketing success with your blog.

Recommend Like a Friend Instead of pushing products like a sales rep, talk about products, services and brands like you would with a friend. Tell

Start with Existing Content

your readers why you love the items you’ve mentioned. Share

One of the quickest ways to start including affiliate links in

tips and tricks about the product or talk about the features

your blog is to work with content you’ve already written. Add

you like most and why you recommend it. I like to share pho-

links to shopping lists, link to tools and supplies you use in a

tos of items I’ve taken myself to add my own personal touch

tutorial, and link to retailers you are featuring. Start with your

to the promotion.

most popular content if possible and add a combination of text links and visuals to increase the opportunity for a click.

Connect with the Program Manager One of the best ways to grow your affiliate sales is to con-

Think Beyond the Banner

nect with the program managers. Introduce yourself, read the

Promoting a brand or product as an affiliate is more than just

newsletters they send out and ask for help if you need it. The

adding a banner to your blog. Instead, use your writing to open up

program manager is your inside contact for promotions and

a conversation about the items you are promoting. Reviews, tu-

sales opportunities with the brand you are working.

torials, shopping guides and insider tips are great content types

No matter what niche you focus on, there are likely affili-

to incorporate a retail partner. I’ve found that sharing a shopping

ate marketing opportunities you can include within your blog.

list not only helps promote the products, but readers appreciate

Search for brands you know and love, then share that enthusi-

not having to hunt down the items you’ve mentioned elsewhere.

asm with your readers.

4

Jen Goode, illustrator and owner of JGoode Designs, blogs creative DIY ideas at 100Directions.com.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Unlock and activate your customer lists on Facebook – acquire, retarget, upsell.

Monetize Your Customer Data

with Facebook Ads by Dmitriy Kruglyak

D

id the title of this article get your attention? Chances

Dmitriy Kruglyak

are, you are already giving a lot of thought to the best ways of monetizing your customer lists. Traditionally,

for most people, this meant doing email marketing. You build

ences by wherever they fit in your conversion funnel. Then

a targeted list. You send your own offers. You send third party

you can further segment them by demographics or buying

offers. Maybe you rent or sell the list.

behavior.

This works fine as long as you can deliver email and make

So far, we covered retargeting and upsell, but what about

your recipients notice and respond. But modern inboxes are

prospecting? Your customer list can help here through the

overrun by clutter and filtering. It is getting hard to engage

“lookalike” functionality. Facebook can take your custom audi-

even your existing customers. Prospecting is even harder, as

ences and generate a “similarity measure”. This measure uses

many email users don’t react well to anything they have not

the entire breadth of demographic, interest and behavior data

asked for. But luckily, now you can use your customer lists to

Facebook has. Then they rank the entire population of your

engage the same people on Facebook.

target country by this similarity. As a result, you can get the

Facebook today has grown into one of the top sources

top 1%, 2% or 10% people resembling your customers. Now

of Internet traffic. Besides having a near-ubiquitous reach, it

you can launch prospecting campaigns to each lookalike tier.

enforces a trusted environment. This makes users a lot more

But since lookalikes are inexact, you may want to further nar-

willing to respond to ads, driving click through rates (CTRs) as

row them down by extra attributes.

high as 2-7%.

Does all this sound too complicated? It could be, if you

Over the years, Facebook invested in lots of sophisticated

don’t dedicate enough attention and resources to proper im-

advertising functionality. Availability of this power via API is a

plementation. You need to pay attention to detail to make it

true game-changer for performance marketing automation.

work. But the flipside of not doing this is living with a “leaky”

Where does your customer list come in? You can upload

conversion funnel.

it into Facebook to create something called a “Custom Audi-

As you are reading this article, your competition may al-

ence”. You can generate more audiences by firing a Facebook

ready be using these strategies. Make a plan to take advan-

pixel on your website or mobile apps.

tage of what Facebook has to offer today.

With the audiences ready, you can create ads targeting

The best strategies rely on automation, and Facebook

just those people. If they are your existing customers, you

makes it possible through marketing APIs. Consider if you

would be upselling. If they visited the site or liked your Face-

would plan to keep up on your own or rely on an expert solu-

book page, you would be retargeting. You can define audi-

tion provider.

Dmitriy Kruglyak founded TargetChoice, the developer of end-to-end marketing funnel solutions for Facebook Ads. dk@targetchoice.com.

5


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Bloggers who say affiliate marketing doesn’t work often fall into one of four traps.

Bloggers, Here’s Why

You’re Not Making Money by Janet Thaeler

Janet Thaeler

is much lower than paying rent or other businesses, but there

I

are still expenses. Udemy, books, webinars, and other sources f you have traffic on your blog, but not many sales, there is

can teach you a lot about everything from Facebook ads to

a reason. After working with hundreds of bloggers through

SEO to building traffic. If you’re not willing to spend anything

coaching, in my Facebook group, and at the local affiliate

but time, it really limits your results.

marketing conference I co-founded, there are common reasons bloggers don’t make more money as an affiliate.

You Tell — Instead of Sell Hilary of Pulling Curls told me she didn’t enjoy selling and

You’re Not Being Authentic

wasn’t good at it. After looking at a popular post, it looked

Write about products that fit your audience, instead of

like she linked to products without any particular reason. She

just to make money. A blogger I recently worked with had a

linked to a camera, which is just telling people, here’s a cam-

post that reviewed trendy clothes. She likely never wore them,

era. To sell it, she mentioned she used to be a professional

and it wasn’t authentic to her brand, which was more Chico’s

photographer. She gave more information about the camera

than Forever 21.

she linked to. Now she was selling and those changes brought

Second, she wasn’t linking to products she already liked and wrote about. Don’t write about something you haven’t tried or that doesn’t fit.

more clicks and sales. Selling is not being pushy. It’s add your unique perspective, expertise, explanation, or voice, to make people more interested in buying a product.

Your Mindset Needs Work

Many people like the idea of affiliate marketing, but forget

You may have limiting beliefs like that Facebook pages or

the marketing part. Millions of blog posts are published every

ads don’t work. Or that you’re not smart enough, not a good

day that are competing for attention. If you want a chance of

enough writer, or don’t deserve success. Frugal bloggers can

being found, you have to market yours.

be so budget minded and afraid of spending money that they

Remember that brands want to work with you. Content

subconsciously pass their beliefs on to their readers, so they

affiliates (bloggers) are affiliate marketing gold. Your network

don’t want to spend either. These aren’t set beliefs and with

across different social media platforms, authentic reviews,

work you can change them.

original images, stories, and opinions are why people read your blog.

You Don’t Invest Enough Time and/or Money The most successful affiliate I know regularly spends time and money learning. The amount you invest in blogging

6

You matter to your readers, and the trust you have built with them is valuable. Leverage that and start making a higher income on your blog.

Janet Thaeler (Newspapergrl.com), connects bloggers and brands for sponsored posts and affiliate marketing campaigns.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Simple guidelines for affiliates to advertise on Google AdWords.

Can You Advertise

Affiliate Sites on AdWords? by Tim Felmingham

Tim Felmingham

Outside these areas, assuming you’re not trying to advertise anything that is criminal, spammy, or deceptive, the main policy affecting affiliates is what they call ‘low-value content’:

It’s widely believed that you can’t advertise affiliate sites on

»» Content that is replicated from another source without

Google AdWords, but actually you can if you follow some simple

adding value in the form of original content, or additional

guidelines…

functionality.

G

oogle has shut down a lot of affiliate campaigns, and

»» Landing pages that are solely designed to send users

many affiliates have been permanently banned from

elsewhere.

advertising for running campaigns that contravene

AdWords policy. No discussion, no appeal — three strikes and you’re out. For good. In fairness, they do warn you before closing your account, and it will only happen if you continue to run non-compliant campaigns. This harsh response has led many affiliates to believe that Google ‘hates’ affiliates, and it’s not possible to advertise.

How Do Affiliates Run Afoul of AdWords Policy? The most common way affiliates breach the policy is by not providing valuable and unique content on their sites. If your site just churns out content from an affiliate data feed, Google will shut you down; it’s not unique. If your site simply sends traffic to another site, without adding any value, this won’t be permitted. Google would rather send

Does Google Really Hate Affiliates? No, of course not. Google is a business, not a moody teen-

people directly to the merchant site, instead of to what they term a ‘bridge page’, which only exists to send traffic to the merchant.

ager — it doesn’t have emotions. What Google does care passionately about, however, is providing the best quality results,

How to Successfully Advertise Affiliate Sites on

both organic and paid, for their users.

AdWords

Misleading adverts and going to poor-quality landing

Firstly, read the policy very carefully and make sure you

pages will only damage the customer experience, and Google

comply with both the letter and the spirit of its contents. Re-

won’t allow that.

member, you don’t get many chances to get this wrong, and

There is nothing in Google AdWords policy that prohibits the advertising of affiliate sites, per se, but there are plenty of areas where affiliates can fall foul of the policy if they aren’t careful.

Google is judge, jury, and executioner. Secondly, make sure your site, and in particular your landing page, is genuinely adding value, and not just funneling people to the merchant.

AdWords Advertising Policy Google publishes its AdWords Advertising Policy, which clearly sets out what you can and cannot do (just Google ‘adwords advertising policy’). There are special requirements for adult, gambling, healthcare, dating, and other sensitive areas.

Good ways to do this can be adding reviews, detailed descriptions, analyses, product comparisons, features and benefits, diagrams, and explanations. If you do these things, and provide genuinely valuable and unique content, you should be able to advertise successfully on AdWords without any problems.

Tim Felmingham is an internet marketer and blogger writing on TimFelmingham.com.

7


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Four apps that help you increase your productivity and efficiency at work.

4 Apps to Stay Organized

Brendan Lash

I

and Indispensable by Brendan Lash

t can be challenging to stay organized in a workplace filled with email, interoffice messaging platforms, and daily meetings. Regardless of what department you work in,

staying organized is one of the key factors for boosting your productivity.

TextExpander Like Spectacle, TextExpander is an app that can greatly

Luckily, new applications are being built to help employ-

increase your efficiency by using abbreviated shortcuts, or

ees become more efficient and take on larger responsibilities

snippets, which decrease the time spent on repetitive actions.

than previously possible.

You can create your own snippets that TextExpander auto-

Whether you use an online calendar or a notebook, these

matically inserts when you type the assigned shortcut.

four apps can help you easily manage all of your responsibili-

For example, if you are often typing out your phone num-

ties, increase your daily productivity, and in turn, make you in-

ber or the date, you can add a snippet to TextExpander that

dispensable to your company.

will automatically insert the desired information when you type “;date.”

Boomerang Boomerang for Gmail is a browser plug-in that allows you much greater control of your inbox and email outreach. Not

TextExpander can significantly decrease the amount of time spent on writing repeated emails, which gives you more time to work on other important tasks.

only can you schedule emails to be sent on a specific date and time, but the plug-in can also notify you if you haven’t heard back from the recipient in a certain amount of time.

Skitch Lastly, Skitch is a fantastic tool that helps you capture

When working with multiple people on multiple projects,

screenshots and add annotations easily to images. Using

the Boomerang for Gmail plug-in ensures that emails aren’t

Skitch’s clear and concise annotations, you can swiftly commu-

forgotten, and helps users stay on top of long-term and short-

nicate your thoughts without having to write out a long email.

term tasks.

This is an especially useful app if you’re often teaching colleagues and business partners how to navigate software

Spectacle This free, open-sourced, downloadable app offers amazing window control and keyboard shortcuts. With a few short clicks of a keyboard, you can resize and organize all of the many windows open on your computer screen. If you’re often working in multiple windows at once, this

or a webpage. Instead of having to write out step-by-step instructions, you can simply send over your personalized, Skitch screenshots. Long, instructional emails can often take up a large part of your day, but by using Skitch, you can send over the edited screenshot and move on to your next task.

app allows you to quickly split your screen cleanly between

All content provided in this article is for informational pur-

them. Using these shortcuts can greatly increase your pro-

poses only and is merely my opinion. I hope it helps you stay

ductivity by cutting down on the time spent switching be-

organized, become more productive, and makes you truly in-

tween or resizing your windows.

dispensable to your organization.

8

Brendan Lash is an Account Manager at BrandVerity.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – By analyzing the advertising trends that are gaining adoption in Europe, the rest of the world can adjust accordingly.

Europe’s Hottest Markets:

Advertising That’s Gaining Adoption

Monica Eaton-Cardone

by Monica Eaton-Cardone

A

ccording to Carat, an international media agency,

now. Viktor Zawadzki, MediaMath’s regional manager, esti-

global ad spend is expected to reach $554 billion

mates 50% of premium ad inventory in UK is programmatic and

in 2016, a 4.7% increase from the previous year. Of

40% of Europe’s ads will be programmatic by the end of 2016.

that, approximately $33 billion (€30 billion) comes from the European market. In many respects, Europe is commonly a trendsetter for the rest of the world. By analyzing the hottest markets in Europe, and the advertising trends that are gaining adoption there, the rest of the world can adjust accordingly.

One reason programmatic is so popular is because it enables advertisers to create real-time, customer-oriented campaigns based on their own in-house data acquisition. Desired groups are addressed in a very targeted way. However, based on my own personal experiences, automation without human involvement can lead to deceiving results.

Primarily, there are three key trends to take note of: overall

Programmatic makes it easy to focus on less significant vari-

digital activity, programmatic advertising, and mobile adoption.

ables, like high click-through rates and low CPAs (cost-per-action). It’s easy to overlook things like engagement, attribution, rel-

Overall Digital Activity My own personal experience as both a European and US

evancy, and reach when the process is automated. The inclusion of human analysis ensures a quality and profitable campaign.

advertiser confirms what industry reports are predicting: for

Additionally, programmatic provides a seemingly limit-

the first time in advertising history, television will be dethroned.

less supply of inventory, which will easily disguise fraud. Fraud

Carat reports digital is already the principle media spend

is already an undetected threat with many ad forms; program-

in the UK, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. Experts anticipate

matic is likely to increase that risk.

2016 is the year digital will overtake television in the US, too— by more than $4 billion.

Mobile Adoption

The popularity of digital marketing is growing at a sig-

Mobile advertising was somewhat slow to take off, but has

nificant rate, 14.3% compared to outdoor’s 3.4%, TV’s 3%, and

now become one of the driving forces behind digital’s popularity.

radio’s 1.3%.

European advertisers seem to have a leg-up on the rest of the

Digital’s growth is primarily driven by online videos and

world in, at least, one area; they’ve recognized the importance of

mobile advertising. While banner and moving image ads are

attribution. Multi-channel and multi-device campaigns have made

still used, the popularity of interactive and full-screen ads have

attribution absolutely essential. Advertisers who can’t definitely

grown stale. Generally speaking, consumers favor non-intru-

identify touch-points will get trampled by industry leaders.

sive approaches.

Once attribution has been mastered, we can expect to see the popularity of mobile ads take a giant leap forward.

Programmatic Advertising Programmatic advertising enables the automatic purchase of digital ad space, a trend that is hugely popular in Europe right

Advertising is a fickle industry with trends evolving quickly. However, monitoring global adoption can provide insight needed to maintain the competitive edge.

Monica Eaton-Cardone, COO of chargebacks911.com, helps merchants identify risks, prevent fraud, and optimize profitability.

9


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Key court decisions that have had a tremendous impact on the affiliate community.

5 Court Decisions

Important for Affiliate Marketers

by Eric Crusius

Eric Crusius

B

elieve it or not, cases regularly handed down by fed-

Decision #3: Arbitration clauses are almost

eral and state courts have a huge impact on what af-

always enforceable.

filiate marketers can and should do. Because of that,

Affiliate marketers usually enter into contracts with af-

I thought I would share five important cases (some of them

filiate networks that contain mandatory arbitration clauses.

are very new) that have a tremendous impact on the affiliate

Efforts to get away from mandatory arbitration are almost

marketing community.

always unsuccessful. In fact, companies can force litigation of certain claims

Decision #1: It is probably okay to purchase a

and arbitration in others as long as the other party agrees. Be-

competitor’s trademarked keywords.

cause of that, it is important to review contracts; mandatory

A Florida federal court recently ruled that it is not a trademark violation to purchase another’s trademarked name when purchas-

arbitration clauses in particular. Fagerstrom v. Amazon.com, Inc. (Southern District of California)

ing keywords for online advertisements. This continues a long trend away from holding keyword purchasers liable for trademark violation when they purchase a competitor’s keywords.

Decision #4: Your corporation will usually protect you. Not forming a corporation can lead to opponents being

One caution, however: this does not protect advertis-

able to sue affiliate marketers personally. This opens up per-

ers from using another’s trademark in a viewable ad when

sonal assets for attachment. If you form a company and do

such use could cause confusion among the general public

not use it to perpetrate a fraud or undercapitalize it, a litigant

as to who is responsible for that ad. USA NUTRACEUTICALS

suing will only be able to go as far as the company. A word

GROUP, INC. v. BPI SPORTS, LLC (Southern District of Florida)

of caution: laws regarding the breadth of protection one gets from a corporate formation can vary from state to state. Ace

Decision #2: Do not be bullied into giving up a

Electric v. Advance Technologies (Virginia state court)

domain name. Reverse cybersquatting is not uncommon and is a way that companies can sometimes bully rightful domain owners

Decision #5: Using another’s photos will cause you pain.

into giving up their domains. Domain holders have to not only

Creators of photographs (and written copy) receive an au-

establish a rightful claim, but also have to successfully argue

tomatic copyright in those photos and words and give an av-

that the domain was registered in bad faith.

enue to your competitor to sue. Be sure to have permission to

If there is a basis, domain holders should fight for their domains – especially before a WIPO Arbitrator. Doing so is cost effective and sometimes can be accomplished without an attorney. Cyberbit Ltd. v. Mr, Kieran Ambrose (WIPO UDRP Proceeding)

10

use photos or create your own to avoid issues. FragranceNet v. FragranceX (Eastern District of New York) Learning the lessons from these cases will help affiliate marketers avoid problems in the future. Eric Crusius is a litigation attorney at Miles & Stockbridge.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Bloggers are influential, but affiliate managers need different tactics when it comes to courting them to promote their brands.

Improve Your

Blogger Outreach by Kelby Carr

B

loggers can be wildly influential and a great way to get

Kelby Carr

the word out about your products and services, but the strategy used to outreach to bloggers can be very

different than that used for other content creators. Here are five ways you can improve your blogger out-

process (make it part of the campaign), so likely they will con-

reach, so that it’s a win-win for both you and the bloggers:

tinue that once they’ve seen the benefits.

Stop Talking in Affiliatespeak

Stop Treating Bloggers Like the Bottom of the

Most bloggers are writers at their heart. They already have had to juggle learning coding and marketing and design and every single social media platform that exists. Not all of them un-

Sales Funnel – They are the Top That means, by nature, affiliate marketing with the traditional approach is doomed, which is a shame.

derstand, or even want to learn, all the common affiliate terms.

Working with bloggers has tremendous benefits. They’re

It isn’t a matter of them being too dumb or inexperienced.

the ones getting the first word out to millions. They’re the ones

It’s a matter of them having about a billion balls to juggle, and

people trust far more than most other marketing methods.

they don’t have time to learn a new thing until they know, for

But they’re not the ones you should focus on for sales

a fact, it’s worth their time. Write your communications as if

numbers. You can’t track it well with bloggers because they’re

you’re writing to someone who knows nothing about affiliate

too high up the funnel. Focus instead on starting with paid

marketing.

campaigns to more evenly compensate them as top of funnel, and track other numbers, such as impressions and social

Money Talks, So Start Talking Money

media shares and reach.

Yes, of course, affiliate commissions are wonderful. Here’s the thing: marketers have been carrot dangling to bloggers for a

Don’t Fall for Smoke and Mirrors

decade, and most of the time those promises are never met. Go

It can be tempting in a business so focused on numbers

into blogger outreach knowing that if you say they could make

to fall for the numbers win approach with blogger outreach.

money later, they’ll likely walk, and not believe you.

Actually, they can be wildly misleading and cause you to miss

The best way to get a blogger’s attention is to pay them

working with very influential bloggers. If you don’t know how

NOW. A paid campaign followed by a handcrafted affiliate

to spot a quality blogger, hire someone who does to help you.

setup for the blogger for future content can be a great hybrid

Bloggers are the movers and shakers of the web, but they

approach: you get big buzz guaranteed right now, they get

need different programs and tactics from affiliate managers.

money guaranteed right now.

If you do it properly, the rewards are immense (and profitable)

And you’ve convinced them to try out affiliate links in the Kelby Carr is CEO of Type-A Parent, a premier conference and blogger network.

for everyone.

11


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – What ranks in Google when someone searches for your name?

4 Ways to Protect

Your Online Reputation

by Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson

2. Social Platforms are Your Friend

W

You are likely already on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and hether you like it or not, you have a reputation.

Instagram. Now it’s time to put these profiles to use to help

No, this isn’t the reputation you might have with

better protect your name online. Since Google loves high au-

friends and family, instead, it’s the immediate

thority sites like social networks, it’s quite easy to rank profile

first impression and reputation that is delivered when some-

pages. Link back and reference to your social profiles often to

one searches for your name online.

help boost them higher in the search results.

Go ahead, search for your name and see what you find. Hopefully, it’s your own website, blog or social profiles at the

3. Claim Your Local Business in Google

top of the results. If not, then you may be vulnerable to cus-

Since Google ultimately decides who and what is going

tomer complaints, defamation, and online attack against your

to rank where you should provide them with accurate infor-

good name.

mation when they ask for it. Claiming your business through

For myself, protecting my good name is very important.

Google is quick and easy, and there are many benefits that

Again, go ahead, search Google for “Zac Johnson” and see

come along with it, such as having verified information in

what you find. I pretty much dominate the whole first page of

Google’s search results, and also premium placement when

Google for my name.

found in local search results.

Now it’s time for you to learn how to do the same. Protecting your reputation and ranking at the top of

4. Monitor What is Being Said About You Online

Google for your name is all about taking action. A basic knowl-

If someone mentioned your personal or brand name on

edge of SEO doesn’t hurt either. Here are four quick tips to

their site or in social media, would you know about it? Reputa-

help you get started.

tion management isn’t just about searching Google and seeing what comes up, it’s also about knowing when and where your

1. Secure Your Name as a Domain Name If you don’t already own your personal name as a domain,

name is mentioned. Use a free tool like Google Alerts to get notified every time your name or brand is mentioned online.

try to secure it as soon as possible. Once that’s done, develop

Warren Buffet once said, “It takes twenty years to build

it into a website or blog. When it comes to protecting your

a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Follow these tips to

name online, this is going to act as the main hub and should

make sure someone else doesn’t have control over your repu-

ultimately rank number one in Google for your name.

tation by ranking above you in the search results.

12

Zac Johnson blogs at ZacJohnson.com and is the founder of Blogging.org.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Finding affiliate programs is a challenge for most publishers, but these tips will start you off on the right foot.

Niche Publishers:

Find the Right Affiliate Programs by Nathan Smith Nathan Smith

D

iscovering affiliate programs that offer products and services your readers will relate to can be a challenge.

Affiliate Program Directories

Sometimes, you think of a store that would be a per-

Affiliate program directories can be a useful tool to help

fect fit, but you have trouble finding information about their

you zero in on relevant programs, but most of them contain

affiliate program or any mention that one even exists.

a significant amount of outdated information. FMTC recently

These tools will help you in your search.

launched a publicly available directory called Merchant Hub, which is a dynamically updated index gathering information

Footers and Google

from 24 affiliate networks and data sources.

A practical first step may be to look for an “affiliates” link in

Within Merchant Hub, you can search through more than

the footer of a merchant’s site, or turn to Google and search for

10,000 programs by category, OPM, network, keywords, etc.

“___ affiliate program”. That’s where I started, but I found myself

When you find a prospective partner, you can click through to

joining programs in networks that I would rather stay away from,

the merchant detail page to learn what networks they work

never knowing they were offered though my preferred network.

with, terms, creatives, and current sales and deals.

Monitor the Competition

Relationships

Another method for discovering appropriate programs is

Above and beyond these online strategies, your relation-

to do some undercover work by exploring other sites in your

ships within the industry will help you to connect the dots. I

niche. See what programs they are promoting and how. Often,

can easily trace every success that I’ve had in business to fun-

the most prominent programs are the publisher’s best per-

damental relationships that I’ve cultivated.

forming. A trick I gleaned from Tricia Meyer (@sunshinetricia)

Reach out to other publishers in related niches, talk to

is to use Redirect Detective, a service that traces the redirects

your affiliate and blogger friends, and ask them about the pro-

of cloaked links. Use this to locate the program when the site

grams that are on your radar. If you don’t currently have an

doesn’t use the standard network links.

extensive network of people to poll, ask someone you respect

While thinking of large merchants, who are household

to introduce you to those who can assist you.

names, and scoping out the competition are both excellent

Each of these strategies will get you closer to forging the

starting points, what about the tens of thousands of merchant

affiliate partnerships that will fuel your business. You’ll have to

programs you may not have heard about? You’re leaving mon-

make adjustments as you test programs, but these steps will

ey on the table, but where do you begin?

limit the number of mistakes you will make.

Nathan Smith is the founder/President of Zynali Marketing Solutions, an online marketing agency.

13


tl;dr – A call to performance marketers to recognize the not-soeasily-tracked value occurring at the top of the funnel.

· Issue 34 · April 2016

Recognizing Valuable Performance

Higher in the Funnel by Rachel Honoway

Rachel Honoway

A

s performance marketers, we have attribution and

more opportunities to harvest fruit. He needs those people,

conversion tracking down to a science. We know

and so do we.

how much customers are spending, which channels

We need people to start conversations about our prod-

they touch, and what they did on our sites before completing

ucts and services. We need people who are passionate about

the sale. We know if it’s their first or a repeat purchase. If there

their niche to understand and talk about our offerings. We

is anything we don’t know, we find a way to track it, predict it

need real people with great reputations to tell others about us.

and optimize it.

We need influencers.

We *own* the end of the sales funnel.

Though it may pain us, we won’t always be able to con-

But, with our intense focus on conversions, who is man-

nect every seed they plant to a resulting sale. But that doesn’t

ning the rest of the funnel, ensuring it grows and continues

mean they aren’t performing. Every time consumers hear

sending sales into our perfectly tracked and precisely opti-

your message is another opportunity for them to get to know

mized system?

you, trust you, and be receptive to your promotions.

Like a farmer harvesting crops, we know exactly when to

While you’re focused on optimizing conversions, bloggers

pick the fruit from the vine for the best yield. But what about

and social media influencers can keep the funnel filled with

the efforts that lead up to that perfectly ripened fruit?

consumers who have heard good things about you, and are

It took someone to plant the seeds, fertilize the soil, and water the plant. Unlike the harvest, it’s harder to determine

ready to respond to the high-converting content you distribute through your affiliate channel.

how each detail of these earlier steps affects the final fruit,

The next time a blogger asks you for a product to review,

but that doesn’t mean that the steps aren’t valuable. If time

or a payment for a sponsored post, think twice about saying

and effort aren’t placed on those steps, there will be less fruit

“no” just because you can’t attach that spend directly to a con-

to pick over time.

version. Think about the entire funnel.

Like the farmer, we need someone to plant the seeds and

I truly believe that the more we say “yes”, the more we’ll

maintain the plant, so that our systems can have the great-

learn about the value of the performance activities happening

est effect. Of course, the farmer could do it all from seed to

higher up in the funnel, and in no time, we’ll figure out how

harvest. But, what if he had a team of people focusing their

to track those activities, predict their outcomes, and optimize

strengths on specific steps along the way? He would have

the path down the funnel to the final conversion.

Rachel is CEO of FMTC and Fresh Press Media, providing tools for affiliates and influencers.

15


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Five techniques to use when looking for a new job.

5 Ways To

Land Your Ideal Position by Mike Carney Mike Carney

positives, they are also looking for negatives to trim the candidate pool. If you have a lot of party photos or trolling activity, then you can likely expect to lose out to another candidate.

I

want… no, I deserve more. That message comes across loud

3. Be Employer Focused

and clear when speaking with candidates looking for new

Put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Would you hire you?

opportunities. They want to improve their situations and

I know data but I’m no data scientist. Only apply for jobs where

they are prepared to make a career move to make it happen.

you believe you’re a top three candidate. The employer has

The problem is that most fail in landing their ideal posi-

a problem that they are trying to solve. If you’re the solution

tions, due to reasons that could have easily been avoided.

then apply and quickly present why you are the solution. Con-

In industry terms, their pre-sell pages and conversion paths

sider your resume as your pre-sell page. You need to create

were not very good.

interest, showcase benefits, and get them to decide that you

You only have one opportunity to make a great first im-

can help them, and make it all above the fold.

pression, and no level of re-targeting will help you secure that conversion if you mess it up. That is why I’ve put together a quick checklist to ensure you won’t miss out on the next great opportunity.

4. Showcase Your Accomplishments If you’re an affiliate manager, then most employers understand exactly what you do, so don’t bore them with pages of

To start out, you need to realize that you’re marketing yourself, so take things as seriously as your campaigns. These are my top five tips to help you land your ideal position.

tasks and responsibilities. You have 15 seconds to convince them that you’re a top candidate. Pull out your “so what” marker, and go through your resume. Focus on where you worked, what you specialized in, and, most importantly what you ac-

1. Identify What You’re Looking For Wanting more and being able to define what more means are two totally different things. Make a list of all of the things

complished there. If you have a successful track record with reputable employers, then you are have a better chance of landing that ideal position.

that you love to do – and can get paid for. Very quickly you’ll figure out what you are not only passionate about, but what you would be an outstanding candidate for.

5. Be prepared. Whether you are interviewing by phone or face-to-face, you need to know the position and employer inside and out,

2. Clean Up Your Profiles

and present your accomplishments and numbers as if happi-

After you apply, one of the things that employers may look at is your social media profiles. As much as they’re looking for

16

ness were the award for first place, and that there is no consolation prize.

Mike Carney is the Founder and President of PerformanceMarketingJOBS and an Online Veteran since 1997.


tl;dr – Four important marketing strategies to utilize to potentially obtain high positioning on search engine results for white label dating sites.

· Issue 34 · April 2016

SEO Strategies for

White Label Dating Sites by Sam Van Campenhout

Sam Van Campenhout

G

etting your dating site to the first pages of search re-

The more people sharing your content and starting to help

sults can be a difficult task, but reaps great rewards

build your positive reputation, the more Google will take note.

if done correctly. It’s important that you include SEO

Whether its you or a third party, your goal will be to talk about

(Search Engine Optimization) as part of your marketing strat-

your site and link through to it. Google will look very positively

egy. If you are receiving traffic from search engines, then it’s

on this, and it can contribute greatly to your SEO positioning.

critical that you maintain your efforts. We will focus on optimization with the goal of hitting high

3. Backlinks from Reputable Sources

positioning in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), particu-

Building a relationship with a key influencer will help to

larly on Google, by creating quality content on your site and by

establish strong backlinks to your site. Having your content

building links into your site through four steps.

published on well known websites is a good way to do this.

These factors alone will not ensure your place, but will give you a solid chance.

Taking part in media interviews or commenting as an industry expert can often result in quality links to your site. You can also refer your content to other influencers in the

1. Content Marketing Strategy Determine the keywords you are going to focus on, and

hopes that they will link back. There are a number of tools out there that you can use to monitor links to websites.

build your content marketing strategy around them. Each piece of content you create will generate an opportunity for people to link to, so focus on unique and quality content.

4. Mobile Friendly Google regularly updates its algorithm to ensure users al-

Every blog or video you add, and any research material,

ways get the most relevant results. In April 2015, a substantial

will all contribute towards your content marketing. The con-

update put extra weight on sites that were mobile or tablet

tent itself is likely to get ranked so it is important to make sure

friendly. Those sites that had adopted a responsive design

you pay attention to the keywords used in any titles, or in the

came out the winners, as each visitor to the site is shown con-

body of the content including captions on graphics. Contin-

tent which is optimized to the device they are using.

ued addition of content will let Google know your site is active.

Sites that weren’t optimized for mobile devices were punished and lost substantial traffic, as they dropped off the first

2. Person with Influence Ideally, this person will have already built up an audience and reputation as a leading authority in online dating.

pages of SERPs. A responsive design, plus having a mobile specific site setup on a mobile sub-domain, should also help you avoid Google’s disapproval.

Sam Van Campenhout, CMO DatingFactory.com, has two decades of International marketing experience in online advertising.

17


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Five Misconceptions about the CAN-SPAM Act

Debunking Common

Can-Spam Misconceptions

by Rachel Hirsch Fact: The CAN-SPAM Act does not require senders to

Rachel Hirsch

I

identify the message as an advertisement in the subject line. Initiators of commercial email only have to identify the mes-

n today’s hyper-connected world, email plays a more preva-

sage as an ad in a way that is “clear and conspicuous.” The

lent role than ever in our day-to-day lives. With today’s mo-

law gives marketers flexibility in how to do that effectively, but

bile technology, most people are never far from their email

remember that deceptive subject lines are illegal.

inbox, which is why email remains one of the easiest and most

Misconception #3 – Email marketers who are

efficient ways to market to potential customers. In 2003, Congress enacted the CAN-SPAM Act (the Con-

given prior affirmative consent by potential

trolling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Market-

customers to receive commercial messages do

ing Act), which regulates unsolicited commercial email. In Feb-

not need to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act’s

ruary, the FTC announced that it intends to initiate a ten-year

commercial email requirements.

review of, and solicit public comment on, the CAN-SPAM Rule, which is the rules implementing the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

Fact: If recipients have given their prior affirmative consent to receive messages, the initiator is exempt from identify-

Despite having been enacted more than a decade ago, there are still some common misconceptions regarding the

ing the message as an ad, but that is it. All other CAN-SPAM requirements still apply.

CAN-SPAM Act:

Misconception #4 – A commercial email can only Misconception #1 – Every email message from

have one initiator or sender.

a business is deemed a commercial message

Fact: The FTC has brought several claims against both com-

under the CAN-SPAM Act.

panies, whose products or service was advertised in the email,

Fact: Not every email message from a business constitutes a commercial message. Rather, the email’s primary

as well as the affiliate that sent the message. The company is deemed the sender, and the affiliate is deemed the initiator.

purpose must be the commercial advertisement or promotion of a product or service. Some messages contain both

Misconception #5 – The CAN-SPAM Act only

advertising and non-advertising content. In such scenarios,

applies to traditional email.

these messages have a commercial primary purpose if either:

Fact: Some federal courts have ruled that CAN-SPAM’s

the recipient would interpret the subject line to mean that the

definition of “electronic mail message” includes commercial

message contains commercial advertising, or the recipient

messages transmitted to a social network user’s inbox, news

would determine from the body of the message that the mes-

feed, wall, etc.

sage’s primary purpose is commercial advertising.

So if email marketing is your primary method of staying in constant contact with potential customers, make sure you

Misconception #2 – The CAN-SPAM Act requires

subscribe to the CAN-SPAM Act and its implementing rules.

senders to identify each commercial email

And, when in doubt, retain qualified legal counsel to help you

message as an advertisement in the subject line.

differentiate between misconception and fact.

18

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


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – E-commerce is the single biggest opportunity to run continuous, long-term campaigns that monetize international web and mobile traffic.

Navigating E-commerce

for Profit and Glory by Eric Gerritsen

T

Eric Gerritsen

he original Golden Age of Commerce in the seven-

Major new platforms, like Shopify and Weebly, have made

teenth century, was shaped by key innovations in

it much easier for entrepreneurs to start e-commerce web-

seafaring and mapmaking, and an insatiable Euro-

sites and do social media marketing. Together, these compa-

pean demand for spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.

nies represent a complete global e-commerce ecosystem.

Today, a new Golden Age of Commerce is happening, this

For affiliate marketers, explosive global demand for prod-

time online and driven by huge new global middle classes,

ucts delivered via e-commerce represents the single biggest

rapid improvements in logistics, mobile technologies, easy

opportunity to run continuous, long-term campaigns that

international payments, and the rise of China.

monetize international web, and mobile traffic.

Today’s demand comes from the 800 million people that

Merchants are competing globally for new customers

have joined the middle class in the last fifteen years; and to-

and the affiliate channel is well-known and valued to both

morrow’s demand will come from the next 1.3 billion to join

single-theme merchants and broad marketplaces.

the middle class in the next ten years.

Mobile traffic has a unique role to play. Affiliates with

This business to consumer (B2C) demand will equal $2.0

cross-platform and targeted traffic delivery capabilities are

trillion dollars this year; and grow to $2.5 trillion by 2018. These

of particular help to merchants to find, influence, and engage

new consumers are buying apparel, electronics, accessories,

with mobile consumers on the path to purchase.

jewelry, mobile phones, home furnishing, and much more.

To truly profit from the e-commerce opportunity, af-

The landscape of e-commerce players chasing this large-

filiates can choose to deliver the merchant marketing funnel,

scale opportunity is changing. Traditional global players like

or complete distribution platforms, to help merchants sell

Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, and Rakuten have been joined

through the full consumer sales funnel: beginning with aware-

by new companies with global e-commerce ambitions, like

ness (CPM); to intent (CPA leadgen); and finally to consumer

Rocket Internet, a global leader in online retailing and venture

purchase (CPS revshare).

capital. Below this established tier of global players are thou-

Since all traffic types have a role to play, affiliates have a real opportunity to monetize in e-commerce.

sands of new e-commerce sites that have emerged around

A new ecosystem with new companies is creating new

specific verticals; companies like Indochino, a custom mens-

global demand – it all adds up to a large-scale opportunity for

wear company; and Tofino Brand, a merchant of Korean skin

affiliates to monetize traffic and grow merchant gross mer-

care products.

chandise volume in the new Golden Age of E-commerce.

Eric J. Gerritsen is the SVP of E-Commerce, Mobile & Asia Pacific for GlobalWide Media.

19


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Three key components before determining how to tackle your SEM efforts in 2016.

Should You Outsource SEM David Troop

A

via Affiliate Marketing?

by David Troop

n affiliate program strives to generate quality traffic to your site, in order to generate leads, sales, or other desired actions.

One of the most difficult steps in obtaining high quality

traffic is deciding which sources are best managed in-house,

credible and that their past experience produced successful

and which ones are best outsourced through your affiliate

results. If an employee accidentally implements the wrong

program.

keyword budget, or adjusts a bid too high, this could incur

A vital metric in identifying which channels to outsource is cost. Search engine marketing (SEM) is well known for its

$1k+ in non-refundable expenses without any return—an expensive lesson to learn.

expense, both budget and time. And, as an affiliate manager

By outsourcing your SEM to affiliates, you can avoid the

with over ten years of experience in the industry, I can tell you

risks that come with hiring and training employees, while gain-

that a quality SEM strategy can make or break a company.

ing the benefits of working with established SEM experts, and

Is it wise to continue running your SEM efforts in-house

paying only when a sale or lead is generated.

when the stakes are so high? Here are three key factors to consider:

3. Why should I outsource my SEM to affiliates instead of utilizing an SEM agency?

1. How many hours are needed to maintain your SEM efforts? As your online company grows, so should your SEM efforts. Like anything in digital marketing, the only way to know

There are countless SEM agencies available for hire. These companies are usually available to start working with you immediately with the only cost requirements being setup and service fees along with your keyword budget.

what will work is to test and optimize. Whether you want to

Unfortunately, these are locked terms and don’t guaran-

target brand keywords, competitors’ keywords or long tail key-

tee sales or leads. If you want to secure experienced SEM tal-

words, the more you test, the more time and resources you’ll

ent, yet avoid the constant service fees, then working through

expend.

the affiliate channel is a compelling option.

Do you have the manpower to support the hours needed for keyword testing? Outsourcing your SEM through an affiliate program may be a more attainable option.

Many affiliates can get started fast and you don’t pay them a dime until a lead or sale is generated. Search engine marketing is a very detail-oriented and time-intensive task; with Google constantly making algorith-

2. What experience does your in-house team

mic adjustments, it is imperative that your SEM resources

have with SEM?

have the proven talent to produce revenue results.

If you are currently considering an employee to lead your SEM efforts, you’ll need to trust that their SEM knowledge is

20

Think through the three questions above to help you place your SEM efforts in the right hands. David Troop is an Affiliate Manager at LinkConnector Corporation.


tl;dr – Affiliates should look at product/service, tracking, transparency, payout, and payment terms when looking at an advertiser

· Issue 34 · April 2016

5 Things to Look for

in Advertisers by Ricky Ahuja

Ricky Ahuja

I

3. Transparency – How forthcoming are they with data t is the age-old story: Democrats vs. Republicans, David vs.

and conversion statistics? Do they know what media types

Goliath, Union vs. Confederates, and right along those lines,

work? Do they have various landing pages to test different

yes - advertisers vs. affiliates. One doesn’t want to give, and

traffic types? How well do they know their conversion flow?

the other just wants to take. Who is right? Who is wrong? Can’t

These are all questions you as an affiliate should be asking

we all just get along?

and in the event they are unable or unwilling to provide this

Having been an affiliate, a network owner, and an adver-

information, you may want to look elsewhere.

tiser - I have seen all sides, and have keen insight on what it

4. Payout - We all want to believe it is not always about

takes to formulate a successful partnership. As I have always

the payout, but, by and large, it usually is. Is the payout com-

said, transparency and communication are key.

petitive? Are there validations in place so any scrubs due to

That being said, if you are an affiliate, you spend your hard

incorrect data or fraudulent actions happen in real-time? Do

earned dollars buying media, and spend time and research

they have different payouts for different affiliates? If the pay-

in identifying a program to promote, but after all is said and

out is not competitive, you may want to look elsewhere.

done, something still doesn’t jive. Well then, how does one identify a quality advertiser?

5. Payment Terms – Purchasing media, traffic, or emailing can be rather expensive, and having to float your own

Well, I’m glad you asked, see below:

funds can add up. Does the advertiser provide quicker pay-

1. Product/Service - How gung ho and how informed is

ment terms, enabling you to continue your media spend?

your advertiser about their product. If they aren’t then, they

Does the advertiser have a guaranteed EPC? If they want your

are probably not a good partner to work with. Do they know

traffic, they should go out of their way to accommodate you.

about affiliate marketing or do they need an education about

If they do not, you may want to look elsewhere.

it? If so, well you may want to look elsewhere.

These five things are not the be all end all, however, they

2. Tracking – Do they have adequate and secure track-

do give you a starting point, and ammunition next time you

ing? What tracking platform do they use? Do they provide their

are approached by an advertiser to run their offer. If it doesn’t,

affiliates a login to view stats? Are they able and willing to sup-

you may want to look elsewhere. ;-)

port a post back? If not, you may want to look elsewhere.

22

Happy trafficking! Ricky Ahuja is a serial entrepreneur and consultant and blogs at RickyAhuja.com.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Top traits exhibited by successful advertisers in managing their marketing campaigns and business operations.

Top 10 Traits of

Successful Advertisers by Srii Srinivasan

B

Srii Srinivasan

ecoming a successful advertiser requires passion and dedication, but also depends upon the structure,

Closely monitor your fraudulent orders, refunds, cancella-

knowledge, and experience of those supporting your

tions, and chargebacks, and block affiliate networks and pub-

customers and managing your operations. Having worked with over 250 advertisers, evaluating their

lishers who don’t meet your standards. If you lack the time or resources for monitoring, hire third-party companies to moni-

businesses to determine what it takes to become a success-

tor your marketing campaigns.

ful advertiser, my experience of their top attributes is:

6. Express Shipping Amazon.com has set a high bar for product delivery, lead-

1. Knowledge and Passion

ing consumers to expect orders to be shipped within one to two

Domain knowledge and experience are vital to advertis-

business days. Businesses can no longer afford to delay fulfill-

ing success. Passion drives knowledge, knowledge drives

ment, so working with an efficient fulfillment company is crucial.

awareness, and awareness drives structure. That structure

7. Hassle-Free Refund Policies and Terms

drives quality, and ultimately profitability.

2. High Quality, Unique Product

Successful advertisers believe the customer is always right and do everything possible to keep customers happy.

Quality and your product uniqueness play a key role. Due

Make it simple for your customers to cancel orders. Provide

to the widespread adoption of social media, bad product (and

refunds within one to two business days to avoid chargebacks.

service) experiences are shared at lightning speed.

8. Streamlined Back Office Processes

Even if your product manufacturing is outsourced, take re-

Use structured processes, experienced staff, and expert

sponsibility to ensure your product meets all quality standards.

third-party vendors to run your operation. Structured processes

3. Seasoned Design and IT Teams

provide the scalability to expand your operation when needed.

An “A” product alone won’t guarantee success. You also need a creative team to design a killer website that conveys the right message to the right audience. IT integration is key, since you need a shopping cart which is PCI compliant and captures customers’ data every time they visit.

4. Ethical Marketing Practices and Partnerships Successful advertisers believe in ethical marketing practices, and partner with affiliate networks and publishers who share that philosophy. Always be upfront with your customers

9. Exceptional Customer Service Exceptional customer service is no longer optional—it’s expected. If you don’t provide it, your customers have plenty of alternatives to do business elsewhere. Equip your customer service team with the necessary tools to track and assist customers quickly. Train your team on your products as well as customer service etiquette.

10. Analytics Successful advertisers rely heavily on analytics to track

about warranties, billing terms and policies.

performance, provide insights about your business, and help

5. Tracking and Fraud Prevention Tools

you focus on areas for improvement.

Make sure your CRM tool can track your sales and affiliates, and integrate with fraud prevention tools to block fraudulent sales.

Focusing on these ten areas will maximize your success in advertising and managing your business.

Srii Srinivasan, Chargeback Gurus’ CEO, helps advertisers streamline processes, improve marketing campaigns and minimize chargebacks.

23


tl;dr – Business The sizetravel of thecan Canadian be an outstanding market, the investment growth of cross-border in the affiliate marketing industry, here are a few commerce, andtop thereasons challenges to travel. you might face.

· Issue 34 · April 2016

E-commerce Sales and

Your Northern Neighbor by Steven Page

Steven Page

C

anada’s strong economy and high-demand for inter-

With shockingly high freight charges that often arise

national products make optimized e-commerce web-

when shipping from the U.S. to Canada, it’s important to

sites a gold mine for U.S. based businesses. In 2015,

clearly present product pricing and shipping and handling

75% of Canadians made more than one purchase online. According to Statistics Canada, almost 60% of online

information, which will help reduce shopping cart abandonment rates.

sales made in Canada in 2012 were on e-commerce sites

On the backend, e-commerce companies need to seam-

outside the country. When U.S. e-tailers optimize their web-

lessly and efficiently deliver their products to their Canadian

sites to cater to the needs of their growing consumer base

customers, preventing surprise fees, and border delays, or

in Canada, they have a better chance of retaining long-term

forced local post office pick up. And to provide the best user

customers and driving revenue.

experience that avoids customer service nightmares, a simple

With the ease of purchase and ability to acquire unique items delivered straight to their door, Canadians expect the online shopping experience to be simple and straightforward, including the shipping and return process.

returns policy and process should also be outlined and easily accessed by consumers. All of this can be accomplished by partnering with a logistics partner that specializes in moving freight to Canada.

As Canadians shift their preferred shopping channels of

The main thing here is to factor all fees into the cost of the

choice to include more e-commerce, marketers should be

item shown on the website, so that the customer is aware of

ready for the surge in purchases and the various logistics that

the final cost they will pay, rather than having to pay one price

are necessary for efficiently delivering products to customers

up front, and additional fees upon delivery. If taxes and duties

north of the border.

are excluded at the onset, and the customer has to pay more

A recent study by eMarketer estimated that Canadians will

money when they receive the product, past experience shows

spend over $26 billion USD on e-commerce sites by 2019. But,

they will be extremely unhappy and may never purchase from

in order to get products that are not available in their country,

the website again.

Canadians often end up paying much more than the cost shown

To be successful, it is vital that businesses invest in tech-

on the website. The growing Canadian e-commerce market

nology, and partner with the right vendors that will make their

makes it critical for U.S. e-commerce companies to focus on

e-commerce website and delivery methods efficient, easy, and

creating a user experience specific to Canadian shoppers.

sustainable for long-term success in the Canadian market.

24

Steven Page is Founder & President of Stalco, a Canadian-based logistics and fulfillment company.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Tips to help you to raise $1 million on Kickstarter.

The Crowdfunding

Success Matrix by Thomas Alvord

E

2. very month, Kickstarter & Indiegogo are minting new millionaires. Others are raising $100,000+ over 30 day launches.

What makes a crowdfunding campaign successful? There

are two primary factors: The product and the marketing. Taking these two factors, and putting them on a spectrum from good to bad, gives us the Crowdfunding Success Matrix. (View infographic at feedfront.com/csm). This matrix allows you to identify the position of any crowdfunding project, and determine how to improve your results.

The marketing must drive targeted traffic to the product page. To make things easy to understand, the Crowdfunding

Success Matrix provides the following four quadrants: Outer Darkness - When your crowdfunding campaign combines a bad product with bad marketing, you get outer darkness. These are products your friends, family, and fools won’t even support. Avoid this quadrant at all costs. Black Hole - A black hole might very well be the worst of all quadrants. A black hole crowdfunding campaign indicates good marketing but a bad product. When you combine good marketing with a bad product, your ROI is going to suffer. You’re essentially throwing your money away, as if into a black

Products: Good vs. Bad A product is good if it converts. That is, when people see the product, do they buy?

hole. No amount of marketing will ever produce the sorts of returns necessary to justify turning your crowdfunding campaign into an actual business.

When live, it’s easy to ascertain whether a product is good

Shooting Star - A shooting star crowdfunding campaign

by looking at the EPV (Earnings Per View). An EPV of $0.50 is

starts off with a good product, but the marketing doesn’t last.

average, $1 is good, $3+ is great.

It is fleeting, just like a shooting star. Therefore, we classify

When not live, the best formula to gauge crowdfunding success is: ubiquity + tech.

this type of case as having bad marketing but a good product. Supernova - A good product combined with good mar-

Ubiquity means it’s a product all or most of the population

keting is a supernova. Supernovas result in campaigns like

would buy, such as a watch, cooler, or luggage. Tech means

the Baubax Travel jacket that raised $9.1 million, and Trunk-

it’s making a product smart, like a smart phone, smart cooler,

ster Smart Luggage that raised $1.3 million. A supernova is

or smart luggage. Tech also encompasses the notion that a

an explosion of a star that briefly outshines an entire galaxy,

product is innovative.

radiating as much energy as the sun is expected to emit over its entire life span. That’s exactly what you want to do during

Marketing: Good vs. Bad 1.

your 30-60 day crowdfunding campaign.

The marketing is deemed “good” if it meets two elements:

By using the Success Matrix, you can quickly identify

The marketing must drive a lot of traffic to the crowd-

black holes and outer darkness, change shooting stars into

funding product page.

supernovas, and raise beaucoup bucks for your campaign.

Thomas Alvord is a co-founder at Funded Today, where we’ve crowdfunded over $51 million.

25


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Practical advice on techniques in affiliate recruitment.

Top 5 Places to

Look for Affiliates by Victoria Galperina

Victoria Galperina

Social Networks We live in the digital era and it is important to keep up.

A

There are several services on the market that allow you to perffiliate recruitment is the pain and challenge of every

form targeted searches for specific words, mentions, or even

affiliate manager, and for a good reason. With more

jobs across various networks.

and more affiliates joining the industry every year, it

gets increasingly more complicated to find those few super

This way you can scavenge Twitter for affiliate marketers specializing in your industry, by using specific keywords.

affiliates that can change the whole picture, but the search never stops. So where should you look for affiliates? Here is some practical advice, that has worked for us:

Universities and Courses Whether you are trying to distribute goods or services, students are great at spreading the word about what they love. You can recruit them with freebies, and if they love them,

Mentions

they’ll tell their friends.

Whether you are just starting out with recruitment ef-

If they don’t, you can find someone else, but you are offer-

forts, or looking for ways to improve the quality of your affili-

ing a commission, so provided that it fits their expectations,

ates, tracking what your competitors are up is always a good

they will still put in a ton of effort to market what you are offer-

idea. And an even better idea, is to start monitoring who men-

ing. If you are offering a service, it’s a great idea to partner with

tions them on the daily basis.

the lecturers themselves, so that they would include teaching

There is a good chance that the person who mentioned

your service in the syllabus for the subject, where it is relevant.

your competitor is in your niche, has a target audience, and there is a high chance they would be willing to mention you as well, and you should definitely take advantage of this.

Passive Recruitment If you are not doing this already, you should really think about turning your loyal customers into affiliates. It can be

Competitors

done in various ways. For example, you can link to an affili-

Some of your affiliates are more active than others and

ate program from the footer of your website, or from relevant

they earn more. You might want to recruit more of them. So

posts on the blog, or even through targeted newsletters to

what you can do, is get the domain name of their website and

your customers.

search for similar sites.

The key takeaway here is that when it comes to affiliate

There is a big chance that you find relevant and interested

recruitment, you need to be a go getter and always be on the

affiliates by doing this search. It will also get you a huge list of

outlook for new ways or services that will help you attract star

domains to make your search easier.

affiliates.

26

Victoria Galperina is the Head of Affiliate Marketing at SEMrush.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – It’s important for affiliate programs to be vigilant towards fraud in cashback sites.

Working to Minimize

Fraud on Cashback Sites by Christopher Park Christopher Park

I

f you’re a merchant who partners with cashback sites, you

But if information is shared between merchant and affili-

see fraud from time to time. An order comes in that is ten

ate, the fraudster can be targeted, not just the fraudulent order.

times your average order value. The order includes thirty of

Most cashback sites that I deal with are very understand-

one of your highest priced items… all in the same size and col-

ing when it comes to reversed commissions on the fraudu-

or. It has different shipping and billing addresses, and they’ve

lent orders, but I try to take it a step further. I also try to share

requested next day air.

the order information from the offenders. This information is

It’s obviously a fraudulent order. The shopper is hoping

treated in different ways by the sites. Some try to match the

that even if you catch the order and don’t ship it, you’ll neglect

information to their records to see if the shopper is doing the

to reconcile with your affiliate program, and they’ll still get

same thing with other merchants.

their cashback.

The best cashback sites immediately ban the fraudster

For the programs I manage, orders are reconciled at

from their website. Cashback sites requiring additional in-

the end of each month. The cashback site isn’t paid for the

formation from shoppers at registration, such as addresses,

fraudulent orders and the fraudster isn’t rewarded with any

phone numbers, verified email addresses, etc., also makes

cashback.

it harder on the fraudsters. When banned from a site, most

Everything is back to normal, right? Not quite.

fraudsters don’t want to put forth the effort of creating a new

Because these orders aren’t automatically removed until

account with new addresses and emails when it’s easier to

the end of the month, daily and weekly reports can be artificially inflated. In a smaller program, with an average order value of $75, a $2,000 order can really affect reporting. While it’s a never-ending struggle, merchants need to

just move on. And by getting a fraudster off a cashback site, I’ve not only helped my affiliate program, but every merchant’s program partnered with the cashback site.

work with their partner cashback sites to minimize fraudulent

Banning the fraudster may just move them to another

orders and to hopefully chase away the fraudsters. If a mer-

cashback site to set up shop, but at least they know they won’t

chant denies commissions on a fraudulent order and cash-

be rewarded by targeting my affiliate program. If enough mer-

back isn’t paid, the fraudster will simply move on to another

chants and affiliates work together and share information, we

merchant and try their luck with them.

can start to minimize this type of activity in the future.

Christopher Park manages affiliate programs for Blair, Old Pueblo Traders and Bedford Fair.

27


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr - Tips and tricks on how you can use YouTube video ads to get more customers.

Generating Sales with

YouTube Video Ads

Jace Vernon

H

by Jace Vernon ave you started… is your video marketing campaign in place? If not, why not? The growth that your busi-

Both In-Stream and In-Display ads have their pros and cons.

ness can experience from video marketing will bring

I like to use In-Stream ads for the following: 1.

you nothing but happiness. It’s time to jump in. Below I am going to show you why you need to be running

2. My competitor’s videos 3.

video ads on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. But let’s first start with the most important part… the video. If you plan on running a video marketing campaign, your

Remarketing campaigns I like to use In-Display ads for:

1.

YouTube keyword search

2. Remarketing

video should have the following: 1.

Hand picked videos that I choose to play on

An entertainment factor and story (first entertain, then educate)

Remember that consumers will watch videos that are entertaining, unique, and can fix their problem.

2. Strong headline

The challenge for most marketers is that they blast

3.

Identify the problem

out their YouTube ads and hope something sticks. When it

4.

Provide a solution

doesn’t, they quit.

5.

Call to action

The key is to narrow down your target audience and only

Once the video is done, you will want to upload it to your

allow your video to play on certain videos that are chosen by

YouTube channel. Add annotations linking out to your website

you. I can’t tell you how many times ads are served up to my

and smart cards that also link out to your website.

kids while they are watching Wheels On The Bus.

Treat YouTube as an extension of your website, meaning you brand it and link it to your website.

Here are some simple tips that will make all the difference when running YouTube ads:

These things are all necessary to run a successful You-

1.

Avoid kid videos

2. Avoid music videos

Tube campaign.

YouTube Ads

3.

Put parentheses or brackets around your keywords

4.

Avoid gaming videos

YouTube ads have been around the longest. You all have seen them playing in front of other YouTube videos. We normally skip them, but there is always an exception.

My focus on running YouTube ads is for lead generation.

There are two types of YouTube ads: 1.

Results You Can Expect From YouTube Ads The lower my cost per lead, the higher my profit margins.

In-Stream

I have seen YouTube leads as low as thirteen cents per

2. In-Display

lead, and as high as 200 dollars per lead. Just watch your num-

In-stream ads play in front of the video. In-display ads show up at the top of a YouTube search or on the side bar. You can set up both ads within your Adwords account.

28

bers and keep making adjustments until you achieve an ROI. If you can’t link video marketing to leads, sales, customers, and revenue, then you’re doing it all wrong.

Jace Vernon is a marketing consultant, speaker, and the owner of Ydraw, and Yinc Marketing.


· Issue 34 · April 2016

tl;dr – Primer for designing an effective business card with eight key elements.

8 Must Haves

for a Business Card by Robin R. Talbott

W

Robin R. Talbott

ith spring’s emphasis on new beginnings, it’s time to reconsider your most important affiliate marketing tool, your business card. Have you re-

Therefore, get fresh, state of the art business cards, every-

alized at Internet related conferences, you are selling YOU, not your brand?

one. Ditch the long verbal excuses while handing out cards with

Or, are you still pushing your product out front like a ba-

obsolete phone numbers crossed out, and current numbers

nana cart, based on the way things used to be in the Madison

written in. Those are wilted roses, purchased on clearance, that

Avenue world of marketing for business, promoting brick and

clearly speak to how little you value your new contact. So what if you have an opened box of 472 out of 500

mortar retail stores? Newsflash: the days of hitching up the wagon to go to

cards left. Throw them in the paper recycle bin, and prepare

Montgomery Wards for a toaster are over. Today, consum-

a business card that is current, while showing you value your

ers expect a relationship with their sales provider before they

contacts enough to make a continuing good impression. The eight business card essentials are:

leave the house, or nowadays, visit a website. Consumers will buy from the establishment, virtual and/

1.

Your name and title

or real life, where they trust a credible authority to guide them

2. Your professionally staged, quality photograph

to what product or service they need, even if they don’t know

3.

Your business logo

what they need, yet.

4.

Your business website address

5.

Your contact information, including, at least, your busi-

Now, the purchasing format is, “We love Montgomery Wards. Let’s go see what they have,” and, “Look there! Why,

ness e-mail and business Twitter handle; perhaps also

we could use a toaster!” Now sales are built on relationships.

your telephone number

Don’t tie one hand of your marketing behind your back. In

6.

Your social media (i.e. Facebook fan page, Instagram, and

today’s power-packed social media climate, use both hands

Pinterest addresses, which may be a QR (Quick Response)

to get up close and personal with your customers, and cus-

code to give all of the information in a small space

tomers-to-be. As many conference attendees seem to be handing out

7.

Negative space, so contacts can jot down notes about you

8.

A matte, not glossy, surface that will be easy for contacts

business cards as a follow-up afterthought to in-person net-

to write upon.

working, it’s an opportunity lost unless business cards have

Luckily, there is plenty of time to prepare new business

the same impact as roses bestowed upon a blind date. That little 3.5” x 2” piece of cardstock, traveling home with your new contact, has the same weight as gold bullion, if one only empowers it so. Robin R. Talbott (@SunbonSmart) digitally markets at SunbonnetSmart.com

cards before the 2016 PMS (Performance Marketing Summit) Conferences and Affiliate Summit East in May, June and late July, respectively. Now is the time to order.

29


tl;dr – Affiliates must understand the differences between tracking & analytic software and how both can help increase traffic engagement and performances.

· Issue 34 · April 2016

Why Analytics Can’t Address

Laurent Malka

H

Your Tracking Needs?

ave you ever struggled to communicate in a language you don’t fully understand, stumbling over

by Laurent Malka

words that sound almost exactly the same, but

mean completely different things? That’s like the difference between tracking software and web analytics.

The cost of traffic is another critical factor that tracking application can handle, but that Google Analytics ignores all together.

Google Analytics is a fantastic platform that provides indepth insights about your website’s audience. Yet, it doesn’t fulfill the affiliate’s requirements when it comes to running and optimizing traffic.

Which Software Should You Choose? As an affiliate, traffic performances and ROI should be on the top of your priorities, turning a tracking application as a

Tracking applications are made for performance market-

must have in your marketing toolbox. It lets you delve deeper

ers who have specific business requirements. The features

into your audience on an individual level, and gain visibility into

needed to run professional affiliate marketing campaigns are

conversions and revenues.

designed to give you not only flexibility and control, but indepth analytics for quick and informed decision making. Google Analytics provides on-site audience information

This information is associated with the visitor’s initial data point, which provides you a much-needed way to associate campaigns with generated conversions.

covering user behaviour, referral sources, and the content

It’s easy to believe that Google Analytics alone is enough

consumed on the site. That’s awesome, and hugely powerful.

for those needs (and most digital marketers still believe it), but

However, you’re limited to tracking this information on sites

tracking software provides total agility during your campaign

you fully control.

setup process, and allows you to gather clear behaviour and

Once your visitor leaves your site, not only you have no

financial performance metrics.

visibility into their actions, but you can only redirect it to a flat

If you had to choose between tracking software and ana-

link, which doesn’t take into consideration any data such as

lytics, tracking would come out on top every time. Having said

geo-target.

that, it would be pretentious to discard Google Analytics’ pow-

Tracking applications let you go beyond gathering traffic information, such as keywords and referral IDs. They collect

erful features, which offer supplementary functions crucial in certain marketing environments.

conversion information from affiliate programs after the visi-

The online marketing ecosystem is only going to get

tors leave your site, even weeks after the initial click occurred.

more complex and competitive. In this data driven marketing

Tracking applications can also provide you with respon-

era, unless you have the tools to accommodate, test, mea-

sive tracking links that redirect visitors to certain landing pag-

sure, and quantify your creativity, your edge will blend with

es, based on their “user-agent”, such as the operating system,

unprocessed data.

IP address, browser, or even language, which is a functionality the “Google Analytics” don’t provide.

30

Being able to track creativity is the true affiliate marketer’s edge. Laurent Malka is the founder and CEO of TrackingDesk.


tl;dr – Affiliate Marketers are defining new ways to engage customers, creating a new standard in customer satisfaction: the customer engagement center.

· Issue 34 · April 2016

Defining New Ways to

Engage Customers by Jason Levesque

Jason Levesque

D

ue to the rise of affiliate marketing over the past de-

customer engagement center to engage them quickly while

cade, and the corresponding increase in technology

providing an exceptionally high standard of quality care.

usage by consumers, the traditional usage of contact

centers is archaic at best and damaging at worst.

And just when you thought telephone calls were going the way of the dinosaur, a recent study by American Express

Without realizing it, affiliate marketers have forced a new

shows definitively that a whopping 90 percent of consumers

evolution in a tired industry. Enter the “Customer Engagement

in the United States prefer to contact a brand by phone; that’s

Center.” It’s no longer just answering a phone call and react-

a lot of phone calls. Case in point: BIA/Kelsey estimates that,

ing to a consumer’s needs, but rather being proactive, building

in 2018, mobile searches will drive 73 billion calls to business-

a brand experience, extending the sale cycle past acquisition

es. That is a dramatic increase from 30 billion in 2013, and the

and into retention, and bringing to bear technology in new

number is only expected to increase.

ways, not tomorrow, but today.

So, first of all, on behalf of the customer engagement in-

Today’s consumers want answers on the medium of their

dustry, thank you for driving innovation and forcing us to once

choice: chat, e-mail, social, text, or phone support, and they

again be relevant in successful customer centric advertising.

want it now. This is the reality of 21st century customer en-

Second, remember to ask yourselves whether or not you

gagement versus traditional customer support.

have a call center or a customer engagement center.

Putting it off or ignoring it is simply no longer sufficient.

You should check to see if your service provider has the

In order to secure customer loyalty and maximize the lifetime

following five elements:

value of a customer, brands must not only meet these cus-

1.

tomer expectations, but exceed them.

2. Multiple contact channels

Advanced technology

A new study from NM Incite, the leading social media

3.

Quality assurance and live monitoring

consumer insights provider, showed that 71 percent of cus-

4.

Brand management oversight

tomers who received a positive interaction with a brand over

5.

Social engagement

social media are likely to refer that brand to others. The data

And it all has to be located within a culture that has a de-

shows that it’s imperative that the brand enables the custom-

sire to innovate, and the ability to move at speeds that would

er to connect where and when they so choose, and for the

make you envious. Keep innovating.

Jason Levesque is the Founder and CEO of Argo Marketing Group, Inc.

31


tl;dr – Easy strategies for those working in the affiliate industry to increase productivity and decrease wasted time.

· Issue 34 · April 2016

Five Productivity Hacks

You Can Use Now

by Travis Glenn

you’re doing. Sometimes these intrusions are unavoidable, but if you, politely and professionally, set boundaries, you’ll find that most will respect that. Remember, you know your priorities. Make sure you’re focusing on your must-do list, instead of someone else’s.

Travis Glenn

I

f you’re like most people, you have more work to do than time to do it. In order to complete those tasks, and still have time to enjoy life outside of work, we have to improve our efficiency. Here are some quick tips to increase productivity.

4. Take breaks Some people confuse clocking long hours at their desk with productivity. We’re all human. There are limits to our attention span. Instead of trying to throw down a four-hour marathon at your desk, break your day up into periods of in-

1. Prioritization

tense focus followed by brief breaks. 50 minutes is a pretty

Before you crack open your email or start on your first

good average time period for most of us to focus on a task.

task, take a moment to think about what you need to get done

Then take a fifteen-minute break. It’s even better if you can

today. For most of us, that shouldn’t equate to a huge to-do

get away from your computer. Breaks are good for you, and

list. What are the three most important things that you ab-

will allow you to be even more focused when you jump back

solutely must get done? Write that down and stick it some-

into your tasks.

where that is easily visible at your workstation. The must-do

5. Batching Tasks

list trumps your to-do list.

There are some activities that don’t quite make the cut

2. Minimizing distractions

to our super-sexy high-priority must-do list, but they still need

Once you have your must-do list completed, consider

to be done. Things like answering emails, checking stats, etc,

anything else a distraction. Avoid these distractions at all

could be examples of those next-tier activities. For those

costs. Find what gets you in the zone – classical music can be

tasks, batching can increase efficiency. Batching is simply

effective; video game soundtrack music has also been shown

saving these tasks and getting through them all at once. For

to work well. White noise sites like Noisli.com provide a lot of

example, take mailing a package. Instead of driving to the

great sound options, and combinations, such as coffee shop,

post office five times a day to mail five separate packages, it

airport, wind blowing, fire crackling, and more.

is much more efficient to make one trip and mail all five packages. Set aside a time each day or week to handle the batched

3. Set boundaries

task and stick to it.

This goes hand in hand with minimizing distractions. If

No matter how efficient you are, there’s always room for

you are constantly stopping mid-task to respond to someone,

improvement. Use the hacks that work for you and keep push-

it significantly increases the time it takes you to finish what

ing forward.

32

Travis is PeerFly’s Director of Business Development, you can follow him @TravisPeerFly on Twitter.


FASHION FASHION BUSINESS BUSINESS

TRAVEL TRAVEL

HOMEGOODS HOMEGOODS

MAKE-A-PAGE MAKE-A-PAGE

PRODUCT SHOWCASE PRODUCT SHOWCASE

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FeedFront Magazine Issue 34