Feedfront Magazine Issue 36

Page 1

Issue 36 ― October 2016

Affiliate Summit East 2016 in Pictures Page 29

Photo: Steve Hall

We Love Introvert Marketers

Incorporate Video into Your Marketing Strategy

8 Simple Tips for Optimizing Form Conversions

By Shawn Collins - Page 2

By Michelle Held - Page 9

By Rich Plakas - Page 32



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FeedFront Magazine, Issue 37 is a “Conference Issue” which also contains the agenda and speaker information for Affiliate Summit West 2017 taking place January 15‐17, 2017 in Las Vegas. In addition to our standard circulation, Issue 37 is distributed to all 6,000+ attendees of the conference at check‐in. Advertising materials must be received by November 11, 2016, for inclusion.

Full Page

2/3 Page

1/2 Page, Island

1/2 Page, Horiz.

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1/3 Page, Vert.

1/4 Page*

* Selection of 1/2 Page, Vertical or 1/4 Page advertisements may affect placement.

















Issue 36 · October 2016

Table of Contents

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


Editor’s Note: We Love Introvert Marketers

By Shawn Collins


Failure is Just Another Word for Learning


CAN-SPAM Questions You Didn’t Know You Had

By Cris Angelini


My Teenage Jobs Have Been Online

By Caity Collins


5 Reasons to Review Affiliates Onboarding Process


Incorporate Video into Your Marketing Strategy

By Jonathan Miller

By Teodora Dobjanschi By Michelle Held


Ecommerce Seasonality & Your Affiliate Program


5 Easy Ways to Improve Traffic Quality


Multi-Network Affiliate Program Best Practices


Marketing Compliance Checkup – Three Rules to Remember


Ride the Wave of Adult Coloring Books


Social Media Marketing Risk Management: Storm Preparation


7 Ways Automation Boosts Your Affiliate ROI


ShareASale Recruiting Tool: Is It Worth It?


5 Strategies to Increase Mobile Ad Engagement


Improving Your Media Footprint


Trial Offers: Increase Profitability Without Increasing Risk


5 Simple Strategies for Digital Findability


Blogging Disasters: Prevention and Damage Control


Top Four Influencer Marketing Tips


Marketing Medical Products? Three Things to Know

By Dr. Nancy Markley


5 Reasons to Start Cloaking Affiliate Links

By Victoria Galperina


Affiliate Summit East 2016 in Pictures


8 Simple Tips for Optimizing Form Conversions

Contributing Writers

Cris Angelini, Deborah Carney, Dale Carr, Caity Collins, Shawn Collins, Anthony Colón, Adam Dahlen, Teodora Dobjanschi, Monica Eaton-Cardone, Donna Fox, Fred Frantz, Victoria Galperina, Travis Glenn , Jonathan Goodwin, Michelle Held, Lindsay Hittman, Alison J. Horn, Gayla Huber, Dr. Nancy Markley, Jonathan Miller, Jennifer Parker, Rich Plakas, Missy Ward

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

By Jonathan Goodwin By Travis Glenn By Adam Dahlen By Gayla Huber By Deborah Carney By Anthony Colón By Donna Fox By Jennifer Parker By Dale Carr By Fred Frantz By Monica Eaton-Cardone By Alison J. Horn By Missy Ward By Lindsay Hittman

By Shawn Collins By Rich Plakas

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 36 · October 2016

Editor’s Note

We Love Introvert Marketers by Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins

»» Start with a Smile. You don’t have to be the one that breaks the ice, but you should be approachable. Just smile. People will walk up and start talking. »» Use Your Surroundings. There are lots of chances to introduce yourself - just keep your eyes open for them.


Take an empty chair with a group at lunch, introduce oes the idea of introducing yourself to a constant series of strangers over three days make you sick to your stomach?

yourself, and participate in the conversation. »» Let Them Talk. If you’re still shaky continuing on a with a conversation after you’ve built rapport and recited your

Do you tend to enjoy quiet concentration, listen more than

you talk, and think before you speak? If that sounds like you, then you are probably an introvert. But that doesn’t mean a conference or tradeshow needs to be

elevator pitch — let them talk. Ask their thoughts about an industry issue or a business decision you are facing. Then, sit back and listen, and you’ll often walk away with a great networking connection. »» Get a Conference Friend. As you pre-network, find

a source of stress. Introverts make up a third to a half of the population, according to Susan Cain in a TED Talk she gave on the subject.

somebody to be your wingman – it makes it way easier to meet people.

While being super social and outgoing at a business

»» Just Be There. It can be tempting to decide you’re backed

event may yield bigger and faster results for some, I’ve come

up on work and then camp out in your hotel room. Don’t

across many well networked marketers who identify as intro-

do that. Be with people as much as possible. Take some

verts, myself and my partner Missy Ward included.

breaks away to recharge, but not too many.

So, at the most recent Affiliate Summit, we ran a Net-

»» Become a Conference Speaker. I don’t like speaking,

working for Introverts workshop, where we shared some ad-

either. I still get nervous. But it’s great exposure, plus it

vice and exercises to help fellow introverts to be more effec-

results in people seeking you out.

tive networkers.

We got very positive feedback from those who came, but

Some things we covered at the workshop… »» Pre-Network. Reach out to fellow attendees in advance

there were surely a large number of folks who considered going, but never passed through the door to join us.

of a conference through social media and the event app.

I totally get it. I make periodic escapes back to my room

»» Be Prepared. Set up meetings in advance. Practice your

during Affiliate Summit to spend some time alone. No noise,

elevator speech. Have questions ready to ask when chat-

no stimulation. Just me for a few minutes. While I charge my

ting with new people, and be a good listener.

iPhone in the room, I charge myself, too.


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

· Issue 36 · October 2016

Failure is Just

Another Word for Learning by Jonathan Miller Jonathan Miller


’m a failure. It’s incontrovertible. I’m unemployable, by choice. I wake up in the morning and choose to repeatedly fail at new things. I’m an entrepreneur. As I pen this, I’m sitting under an old oak tree on a remote

Once running, I iterate fast and try to eliminate failure and capitalize on opportunities, documenting as I go.

farm in the highlands of South Africa, on a beautiful August

Personally, I love this part of the game and it’s where I

winter’s day. The vistas around my home for the week are al-

try to spend most of my time, laying a foundation for perfor-

most indescribably beautiful and tranquil. It’s going to be an-


other fantastic day in Africa.

3. How do I mitigate the downside?

If this is failure, I like failure.

I think about the worst case scenario. If I’m buying media

I view failure, not as something to be avoided at all costs,

I think about losing money, if I’m diving with sharks, I consid-

but as an integral part of my entrepreneurial journey. It’s a nec-

er what happens if I get bitten. Risk really depends on what

essary part of learning; I call it failing forward.

you’re doing.

I don’t believe that success comes from fault-free execu-

I try to understand and plan for the risks, and set an early

tion. I think success is built on how risk tolerant you are, how

warning so when risk starts getting out of hand, there’s time

well you mitigate risk, and how you synthesize what you learn

to course correct.

from your failures into your next actions.

4. Can I apply what I’ve learned?

Four principles I rely on for failing forward:

The single worst mistake you can make is lose money and

1. Am I measuring the right stuff?

not learn from it. Once I understand something fundamentally

Real failure is not knowing what you don’t know. That’s called ignorance. Before investing into a project I spend time planning for success & failure, defining what they look like and setting up dashboards to measure them. Once I’m confident I can measure outcomes, the real fun starts.

2. Is this new risk? I expect anything we’ve not done before to carry inherent risk. If it’s out of my comfort zone, and I don’t have any previous learnings to base success criteria on, I try to understand the risks of a test.

new, I try to visualize a way to use this information, whether it’s sharing it with my team or applying it in my own day. Basically I’m obsessed. Every new ‘aha’ moment is followed by ‘How can I apply this to everything I do?’ Then it’s back to step one and the process starts all over again. That’s why I’m a failure and proud of it. I even chronicle my failures. I call it my ‘Big Box of Things That Don’t Work’. Oh, in case you’re wondering, I also have a box of what works. Guess which one’s bigger?

Jonathan loves building businesses, toasting friends’ success & traipsing through foreign lands with his family.


1 Only the following attendee types

can attend the RevShare Roundup: Affiliate, Advertiser, Affiliate Management, OPM/Agency, and Network. 2 The Ultimate Beverage Package includes 12 Drink Coupons good for bottled water, soda and alcoholic beverages plus 12 Coffee/Tea Coupons. Redemption of all coupons must occur at the bars located within the Affiliate Summit conference area or in the Networking Lounge. 3 A separate counter will be available on site for VIP holders to expedite check-in and an exclusive VIP seating area is available in the Networking Lounge. 4 Your application to exhibit at the Revshare Roundup must be submitted and approved to take advantage of this benefit. For more information on the Revshare Roundup, please visit http://affiliatesummit.com/revsh are-roundup/

· Issue 36 · October 2016

CAN-SPAM Questions

You Didn’t Know You Had

Cris Angelini

by Cris Angelini


he guidelines for 2003’s CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling

portant information, don’t mix content. Leave those transac-

the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Mar-

tional emails transactional.

keting Act) seem straightforward: don’t email people

who have unsubscribed from receiving your messages.

Q: Can you be fined for a forwarded email?

But there can be some gray areas, and we’re here to help

A: Did the sender forward your message for the greater

make these cloudy guidelines clear. If you don’t know where

good or were they trying to turn a profit? As long as the sender

the line is, it could cost you a hefty fine.

sent the email with no expectation or agreement of any payment or benefit, there can be no fines or penalties. So relax;

Q: Can I be fined if someone else clicks send? A: According to the law, both the mailer and you are responsible for being compliant. So watch out, brands and marketers

if your aunt sends you another coupon for cat sweaters, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) won’t come after her (unless she’s taking a kickback).

- you can both face fines of up to $16,000 per email. Know who

Make sure you work with reputable affiliates. This will do

is emailing on your behalf. You are not only responsible for your-

more than just help you stay compliant. It’s more likely that

self, you are responsible for what they send for you.

your affiliate will send on-brand messages, which is good for you and your customers. Don’t let compliance scare you

Q: What if your email contains commercial

into missing out on an opportunity for your messages to be

content, transactional content, and or

shared. And to make that sharing easier, include social shar-

relationship content? Or some combination of

ing buttons in your emails.

the three? Can you still get fined? A: First, think about how much of your message relates to

Take Away

commercial content. Are you using fonts, type size, color, or

While CAN-SPAM can seem cumbersome and confusing,

graphics to highlight a product or service? Whether your mes-

it’s generally worked for the greater good of email market-

sage is commercial comes down to perception.

ing. By pushing us in the direction of more targeted email, it

When someone reads your email, there should be no

pushed us in the direction we were bound to head anyways.

doubt about its intention. Clear headlines let your customers

Deliver customers messages they want, when they want

know what to expect when they open their email. During the

them, and when they don’t want them, don’t send them. Not

signup process, use an opt-in checkbox letting your subscrib-

only will you be avoiding fines, you’ll be leaving customers

ers know exactly what kind of messages you’ll send. For im-

with a favorable impression, and that’s as good as gold.

Cris Angelini is the Director of Business Development at UnsubCentral.


· Issue 36 · October 2016

My Teenage Jobs

Have Been Online

by Caity Collins Caity Collins


y dad has told me the story of his first “real” job so many times that I can recite it myself. Back when he turned fifteen, he couldn’t get

I started thinking about ways to gain credibility and ex-

hired anywhere at the mall, because all of the stores and res-

perience with it, but I was limited by the hours for my school

taurants wanted employees sixteen or older, since they could

work and extra-curricular activities.

work more hours.

Then I came across Fiverr.com and searched for gigs

So, he got a work permit from his high school, filled it out,

where people could have text translated from English to ASL. I

and had it signed off by the school. He had completed it with

was surprised and excited to find a handful of them. I studied

some creatively written numbers.

the various ASL gigs and paid attention to which were more

Then, he manipulated his age and birth year on the work permit to make himself a year older before heading to the mall in search of a job. He got a dishwasher job for minimum wage at his local Friendly’s restaurant.

successful than others. After gathering my notes, I put together my first gig and I started getting customers. In addition to becoming a paid interpreter for the people

Later, he was promoted to ice cream scooper and worked

who purchased my services, I was also challenged with learn-

other jobs at a drug store, toy store, movie theater, and record

ing how to shoot, edit, and produce video for the final product.

store by the time high school was over.

Fortunately, audio wasn’t an issue (I use some royalty

While I admire his effort to get that first job, even if he

free music because many customers didn’t want complete

used some questionable tactics, I wanted a different path for

silence). I’ve experimented with different locations inside and

my high school jobs.

outside to get the light right, as well as angles that seemed to

I have dabbled with affiliate sites (it’s harder than I thought) over the years, and that has brought me some money and useful experience.

work best. As far as shooting the videos, I have used my iPhone and a borrowed tripod. I currently do pretty basic editing with Win-

A couple of years ago, I gained a passion for American Sign Language (ASL) after watching the TV show, “Switched

dows Movie Maker, which was free on my computer. But I plan to step up to a more sophisticated software soon.

at Birth.” That led me to take classes to learn ASL, and after

I’ve loved the flexibility and real-world experience with

becoming fluent, I thought it could be a career for me in the

this work. Maybe this will be a stepping stone for my college


and professional life.


Caity is high school senior trying to figure out which college to attend next year..

· Issue 36 · October 2016

5 Reasons to Review

Affiliates Onboarding Process by Teodora Dobjanschi

Teodora Dobjanschi

onboarding process, they may win them easily. Think about what you would need to know as an affiliate and provide them the data in a clear and simple manner in order to help them start selling and reduce the timeframe between sign-up and first sale. Use sale presentations and product tours as these


work best. ffiliates onboarding process is one of the most important steps to look at in order to grow a healthy affiliate program.

3. Increase the sales volumes Activating affiliates and helping them achieve their first

What is the affiliate onboarding? The experience an affili-

sales can be hard, but the results will show in time and you

ate has when they become oriented to your program or net-

will notice an increase in volumes as well. The sooner they

work. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to go

understand more about your products and how to promote

through each step in order to start making money with your

them, the sooner the results will come.

program. Affiliate onboarding is a one-time experience that should create a smooth journey between your sign up page and affiliate’s first contact with your program or network. Still, the onboarding process is often overlooked. Here are five reasons you should review the onboarding process of your affiliates:

4. Reduce the number of potential dormant accounts A bad onboarding process – or the lack of it – will result in a large number of dormant or inactive affiliates. The affiliate signed up with your program for a reason, but somehow he never became productive. On average, a good affiliate program has 10% to 15% active affiliates, if you have way below

1. Increase the number of active accounts Provide your affiliates the right information and a clear

these numbers, you should definitely take a look at your onboarding process.

process of getting them set within your network or program. From resetting their password, to setting their financial de-

5. Improve communication and build relationships

tails, and platform demo. Give them all the needed info about

35% of affiliates ranked the relationship with the mer-

your program, your products, and provide them with a wel-

chant as ‘crucial’ to ‘join, promote and terminate programs’

come kit in order to help with their activation.

(AffStat 2015, p. 18). Communication is key to building the relationship with each affiliate; a good communication flow

2. Reduce the time between sign-up and first sale Many affiliates don’t know how to set-up their links cor-

will make affiliates happier, more willing to work with you, and trust you and your product.

rectly, how to choose which vendors or which products to pro-

These are five simple reasons to review your onboarding

mote, and they remain in a pending stage, seeking more info

process and grow the results you have with your affiliate pro-

or abandoning the program. If your competitors have a better


Teodora Dobjanschi is Senior Affiliate Recruiter at Avangate Affiliate Network.




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FeedFront Magazine, Issue 37 is a “Conference Issue” which also contains the agenda and speaker information for Affiliate Summit West 2017 taking place January 15‐17, 2017 in Las Vegas. In addition to our standard circulation, Issue 37 is distributed to all 6,000+ attendees of the conference at check‐in. Advertising materials must be received by November 11, 2016, for inclusion.

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1/3 Page, Vert.

1/4 Page*

* Selection of 1/2 Page, Vertical or 1/4 Page advertisements may affect placement.

















· Issue 36 · October 2016

Incorporate Video

into Your Marketing Strategy

Michelle Held

by Michelle Held


are especially good for anyone in lead generation. People who hen you read the above title, did you automatical-

watch them have a strong interest in your topic.

ly think of your favorite YouTube channel? Maybe

Most major social channels allow video uploads in or-

you envisioned a high production value, branded

ganic posts. Pinterest reports that they may soon allow users

video instead. Businesses have always longed to use videos

to upload video, too. Facebook users share and create three

for marketing but many stayed away, cringing at the thought

times more video this year than they did last year at this time.

of the cost.

In April, blazing hot Snapchat reported that users watch over

Although we enjoy watching professionally produced

ten billion videos every day on the app. That’s a 25% increase

content, much of what we enjoy is produced in small studios

since February 2016. Snapchat had less than half that video

or even on smartphones. The production quality online shop-

traffic only one year ago.

pers will accept is much lower than it used to be. Think of our

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat

obsession with unboxing homemade videos. You really only

all support paid video ads. This makes it easier for online ad-

need a smartphone and possibly a decent microphone to get

vertisers to vary their content and prevent banner blindness.

started, resulting in a much lower price tag.

Targeted campaigns that split-test videos with images on one

It has been eleven years since the first YouTube video was uploaded. YouTube captures the attention of almost one-third of the online community and boasts over one-billion users.

or two social platforms are a good starting point. Videos sell. According to Unbounce.com, landing page videos can increase conversions by 80%. ComScore reports

YouTube stays tuned-in for longer sessions, too. The aver-

that after watching a video, 64% of shoppers are more likely

age mobile user’s viewing session is over forty minutes. Incor-

to buy online. Adding video to an email boosts click-through

porating video into a marketing strategy includes much more

rates by over 200%.

than building up a YouTube channel. Other options include:

“Videos make it easy for consumers to connect to your

»» Webinars

content. Thus, increasing consumer trust and improving the

»» Videos in emails

potential of a purchase,” says Brandon M. Gustafson from the

»» Use in Paid social media campaigns

Department of Marketing and International Business at Wash-

»» Snapchat and Instagram Stories

ington State University.

»» Facebook Live »» Embedded video on website landing pages You probably have attended more than a few webinars; now try using one as part of your marketing plan. Webinars

Video is one of the best ways to tell your brand’s story or demonstrate a product. There is something for everyone, whether it be a comedic product demonstration, testimonial, or a tutorial. Now get your smartphone and get creative.

Michelle is an author and digital agency owner who blogs on metrony.com and pintalk.net


· Issue 36 · October 2016

Ecommerce Seasonality

& Your Affiliate Program by Jonathan Goodwin

Jonathan Goodwin


mize your publishers when you need to. When you see a peak nticipating your seasonality will provide you with the

during the twelve-month time frame, do your research and

organization you need so you can create a plan to

find out which publishers would be best to secure prime real

grow your affiliate channel effectively.

estate on their site, and maximize that time period.

Fully understanding your yearly cadence will help stream-

As you are approaching a slower time frame, scale back

line your tactical plan in managing your affiliate program. By

on the optimization, and keep your publishers informed on the

doing so, you’ll be able to pinpoint where you should allocate

latest trends, news, offers and landing pages to conserve your

your spend and when you should expect a slower time period.

spend for the next peak time frame. Or, if you can, plan to run

One of the basic fundamentals in managing any affiliate

a promotion on a product segment that has performed well

program is looking forward and anticipating your peaks and

during this time.

valleys. Once you are able to do this, you will be able to al-

Working hand in hand with your backend analytics plat-

locate more spend to maximize peak times and be more con-

form will be vital in managing your seasonality. Analytics plat-

servative on slower or downward periods.

forms have a much broader, holistic view on your total ecom-

Here are a couple of tips on what to do:

merce, which can affect your affiliate program.

»» Log into your backend analytics platform (Google Analyt-

Be sure to log in each month and see if the trends for total

ics, Omniture, and Core-Metrics) and pull data for the last

ecommerce line up with what you are seeing for affiliate pro-

three years: traffic, revenue, and any other metrics you

gram performance for the given month.

feel that you need, and export that data.

Being able to anticipate the performance of the affiliate

»» If you do not have access to the backend, then do the

program is essential in managing the channel. Once you are

best you can and export at least two-three years of data

able to do so, you will be able to put the right strategy in place

from the network your affiliate program is on. Typically,

to maximize peak seasons, and forecast ahead on how you

the affiliate channel will follow trends from other ecom-

think the affiliate program will perform based on your obser-

merce channels.

vations from looking at the backend platform.

Once you are able to pinpoint these fluctuations, you will be able to effectively manage your affiliate program and opti-


By staying one step ahead, you’ll be able to alleviate stress and manage the channel appropriately. Jonathan Goodwin is the Director of Strategy at JEBCommerce.

· Issue 36 · October 2016

5 Easy Ways

to Improve Traffic Quality by Travis Glenn


Travis Glenn

t is a great feeling to find a profitable performance marketing campaign. All of your initial steps have been checked off: selecting a merchant, picking an offer and landing page

to promote, display banners are chosen, ad copy is written.

advocate, especially if they see you’re having some initial success on a campaign. If they are unable to answer your ques-

After all of that work, it is extremely rewarding to see initial

tion directly, many times they will be able to get a detailed

conversions start coming in. Now that you have a campaign

answer from the client. One great question to ask can be

with promise, I want to focus on turning that into a long-term

for quality feedback. If the merchant is seeing great indica-

winner for both you and the merchant.

tors from the sales and leads you have sent them, they will be more open to pay bumps and increasing your maximum cap

1. Give them what they want.

limits so that you can send more volume.

Speaking plainly, that is the main objective of an affiliate’s job when they’re marketing on behalf of a merchant. On the

4. Do your own research.

surface, what the merchant wants should be simple and easy

It can pay to do your own research. There are millions of

to define. If we’re talking about a cost per sale campaign, the

information sources at your fingertips. Think creatively, and

merchant wants more sales. If it’s a lead campaign, they want

don’t limit your searches to the exact merchant name or offer

more leads.

name of the product. You can look into forums, trade associations, and even statistics provided by universities, scientific

2. Read and understand the provided information. Sometimes an affiliate can overlook things during the

organizations, and the government to gain more insight into prospective customers of the product you’re promoting.

initial haste to launch a campaign. Carefully read the offer description to see what information the merchant and the affili-

5. Put yourself in the merchant’s position.

ate network have provided about the offer. Check the allowed

Shifting your perspective can help you make sure that

and restricted traffic sources, promotional methods, and

you’re making the right decisions. Strive to target the mer-

other specifics. The network may provide promotion tips and

chant’s ideal customers. If a merchant determines you are

best practices, including user demographics, a list of the best

bringing them repeat customers with a high life time value

performing countries, day-parting information, and more.

(LTV), they will do everything they can to keep you on their affiliate campaigns.

3. Ask Questions.

Once you find a winning campaign, take some additional

Reach out to your affiliate manager and ask questions.

time to optimize for long-term wins. Successful affiliates know

AMs may be able to share insights with you not listed on the

it is often easier (and more profitable) to keep a great cam-

offer description. A good affiliate manager is going to be your

paign going than to continually try to find new campaigns.

Travis works with merchants to increase volume and profitability of performance campaigns. On twitter @travispeerfly


· Issue 36 · October 2016


Affiliate Program Best Practices

by Adam Dahlen involved. Here are some of the most common challenges associated with network expansion: Adam Dahlen

»» Time & Resources. One unfortunate byproduct of network expansion is it effectively doubles an affiliate man-


ager’s workload. Unless your new affiliate network can dding a new network can be a great way to grow an

support the daily program management tasks or you’re

existing affiliate program by opening new partner-

working with an agency—you’ll likely be duplicating cur-

ship opportunities and expand the reach of your pro-

rent program management tasks.

gram. That being said, it can also create additional workload

»» Affiliate Network Reconciliation. Having a process for

for your team and take up valuable resources, so it’s impor-

reconciling duplicate orders across multiple networks

tant to know what you’re getting yourself into.

is critical to maintaining program efficiency. Before ex-

Before adding a new affiliate network, it is important to

panding, make sure your new affiliate network has a

create a business case around how network expansion will

good system in place for de-duping affiliate orders and

help you achieve your goals. Without this, you run the risk of


incurring additional costs without measurable gain. Here are a few instances where a new network can be beneficial:

»» Funding Methods & Dates. Another consideration that can be overlooked is how you fund your account to pay

»» New Affiliate Partnership Opportunities. This is the

affiliate commissions. If you’re currently invoiced for

most common reason merchants are interested in add-

commission payments to affiliates, working with a net-

ing a new network. A new network can be a valuable in-

work that requires an escrow account may be a chal-

vestment if it provides access to affiliates that are oth-

lenge. If you fund your account with a credit card be

erwise unable or unwilling to join your existing program.

aware that not all networks accept this payment method

»» New Affiliate Tracking Capabilities. Network expansion

and you may need to wire funds or mail a physical check.

may offer new partner tracking technology features such

»» Legal Considerations. As with any new business agree-

as view-through or pay-per-call tracking that allows you

ment, it’s a good idea to have your legal team review exist-

to tap into new advertising opportunities.

ing contracts to make sure there aren’t any issues or con-

»» Geographic Reach. Most affiliate networks aren’t region

flicts. Network exclusivity agreements are increasingly

restricted, however launching a program with a network

rare these days, but better to be safe than sorry. Some

native to a target market can provide deeper affiliate cov-

network agreements have non-solicitation clauses to


prevent migrating their affiliates to a new network. If your

Once the business case for network expansion has been

long-term plan is to transition networks, it’s important to

established, it’s important to understand costs and resources


understand these details before moving forward. Adam is the Director of Client Development at iAffiliate Management

· Issue 36 · October 2016

Marketing Compliance Checkup

Three Rules to Remember by Gayla Huber


Gayla Huber

s marketers, we are always on to the next big thing

add their name to a list and try to avoid telemarketing calls.

that will put our client or company on top. It’s not

If someone is on the DNC, he or she has to inquire for you to

shocking to come across forgotten domains which

contact them. After three months, they need to opt-in again or

were compliant at one time, but are no longer relevant—or new

you must scrub them out of your list. If you have an existing

pages that are not compliant because the old regulations are

business relationship, you have eighteen months under DNC.

not top of mind.

If they are not on the DNC registry and have opted-in to TCPA,

In the fight to win the consumer, don’t forget to stop and look back to close the book on old offers, correct sites not up to regulatory standards, and scrub data that could land you in court or in a regulator’s cross hairs. Let’s go back to basics on three commonly overlooked

best practice is to keep them in your list for six months then require opt-in again or remove them. Let’s not forget the penalty increases for breaking DNC rules should you receive a cease and desist. Penalties went from $16,000 to $40,000 August 1, 2016. And those fines are


per instance, per day.

1. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)


In 2012, FCC revisions required marketers to gain prior

In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released

express written consent from consumers. It also took away

the CAN-SPAM Act. Unlike the two previous rules, email does

the ability for marketers to establish business relationships

not require prior consent. It does; however, give consumers

to skirt the rule. Lastly, it requires marketers to provide some

the right to tell you to stop emailing them. Make sure the

type of automated “opt-out” mechanism for each contact at-

emails contain the marketer’s address and how consumers

tempt so the consumer can opt-out at any time.

can opt-out. Subject line and headers cannot be misleading

One thing we see overlooked is the rule clearly defining

and need to be clear it’s an advertisement.

robocall as a call taking place from a phone that has the ca-

If you use third party publishers for your email cam-

pacity to robodial. Most phones are smart enough to be robo-

paigns, then you are still legally responsible for what they do

dialers should the business choose to use the function. Even if

on our behalf. Monitor just as you would any other third party

you aren’t using it, you need consent to place the call.

advertiser. Despite efforts to maintain industry compliance on a

2. Do Not Call Registry (DNC) In 2003 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revised TCPA and created the DNC. This allows consumers to

daily basis, you may feel exposed on many fronts. To help mitigate risks everyone must take an active role and reduce exposure.

Gayla Huber, IntegriShield president, helps brands monitor, track and enforce regulation for compliant marketing.






· Issue 36 · October 2016

Ride the Wave of

Adult Coloring Books by Deborah Carney


dult coloring books have taken the world by storm.

Deborah Carney

Check the Amazon Top 100 print books sold in 2016, on any given day and you will see from ten to twenty

adult coloring books. Artist Johanna Basford kicked the genre into a frenzy in 2015 with her book The Secret Garden. It captured the imagi-

ate PDFs that you can offer as a newsletter sign up incentive.

nation and pencils of adults that had been secretly coloring

Periodically, send a new one to your list as a reminder about

in kid’s books and struggling to find coloring books that were

your company.

focused on adult topics, plus more complicated images than you can find in kid’s coloring books.

Adults that color are rabid and love to share their coloring. There are over 100 Facebook groups dedicated to adults shar-

Brands have a unique opportunity to reach people that

ing their colored in images, with more being created every day.

they might not normally. Listing a print book on Amazon is

These groups range from a few hundred members to 50,000+

easy. The Amazon machine gets traffic and expands your

members. There are groups specifically for sharing free print-


ables and you want your branded pages to be in those groups.

In addition to your book listings themselves, where you

In early 2016, I hosted a giveaway of print adult coloring

can talk about your brand, every published author can cre-

books and used a low cost Facebook ad that drove 3,000

ate an author landing page that can include videos and your

new newsletter subscribers and 9,000 new Facebook likes.

blog feed. This is a rich environment for discoverability that

The post itself had over 17,000 shares, 8,000 likes, 6,000

the search engines all pick up in addition to your presence on

comments, and reached over 350,000 people. Of the people

Amazon itself.

reached 50% of those were organic and the other 50% were

Here are some examples of how your brand can benefit from having an adult coloring book: 1.

Art can be found in a number of ways, the easiest and

Lodging: Art of the area you are located or something

most expensive, is to commission art made specifically for

unique to you.

your company. Less expensive, but not as unique, is to go to

2. Marketing Companies: Inspirational art focused on the message your company wants to spread. 3.

paid. That is 175,000 organic views.

Any Business: Art that represents your message.

stock art sites that allow their images to be used for coloring pages commercially and purchase those. Colorists are looking for unique and interesting images to

Creating an adult coloring book, with as few as five pag-

color that align with their interests. If you can provide those

es, can be a lead magnet for your company. Find images and

interesting images, either in a PDF download or a print book,

word art that embodies your company message. Then cre-

you will create new rabid fans for your brand.

Deborah Carney is a marketing consultant that also runs a network of book promotion websites.


· Issue 36 · October 2016

Social Media Marketing

Anthony Colón


Risk Management: Storm Preparation by Anthony Colón

his article will teach how to assess and examine the risks of Social Media Marketing (e.g., safety, security, privacy, and reputation risks), as well as how to best

prepare for the storm before it strikes.

How’s that? You need to first assess and examine where you are now. Step 1. Identify the risks faced.

Consider Yourself Officially Warned

Some of the most common risks I’ve already mentioned.

The world is not that predictable, and the only thing we

However, there are other risks such as:

can do is prepare for disasters. Consider yourself officially

»» financial loss,

warned here and now. Preparation, as it relates to your social

»» malware infections,

media marketing, begins with a strong risk management plan

»» loss of productivity,

and foundation. It is a map to get from where you are today to

»» network performance problems,

your future goals, taking into account potential road blocks.

»» damage to credibility, »» legal liability, and

Four Pillars of Social Media Marketing Risk Management

»» loss of customer trust. However, being too secure to operate effectively will es-

A strong foundation is comprised of the four pillars of So-

sentially leave you paralyzed.

cial Media Marketing Risk Management: (Your) Safety, Secu-

Step 2. What risks could prevent you from achieving

rity, Privacy, and Reputation. You wouldn’t try to build a house

your strategic goals and objectives? What is your strategy

starting at the roof, would you? If you don’t have a foundation,

to limit the downside potential?

the roof isn’t going to stand.

‘Establishing Clear Objectives’ and ‘Risk Reduction’ are two of the principles that set the framework necessary to

Mansion Built Upon Sand

succeed. Add to this ‘Measuring Costs versus Benefits’ and

All social media marketing that doesn’t have a solid foundation for its base is like a mansion built upon the sand. You don’t want to wake up some day to realize your social media marketing campaigns had been stood upon pillars of salt and

‘Aligning Management to Risk’ to increase profits and share of the market. Step 3. Assess the financial impact of those risks by putting a monetary value on those risks. Step 4. Determine how you want to mitigate the risk.

sand that the first wave washed away.

If it is a risk that can be insured against, what is the cost

Risk Management Isn’t Very Sexy

benefit analysis of buying insurance? Is it a risk you can avoid,

No one likes discussing risk and the strategies to system-

or can it be reduced?

atically eliminate them one-by-one, because it’s not very sexy.

I want to challenge you to reassess your current Social

However, taking a balanced approach to managing risks and pre-

Media Marketing Risk Management plan. Do you even have

paring for the storm before it strikes can provide peace of mind.

one? If not, it’s time.


Anthony is a Social Media Marketing Risk Management Specialist on www.SMMRiskExaminer.com.

· Issue 36 · October 2016

7 Ways Automation

Boosts Your Affiliate ROI by Donna Fox


othing beats a fresh, personalized, bang up-to-date affiliate offer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also find ways to use smart tech to automate your affili-

ate promotions.

Donna Fox

Put a little thought into this, though. How about a promotion for a password-saving tool on your “Forgot Your Password” page?

4. Go under the radar. Have a look back through your archive of PDF content and insert relevant affiliate offers at appropriate points. It doesn’t matter where your PDF content is a guide, a white paper, or an instruction manual, there will always be

1. Present a webinar. Record the webinar. Replay

places where you can slip in something along the lines of,

the webinar.

“Hey, I know a great tool/program/service that will make this

Spend one hour delivering a powerful presentation and

easier/faster/more profitable…”

reuse the recording, endlessly, as a free gift, a signup bonus, an addition to your YouTube channel, and dozens of other places.

5. Start subscribers on email one. Start a new mailing list in which every email you broad-

How do you get people to attend your affiliate sales pitch

cast is resolutely evergreen. Now, when a new subscriber

webinar? It’s all in the title. “An Hour of Me Selling You Stuff”

joins this mailing list, instead of sending them the most recent

isn’t going to get the job done. But something like “Seven Tools

email, start them off on email one.

You NEED if Your Business is Going to Survive…” - that works.

You don’t have to spend weeks writing 100 emails for your autoresponder. Just write one to two per week as you

2. Segment your mailing list and load targeted

would normally, but as time goes by your list of automated


emails gets bigger and bigger.

You’ve heard of segmenting, right? It’s that feature your autoresponder provider boasts about but that you’ve never got around to using. Create tightly-themed lead capture pages and tag each

6. Smart Surveys A survey is a great way to learn more about your audience, and an even better way to deliver a customized offer.

new subscriber as they join. You can then pre-load your au-

Use a survey solution that allows for multiple conclu-

toresponder with a different series of affiliate offers, based

sions, depending on the responses of the individual. You can

around each theme, and send them to the people that have

then tailor the ending with an affiliate offer that precisely fits

already shown interest in that topic.

the needs they just admitted to having.

3. Use “dead” website space.

7. Hire Someone

Every website has pages that are devoid of content but still receive large quantities of traffic – such as log-in pages, download pages, and “thank you” pages – and it only takes a few minutes to place an affiliate link in the white space.

The ultimate conclusion of this affiliate promotion strategy is to automate your automation. So, if the above ideas sound great, but you’re too busy to implement them, hire someone to do it for you!

Donna Fox is Marketing Director of Genesis Digital (https://www.genesisdigital.co/), offering time-saving, innovative eCommerce solutions.


· Issue 36 · October 2016

ShareASale Recruiting Tool:

Is It Worth It?

by Jennifer Parker

Jennifer Parker


ave you, like me, always wanted an easy, inexpensive,

Since the incentive and email templates are separate

and streamlined way to recruit affiliates through

from each other, mixing and matching is a breeze, and further

ShareASale? Well, you just got your wish.

customization is an option. Before adding an affiliate to your

I opened an email on a late July afternoon from ShareA-

basket, you’re able to see a merchant feedback score, as well

Sale with the subject line: “Find New Affiliates with our ‘Rock-

as where an affiliate ranks in earnings and potential. These

star Affiliate Series.’” Looking almost like an afterthought, an

metrics are sortable ascending to descending and vice versa.

orange box at the bottom of the screen whispered,“…add the

In keeping with the best practice of personalizing your

Recruitment Tool to your account.”

email for an individual site, you are required to preview all

My eyes grew large and I gasped (not really). What I felt

recruiting emails before hitting “Send.” This also gives you a

was akin to the new season of Sherlock coming early and

chance to fiddle with the wording without changing the saved

winning a tax-free Tesla, all rolled into one. So eleven minutes

email template. I’ve sent nearly a dozen invites, and I was

after the email appeared in my box, I hit “Send” on an inappro-

pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily I was able to

priately enthusiastic email.

set up and send them.

The closest thing ShareASale has had to this tool, in

A cool feature that I wasn’t expecting is the “Relationship”

my experience, is the Affiliate Invitation Program. For $200

tab. After you do an in-network search, any affiliates with

(+$5.00 for each qualifying affiliate) you’re able to send invita-

whom you already have a relationship with will collect under

tions during a two-week period. With the new tool, you can

this tab, which is located above your search results. Stats ap-

invite affiliates for free (as long as you meet certain require-

pear to the right of the listing. If you see that someone has

ments). There is a limit of twenty invites a month, but you can

top or high potential, but aren’t really doing much for your

“earn” two points back per accepted invitation, effectively can-

program, you can offer an incentive to encourage improved

celing out the original “cost” of the invite.

performance. Just remember to contact the affiliate outside

The interface is one I hadn’t used before, but it was easy enough to navigate. The live tutorial ShareASale offers really helped with that. You can set up rules for incentives. You can also craft and save email templates to be sent to prospective affiliates.


of the recruiting tool, because you will be charged a point. I tested that for you. You’re welcome. All in all, I find the new tool very flexible, user-friendly, and useful. If you’re a ShareASale merchant, I highly recommend it. Jennifer Parker is the Panel Recruiting Manager at Decision Analyst.

· Issue 36 · October 2016

5 Strategies to Increase

Mobile Ad Engagement by Dale Carr


Dale Carr

preferred video length, while vertical orientation has been

here’s an old adage in advertising, “Creative isn’t cre-

proven to achieve nine times higher completion rates versus

ative if it doesn’t sell.” Developing a high-performance

horizontal layout, as reported by KPCB and Snapchat. To pro-

mobile ad – one that goes beyond capturing atten-

vide an optimal user experience, avoid auto-play and give the

tion to drive engagement – involves several best practices:

user the choice to turn on the sound. Native Ads – Estimates predict that native ads will ac-

1. Design for Mobile

count for 63% of all mobile display ad spend by 2020. “Native”

Emotive Imagery – Studies show that featuring people,

refers to the placement of ads within the mobile environment,

instead of product images, works better to connect with audi-

to match the look and feel of the surrounding content. Rather

ences on an emotional level. There is tremendous power in

than a pop-up or auto-start ad, the viewer must actively “opt-

the expression of eyes to capture attention and inspire feeling,

in”, filtering for a greater likelihood of genuine interest in the ad,

especially for marketers promoting game apps.

and delivering higher quality, higher lifetime value customers.

Succinct Copy – Limited mobile screen space requires making each word count. The ad title and the call-to-action

3. Target Smart

must be clear and succinct. Using ad copy sparingly has the

Depending on the service or product you are promoting,

added benefit of allowing uncluttered area, to invite intentional

reaching best suited audiences relies heavily on your target-

clicks and prevent accidental ones.

ing practices. From broad demographics to advanced behav-

End Caps – How many times have you seen a clever ad, but can’t remember the product that was advertised? Open-

ioral targeting, do consult your ad network partner for strategies that will yield the highest performance.

ing and ending a mobile video ad with your product’s logo aids brand awareness and recall.

4. Be Relevant Increase appreciation for your ads by delivering them in

2. Know Your Ad Formats Rewarded Mobile Video Ads – In this ad type, a mobile app user is offered an in-app perk or privilege (e.g., coins, an

a meaningful manner. Time of day, location, cultural sensitivities around holidays and customs, and local languages are all considerations for executing a more personal campaign.

extra life, access to premium content) in exchange for viewing the ad. This value exchange is a winning strategy for ad-

5. Optimize ASAP

vertisers, because it demonstrates appreciation for the users’

Before you “set it and forget it”, check to be certain that

attention, and in doing so creates positive sentiment for the

your ad platform partner has automated campaign optimiza-

brand. Mobile app users report looking forward to and relying

tion. Analyzing data early and applying the learnings will im-

on the rewarded perks.

prove performance exponentially, and streamline your budget

Mobile Video Ads – Video has the power to tell your brand story on an emotional level. Ten and fifteen seconds are the


so that you are only spending on what is working, and not wasting funds on what isn’t.

Dale Carr is founder and CEO of Leadbolt, the high performance mobile advertising platform



· Issue 36 · October 2016

Improving Your

Media Footprint by Fred Frantz Fred Frantz


uccessful marketing is about finding where opportu-

experience the brand through various channels. This includes

nities exist for your brand to connect with custom-

how easy or difficult it is for consumers to find the brand, so

ers. In today’s modern marketing, interrupting a cus-

SEO remains important. According to Gragg data, remarket-

tomer’s day with attempted forced connection will only help

ing has been attributed to a 50% increase in conversion rates

to lose that customer. This is why strategy is so important.

and 60% decrease in cost per acquisition.

Find where your brand fits into customers’ lives, without interruption and when they want it. If timed, placed and tar-

Engage Customers Online

geted properly, then you will reach customers in their moment

Consumers generally have a higher opinion of brands

of need. The perfect marketing strategy won’t anchor itself

with an organic search presence. Having a social media pres-

to just one medium; it will find the right media mix through

ence is nothing new, but still requires attention. Interacting

which the brand can most effectively reach consumers and

with customers through comments and posts is a highly ef-

generate leads.

fective method for organic lead generation. The same is true for review sites. Engaging with reviewers drives lead genera-

Develop a Marketing Profile that Fits The first order of business for any brand’s strategy should

tion, as prospective customers tend to read reviews, and responses are seen by other reviewers, and so on.

be to know who they are as a brand and position themselves

Negative reviews or comments aren’t a bad thing, but ig-

accordingly. A close second is finding out where potential cus-

noring them is. Consumers that feel their concerns have been

tomers are, both online and offline, and through what media

heard are more likely to organically spread brand awareness.

sources to reach them. Google research shows 90% of people

No matter which channels you use, the important thing to re-

use multiple screens sequentially. This means multi-screen

member is to keep organic and paid search listings aligned.

branding is important to move consumers through the path-

As you work to maximize your marketing mix, consider

way to purchase. Gather demographically segmented data,

these strategy elements to help improve your media footprint:

analyze research, and always be aware of the brand.

»» Brands must optimize lead gen based on staff size and

Brands do not develop overnight. Once defined, you can

the amount of leads staff can receive and work properly.

start implementing channels based on performance mea-

»» A well-rounded marketing approach is needed to help

sured via survey groups, exit surveys from websites, external

customers connect with a brand.

feedback, and so on. A well-rounded approach to media mix is

»» Brands don’t develop overnight; it takes time.

always better for lead generation and brand positioning.

»» Negative sentiment isn’t necessarily bad, but ignoring it is.

Effective brand positioning concerns both strategy and experience. Connecting with customers relies upon how they

Paying special attention to these takeaways will help grow your lead generation, and therefore the brand itself.

Fred Frantz, Gragg Advertising EVP, a full-service direct response marketing agency and Premier Google Partner.


· Issue 36 · October 2016

Trial Offers: Increase Profitability

Without Increasing Risk

by Monica Eaton-Cardone

Monica Eaton-Cardone


isk-free trial offers typically convert better, increase cash flow,

»» Accurate ROI analysis with customized trial metrics

and provide a rapid method for advertiser growth. However,

»» Enhanced affiliate tracking

many advertisers believe the risks outweigh the reward.

»» Affiliate fraud detection

Naturally, these promotions attract more chargebacks, but the

greatest risk is the indelible effects of a damaged online reputation. To take advantage of this marketing ingenuity without sacrificing longevity, a few considerations are mandatory.

Understand Customer Perspectives

»» Policy exception parameters Offer compliance with terms, the Federal Trade Commission, merchant processing agreements, etc.

Best Practices Last but not least, successful trial offers subscribe to best

The general rule of thumb is, if you’re interested in building a ‘cred-

practice philosophies. Here’s how to use trial offers to increase

ible’ brand, forego risk-free trials (also known as negative option). Chal-

profitability without damaging the advertiser’s reputation or bot-

lenging this rule requires an understanding of consumer logic:

tom line.


The ‘try it before you buy it’ concept, generally linked to a

»» Provide clear, concise terms of service and share before signup.

recurring subscription, attracts higher conversions.

»» Indicate if the offer includes complete or limited access.


Consumers usually overlook or ignore recurring subscription terms.

»» Define the duration of limited-time offers.


Most customers have had a negative experience with subscriptions

»» Outline costs associated with upgrades or activity after the trial

because valid attempts to cancel were unsuccessful.

offer expires.

An expectation of instant gratification and limited responsi-

»» Notify consumers before the trial is set to expire. Remind

bility, coupled with negative first-hand experiences, often leads

the cardholder of any automatic charges at least five days

customers to file chargebacks and flock to the internet to voice

in advance.

their complaints—Zendesk reports 45% of customers share negative brand opinions on social media. So, what’s an advertiser to do?

Be Prepared Fortunately, it is possible to build your brand and your bank ac-

»» Share contact information. Respond to social media comments and emails promptly, and answer the phone within three rings. »» Offer a no-strings-attached cancelation policy. »» Have well-trained customer service representatives available. »» Be sure you can validate any testimonials and performance claims.

count with a trial offer that won’t damage your online reputation. To

»» Don’t imply any endorsements that haven’t actually been granted.

do so requires extra attention on pre-campaign planning.

»» Monitor affiliate tactics and ensure against incentive fraud.

The primary reason for outweighed risk is neglecting cam-

»» Conduct A/B tests, carefully tracking key performance indicators.

paign requirements prior to launch. Commonly overlooked com-

»» Analyze chargeback data to identify merchant error and

ponents include: »» Sufficient capital reserves for a longer sales cycle »» Increased support staff »» On-demand resources »» Revised manual review policies »» Enhanced user tracking to prevent the creation of multiple accounts


customer dissatisfaction. »» Request feedback from trial participants, and make adjustments as advised. »» Use affiliate fraud tools, such as affiliate fraud alerts. By taking into account consumer perception, administering adequate planning, and adopting best practices, you can ensure this classic marketing tactic will show only the best of your business.

Monica Eaton-Cardone is the COO of Chargebacks911. The company optimizes eCommerce profitability through chargeback management.

· Issue 36 · October 2016

5 Simple Strategies

for Digital Findability by Alison J. Horn

Alison J. Horn


indability for your online presence is everything. The first thing customers wanting to do business with your company will do is an online search. If clients and cus-

tomers cannot find your Web site and social properties, you don’t exist. Here are five simple (and free) things, that can be done to increase having your customers find you.

Social Media Secure all social media URLs in your company’s name. Send frequently and often. Does not have to be heavy – it can

LinkedIn Be sure to create a LinkedIn company page. Everyone in

be fun and lighthearted. Be engaging. Be sure to include and relevant hashtags and a fun description.

the company should have their LinkedIn profiles match. All company descriptions need to be the same for everyone in the

Press Releases

company and company page. Make sure too, everyone in the

Send out press releases often. Focus on people, partners,

company should be linked in and connected to the company

upcoming events, new territories, and any new products your

page. Build your contact base every day and try to get credible

company may have. Promote industry accomplishments,

recommendations from customers. Recommendations from

company milestones, welcome new clients. Post press re-

CEOs increase trust and credibility more than anyone else.

leases on the company’s Web site. Be sure to place links back into your online properties.

Keywords Very important. Keywords are your company name, loca-

Strategic Partners

tion, services, and top pages visited. Think of it as what users

Create strategic partnerships that make sense that

would type into search engines when they are searching for

complement your business. Find partners that enhance your

products and services that you have. Be sure to use your key-

brand and are in line with your company’s strategy and goals.

words as much as you can in everything you do—Web sites,

Promote those partnerships. Encourage management and

blog posts, images, videos and most frequently in online prop-

employees to join boards or participate with charities they

erties that index frequently including LinkedIn, press releases,

are passionate about. Sing your accomplishments loud. If you

Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

don’t, you may not get found.


tl;dr Business travel can be an outstanding investment in the affiliate marketing industry, here are a few top reasons to travel.

· Issue 36 · October 2016

Blogging Disasters:

Prevention and Damage Control by Missy Ward

Missy Ward


he idea that your blog is safe and secure because it

content. What would happen if your external hard drive was

lives on a popular blogging platform is a complete fal-

damaged? What would happen if the cloud crashed? It’s im-

lacy. The truth is that unless you are backing up every

portant to hope for the best and plan for the worst when it

last piece of your content, one day it could disappear.

comes to your blog content.

And if it does, there’s likely no phone number to call or

Everything from mailing lists to blog posts is a monetiz-

office door to bang on. All you have is a form to fill out and an

able commodity. You’ve got to have them stored in multiple

often false sense of hope.

locations to protect yourself and your investment of time in

So the question is, if the unthinkable happens, what

building your blog. Invest in a comprehensive cloud system

would be your recourse? How much content would be lost?

that not only backs up your devices and blog but also makes

How would your followers find you again?

sure your blog stays online if the server crashes.

Here are some tips on what to do if your blog crashes, and what you can do now to mitigate risk and minimize loss.

Also, pay attention to your uptime statistics on your chosen server to prevent server crashes. This is especially relevant if you run a big promotion or have any other reason to

Protect Your Customers

expect your blog to have a sudden influx of viewership that

If your blog uses any e-commerce plugin, your first con-

could crash the server. Nothing stings more than pouring your

cern is the safety of your customer’s financial information. If

time and money into a promo that successfully drives tons of

you can’t yet afford a dedicated server, or don’t have the traffic

traffic to your site, only to have the server crash.

to justify it, you’ll want to invest in encrypting sensitive data as well as malware hacking detection services.

Be Transparent

While working on making your blog profitable, it’s impor-

In the event of a disaster, reach out to your followers and

tant to keep your overhead low. But it’s also important to bear

customers immediately. Let them know the situation and that

in mind that existing customers are your best source of in-

you’re there to answer any questions they may have. It’s cru-

come, so protecting them is essentially protecting your own

cial for your reputation that you address the issue as soon as

profitability — not to mention it’s the ethical thing to do.

possible to prevent customers, followers or colleagues from assuming the worst.

Back Up, Back Up, Back Up Two is one and one is none: that’s the mantra that professional bloggers use when it comes to backing up their


You can also reach out to your customers using Twitter, Facebook, etc. to explain what happened and when you’ll be back up and running.

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

· Issue 36 · October 2016

Top Four

Influencer Marketing Tips by Lindsay Hittman


Lindsay Hittman

nfluencers represent a new breed of online publishers. Unlike traditional affiliates, who built their online presence

recruitment emails will only go so far. If you want to appeal to

with monetization in mind, influencers built their following

influencers, you need to go where they go and speak how they

organically and now want to make money off their efforts.

speak. The “where” is social media. The “how” is rife with pic-

Brands can’t market to influencers in the same way they

tures, videos, hashtags, acronyms, slang, and memes. A pro-

market to traditional affiliates. If you do, you’ll quickly find your

gressive and involved social media presence is your brand’s

efforts underperforming. Here are four insider tips that will up-

best influencer recruitment tool.

date and transform your influencer marketing efforts into a turnkey, revenue-generating channel for your brand.

3. Maximize Existing Revenue Opportunities. It’s not unheard of for influencers to build a following

1. Drive Influencer Success Through Content.

seemingly overnight. With one viral social media post, influ-

Influencers often need help creating campaigns that

encers can easily get a couple thousand new visitors to their

resonate with their audience and earn them money. Appeal to

website. Existing content, which is fresh in the eyes of new

the laziest bone in your influencers’ bodies and serve content

followers, is a treasure chest of revenue opportunities.

campaigns up on a silver platter.

When speaking with newly minted influencers — or newly

If you have something you’d like your influencers to promote,

relevant ones — encourage them to go through old blogs’

don’t just give them a heads up by sending off a quick email.

posts and update and add affiliate links and banners to exist-

Spend five extra minutes and create a few sentences of compel-

ing content. Or better yet, audit their websites for them and

ling copy written with the end-customer in mind that influencers

suggest specific posts that have the potential to drive addi-

can copy and paste into their blog and social media channels.

tional revenue.

Also, pull together all appropriate affiliate deep links, product images, and hashtags to eliminate the extra work on their end. When you send influencers ready-made content each

4. Use Technology to Manage Mid- and Long-tail Influencers.

time your brand has a new product line, holiday coupon, flash

Even though influencers typically need more incentive

sale or evergreen deal to share, you maximize the likelihood it

and guidance than traditional affiliates, it might not make eco-

will be promoted in a timely, brand-appropriate manner. This

nomic sense for brands to give this extra attention to mid- and

tactic also sets a precedent that your brand’s communica-

long-tail influencers.

tions provide real value. You’ll notice email open rates go up and lines of communication improve.

Instead of excluding these partners altogether, seek out communities and platforms that aggregate brand-appropriate influencers. These technology solutions can help your

2. Recruit Influencers on Social Media. When reaching out to influencers, your traditional affiliate Lindsay Hittman is President of BrandCycle Inc.

brand manage mid- and long-tail influencers in a more turnkey way.


· Issue 36 · October 2016

Marketing Medical Products?

Three Things to Know by Dr. Nancy Markley

Dr. Nancy Markley


ffiliate marketing offers the chance to market just about any type of product under the sun. However,

products made by reputable companies that have the proper

certain products can present unique challenges for

licences and certifications, especially if you have a fairly local

affiliate marketers.

audience that you might potentially sell products to.

Medical products are an example of a type of product that

Search for affiliate marketing programs with dedicated

affiliate marketers can find too intimidating to start selling. As

managers who can provide the information you may need

these products are supposed to help with certain medical or

and support your inquiries about the authenticity, legitimacy,

health conditions, affiliate marketers want to know what they

and effectiveness of the product. This could be in the form of

can do to make sure that the product that they are promoting

testimonials and other additional marketing materials.

is effective, and will not cause harm to their potential buyers. Here are some tips for affiliate marketers to find success

3. Focus on the benefits of the product, instead of the issue.

in marketing medical products:

Because medical products and devices are supposed

1. Marketing medical products isn’t as limited

to help ease or solve certain health issues, it can be easy to

as you may think.

simply talk about these health issues, which can give your

Medical device marketing isn’t limited to niche blogs.

content a somewhat negative approach or connotation. What

Medical products promote better health and wellness: some-

can really help you stand out from your affiliate competitors is

thing that everyone wants to have. Anyone can market medi-

focusing your content and your copy on the benefits that the

cal products on their site. Are you a lifestyle writer promoting

product can bring to your customers.

healthy habits, or a mommy blogger talking about your daily life and the products that make your life easier?

Positive sentiments are better received than negative sentiments, by both readers and platforms like social net-

Start by looking for programs that will send you products

works. Certain keywords that you may think are not neces-

for review. Having the product in your hands, and being able

sarily negative can still be perceived as such, and therefore,

to try it out will help you determine whether the product is a fit

focusing on the benefits will help your content, and your affili-

for you and your brand. It also helps to promote products that

ate links, in the long run.

you truly trust and even use in your daily life.

Marketing medical products can benefit affiliate marketers, and not just from a sales perspective. The product may

2. Look for signs of credibility and authenticity. Effective, real-deal medical devices are clinically proven and approved by regulatory boards around the world. Look for


affect positive change into their own lives, and when equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to succeed, they can help spread this positive change to their readers.

Dr. Nancy Markley is President/CEO of Good Morning Snore Solution® and its Affiliate Program. @SnoreSolPartner.


· Issue 36 · October 2016

5 Reasons to Start

Cloaking Affiliate Links

Victoria Galperina

by Victoria Galperina

Let’s get straight to the point: affiliate links are bulky, almost impossible to remember, easily noticeable, and give you

2. Link management

out as an affiliate marketer. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can mask or cloak them to make them look more neat, including scripts

You get to create a short URL, which you can actually remember and easily locate in the future.

and numerous plugins. If you are looking for a quick fix with

Changing a single redirect, instead of fixing every affiliate

zero budget, you can always use free online link cloaking ser-

link on your site, can come in very handy if a merchant chang-

vices, but personally, I would recommend avoiding them al-

es links, linking methods, or networks. It will also save you


time if you want to switch your current merchant.

So what does link cloaking mean?

3. Commission leaks prevention

To put it simply, it is a way of replacing your given affiliate link

Some people deliberately remove your affiliate ID when

with a URL of your choice, which redirects to the same place your

making a purchase to prevent you from getting commissions.

original link leads to, without affecting cookie tracking.

There is also a certain type of affiliate marketers who swap

So let’s say I’m a SEMrush Affiliate and I am eager to show my followers some basic stats for http://feedfront.com/. My uncloaked affiliate link would look something like:

your affiliate ID with theirs in order to steal your commissions. Both of these actions become a lot harder when a link is cloaked.

h t t p s: //w w w. s e m r u s h . c o m / i n f o / f e e d f r o n t . c o m?

4. Social media advertising

db=us&ref=123456789 And let’s say I have a website: http://victoriagalperina.com/

Many social media sites have strict rules against the us-

My cloaked link would look something like: http://victo-

age of affiliate links that can pretty much result in your ac-


count suspension or termination, so by cloaking your links,

Here are the top five reasons why you should start cloak-

you don’t only get a chance to fit your link into a symbol limit,

ing your affiliate links today:

you can also avoid penalties.

1. Customization

5. Improvement of your domain position in

The first and most obvious reason is customization. Af-


filiate links can easily be spotted when moused over, which

By pointing back to your own site with your cloaked link

makes readers question your credibility. Even if you wrote a

from any external sources, you improve your own search en-

brilliant post and your feelings towards a product or service

gine rankings in Google.

you are recommending are genuine, uncloaked links give you out as an affiliate.


Link cloaking brings you many benefits, which in the long run ensure that you get the commissions you deserve

Victoria Galperina is the Head of Affiliate Marketing at SEMrush. Find her on Twitter: @VicGalperina.

· Issue 36 · October 2016

Affiliate Summit East 2016

in Pictures by Shawn Collins


ffiliate Summit East 2016, which took place July 31-August 2 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City, has come and gone.

It was a fantastic bunch of days of networking, learning,

and friends with the awesome backdrop of New York City. I was chronicling the before, during, and after of Affiliate Summit on Instagram, and you can see those pictures at instagram.com/affiliatesummit.

Here are a bunch of other photos of the days and nights of Affiliate Summit East 2016. Thank you so much to all of the people who helped make this happen – the attendees, sponsors, speakers, and Affiliate Summit team, the folks behind the parties: ShareASale and Affiliate Ball So many thousands of good people came together in NYC, and may all sorts of great business and personal relationships blossom out of the days we spent here!

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


· Issue 36 · October 2016


· Issue 36 · October 2016


· Issue 36 · October 2016

8 Simple Tips for

Optimizing Form Conversions by Rich Plakas

Rich Plakas


he goal is to have a visitor to complete your form. We want to make the form easy to fill out so that they do not get frustrated and bounce from your site.

Here are eight simple tips that can help increase your

form conversions. 1. Only ask for the information you really need. For example, if you do not need the visitor’s phone number, and their email address will suffice, then remove the phone number field completely. 2. If you require visitors to fill out their mailing address, use the Google Maps code for “Place Autocomplete

last name field below the first name field for better visibility. 4. Add selection checkboxes and/or dropdowns for common inquiries instead of only having a general note paragraph field. Not only does this make it easier (and quicker) for your visitor to fill out the form, it will also make it easier for you to segment form entries after. 5. Do not use the word “Submit” or “Submit Form” on the form button (Sorry, FeedFront). Use better converting wording such as “Send Me a Free Estimate” or “Sign Me Up for Free Tips”.

Address Form”. This will start to fill in their address as they

6. Make sure the form completion button is very obvi-

type it in, saving time as well as preventing typing mistakes.

ous. If most of your site elements are blue, make this button

Another option is to ask for zip code first, and then have the

standout by coloring it green. It should be big enough to easily

form auto fill the city and state.

click from a mobile phone.

3. If you cannot use the above-mentioned methods, make sure your fields are spaced out far enough and la-

7. Check mobile usability. Fill out your form on your smartphone. Is it easy? Do you get hung up anywhere?

beled clear enough to prevent entry confusion. We most

8. Avoid using negative wording like “We won’t spam

commonly see this when the city field is placed on top of the

you.” Instead, use more positive wording such as “We Re-

zip code field. An easy fix is to add more spacing above the zip

spect Your Privacy. Protecting Your Personal Information Is

code field or move it to the right of the state field.

a Priority for Us.”

Look through your submitted form entries for other mis-

Want free user testing of your form? Ask someone you

takes that might be happening regularly. We have seen entries

know from your target demographic to fill out your form as

where visitors were entering their first and last name in the

you watch over his or her shoulder. See if they get stuck any-

first name field. This happened when the last name field was

where in the form.

placed to the right of first name. The solution was to place the


“Hey Mom, can you fill out this form for me?” Rich Plakas is the Founder of Connected Systems and Craft Beer Austin..


GET THE #ASW17 APP! The Affiliate Summit West 2017 App (iOS, Android, and Desktop) offers attendees a way to network, view the agenda, connect with sponsors and exhibitors, and schedule private meetings before, during and after the conference.

Scan the QR code with your iOS or Android device to download the #ASW17 App or visit affiliatesummit.com/asw17app to use in a browser.