Issue 38 ― April 2017
The Death of My Father Saved Me by Shawn Collins Page 29
Face-to-Face Networking in an Online World
Meditation Makes Happy Afﬁliate Marketers
By Michelle Held - Page 13
By Sean Yoon McDevitt - Page 20
Dollar a Day Facebook Hacks By Dennis Yu - Page 27
Issue 38 · April 2017
Table of Contents
STAFF Co-Editors in Chief Missy Ward, Shawn Collins Co-Publishers Missy Ward, Shawn Collins
The Death of My Father Saved Me
Are you a Major League Player?
Coreg Makes a Comeback
3 Common Website Mistakes
Maximize Micro-Influencers for Increased Afﬁliate Revenue
5 Daily Tasks for Successful Afﬁliate Management
How to Expand Your Afﬁliate Business Internationally
Conversions vs. Compliance
Maximize Your Potential Working with YouTube Influencers
Face-to-Face Networking in an Online World
By Michelle Held
Creating an Omni-Channel Afﬁliate Program
By Daniel Fink
How Direct Mail Out Performs Digital Channels
Power of the Influencer Through Video
Turn A Handshake Into Business Success
Meditation Makes Happy Afﬁliate Marketers
No Such Thing as a Free Lead
Why You Need A Press Release
Set T.R.A.P.S. For Higher Google Rankings
Tips to Network Like a Beast
Dollar a Day Facebook Hacks
How Networks Save Their MVP Afﬁliates
How To Respond To Declined Applications
Writing Creative Copy in a 9-5 Setting
Flat Fee Placements – All About Timing
Contributing Writers Ricky Ahuja, Jason Ciment, Shawn Collins, Adam Dahlen, Teodora Dobjanschi, Daniel Fink, Travis Glenn, Jen Goode, Jonathan Goodwin, Michelle Held, Gavin Hodges, Gayla Huber, Rob Israch, Darryl Mattox, Tara McCommons, Sean Yoon McDevitt, Jonathan Miller, Ben Opsahl, Michael Pomposello, Stephanie Robbins, Angel Rodrigues, Melissa D. Salas, Egbert Snijders, Dennis Yu
Graphic Design Logan Gattis Designs www.logangattis.com Magazine Coordinator Amy Rodriguez
By Shawn Collins By Tara McCommons By Jonathan Miller By Travis Glenn By Stephanie Robbins By Teodora Dobjanschi By Egbert Snijders By Gayla Huber By Michael Pomposello
By Gavin Hodges By Melissa D. Salas By Jen Goode By Sean Yoon McDevitt By Darryl Mattox By Angel Rodrigues By Jason Ciment By Ricky Ahuja By Dennis Yu By Rob Israch By Adam Dahlen By Ben Opsahl By Jonathan Goodwin
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 © 2017 Afﬁliate Summit, Inc. and Individual Authors.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
The Death of My Father Saved Me by Shawn Collins Shawn Collins (and his father)
Each day, as I settled into my cubicle, I’d feel like I couldn’t breathe all the way. That’s not some metaphor. It was real. The idea that I was going to settle for weekends was suffocating me. Something had to change.
une 27, 2017 will be the ﬁfteenth anniversary of the day my father passed away. He was 61.
That’s where serendipity came into play. A year earlier, I’d met Missy Ward at an event called Afﬁliate Force. We were
I have vivid memories of Sundays as a kid. My dad
conference friends and virtual strangers. We hung out again
would be jovial in the morning, but by dinner time, there would
in April 2003 at the annual Afﬁliate Force, and got to talking
be a sadness to him. I noticed it, but didn’t understand it until
about ways the event could be better, but how the organizer
years later when he told me how much he didn’t like his work.
was resistant to our ideas.
Over the years, he worked at a series of city, state, and
A few weeks later, we had a chat on the phone, and Afﬁli-
federal government jobs. This provided him ﬁnancial security,
ateSummit.com was registered on May 19, 2003. Both of us
but not much else.
kept our day jobs as we struggled to get this new idea off the
He spent the last ﬁve years or so of his life sharing the countdown to his retirement. That’s when he was going to enjoy the weekends, and Sunday nights through happy hour on
ground. There were lots of hurdles, including a lack of money and experience. Over time, we left our jobs to focus on Afﬁliate Summit. Being my own boss got me in a good place. A place where
Friday, too. Things didn’t go as planned. He died shortly before the countdown to retirement reached zero days. That had a big impact on me. At the time, I was running the afﬁliate program for ClubMom.com, and my book, “Suc-
Sunday nights were now exciting, because there were new opportunities ahead of me on Monday morning. I was in a good place in my head, but not geographically. Then a move to Austin got me in a great place.
cessful Afﬁliate Marketing for Merchants” was recently pub-
This was my tribe: people who spoke my language. They
lished. I was steadily making progress career-wise with titles
worked at startups and tech companies. Mentioning afﬁliate
and salaries, but I was missing something.
marketing got a knowing glance, instead of a twisted face of
I started noticing that my Sunday nights were getting
confusion. I got them, and they got me.
harder. I was feeling unsatisﬁed with my job. Well, it was more
Plus… sunshine and tacos.
a feeling like I was wasting my time. I was living the movie Of-
I don’t think I’ll ever retire. My dad probably thinks I’m
ﬁce Space, and I even had a Red Swingline Stapler on my desk.
Shawn is Co-founder of Afﬁliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, and blogs at afﬁliatetip.com.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Are you a
Major League Player? by Tara McCommons
s afﬁliate marketers, we are hustlers. Pivoting our
People Skills: The hallmark of our industry is relation-
strategies around industry shifts and wearing mul-
ships. Possessing the ability to inspire, empathize, and connect
tiple hats, while keeping our eye on the ball(s), has
with people is a critical tenet to growing and achieving success.
become common practice, and how we thrive.
Our virtual ecosystem can make this challenging, especially in
Just as in baseball, there are players in our industry that
diving beyond the surface level, but this skill is a game changer.
outperform others—those that are called up to the major
Our social intellect is a catalyst for expanding relationships (not
leagues and (sometimes unknowingly) manifest themselves
to mention creating our coveted support system).
as mentors for others to learn from.
Mediocrity Scorned: The best afﬁliate marketers exude
Here are four common traits I’ve observed in some of the
determination and positive energy; tilting and persevering to
brilliant minds that push our industry forward and create new
do better becomes their unspoken mantra. We are fortunate
channels of opportunity for others.
to be in an industry that breeds entrepreneurs. Take notice of
Doers: Just like athletes, progression in strength and endurance requires you to be a master of action. Whether it’s
the extraordinary ones among us and learn from them. Don’t get stuck in the contentment of being a bench warmer.
asking questions to learn new techniques and skills or sharp-
Giving Back: One of the most remarkable qualities of our
ening your game to become the best of the best, a consistent
industry is the sharing of knowledge and lessons learned. The
focus on action is apparent. In our ever-evolving digital mar-
best afﬁliate marketers make those around them better; and
keting landscape, it’s easy to get caught up in overthinking a
there are many! Just look at the FeedFront contributors—ex-
strategy. So true is the saying “If you snooze, you’ll lose.”
amples of mentors among us. Where else should you look?
One of my favorite quotes (from a hall of fame baseball player, Tommy Lasorda) is one I have found to resonate pretty
Afﬁliate Summits and the Performance Marketing Association (PMA) are outstanding outlets for giving back.
darn well in our industry—“There are three types of players,
Will this be your season to push the limits and be the bet-
those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and
ter player? Are you prepared to be called up? Your afﬁliate mar-
those who wonder what happened.” Which type are you?
keting team needs you!
Tara McCommons is VP of Sales and Marketing for LinkConnector and a PMA Board member.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Coreg Makes a Comeback by Jonathan Miller
In my experience, it’s one of the cheapest ways to generate opt-in data, especially on Facebook. With an opt-in rate of
1 in 6, my average cost is around $0.47 a record. By adding co-registration lead generation to my own quizzes over the
heck your Facebook timeline and you’ll see friends and co-workers sharing competitions, quizzes, and
last 6 months we are turning a proﬁt while building email lists. Key takeaways on why I’m in love with coreg.
giveaways. It’s almost as if quizzes are the new self-
1. You obtain marketing consent
help section. People love quizzes and giveaways, so it’s no wonder
Consumers that engage with quizzes give you permission
that when personality quizzes, dream holiday competitions,
to market to them. If you’re running a quiz or a co-registration
or product giveaways come along, Facebook users flock to
offer, you’ll not only acquire personal information, but also get
participate and share.
opt-in consent to market to your recipient.
Clearly, co-registration marketing is making a comeback. I’ve been testing using my own quizzes and have found that if properly executed, co-registration competitions and quizzes
2. You gather invaluable demographic data Metrics focused afﬁliate marketers understand that demographic and psychographic proﬁling plays a key role in the
are a powerful marketing tool. For the uninitiated, coreg (or co-registration marketing)
success of their businesses. Armed with this information,
is where consumers complete a sequence of questions, and
you’d spend less time picking relevant offers to promote, see
based on their interests are either subscribed to newsletters
an increase in your activity rates, as well as your earnings.
or opt-in to receive information from advertisers. Coreg fell out of favor in recent years, mostly due to a prolif-
3. Engagement drives revenue
eration of coreg networks that proffered low quality consumer
Engagement is critical to the sustainability of your busi-
data. When I started list building for an offer I was running, I test-
ness and can only be improved by understanding your con-
ed several co-registration lead suppliers, but found that when I
sumers. Once you understand and use their demographics,
‘bought’ in subscribers, they were often uninterested, didn’t en-
behavior patterns and buying triggers, you can segment your
gage with my content, or were just downright fraudulent.
lists more effectively, build consumer proﬁles, and present
I could see the value in owning consumer data, so rather
more relevant content. Your revenue will increase and list re-
than abandoning coreg entirely, I built my own co-registration
tention will improve, as your readers will be more engaged, in-
platform, which enabled me to control the end-to-end pro-
terested, and active. They’ll be far less inclined to unsubscribe.
cess. Once I’d reﬁned my sequence of questions and ﬁgured
If you’re into building mailing lists, you should consider
out what actions I wanted my users to take, I started market-
coregistration marketing. Done right, it can have a massive
ing my competitions & quizzes.
impact on your business.
Jonathan is a husband, dad & serial entrepreneur, lives in Africa & recently founded Coreg.Software
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Website Mistakes by Travis Glenn Travis Glenn
ebsite optimization has been a focus for afﬁliates since the early days of afﬁliate marketing. However, we can still miss the mark when creat-
ing blogs, ecommerce stores, and business websites.
Mistake 2: Big fancy words. When you’re an expert in something, it’s easy to think about complex concepts in your area of expertise as com-
Most of the sites you see on a day-to-day basis would
monplace. You might use jargon, or overly technical terms
beneﬁt greatly from an optimization-focused update. Below
that can leave your audience lost. Nothing sends potential
we will look at a few of the most common mistakes, and how
customers into the arms of your competitors faster than mak-
we can ﬁx them.
ing them feel lost and confused. The ﬁx: Keep it simple. Write to a middle school level.
Mistake 1: Too many words.
Customers care much more about the actual problem your
Many of us make the mistake of being too wordy on our
product or service solves than they do about boring speciﬁca-
websites. We assume that anyone viewing our site needs
tions. There is always a simple way to explain the beneﬁt the
to know dozens of facts about our business, products, and
reader can get from doing business with your company.
services. Many sites have more than 1,000 words on their homepage.
Mistake 3: No prominent call to action.
Think about it from the perspective of a potential cus-
With very few exceptions, websites need a call to action.
tomer. Do you think that visitor wants to spend 10 minutes
If your site is cluttered with text, links, navigation bar buttons,
scrolling and reading the multi-page, dozen plus paragraph
and images, it can overwhelm site visitors.
masterpiece that you wrote? Or do you think they are prob-
The ﬁx: Make sure there is at least one primary call to
ably busy people, with a short attention span, and that they
action on your homepage, and that it is displayed above the
are looking to scan headings and keywords to ﬁnd out if your
fold. Many modern sites utilize a navigation bar, and having a
product matches their needs?
contrasting colored call to action slapped right on the top right
The ﬁx: Keep it brief. Write and rewrite your homepage
of that bar works great for both desktop and mobile users.
content until it sums up exactly what your business is, and
By considering the above points, and thinking of things
how your product beneﬁts the potential customer. On aver-
from a customer-ﬁrst perspective, you can greatly improve
age, you should be able to communicate this in less than 20
the look and feel of your site. Spending time optimizing your
words above the fold, and likely less than 100 words on the
site can lead to huge increases in converting browsers into
entire length of your homepage.
Social Media Marketer and Biz Dev Director at the PeerFly Afﬁliate Network. Twitter: @travispeerfly
· Issue 38 · April 2017
conference. Afﬁliate managers and OPMs (Outsource Pro-
for Increased Afﬁliate Revenue
gram Management agencies) understand the power of influ-
by Stephanie Robbins
he industry is buzzing with the word ‘influencer.’ Attendees packed the room at the Advertiser’s Crash Course in Influencer Marketing session during Afﬁli-
ate Summit West. It was the highest attended session at the
encer marketing and its place in the afﬁliate space. What is often overlooked is the power of smaller influencers,
creates authenticity and deeper storytelling. A more engaged
commonly known as micro-influencers. Micro-influencers have
customer is more likely to buy.
smaller followings, typically under 10,000. Micro-influencers
may not have the large following of a celebrity influencer, but
Trust increases with more intimate engagement. Simply
their ability to deliver sales does not disappoint. In my experience,
put, intimate engagement is more likely to exist with smaller
these content afﬁliates outperform their larger counterparts.
numbers. Larger influencers can’t keep up with responses.
Why Do Micro Influencers Bring More Sales?
How To Engage Micro Influencers
Here are some reasons why these smaller niche content
The good news is that not only do micro-influencers cre-
afﬁliates are the sweet spot for conversions and ROI.
ate great afﬁliate sales; they are also easy to recruit.
Know Your Niche
There are certainly many online celebrities who under-
To optimize your outreach, know where your product or
stand the power of afﬁliate marketing. Many are able to de-
service most resonates. I have multiple niches for each pro-
mand high flat-fee rates without the risk of a cost for perfor-
gram I run. Each niche has their own recruitment strategy. If
mance model. With micro-influencers you are not competing
you do not truly understand who your product or service will
with the larger brands and proposals. In recruitment, I have a
most connect with, not only will your recruitment fail, but also
higher on-boarding rate with micro-influencers
any potential for sales will be lost.
Relatable and Connected
With smaller audiences, these influencers can connect
As mentioned several times, micro-influencers have a
at a personal level with their followers. As we all know, afﬁli-
stronger engagement with their followers. Become one of their
ate marketing has and always will be about relationships. It
followers. Engage on social media. Comment on blog posts. If
makes sense to work with an influencer who has stronger
you have the right niche, engagement is easy and authentic.
relationships. Closer relationships translate to more sales be-
cause, after all, friends buy from friends.
Micro-influencers may not give you diva attitude but they certainly know their value… as well they should. Present a prof-
When I speak to the power of micro-influencers, I am
itable and aggressive compensation plan. You are not the only
speciﬁcally referring to smaller, niche afﬁliates. If your prod-
manager seeking this afﬁliate out simply because s/he is smaller.
uct or service ﬁts his/her niche, there is a natural alignment
So, get out there, connect, and watch your afﬁliate rev-
of passion and knowledge. This organic connection is what
Stephanie Robbins connects brands to niche online influencers to incrementally grow revenue through afﬁliate programs.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
5 Daily Tasks
for Successful Afﬁliate Management by Teodora Dobjanschi
here are ﬁve simple tasks an afﬁliate manager should
to start promoting your products or services and make sure
include in their daily routine in order to achieve suc-
you cover all segments: new, active, and dormant afﬁliates.
cess. Here’s how you can organize your time and
Also, provide your new afﬁliates with a welcome kit that can
tasks in order to achieve the best results.
guide them through your program and explain them how to
1. Nurturing and Activation
start generating revenue right away. Keep the communication
Provide your afﬁliates with all the needed creative materi-
open with all your active afﬁliates and reach out to them to
als in order to help them grow their results within your pro-
check if there is anything you can do to help them. And make
gram and sell more. Also, reply to emails daily, in order to build
dedicated campaigns for your dormant afﬁliates to remind
the relationship with your afﬁliates and assist them with their
them of your program and the opportunities they have if they
questions. Create your list of top afﬁliates and make sure you
become productive. Generally, this task should take 10% to
proactively reach out to them to maintain communication and
15% of your time.
inform them about any changes, new campaigns, new prod-
ucts, etc. And invest 35% of your working hours to nurture and
Measure your results and follow clear KPIs (Key Perfor-
activate afﬁliates to get the best out of your existing afﬁliates
mance Indicators) on a regular basis. Some KPIs are mea-
sured weekly, monthly or quarterly, but you should measure
2. Afﬁliate Recruitment
your sales fluctuations daily. This way, if there is any issue
To grow your afﬁliate program and on-board new af-
with a link that usually is performing very well, you can take
ﬁliates, that can generate new revenue for your business, you
action immediately and solve any issue immediately. Invest
should have a recruitment plan in place and invest daily in
5% to 10% of your time to measure results and other reporting
achieving your recruitment objectives. The recruitment part
should be at least equal with the time invested in nurturing
and activating your existing afﬁliates - invest 35% of your daily
Study your competitors, follow industry news or bench-
time in ﬁnding new afﬁliates and optimizing your recruitment
marks, analyze your program’s performance, and identify
actions (approximately 2.8 hours per day)).
ways to grow results or lower costs. If you will do all the above
Remember, 9.2% of the afﬁliates ﬁnd out about new afﬁliate programs when the afﬁliate manager contact them directly (2016 AffStat).
3. Communication Provide your afﬁliates with all the needed information
on a regular basis and measure your KPIs, this should not take more than 10% of your time. You can adjust the time allocation of these 5 daily tasks depending on your current objectives or program maturity, but make sure you keep the proportions. Teodora Dobjanschi is Senior Afﬁliate Recruiter at Avangate Afﬁliate Network.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
How to Expand
Your Afﬁliate Business Internationally
by Egbert Snijders
lways wondered how to expand your afﬁliate busi-
4. Learn the language?
ness as a publisher outside the US and become an
From a product promotion perspective, and for ease of
international success? Start with the following 5 tips.
communication with local advertisers, it is easiest to select
1. Choose an afﬁliate network with international
a country outside the US where English is a de facto ofﬁcial
language. Think about Australia, New Zealand, or the United
Start your international afﬁliate journey by ﬁnding an
Kingdom. Consider selecting a country that is proﬁcient at
afﬁliate network that includes advertisers from across the
English as a second language. The top three countries that
globe. A great starting point from a publisher perspective is
are proﬁcient at English as second language are the Nether-
to search for larger afﬁliate networks with a lot of international
lands, Denmark, and Sweden. The downside in these coun-
advertisers to choose from.
tries is that you will likely need to promote the product in the
2. Research international advertisers.
local language. Request advertising material from the adver-
Once you identify a network with international advertisers,
tiser or the advertisers might help you translate your promo-
do some research into the local productivity of the advertisers.
tion strategy into the local language.
Evaluate which advertisers are successful and popular in their
5. Different country, different laws.
country of origin. What are their local conversion rates? Once
The most common laws outside the US affecting afﬁliate
you have chosen your main advertisers, start looking for small-
marketing include the EU cookie law and the Canada’s anti-
er, niche advertisers that will make your portfolio more diverse.
spam law (CASL). If you decide to choose to work with an ad-
3. Culture and customer behavior.
vertiser in the EU, you need to get consent from your website
Get a basic understanding of the different cultures in
visitor that they agree with the cookies your website is us-
each country. The easiest way to learn more about customer
ing. If you decide to promote using a Canadian advertiser, be
behavior outside the US is to have conversations with interna-
aware of the CASL. CASL requires companies to obtain cus-
tional afﬁliate managers. They know their customer behavior
tomer permission to use personal data for any type of com-
and spending patterns. For example, US customers are very
munication. In case of CASL non-compliance, some serious
focused on online shopping, with the largest international
penalties are involved. Prior to collaboration with international
spending with an average revenue of $1,804 per shopper in
advertiser make sure you learn the local laws to keep you out
2016. The United Kingdom follows with: $1,629 and Sweden
with $1,446. Adjust your marketing strategy to match to local spending habits.
There are deﬁnitely some challenges, but if you use these ﬁve tips as a foundation, you could be very successful.
International Digital Marketing Specialist and AVP of digital marketing at Mariner Finance.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
vs. Compliance by Gayla Huber
ears ago: Leads were flowing in, volume was king,
isted. It’s not uncommon nor is it something that has to be
and compliance wasn’t much of an issue—or at least
shut down. You will likely never know all the afﬁliate, publisher,
one we spent much time on?
and trafﬁc channels your lead generators enlist at any given
Skip to today: Regulatory scrutiny, politicizing industries,
and consumer activists have brought signiﬁcant changes to
moment in time. Audit URLs the leads are coming from and if they are not compliant, make them compliant.
how we market to and sell our products. Lead flow is down in
Avoid bad actors. There is too much risk in the current
many industries, conversion from third-party marketing has
regulatory environment. We have found that 28% of total ad-
dropped, and compliance expenses are up.
vertiser infractions are due to misleading content on URLs
So, how do we pivot away from this story line, and con-
and 6% contained banned terminology.
nect the gap between lead conversions and compliance data?
4. Make integrated marketing decisions. Direct mar-
1. Put compliance ﬁrst to conﬁdently work all leads.
keting is not a magic button. It’s a series of decisions based on
Check your audit process for all aspects that would make a
metrics using good data and then repeating each day, week,
lead contactable and compliant upon receipt. IntegriShield
month, and year. Combine the data to look at all channels and
found that 9% of an advertiser’s infractions are from missing,
their outcomes—both conversions and compliance risk.
or non-compliant, consumer consent and disclosure language.
Tie conversion metrics to integrity and compliance scores
Examine all the lead pages you own and are afﬁliated with
to determine beginning allocations each month. Remember,
to ensure compliant opt-In language. Otherwise, you end up
you can control your risk. Keep the lead pipeline open by being
returning the leads or eating the costs. It could also result in a
speciﬁc and eliminating offending publishers, but keeping the
good trafﬁc source being shut off for something easily ﬁxed.
vendor “live” for all the quality sources they use.
If a lead slips by and you do work it, the ﬁnes and potential civil penalties could put you out of business.
Businesses depend on lead volume and quality to drive sales. The current trend of fear-based decision making needs
2. Collect detailed lead data. You’ll need objective data to
to become more strategic. Implement compliance processes,
make good marketing decisions. This will take more time with
follow them, and seek solutions before eliminating potential
non-aggregated data, but it can still be done. Better yet, ask your
service providers if they can integrate with other systems. 3. Remediate instead of wasting a lead/source. You may ﬁnd many leads come from pages you had no idea ex-
The tools, data, and ability to regulate your marketing exist. With increased vulnerability has come increased control if you don’t shy away from integrating strategies.
Gayla Huber, IntegriShield president, helps brands monitor, track and enforce regulation for compliant marketing.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Maximize Your Potential
Working with YouTube Influencers by Michael Pomposello
n 2017, influencer marketing is a cornerstone of most media
and others strive to produce videos that will live on forever and
plans being created by top brands and afﬁliates alike. In late
garner most of the views over time from people ﬁnding the
2016 and into early 2017 we are seeing a tremendous rise
video from YouTube or Google search.
in popularity of partnering with YouTube influencer channels,
If you are promoting something directly tied to an upcom-
as they have proven to not only be an effective driver of brand
ing event, such as a holiday promotion, for best success look
awareness, but they are also driving qualiﬁed leads and sales.
to partner with creators who are making videos that people
Let’s look at some guidelines for how to have the most
look to watch right away. The #1 example of this on YouTube are vloggers. This strategy works well because their viewers
successful campaign possible.
tune in right away to see their most recent update when the in-
formation is still relevant. In turn, your offer is seen in a timely
Determining what is “fair” is often a challenge when part-
fashion, as well. It should be noted that because of the nature
nering with influencers of any kind and YouTube influencers
of the vlogs, once the video goes live it has a very short “shelf
are no different. Luckily, there are some standards. These
life” of maximum efﬁcacy.
sponsorships are usually priced on a CPV (cost per view.)
On the contrary, other creators produce content that is in-
“Views” are deﬁned as the number of views publicly listed on
formative to a target audience in perpetuity. While this content
the video page thirty days after it went live. When structuring
will get views from their loyal following when it initially goes
these deals, the channel should provide the number of views
live, the real value that it can provide to a marketer is that it will
they guarantee to hit in a thirty-day window, and the CPV is
be found in both YouTube search results and Google search
multiplied by this number to determine the price of the spon-
results for people looking for relevant solutions. If your offer-
sorship. If the number of views exceeds the guarantee, the
ing is not time sensitive, this is often the best way to go. For
price remains ﬁxed and no additional views are charged.
example, we executed a campaign like this for a Fortune 500 automotive parts retailer by partnering their brand with a You-
Tube creator who makes videos that shows viewers how to
Is my offer evergreen or timely? This question is key when
do their own automotive repair. Any time someone is looking
determining which kind of influencer you want to partner with
up how to ﬁx their car problems, they ﬁnd the creator’s videos
because some put out content that is relevant in the moment,
and are exposed to the sponsor’s brand and links.
Michael Pomposello is co-founder of Influencer Connect and blogs for “The Connection” at influencerconnect.com
· Issue 38 · April 2017
in an Online World by Michelle Held Michelle Held
admit that I missed Afﬁliate Summit West this year. Okay,
ference with cavernous hallways. They regard it as another
that’s a half-truth – I missed most of the sessions I wanted
unavoidable fact of working life, but ASW is informative, valu-
to attend. My session on Social Media for Boring Business-
able, and fun.
es on Sunday afternoon went well. After I presented, I listened
Attending conferences is important for your business
to two of my friends talk at their sessions, and that was it. I
and career advancement. You’ll stay current and connected.
spent the rest of the time catching up with colleagues, meet-
Enjoying them is a matter of ﬁnding the venue that suits you.
ing new people I had connected with via the ASW app, and
There are so many opportunities to connect at ASW. It
hustling to meetings.
begins at the airport, where every year, without fail, I cross
By Sunday evening, one of my fellow speakers joked that
paths with an exhibitor or another attendee during the egress
we had more invitations to dinners than there were dinners. We
from McCarran. The speaker networking event on ASW eve
are in no way unique; that’s just how ASW networking goes.
is always an enriching way to reconnect with those I have not
Together, we squeezed in a few more sessions between
seen since the previous Afﬁliate Summit – East or West. We
meetings, not wanting to miss all the knowledge available. We
spend the evening catching up and making introductions.
worked our way through the energized Meet Market and hit
This year we played golf before heading back to pick up our
the exhibit hall floor several times, each time connecting a
new face to someone we previously knew only via email.
On day two, as I listened to a woman tell me about how
I ﬁnally saw people I had worked with for almost a year
she enjoyed her role at Shopify, we realized that we already
when I helped a brand host an afﬁliate event in one of the
knew each other. We had been on the same conference calls
suites. On the way to more meetings in nearby lounges, I ab-
and email chains but had never seen each other.
solutely had to stop for a selﬁe with a Samurai guarding the
Many of us work in virtual teams, independent of location.
entrance to the Dueling Pianos Lounge. And who could pass
We prefer to Skype, chat, and text. Can’t make that webinar
by that giant photo-op hashtag.
you signed up for? Watch the recording later on. Remember, there is still value in face-to-face interactions. Face time (no,
Like anything else, it’s what you make of it. Afﬁliate Summit West is simultaneously exhausting and fulﬁlling. Some cringe at the thought of another Vegas con-
not the app!) is still a thing. Yes, I have to watch the session speakers I missed on video. Probably at 1.5x playback speed! It was worth it.
Michelle is an author and digital agency owner who blogs on metrony.com and pintalk.net
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Omni-Channel Afﬁliate Program by Daniel Fink
oday’s customer is generally very inquisitive and interested in educating themselves on products before
they decide to make a purchase.
Customers will jump in and out of a merchant’s various
marketing channels before making a purchase, requiring multiple marketing touch points before converting. With each dip
funnel to drive their customers. If you really want to drive more
they take into that marketing pool, a chance to lose or win
mobile leads or sales, then a pay per call program should be
their patronage occurs. It’s important for each channel of the
marketing mix to efﬁciently work with each other to provide a unique, consistent, positive brand experience.
Mobile Marketing – According to ofﬁcial Google statements, more than 50% of all Google searches now take place
If a merchant can provide a true omni-channel experi-
on mobile platforms (I also was witness to this said by Google
ence, not only will they create new high quality customers, but
at the Invoca Summit). Mobile sales have been skyrocketing
retain existing ones and increase order values.
year over year. With more and more access to tablets, smart-
While traditional publishers still play a large role in afﬁliate programs, it’s becoming more and more important to build
phones, and other mobile devices these trends will continue to grow.
out new relationships with more channel speciﬁc partners.
Many merchants aren’t taking advantage of this channel
Creating an afﬁliate channel that ampliﬁes the omni-channel
to its full effect. In fact, a consumer’s omni-channel experi-
experience for a merchant will result in those incremental
ence breaks down many times in this channel due to poor de-
sales and higher order values we’re all looking for these days.
signs on the web experience, overbearing text messages, and
Each channel you approach has its own set of speciﬁc publishers that allow you to expand a program past a more traditional approach.
a slew of other mismanaged or poor design choices. However, the potential for growth here is overwhelming and multi-faceted. On top of pay per call discussed above, we
Let’s take a look at two of the fastest growing channels in
now have publishers to help manage texting programs, inte-
this marketing mix and how they can work together to drive
grations with networks to monetize application marketing,
some serious growth.
and many other mobile publishers.
Phone Calls – Pay per call has been around in afﬁliate for
Pay per call and mobile marketing are just two of the
years now. Most large networks have a pay per call solution,
many channels to explore when building an afﬁliate program
or you can work directly with companies like Invoca. There is
through an omni-channel strategy.
a large sub-set of publishers in this space that do great work
However, by creating a seamless interaction between a po-
generating high quality, high value sales for their partners. It
tential mobile user and a merchant’s call center the afﬁliate pro-
gives a lot of mobile marketing publishers an easy conversion
gram can boost top line revenue with high quality customers.
Daniel Fink is a Senior Afﬁliate Manager at Schaaf-PartnerCentric an Afﬁliate Program Management Service Provider.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
How Direct Mail
Out Performs Digital Channels by Gavin Hodges
irect mail response rates have flourished, compared
4. Appropriately target your audience. However you
to their online counterparts, and it’s time marketers
acquire your lists, make sure the information is accurate and
in-line with your target audience. Start by dividing your ﬁnal
Some might be surprised to know that direct mail remains
list into segments relevant to your campaign. This allows you
a popular and effective marketing channel in 2017, despite liv-
to target recipients individually versus a broad approach that
ing in an age of smart phones and touch screen computers.
hits everyone with the same message that is less effective.
According to the Direct Mail Association (DMA), response
In summary, if done right direct mail campaigns are still
rates took quite the jump in 2016 with a 5.3% response rate to
an effective means of advertising and can yield great results.
house lists and 2.9% to prospect lists.
In fact, due to the saturation of digital marketing in the age we
These are the highest levels the DMA has seen since 2003. To put it in perspective, in 2015 the rates were 3.7% and
are living in, direct mail response rates have flourished compared to their online counterparts. Other digital channels are not even in the same league as
1.0% respectively. Your mailers, if used properly, can offer personalized and memorable pieces in tandem with a multi-channel marketing
direct mail (5.3%) with response rates reported by the DMA as low as: » Paid Search, 0.5%
approach to increase response rates from perspective inquiries.
» Social Media, 0.6%
Follow these essential elements to achieve its true poten-
» Email Marketing, House List:0.6% and Prospect List:
1. Incorporate calls–to-action and personalization to the target audience. Without direction on the next step for
Direct mail also ranks among the top three marketing
the recipient, your piece is just another form of branding that will yield no monetary return. The best advice here is to “keep
channels when comparing ROI:
it simple stupid”. Use a simple yet strong message to show
how customers can beneﬁt from your offer/message.
Social Media, 28%
2. Include contact information and how to act. Make
Direct Mail, 27%
sure your customers know how and who to contact to act.
Paid Search, 25%
Ensure this portion is accessible and stands out so there is no
Online Display, 18%
confusion on how to contact you. 3. Stand out in the Crowd. Think of all of the mail you
Direct mail may not reign supreme over all forms of mar-
get. It can blend together sometimes, right? You should create
keting, but it still remains a very effective marketing channel.
a piece that builds upon the offer and catches the prospects
Don’t let past trends cause you to lose out on direct mail op-
eye among the clutter.
portunities and “Act Now!”
Gavin Hodges is a Marketing Analyst at Target Direct Marketing, leaders in inquiry/lead generation.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Power of the Influencer
Through Video by Melissa D. Salas
Melissa D. Salas
uch like content marketing and social media ad-
creates video e-commerce; where there is commerce, there
vertising, video marketing and influencer market-
is afﬁliate marketing.
ing have become two channels in which brands
Millennials are engaging with brands and elevating the
have invested creatively and strategically. Consumers ex-
importance of brand transparency. Take an existing market-
pect video content to appear with every search they make.
ing campaign and add a video challenge element to it. Imag-
As marketers ﬁnd more innovative ways to keep existing
ine all the short-length videos by beauty gurus pushing your
customers loyal, and grab our target customer’s attention,
product. You can have a video campaign reach millions via
video and influencer marketing should be a part of the ac-
the influencer’s social reach.
With each video campaign, you will see increased views,
There is an observable transition in 2017 from editorial
likes, comments, retweets, pins, shares, etc. It’s any market-
bloggers to video bloggers, thanks to the rise in Facebook
er’s dream of perfect targeting. Create the space for real con-
Live, Instagram Stories, and SnapChat. Video and influencer
versations to happen. That’s where you will ﬁnd conversions.
marketing can help increase interaction with your brand in a
So, who is an influencer? Anyone who is passionate
positive way. Videos tell a story, and stories are more memo-
about anything in its simplistic meaning. People trust peo-
rable than text or flashy banners.
ple. They use the power of free speech to write, say and do
Consumers trust reviews from friends and family, and even strangers, when deciding what products to buy more
what they want in their video. Think of any topic, product or service, and you will ﬁnd a blog for that.
than branded messaging or celebrities. Influencers play a
Influencer marketing is the most cost-effective channel
growing and important role in word-of-mouth advertising.
for acquisition and branding, even when adding the afﬁliate
Influencer marketing is now the fastest-growing customer-
model to invest back into the influencer. Understand that
acquisition channel producing high-quality content with
there is a small production cost for the influencer to cre-
built-in distribution at a cost-effective rate.
ate the content: photographer, videographer, product, hair &
It is highly measurable and can be targeted to very spe-
makeup, styling, etc.
ciﬁc audiences to convert viewers into buyers at any step
Who are your brand advocates? Go after your top 5%
of the shopping journey. Utilize video and tap into the audi-
customers to start. Build a content strategy with those mi-
ences belonging to these influencers who—through personal
cro influencers and invest in them. They are your greatest
touch and authenticity in the content—have trust within their
asset. Need ideas? Try customer testimonials, product dem-
onstration videos, open box unveiling, DIY videos, beauty or
The “vlogger” is usually showcasing the product in everyday life making it more believable. With vlogging, consumers can buy the demonstrated product or service, which
fashion lessons, etc. Start those strategic conversations surrounding video and influencer marketing with your team. The value is there.
Melissa Salas, Global Partnerships Director for Indi.com with 16 years Afﬁliate & Video Marketing experience.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Turn A Handshake Into
Business Success by Jen Goode
etworking is like making new friends, new friends that want to help you make money. Take the time to say hello, take an interest in what others are striv-
ﬁrst two minutes of meeting someone. Instead, if you really
ing to do, and offer to help where your skills or products ﬁt.
click with someone, make a point to set up time to connect
These ﬁve simple steps will help guide you toward network-
after the event, and spend more time getting to know what
ing to grow your business.
business opportunities might be ahead for both of you.
Say hello and chat a bit
Follow-up with a thank you
Of course, start by saying hello and shaking hands. Then
Make sure to follow up in the ﬁrst few weeks after an
stick around and chat, have a real conversation. Share what
event, even if you don’t have a pending deal. This is your op-
you do, what you’re about, how you think you might ﬁt with
portunity to start a relationship with someone in your busi-
the company you are talking to. Ask questions and listen to
ness wheelhouse. Remember to say thank you, and if you
answers. That ﬁrst hello is your opportunity to introduce
enjoyed the conversation and appreciate their time, let them
who you really are.
know. A little thank you goes a long way.
Offer a stellar business card
Check in once in awhile
Your business card is the number one most important
Touch base every now and then to see how others are
item to have at any networking event. It’s a little piece of you
doing. Send a note at least once or twice a year, even if you
and your business that you can leave behind. Your business
don’t have an active project together. A quick hello is a great
card should look great and communicate who you are, what
way to keep your name in front of potential business oppor-
you have to offer, and how you can be reached. Add a bit of
tunities. Share what you’re up to and offer to help in areas
personality; a photo or some kind of visual cue as to who you
you might be a ﬁt.
are, so your card stands out from the stack.
Shaking hands and exchanging cards at an event is just the ﬁrst step. Continue to grow the relationships you start.
Make friends Shake hands with the goal of making new friends. You’re there to meet people and build business relationships. Good, solid relationships don’t happen overnight, let alone in ﬁve minutes. Don’t expect to just walk up and talk deals in the
You never know where someone you’ve met will be in a year. If you aren’t a business ﬁt today, you might be the perfect person for their next project. Rule of thumb: people always prefer to do business with people they like ﬁrst.
Jen Goode, owner of JGoode Designs, illustrator and creativity adventurer, blogging at 100Directions.com.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Happy Afﬁliate Marketers by Sean Yoon McDevitt “Wow, thanks for the science review Sean, but how does this add to my life before my hectic morning commute?” Well as an afﬁliate marketer, you can probably avoid that commute and work from home, dear reader. Kidding! Sean Yoon McDevitt
Here are some tips that have helped me and many others ﬁnd their “Zen” amid the click-bait chaos:
editation is only for those monks over in Tibet,
Make it Routine
right?! Or the granola, “take a shower once a week”
What I’ve found helpful is adding meditation into my
set, but deﬁnitely not for us afﬁliate marketers.
morning routine, which only takes about 5-10 minutes. Yes,
Those in the tech industry who have real world responsibilities
most articles / recommendations / people will suggest 20-30
like a job, bills to pay, and kids to take from soccer to dance to
minutes, or hours on end, but one can still realize the beneﬁts
[insert activity here] don’t have the time for all that woo woo
of meditation with short periods each day, and can eventually
work their way up to longer durations if they so choose.
But what if there are “real world” rewards that would help us all create happier, healthier lives that are sustainable?
Would that turn our attention away from broken afﬁliate links?
All one needs to remember is (1) posture (basically for
To that point, the 2013 Psychology Today article “20 Sci-
the same reason we have ergonomic chairs), (2) the breath
entiﬁc Reasons to Start Meditating Today” focused on how
(something to focus on… and because you can’t take your
simple meditation, or mindfulness practices, can assist us in
laptop everywhere), and (3) be kind to yourself (just like when
becoming more productive afﬁliate rockstars and happier hu-
you see a sale ahead of time from your favorite brand and
create a reminder).
Some of the beneﬁts described in the study (as well as in myriad similar scientiﬁc research papers) include: » Reduced Stress
Practice Lastly, try it out. Beginning a meditation practice will take
» Improved Concentration
exactly that… practice. However, I’ve found it’s wholly worth
» Increased Immune System Health
it – after meditating daily for the last 4 years I have become
» Increased Social Connection & Emotional Intelli-
more productive at work (while less stressed), the normal
annoyances of life have become easier to manage, and my thoughts and emotions are more under my control. I hope you
Those listed above are only a few of the real-world beneﬁts of meditation, and others can be found by the very deskjockey friendly practice of “Googling.”
too can experience the same. Follow these easy steps, and you too will be able to survive your inbox after the next Afﬁliate Summit. Sean is a Senior Partner Manager for Offers.com & Ziff Davis Commerce.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
No Such Thing as a
Free Lead by Darryl Mattox
With the prevalence of social media over the past few years, many schools and companies have shifted their primary marketing strategy to their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. Looking at the higher education sector, our data shows over 35% of inquiries and 43% of enrolled students have come from digital media sources. Social media offers a variety of businesses an opportu-
ecause there’s no such thing as a free lead, we’ll ex-
nity to experience a greater presence and exposure to their
plore how long-term success is achievable through
target market—with a low (or no) cost. Unfortunately, the
an integrated marketing strategy that combines
message’s impact often falls short of the marketer’s expectations. For social media to truly be an effective lead genera-
earned and paid media. We’ve all heard the saying: “There’s no such thing as a
tor, it needs to be paired with paid media.
free lunch.” Well, the same holds true for lead generation.
Most consumers consider social channels to be a re-
There is no such thing as a “free lead”. Every lead has a val-
source for information and/or conﬁrmation. It is paid media
ue, whether coming from paid media (TV, print, PPC, display,
that performs the heavy lifting when it comes to gener-
etc.), or from earned media (SEO, social media, etc.).
ating sales. The converse is true, when paid media is inte-
In fact, leads generated from an integrated marketing strategy, a combination of paid and earned media, tend to be the most cost efﬁcient leads.
grated with a strong social and web presence it becomes a much more effective strategy with increased results. A paid media marketing strategy without earned media,
On its own, earned media has proven not to be an effec-
or vice versa, is like buying a smartphone without a data
tive lead generation source. The idea of “if you build it, they
plan. It works and has plenty of wonderful features, but most
will come” has not been a reliable marketing strategy. How-
won’t function, and its effectiveness as a communication
ever, when used in conjunction with, and as a complement
tool is limited. If you want to achieve long-term results from
to, paid media strategies, it becomes a much more powerful
your marketing efforts, you need a strategic plan that inte-
approach for lead generation.
grates both paid and earned media sources.
Darryl Mattox, Gragg Advertising’s President/COO, a full-service direct response marketing agency and Premier Google Partner.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Why You Need A
Press Release by Angel Rodrigues
press release is the ﬁrst step to telling the world you wrote something and you want everyone to take notice. Authors typically feel uncomfortable with self-
marketing and publishing houses know this. A press release is a task they do for you. If you are self-publishing or going through an indie publisher, a press release may be tasked to
you, the author, but you better make sure that it is created. Fundamentally, no one pours out their heart and soul into their writing, so that it stays a secret. A carefully crafted press release goes out into the world much in the way a business card gets passed around at dinner parties telling others you have something to offer. In today’s society, social media is a comprehensive tool that
titled The Goldﬁnch, Tartt wrote her novel of the same
needs to be used and a press release has incredible reach in
name during her travels and visits to the New York Public
Library on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The Goldﬁnch tells
A writer’s press release has the potential to be Facebook
the story of a 13 year-old boy named Theo Decker who’s
shared, Tweeted, shared on LinkedIn, liked on Instagram, and
world is violently turned upside down when an explosion
emailed millions of times all with the press of a few buttons.
in a museum kills his mother and only person on the
Having a press release isn’t a matter of why, but when.
planet he knew loved and adored him unconditionally.
Below is an example of a press release I wrote for Donna
Donna Tartt began writing poetry at the young age of
Tartt’s The Goldﬁnch. Notice all of the key elements that go
ﬁve, had her ﬁrst publication of poetry in the Mississippi
into the press release. You can include a quick synopsis,
Literary Journal c. 1976, and published her ﬁrst novel
while advertising the work and the author. A press release is
The Secret History in 1992. Inspired by her early years
a promotion of both and that is why you need it.
journaling in the New York Public Library, Tartt found a muse in art history’s missing connection between Rem-
brandt and Vermeer, with the painting The Goldﬁnch by
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dutch artist Carel Fabritius in 1654. Coupled with a trip
Contact: (Publisher or Author if Self-Publishing)
to Las Vegas, Tartt wrote The Goldﬁnch surround a little
Oﬃce: (Phone Number and/or email)
yellow bird painting that is forever etched in the heart-
Launch of The Goldﬁnch by Donna Tartt
ache of a young boy who’s life is slowly snuffed out like
New York – Author Donna Tartt grew up in Grenada, Mis-
a canary in a cold mine.
sissippi and attended college at Bennington College in
Tartt has written three novels, four ﬁction short stories,
Vermont. Inspired by a 1654 painting by Carel Fabritius,
three non-ﬁction short stories.
Angel Rodrigues is a program manager and freelance writer.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Set T.R.A.P.S. For
Higher Google Rankings by Jason Ciment Jason Ciment
ntroducing T.R.A.P.S. - the system for evergreen SEO rank-
Compelling copy with attractive images and videos.
ings. Build a Technically optimized site with Relevant
View websites your prospects visit, get referred to, or
content. Engage your Audience, Partner for backlinks and
stumble upon. Preempt people’s questions. Differentiate your messaging. Elevate your credibility, likability, and repu-
Share web content. Would you be happy leaving your house before getting dressed? Probably not. Plan out your site wardrobe with a Technical “on-page” optimization checklist.
tation. Make your content natural, not contrived. Keep people interested in what you have to say. Grow your backlinks – off-page optimization. Obtain con-
These are the items you need: page title tags; meta
textually relevant links from authoritative (i.e. powerful) websites.
title and description tags; H1-H3 headline tags; schema ar-
A link from a legal post on CNN or Hufﬁngton Post is
chitecture; keywords in URLs; keywords in subdirectories;
worth far more to a lawyer than a link on a wellness site with
SEO Plugins (e.g. Yoast); cache to speed up page load times;
low trafﬁc or engagement scores.
sitemap (free at www.xml-sitemaps.com); Google and Bing Webmaster accounts, and Google Analytics.
Think of backlinks as a “Virtual Partnership”, where links flow naturally. Give someone a good reason to link to you.
Create a content plan to consistently grow original website
See the content powerful sites are promoting. Create
content with RELEVANT and targeted keywords. Be interesting
content that attracts them to repost it and link to you. Gear
to prospective clients and referral partners. Create pathways
your content to resonate with other sites’ needs.
for visitors to “get stuck” on your site - not like on flypaper,
Find highly shared relevant articles. Write a version on a similar topic with your own perspective.
but like licking a tootsie roll. Review competitor sites: services and product pages; headlines and sub-headlines; blog and video topics; keyword terms and phrases; case studies and industry expertise; and, Industry awards and associations Insert keyword phrases into: video, image and docu-
Try a top ten list - blog post, article, video, slideshow or infographic. SHARE your content with 5-10 people who shared the original content. Tell them they are part of a pre-release list. Ask them to post it.
ment names; anchor text of links; sentences, paragraphs
Social adoption brings all the pieces of T.R.A.P.S. together.
and lists; and header, title and “alt” tags.
Get people to like, follow, share and retweet your web
Next, engage your Audience. Use branding and messaging to keep people engaged. The rules are simple. 1.
Easy navigation menu and linking architecture.
Clear headlines (H1 tag) that match the meta title, meta description and messaging.
pages, Facebook updates, YouTube videos, Tweets, and Pinterest boards. If people keep sharing your content, it keeps it alive and relevant – thus producing evergreen rankings. Pax Vobiscum
Jason Ciment co-founded www.GetVisible.com. He’s launched several businesses, and is formerly a CPA and attorney.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Tips to Network
Like a Beast by Ricky Ahuja
» Have a goal. Be clear on your objective for attending. If it is to meet other like-minded afﬁliates, do so. If it is
hile I do not proclaim to be a great networker, I feel I
to meet advertisers, then do that. If it is just to hook up,
can hold my own. Having attended countless Afﬁli-
well, no comment there. :-)
ate Summits over the past ten years, I am always
amazed at companies that send employees to represent their
Here are some tips from some experienced networkers:
brand but are either shocked by the sheer number of people in attendance or just lack the skills to network effectively. Here are some pointers to help you overcome your in-
“When you go to a show, focus on building your brand and reputation. Make sure you stand out to people because you understand your business. Make them WANT to work
with you and ﬁnd a way. ~ Steve Lowry, Nutryst » Be prepared. Take stock of the products or services you
“Make sure that you set both the expectations and the
offer and how it can beneﬁt your consumers/clients. It’s
exact details of why you are meeting someone. Use email
not about you, it’s about them.
to “feel out” the person and why you are meeting. While its
» Dress for success. Be well groomed and approachable,
always great to get dinner with a great client, wasting time
and please do not show up hungover from the night be-
and money on someone who is just going to chat with you
fore. Whether you are an employee of an organization
about their need for a job will never help.” ~ Pesach Lattin,
or representing your brand, wear your company’s logo
proudly. This will make it easy for others to identify the
“Have it be more about making connections than try-
company you represent without having to ask who you
ing to strike up a business deal right away. If you know what
you have is awesome and works, then be conﬁdent about it.
» Arrive early. Meet as many people as you can as often.
Don’t be shy about trying to shake as many hands as pos-
» Have business cards. This is a personal favorite of
sible.” ~ Case Gilbreath, Click Syndicate
mine with many of the attendees “running out” of cards
the very ﬁrst morning. The fact of the matter is - they
Ok great, you’ve made contacts. Now what? Follow up,
either don’t have them or they just forgot. For me per-
a very important step. Within a few days of the event send a
sonally, I tend to take pics of people I talk to and send
‘nice to have met you’ note. Pass on any useful information
that as a text message to them along with notes so this
to speciﬁc persons you met at the event. That will generate
way you both have a point of reference for future dialog.
goodwill. Finally, close the deal.
Ricky Ahuja, a serial entrepreneur, ﬁfteen-year veteran of the industry and Co-Founder of InvioPro.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Dollar a Day
Facebook Hacks by Dennis Yu
couple weeks ago, my buddy, Bryce Clark, got ripped Dennis Yu
off by a Phoenix used car dealer. And though his earlier efforts were shot down, the dollar a day hack targeting
employees of the dealership got resolution within 48 hours. Isaac Irvine, who manages the personal brands at GoDaddy, used the dollar a day tactic last month to get a speaking gig at WordCamp Atlanta. He made one minute videos and ampliﬁed (boosted) to micro-audiences of tech influencers.
If you don’t have “proof”, then no amount of boosting or
We had Adidas as a client for social ads and analytics,
targeting will make up for this. The dollar a day hack is an
then used those examples to target employees of Nike work-
ampliﬁer-- it multiplies by 1,000. So if you start with zero,
ing in marketing in Beaverton. This tactic got us meetings,
multiplying by 1,000 still gives you zero.
which then led to my dream deal. I’ve done this hundreds of times over the last ten years and it works like a charm.
How does this apply to you? Anything that’s working for you, make sure there is proof online. It could be a picture of you with someone famous
It’s not software or cheating. Rather, it’s about super
(creates “authority” via social validation), an article you wrote
micro-targeted saved audiences in Ads Manager based on
or that mentions you, or something from a client of yours.
workplace targets paired with “journalistic” content.
The key is THEY must be talking about you, not you talking
The key is not the micro-targeting, but the high author-
ity that comes from proof, ideally published on a reputable
And then you boost it from your page, not your user pro-
website. For example, we do Facebook ads for the Golden
ﬁle. People get this confused all the time, thinking their pro-
State Warriors. Nowhere on BlitzMetrics.com do we talk
ﬁle is a Facebook “page”.
about this. Instead, Facebook placed a case study on their
Mark Lack used the dollar a day boost to generate more
blog. The American Marketing Association posted our step-
speaking deals and lucrative consulting clients. He inter-
by-step process for Facebook remarketing on their site. And
viewed Tai Lopez at his house and then boosted that video
the digital team at the Warriors talk about us at conferences.
ﬁrst to people who like Tai Lopez, generating tens of thou-
When we see this high authority content hit, we share
sands of views. Then he switched the audience mid-boost to
it from our BlitzMetrics page and/or my public ﬁgure page, then boost for a dollar a day to people who work at the NBA, the Chicago Bulls, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and so forth.
people that work at major media outlets. Are you ready to become famous or drop nuclear bombs for a dollar a day?
Dennis Yu is CTO of BlitzMetrics, where he provides digital training programs for young adults.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
How Networks Save Their
MVP Afﬁliates by Rob Israch Rob Israch
You need to consider third-party tracking, because elite
etworks come and networks go. In our dealings with
afﬁliates have their own numbers that need to be recon-
some of the leading and emerging networks over
ciled with yours. A strong analytics platform (e.g. Cake,
the last ﬁve years, we’ve realized a pattern. The ones
HasOffers, HitPath, LinkTrust, etc.) brings indisputable
that thrive go beyond the survival mode of getting as many
performance numbers to the table as the basis for the
afﬁliates as possible.
Elite networks constantly add layers of service and rev-
» Make It a Breeze. Efﬁcient management of offers and
erence for their afﬁliates. Networks with longevity under-
opportunities are key to streamlining afﬁliate operations.
stand that premier, high-performing afﬁliates - the top 20%
The less manual processes are involved, the lower the
of their base - often end up contributing 80-90% of their vol-
friction is for adoption and ongoing engagement.
ume. The MVPs (most valuable partners) keep the network
Let the afﬁliate focus their creativity and energy around
afloat, while the rest of the population churns looking for the
educating and selling to their audience, rather than the
technical details of coding URLs or having to spend
Keeping your MVPs happy should be a major focus, if
hours hunting for the right offers. You can eliminate
not THE focus. A network’s reputation for stellar support
their paralysis from getting something done simply by
gets around. And with new networks and opportunities con-
making offers easier to understand and deploy.
stantly being introduced, the competitive landscape for their
» Know Why They Leave. Do you think afﬁliates are there
mindshare is mounting, and increasingly global. So, it’s not
to make you money? Of course not. They are the ﬁrst
just about high bounties. It’s about smooth service and an
to admit that their loyalty is only as certain as their last
commission payment. In one study, we discovered that
The number one thing you can do to grow your afﬁliate
48% of afﬁliates said they dropped a network because of
base with loyal, high-performing partners is to get smarter
a payment issue. Even more sobering, of the remaining
by reducing the friction in your network interactions.
afﬁliates, 46% say they would leave if payment problems arose. That puts nearly three-quarters of your network at
» Get on the Same Page. MVP afﬁliates tend to be data-
risk due to poor processes.
savvy. It’s in their DNA, which is what enables them to
This is just one example. Whether it’s commission fails,
drive the trafﬁc that makes them valued partners in the
poor communication, or lack of interesting offers, net-
ﬁrst place. The more your network can offer MVPs real-
works must proactively address issues that are hot but-
time, rich, transparent analytics, the more they trust your
tons for their top afﬁliates if they want to attract and
network to operate above-board.
retain the highest quality partners. Rob Israch is CMO at Tipalti, the leading afﬁliate payments automation solution in the industry.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
How To Respond To
by Adam Dahlen Adam Dahlen
them reconsider your application. You can further bolster your case by succinctly describing how you plan on promot-
ejection is unpleasant. For an afﬁliate, getting de-
ing their brand, and providing speciﬁc examples of previous
clined for a merchant’s program can feel like a per-
work you’ve done. A good afﬁliate manager will appreciate a
sonal affront. As with any setback, there is a right
thoughtfully crafted explanation how you can be an asset to
way and a wrong way to respond. This article outlines best
practices for responding to a merchant when your application to their afﬁliate program is declined.
Don’t Threaten the Merchant Under no circumstances should an afﬁliate ever respond
Review Your Proﬁle
to a declined application by threatening a merchant. By ap-
After receiving an email informing you that your applica-
plying to a merchant’s afﬁliate program you are asking to be
tion was declined, your ﬁrst impulse might be to immediately
their partner. Ask yourself if you would want to do business
reach out and ask why. The best course of action is to resist
with someone if the ﬁrst interaction you had with them was
that urge. Instead, review the email and see if a reason for
being threatened? Regardless if it’s a threat to send business
the decision was given. This can help provide valuable guid-
elsewhere, write a bad review, or something else, threats are
ance before following up.
counterproductive and always inappropriate.
Next, take a moment to review your network proﬁle to see if it contains missing or improperly formatted informa-
How to Follow Up if the Answer is Still “No”
tion. Make sure to review details such as your business
If a merchant is still reluctant to approve you for their
name, URL(s), state or country, and earnings rank. Your ap-
program, try your best to be understanding. For example, if
plication may have been declined for clerical reasons, such
a merchant says they simply can’t work with sites utilizing
as not listing a working URL, the domain of your email does
your promotional model, respect their decision and under-
not match your site, or being located in nexus tax state.
stand that it may not be the agency or afﬁliate manager’s personal decision.
Be Professional and Succinct
Don’t respond by spamming the merchant with con-
When following up with a merchant, it is important to be
stant applications. That will just lead to your applications
professional above all else. Remember, this is a business re-
being blocked and create the impression that you are sloppy
lationship you’re looking to establish and your response here
will set the tone.
Instead, a productive way to keep things open is to ask
An appropriate way to respond would be to thank the
for permission to reapply at a later date. An afﬁliate manager
merchant for reviewing your application and ask if there if is
should appreciate your professionalism and it will serve you
any additional information you could provide that might help
well in the future.
Adam is the Director of Performance Marketing at iAfﬁliate Management
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Writing Creative Copy
in a 9-5 Setting by Ben Opsahl
hear it often: “An ofﬁce job isn’t for me. I need to feel free. I can’t control creativity.” When I started copywriting in an ofﬁce setting, I had
the same fears. I had the experience and practice I knew were necessary, but I repeated the mantra nonetheless: I can’t write creatively in a 9-5 setting. I was wrong. Here are the tricks I’ve used to change my perspective:
Schedule your freedom Don’t look at your 9-5 timeframe as a restriction. Follow-
ing a tight schedule can actually offer freedom - it eliminates blockers that prevent creativity from coming naturally. Make your 9-5 schedule work for you rather than against. 2.
Identify your “ﬁeld” and your “lab”
Find your own motivation Not every project will be inspiring, but you can ﬁnd ways
Copywriters can learn from lepidopterists. Lepidopter-
to get motivated within the context of corporate objectives.
ists go out in the ﬁeld to catch butterflies, then take them
It’s often simple, like deciding to write your next article so
back to the lab for analysis, where they have proper equip-
well that you’re proud to share it on your personal Facebook
page. I get motivated to make my writing better for myself,
They don’t just go to any ﬁeld, though. They track where
not just the company. The passion -and creativity- seem to
they’ve found great specimens and keep coming back.
Copywriters do the same. When you ﬁnd your ﬁeld - whether
As writers, it’s our instinct to impart creativity on every-
it’s a physical space or a state of mind (think music) - keep going back to it.
Don’t fear formulas
thing. As copywriters, it’s our job to be effective, not special.
Your “ﬁeld” might be your lunch break, Twitter feed or
Of course, we are special... but we don’t need to prove it on
nightly Netflix binge. Your “lab” is where you put it together.
every project. Knowing when to stick to the formula and not
One thing is certain: you can’t spend all your time isolated in
be creative is an asset. Sometimes a new angle is neces-
the lab (no butterflies) or the ﬁeld (no results).
sary, but overdoing it will inevitably leave you with mediocre
Forget your best ideas
results (and a headache).
Spontaneous ideas come with creativity - but allowing
Challenge your process
them to fester will cause fatigue. Write them down and for-
Do television breaks and wine really improve your writ-
get about them until you’re back in the lab. This feels “lazy” or
ing? Or are you simply comfortable with your process? Try
“uncommitted” at ﬁrst, but it can actually improve the quality
challenging it. I’ve learned to let go of some basic beliefs
of your ﬁnal product. If you never clock out, you can never
I had about myself - including, above all, that self-fulﬁlling
clock in with a fresh perspective.
prophecy: “I can’t write creative copy in a 9-5 setting”.
Ben Opsahl is the in-house copywriter at Advidi, an afﬁliate marketing network based in Amsterdam.
· Issue 38 · April 2017
Flat Fee Placements-
All About Timing by Jonathan Goodwin
ne of the best optimization tactics in afﬁliate marketing is securing flat fee placements. There are several ways your afﬁliate program can beneﬁt from paid
flat-fee placements: driving more new-customers (NTF) to
This will help gauge which placements resonate well with
your site, dramatically increasing trafﬁc, and getting in front of
their audience. Some placements work really well, and
more customers can help build brand-awareness.
some don’t work at all. It’s good practice to pinpoint which works well in the beginning, versus spending 10K and have
But that doesn’t mean you start spending $10K-$20K im-
nothing to show for it.
mediately hoping it yields a solid ROI. Several factors that go into making your flat-fee placements work: research, the right
Planning. Now that you’ve had the chance to test which
offer, competitor promotions, targeting peak-selling season,
placements work best, you can really hone-in and plan ef-
brand awareness and proper publisher testing.
fectively throughout the year. This will set-up your afﬁliate
You have to be patient, test, and time it just right in order for the flat-fee placement to be effective.
program for success as you anticipate peaks and valleys and provide the flexibility to double-down on placements
Whether you’re launching a brand new afﬁliate program or
during Q4 or other additional selling seasons and save
managing a mature one, the approach in securing prime real
budget in the off-season. Having a promotional cadence
estate on afﬁliate sites is the same.
calendar will be handy when it comes time to start securing flat-fee placements with your publishers, as you’ll have
Research. One of the ﬁrst things you need to do is re-
visibility into upcoming promotions.
search, and understand the consumer to publisher be-
Anytime you have the additional budget for securing flat
havior, understand their audience, and demographic.
fee placements, do your diligence and take your time in
Testing. Once you have a good handle on the publishers
researching and testing which afﬁliates will work well for
that ﬁt your brand, you’ll want to work with a publisher who
you. Plan accordingly on the right time to get in front of as
will allow you to test placements in exchange for commis-
many customers as you can, in order to give you the best
sion increases (or exclusive coupons, vanity codes, TM+),
chance of realizing a return on your ad-spend. Flat-fee
before you start throwing thousands of dollars at them.
placements will work when the timing is right. Jonathan Goodwin is the Director of Strategy at JEBCommerce