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Issue 40 ― October 2017

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r Affiliates e p u S t a Wh Networks m o r f d e Ne e 30 By Jonath

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Issue 40 · October 2017

Table of Contents 2

Do Not Quit - Everything is Temporary

3

3 Steps to Boost Facebook Ads ROI

4

5

Broken Links – Broken Promises

By Chris Tradgett

A/B Testing: Do More With Less

8

High Volume Email Marketing Today Affiliates Liability in the Online Gaming Industry

By Zach Kwarta By Ellie Johnston By Tal Ron

11

Dealing with Conflicts in Business

12

How Much Can I Make?

13

5 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine

14

Avoiding Unnecessary Regulation in High-Risk Verticals

16

Blogging Will Transform Your Brand and Business

17

Primed to Purchase: Improving Mobile Affiliate Marketing

18

Get Noticed Using Beacon Technology

By Anthony Kane

20

The ROI of a Lifetime

By Shawn Collins

21

Social Media Posts – Career Killer?

By Mike Carney

22

The Evolution of the Affiliate Profile

By Teodora Chiribelea

Fine for Affiliate Marketing to Ignore GDPR?

25

The Business Canary in the Coal Mine

26

Why “Offline” Matters in an Online World

28

Things to Keep in Mind When Merging

29

Why Develop a Partnership with Your AM?

30

What Super Affiliates Need from Affiliate Networks

32

Co-Publishers Missy Ward, Shawn Collins

By Michelle Held

7

24

STAFF Co-Editors in Chief Missy Ward, Shawn Collins

By Dmitriy Kruglyak

Getting Social at Affiliate Summit East

9

By Shawn Collins

The Global Value of Affiliate Marketing

Contributing Writers

Ricky Ahuja, Jonathan Brown, Mike Carney, Teodora Chiribelea (former Dobjanschi), Shawn Collins, Kevin Edwards, Travis Glenn, JB Glossinger, Michelle Held, Rachel Honoway, Michael Jaconi, Zac Johnson, Ellie Johnston, Christin Kaemke, Anthony Kane, Micky Khanna, Dmitriy Kruglyak, Zach Kwarta, Sean Yoon McDevitt, Heather Petersen, Tal Ron, Chris Tradgett, Ken Weiss

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

By Travis Glenn By Rachel Honoway By JB Glossinger By Heather Petersen By Zac Johnson By Michael Jaconi

By Micky Khanna By Sean Yoon McDevitt By Christin Kaemke By Ricky Ahuja By Ken Weiss By Jonathan Brown By Kevin Edwards

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 40 · October 2017

Editor’s Note

Do Not Quit Everything is Temporary by Shawn Collins

At Christmas, my dad saw the rag sheet for our frater-

I

nity, and he laughed about how I was in the “America’s Most t’s not easy being an entrepreneur. But if you’re in it, you don’t need me to tell you that.

Wanted Club”, and how all the ladies were after me. My brother (thanks, Mike) pointed out that it was because

It’s a series of peaks and valleys. The bad times can

of my arrest, which I hadn’t mentioned to my dad. I figured

seem impossible. The key is to realize that there is always an-

it was a good time to mention my 1.0 GPA, and my dad sug-

other summit (see what I did there?).

gested I consider enlisting in the US Army.

Back in fall 1988, I was a college freshman and fraternity pledge.

It was an uncomfortable scene at home, so I headed back to school to see my new girlfriend and prepare for my fraterni-

When the semester started, I was excited to take 16 credits. It didn’t last. I skipped classes, failed quizzes, did pledge chores, and partied.

ty “Hell Week.” She nervously informed me that she’d missed her period, and thought she may be pregnant. “Hell Week” was starting the next day, and I felt hopeless

A month into the semester, there was a fraternity camp-

and miserable. My future looked bleak, and I didn’t want to get

ing trip. The first night was fun, the first morning was not.

out of bed. So, I did the only thing I could do – I got out of bed

Long story short, I got arrested.

and confronted my mess.

I went on with life and forgot about it. One day, I got a subpoena to appear in court. Damn. During the semester, I dropped Latin. Then I dropped Geology. By December, I had nine credits left, and finished with a 1.0 GPA. Then I had my court date.

“Hell Week” ended, she wasn’t pregnant, I worked hard enough to not get kicked out of school, and spent most Saturdays and Sundays in 1989 doing community service. During community service, I’d listen to my off-brand Walkman, and one of the cassettes I had was “Shooting Rub-

I thought the whole thing was a joke. I didn’t get a law-

berbands at the Stars” from Edie Brickell & New Bohemians.

yer, and my co-defendant went home for winter break. The

There was a lyric in the song “Circle” that made me smile and

judge wasn’t as playful about it. He sentenced me to Proba-

pushed me. She sang, “Everything is temporary.”

tion Before Judgment with 500 hours of community service

And it was. It got better. It wasn’t easy, but I came out on

(not joking, I still have the paperwork – it was a “frat prank”

the other side. I learned some lessons, got my shit together,

gone awry).

and moved on to the next summit.

2

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


· Issue 40 · October 2017

3 Steps to Boost

Facebook Ads ROI by Dmitriy Kruglyak

F

Dmitriy Kruglyak

acebook Ads are all the rage these days. Advertisers

with massive ROI, pause your campaigns and rethink the flow.

and affiliates alike are finding it to be a must-have

Document your current state in detail.

marketing channel. However, few people use the Face-

book Ad platform to the fullest potential, and many are not finding the kind of success they expect.

Step 2: Analyze and Redesign the Journey Steps Once you have basic tracking and analytics in place, look at every step of the Customer Journey, and think where your

What Top Pitfall is Being Overlooked?

prospects are dropping off and why.

First, let’s assume you’ve done the Advertising 101 ba-

Does the flow of steps make sense for your target audi-

sics. Yes, you’ve researched your target market and built a

ence? Are there redundant steps that may confuse them? Do

customer persona. Yes, you’ve designed the highly engaging

you have some specific poorly converting pages? Are the spe-

ad creatives. Yes, you’ve identified Facebook targeting ele-

cific offers and messages aligned with your audience mindset

ments that represent your market. Yet, you may be missing

at each step?

the bigger picture.

After answering these questions, you should have a good

The #1 thing most Facebook advertisers get wrong is

idea of how the new Customer Journey should look, and which

missing out on the power of Facebook audiences. Many have

pages and offers need to change. Then, be sure to implement

a basic understanding that custom audiences are important.

necessary technical tracking for each of those new steps.

But most lack the processes and systems to use them correctly. You can transform your Facebook advertising with an easy, three step process.

Step 3: Tailor Marketing Campaigns for Each Step Now that you have your new roadmap, start driving. Every step in your Customer Journey is now represented by a custom audience. You’ll know exactly how and why your

Step 1: Map Your Existing Customer Journey

prospects got to that step, and what goes through their head.

Have you defined and documented the steps your pros-

You’ll be able to design just the right message to move

pects and customers go through? How many touchpoints

them from point a to point b. For example, a marketing mes-

and channels are involved? What are the likely thoughts and

sage to an acquisition audience could be informational. Then,

concerns going through customer’s head at the specific steps

the audiences built from the people who engaged would be

in the journey? Are you tracking every step properly with Face-

targeted by specific flash sale deals.

book pixel? Do you have the audiences and custom conversions built for each key step? Do you run retargeting ads for all those steps? If you answer no to any of these questions, your Facebook advertising is flying blind. Unless you are already running

Key Takeaway The best Facebook Ad programs are built around retargeting your prospects at every step. Learn how to do this, or find a solution provider who can help you.

Dmitriy Kruglyak runs TargetChoice LLC, offering processes, software and services for Facebook Ad management. dk@targetchoice.com

3


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Michelle Held

A

Getting Social at Affiliate Summit East by Michelle Held

nother successful Affiliate Summit is behind us. I’ve written about the benefits of traveling to confer-

an opportunity to meet people which can also lead to a face-

ences before, but lately I’ve noticed there are many

to-face meeting.

posts questioning if attending a conference is truly worth it.

I’ve made quite a few great connections on Twitter, Linke-

With unlimited blogs, social media connections, webi-

dIn, and even Pinterest. Like live events, webinar attendees

nars, and online newsletters available, you might also wonder

usually have the chance to ask questions. However, audience

if it makes sense to travel to a conference or trade show.

members generally don’t have the opportunity to interact with

The in-person conference is indeed a valuable part of a

each other.

business strategy, but only when you carefully choose events

I’ll admit I did not have high expectations for the roundta-

that fit your needs. Attending a convention brings together

ble discussions at ASE. The time slot was early in the morning

people who normally don’t interact with each other, like audi-

on the first day. However, with many registrants still dragging

ence members.

luggage, the tables were well attended. I was impressed by

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at both Affiliate Sum-

how many people sat down and stayed the entire time. The

mit East and West for the past few years. I’m also one of the

roundtable discussions provided another face-to-face op-

Newcomer Program volunteers, and for the first time this year,

portunity for attendees to share information, listen to experi-

I ran one of the roundtable discussions. As a speaker, I can as-

ences, ask questions, and network.

sure Affiliate Summit attendees that I and my fellow speaker colleagues genuinely want you to attend our sessions.

Sure a few moved on to other tables, but most stayed with one of the facilitators. I was talked out by lunch time.

It’s not because we hope to generate leads, but because

The Newcomer Program provides, for both the veteran

we want to teach, share our experiences, and exchange infor-

and the newbie, another opportunity to network and learn.

mation. Sure, I’ve led webinars on some of the same topics

Through this program, I’ve met online marketers from all over

I talk about at conferences and workshops. However, those

the world. Then there are the networking opportunities con-

never compare to the interaction and energy that occurs with

ferences provide. For me, the one-on-one meetings, evening

a live audience. We want to meet you and start a personal

dinners, and happy hours provide exceptional learning oppor-

connection.

tunities and future collaborations.

Of course, webinars and video calls have their advan-

Isn’t it amazing what you can communicate and learn

tages as well. The most obvious is that they save money on

from someone when you are face-to-face? Affiliate Summit

travel and production expenses. Social media also provides

West will be here before you know it.

4

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


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Broken Links Broken Promises by Chris Tradgett

I

Chris Tradgett

n my ASE17 session on migrating your affiliate program, I

may not have read the email informing them of the change in

outlined a key aspect of moving your affiliate program that

that time. It is important to allow sufficient overlap time of at

most marketers ignore or pay too little attention to – poten-

least a month for affiliates to change their links from the old

tially at their peril. There have been many posts and articles written about the numbers of steps you need to pay attention to in moving

program to new tracking. It may be worth incentivizing the affiliates to change links, perhaps with enhanced commissions for the overlap period.

your affiliate program from one network to another network, an in-house network, or a tracking technology partner.

Your Brand and the Network 404 Page

Most of the issues around planning and implementation

However well you have managed those affiliate link trans-

have been amply explored by some of the best thinkers and

fers to your new network, there will always be a few that don’t

writers in our industry. What has been little touched on has

get changed. That’s what many affiliate managers will tell

been the aftermath from moving networks.

themselves anyway – however, the reality can be a very different picture.

Moving Affiliates

From recent analysis of a selection of programs in several

Your active affiliates, with whom you have most contact,

sectors and markets, which migrated several years ago, there

should be easy to work with for migration, and most will hap-

are still many thousands of affiliate websites with old links, now

pily change links. Bear in mind that for many affiliates, your

leading to a network 404 page. For example, four years after

decision can make a pile of work in finding the links across

moving from Rakuten’s Linkshare, Publisher Discovery data still

what may be many websites.

shows over 20,000 affiliate websites with iTunes links.

It is worth using your inbound link analysis logs (if avail-

From a brand owner’s perspective, this makes for a real

able from the network) to understand the pages traffic is be-

headache. The consumer finds a link to your brand on a com-

ing referred from. That way you can provide valuable infor-

pelling website, which then leads through to a dead link and a

mation to the affiliate on the pages where there are links that

very poor brand experience.

need changing.

This is something that is an issue for most networks and tracking providers; some offer a page of similar offers which is

Overlap Before Closure

not ideal. However, once a brand has migrated their program

I recently heard an OPM state that their client having ini-

and left them, it has to be up to the brand or their OPM to man-

tially only allowed for one month overlap of the networks to

age those affiliates and provide the incentive to make the link

migrate, then cut that to one week. Many of those affiliates

changes.

Chris Tradgett co-founder of Publisher Discovery and has worked in affiliate marketing for 15+ years.

5


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· Issue 40 · October 2017

A/B Testing: Do More With Less by Zach Kwarta Zach Kwarta

I

magine being able to double your website conversions,

Google Analytics has this functionality built in through a

sales, or profit without spending another dime on more

couple of reports. Look for the report called “Behavior Flow” in

traffic. A statement like that sounds impossible, or some-

the Behavior category and set your landing page to the start

thing a snake-oil salesman might promise. But, with A/B test-

of your funnel. Alternatively, you can use the “Reverse Goal

ing, it might be closer than you think.

Path” report, to work your way backwards from the comple-

In the most simplistic example, A/B testing splits your

tion of your goal.

website traffic into two different experiences, and measures

I recommend starting with the most leaky part of your

the differences of things like bounce rate, conversion rate,

funnel, the point where the most users are dropping off. Typi-

CTR (Click Through Rate), or time on page.

cally, this is the start of their journey on a key landing page,

Believe it or not, simple things like changing your CTAs (Calls To Action), headline copy, and imagery can have huge impacts on your website performance.

and if testing proves successful, it can drive significantly more users through your funnel at no added cost. Now, it’s time to test. You can begin to test the small

Where to start? There are plenty of testing providers that

things referenced earlier in this article to see if they have any

can help get you up and running in only a few minutes. Do a

immediate impact on your site’s performance. These smaller

quick search for them on Google – they range from free to

changes will generally take quite a bit of time to reach test-

pricey. Every solution will be a bit different, depending on your

ing significance, the measure of confidence that the change

site’s traffic and needs. Most of the tools require only adding

is impacting things. Sites with smaller levels of traffic also will

a tag on your website to get started, and there are plugins for

fall into this trap.

popular platforms like WordPress to make setup even faster.

Don’t be afraid to test major changes. I’ve seen the great-

After you have an A/B testing platform up and running,

est improvements happen with complete site transforma-

the common first question is, “What do I test?” This is where

tions, new page layouts, or changes to the entire funnel itself.

the fun begins.

Most of the time your testing will result in negligible or

First, look inside your website analytics, and identify your

negative results - don’t despair. Once you find a winning test,

most common and important funnel path - the one most users

be sure to change the traffic allocation to 100%, hard-code

go through to generate your websites desired action (clicks on

the changes when able to do so, and move on to the next test.

links, sales of a product, lead contacts through your website).

Happy Testing!

Chris Tradgett co-founder of Publisher Discovery and has worked in affiliate marketing for 15+ years.

7


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Ellie Johnston

E

High Volume Email Marketing Today by Ellie Johnston

mail remains king. Affiliate marketers still achieve the

High volume senders need to focus on segmentation.

best quality leads, for the least money, with email. And

Segment by ISP (Gmail, Apple, AOL, etc.), and then via prefer-

mailers of all shapes and sizes still get pursued by af-

ences and engagement levels.

filiate networks like they’re Megan Fox, Gigi Hadid, and Jessica Rabbit all rolled up into one (or The Rock, Ryan Gosling, and Don Draper... whatever fires your pixel).

2. Keep It Clean A clean list is a lean list. It’s filled with only live humans

But the game of mailing has changed in the past ten years. Significantly.

who have a genuine interest in your offerings. Today’s ESPs and ISPs carefully monitor opens and clicks. You need to

If you mail to less than quarter million records a day, life

show active user engagement to keep your reputation intact.

is good. Numerous ESPs (Email Service Providers) offer styl-

Now domains are turning into credit scores. Domain

ish templates and reasonable pricing. Your ESP loves you and your modest volume. Good client. Goooood client. However!

reputation trumps IP reputation. High-volume mailing is different. You must have a clean list, but high quality IPs are still the life-blood of mass mailing.

If you’re one of the precocious ones; a hardcore data collector or a serious volume sender, roadblocks abound. It can

3. Do the Math

feel like the ESPs and the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are

Most affiliate mailers do great with one or multiple ESPs.

out to get you, as all the service providers have HAD. IT. They

Just set it and forget it. But if you are mailing north of half a

are fed-up with bot-nets and phishing schemes. As a result,

million daily, start researching mailing platforms. They require

responsible you, with your double opt-in, scrubbed lists get

more technical knowledge, but the savings are substantial.

lumped into the same basket of deplorables (too soon?). Guidelines for success in the increasingly complex email landscape:

A decade ago, all you needed was a fairly clean list, a decent C block, and a powerful MTA. Today you need top notch IPs, a squeaky-clean list, and email software that can send not just powerfully, but also with enough sophistication to navi-

1. Know Your List

gate ISP filtering in terms of rate limits, IP reputation, domain

You must connect (ideally emotionally) with your recipi-

reputation etc.

ents to be successful. And you can. It’s never been easier to

Email makes social media and banner ads look like Danny

segment and send personalized messaging. Most standard

Devito in a down pour. It has gotten more complex and dynam-

ESPs offer oodles of ways to slice and dice your lists. Use

ic, yet email remains lucrative. So, go for the gold. Send per-

these tools.

sonalized, segmented email from a well aged domain today.

8

Ellie Johnston works at VoloMP, the preeminent high-volume software provider for over 17 years.


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Affiliates Liability in the Online Gaming Industry by Tal Ron Tal Ron

O

nline gaming continues its explosive growth, free

posits. All affiliates do is market online, which could be seen

of any territorial borders. The close relationship be-

as the same role held by TV commercials or billboards.

tween operators and affiliates stands as one of the

However, in the regulator’s eyes, affiliates are incentivized

industry’s essential pillars, which needs to be preserved in or-

to act in a manner that could kill positive consumer percep-

der to avoid failure.

tion, without having much liability in doing so.

Gaming regulators are using creative measures to en-

How can affiliates reduce their liability? First, affiliates

force local regulation by blacklisting operators; penalizing

and merchants must conduct due diligence when choosing

players; ISP blocking; payment blocking, and affiliate blocking

marketing partners.

measures. Gaming platform providers have even been asked to monitor traffic and block unlicensed gaming operators.

Second, affiliates are encouraged to add a simple and clear disclaimer on their website, which includes a Compensation Disclosure and Limitation of Liability.

The real issue is whether an affiliate can be held liable if a

Finally, it is crucial for affiliates and operators to get ongo-

dishonest merchant is sued by a customer, who was directed

ing professional legal advice relating to any regulatory require-

to the merchant from an affiliate website? The answer is af-

ments.

firmative.

Indeed, the main challenges affecting the gaming in-

In a suit filed by the FTC, an affiliate marketing company

dustry are regulatory challenges which have fragmented the

was held liable for its use of websites, which displayed decep-

iGaming world, creating multiple licensing regimes and local

tive marketing content related to weight loss products. This

series of requirements adopted in each jurisdiction.

liability was determined even though the affiliate wasn’t responsible for the creation of the content. It may seem absurd to regulate affiliates seeing as they don’t handle wagers, process payments, nor hold player deTal Itzhak Ron is CEO and Chairman of Tal Ron, Drihem and Co. Law Firm

Nevada was the first US jurisdiction to require the licensing of affiliates, while other jurisdictions such as: Italy, UK, Spain, and Romania, have already placed liability for black market operations on software platform providers.

9


COMING SOON AFFILIATESUMMIT.COM/ASEURO


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Dealing with

Conflicts in Business by Travis Glenn

B

usiness isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes things do not go as planned. Other times things Travis Glenn

suck. When there are situations where people have to

interact with others, there will occasionally be disagreements, misunderstandings, and conflict. The affiliate marketing industry is not immune from negative interactions. If you’re an affiliate, you may get blacklisted from an offer or have conversions revoked by the client. Clients may have affiliates who violate promotional restrictions. Affiliate networks may have to be in the middle of an issue that is between a client and a publisher.

Develop several potential solutions. Most of the time there is more than one possible outcome for a given problem. If you’re not happy with the suggested course of action, see if there are other outcomes that could satisfy both parties. Most people are willing to compromise if you present a

Those are just a few examples of conflicts that arise with-

logical suggestion. And even if you can’t identify a winning

in our industry. Fortunately, even during those events, many

solution, thinking through and ranking multiple, unfavorable

times there is a polite, quick, and mutually agreeable solution.

options can help you avoid the worst-case scenario.

What about the times where things don’t go as smoothly? You cannot always prevent strife and conflict from showing up, but you can use tips like the ones below to filter your response and try to minimize negative outcomes.

Consider is the big picture. You shouldn’t ruin a good thing over something small. It’s easy to get offended if someone has negative feedback on what you are doing. But this is business, and it’s smart to think

What is the perspective of the other party?

long-term.

Whenever a problem arises, we naturally view it from

Don’t let a minor issue (i.e. an error that causes losses

our own perspective first. How does it affect us? How does it

of a few hundred-dollars) cause you to terminate a partner-

make us feel? What do we want the resolution to be?

ship that has generated tens of thousands of dollars, or more.

Although you have to look out for your own interests, the other side has to be considered and evaluated. Most relation-

Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and take a hit if it’s better for business in the long run.

ships in our industry are thought of as partnerships (affiliate/

After you’ve presented possible solutions, negotiated,

network, network/client, etc.). When you consider the person

and settled on a course of action, the next step is to move for-

you are dealing with as a partner, who you are looking to carry

ward. Put the situation in the past and do everything you can

on mutually beneficial business with, you have to think about

to ensure the next interactions with that partner are positive.

the situation from their point of view. Being kind and professional, even if you’re upset or angry, is a must.

You can build a great business relation by properly handling difficult situations.

Travis helps companies grow using affiliate marketing and social media strategies. On twitter @travispeerfly

11


· Issue 40 · October 2017

How Much Can I Make? by Rachel Honoway Rachel Honoway

“How much can I make as an affiliate?”, is the wrong place to start. The right place? It’s asking affiliate managers, “How

“H

can I provide value to you?” ow much can I make as an affiliate?” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this question...

Money follows value. If you focus on providing value to the merchants you work with, you’ll lock in your ability to earn substantial, long-term commissions as an affiliate.

When I heard this in the early days of affiliate marketing, I

So, take the time to reach out to the managers of the pro-

would jump at the opportunity to convince a new affiliate that

grams you are or want to work with, and ask them, “How can

with the right mix of content and creative promotions, they

I provide value to you?”

could make a full-time salary, working part-time from home.

I guarantee that they won’t say things like: “figure out a

But, as the industry grew, “gurus” entered the space

way to trick your visitors into clicking on our links,” or, “bury

promising would-be “students” that they can make millions

some of our generic banners in your footer,” or, “slap some of

overnight, doing little or no work with a magic strategy called

our affiliate links into a blog post, but don’t worry about creat-

“affiliate marketing”.

ing strong content.”

So, now when people ask, “How much can I make?”, it is either coming from a place a skepticism, or more than often, a place of hope that what they were sold was true.

Nor will you hear them say, “just create a page for coupons on your site, and put ours on that page.” I will guarantee that many of the managers you reach

Not only is this hope misplaced, it also leads to decep-

out to will be a little surprised. They aren’t used to this kind

tive practices. Like in any industry, there are loopholes and

of question. But, they are full of ideas and undoubtedly have a

backdoors in affiliate marketing that can be exploited if you’re

wish list of strategies they dream about affiliates implement-

solely focused on “making money”.

ing. Ask them for that list.

Publishers and developers learned that they could make

Though each manager will answer a little differently, you’ll

money doing things like stuffing cookies, spoofing sales, hi-

probably find some common themes. They’ll want unique,

jacking other traffic channels, and pretending that their paid

creative, engaging content distributed to consumers that

reviews were unbiased.

haven’t heard of them before, or have, but not enough to es-

While these practices may work for a short while, mer-

tablish trust.

chants and networks are quick to crack down, stopping the

When you create that content, and reach those consum-

affiliate from earning commissions right then, and oftentimes

ers, you’ll be providing value and setting the stage for a long-

banning them from participating again in the future.

term relationship and substantial, stable commissions.

12

Rachel is a Pinnacle Awards Affiliate Marketing Legend Award recipient and President of the PMA.


· Issue 40 · October 2017

5 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine by JB Glossinger

JB Glossinger

3. Listen to a motivating podcast or an audio book.

B

If you can get going in the morning with something posielieve it or not, the Morning Coach (me) was never

tive, it literally can change the way your thoughts work during

much of a morning person. When I was in my corpo-

the day. Most people are 49% positive and 51% negative, or

rate career, I hated getting up in the morning. It wasn’t

worse. If we can start to flip that a little bit to the positive, we

until I turned to entrepreneurial pursuits that I became a morn-

can start to see things better and our performance will be bet-

ing person.

ter. So, to change these expectations and create a different

I knew to be the best I could be I had to get up earlier. I cre-

perception, we need to get something positive in the morning.

ated a morning routine that helped me get focused, organized, and make the most of my day. Once I changed myself into an early riser and enhanced my morning routine, that’s when my life changed. Here are five things I did to create my morning routine.

4. Practice gratitude It’s tough to have a negative frame of mind when you’re grateful for life. The first thing I do after I move and listen to something positive is I write down the things that I’m thankful for. Make a habit of writing down what you are grateful for, and

1. Wake up earlier.

you’ll be amazed at how you see life differently.

I know this can seem like a no-brainer, and it can be challenging when we’re hitting the snooze button repeatedly. But the truth is if we can open another hour to our day by getting up an hour earlier, that gives us the time to set up our day.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast. We are what we eat, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, my wife, who’s from Colombia, has a saying: eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince, and

2. Move. One of the key things is chemistry in the body and getting

eat dinner as the pauper. The breakfast needs to be the best meal of the day.

the right chemicals firing in the body. It doesn’t mean that

These five tips are a great way to start a very healthy morn-

you have to run a marathon. In fact, in my morning routine, my

ing routine. If you’re having trouble getting up early, start by just

movement is taking my dog Neo, a big 95 pound Labrador, out

getting up five minutes earlier each day. Try to make small im-

for a walk. I’m not running. I’m not even trying to set an under

provements, instead of massive changes, and you will slowly

20 minute 5K pace, I’m just moving.

become an early riser with a great morning routine.

JB Glossinger MBA, PhD, Founder of MorningCoach.com Keeping the energy in your morning routine.

13


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Heather Petersen

M

Avoiding Unnecessary Regulation in High-Risk Verticals

erchants who operate in the trial and continuity

by Heather Petersen

industry, as well as other high-risk verticals, have always been plagued by chargeback issues and

reputational risks. But now more than ever, they face an increasing number of regulatory issues.

Entities like the FTC are already prosecuting the most

The reality is that there are certain merchants conduct-

egregious offenders, and if this trend continues, we could

ing shady business. These unsavory practices have resulted

see more unnecessary regulation on the industry as a whole.

in unnecessary regulation and increased oversight, including

Given the track record of groups like the CFPB (Consumer Fi-

recent FTC action taken on these merchants, and even their

nancial Protection Bureau), this will only lead to more impedi-

payment processors.

ments to business.

Examples of harmful practices that have attracted in-

The simplest thing these merchants can do is provide ba-

creased attention from the FTC include forced-continuity

sic transparency in offers, including return, billing, and cancel-

agreements, that are slipped into fine-print, or “free trials”

lation policies – just like any other quality business. Operating

that are set up using recurring auto-payment methods, either

in an open, professional manner will help trial and continu-

known or unknown to the consumer.

ity merchants increase revenue and stay in business longer,

Additionally, “straw signers,” attempts to load balance,

while also improving the reputation of the industry as a whole.

and adding “friendly” transactions post-approval are similar

The National Merchants Association believes in educat-

nefarious tactics that are drawing unwanted attention from

ing agents and merchants on card brand compliance and

the FTC these days.

other rules and regulations because it’s the right thing to do

The good news is that for the merchants and agents in

– but also because it promotes longevity for merchants. It’s

this space who do it right, these industries have provided an

time that our industry comes together to find ways to sup-

incredible opportunity and a viable business model driving

port both merchant and agent success while also protecting

millions of transactions through their businesses and helping

consumers.

to stimulate the economy.

Processing for high risk merchants can be tough, but it

To protect the future of the high-risk vertical, merchants

can be done. As an advocate for this industry since the early

who sell products through trial and continuity need to evolve

2000s, I know first-hand that these higher risk merchant ver-

by regulating themselves before card brands or government

ticals account for a significant part of the economy and offer

agencies step in to do it for them.

products and services that consumers truly want.

14

Heather Petersen is the CEO and Founder of National Merchants Association.


APPLY TO EXHIBIT FOR FREE AT AFFILIATE SUMMIT WEST 2018 The Affiliate Summit RevShare Roundup is an expo event designed to connect affiliates with revenue share affiliate programs. The event is taking place inside the Meet Market event Sunday, January 7th from 12:00pm – 2:00pm and 4:00pm – 6:00pm during Affiliate Summit West 2018. VIP Pass Holders that manage a revenue share affiliate program may apply to exhibit at this event for free and promote up to two (2) of their managed revenue share affiliate programs. If you’re looking for new affiliates for your revenue share affiliate program, the RevShare Roundup is for you! The application deadline is October 27, 2017, or when the exhibition space is full (whichever comes first). The complimentary exhibition space during the Affiliate Summit RevShare Roundup is extremely limited, so get your application in as soon as possible.


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Blogging Will Transform

Your Brand and Business by Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson

D

id you know there are now more than a billion active websites on the internet today? It’s true, and more

The winning formula for blogging, content creation, and

than 300 million of them are blogs. This means there

promotion is providing value and knowing what your audience

are over a billion sites out there actively creating content for

wants. This sounds cliché, but it’s true. For a blog to make

you to compete against.

money, it needs to have a business model.

With such massive numbers pit against you, how is any-

As crazy as it sounds, I first started making money online

one supposed to compete in such a competitive world? The

a little over 20 years ago with affiliate marketing. It wasn’t un-

answer lies within blogging.

til 2007 that I launched my own blog at ZacJohnson.com. It

Blogging has quickly become one of the most effective

was at this time I decided to become a brand of my own, and

ways to create content, rank higher in the search results, and

no longer just a site owner/affiliate marketer making money

to build a respectable brand online. Thanks to the power of

behind the scenes.

WordPress, it’s now easier than ever for someone to go live

With a blog of my own, I was able to be “the brand”, while

with a website or blog of their own -- with no technical skills re-

also establishing myself as an expert and industry leader in

quired. This means it’s no longer about financial investments

the process. In summary, my blog at ZacJohnson.com com-

and resources, but instead time, focus, and effort.

pleted changed my life and business for the better.

With all of this in mind, how can a blog change your personal life, brand, or business for the better? First, you need to stop thinking of blogging as a way to simply ‘create content’. The days of ‘if you build it, they will come’ are over. With a billion active sites already out there, ‘creating content’ will only get you so far. Without the necessary content promotion in place, your blog is pretty much worthless. Even with both elements in

Now it’s time for you to do the same. I can sit here and preach about the importance of ‘creating content’, and how to rank in the search results with content... but that’s not the goal here. Instead, I want you to understand the importance of blogging as a foundation for your expertise, brand, or business, while also acting as a launch pad for everything you are going to create, sell, or announce in years to come.

play, it’s still going to be a long journey, and there is no guaran-

Social media and other content platforms are great, but

tee for success -- but there are working methods and lessons

with a blog, you own 100% of the content. With a blog of your

that will be discovered along the way.

own, you own your future.

16

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


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Primed to Purchase:

Improving Mobile Affiliate Marketing by Michael Jaconi

S

Michael Jaconi

ince the first iPhone was released in June 2007, the smartphone has become a necessity in consumers’

convert 300%+ better than mobile web, according to Criteo,

everyday lives. Mobile commerce has grown to un-

making this channel reign supreme. However, the technology

foreseen levels, expected to hit almost $334 billion by 2021

needed to successfully and accurately lead consumers to com-

(on smartphones specifically), according to eMarketer. Be-

plete a purchase in-app has been absent from the affiliate mar-

cause of this, brands have focused on their mobile presence.

keting industry.

However, when you look at today’s app economy, you’ll

Lastly, the consumer experience has been at stake, leading

oftentimes see a siloed space, split between brands where

users to slow-loading mobile web pages, or dropping them on

users spend time, and where those users spend money. In

an app’s home screen - neither of which are ideal. The inabil-

fact, ComScore recently found a 44% gap between these two

ity to send a user to a specific product page in-app, with au-

areas on mobile. This has caused a new issue for the affiliate

thentication preserved, has become difficult for big networks

marketing industry, having to find the technology to seam-

to solve. In turn, this decreases a consumer’s opportunity to

lessly connect the two sides without risking the consumer

purchase in a retailer’s highest-converting channel: their app.

experience.

Closing the Gap on Mobile The Challenges at Hand

Mobile is leading the way with app commerce growing

Affiliate marketing, a channel that’s been shown to ac-

70% year-over-year, compared to only 15% growth on desk-

count for nearly 20% of all retailers’ desktop acquisition, ac-

top, according to ComScore. With Amazon focusing on fight-

cording to Business Insider Intelligence, only represents a very

ing retailers on their home turf in the physical world, and with

small fraction in mobile, due to the lack of technology making

offline sales growing at a measly 1-2%, the call for action has

this possible.

never been louder. Solving for the highest-converting chan-

First, mobile tracking has been broken, causing high

nel that retailers have in the fastest-growing form factor,

missed order rates - and ultimately missed revenue. This has

mobile apps should be a strategic imperative for any brand

caused publishers to historically not focus on investing in their

hoping to succeed.

mobile properties. According to Ibotta, the third largest shop-

App-to-app partnerships among brands should be top-of-

ping app in the U.S. expected to do half a billion in mobile sales

mind for any affiliate marketer looking to close the gap where

this year, 42% of transactions weren’t accurately tracked on

users spend time and discover new things, and where they

mobile when relying on traditional affiliate technology.

make their final purchase.

Second, linking between apps is non-existent, and con-

When done correctly, with accurate affiliation and attribu-

version rates are seemingly low for the amount of time (and

tion built to power mobile partnerships as companies like Uber,

money) consumers spend in mobile. It’s been shown that apps

Jet, and Ibotta have shown, the sky’s the limit.

Michael Jaconi is the Founder and CEO of mobile partnership platform Button.

17


¡ Issue 40 ¡ October 2017

Get Noticed Using

Beacon Technology by Anthony Kane Anthony Kane

Personalized Shopping Experience Beacons provide businesses with the opportunity to connect with their customers like never before. By sending

T

instant, relevant notifications to your customers, you are delivhe retail marketplace is more crowded than ever. Not

ering a more personalized shopping experience. Whether you

only do businesses need to stand out online with a

are sending a greeting message to them as they walk in the

winning digital marketing strategy, they now need

door, or delivering special coupons for products in the section

to find ways to ensure their brick-and-mortar locations stay

of the store they are in, these messages completely change

relevant.

the retail experience.

Beacon technology allows businesses to marry the digital world and the real world by delivering relevant, contextual

Real-World Metrics

content to nearby foot traffic. Beacons are Bluetooth low en-

Having access to Google Analytics provides invaluable

ergy (LE) devices that can broadcast specific messaging to

data on how users interact with your website. However, have

nearby electronic devices, such as a smartphone.

you ever thought about how shoppers interact with your

Beacons have been disrupting the way businesses advertise for the last four years, with no end in sight. Here are a few of the advantages of incorporating beacon technology into your marketing strategy.

store? Installing beacons at your location can provide insights into how shoppers are behaving throughout your store. Many beacons come paired with an analytics dashboard that can show you impressions, clicks, and even foot traffic. Having access to this consumer intelligence can help to show

Customer Engagement Beacons encourage a new level of interaction between a

the relationship between a beacon enabled promotion and actual sales.

business and its customers. By pushing out notifications of

Segmenting out your location with multiple beacons will al-

enticing offers or promotions to your customers, you are in-

low you to see how shoppers interact with different parts of your

spiring customer engagement. Additionally, as you continue

store, and will help with making future marketing decisions.

to notify nearby shoppers with helpful and contextual messages, they will begin to look for them more often. Another great way to engage with your customers is through a customer loyalty program where shoppers are rewarded based on shopping behavior, or for visiting your location.

18

There are countless advantages to weaving beacon technology into your marketing program. Beacons can give your business the competitive edge it needs to survive in an already noisy space. Are you ready to get noticed? Anthony is Sr. SEO Strategist at 1SEO.com Digital Agency. Twitter: @anthony1seo


Get the #ASW18 App The Affiliate Summit West 2018 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 #ASW18 App or visit affiliatesummit.com/asw18app to use in a browser.


· Issue 40 · October 2017

The ROI of

a Lifetime

by Shawn Collins

P

eople often say to me that Affiliate Summit is like

After two years of dating, David brought Catherine back

a family reunion – they look forward to seeing the

to the New York Marriott Marquis for a drink to relive that mo-

friends they’ve come to know during their time in the

ment. With help from the hotel management and frequent Af-

industry. But sometimes, the relationships that blossom at Af-

filiate Summit speaker Sean Steinmarc, David led Catherine to

filiate Summit become more than friends.

the same table in the same spot where they met.

Once such story started at a ShareASale “Under the Stars Party” at the New York Marriott Marquis, during Affiliate Summit East 2014, between David and Catherine. At the party, ShareASale was giving away branded martini shakers. David had gotten one and didn’t feel like carrying it around, so he hid it under a table. When he returned to the table to retrieve it at the end of the night, Catherine was standing there. This is when the two first met. There was an instant connection.

20

After some small talk, David commented, “Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a martini shaker under this table?” They both laughed as David bent down to have a look. Sure enough, there was a ShareASale martini shaker with something rattling inside. After opening the lid, David revealed an engagement ring and asked Catherine to marry him. She said yes! On August 12, 2017, David and Catherine tied the knot (that’s them on the cover during the first dance). Congrats!

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


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Social Media Posts –

Career Killer? by Mike Carney

W

e live in a fascinating, but incredibly challenging time. At no other time in history has everyone been so “on”. With Facebook, YouTube, Insta-

gram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc., it seems that people are constantly posting updates, commenting on photos and videos,

Mike Carney

liking, sharing with feedback, etc. Here’s a test: When you wake up, how long is it before you check any of your social media accounts? How many times do you post, like, or share per day? I’m thinking you check

Why not? Well you’re likely to get a Glasgow kiss (head

within 30 minutes of waking up, and post, like, or share con-

butt) if someone disagrees with your views. While that would

tent multiple times a day. Was I correct?

sting, it wouldn’t sting as much as being passed up for a job,

If you are posting early and often, then you’re not alone. Did you know that there are 55 million status updates made every day on Facebook, or that there are over 40 million small businesses with active pages on Facebook?

or having a business fail, due to you putting insulting or unfavorable opinions on one of your many social media profiles. For every impulse driven social media post you make, you are potentially alienating people – and diminishing future

It’s undeniable that people are incredibly active on social

earning opportunities. According to CareerBuilder.com, 70 per

media. While the technology side of that, and the marketing

cent of employers use social media to screen job candidates.

opportunities, fascinates me I’m a little fearful for the “social”

SEVENTY PERCENT! Getting your dream job is hard enough,

part of it, and how social media can harm someone’s real life

don’t make it harder.

with regards to their career or business.

If you’re a business owner, the same logic applies. Do you

With more impulse focused posting going on, people are

remember Amy’s Baking Company and the Facebook melt-

increasing the odds of forgetting to filter themselves when

down they had after appearing on Hell’s Kitchen? If your cus-

posting. Over the past 12 months, how many times have you

tomers have a problem with your food, I highly recommend

seen hateful posts about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?

not replying with “I am not stupid all of you are. You just do not

Did you realize that posting negative views about either one is

know good food.” Well, they are now out of business.

a recipe for current or future failed relationships?

Being “you” on social media is good, but being the best

What about posting negative views on religion or cultures

person you can is better. As much as you want to react to

that are different than your own? There’s an old saying back

something on social media, pause and consider your re-

in Scotland: when in a pub, you never discuss religion, politics,

sponse. Your response will be well documented, read, and

or football.

reacted to.

Mike Carney is the Founder and President of PerformanceMarketingJOBS and an AFFY Award Winner.

21


¡ Issue 40 ¡ October 2017

The Evolution of

the Affiliate Profile

by Teodora Chiribelea (former Dobjanschi)

We can see here that social media is rapidly growing,

Teodora Chiribelea (former Dobjanschi)

and it is today the second most used source to drive traffic

T

to their websites and increase conversions. Another chanhe affiliate marketing industry has evolved rapidly

nel that is currently trending among online marketers is

across the globe, and more companies have decided

video blogging, video ads (ex. YouTube), social media videos

to integrate this channel in their online strategy in or-

(Facebook, Twitter), etc. We expect these to become more

der to gain new leads or sales, and expand their market reach.

and more popular among worldwide affiliate marketers in

Today, affiliate marketing is the second most used channel to promote brands online and is predicted to reach $6.8 billion until 2020 (Forester).

the upcoming years as well. If we take a look at the type of programs affiliates are promoting, we can see that B2C programs are still the most pop-

This evolution is closely tied to the evolution of the affili-

ular ones, as 60% of the affiliate marketers are promoting this

ate marketers profile as well. In the beginning of the industry,

type of products. The reason FOR this is simple, as the sales

most affiliates were individuals, bloggers, and private owned

cycle of B2C programs is different than the one of B2B pro-

websites. Today most affiliates are registered as companies,

grams, and much friendlier for B2C in the online environment.

or part of larger groups of companies, owned by TV corpora-

The computer and electronics category is the most pro-

tions (ex. CBS and CBS Interactive), or large publications (ex.

moted today (41%), closely followed by clothing and apparel

Purch), etc.

products (40%), and the rise of online services as the third

If we take a closer look to the affiliate profile today, we can see that 54% of them are working from home, and 19% are working from an office, while the rest of them are mixing the two (AffStat, 2016).

most promoted products category with 30% of them in this category (AffStat, 2016). However, there are still many affiliates promoting only a couple of programs, as 42% of the affiliate marketers are

Approximately 55% of the affiliate marketers are married,

promoting between 1-10 programs, 23% of them promote 11-

and 32% of them have between 35-44 years old, while the sec-

20 programs, and only 14% of the affiliates promote 21-30

ond largest age group is 25-34 years old with 28% of the affili-

programs.

ate marketers in this category (AffStat, 2016).

I think this is one of the challenges of affiliate managers,

Their top FIVE most used traffic sources are: SEO (69%),

as they strive to provide affiliates with everything they need

Social Media (67%), blogging (65%), email marketing (48%),

to be able to promote more programs and understand their

and PPC (34%), according to the AffStat Survey 2016.

needs.

22

Teodora Chiribelea (former Dobjanschi) is Affiliate Network Manager at Avangate Affiliate Network.


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Fine for Affiliate Marketing

to Ignore GDPR? by Micky Khanna Prevention is Better than Cure – Act Today

If you control, process, or transfer PII, then you need to Micky Khanna

A

raise Awareness of the GDPR across your company now. Review and assess the Confidentiality, Integrity, and

s the arrival of the GDPR (General Data Protection

Availability of data that you hold. Are you holding more infor-

Regulation) draws ever closer, there still seems to be

mation than necessary?

uncertainty as to what GDPR means for affiliate mar-

keting, and whether this applies to companies outside the EU. One thing does seem certain: whether you’re a publisher,

What legal basis do you have for processing personal data? Can you prove that you obtained explicit consent, and that they are of the legal adult age or not?

merchant, network/technology platform/solution provider, if

Think about how data is stored or transferred across

your business controls, stores, or processes Personally Identi-

your business or different territories. Have you reviewed your

fiable Information (PII) on any EU citizen (employees, custom-

cloud/service providers’ agreements? How would you handle

ers, or suppliers), then – even if your business isn’t located

a “Subject Access Request”, and how can you ensure com-

within the EU – it’s highly likely that from May 25, 2018, the

plete removal of personal data (if requested)?

General Data Protection Regulation and its seven principles

Do you have a plan of action should a Data Breach occur (for example by carrying out Data Privacy Impact Assessments

applies to you. The fines (per the media) of up to €20m or 4% of gross

or a Risk Analysis of your software/hardware)?

annual turnover (whichever is the greater) should provide

Think about the way you Communicate Privacy Informa-

sufficient warning. However, even if those found guilty of

tion. The appointment of a Data Protection Officer is manda-

non-compliance or negligence don’t receive a fine, it would

tory if you employ over 250 staff, or if you control or process

be foolish to assume that your business won’t feel the finan-

large amounts of data (or if you’re a public authority). Yes

cial impact.

– there are exceptions in certain cases (but I only have 500

Think about the negative publicity/PR, which then leads

words so will have to save for another day). Applying a “Data

to the loss of customers and revenue. Then there are the

Protection by Design” approach from the top-down sends a

shareholders, who will demand answers as to why preventa-

message both internally and externally that your company

tive measures were not in place, despite the vast media cover-

takes the security and privacy of its data seriously.

age and warnings beforehand.

Don’t risk it by ignoring GDPR. After all, reputation, in an

This undoubtedly brings into question the position of the

industry that is regularly under the spotlight, is key. If you’re

CEO (the seventh principle of GDPR is accountability for the

found guilty of non-compliance or negligence, then what will

other six – Legality Transparency & Fairness, Minimisation,

your clients and business partners think about how you think

Portability, Accuracy, Storage, and Integrity).

about theirs?

24

Micky Khanna is an independent GDPR Practitioner, previously holding roles at MIVA, www.buy.at and www.optimus-pm.com.


· Issue 40 · October 2017

The Business Canary

in the Coal Mine by Sean Yoon McDevitt

W

hat does the saying ‘the canary in the coal mine’ mean to you? Historically, ‘Tweety Bird’s’ namesake was used as an analog warning system for

coal miners: if the canary was still alive, so were they, deep

Sean Yoon McDevitt

below the earth’s surface. This ‘early warning system’ was so effective, the sci-fi movie Arrival even suggested that humans

brick and mortar presence. Plus, overall costs are much less

may still use the small yellow bird in the future for similar

than in-store.

means, albeit away from the coal mines. The adage of the canary in the coal mine can be applied

Connect Search Teams

to business; for those fans of the movie The Big Short, recall a

Traditionally, in-house/agency search teams have been

small group of investors who saw the housing bubble coming

kept separate from affiliate search teams. In a changing re-

before the rest of the world. These were the proverbial canaries.

tail environment, online teams should work together, instead

With the closing of many big-box national retail chains

of against each other. Consumers will continue to direct their

and malls across the country over recent years, coupled with

buying searches on a computer, meaning search teams will

brands like Nike selling direct through Amazon, could this be

have to work together to grab the attention of an increasingly

the retail version of the canary in the coal mine? Could these

educated and savvy consumer.

new trends be the harbinger of the death of in-store retail as we know it?

Upgrade In-Store Experience

It may be too early to tell. However, the main driver behind

Just like movie theaters and sporting events before them,

this potential canary for the retail industry is easy to point to:

retailers will have to prove that going in-store is worth more

online shopping.

for consumers than shopping in their pajamas in front of their

How can traditional retail outlets survive in an increas-

laptop at home. Granted, online marketers can’t control the

ingly e-commerce friendly world? Follow the trends and lean

actual, physical in-store experience a customer has. However,

on what’s still working to drive sales:

what they can control are in-store offers. Brands can host instore offers with affiliates that may be better than what they

Leverage Affiliate Marketing

offer online, giving the customer an incentive to get off the

We call it “performance marketing” for a reason - pub-

couch, change, get in their car, get gas, drive to the store, and

lishers and referral sites are only paid on performance. Tradi-

find parking. I’m already exhausted typing that all out, so the

tional retailers don’t need to budget for the channel, because

deal better be worth the hassle.

it pays for itself; it costs much less to host a link on a trusted affiliate site then it does to continue to maintain a bloated

By implementing these practices, advertisers will continue to ‘breathe’ in a growing online world. Just like the canary.

Dennis Sean is Yu a Senior is CTOPartner of BlitzMetrics, Managerwhere for Offers.com he provides & Ziff digital Davis training Commerce. programs for young adults.

25


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Why “Offline” Matters

in an Online World by Christin Kaemke

»» Atmosphere. The mood on pre-event parties can relieve your guests, to a certain degree, regarding the incoming stress of the daily trade show routine ahead. A laid-back atmosphere may give your clients a chance to network

Christin Kaemke

more comfortably. Wouldn’t you consider this pleasant? »» Appreciation. We’ve seen existing business customers and partners show appreciation on social media when organizing pre-event parties to spend time with them. Especially if the invitations are limited and they literally

T

become your V.I.P.. First-timers might find themselves echnology made our lives comfortable, right? In-

impressed with your offer, per se, and surely even more

stead of fax mailings, we send highly optimized and

so if you deliver a party grand in size. Walking the extra

automated emails that specifically target custom-

mile can be one of the best ways to make for extra recog-

ers’ desires. We spend workdays behind the computer, with a phone right next to us, and have the whole World Wide Web at our command. So, how can “offline” still matter?

nition or to earn appreciation early. »» Aftereffect. It shouldn’t be all talk, right? We require some things to improve our return on investment. We

For our understanding, we’ve seen that offline exhibitions

have aimed to make business cards mandatory at the

obviously are a fundamental part when it comes to “real life”

entrance for example. This procedure gives you an over-

experiences, but especially preparties can become crucial for

view of attendance, while the visitor count offers a sense

bonding more deeply with your partners.

of your event’s relevance, and eventually it adds some

On trade shows? Daily business is calling, conversations

new leads in case somebody brings a “plus one”. Your

can end abruptly, or you miss each other in the hustle and

preparty can aid in the company’s public communication

bustle while going from A to B – because you might have for-

as well. How about a ticket giveaway or video impres-

gotten to schedule a meeting beforehand.

sions shared in social media afterwards, adding to your

In my experience, and considering the feedback of co-

image and allowing for immediate feedback?

workers, we agree that a pre-event party can be the missing

Even while most of us are focused on an online busi-

link here. Six hours of networking in a relaxed and comfortable

ness in our day-to-day routine, and trade shows might

atmosphere will eventually be more productive than a rushed

seem like the last “real life” event of interest, we think that

meeting in-between meetings. Following, you can find my three

“offline” will always matter on at least one special occasion

reasons why anyone should consider giving the idea a try.

- the pre-event party.

26

Christin is the chief editor of TrafficPartner.com’s “Webmasterchannel” and writes regularly for AWMpro magazine.


AFFILIATE SUMMIT EAST 2018

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· Issue 40 · October 2017

Things to Keep in Mind

When Merging

Ricky Ahuja

I

by Ricky Ahuja

n the current state of the market there are many affiliate networks that opt to merge with another company or be

and current liquidity. I am not implying that profit and loss

acquired by one. But this process can be very daunting.

statements are unimportant, but evaluating liquidity is of

Undergoing a buyout or a merger with another company,

greater priority than anything else.

another culture can be an arduous task, so here are the top

If you don’t have enough liquidity to support it, the merger

five things to keep in mind should you be looking to merge or

may fail, which can have devastating effects on the compa-

be acquired.

nies involved. Make sure to develop equity-capital strategies and have the means to handle a sufficient amount of debt be-

Make a Perfect Merger/Acquisition Team

fore you embark on a merger.

It is of utmost importance to have the most detailed and operationally inclined individuals from your organization that

Be Prepared for Integration and Compatibility

will oversee and handle the process of merging with another

Issues

company. Experts advise to take the best employee from

As you may have guessed from the heading of this para-

each of the company’s crucial departments and make a team

graph, you will have to make one more team. A team that will

that will handle this process.

be equipped with strategies and solutions for compatibility and integration issues. No matter how well you define your

Make Sure to Define Goals

goals and how efficient your overseeing team is, these issues

Now that you have a team of professionals to oversee the

will arise. Merging two cultures, processes and products is a

process, you want to define your goals and milestones, so that

difficult task. You will want to make sure to put people with

you can measure the success and see if everything is going

strong leadership skills in charge as the transition will require

according to schedule. A plan without goals is not a plan, and

tough decisions to be made.

you won’t be able to know if a merger/acquisition has brought the results you were expecting if you don’t define them. By

Establish Good and Efficient Communication

having clearly defined goals in front of them, your teams will

Last, but not least, you should make sure to establish

be able to make the right decisions in order to keep the merger

good communication channels between all parties respon-

or acquisition on track.

sible during the transition process. Sensitive business decisions, plans, and strategy will be implemented, and all involved

Assess Your Financial Stability

need to be on the same page to progress forward. By putting

Before executing a merger or acquisition, it is of utmost importance to evaluate your company’s financial capability

28

the emphasis on planning, you will make sure that execution and transition go smoothly as planned.

Ricky Ahuja, a serial entrepreneur, fifteen-year veteran of the industry and Co-Founder of InvioPro.


· Issue 40 · October 2017

Why Develop a

Partnership with Your AM? by Ken Weiss

I

t’s no secret that affiliate marketing can be a lonely business, especially if you’re just getting started. You can spend hours alone in your home office, working at the kitchen taKen Weiss

ble, or other place knocking out product reviews and articles for your blog. Many new affiliates, and even those trying for a long time

Benefits of Developing Relationships

to finally make their first dollar online, forget to reach out to

I reach out to my affiliate managers on a regular basis to

their most important resource. An affiliate manager is not just

find out what new and exclusive offers they have, sometimes

there to attract and approve accounts. They are there to help

to see if they can bump up my commission on a product if I

you become successful.

am selling a lot, or another network has the same product at a higher commission rate.

Don’t Let It Be Nameless

We may also just spend five or ten minutes having a con-

You sign up with affiliate networks, and often receive

versation over Skype finding out how the weekend was. This

nameless e-mails congratulating you that you’ve been ap-

turns your faceless AM into a real person, and a person who

proved. Now what? What are the best offers to promote?

has your best interest at heart.

I’ve learned over my nearly seven years in affiliate market-

Not too long ago, I was taking my daughter to San Diego

ing that one of the ways to help kick start your new career,

for summer camp and called one of my affiliate managers

or help you get ahead, is to develop a partnership with your

a few weeks in advance to let them know I would be in the

affiliate managers.

area. We met face-to-face for coffee and talked about business, how things were going, and what I needed from her to

Go to Affiliate Summit

increase traffic and sales.

Your affiliate manager often comes to Affiliate Summit,

I also met the team that supports her, which put a face to

and this is a great way to meet them in person to go over

support emails I often get from them, and most importantly

what is and isn’t working, find new AMs, and partner with

we built a partnership that benefits both of us.

other affiliates.

Conclusion Reach Out Often

Affiliate marketing may at times seem like a lonely busi-

Reach out to your affiliate manager often. They usually

ness of nameless people coming to your blog or approving

have been where you are, and can suggest the best perform-

your accounts, but, it is really a partnership between you and

ing programs and products for your blog or demographic.

your affiliate managers.

They are your partner to help you become successful, since their success is tied to yours.

And to be successful in this business you need to develop a partnership with your affiliate managers.

Ken Weiss is affiliate marketer who blogs about men’s health, cooking and affiliate marketing.

29


· Issue 40 · October 2017

What Super Affiliates Need from

Affiliate Networks by Jonathan Brown

Jonathan Brown

L

arge “super affiliates” have a particular set of needs.

ding restrictions, for instance, which simplifies reading and

Rather than relying on only click-to-access links and

understanding terms. Others go even further by providing a

network reporting interfaces, larger affiliates with pro-

matrix of promotional methods with what’s allowed or not.

prietary technology platforms need data instead of tools. As Wickfire has integrated with more than a dozen affiliate net-

Reliable Contact Information

works, we’ve learned what networks should provide and what

Affiliates need to know who they should contact regard-

agencies and advertisers should look for when choosing a

ing a program, whether it’s a network representative, an agen-

network or tracking technology.

cy contact, or an in-house program manager. Larger affiliates often have questions about terms or want to send proposals

Click-Level Tracking

for future work, and these need to get to the right person. If

Almost all networks support Sub-ID tracking, allowing af-

an affiliate network provides no or bad contact information,

filiates to pass an identifier for each click that ties to gener-

it is much more difficult to grow sales and build the affiliate-

ated sales. However, not all support unlimited unique Sub-IDs,

merchant relationship.

but rather allow an affiliate a finite number, which only allows channel-level tracking (which shows whether a user came

API Parity

from Google, Facebook, or a specific webpage). Unlimited

Large affiliates need data in-house for prioritization, op-

unique Sub-IDs allow affiliates to tie a sale back to a unique

timization, and sending to platforms like Google Analytics for

user action, which is critical for optimization.

conversion tracking, so it’s important that networks provide as much data as possible via an API. Most large affiliate net-

EPC Data Program EPC (Earnings Per Click) data is extremely useful for larger affiliates as it allows them to prioritize what advertisers they work with. Alternatively, networks sometimes provide ranges, “bars”, or rankings. While these are helpful,

works do provide APIs, but they often do not include all data available through platform interfaces. The most critical data to provide via an API: »» A list of all advertisers (not just the advertisers the affiliate is joined to), including EPC data

specific EPC information is preferred. This helps affiliates de-

»» All tracking links and creatives for joined advertisers

termine whether their performance is in line with others, es-

»» Commission-level reporting, including click-level Sub-ID,

timate program conversion rates issue, and allows affiliates

sale time, and sale amount

to often be the first to identify tracking issues in the network.

In addition, it’s important to have complete documentation for the API. One item often missing is how reversals are cap-

Clear Terms & Conditions

tured. Does the commission disappear, does the amount get

Networks should require clear terms and conditions from

set to zero, or is there a reversal state? Because many networks

advertisers and present this information in a standard format.

represent data differently, it’s important for affiliates to under-

Effective networks provide special sections for keyword bid-

stand this for accurate reporting and sales predictions.

30

Jon Brown is Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer of Wickfire.


T I T A N I U M

G O L D

S P O N S O R

S P O N S O R

B R O N Z E

P L A T I N U M

S I L V E R

S P O N S O R

S P O N S O R

S P O N S O R


· Issue 40 · October 2017

The Global Value of

Affiliate Marketing by Kevin Edwards Kevin Edwards

A

in six sales are influenced by an activity broadly defined as ffiliate marketing is a big business. With Forrester

affiliate in nature.

estimating advertisers will be spending $7b on their

Local IAB studies in The Netherlands and France show

U.S. affiliate campaigns by 2020, and $2.1b in the

the proportion of digital money dedicated to affiliate weighs in

U.K., and as much again in the rest of Europe, we can comfort-

at around seven to 10%, so we can safely assume for mature

ably say it’s a global phenomenon.

markets it is generally on regional marketing to-do lists.

How do we quantify the opportunity and potential for

China is difficult to quantify. Such is the significant differ-

brands looking to expand beyond their borders? How mature

ence in its retail landscape, it is almost impossible to evaluate.

is the channel in countries outside of the U.S.?

Adopting a marketplace approach, as epitomised by Alibaba,

While the origins of affiliate marketing may be disputed,

it’s uncommon for smaller retailers to run standalone busi-

we can safely say there’s no doubt it was forged in the U.S.

nesses. Instead they rely on Alibaba-owned Tmalls to push

Other countries caught on quickly and, alongside familiar

their products, dominating a 57% share of the market. Con-

American networks, many localized suppliers sprouted up,

trast with Amazon’s market share at just 0.8% of all sales in

serving markets across Europe and further afield.

the region.

The U.K. Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has carried out

For brands looking to expand the concept of affiliate mar-

an annual study of the industry, including lead generation and

keting is familiar and Anglophone territories are an obvious first

other broadly performance-based disciplines, for the past five

step. Many use the U.K. as a stepping stone, but never be fooled,

years, and estimates affiliate marketing accounts for about

Europe has a homogenous approach to ecommerce. With wild-

10% of all digital spend. It also measures return on invest-

ly-varying affiliate mixes, delivery options, payment methods,

ment, concluding more than £12 are generated in revenue for

stages of development, smartphone adoption and ecommerce

every £1 spent. With almost all the top 100 retailers in the U.K.

sophistication, tackling this market of 500m consumers should

running an affiliate program, it’s fair to say it’s an essential

be done with all the appropriate health warnings.

part of the marketing mix for many brands.

Nevertheless, the opportunity is tantalizing. By analyzing

While comprehensive surveys don’t exist in other devel-

all the actual and modelled data from local sources, we can

oped European territories, eMarketer states Germany, the sec-

broadly assume the global affiliate market is conservatively

ond largest digital economy in Europe, spends around $1.34b

worth in the region of $12b. What ambitious retailers and af-

on its affiliate marketing activities. Even more impressive, one

filiates wouldn’t like a slice of that?

32

Kevin Edwards is the Group Client Strategy Director of Awin.


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Feedfront Magazine Issue 40  

This issue of FeedFront Magazine includes Broken Links - Broken Promises by Chris Tradgett, How Much Can I Make by Rachel Honoway, What Supe...