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Affiliate Summit West 2014 in Las Vegas: January 12-14

Issue 24 · October 2013

We’ll Always Have Paris Unless you don’t register for Affiliate Summit West 2014 in time!

Strengthen Your Q4 Site Offense By Shawn Collins - Page 2

Affiliate Activation: 3 Steps to Maximizing Performance By Geno Prussakov - Page 11

Who is your First Defense in Compliance? By Ninfa Cabello - Page 24

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Issue 24 · October 2013

Table of Contents 2

Strengthen Your Q4 Site Offense

3

How To Fix Your Flailing Email List

By Hunter Boyle

4

Five Ways to Optimize Long Tail Affiliates

By Matthew Bell

5

Get More Out of Your Affiliate Promotions

7

Keeping Safe When You Work From Home

By Missy Ward

8

Get Your Offer on Top Affiliate Networks

By Travis Glen

10

Creating an Effective Affiliate Forecast

11

Affiliate Activation: 3 Steps to Maximizing Performance

12

5 Steps to Starting Over

13

Know When You’ve Failed by Setting Goals

14

What Managing Affiliate Programs Has Taught Me

15

Process for Recruiting Educating and Retaining Affiliates

By Shawn Collins

16

Did You Prepare for FCC’s TCPA Deadline?

By David O. Klein

17

5 Ways to Increase Your Conference ROI

18

When Specialty Links Go Wrong

19

Size Matters: Proven Strategies to Grow Sales

By Jesse Morgan

21

Taking the “Affiliate” Out of Affiliate Marketing

By Rachel Hirsch

22

5 Things to Know About Health Marketing

By Jordan Barker

23

Would You Get Affiliate Summit Ink?

By Shawn Collins

24

Who is your First Defense in Compliance?

By Ninfa Cabello

25

Why You Must Build Your Own Brand

27

Affiliate Summit East 2013 Recap

30

Big Data: Making Your Stats Really Count

31

7 Ways to Stay Out of Court

By Eric Crusius

32

How to Fix Online Shopping

By Shawn Collins

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

Contributing Writers

Jordan Barker, Matthew Bell, Sarah Beeskow Blay, Hunter Boyle, Ninfa Cabello, Shawn Collins, Jeremy Coon, Eric Crusius, Sam Engel, Lyndsie Ezell, Travis Glen, Jonathan Goodwin, Erinn Groh, Rachel Hirsch, Zac Johnson, David O. Klein, Jesse Morgan, Geno Prussakov, Kim Salvino, James Thompson, Missy Ward

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

By Shawn Collins

By Sarah Beeskow Blay

By Jonathan Goodwin By Geno Prussakov By Erinn Groh By James Thompson By Kim Salvino

By Lyndsie Ezell By Sam Engel

By Zac Johnson By Shawn Collins By Jeremy Coon

Affiliate Summit 522 Hunt Club Blvd. #411 Apopka, FL 32703 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 © 2013 Affiliate Summit, Inc. and Individual Authors.

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Shawn Collins

· Issue 24 · October 2013

Editor’s Note

Strengthen

Your Q4 Site Offense by Shawn Collins

Y

ou started the fourth quarter with a game plan, and things are going right so far, but are you prepared to

count on other people telling you. Instead, use a com-

call an audible if need be?

pany like Pingdom to alert you immediately, so you can

Just like in football, you’ll sometimes have to call a sub-

stitute play in business to adjust to sudden changes that

» Invest in quality hosting: Lots of people are tempt-

you see. It’s not ideal to have to switch things up to react

ed to go with the cheap hosts to save a few bucks, but

to external events, but if you are prepared, you can make

at what cost? This tip ties into the previous point about

it work for you.

monitoring your site performance. Basically, if your site

This is a tricky time of year, since it’s the crazy rush for commerce, and lots of people are off for extended periods

is going down, it’s probably because you have a subpar host. » Speed up your site: People and search engines dis-

of time for the holidays. What are you going to do when Muhammad Wilkerson

like slow sites. But do you even know if you have a slow

(obligatory New York Jets reference) knocks your quarter-

site? Check out PageSpeed Insights from Google to find

back out of the game?

out what you should fix to increase the speed that your

OK, that’s probably not a real scenario for you in par-

site loads.

ticular, but how about if your server goes down, your site is

» Make your site responsive: Your site should be op-

hacked, or there is some other time sensitive disaster and

timized for any device out there, whether it’s a mobile

nobody is around to help? How about if you are simply turn-

phone, table, or desktop computer. Test it in all of these

ing people away, because your site is slow or inaccessible?

environments, and evolve if it’s not responsive. Many

Start preparing now for things that might happen, so you don’t have to pull all-nighters or run away from the Thanksgiving table to deal with messes. Here are some tips to fortify your Q4 site offense… » Password security: First, change your passwords

» Stay on top of updates: If you are using WordPress or another platform, it’s vital that you update your version and related files as needed, so you can avoid making it easy for creeps to sneak in the back door and cause mischief.

know all of your passwords, or use a service like Robo-

Taking these steps should help to preserve some san-

» Monitor your site performance: If your site goes down, you’d better know about it right away. Don’t

2

WordPress themes will take care of this.

now, and make them stronger. Second, be sure you Form to keep them organized.

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act on it.

ity, and to make it easier in the event you have to call an audible. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

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

16/10/2013 04:01:41 p.m.


Hunter Boyle

· Issue 24 · October 2013

How To Fix Your Flailing

Email List

by Hunter Boyle

“T

he money’s in the list.” Ever heard that one? While there’s truth to that statement, it’s easy to overlook the $1,000,000 follow-up ques-

tion: “What’s the best way to make money from that list?” Short answer: Build trust that leads to long-term business relationships and referrals, not just one-and-done sales and a lack of customer loyalty.

» What needs does this email address, or what problems does it solve? » Is the value and WIIFM to readers clearly expressed? » Is it easy for readers to respond and reach me directly? » Rate the quality of the email content in these areas: » Copy: Appropriate voice, style, length? Personality? Spelling?

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes Are you excited about most emails you get these days? How often do you feel a strong connection to the organizations that are marketing to you? Let’s face it: we’re all inundated by marketing messages, pitches, deals, updates and so on – but as marketers, we’re also contributing to the overload. We can do better.

» Offer: Is it compelling? Expressed well enough? » Design: Does it look professional, and match the copy? » Relevance: Is the content, offer or topic timely for this list? » Shareable: Will this compel readers to share via email or social?

Instead of getting caught up in the numbers game (list size, stats, send schedules), we need to step back and examine how closely our goals align with the goals, needs and wants of our readers. After all, if our emails aren’t solving their problems or addressing their needs, why should they keep paying attention, much less buy from us, or share our content? Try This WIIFM (“What’s In It For Me?”) Mini-Checklist …

… And One Simple Yet Powerful Tactic To really understand what your audience cares about and needs help with, you have to ask them. Constantly. Annual surveys don’t always cut it. Try this: In your welcome email, test a short survey asking new readers to tell you about themselves, what they do, and what they need your help with.

Today it’s critical to think of our email audience as real

Derek Halpern uses this tactic with SocialTriggers.com

people we’re doing business with, not just list names and

to learn more about his readers, inform the site’s content

statistics.

and provide plenty of value and WIIFM.

With that in mind, here’s a mini-checklist that can help evaluate your email for optimal engagement: » What is my primary goal with this email? » What is the true value to the recipient? Can it be increased?

Does it work? With that reader-first mindset helping to drive the content and build relationships, tactics like this helped triple the email list in one year. Now it’s your turn. What steps will you take to fix your email list?

Hunter Boyle is a content marketing and optimization expert. He leads business development for AWeber.

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16/10/2013 04:01:41 p.m.


Matthew Bell

5

· Issue 24 · October 2013

Ways to Optimize

Long Tail Affiliates

by Matthew Bell

I

f you’ve ever managed an affiliate program before, then

affiliates are usually passionate about their sites. They

you’re probably no stranger to the 80/20 rule, that 80%

can become loyal affiliates in your program through a

of your affiliate program’s revenue comes from 20% of

strong relationship. 4.

your affiliates. It’s true. A typical affiliate program relies on a small

require relationship management, outreach, commu-

group of high-performing affiliates to drive most of the vol-

nication and maybe some negotiating. When working

ume, but what if it was possible to grow the group of af-

with the smaller volume affiliates, it may seem like it’s

filiates that comprises 80% of your program, known as the

not worth it. I assure you, it is! Remember, one long tail

long tail affiliates?

affiliate won’t move the needle, but 100 will!

It most certainly IS possible. 1.

2.

3.

4

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Put in hard work. Like any affiliate relationship, it will

5.

Repeat. Do steps 1-4 again and again. Remember,

Here’s how:

the value of long tail affiliates is at scale. You’ll need to

Understand the value of long tail affiliates. Pro-

develop a deep network of long tail affiliates. They will

gram managers often overlook the niche and lower

drive very high quality traffic but a lower volume. The

volume sites. If one long tail affiliate can drive you five

key to generating value from a network of long tail af-

sales per month, that’s certainly not going to move the

filiates is to have as many as possible in your program.

needle. But what happens when you add 10, 100, or 500

Not convinced? Here’s a personal success story.

long tail affiliates to your program? It adds up quickly.

When I was Affiliate Manager at Shutterstock, I kept

Find them. You can’t gain value from them until you

coming across this one site in my research efforts that was

know who they are. I recommend a very focused grass-

a perfect fit contextually, yet I never bothered to reach out

roots effort, heavy on relevant Google searches. Use

to because it was such a low traffic site, according to Alexa.

tools like Similar Web to find similar sites and build a

I finally got fed up with seeing it all the time and brought

long target list. That blog with Alexa rank 955,232 that

this site into the program. It turned out to be the highest

you continue to pass by because the traffic volume is

converting site out of all of other affiliates in the program.

so low? Add it to your list. That’s a solid long tail affiliate.

The traffic quality was extraordinary.

Develop a relationship. Like any other affiliate a re-

Even with the low traffic volume, it referred close to

lationship is required in order to do business together.

$50,000 in new customer revenue annually. This proved

Reach out and explore the opportunities to work to-

to me that a clear long tail affiliate strategy could produce

gether through your affiliate program. These long tail

amazing results.

Matthew Bell is an experienced affiliate marketing manager and currently Director of Operations at Schaaf-PartnerCentric.

16/10/2013 04:01:43 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

Get More Out of Your Affiliate

Promotions

I

Sarah Beeskow Blay

by Sarah Beeskow Blay

f you are an affiliate program manager, you know that one of the biggest challenges is activating your affiliate base. You may have 1,000 affiliates but only see sales gener-

ated from a handful of them. Sound familiar? Fear not, you are not alone. There is

The Solution: Personal Performance Goals

always going to be some level of inactivity, but you should

If the intention is to get a higher percentage of affiliate

strive to increase the percentage of active affiliates. The so-

partners active, create promotions that generate immedi-

lution: create enticing promotions.

ate action without the intimidation factor of competing with

One common bonus structure that merchants offer is

top earners.

the top earner promotion, where the affiliate that drives the

If a bonus is created as a personal competition, that will

most sales, gets x dollar bonus. If the intention is to mo-

motivate affiliates on an individual level. Let me give you a

tivate inactive affiliates or move the middle, there are two

few examples:

issues with this kind of structure, the default winner and perceived unattainability.

» Increase conversion rate by .5% this month, earn additional 2% commission » Increase orders by 10% month/month, earn $100

Default Winner The theory of “When I offer more, affiliates will do more” does not apply when there is a blanket incentive. There is

» Generate 15 sales via the Thanksgiving banner, earn double commission in December » Sell 20 turkey hats, receive a hat-a-month for a year

always going to be a first and last place. The affiliate that is your top earner may be earning the bonus without actually

Working on an individual level may only return a few

increasing any activity or marketing effort. When that hap-

sales initially, but over time this will pay off in the long run

pens, they are essentially earning extra cash accidently.

because the affiliate will always remember you and want to continue to promote your program. There is a long tail ef-

Perceived Unattainability Another unintentional side effect of top tier bonus

Having a VIP commission level or higher payout for top

goals is they will seem out of reach for the mid-tier affiliates.

earners is not always a bad idea; it just should not be the

Affiliates do not know the performance numbers of others

only trick in your hat. Save some marketing budget for pro-

or even how many affiliates are in your program. There is

motions that apply to the whole affiliate base.

no sense of what the bar is, or what competition they are

The goal is to have a diverse offering of incentives that

up against. Spending your marketing budget on first place

will both reward your top performers and continue to en-

bonuses is not the best way to measure or generate activity.

gage the low to mid-level performers as well.

Sarah Beeskow Blay is the Director of Client Services at ShareASale.com, Inc.

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fect here.

5

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16/10/2013 04:01:46 p.m.


Keeping Safe When You Work From Home

Missy Ward

· Issue 24 · October 2013

by Missy Ward

W

ith so many affiliate marketers working from home, home office safety should be on the top of our list of things we should be thinking about.

Here are six tips that will help keep you safe when work-

ing from home:

relax your guard when you hear the doorbell. No mat-

» Get to know the neighbors. With so many people

ter how safe your neighborhood is, you need to always

working from home, it’s highly likely that one of your

check carefully before you open the door to anyone,

neighbors also works from home during the day. Take

particularly when you are home alone.

some time to introduce yourself to your neighbors, if

» Don’t hold meetings at home. This might seem

you haven’t already, and perhaps find a local meetup

obvious, but even if you’ve had a long email relation-

of others that work from home as well (plus it’s good

ship with a client, don’t meet them at your home while

networking).

you’re alone. Schedule a meeting in a public place such

» Make your house as secure while you’re in it as

as a cafe or coffee shop, or even take advantage of co-

you do when you aren’t. Sure, we all lock the door

working spaces that offer conference rooms for meet-

behind us and turn on the alarm system when we go

ings to members.

out or even when we go to bed, but taking those same

» Use a buddy system. If you work alone, it is very

precautions when you work from home is a smart bet.

important that you have someone you check in with

If you don’t yet have a home security system, now is

regularly. If you’re meeting a client offsite, let your

the time to invest in one.

spouse or a friend know before you go, and check

» Check your windows – and lock them. I’m not sug-

in with them when you return. Use digital tools such

gesting you deny yourself the lovely fall breezes we’re

as Skype or Gchat to stay in touch with professional

having these days, but I do suggest you be sure you

friends throughout the day as well (but be careful to

lock the windows in the rest of the house while you’re

not let them become a distraction). Being connected

working in your home office. Also consider window

helps you stay safe.

treatments; while it can be nice to see the yard while you work, it also lets strangers see right into your office full of expensive equipment. » Exercise caution when you answer the door. Chances are you often receive packages from FedEx or UPS if you work from home, and this can teach you to

The perks of working from home far outweigh these safety concerns, of course, but it’s still good to bear them in mind. Practicing these basic tips to keep yourself safe will make a difference. Now, go check those windows.

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

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16/10/2013 04:01:49 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

Travis Glenn

Get Your Offer

on Top Affiliate Networks by Travis Glenn

M

any startups, established corporations, and

pages do not leave a good first impression on the networks.

individuals are interested in working with affili-

Replying to ‘Describe your offer’ with non-descriptive

ate networks. They want to increase their sales

information such as “call me” doesn’t give the biz dev man-

numbers, obtain more leads, or grow their base of regis-

agers enough information to know if there is a point to

tered users.

spend any more time considering your company.

Affiliate networks are always looking to partner with new

Another point to note is to ensure that you are coming

businesses, so that they can supply their affiliates with a fresh

across professionally. If there are misspelled words, poor

supply of new offers. However, the top networks can get in-

grammar, or inappropriate slang, it can indicate that you

undated with hundreds of new client requests each week.

aren’t a serious candidate. Minor things that could be con-

This necessitates a screening process in which business development managers sift through all of the appli-

to networks.

cants to quickly determine which prospects are best suited

Does your email domain lead back to something re-

for the network. The other applicants are cut and sent a “no

lated to your company, or is from a free email provider? Is

thank you” letter. This process works well for the most part;

it apparent that your website is on a free hosting plan or

however, it can occasionally result in qualified businesses

a MLM-type subdomain? Individually, these factors are not

getting denied.

a concrete way to categorize a company as good or bad.

Why do advertisers with potential get denied? Gener-

Taken in context along with other factors, they can lead net-

ally speaking, it is because they aren’t representing them-

works to believe it isn’t worth the risk to establish a business

selves appropriately. There are several common mistakes

relationship.

that are made by potential advertisers. You can avoid those

Review the information you are giving to the networks.

missteps by being aware and carefully crafting your first

Ask yourself, if someone presented you with that same

contact with a network.

information, would it encourage you to want to work with

The most common mistake potential clients make is simply not providing enough information. Networks will

them? Or better yet, have an unbiased 3rd party give you feedback.

typically utilize a contact form requesting your name, busi-

With the volume of new business coming in, the net-

ness name, website, and a text field that asks for a descrip-

works have a small amount of time to make a big decision.

tion of the offer you want to promote. Things such as blank

Make sure to put your best foot forward and don’t let the

fields, not listing your full name, and URLs that lead to dead

small stuff stop you from closing the deal.

8

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sidered insignificant in everyday settings can be red flags

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

16/10/2013 04:01:51 p.m.


Available in paperback, Kindle & Nook

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16/10/2013 04:01:58 p.m.


Jonathan Goodwin

· Issue 24 · October 2013

Creating an Effective

Affiliate Forecast

T

he significance to creating an affiliate forecast is sim-

by Jonathan Goodwin

ple. It sets the expectations and goals for you and your team to achieve for the program. I also view

this as an opportunity to demonstrate your value and credibility that you can be trusted to hit / surpass revenue goals. These revenue goals are the foundation to success, which will drive your actionable plan with you and your team to reach these milestones.

tions you can start off with. This should definitely create a good discussion with you and your contact. Questions: » What contributing factors are included with this goal?

One of the key points to creating an effective forecast and actionable growth plan is providing that added sense of

» What is your effective ERS (effective revenue shared) for the program?

value that can be very integral to your relationship with your

» Do you have peaks and valleys during the year?

client. Each client that relies on a forecast plan for growth

» Do you have historical data? Last 3-5 years?

heavily leans on your ability to manage and convey metrics

» Can we have access to your backend analytics?

to hit or surpass revenue goals.

» Do you anticipate any major changes year-over-year in

Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in creat-

promotional cadence calendar?

ing an effective forecast can really go a long way with client

» What’s the percent lift you anticipate over LY?

retention, having a trusting relationship with your contact,

» Are there any white periods throughout the year where

and establishing your credibility in the affiliate space.

you do not have any promotions planned?

The most important thing you can do as an affiliate marketing manager, during your early engagement with

Now that you have your questions answered, this

your client, is to ask, “What are your revenue goals for the

should provide insights into your planning process. You

program?” Your client will provide you a dollar amount for

should be able to anticipate peaks and valleys, plan on spe-

the year, and then you and your contact will be able to dive

cific times of the year, and look at historical data and depict

deep in the affiliate forecasted plan.

the percentage of decrease or increase each year, which will

You should also seek additional marketing materials (promotional cadence calendar), data via their backend sys-

the affiliate program.

tem (Omniture, Core-Metrics, etc), and information regard-

Establishing an affiliate forecasted goal is the blueprint

ing promotions, which will allow you to effectively forecast

for success. This can provide you and your team solid ac-

and manage your affiliate budget.

tionable items to help achieve or surpass your goals. Secur-

During this discussion, both parties will be able to pin-

ing paid placements, exclusive coupons, or just relying on

point and reveal why and how the dollar amount can be

your promotional calendar will provide you that roadmap

achieved through the affiliate space. Below are a few ques-

to success to effectively manage the affiliate program.

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illustrate what you anticipate the upcoming year, will be for

Jonathan Goodwin is a Senior Affiliate Manager at JEBCommerce (Rakuten Agency of year 2012).

16/10/2013 04:01:59 p.m.


Affiliate Activation: 3 Steps to Maximizing Performance by Geno Prussakov

I

Geno Prussakov

· Issue 24 · October 2013

Step 2: Embed calls-to-activation right from the start While very few affiliate managers do it, I recommend encouraging affiliates to get active right from the first time you’ve invited them into your program. Motivate them to

f you have run an affiliate program of any size, you know

put up your links both in your recruitment, and in your ap-

that the proverbial Pareto Principle – also known as the

proval emails. Incentivize this type of activation by offering

“80/20 Rule” – doesn’t apply here; at least not “by default.”

them commission increase(s), longer cookie life, or cash bo-

The disheartening reality is that, when it comes to affiliates

nuses.

programs, it turns into more of a 95/5 rule, where only 5%

Also, in your approval email, include a performance-

of affiliates are responsible for 95% of activity within your

based incentive – one that would presuppose additional

affiliate program.

extrinsic motivators upon customer referrals. The goals

Also, when analyzing such KPI as activity index, or the

may range from one sale (with a first-sale bonus as a moti-

percentage of affiliates active in your program, many adver-

vator) to a specific number of conversions within a certain

tisers and managers arrive at something between 8% and

time period past their approval into the program. Make sure

12%.

your goals are realistic.

However, in the affiliate programs where we strongly focus on affiliate activation, we notice that the activity index

Step 3: Make activation an

can rise to 20% or higher.

indispensable part of management

I strongly believe that, in addition to conversion rate

Those 90%-95% of inactive affiliates aboard your pro-

optimization, affiliate activation is one of the two most ef-

gram joined it not because you made them join. They had

fective ways to boost any affiliate program’s performance.

an idea on how they would promote you, but for some rea-

But how do you go about it? Here’s a 3-step process that

son they never got to it.

has worked well for my clients:

Segment the inactive affiliates into a separate group (or three groups – each corresponding to the above-outlined

Step 1: Determine what

types of activity), and every time you send your affiliate

constitutes “activity”

newsletter, customize it towards the group, providing (a)

There are three basic ways to define affiliate activity:

compelling reasons for them to activate (be it conversion or

(i) as a display of links, (ii) as a referral of traffic, and (iii) as

EPC data, success stories of other affiliates with all sensitive

conversions (be they sales, leads, calls, subscriptions or

information removed, of course), and (b) ongoing incentives

whatever it is that you seek). Prior to talking about affiliate

for them to get active.

activation, make sure that you (the advertiser), your affiliate

Remember, the number of recruited affiliates is irrel-

program manager, and your affiliates are all on the same

evant. It is the number of active ones that matters. So, ac-

page as far as what an “active” affiliate means.

tivate them continually, compellingly, and contagiously.

Prussakov runs AM Navigator OPM agency, chairs Affiliate Management Days conference, speaks, writes, blogs, consults.

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16/10/2013 04:02:00 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

Erinn Groh

5 Steps

to Starting Over by Erinn Groh

E

you are excited about the change. Share your enthusivery now and then we decide to make a change that

asm with your publishers. Let them know that you are

can impact our professional life. Change can be a va-

thrilled to learn and try new things. Positive attitudes

riety of things; good, bad, scary, tough, and exciting.

are contagious. Before you know it, your publishers will be rooting for your brand.

In many cases, it is necessary for innovation and growth. Sometimes you have to take a step back from your cur-

Understand risk involved: Remember, you are

rent success and begin all over just to try and move ahead.

not the only one taking a risk by making a switch.

Whether you have decided to make a radical career

Publishers put much time and effort into promoting a

move or simply jumped to a new company where you have

brand. New and unknown advertisers can be scary. Be

to start an affiliate program from scratch, here are 5 steps

aware that publishers may bump a more mature, suc-

that will help you start over:

cessful advertiser just to give your new brand some

1.

Remember your relationships: This is KEY. Affiliate

coverage (potentially at a lower cost and revenue share

programs are useless if you don’t have a good team

rate). Thank your publishers for the opportunity and be

of publishers behind you. They are your sales force

sympathetic. Only time will tell if the risk was worth it.

and reason for your success. Reach out to the publish-

Be confident and it will be for all those involved.

ers you have worked with in the past and reintroduce

2.

3.

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4.

5.

Be persistent… and don’t get frustrated: After

yourself. If you are new to the game, do your research

many years of hearing yes from your publishers

and start making friends. It is a simple as a phone call.

(or others in your field), you are likely to hear the

No one will know the brand you represent if you don’t

dreaded word NO. Don’t throw a tantrum like a 2

take this step.

year old when you hear this and don’t get cozy with

Identify what makes your brand unique: You are

the word either. Instead, use it as fuel to forge forward.

at a new place and have wonderful new things to

Persistence shows you are serious and confident in

offer. Be sure to tell your publishers all about it. Do you

your brand. If you are polite and understanding, while

have exciting creative, high quality products, great pric-

being persistence, you and your brand will earn the re-

ing, awesome technology, high commission rates, or big

spect that it deserves.

bonus opportunities? Whatever it is, make it known.

In the end, all change is good. You have given yourself

Share your excitement: Whatever it may be, you

the opportunity to look at things in a new light while improv-

decided to start over for a reason. Chances are

ing your skill set.

Erinn, a successful affiliate marketer, recently became the Senior Marketing Manager at Piping Rock® Vitamins.

16/10/2013 04:02:02 p.m.


Know When You’ve Failed

James Thompson

· Issue 24 · October 2013

by Setting Goals by James Thompson

S

etting goals is important. I’d say it’s important for the success of your business, but the opposite is true as well. A lot of people start a venture without a clear

cut definition of when they’ve failed. Most people just set a goal and assume success will come. What if it always stays just outside of your reach? Will you continue on forever with little to no traction? It’s important to define concrete criteria for success and

At my company, we use a service called Pivotal Tracker.

milestones for when you’ve met those criteria. If you don’t

It’s great for creating a ‘story’ for something you want to

meet your objectives in the time allotted, you should pivot,

do and attach a ‘point’ estimate. Over time it will track how

move on, or reassess your situation. Sometimes, those are

many points you or your team can complete in a sprint (pre-

the hardest decisions to make, but that’s not the same as

defined amount of time). It should be your goal to meet your

quitting. As a project manager, business owner, or entrepre-

sprint estimates. If you don’t, you should reassess your situ-

neur, that’s a thing you’ll need to get used to, so start now.

ation and act accordingly.

Most projects have a primary mission that can be bro-

All of those disparate parts can come together to help

ken down almost infinitely into smaller tasks. You should

you make important decisions about your workload vs.

practice breaking down large goals into smaller chunks that

deadlines. If you’ve been estimating your throughput for

can be completed quickly. Don’t divide it up much smaller

a few weeks, have a pretty healthy average, and estimate

than an hour or so though, because you’ll just spend all

realistically, you can get a pretty accurate picture of what is

of your time managing time. By breaking a project up into

possible, given your timeline.

smaller bites, you’ll find yourself building confidence and momentum. That’s very important for morale.

Let’s say you’ve done everything I’ve said and have a deadline in 4 weeks, but Pivotal Tracker says you need 8

The next most important thing you can do now that

weeks to complete the project. That means you need to do

you’ve broken up your venture into smaller bits is estimate

one of three things: abort and land softly, change the scope,

the time you’ll spend. I’m not saying track your time for those

or change the timeline. Knowing that can help you manage

chunks. Just try and estimate them. You’d be surprised how

expectations, keep stakeholders happy, and ultimately save

much clearer a timeline becomes once you estimate each

(and make) more money. Don’t be afraid of making hard de-

individual piece that adds up to the greater whole. When

cisions about cutting features or asking for more time. It will

you’re done, reflect on the accuracy of your estimates.

save you stress in the long run.

James is co-founder of Daft Labs, a tech/marketing company. Find him on Twitter @jtgraphic.

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16/10/2013 04:02:02 p.m.


Kim Salvino

· Issue 24 · October 2013

What Managing

Affiliate Programs

O

Has Taught Me by Kim Salvino

n my professional journey, I have learned largely by trial and error, and by mirroring those I most admire. When I started managing my first affiliate

program in 2005, degree programs that taught you the in’s and out’s didn’t exist. After 8 years in the industry, I wanted

sands of valuable contacts through this industry. Be kind

to share some of the most important things I have learned

and do what you say you will do and folks will never forget it.

that I have also been able to apply to other areas of my life.

Your reputation will always precede you and in a day where everyone can Google you, be sure that the only trail you

Don’t Make Rash Decisions

leave is a positive one. Treat folks the way you want to be

Without Examining Data

treated and you will accumulate a long list of contacts you

The proof is absolutely in the numbers. Conversion

can trust.

rate down? Analyze individual click data to determine if one partner is the culprit. Revenue down? Confirm that tracking

Education is Mandatory, But

is working as expected and that your top partners aren’t

Degrees and Fancy Titles are Not

promoting expired promotions. Always turn to your data to confirm opinions as fact before jumping to conclusions.

Don’t discount someone because they don’t have an impressive sounding degree or a top notch title. Today’s Internet Marketing Administrator could be tomorrow’s Direc-

Change is the Only Constant

tor of Publisher Development. I have found years of experi-

Just when you have found your groove, your weekly and

ence to be much more valuable than grad school. Get to

monthly schedules are mapped out; revenue is on the rise

know the person vs. judging them strictly on their LinkedIn

and…BAM! A new product launches, your channel suddenly

profile.

has to save the entire online revenue forecast for the quarter or there is talk of a new site launch. Change will happen.

When You are Doing What You

It will never be at a great time and you must be willing to

Love, You Radiate Joy

adapt and stay flexible.

It’s true. Think of a job you may have held where you felt underappreciated or “stuck.” You were unhappy in that

Relationships are Valuable

environment and when you are unhappy, everyone around

Beyond Measure

you can tell. When you find your niche and are blessed to

I am still in regular contact with the very boss that hired me to look after my first affiliate program. I have made thou-

14

ff24_full.indb 14

do what you love each day, you are more productive, more content, a better friend and a better parent. Kim Salvino is Director of Publisher Development for Chateau 20.

16/10/2013 04:02:04 p.m.


Process for Recruiting, Educating, and Retaining

Affiliates by Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins

· Issue 24 · October 2013

ates you think will be the best fit for your company. And, just like I was doing way back when, you should treat them like your sales team. That means you provide them with the educational materials they need to best promote you; and you also focus on retaining them, because it’s a whole lot easier to keep the affiliates you have than it is to replace them. You should be recruiting all the time so that your base

I

just published a new book, Affiliate Manager Boot Camp: Recruiting, Educating, and Retaining Affiliates, where I present a three-step approach for affiliate managers to re-

of quality affiliates continues to grow. Please read through my tactics, but don’t stop there. Apply them, too.

cruit, educate, and retain affiliates in their affiliate programs.

Affiliate Manager Boot Camp: Recruiting, Educating,

Drawing on my ten years of experience as an affiliate

and Retaining Affiliates is available in paperback and on

manager and my work as an affiliate marketer since 1997,

Kindle at Amazon.com.

I reveal a process for cultivating and maintaining relationships with affiliates. The book describes a method that focuses on quality over quantity when it comes to affiliates, and it recommends working side by side with affiliates as valuable partners in a mutually beneficial affiliation. Affiliate Manager Boot Camp: Recruiting, Educating, and Retaining Affiliates is not about the other nuts and bolts of starting and running an affiliate program. You won’t learn about policing affiliates, setting budgets and projections, determining commission rates, etc. It’s all about recruiting, educating, and retaining affiliates for a strong affiliate program. My process is based on one important thing, which is that affiliate marketing is all about relationships. You want to have affiliates you can trust representing your brand. That means you should know each affiliate in your affiliate program and have an ongoing dialogue with them. Sure, you’ll get some affiliates who apply to your affiliate program organically through exposure in an affiliate network, but it is your responsibility to actively recruit the affiliShawn is Co-founder of Affiliate Summit and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, and blogs at affiliatetip.com.

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16/10/2013 04:02:05 p.m.


David O. Klein

· Issue 24 · October 2013

Did You Prepare for

FCC’s TCPA Deadline?

by David O. Klein a concerted effort to understand and comply with the TC-

B

PA’s new requirements. y the time you read this, the Federal Communication

Since October 16, 2013, prior express written consent

Commission’s (FCC) deadline will have passed, one

has been required for all marketing calls/texts made to cell

which requires telemarketers to obtain consumers’

phones using autodialed technology and/or pre-recorded

prior written consent before using autodialed technology

messages. Additionally, prior express written consent is re-

and/or prerecorded messages to contact them.

quired for pre-recorded marketing calls made to residential

Effective October 16, 2013, the FCC’s newest Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations are unques-

The FCC has made clear that complying with the E-SIGN

tionably the most encompassing and perilous changes af-

Act satisfies the “written” requirement, meaning that elec-

fecting the telemarketing and lead generation industries in

tronic or digital forms of signature are acceptable. Courts have strictly interpreted, and in some cases ex-

recent memory. Unlike many other statutes, where a consumer may

panded the plain meaning of, the TCPA in order to find tele-

only recover proven damages, the TCPA sets forth auto-

marketers liable. There are two crucial aspects of the TCPA

matic damages per call/message ranging from $500.00 to

that should concern marketers: the TCPA definition of “auto-

$1,500.00. No specific or actual damages must be proven

dialer” and the language used to obtain consumer consent.

by the consumer. Considering that telemarketing cam-

The FCC has expansively interpreted the term “autodial-

paigns often involve thousands to, in some cases, millions,

er” and courts have found telemarketers liable for contact-

of calls/text messages, potential TCPA damages may esca-

ing consumers through systems that have the ‘capacity’ to

late very quickly.

make automated calls, even if the call was placed by a live

Due to the large potential payday, TCPA lawsuits are up 40-60% in 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. Perhaps even more worrisome are the settlement amounts

person and the automated features of the system were not used. Consumer TCPA consent must be unambiguous, meaning that the telemarketer must provide “clear and conspicu-

that defendants are willing to pay to avoid litigation. For instance, in two unrelated class action lawsuits this

ous disclosures” that the consumer will receive calls that

year, Papa John’s and Domino’s agreed to pay up to $16 mil-

deliver autodialed and/or pre-recorded telemarketing mes-

lion and $9.75 million, respectively, to settle TCPA cases.

sages to the number(s) provided by the consumer and that

Likewise, Steve Madden, Ltd. settled a TCPA class action

consent is not a condition of purchase.

for up to $10 million for texts sent to consumers through

It is advised that telemarketers consult with an attorney

a third-party advertiser. These are but a few examples of

to construct proper TCPA consent language. The new TCPA

TCPA settlements that have occurred in the past several

requirements impose unprecedented burdens on telemar-

months. Obviously, the best way to avoid liability is to make

keters, which shouldn’t be taken lightly.

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ff24_full.indb 16

landlines.

David O. Klein is the managing partner of the law firm, Klein Moynihan Turco LLP.

16/10/2013 04:02:05 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

5 Conference ROI Ways to Increase Your

I

Lyndsie Ezell

by Lyndsie Ezell

f you are exhibiting at a conference, it is likely that you are among hundreds of other exhibitors. There are many ways to increase your brand’s exposure beyond your

not throw money at a sponsorship. Reflect on your confer-

booth, for every budget, that will help you stand out over

ence goals and select an option that best fits your brand’s

all the rest.

needs. Don’t feel limited to the options they have to offer. If you have a great idea, talk to the organizers about it. Keep in

Be Seen & Heard

mind that the purpose is to drive attendees to your booth.

Be a speaker at the conference. By stepping onstage and sharing your knowledge, you are seen as an expert in

Bring Your Brand to Life

the industry. This is not just an opportunity for industry

Think about getting a mascot. This can be costly up

leaders or senior executives. With the right topic and pitch,

front, but consider the return on investment. At a confer-

both you and your company can benefit from the network-

ence a mascot is the equivalent of a walking billboard, pro-

ing and exposure that comes from a speaking position. Best

moting your brand throughout the exhibit hall. This will give

of all, it’s free. If there isn’t an open call application process,

you exposure beyond your booth. When people stop to

reach out to your conference sales manager and ask how

take pictures with your mascot, ask them to tag or tweet the

you can be considered.

photo at you. This will expand your reach and increase your presence at no additional cost to you.

Get Sweet Swag This sounds simple and obvious, but it’s not about

Make 24/7 Your 9-5

having items; it is about having items that stand out. Know

In the affiliate marketing industry, the show does not

your audience and appeal to not only their needs, but

end when the exhibit hall closes. You have a limited amount

their unique personality traits, as well. These are the items

of time to get in front of clients and are competing with hun-

people will keep and use. Don’t let your swag end up in the

dreds of companies in the exhibit hall. Use “after hours” as

dumpster. When selecting your show items, ask yourself

an opportunity for extra exposure and networking by host-

what makes it better than your competitors. If you can’t

ing or sponsoring a networking event/party.

come up with a solid answer, move onto something else.

If you are spending money exhibiting at a conference, consider some of the items listed above to maximize your

Boost Booth Traffic Most conferences have sponsorships available and offer options for every budget. Biggest is not always best. Do Lyndsie Ezell is the Director of Public Relations at Clickbooth.

ff24_full.indb 17

exposure. This will not only make you stand out over your competitors, but can potentially yield a higher return on your conference investment in the long run.

17

16/10/2013 04:02:09 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

When Specialty Links Sam Engel

Go Wrong by Sam Engel

unique link identifier and then bid on some of your branded

A

keywords to get started. lternatives to the typical affiliate marketing relationship, such as referral programs, MLM (Multi-

MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) Scenarios

Level-Marketing), and sub-affiliate arrangements

Some brands’ reward systems even go to the lengths of

can be useful tools for brands to gain new customers.

offering customizable landing pages or personalized stores.

These systems often have lower barriers to entry than tra-

These allow your brand representatives to take their refer-

ditional affiliate networks, and can quickly introduce fresh

rals to the next level, adding some of their own personality

traffic and incremental revenue.

and salesmanship to the visitor experience. Complete with

However, because these systems are so open and flex-

vanity subdomains or some other unique identifier in their

ible, they can also be manipulated by black hats, exposing

URL structure, these systems can be gamed in a similar

brands to abuse.

fashion. Furthermore, MLM systems may be more likely to award cash, rather than discounts or account credits, put-

Fewer Hurdles Mean

ting them at additional risk.

More Potential Threats Although affiliate networks are not immune to exploits,

Sub-Affiliate Relationships

such as brand bidding and ad hijacking, they do provide

Transparency can be a real challenge in these systems.

some valuable measures to mitigate these issues. Compli-

While a sub-affiliate can usually be added with a simple URL

ance teams, affiliate approval processes, reports, and com-

parameter, the brand will have little visibility into or control

mission reversals all contribute to accountability.

over how its sub-affiliates drive traffic. This makes it easy for

Alternative systems, on the other hand, do not usually

a sub-affiliate to run PPC traffic through its unique link. Even

provide these layers of security. There are few, if any, ways

though the first-tier affiliate may still be complying with the

to appropriately vet or check up on your pseudo-affiliates.

brand’s policies, brand abuse can still proliferate.

They are essentially anonymous—making it easier for them to hide, obscure their tactics, or mislead a brand.

Conclusion Unfortunately, the available data makes it hard to dis-

Refer-a-Friend Programs Who makes a better spokesman than a loyal customer?

without the recourse of turning to the network for these

By rewarding your biggest fans for speaking up about your

issues, the onus falls entirely on the brand to monitor and

brand, you can stimulate some valuable gains in traffic and

police such promotions.

revenue. But do you know how your brand ambassadors

So if you run any of the programs above, we recom-

are getting the word out? Unfortunately, if your referral pro-

mend putting some effort into evaluating whether they’re

gram uses special URLs to assign your rewards (as many

truly adding value. By starting with some manual searches

do), a good portion of this traffic could be generated by PPC

for your branded keywords, you can at least identify any ob-

trademark poaching. A black hat simply has to locate their

vious examples of abuse.

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ff24_full.indb 18

tinguish brand poaching from successful marketing. And

The Marketing Manager at BrandVerity, Sam informs the industry on how to prevent brand abuse.

16/10/2013 04:02:10 p.m.


Size Matters:

Jesse Morgan

· Issue 24 · October 2013

Proven Strategies to Grow Sales by Jesse Morgan

M

anaging an established affiliate program can be a challenge. Day-to-day responsibilities can be overwhelming, not to mention the daily and

monthly test of exceeding the sales numbers of the previous year. While all affiliate programs are managed differently,

product sells better than another, figure out if it’s the prod-

promoted differently, and have different goals, the common

uct or how it’s being promoted. Most products have dif-

denominator for each is revenue. After all, it’s unimagina-

ferent margins so doing your homework to find out what

ble to think of a program or entrepreneur out there that

products generate more revenue than others.

doesn’t ask, “How can I grow sales?”

Once you have determined what is profitable, present

As bosses and major stakeholders continue to demand

the best offers and sales message in all sales channels. It’s

year-over-year growth, consistently delivering and exceed-

also a great idea to test different wording and creative to de-

ing expectations is more important than ever. To do this,

termine what resonates best with your shoppers. You may

there are a number of proven strategies that can help boost

find out “save over” verses “save up to” messaging is more

your sales and manage both top-line and bottom-line rev-

successful in terms of driving clicks and revenue. Best ad-

enue.

vice here is to test, test, and test.

Most importantly, your strategy should be tailored to

Another way to maximize your overall program perfor-

your brand and product’s unique needs. First, start by hav-

mance is to segment paid commissions at levels based on

ing a strategy in place. If you have not outlined a plan or

incremental value. By segmenting, you can pay out differ-

identified goals, your program will more than likely not sur-

ently for publishers who are really driving the sale. This can

vive long-term.

be tricky and requires click path data not available in every

With the strategy in place, the next step is to determine how you will measure the outcomes of your actions. Identify

affiliate network. If you have Google Analytics in place, this is a good place to start.

the key revenue drivers (clicks, AOV, conversion, items per

In summary, bottom-line wins, but you want to drive

order, etc. .) and forecast revenue based on performance

top-line revenue. With a strategy outlined, revenue drivers

trends.

evaluated, outcome measurements determined, attribu-

Start with your products. Promoting the right products

tion mapped out and premium marketing promotions iden-

and managing your program for profit can change the tra-

tified, you will be taking the most important steps to set up

jectory and success of your eCommerce site. If a certain

your affiliate program for long-term success.

Jesse Morgan, Affiliate Marketing Manager for Magazines.com, the largest magazine subscription agency online.

ff24_full.indb 19

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16/10/2013 04:02:11 p.m.


Available in paperback and Kindle – exclusively at Amazon.com

ff24_full.indb 20

16/10/2013 04:02:11 p.m.


Taking The “Affiliate” Out of Affiliate

Marketing

Rachel Hirsch

· Issue 24 · October 2013

by Rachel Hirsch

W

e all have heard of the term “affiliate marketing.”

In the Internet marketing industry, advertisers and net-

Unfortunately, the term affiliate can be easily

works certainly do not want to be exposed to legal liability

misunderstood, generating confusion and sce-

for an affiliate marketer’s misconduct, nor does an affiliate

narios that are neither rewarding nor fun. Maybe the time

want to be on the hook for the quality or efficiency of the

has arrived to rethink the use of the term “affiliate.”

merchant’s product. And this is exactly where the Federal

In simple terms, affiliate marketing is simply a type of

Trade Commission, among others, appears to be headed.

performance-based marketing in which a merchant busi-

And these circumstances are not merely confined to in-

ness rewards one or more of its affiliates for customers

stances where the advertiser or network is encouraging the

generated by that affiliate’s marketing efforts.

misconduct.

Although the term “affiliate” is commonly-used in the In-

So what happens, for example, when a network is

ternet marketing industry, the term “affiliate” has an entirely

subjected to liability due to the actions of a rogue affiliate?

different meaning in other contexts, which can spell trouble

Should a network be liable for an affiliate who has gone off

for all parties. Indeed, in other contexts, the term connotes

the beaten path, despite the network’s internal compliance

a legal relationship between two businesses.

procedures?

In typical legal parlance, affiliates are organizations or

Logically speaking, the answers to those questions

individuals that control each other or that are controlled by

should be “no.” But because of the traditional use of the

a third party. Control may consist of, among other things,

term affiliate, staff attorneys at the FTC and motivated plain-

shared management or employment and common use of

tiffs’ attorneys may be all too willing to answer that question

facilities, equipment, and employees. One consequence of

in the affirmative. I have personally witnessed the look of

affiliate relationships in business is that merchants can of-

confusion on an opponent’s face when trying to explain why

ten be on the hook for the conduct of their affiliates and

a network is not the same entity as its affiliates or vice versa

vice versa.

and why imposing liability on one for the action of the other

It should come as no surprise that astute plaintiffs’

is not logical under the circumstances.

lawyers are always on the lookout to reach the assets of

While the best evidence of the distinct relationships is

a parent company in the event of misconduct by one of its

often found in the network’s contractual agreement with its

affiliate entities. To the extent that the business relationship

affiliates and the course of conduct between the parties,

is not obvious, courts, as part of litigation, often require

perhaps an even better solution to defining the network-

companies to file corporate disclosure forms identifying any

affiliate relationship is taking the “affiliate” out of the term

parent or affiliated corporations.

affiliate marketing. “Publisher” marketing, anybody?

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

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21

16/10/2013 04:02:12 p.m.


Jordan Barker

· Issue 24 · October 2013

5

Things to Know About Health Marketing by Jordan Barker

3. Chronic Health Conditions are Growing Chronic health conditions are on the rise, and consumers need real solutions to deal with their health issues. For

W

example, the number of diabetics is projected to double, if hat do my cholesterol, Miley Cyrus, and digital

not triple, by the year 2050 according to the CDC (Center for

health marketing all have in common? They are

Disease Control). That would mean that nearly 1 in 3 adults

all on the rise and gaining momentum whether

would suffer from diabetes—the numbers are staggering

you want them to be or not.

and the need for solutions will only increase.

If you haven’t been involved in the online health vertical, or even if you have, here are five things that you should know:

4. Health Issues are Emotional This may sound cliché, but health issues are something people have a passion about—tap into that emotion. Every-

1. Health Management is Evolving

one has either dealt with health issues at some point, or

The dynamic of how a consumer manages their health

knows someone who has struggled with health issues. As

is evolving, and consumers are demanding more transpar-

a marketer, if you can help someone cope with something

ency and choice. For this reason, consumers are looking to

as serious as a health condition, you really begin to make an

connect with brands, device manufacturers, and doctors

impact and add value.

through digital channels now more than ever. While some

5. Patients Need a Voice

companies have been slow to adopt emerging technologies

Patients need a platform where they can interact with

initially, there are many are who finally embracing the need

other individuals who are like-minded, and understand

to change the status quo of communicating with patients.

their daily struggles. It is human nature to want to belong, and dealing with health challenges is no different. Increas-

2. Compliance is Paramount In some industries, you may get a slap on the wrist if

support one another and talk about challenges, treatment

you violate rules and regulations. However, within the health

options, as well as to simply find a friend who understands.

space there are often no second chances, so you have to

While obnoxious pop stars and their 15 minutes of fame

play by the rules. Recent changes with HIPAA (Health Insur-

may come and go, and while I may find the will power to put

ance Portability and Accountability Act) and Medicare have

down the doughnut and get on a treadmill to get rid of a few

required more consumer transparency, and more explicit

pounds, health issues are not going away. Now is the time

consumer consent to be contacted and by what entity.

to get involved and start the critical conversations.

22

ff24_full.indb 22

ingly, social media is being leveraged as a tool for people to

Jordan is the Director of Online Marketing for Alliance Health Networks, Inc.

16/10/2013 04:02:14 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

Would You Get

Affiliate Summit Ink? by Shawn Collins

D

o you love Affiliate Summit? We’ve got a way for you to show it, and we’ll bring you out to Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West 2014 if you take us up on this

opportunity. Get an Affiliate Summit tattoo, and we’ll provide you with an All Access pass to Affiliate Summit West 2014; as well as coach air; 3 nights at the Paris Las Vegas; and dinner with Affiliate Summit co-founders, Missy Ward and Shawn Collins, on the night of Monday, January 13, 2014. Some terms from our lawyer about this special tattoo arrangement… » You are 18 years old or older. » Your tattoo will be 1) based on the Affiliate Summit logo, an example of which can be found at affiliatesummit.com/images/bestlogo.jpg, 2) placed in an area of

» You release all rights to any photographs taken of you

the body that can be exposed in a non-offensive man-

and the tattoo by or on behalf of Affiliate Summit, and

ner, and 3) permanent.

you give consent in advance to their reproduction in

» All tattoo designs must be approved by Affiliate Summit in advance. » You are responsible for purchasing your tattoo. » You release Affiliate Summit, to the fullest extent per-

print or electronic form. » Affiliate Summit may exclude or reject participants in its sole discretion. » This promotion is void where prohibited by law.

mitted by law, from any liability whatsoever, for all

This opportunity is open through November 30, 2013.

claims or causes of action you may have for personal

Contact Affiliate Summit at affiliatesummit.com/contact

injury or otherwise, including any direct or consequen-

with any questions.

tial damages, which result from your obtaining a tattoo to participate in this promotion.

Affiliate Summit West 2014 is taking place on January 12-14, 2014 at Paris Las Vegas.

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

ff24_full.indb 23

23

16/10/2013 04:02:17 p.m.


Ninfa Cabello

D

Who is your First Defense in Compliance? by Ninfa Cabello

id you know that your Advertiser Representatives’ and Business Development employees’ could be your first defense in creative and landing page

compliance? Here is a quick guide to help you and your employees

Rebilling/Continuity: All rebilling and continuity programs need to be fully disclosed and not hidden. This also falls in Truth and Adver-

review landing pages.

tising as noted above.

Truth in Advertising:

Shipping and Handling:

Everything that constitutes the creative must be true.

Shipping and Handling (S&H) must be easily visible on

A good example is saving money on a product or service:

the creative or the landing page. S&H must be visibly pres-

“Save 70%” vs. “Save up to 70%”. A company cannot guaran-

ent ABOVE the submit button. This falls in Truth and Adver-

tee that each consumer will save 70%, but it can guarantee

tising as noted above.

that each consumer can save up to 70%. The advertiser is

From and Subject Lines:

not giving a specific amount of saving; instead the adver-

From lines must be relevant to the site you are mail-

tiser is giving a broader statement to ensure compliance.

ing on behalf of. The actual site (domain name) is preferred.

As Seen on TV or Radio:

This falls in Truth and Advertising as noted above.

Has it really been on TV or Radio? Do some research

Subject lines must be true and they must have as little

to make sure your campaign is compliant and has actually

embellishments as possible. They must accurately identify

been seen on TV or radio. If you are advertising a similar

the content in the advertisement.

product, and not an EXACT one, as the products shown on

Privacy Link:

TV or promoted on the radio, then your campaign should

The Privacy link must be working. Personally, I do not

not reference As Seen on TV or Radio. This falls in Truth in

read the privacy language, as this is provided by the adver-

Advertising as noted above.

tisers’ legal department; I just make sure there is a privacy

Logos:

link that is working.

Logos can only be used with prior written approval from

Ad Solicitation:

the company. Pulling a logo from the WallStreet Journal, FTC,

Make sure that it is disclosed somewhere on the adver-

FDA, etc. cannot be used without consent from their right-

tisement that the message is identified as an ad. I normally

ful owner. If prior written approval is not obtained, the logo

see “This is an advertisement” or “This is a solicitation”.

must be removed from the site immediately.

Opt-Out:

Testimonials: The testimonials used must be from real individuals and

The Opt-Out link must be working and must also include a physical address to unsubscribe from.

a notification to the respective individual is required prior

Please share this checklist to your employees to as-

to using their quote. Advertisers should provide an affidavit

sist in compliance. Your employees are your first defense

stating a testimonial/quote can be used and is legitimate.

in keeping your creatives and landing pages compliant..

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· Issue 24 · October 2013

Ninfa Cabello is Director of Business Development at Madrivo Media, LLC.

16/10/2013 04:02:18 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

Why You Must

Build Your Own Brand by Zac Johnson

W

hen I first started making money online over 17 years ago, I knew affiliate marketing was going to be huge. Back in the mid to late 90s when I

first got introduced to the world of affiliate marketing, it was still fairly new. Zac Johnson

Amazon.com had their affiliate program, but there weren’t many other ad networks or affiliate programs out there to choose from. The growth of the internet and affiliate marketing has been massive over the years, and if you are an affiliate marketer, your earnings have probably increased with it... but has your brand?

It’s about time you stopped making someone else rich through your talents and efforts and started to build a

A common trend that we are seeing in online marketing

brand that grows with you. Affiliate marketing is awesome,

right now is that successful affiliate marketers are leaving

and you can still use it to make a good amount of money,

the concept of “just being an affiliate” and moving on to be-

but the whole concept of jumping from ad campaign to ad

come their own brands and companies. This is something I

campaign and sending someone else all of your data and

did back in 2007 when I decided to launch my blog at Zac-

customers is flawed.

Johnson.com. Since launching the blog, my business and name recognition have increased in immeasurable multiples. Without

It’s a great opportunity and legitimate business model, but you are limited on your reach and may always be reliant on the success and failure of your next ad campaign.

even focusing on the revenue and business made through

Starting a brand of your own is extremely easy and you

the blog, the opportunities of getting my name out there

can get started right now. All it takes is setting up a few so-

and becoming an authority figure in the affiliate space has

cial network profiles, grabbing a domain name (preferably

been quite amazing.

your real name or company name) and throwing WordPress

Through the blog I’ve had the opportunity to be a key-

on your site to create a blog. Blogging is one of the best

note speaker in Australia, travel the world and speak at dif-

ways to get your name out there, as it will grow with content

ferent conferences, appear on Fox News and ABC News,

over time and allow other people to follow your journey and

and launch my own book.

connect with you in the process.

Bottom line... you need to start building a brand of your own!

Start your branding process today and think about where you could be in a year from now.

Zac Johnson is an entrepreneur with over 17 years in internet marketing and branding.

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16/10/2013 04:02:22 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

Affiliate Summit East 2013 Recap by Shawn Collins

S

unday, August 18, 2013 was the first day of Affiliate

The Meet Market opened at noon and ran through 6:00

Summit East 2013 at the Pennsylvania Convention

PM with a steady stream of attendees meeting with the

Center.

table exhibitors.

Registration check-in and set-up for the Meet Market

kicked off the day at 8:00 AM.

During the day, exhibitors built out their booths in the exhibit hall for Monday and Tuesday.

I gave my First Timers Orientation for Affiliate Sum-

The day wrapped up with Emcee Wade Tonkin leading

mit East 2013 session at 10:00 AM, and I was glad to see a

a series of Elevator Pitches, where attendees could get be-

packed crowd of folks eager to learn how to optimize their

hind the microphone and share what sorts of people they

time at the conference.

were trying to meet at the conference.

This was followed by sixteen breakout sessions

This was followed by the Newcomer Program meetup,

throughout the day that covered affiliate programs, blog-

and then everybody heading out for their Affiliate Summit

ging, affiliate management, mobile, legal, video, SEO, social

evening plans.

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

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· Issue 24 · October 2013

I might be a little biased, but my favorite slide was one where Dr. Pinkett featured pictures of a bunch of different entrepreneurs and talked about how none were individuals – they were all teams. Among the teams featured were Missy Ward and me. :)

It was fun to see so many of the attendees sharing pic-

The exhibit hall opened on day 2 and thousands of af-

tures on social media of their cheesesteaks and visits to the

filiate marketers came together for a full day of networking.

Rocky stairs. Monday, August 19, 2013 was the second day of Affiliate Summit East 2013 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

In addition to all of the business talk in the exhibit hall, there were also educational sessions throughout the day at Affiliate Summit East 2013. And we had a Philadelphia themed lunch complete with cheesesteaks, hoagies, soft pretzels, and Tastykakes.

After the education sessions, there were a series of Ask the Experts roundtables, where a number of interactive discussions were led by industry veterans. The day started with a tasty breakfast for VIP and All Access pass holders, followed by some brief announcements from Affiliate Summit East 2013 Emcee, Wade Tonkin. Then there was an inspiring keynote address from Dr. Randal Pinkett, Founder, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners.

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16/10/2013 04:02:35 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 was the third and final day of Affiliate Summit East 2013 at Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. The day started with a tasty attendee breakfast, and I got nice and fueled up on bacon and juice.

This was followed by a power packed keynote from Wil

After Affiliate Summit East 2013 wrapped up, we

Reynolds on the changes coming from Google and how af-

brought speakers and some attendees (there was a chance

filiate marketers should adapt.

to get a spot during my First Timers Orientation) from the

The final day of Affiliate Summit East 2013 also featured a series of breakout sessions and lots of networking in the exhibit hall.

conference to enjoy dinner, drinks, networking, and general goofy times at the Phillies game. Thank you to everybody who came out to network, learn and have fun with us – Affiliate Summit East 2013 was the biggest Affiliate Summit ever with over 4,400 attendees! If you haven’t heard, we’ll be back in NYC for Affiliate Summit East 2014 on August 10-12, 2014 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The conference closed out with a different sort of keynote from Rae Hoffman – she talked about things her son taught her about life and business. I will neither confirm nor deny that I got a little teary eyed.

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16/10/2013 04:02:41 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

Jeremy Coon

Big Data:

T

Making Your Stats Really Count

by Jeremy Coon

he early days of online marketing were wild. Entre-

Where Do I Get Started?

preneurs, eager to take advantage of new technol-

It’s easy to look at something as simple as a click-through

ogy, made a killing overnight with minimal effort.

rate and jump to a conclusion about which creatives are

We’ve come a long way since those early days, though.

working, but you need more information than that.

Innovation, regulation and increasingly web savvy con-

Generally speaking there are two kinds of stats:

sumers have transformed the industry, requiring marketers

» Stats that tell you about how the advertisement and

to perfect their strategy and decision making.

landing page perform » Stats that tell you about the type of consumer that

Why Big Data?

wants your product

Right at the heart of effective strategy is information.

Successful affiliate marketers use a combination of

Not the kind of information that comes from a quick glance

both in order to understand what causes a consumer to

at your reports, but the insights you get from watching the

buy, as well as the type of traffic displaying each creative. Referring URLs, countries, day of the week, time of day,

ups and downs of your traffic and finding patterns over a

and even user agents contribute to telling the story of your

prolonged period of time. In the past, the cost and logistics of storing and analyzing that kind of data made it nearly impossible to do so, but

target traffic, and should be used as you design and test your campaigns. The next time you take a look at your reports, consider

as technology has advanced, so too has our opportunity to

these tips:

dig deep.

1.

The Big Deal

they mean.

You could stare at stats and graphs for hours, but at

2.

Take the time to learn Microsoft Excel. It’s a powerful

the end of your day you’re no farther ahead. The value with

organization and sorting tool where most reports can

big data isn’t in the data itself, it’s in the changes you make

be exported. 3.

through accurate analysis. highest sales, what makes the perfect affiliate or just who’s

Analyze the stats surrounding what has worked and what hasn’t, so you can guide future decisions.

Whether you’re trying to uncover what leads to the 4.

If you’re not the advertiser, ask what ongoing information

pulling their weight, big data can provide important insight

they would be willing to pass back to you. This will give you

into things like consumer demographics, behavior and pat-

an idea about which consumers are repeat buyers, and

terns.

ultimately allow you to trace that back at a deeper level.

As you develop your affiliate program with fact-based

5.

Don’t be afraid to start your marketing efforts on a

findings, rather than assumptions, you’ll increase efficiency,

broad scale and focus your traffic down as you start

cut costs, and minimize your risk of failure.

seeing trends.

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Learn what stats you have in front of you, and what

Jeremy Coon Is the Director of Sales and Business Development at affiliate tracking leader, LinkTrust.

16/10/2013 04:02:42 p.m.


· Issue 24 · October 2013

7 Ways

to Stay Out of Court by Eric S. Crusius

Eric S. Crusius

I

admit it: I like going to court. The rush of adrenaline that comes whenever I stand up and speak before a jury, a judge, or a panel of judges is exhilarating; much more so

than my very short, and often remarkably unsuccessful “career” in athletics (it took me years to score my first soccer goal and I was not on defense; after that, it got better). I enjoy going to court, but I do it for a living. Most of

other party in addition to possible six-figure statutory dam-

the time, my clients have a much less enjoyable experience.

ages per violation. As such, it is important to understand

This is not because I sneer at them or make them feel bad (I

what rights you have to use another’s intellectual property

am known to have a good bench-side manner), but because

including logos, copy, and pictures. This should hopefully be

they are in court when someone has harmed their business

explained in a contract.

or they are accused of harming another’s business.

Step #4 - Know the CAN-SPAM Act: if you send out e-

The good news is that there are some basic steps affili-

mails, you are probably required to follow certain rules out-

ate marketers and networks can take to help insulate them-

lined in the Act. There are some attorneys who “troll” for

selves from legal pitfalls, because, believe it or not, lawsuits

CAN-SPAM Act violations. The Act’s requirements are pretty

in the affiliate marketing space are not uncommon. Here

straight forward, so following them is not too difficult.

they are:

Step #5 – Stay out of the FTC’s crosshairs: marketers

Step #1 - Get real and incorporate: this is more of a help

have long been the target of the FTC, and those who engage

if you do get sued. If you’re not incorporated, your personal

in affiliate marketing are no exception. Be sure to avoid us-

assets could be at risk. You generally do not need an attor-

ing deceptive formats, false endorsements, or unsubstanti-

ney to do this.

ated claims.

Step #2 – Have contracts with your network or affiliate:

Step #6 – Beware of State Attorney’s General: State AGs

often times misunderstandings can be avoided if the par-

often get involved when the FTC will not, and there are 50 of

ties know the rules of the road. Also, be sure to read any-

them. They love getting affiliates over “free trial” claims and

thing before you sign it.

will threaten lawsuits if they are not happy with proposed

Step #3 – Understand intellectual property rights:

resolutions with consumers.

trademarks and copyrights are guarded jealously by their owners. Any violation will likely result in a demand letter, if

Step #7 – Search yourself: bad reviews on review websites can be deadly. Promptly deal with them.

not a lawsuit. These lawsuits can sometimes come with extreme penalties – having to pay the attorneys’ fees for the

These steps are not a guarantee, but will help you stay away from lawsuits. Happy marketing!

Eric Crusius is an attorney that helps affiliate marketers stay out of legal trouble.

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16/10/2013 04:02:43 p.m.


Shawn Collins

· Issue 24 · October 2013

How to Fix

Online Shopping by Shawn Collins

A

ffiliate Summit Press, a new publishing arm of Af-

The book includes the winning entries, as well as the

filiate Summit, has put out the first in a series of

others that were submitted, which conformed to the mini-

books aimed at the digital marketing space called

mum or maximum word count.

Online Shopping is Broken: How to Fix It. The book is based on short essays from U.S. college students who answered the question, “What is your biggest

Online Shopping is Broken: How to Fix It is available in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com. Keep an eye out for more Affiliate Summit Press books.

frustration with online shopping and how would you suggest fixing it?,” in 250-500 words. The essays were part of a contest from Affiliate Summit, where we provided ten scholarships of $1,000 each to college students, based on their essay entries. Winners were selected by the Affiliate Summit Advisory Board. » Kerry Anderson – University of Maryland » Maria Andrade – Arizona State University » Julia Anthony – West Chester University » Andrew Arredondo – University of Utah » Julia Belsky – Washington University in St. Louis » Clayton Bradshaw – Tulsa Community College » Justin Davis – Cowley College » Jacquelyn D Grammer – Valencia College » Sanya Lalani – George Mason University » Andrew Joseph McCarty – Arcadia University The winning essays, as well as all other submissions, are listed in this book in alphabetical order by last name.

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

16/10/2013 04:02:45 p.m.


LAUNCHED! ShareASale Welcomes the GoDaddy Affiliate Program! As the world’s #1 domain name registrar and #1 hosting provider*, GoDaddy makes it simple for people to get on the Web and successfully accomplish their goals.

Why we’re excited: GoDaddy is one of the Internet’s most iconic brands with a worldwide presence and more than 12 million customers. On a philosophical level, both GoDaddy and ShareASale are committed to helping businesses start and grow. We look forward to building a successful partnership.

www.ShareASale.com To join the GoDaddy Affiliate Program and learn more about ShareASale visit ShareASale.com/Business Chicago-based ShareASale is a provider of e-commerce tracking and affiliate management solutions for retailers. By facilitating relationships between affiliate marketers and over 3,900 merchants, ShareASale helps its clients tap into new sources of revenue.

*GoDaddy is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue according to 451 Research (Mass-Market Hosting Report-Fall 2012).

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16/10/2013 04:02:52 p.m.


Shawn Collins

· Issue 24 · October 2013

Editor’s Note

Strengthen

Your Q4 Site Offense by Shawn Collins

Y

ou started the fourth quarter with a game plan, and things are going right so far, but are you prepared to

count on other people telling you. Instead, use a com-

call an audible if need be?

pany like Pingdom to alert you immediately, so you can

Just like in football, you’ll sometimes have to call a sub-

stitute play in business to adjust to sudden changes that

» Invest in quality hosting: Lots of people are tempt-

you see. It’s not ideal to have to switch things up to react

ed to go with the cheap hosts to save a few bucks, but

to external events, but if you are prepared, you can make

at what cost? This tip ties into the previous point about

it work for you.

monitoring your site performance. Basically, if your site

This is a tricky time of year, since it’s the crazy rush for commerce, and lots of people are off for extended periods

is going down, it’s probably because you have a subpar host. » Speed up your site: People and search engines dis-

of time for the holidays. What are you going to do when Muhammad Wilkerson

like slow sites. But do you even know if you have a slow

(obligatory New York Jets reference) knocks your quarter-

site? Check out PageSpeed Insights from Google to find

back out of the game?

out what you should fix to increase the speed that your

OK, that’s probably not a real scenario for you in par-

site loads.

ticular, but how about if your server goes down, your site is

» Make your site responsive: Your site should be op-

hacked, or there is some other time sensitive disaster and

timized for any device out there, whether it’s a mobile

nobody is around to help? How about if you are simply turn-

phone, table, or desktop computer. Test it in all of these

ing people away, because your site is slow or inaccessible?

environments, and evolve if it’s not responsive. Many

Start preparing now for things that might happen, so you don’t have to pull all-nighters or run away from the Thanksgiving table to deal with messes. Here are some tips to fortify your Q4 site offense… » Password security: First, change your passwords

» Stay on top of updates: If you are using WordPress or another platform, it’s vital that you update your version and related files as needed, so you can avoid making it easy for creeps to sneak in the back door and cause mischief.

know all of your passwords, or use a service like Robo-

Taking these steps should help to preserve some san-

» Monitor your site performance: If your site goes down, you’d better know about it right away. Don’t

2

WordPress themes will take care of this.

now, and make them stronger. Second, be sure you Form to keep them organized.

ff24_full.indb 2

act on it.

ity, and to make it easier in the event you have to call an audible. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

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

16/10/2013 04:01:41 p.m.


FeedFront Magazine, Issue 24