Affiliate Experience: Fast Food or Fine Dining? #ASE17

“I go to a fast food chain if I want a quick meal, but I go to a restaurant if I want fine dining.”

The Dining Experience

Fast Food Chain

  • Uniformity of menu with predictable taste
  • Efficiencies of scale = inexpensive (food and atmosphere)
  • Minimal, low skilled labor

Fine Dining Restaurant

  • Complex menu with exotic taste
  • Unique, difficult to mass-produce = more expensive (food and atmosphere)
  • Centered around a creative chef with experienced staff (Host/hostess, Servers, Sommelier)

The Affiliate Experience

“Fast Food” Affiliate

  • Limited value-add (links, presentation, content, etc.)
  • Efficiencies of scale = maximize automation (site and user-experience)
  • Minimal effort exerted (outreach, branding, voice)

“Fine Dining” Affiliate

  • Extensive customization and value-add integrations
  • Unique user experience = high value proposition (site and user-benefits)
  • Centered around a creative niche and focus
    • Person (blogger, celebrity, expert)
    • Idea (loyalty, cause, entity)
    • Need (“scratches an itch”)

17 tips to enrich your “menu” and rating as a master chef.

Take your savory experience from “greasy spoon” to five-stars. Food = Content!

Tip #1. Your Publisher Profile

  • Keep it updated and interesting. Include a call to action!
  • Concise, current network profile
  • Why do I want to join your program?
  • How can I help you, the advertiser?
  • What is my value-add (to you)?

Tip #2. Affiliate Links

  • Optimize banners and images as “web-friendly”
  • Compare .jpg and .png quality and size
  • Imagify (https://imagify.io) can do this for you!
  • Why optimize?
  • Fast sites = higher conversion rates (check @ https://tools.pingdom.com)
  • Many users are on mobile devices
  • Don’t overdo banner ads and links
  • Ask affiliate manager for more!
  • Custom banners
  • Deep links

Tip #3. Commission

  • Reward Generously
  • Default commissions need to be efficient, competitive, easy to understand, yet tantalizing.
  • Sell the sizzle to get the attention of publishers.
  • Keep it simple – no one likes a confusing menu.
  • Dynamic Commissioning
  • Larger or niche publishers and advertisers require a more detailed and complex commission.
  • Different verticals need different commission structures.
  • Some larger publishers will be paid a much higher commission rate. Advertisers and Publishers need to cater to the needs of each other.
  • Attribution Settings
  • Attribution separates who gets what and why. Know how you get paid and what works best!

Tip #4. Incentives

  • Boost Campaigns & Bonuses
  • Menu Specials
  • In Fast Food, across the board commission boosts encourage recruitment, activation or re-engage a dormant publisher.
  • Fine Dining publishers may be encouraged to promote a specific product with a boost or are offered more per sale in a bonus based on volume tiers.
  • Contests
  • Set up a program to encourage sales activity, make the rules simple and measurable, then let everyone know how it works.
  • Used to promote new products or encourage more sales activity.
  • Top Partner Events
  • The Ultimate Fine Dining Event. Sometime Fine Dining is actually part of the event.
  • Solicitation of high volume players or Top Revenue producers.
  • 1×1 opportunity for relationship building.

Tip #5. Coupons

  • Coupon Tracking, Suppression & Attribution
  • Ensures proper attribution for the Publisher.
  • Advertisers prefer automation to determine attribution.
  • Process needs to be standard, efficient and built for scalability.
  • Promo Codes / Custom Codes
  • Most Promo Codes designed for the masses like $1.00 off on Hamburgers.
  • Advertisers can use Vanity Codes or Custom Promo Codes for top-tier Publishers.
  • Publishers can use this tool as a co-branding tool or exclusive offer.
  • Coupon commissioning
  • Advertisers need to refrain from making discounts so deep that they impact commission amounts.
  • Publishers need to understand the commission terms and if coupon affects commission.
  • Data Feeds
  • Great tool for Publishers to receive current coupons from multiple advertisers.
  • Advertisers use data feeds to distribute their offers to many publishers.

Tip #6. Communications

  • Emails
  • Email exchanges are 1×1 (Fine Dining) experiences.
  • Consistent communication between top Advertisers and Publishers are essential for optimization.
  • Newsletters
  • Newsletters are mass communication to a large audience.
  • Newsletter communications are vital to developing relationships with a large number of affiliates.
  • Press Releases
  • Great way to communicate a message or announcement to a large population.
  • Like Fine Dining, message is well crafted and the process more formal.

Tip #7. Be Mobile-Friendly

  • Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
  • Many users are not on computers
  • Nearly 3 Billion smartphones in use now worldwide but only 2 Billion personal computers!
  • MediaPost: 53% of smartphone users purchase with them
  • Ad blockers more common on desktops
  • Don’t forget about tablet users also.
  • Cross-device tracking

Tip #8. Cross-Device Tracking

  • 50% of all transactions begin on mobile
  • Tracks a transaction across multiple devices, such as first click on mobile device, final purchase from desktop
  • Average sales increase 3-24%
  • Greatest percentage gain from CDT – Content Publishers
  • Nothing required from affiliate – implementation occurs on advertiser’s site

Tip #9. Affiliate Tools

  • Product Feeds
  • Enables advertisers to send detailed product information to a large group of publishers.
  • Gives publishers all the info they need to promote specific products and deep link into carts.
  • Reduces clicks and increases conversions.
  • Widgets
  • Allows publishers to put a little piece of the advertiser’s site on their landing page.
  • Product choices made with a widget are then deep linked into an advertiser’s cart.
  • Allows for a seamless sale in a franchise-like experience.
  • Custom Landing Pages
  • Custom / co-branded landing page – ultimate fine dining experience
  • Pages are optimized to maximize conversions with custom promotions or offers.
  • The special meal not on the menu!

Tip #10. WordPress

  • It’s free and used by ~27% of all websites!
  • Huge selection of templates
  • Massive plugin options that add features (over 40K)
  • Other WordPress advantages
  • Translated into more than 50 languages
  • Highly consistent and flexible design elements
  • Frequent upgrades and security enhancements
  • Highly customizable (blog, how-to, journal, forum, membership site, etc.)
  • Mobile-ready (responsive) “out of the box”
  • Social media friendly
  • Search engine optimized
  • Scalable (grows with you)
  • Easy to use!

Tip #11. Technical Integration

  • Most networks offer advanced APIs
  • Affiliate service provider APIs
  • FMTC
  • Datafeedr
  • WordPress affiliate plugins
  • Networks
  • Service providers
  • Shopping cart extensions
  • WooCommerce integration with product catalogs
  • Use “sub-networks”
  • Skimlinks & VigLink
  • Others

Tip #12. Attribution

  • Dividing commission based on role in sales process
  • Last click doesn’t take it all
  • Advertiser’s choice
  • Methodologies vary by network
  • Fixed portions based on location in sales process
  • Bonus based on involvement
  • Soft click – won’t overwrite existing cookies

Tip #13. Site Monetization

  • Paid Placements
  • Reviews
  • How-to articles (with product suggestions)
  • Blog posts
  • Paid content
  • Sponsorships
  • SEO
  • SEM/PPC
  • Social media

Tip #14. Expand the Affiliate Channel

  • Look at affiliate marketing through a bigger lens
  • Search Promotion
  • Social Media Tracking
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram – Snapppt.com
  • App tracking (Oplytic)

Tip #15. Reporting

  • Many reports available through network interface. Learn all of them.
  • Fast food – Conversion statistics, timing
  • Fine Dining – EPC, AOV
  • Best sellers
  • Custom Parameters – best performing pages
  • Commission status
  • I wonder if…
  • Google Analytics – not designed for affiliate marketing

Tip #16. Partnerships

  • Strategic Alliances
  • Well thought-out partnerships between advertisers and publishers.
  • Agreements can be from multiple groups of both.
  • Fine Dining experience for the Advertiser, Publisher and Shopper, taking advantage of synergies and maximizing traffic revenue for both parties.
  • Can be exclusive or semi-exclusive
  • Both parties rely on each other's brand to maximize sales.
  • Reciprocal Agreements
  • Great way to promote synergies between partners
  • Each advertiser can become a publisher for the other, provide links to purchase on their site / cart.
  • Burger company teaming up with a bun company and selling their products in a way that offers both.

Tip #17. Account Management

  • Service levels
  • Varies by management agreement
  • Could be managed by in-house Affiliate Manager, OPM or network team
  • Get to know the management team
  • Best sellers
  • Seasonal specials
  • New Products
  • Special site promotional opportunities
  • Read the Newsletters!

The Guide To Native Advertising For Affiliate Marketers by Alex Kapralov #ASE17

Common Native Verticals

  • Technology (gadgets, software)
  • Health & Beauty
  • Financial Services
  • Gambling
  • Dating
  • Games
  • Education & Careers

6 Most Effective Styles For A Strong Headline

  • Informative
  • Inspiring
  • Innovative
  • Shocking & Jaw-Dropping
  • Touching & Heartwarming
  • Questions

Campaign Goals That Align Well With Native Ads

  • Increase traffic to original content
  • Improve CTR and Engagement
  • Educate the general public (and inspire new customers)
  • Alter brand perception (and associate brand with content)
  • Improve sign up rate for mailing lists

Reflection: Why Choose Native

  • Native advertising is on the rise
  • Strong Native ad campaigns have:
    • –A compelling headline
    • –A motivating description that includes key words and language that inspires action
    • –A clear and emotional image that will be relatable to users
  • Native ads improve your CTR
  • Native ads are great for campaigns that:
    • –Are content driven
    • –Aim to acquire new customers
    • –Aim to change brand perception

How Negative Brand Images Can Affect Affiliate Revenue by Tonyn Wright #ASE17

Brand = promise in a personality – but: what is Brand Perception?

  • It’s not what you say
  • It is tied to what you do
  • It’s not your advertising
  • It is tied to your customer service
  • It’s not your social stance
  • It is how CUSTOMERS and potential CUSTOMERS see you

What drives Brand Perception?

1) Social Responsibility

  • Supports good causes
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Community Responsibility

2) Emotional Appeal

  • Feel good about
  • Admire and Respect
  • Trust

3) Products & Services

  • High quality
  • Innovative
  • Value for the money
  • Stands behind

4) Workplace Environment

  • Rewards employees fairly
  • Good place to work
  • Good employees

5) Financial Performance

  • Outperforms competitors
  • Record of profitability
  • Low-risk investment
  • Growth prospects

6) Vision & Leadership

  • Market opportunities
  • Excellent leadership
  • Clear vision for the future

What’s Bad and What’s not

BAD

  • Bad Customer Reviews
  • Bad word of Mouth
  • Bad behavior by executives or employees
  • Bad products
  • Bad Business Practices

Not Bad

  • Social Stands
  • Honest Mistakes
  • Missing the mark Marketing
  • Disgruntled Employees (mostly)
  • Honest but mostly positive reviews

What can brands do?

  • Proactive Reputation Management
  • Respond to reviews!
  • Spend money on customer service
  • Take responsibility for actions

What can affiliates do?

  • Monitor your brand’s reputation. Tell them when you see a problem
  • Know your audience and what they are sensitive too
  • Push brands to do positive reputation management
  • Don’t risk your reputation with a bad brand. It’s not worth it.

Affiliate Network Migrations Made Simple by Chris Tradgett #ASE17

 

Overview

  • why move your program?
  • program audit
  • new program setup
  • migrating affiliates
  • ongoing analysis

why move?

  • network closing…
  • network not what it used to be
  • your business has changed
  • expanding markets
  • moving to a SaaS platform

check the details

  • do your due diligence
  • technology
  • mobile and cross-platform
  • reach and service
  • compliance and fraud management
  • affiliate relationships
  • affiliate reporting system
  • negotiate contract terms
  • ensure there’s no ‘non-compete’ clause
  • assess your team – new hire or OPM?

program audit

  • understand existing publishers
  • revenue drivers
  • promotional needs and channels
  • ensure lines of communication open
  • conduct a gap analysis
  • prepare recruitment communications
  • Set a manageable overlap time

program set up

  • communication is key to success
  • build a strong PR plan for launch
  • phone major affiliates well ahead to pre-warn
  • email all affiliates ahead of launch date
  • get the new network fully set up and tested well before launch

migration process

  • manage partner migrations
  • personal interaction
  • meet major affiliates
  • provide page link analysis
  • ensure the right creative is available
  • look at incentives for changing links
  • maybe cull inactive publishers…
  • dead links
  • beware of brand issues from dead links:
  • major affiliates more likely to move
  • old blog posts may not be obvious
  • smaller affiliates less responsive
  • all can lead to a network 404
  • consumer views of the brand may be impacted
  • success
  • Example migration from Missguided.com
  • migrated exclusively to Awin network

ongoing analysis

  • program analysis
  • continual network affiliate analysis
  • use third party link analysis tools to identify links still active
  • compare with competitors using backlink analysis tools
  • completing migration
  • ongoing analysis of former programs
  • regular communications to prompt
  • keep up pressure until the overlap period ends
  • incentivize late movers

10 Ways to Make Your Affiliate Program Stand Out by Geno Prussakov #ASE16

  • 3 Goals of Co-Branding
    • Offering Co-BrandingThree- to four-fold increase in conversions (from 8.56% to 23.21% for a cashback affiliate, 2.5% to 10.9% for a coupon affiliate).
    • Affiliate Window: 66.45% conversion increase, ~44% revenue boost, and 132% difference in new customers acquired.
  • Supporting Mobile Affiliates by tracking and providing them with:
    • Mobile-friendly/responsive LPs
    • Creatives (for various devices)
    • Mobile APIs (for apps, etc)
  • Keywords on Network: Optimize for competitorsbranded keywords (including the ones on other networks)
  • Outranking on Search
    • Organic
    • and Paid Search
  • Performance Incentives
    • Tiered commission increases
    • Cash bonuses for reaching goals
    • Higher payouts for new customers
    • Contests
  • Activation IncentivesDefine “activation”Examples:
    • Putting links up
    • Starting to drive traffic
    • Referring first sale
  • How to incentivize?
    • Cash for links
    • Commission increase
    • First sale bonus
    • Cookie life increase
  • Being Different
    • Examples:
    • Co-branding a Tool
    • Commission Beating
    • Turning Referral into Contest
  • We learn
    • 10% of what we read
    • 20% of what we hear
    • 30% of what we see
    • 50% of what we see and hear
    • 70% of what we say
    • 90% of what we say and do
      — Dr. Vernon Magnesen
  • Adding Pay-Per-Call: Pay affiliates for hot leads that call in.Just as with other models, the advertiser “qualifies” the call.
  • Bridges the gap between online & offline.
    1. Connect
      (affiliate logo, wording, color gamma)
    2. Convince
      (exclusive promotion, urgency, scarcity)
    3. Convert (auto-apply promo, CTA)
  • Micro-Bars
    • Challenging for most designers, but important for many affiliates.
    • 88×31 = overlooked opportunity!
  • Support
    • Being reachable
    • Being responsive
    • Segmented approach
    • Tailored suggestions
    • Surveys

Marketing To Affiliates

  • Zoom In (and optimize on networks)
  • Beat (your competition on search)
  • Excite (by activation incentives)
  • Motivate (by performance bonuses)
  • Innovate (to stand out)

Marketing Through Affiliates

  • Equip (by supporting mobile)
  • Empower (through pay-per-call)
  • Improve (via co-branding)
  • Discern (importance of 88x31s)
  • Back Up (by personalized support)

31 Tools of the Trade for Affiliate Marketers by Jeannine Crooks #ASE16

Social Media Development

#1
Followerwonk

Twitter Analytics

oFollower analytics – Identify influencers following you

oIdentification, authority, location, activity

oFind new influencers

oEngagement

oEasy Follow/Unfollow

oFollower Gains/Losses

oResults downloadable

oManage multiple accounts

Moz.com/followerwonk

 

#2
DrumUp

Social media & content marketing

oFresh content recommendations

oReview, create and publish posts

oTwitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

oHashtag recommendations

oiPhone & Android apps

oManage multiple social accounts

drumup.io

 

#3
BUFFER

Schedule your posts for later

oShares your content at the best possible times throughout the day

oPost to all social networks

oEasily select which social accounts you want to post to.

oPost the same message to all accounts or add context by customizing each.

 

#4
Tinyurl.com

Create tiny URLS to shorten links

oURL that will not break in email postings and never expires.

oRedirect to any page on your site

oHide your affiliate URLS

oToolbar feature

 

Site Monitoring

#5
Uptime Robot

Website uptime monitoring

oEasy setup in beautiful dashboard

ohttp(s), ping, keywords, more

oAlerts via email, SMS, Twitter

o50 monitors checked every 5 min.

uptimerobot.com

 

#6
Versionista

Monitor web site changes

oAlerts for content added/removed

oView side by side comparison

oChanges highlighted red or green

oFilters, archives, tracking, more

Versionista.com

 

#7
pingdom Tests

Page speed and DNS testing

oEnter your URL to test

oAnalyzes website performance

oGet scores & recommendations

oFind out if DNS servers are configured correctly

tools.pingdom.com

 

#8
Responsinator

See your site’s mobile experience

oTest responsive websites

oEmulates different devices

oSee various screens & resolutions

oMake your own “Responsinator”

oBetter promote your content

responsinator.com

 

#9
help scout

Help Desk Automation

oCustomer friendly

oWorkflow builder

oHosted knowledge base

oTraffic Cop – prevents duplicate responses

oLive Chat functionality available

HelpScout.net

 

#10
Google analytics

Analytics Tool

oSee what’s working and fix what’s not

oUse customer insights to get stronger results across all sites, apps and offline channels.

oAlso gives insights into how visitors find and use your site, to keep them coming back.

 

Office Management

#11
Evernote

Information Management

oShare info across multiple devices

oClip web pages and images

oScan/digitize business cards

oSearch text in PDFs

oBrowse note history

Evernote.com

 

#12
Doodle

Simplified scheduling tool

oEasy online group scheduling

oSyncs with your calendar

oOutlook, Google, iCal

oSends reminders

oAccepts appointments online

oMobile tools

doodle.com

 

#13
Wunderlist

Synced to-do lists

oCollaborate & share lists

oReminders, due dates, notes

oIdeal for personal & professional

  • Mobile/desktop apps & web

wunderlist.com

 

#14
Harvest

Simple time tracking software

oReplacement for timesheets

oGreat for billing clients

oWeb, desktop & smartphone apps

oColorful time usage reports

getharvest.com

 

#15
MailChimp.com

Newsletter provider

oEasy drag and drop designer to create campaigns that match your style

oRobust marketing automation makes sure emails get to the right people at the right time

oAdvanced reporting features are easily accessible anywhere

 

#16
Freeconference call.com

100% Free Conference Call Service

oFree Online Meetings

oRecord and Share Any Call

oQuick and Easy Group Meetings

oAvailable on Demand

oHD Conference Audio/Video

oScreen Sharing

oInternational dial-in access

 

#17
Dropbox.com

File Sharing

oAccess files from anywhere, on any device, and share them with anyone.

oSave files on your computer, then access them on your phone from the road.

oEverything stored in Dropbox is synced automatically to all your devices.

oUp to 16GB free space

 

Marketing / Research

#18
Canva

PDF Creation Tool

oCreate presentations, social media graphics, infographics, ads, business cards, letterhead

oFree and paid images

oVariety of fonts, icons & shapes

oTutorials available

oCreations shareable

Canva.com

 

#19
WiseStamp

Rich email signatures

oEasy online templates

oCreate multiple signatures

oWorks on all major platforms

oVividly promotes your content

wisestamp.com

 

#20
Zoho/survey.com

Free surveys and reporting

oTemplates in 30+ Languages

oCustomized themes lets you tailor the look of your survey

oOrganize your surveys to make them more relevant to participants, and improve the quality of responses.

oReal time reporting and analytics

 

#21
Owler.com

Competitor Intelligence

oFree company intelligence

oInsights on companies you follow

oStay up to date on your competitors with daily snapshots

oSee how you stack up with weekly reports

 

#22
SimilarWeb

Website traffic analytics

oDiscover competitor web data

oTraffic & engagement stats

oOrganic & paid keywords

oSimilar sites, audience interests

oBrowser toolbar extension

oGlobal, country, category rankings

similarweb.com

 

#23
iconosquare

Instagram Analysis

oTrack follower growth & composition

oEngagement analysis

oHashtag performance & insights

oCompetitor comparison

oLive Chat functionality available

oPhoto & video contest management

Iconosquare.com

 

#24
Shopify

Ecommerce Platform

oComprehensive dashboard management

oTax/Shipping functionality included

oRobust sales reporting

oFree store templates

oEasy setup

o70 payment gateways

Shopify.com

 

#25
jotform

Online Form Builder

oTemplate form catalog

oTax/Shipping functionality included

oRobust sales reporting

oFree store templates

oEasy setup

o70 payment gateways

jotform.com

 

#26
W-TS

WordPress theme detector

oEnter URL and search – easy!

oDetects if site uses WordPress

oIdentifies parent & child themes

oDetects plugins being used

oGreat for ideas & research

whatwpthemeisthat.com

 

Content Development

#27
UberSuggest

Keyword Suggestion

oChoice of sources – web, YouTube, news, images

oResults in multiple languages

oDeeper research by word

oWord Cloud

oGoogle Trends available

oResults downloadable

oManage multiple accounts

Ubersuggest.io

 

#28
searchboth.com

Use two search engines at once

oCompare search results instantly

oGoogle, Yahoo!, Bing & 5 more

oSide by side display

o18 localized international sites

searchboth.com

 

#29
Whois.icann.org

Domain Ownership

oLookup any domain to find registered owner

oDetermine domain availability

oContact network administrators regarding technical difficulties

oInvestigate identity in response to cyber attack

 

#30
Majestic.com

Site Explorer 

oFind out how all the websites on the internet link to each other

oLargest Link Intelligence database on the planet.

oDetailed information about how the fabric of the web is knitted together.

 

#31
wp engine

WordPress Hosting

oHosting designed specifically for WP sites

oScalability

oContent delivery network

oFaster load times

oAutomatic backup

oSecurity

o24/7 support

oEnterprise-level available

WPEngine.com

 

2 Bonus Tools

#32
Wave

Easy accounting, invoicing, etc.

oManage banking & credit cards

oEasy invoicing & online payments

oRecord receipts (app option too)

oEasy accounting & rich reports

oAccept credit cards (low fees)

oPayroll with direct deposit

waveapps.com

 

#33
JIRA

Issue and Project Tracker

oDashboard overview of projects

oStrong for Agile, Scrum, Kanban

oCustomizable fields

oWorks with multiple 3rd party plugins

oSet Individual permission levels

oReuse filters for specific criteria

atlassian.com/software/jira