AffiliateFORCE: Tops in Networking, Content & Self-Promotion

The following article was published in the premier issue of Revenue, The Internet Affiliate Marketing Standard.

If you thought AffiliateFORCE was a slick ruse in order to write off a cruise to the Bahamas – you may need to adjust your perceptions. This year’s conference included a diverse group of over 200 attendees, including 31 official speakers who presented an abundance of excellent content, along with a healthy dose of self-promotion. Though the weather was beautiful, the noticeable lack of sunburns attests to the fact that a lot of work got done over the conference’s four days. (And the word “recession” was never mentioned!)

Gaming Sites Make Presence Known

There were numerous highlights, but none of us will soon forget when ReferBack (casino program managers) rewarded its top affiliate from the first quarter with his choice of four high performance sports cars, a Ferrari among them. Though ReferBack attended last year, this year’s conference attendees included several more casino site representatives, attesting to the phenomenal growth of this segment.

Program Solution Providers in Attendance

Kowabunga (MyAffiliateProgram) stepped up their representation and sponsorship of this year’s event by bringing along several of their merchant clients and promoting their new program management services, Team Kowabunga. Fortunately, this year they were not the lone program solution provider…as Be Free made a strong presence, and representatives from LinkShare and Performics were also in attendance. Two representatives from WebClients, a CPA network, were also there. [Read more…]

Outsource Affiliate Program Management: Greater Expertise = Greater Effectiveness

Is there a need for outside help in establishing and managing successful affiliate programs for online retailers?

Has this relatively new industry produced any “experts” who are able to apply their experience in meaningful and measurable ways on behalf of companies seeking to fully exploit this channel?

According to Shawn Collins, recognized industry leader, author of “Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants”:

“As we all know, a skilled and experienced affiliate manager is nearly as rare as a Honus Wagner T-206 baseball card. (There are an estimated 58 of these cards in circulation). This shortage of talent and the rapid growth of the affiliate marketing industry have resulted in the need for merchants to outsource the duties of an affiliate manager.”

Last year, Affiliate Metrix performed comprehensive research on the Affiliate Marketing Industry. Their research resulted in the identification of just five Projections. One of these was: [Read more…]

Dump ’em and focus on real partnerships!

It’s been a couple months since my last post. I hope you’ve enjoyed the summer. I personally, have done a lot of `soul searching’, especially related to this ever-changing business channel we’re all involved with.

Did you read Declan’s ClickZ article last week: “Reports of Affiliate Programs’ Death Are Greatly Exaggerated”? Here’s a link to the full article

Among the great points he made, I’d like to highlight the following: [Read more…]

Shameless promotion of pretty good stuff!

(Please note: The links in this article are no longer valid.)

Last week, I attended AffiliateFORCE 2003. Some of you were there and most of you know about this great conference/networking event. Besides recommending everyone join iAfma and attend next year’s event, I came away from this year’s gathering with a few action items I’d like to share with you…

Each of these recommendations are aimed at improving the effectiveness of your affiliate partners – and your own marketing efforts as well. Please feel free to pass these along to your affiliates, they will surely thank you for letting them know how to be more successful. [Read more…]

Building Your Affiliate Marketing Channel through an Effective Communications Strategy

If I told you that communicating with your affiliate partners will help you achieve a greater level of success, I don’t think I’d get much argument. In fact, many of you may stop reading because you think you’ve heard it all before…

If this is the case, I have just one question…

“Why aren’t you DOING it?!”

Sure, there are many expertly run affiliate programs (and if you’re doing all the things I’m about to reveal, great!), but for the most part, it seems like no one has even been put in charge of many of the programs I come across. Countless times I’ve joined a program, received a generic welcome letter, only to never hear from the company again.

Let’s look at some ways you can use communications to greatly enhance the bottom line of your affiliate program… [Read more…]

Should I Promote this Merchant? A Critical Checklist for Choosing an Affiliate Program

The following article was published in the premier issue of Revenue, The Internet Affiliate Marketing Standard.

There are thousands upon thousands of affiliate programs offered by various Internet merchants. Deciding what programs to promote can be a daunting task. Let’s explore the factors most successful affiliate marketers consider when faced with this decision…

First and foremost, you must consider your site visitors’ propensity to purchase the product or service or take the ‘desired action’ (filling out a lead form, etc.). The greatest factor here is the attractiveness of the merchant’s site and offer, but you also need to consider your ability to properly pre-sell the product or service and your interest in doing so. After all, if you don’t refer a qualified buyer and if the merchant’s site does not convert your referrals, you will not be successful with this offer.

Once you’re satisfied both you and your customers will be interested in what a merchant has to offer, then consider these additional factors…

1. The Agreement. Read the Terms and Conditions of the program and be sure you understand and agree with all the points. If there is no such document, move on. [Read more…]