There is only one conference in the world that focuses specifically on affiliate program management questions, issues, and challenges. It is the Affiliate Management Days conference that I started in early 2012.
Since then we have already had 4 conferences: two in San Francisco, one in Fort Lauderdale, and one in London.
Today (Friday, December 4, 2013) is the last day to take advantage of our Super Early Bird rates. As you may see here the conference’s pass prices currently start only at $125. The full two-day pass is now $995.
Here comes the truly exciting part… If you combine the Super Early Bird rate with the below-displayed coupon code, you will receive additional 20% off any two-day pass:
So what are you thinking of? It won’t get better than this, as our Super Early Birds never come back! Register today via this link (the coupon will auto-apply) to save $900.00 off your two-day conference pass!!
Again, today is the last day to take advantage of this sweet offer!
On January 13, 2014, I will be presenting at Affiliate Summit West 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be my 10th time speaking at Affiliate Summits, and I’m excited that this one will be in my favorite format — a solo presentation.
I will dissect the ways to find and attract new affiliates into your affiliate program(s). The title of my session is 22 Effective Ways to Recruit Quality Affiliates and it will be run from 2:00 pm until 3:00 pm at the beautiful Paris Las Vegas Hotel in their spacious (7,965 square feet) Versailles Ballroom.
In preparations for the show I was recently interviewed by Affiliate Summit’s Ambassador, Heather Diamanti. To learn what to expect from the session, as well as to get inspired to press on, check it out below:
Chance to Win a Free Pass!
Additionally, I have two Networking Plus Passes (which are currently being sold at $549 each) to give away!
To enter for your chance to win one of the free passes, simply submit a comment under this blog post, suggesting some of the more innovative and effective ways to find affiliates, reach out to them, or convince them to sign up with affiliate programs. If you want to elaborate on any details, be my guest too!
Deadlines: To allow the time for your travel planning, the deadline to submit your comments/entries is Monday, December 16 (of course, you’re most welcome to comment after this date too, but those “submissions” won’t qualify you for the draw). I will announce the winners by December 18 2013, or nearly 4 weeks prior to the conference.
Looking forward to your comments!
Earlier this year (in August) Ola Hanø reached out to me describing his new idea and inviting me to participate in a really cool project.
The idea was/is to give Twitter users a chance to “meet some of the best experts on Digital Performance Marketing in the World, Europe or in the Nordic countries.” These experts would curate the @NordicPerform Twitter account, providing insight in their primary area of expertise, helping the audience improve their digital performance.
I am honored to join such rock stars of digital marketing as Avinash Kaushik, Jim Sterne, Bryan Eisenberg, and others who have curated their Nordic Performance weeks already. Some spoke on analytics, others on user experience… I, of course, chose affiliate marketing.
So Week #47 (November 25 – December 1) is devoted to the topic of “Excelling with Performance-Based Marketing.”
— Nordic Performance (@NordicPerform) November 25, 2013
Follow @NordicPerform Tweets, and please do interact too!
Autocomplete is a function “built into Google Search designed to make searching faster and easier.” It “predicts and displays queries to choose from. The search queries that you see as part of Autocomplete are a reflection of the search activity of users.” [source]
Try typing in “affiliate management” and Google Autocomplete will display:
It is certainly good to see Affiliate Management Days as the second most popular keyphrase related to affiliate management. However, I also find it beautifully symbolic as I look at the other queries to consider. Affiliate Management Days is the place where you will find all of the other suggestions listed by the Autocomplete. It is the place where you will learn of the tools and software to help you maximize the effectiveness of your affiliate program. It is the place where affiliate management companies and service providers will share their tips and tricks on how to make the most of your affiliate program. Simply put, this, without exaggeration, is the place where it all comes together!
The next AM Days will be held in San Francisco on March 19-20, 2014. The agenda (packed with content from top affiliate marketing expert speakers) is live here.
The Super Early Bird rates end in just 2.5 weeks! To save up to $700.00 on your pass, you want to register by December 6, 2013 (when buying any of our two-day passes use this coupon code to save additional 20% on top of the Super Early Bird rate).
Commission Junction affiliates will now notice a new tab in their “Account Manager” interface — one devoted to “Widgets.”
Amazon has had these forever. Some other affiliate networks have been offering similar tools for a while too (e.g.: ShareASale’s Make-a-Page tool), and now Commission Junction is enabling affiliates with a possibility to create their own widgets! And CJ did a really good job on the functionality.
Upon clicking “Create Widget” you get to choose how your products will be displayed: as a slideshow, collage, or in a grid (I went with a grid):
To do my brother’s heart good I went with FC Barcelona’s fan gear, and here’s how my quickly-put-together Barça widget looked (within the create-a-widget interface):
Good convenient tool. Affiliates will enjoy playing with it.
Earlier this month an interesting email came to me from an advertiser whose affiliate program we started a few months ago (edit: on an affiliate network). Here’s the gist of it (with parts of the text re-worded to hide sensitive information):
Recently, both of our main websites got hit by Google Penguin update due to bad linking practices. As a result, the websites’ traffic and conversion rates have dropped substantially.
We know that when running an affiliate program, we should make sure we have something good to offer our affiliates, and the first thing to focus on is a strong, consistent conversion rate. At this time we have to put all our effort in recovering from Penguin penalty, and want to wrap up our affiliate marketing efforts in the meantime.
My immediate reply to the client was:
I am not entirely sure how the Penguin update is related to what we are doing. Your affiliate traffic comes from affiliate websites, and has nothing to do with your own rankings. Your conversion rate is consistently steady, and we see good sales rolling in. Why would you want to stop this?
I was not provided much detail on the SEO side of things, but it sounded like the advertiser got hit by Penguin 2.1, an improved version of the original Penguin update, geared at addressing various webspam techniques (keyword stuffing, unnatural inbound links, etc).
The two consequences that the advertiser originally pointed to were: (i) loss of traffic, and (ii) conversion rate drop. The former (less visitors coming to your website because its search engine rankings got affected) was a natural consequence of the above-referenced types of Google updates. However, the latter, actually, made no sense to me. My analysis of this particular advertiser’s situation (on the affiliate conversion front) before and after the search engine update has proven my point:
In September, before they got hit by Google’s penalties, their affiliate traffic converted at 3.37% (with average affiliate earnings per 100 clicks being $27.47), while after the hit their conversion has been averaging 3.09% (with the EPC figure, actually, growing). Yes, there was a minor change to the conversion rate. However, so minor that it may be safely deemed insignificant; especially with the overall growth of average affiliate earnings per click referred.
This is not the first time that I am encountering a situation when panicking about their SEO or SEM problem, a merchant extends their worry beyond their own search-related situation. And I believe it is hugely important for advertisers to understand that while search and affiliate are closely intertwined (in terms of the complex marketing impact), when your rankings are affected, your affiliate-referred visitors/customers can compensate for the loss of your organic traffic.
So, in cases like the above-quoted one, while you are working on fixing your own website, do not close your affiliate program. On the contrary — invest more time and effort into it to get more traffic and sales from/through affiliates.
I have recently learned of an interesting solution for affiliate marketers that work with worldwide traffic, and are interested in routing their visitors to country-specific storefronts of the same merchant. This particular tool allows them to do it with a single “globally-aware” affiliate link.
The solution has been invented by a Seattle-based company called GeoRiot. They came up with their idea based on the challenge that affiliates face while working with internationally-minded advertisers who run multiple country-specific online storefronts. So GeoRiot came up with a solution that, basically, (a) determines a shopper’s location, (b) directs him or her to the correct item in their local storefront, and (c) ensures that the affiliate/publisher receives proper commission for the referral.
I’ve reached out to these guys and got a chance to ask the company’s CEO and Co-Founder, Jesse Lakes, a few questions. Today I would like to bring you that interview:
Geno: Jesse, in a nutshell, what problem does GeoRiot solve for affiliates?
Jesse: Two challenges exist within the iTunes and Amazon affiliate programs when marketing to an international audience. These make it cumbersome for affiliate publishers to achieve a good conversion rate and leverage these programs as a meaningful revenue source.
First, because the greater iTunes and Amazon “stores” are in fact geographic-specific “storefronts”, a link to a specific product in a certain storefront isn’t ideal for many international shoppers. Because the same product in a foreign storefront can have differing product IDs, it’s difficult for publishers to route international users to a specific product in their local storefront with a single link. Correctly sending international users to their local storefront improves the shopper’s experience and is also one of the best ways to increase conversion rates.
Additionally, this “geo-fragmentation” renders it a significant challenge for publishers to earn commissions on sales from multiple regions that use different affiliate parameters, programs, and/or networks. When publishers use the wrong affiliate tracking, they miss out on incremental commissions that can serve as a legitimate source of revenue.
Geno: Would you mind diving a little deeper into the technology behind GeoRiot?
Jesse: GeoRiot uses proprietary, patent pending technology to determine your visitors’ location, then direct him or her to the correct item their local storefront, and the link is affiliated to ensure you receive commissions for any subsequent sales. Further, if the intended item is not available for purchase, or doesn’t use the same ID in their native storefront, GeoRiot’s dynamic decay algorithm seamlessly redirects users to the most relevant item available.
Because the GeoRiot service is utilized during a URL redirect, the service can be implemented anywhere a link can be shared. This makes adoption and integration easy.
GeoRiot’s global infrastructure consists of a mix of cloud and physical servers spread over five regions worldwide, each with it’s own independent sets of redundant load balancers, worker nodes and caches with dynamic fail overs. We use a top-end AnyCast DNS provider to ensure we are always serving clicks from the fastest data center to the end user, and clicks are always routed to the server with the fastest response time at any given moment.
This all adds up to easily implemented, intelligent links that will always resolve quickly and accurately for a global audience.
Geno: I’ve seen you call GeoRiot an affiliate-linking “platform. What other benefits do your clients get, beyond the tool’s obvious attribution and localization capabilities?
Jesse: We’ve put a considerable amount of engineering resources into developing our affiliate tools. We’ve engineered an intuitive experience from start to finish, the end goal of which is to put the affiliate linking essentials at our clients’ fingertips so they don’t have to do additional work to fully leverage Amazon and iTunes’ programs.
Our catalogue of interactive features includes a variety of pop-up tooltips, expert advice on next steps, graphical indicators, an assortment of manipulative charts/graphs to help analyze reporting data, and optimization guidance to help improve your progress as an affiliate publisher.
Geno: Is the solution limited only to Amazon and iTunes? Could GeoRiot support other brands that face the same international marketing challenges?
Jesse: Absolutely! GeoRiot can support any brand with international storefronts and affiliate programs as long as they have an API or data feed for their products. Our current focus is on programs that have challenges with differing catalogues across countries or IDs that change between storefronts. As long as programmatic access (API or data feeds ideally) is available, integration with any global brand and their affiliate program is possible.