Earlier this week HasOffers announced their integration with UnsubCentral, a partnership which brings suppression lists to affiliate offers (not something I’ve seen elsewhere in quite this form). The official press release summarized:
HasOffers’ integration with UnsubCenteral is innovative in the way it creates a seamless experience for HasOffers’ customers. Affiliate networks, programs, and advertisers can syndicate their UnsubCentral suppression lists directly through the HasOffers platform without needing to navigate back and forth between systems. When setting up an affiliate offer for the first time, suppression lists can be associated through an UnsubCentral account. In the case of an affiliate network that manages many advertisers, a specific advertising partner can make a suppression list available to the network, which can then be associated with offers for products from that advertiser.
Any and every affiliate marketing-related innovation sparks my interest. So, as soon as I’ve learned about this news, I reached out to Peter Hamilton (PH below), Partner and CMO at HasOffers. I interviewed him about a year ago; and thought this would be a good time to re-connect, and ask him a few questions about this new development of theirs. So, here’s a new interview:
GP: Congratulations on the integration with UnsubCentral. This sounds like a very good addition to your platform. Am I understanding things correctly when I think that there will be no additional charge for HasOffers’ clients (merchants or affiliate networks) to use this functionality?
PH: There is no additional charge for using the UnsubCentral integration with HasOffers. Only UnsubCentral charges apply. Once the integration is enabled, customers can add the suppressions lists they created with UnsubCentral or suppressions lists hosted by UnsubCentral that belong to their advertisers.
GP: Can you describe for us how exactly the full setup process work on the advertiser/merchant end?
PH: By navigating to the “integrations” page in HasOffers and enabling this feature, our client authorizes access to their UnsubCentral suppression lists to HasOffers using a syndication key from their UnsubCentral account. The syndication key is added to the HasOffers account, making the lists available within the HasOffers interface. Once the account is authenticated, each time our client creates an offer, they can associate a suppression list with that specific offer.
GP: Privacy and compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act are, obviously, number one. But that part is pretty straightforward. In your press release you’ve mentioned that “suppression lists are also effective in preventing affiliates from remarketing to existing customers and clients and hurting brand reputation”. How does “remarketing to existing customers” hurt “brand reputation”?
PH: Affiliate marketing is typically one of several channels used in a company’s marketing efforts. One example of where you can hurt brand reputation by allowing affiliates to marketing to existing customers would be variable pricing scenarios. If the affiliate channel is getting special pricing, you may want to make sure those affiliates aren’t sending the pricing to people who just purchased at a higher price.
While it’s from the offline world, a classic example of this is Comcast’s promotional pricing in direct mail campaigns. Comcast frequently offers discounted pricing for the first year, but then their rates go up. They send out regular print mailers offering promotional pricing, but rarely segment those mailings so that existing customers won’t see pricing they can’t have. Pricing conflicts certainly cause mistrust for a brand, but you can imagine how brand reputation can be effected by any content, images, or offers included in a mass mailing.
Whether you are an advertiser/merchant, an affiliate program manager, or an affiliate, I’d love to know what you think about this development. As always, that “Comments” area is all yours.