Affiliate Summit co-founder Missy Ward is at it again, raising funds for Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Los Angeles. To motivate supporters for the effort, a slate of experienced marketers involved in the affiliate marketing industry have put up their services and products up for auction.
The auction closes this Friday, August 28th, 1159pm. Some of the bid prices are ridiculously low at the moment, so if you put in a bid for charity, you’ll either get the product or service at a steal, or you’ll be doing your part to aim in breast cancer research and relief.
Here’re some of my personal top picks for the auctions:
Two hours of consulting with Lisa Riolo: Lisa was formerly affiliate network Commission Junction’s senior vice president for business development and has had management roles at brick-and-mortar institutions like Bank of America and Peet’s Coffee. Besides the obvious affiliate marketing issues you might raise with her, she’d be pretty experienced in the operations side of running and growing a business too. The auction is currently in the $100+ region, and even if you were to contribute the retail value of $1,000, there’s no doubt that her advice would bring your business to the next level. (check out my Friday Podcast interview with Lisa R).
Two hours of consulting with Lisa Picarille: Affiliates might know Lisa as the former publisher/editor-in-chief of Revenue Magazine, the performance marketing standard, as well as co-host of the Affiliate Thing and TheSpew podcasts. You may not know that she’s a wealth of experience with print, radio and online content publishing. Whether you’re a merchant, network or affiliate, you’ll be able to bounce ideas off Lisa which will help you on the media and content elements of your business. Again, the $100+ bid is ridiculously low, and even the $300 retail value is lowballing the potential benefits. I’d realistically value the advice you could get from Lisa at at least $1,000. (check out my Friday Podcast with Lisa P).
Affiliate Summit West 2010 Platinum conference pass (Las Vegas): Gives you all-access pass to the conference sessions and trade show. If you network effectively at this event with merchants, networks and fellow affiliates, there’s no reason why your affiliate business won’t double or triple (at the minimum) from the networking you’ll be doing. In a number of cases, affiliate incomes have increased exponentially as a result of face-to-face meetups at the event.
Thesis WordPress template/framework developer’s pack: Thesis is a SEO-friendly WP template that can be customized easily to replace other website publishing tools you’re currently using. I’m developing a new set of affiliate sites using Thesis and with the SEO features, it get much more visibility from organic traffic. Also, designer Chris Pearson has placed a strong emphasis on typography, so readability and usability are greatly enhanced. The lifetime upgrades and great support at the forum is worth its ticketed price many times over. Again, the bids are ridiculously low at this point ($30) on a $164 retail value. (read my Thesis product review for more information)
Market Leverage A-List Experience: The highlight of this package is dinner at the Eiffel Tower restaurant at the Paris Hotel and Casino with Market Leverage social media manager, Dina Riccobono. If that’s not enough, you’ll also get coverage on MarketLeverage TV and be featured on JohnChow.com. With a little out-of-the-box thinking, this package can significantly boost your branding and bring a number of benefits to your business. (Disclaimer: I’m also bidding on this package). (Check out some of Dina’s tips from the Friday Podcast on videocasting and social media branding)
Although I’ve mentioned just a few of the packages up for auction, do check out the various packages available, you’ll be getting resources to grow your business and doing a lot of good for charity too!
Market Leverage Social Media Manager Dina Riccobono, came on the Friday Podcast to talk about the network’s social branding intiatives. Specifically, industry observers will note that Market Leverage has often taken the lead in reaching out to affiliate via the social media channel – Market Leverage TV, Greenlink affiliate video tutorials, and engagement on blogs and forums.
I invited Dina on the Friday Podcast to give her insight into intiatives like:
What social media marketing means to Market Leverage
Some of the past social campaigns that the network has led
How the online social media projects tie in with real-world tradeshows and events
Market Leverage’s new mobile application for affiliates
ShareASale’s Director of Client Services Carolyn Tang AKA Catango is one of the most pleasant and knowledgeable individuals in the industry and it was a pleasure to talk to her at the SaS booth, even though there were lots of people there.
As a tradeshow visitor, I’ve got more than my fair share of t-shirts, notepads, pens, paper weights and stationery to last 2.5 lifetimes. I liked how SaS did a little out of the box thinking to provide a photobooth where affiliates took some crazy pics (I’ll post mine later), and thoughtfully gave out baby T-shirts and bears. For affiliates with families or significant others, they’ll likely be seeing the SaS logo on a teddy bear or baby T for some time to come. (a good thing).
It was cool hanging out with top affiliates Colin “Google” McDougall and Ros Gardner over dinner at the Nobu Japanese restaurant at the Hard Rock for the private launch of Jim Lillig’s Offeratti network.
Considering that Colin doesn’t take raw food, it’s a testament to the great food at Nobu that Colin was enjoying the sashimi with the rest of us during the meal. It was also interesting to hear Colin tell his stories about his towed trailer that he rolls out for holidays. And if you’re looking for inspiration as you’re working towards your ideal affiliate lifestyle, Ros has bought a lot of nice toys/trinkets to enjoy the fruits of her labor.
It was great to meet affiliate network Market Leverage‘s marketing manager Dina Riccobono after talking to her over IM and being interviewed for MLTV late last year.
Market Leverage has a proactive outreach and affiliate recruitment program and it’s refreshing to see a network take the intiative in getting to know affiliates. They hosted a dinner at Switch at the Encore hotel, with Market Leverage CEO Mike Jenkins in attendance. It was a great opportunity to talk to affiliate managers Mike Kelly and Jen Fluker to get insight into how affiliate managers operate.
At the dinner, Mike announced the launch of Market Leverage’s greenlinks program, which provides links to video-based affiliate training from the ML website interface.
Jen Goode, better known as JGoode, headed the Affiliate Summit mentors program and did a great job (I believe there were more than 100 mentees in the program). I also had a picture taken with the penguin and nearly kidnapped him. Ah well, maybe next time.
Affiliate network Market Leverage marketing manager Dina Riccobono invited me to come on their weekly video cast on Market Leverage TV last week to chat about blogging strategies and the panel I’ll be taking part in at Affiliate Summit West.
Here’s the episode of Market Leverage TV (3rd Nov 2008):
I was a little shocked a couple of weeks ago when I received a huge FedEx box in the mail. I’d been expecting some materials from my friend Jim Lillig, but this monster of a box arrived.
It was a bag of schwag from affiliate network Market Leverage. I thought it was pretty clever of them to suss out my mailing address from my domain whois info, and they’re one of the few merchants and networks I’ve worked with who’s taken the effort to courier a box of stuff all the way to Singapore (the shipment costs came up to about $70!).
Many networks and merchants use the tagline that customer service, relationship building is their priority (together with “highest payouts, most number of exclusive offers”, etc), but Market Leverage delivers on its promise.
There was a fair bit of research to compile a list of affiliate bloggers and send them the care packages, together with the t-shirt campaign that the Market Leverage team had been doing – which shows how marketing and promotion ingenuity can bring you massive leverage.
Market Leverage’s president Sal Guarino certainly has foresight in bringing Dina Riccobono and Debby Phillips (the woman formerly known as Debby Banning on board). Dina’s clocked up video product experience working with Next Entertainment (which produced The Bachelor/The Bachelorette/Are You Hot?) and doubtless was instrumental in putting the concept together for the network’s MarketLeverageTV broadcasts. Debby’s pretty established in the blogosphere and her relationships and social networking will help build up the buzz effect among the blogging community. (google around and you’ll see a couple of “I wish I got a schwag bag” blog posts…).
One person who’s happy with the care package I received is my daughter, Bianca.
Although she’s happy with the “Future Blogger” t-shirt, the Market Leverage teddy bear and the Dora the Explorer game for now, I believe she’s eyeing the Flip Ultra which also came in the care package.
Looking a little deeper in the Market Leverage offers available, I was particular keen on the exclusive offers which have a payout of $20 – $50 per lead or per sale – an area I typically focus on.
If you’re more focused on the zip/email submits with payouts ranging in the $1.20 – $2 range, there’re a number to choose from.
I’ve also had an opportunity to talk with my affiliate manager Erick Bright and it was encouraging to hear that similar to other top-tier networks, Market Leverage affiliate managers are contactable via IM, will give offer suggestions as you’re constructing your affiliate sites, and provide support as you’re launching new campaigns.