One of the keenest observations I’d heard from Sam Harrelson from an older episode of Geekcast is when he was in the process of adding Twitter to an affiliate network’s communication channels, some of the affiliate managers were happy that they had another channel to send out new offer information to.
If you’re an affiliate signed up to multiple networks, you’d receive a constant barrage of daily emails with subject lines like “network exclusives, promote now!”, “Highest payouts!” and “Hot new offers”.
Likewise, I’ve checked out a couple of affiliate marketing forums where networks have sponsored sections of the forums and populated these sections with “These offers are hot!” then proceed to list down payouts and offer caps.
I don’t know how you feel, but this is pretty much tantamount to email and social network spamming by overzealous affiliate managers.
A good affiliate manager should know when to promote offers and when to back off. And emailing/hounding me when I say I’m busy is one way to get on my really bad side.
The other thing that’s disturbing is (more…)
If you use Pay Per Click (PPC) as a means of traffic generation for your websites, you’d have read blog posts by Revenuewire CEO Geordie Carswell over at the Revenuewire affiliate network.
It’s a loss for PPC marketers that Geordie will be stepping down as CEO on August 1st, though he will be continuing with Revenuewire on an advisory basis.
Geordie had published a number of tips and updates focused on utilitizing and optmizing Google AdWords since he started posting on the blog.
Perhaps as a sign of the changing of the guard, the blog format has been changed to something closer to an article directory – perhaps a sign that updates may not be as frequent either.
The Revenuewire CEO post will be filled by (more…)
With the Affiliate Summit just days away, here’re a few pointers especially if it’s your first time to the summit:
- Vegas Throat: Specific to Las Vegas, you will lose your voice very easily if you don’t take care of your throat. The dry desert air creates a lot of static electricity, it also dries out your throat and you’ll find yourself losing your voice at the end of day 1 or day 2 if you don’t drink enough liquids or take throat lozenges to give your throat a break. Also worth trying a a honey drink at the end of the day (real honey, not that cheap honey-flavored sugar syrup typically sold at grocery stores). I’m bringing a herbal throat syrup that I expect will do wonders (known in Chinese as “Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa”.
- Camera/Video Camera/Flip Camera: Do the touristy thing and take lots of photos during the summit. Better yet, take lots of pictures with people so you can remember what they look like. It’s fairly safe to assume that 90% of bloggers will look NOTHING like what their avatar looks like. (present company included).
- Business Cards: Yes, the reciprocity thing takes place. I give you my card, you give me your card. Generally a great practise, although if you live in the US, you can expect to get lots of follow up calls over the next week. The most important thing about collecting business cards is to follow up within a week after the summit, something that Stephanie Agresta (AKA Internet Geek Girl) is great at. On another note, if you’re like me and collect a couple of hundred business card each year, be sure to carry a pen and scribble “ASW08″ on the back of the card, especially after you put it in the huge pile in your office later.
- It’s COLD: Expect a low of 32 deg F according to the weather forecasts, so bring a heavy coat if you get chilly.
- Networks ahead of the summit: Contact people and companies you’d like to meet, especially if you go through the exhibitors list, or if you know that a particular affiliate or blogger is headed over. Some of the people I’m looking forward to meeting: Heather Paulson, Stephanie Agresta, Sam Harrelson, James and Arlene Martell, Jim Lillig, NeverblueAds’ Samantha Brachat, Revenuewire CEO Geordie Carswell. I talk to many of these folks on a daily basis, but it’s always great to meet up in person.
- Take the shuttle bus: If you’re not in a great hurry, the shuttle bus at the airport costs $7 and goes to the major hotels. The taxi ride costs $20 and is a whole lot faster, but you’ll not see as much of the Strip as you would from the bus.
- Plan your schedule: There’s lots of exciting stuff going on at the summit at any single point in time, so you need to work out a schedule of where you want to be at what time. Else there’s a good chance you’ll miss a meeting or miss a workshop session because you were out on the show floor talking to people.
- Get enough rest: With the summit lasting three days, it’s not too bad. But by the morning of day 2, you’ll start to see people dragging themselves along, or mysteriously disappearing in the afternoon to catch some rest. If you rest up on Friday and Saturday, you should have enough energy to last through the event (even with some parties going on till 4am…)
- ***Most important***: Have a goal and an agenda in mind: Are you at the summit to check out a specific affiliate/CPA network? Visit their website, talk to other affiliates before you attend the show. Are you there to network with a particular individual or company? Visit their blog, find out if they haunt a specific forum and read their posts there. If I were an affiliate manager, and if I was motivated to recruit new affiliates, I’d compile a “hit list” of the top 50 (or if I was really motivated top 100) affiliates, I’d visit their blog or website, and check them out, make some notes. Contrary to popular belief, just having ONE canned presentation doesn’t cut it. Sad to say, but going to every booth and being told “we have the highest payouts, and we have many exclusive offers” makes for quite the yawn-fest. I think being able to present your product and your network in a unique fashion, helps pique the interest of experienced affiliates who’re already have accounts on 10 other CPA networks. So please, have a little pow-wow before heading to the summit, figure out a plan of attack that goes beyond “highest payout, exclusive offers” and you will definitely hook more than your fair share of super affiliates.
Does anyone have other advice?
Promoting software as an affiliate marketer can be very lucrative, as Revenuewire CEO Geordie Carswell (right) explained during our Friday Podcast discussion.
With some affiliates racking up between 800 and 1,000 sales a day and with payouts of about $25 per license, that adds up to about close to a cool $1 million in gross commissions each month.
And the good news is that the software market still has a lot of room for growth.
During our discussion, Geordie went into detail about:
- How to evaluate software products to promote
- Create an effective marketing campaign that will maximize your profits
- Promoting digital products using PPC (pay per click traffic) vs SEO (search engine optimization)
- PPC tactics that the affiliate big dogs use that you may not be aware of yet
- Comparing the Google Search network vs the Content network
Geordie is one of the most savvy PPC marketers I have come across and it was great to get the PPC tips from him and a wealth of information about getting started as a software promoting affiliate.
Check out the Friday podcast below:
Note: Revenuewire will hold it’s official launch at Affiliate Summit West in Vegas next week. Geordie and Revenuewire team members will be at the booth in the tradeshow hall.
Also check out:
–> The Revenuewire PPC Blog
Thank you for your emails, following the last Friday Podcast with Affiliate Summit co-founder Shawn Collins, I’ve been asked where I’ll be during Affiliate Summit (and maybe more importantly where the hot parties are at…).
I’ve created a temporary page listing my schedule (which will change over time) and the summit highlights.
You can take a look at:
–> Andrew Wee’s Affiliate Summit West schedule
Going by the last summit I attended, I met Scott Jangro and Geordie Carswell just once during the entire 3 days.
I hung out mostly with the WickedFire affiliate marketing forum folks.
You will meet so many people at one point that it will seem like a blur and it’s only after going through the business cards that you’ll recall who you met.
So if you would like to meet and talk to someone during the summit, it’d be a good idea to either:
- Private message them on their Facebook profile
- Contact them using the contact form on their blog
- Attend the session they’ll be speaking at.
- Head to one of the smaller events like Affiliate Classroom Live, Gospel Brunch, the Affiliate Dinner
- Arrange to meet at one of the parties and try to find each other from the hundreds of people there…
Else, it could be a hit-and-miss affair, especially with more than 2,500 people registered for the event.
Forewarned is forearmed…
This is a follow up to my “What Happens When Merchants DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Play By Affiliate Marketing Rules?” post, which I believe affiliate marketers will be keenly interested in.
I called the merchant and talk to them, and what they told me surprised me.
But first, a summary: With a gap in a web service merchant’s affiliate commission payouts on an affiliate network and their in-house program, I was keen to hear what veterans in the affiliate industry had to say. The commission payout through the affiliate network was about 50% higher, compared to the merchant’s in-house program.
Communicating with the merchant was certainly a key point in addressing this issue and some might say the information gap was being unfairly used in this instance:
“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s retarded. Tell them to retroactively apply the network rate to your in-house sales from the date they started that network rate. If they wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, dump them..” – Geordie Carswell, RevenueWire EVP.
“I attribute the fault in this to the affiliate manager/team handling your account. It is he or sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s job is to make sure affiliates (super or not) are taken care of. That person should have given you the choice as to which network you promote their program through, or at least told you about both offers. You are a well known affiliate and blogger and you should have been informed of both options. The affiliate marketing managers of Pepperjam are in constant contact with the affiliates who make a difference our programs. We build and form relationships to gain trust. The affiliate manager who was assigned to you did not do that.” – Robyn Martin, Pepperjam Affiliate Marketing Director.
“Before I began working for LinkConnector Affiliate Network, I was the affiliate manager for a few different companies. I considered it one of my responsibilities to keep our payouts consistent between the in-house program and the network programs. If anything, our in-house program sometimes had a higher payout because no additional fees were involved. I would never have considered that disparity between commissions Ã¢â‚¬â€œ thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just shooting yourself in the foot.” – Jeannine Crooks, LinkConnector.com Affiliate Sales Manager.
“I personally feel strongly that bigger and pro-actively managed programs SHOULD offer 2 versions.
In-house and a good network. TYPICALLY, but not in this case the in-house commissions would be a little higher, possibly longer cookies, etc. to make the in-house option more attractive and offset network costs…a possible scenario hit me that COULD make sense of this situation. Not saying this scenario would make the situation any easier for you to take but…
If the merchant, like many are was clueless and the affiliate program was not being tended to properly and they hired an OPM.” – Linda Buquet, 5Star Affiliate Programs Founder.[See the 5Star discussion thread]
Which is in-line with what I would expect. An in-house program would have lower operating costs and could give out higher payouts, but the opposite scenario is at work here.
And Chickenfeed AKA Millnic Media‘s Jason Bailey chimed in with:
“you got hosed and it is your own fault. This IS the standard practice and fully within the marketers code of ethics. (I can see the shit flying at me alreadyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦)…In House programs are notoriously low payers. They are also usually the most poorly managed of the places you can pull a particular offer from. CPA networks have schwacks of experience with a wide variety of offers, merchants and publishers. In house affiliate managers are often the webmaster as well, and quite possibly the night doorman to boot (not always Ã¢â‚¬â€ **dodges shit** Ã¢â‚¬â€œ)…
You got hosed. If you were doing well at $60, think how much better youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll at $90. Hell if the CPA network is offering at $90 on the street and you can push some volume, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll bet the can get $95 no sweat. Suck it up. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make that mistake again. Lot at the bright side – You just got a $30 pay bump!..Join all the big networks and shop around. Get them fighting each other for your traffic. You have to be the squeaky wheel to get the big payouts. Logging into CJ to see what is new doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cut it.
And as Share Results Network affiliate manager (more…)