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Affiliate Program Performance – a Shared Responsibility

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This presentation is from Affiliate Summit East 2013 (August 18-20, 2013) in Philadelphia, PA). Session Description: Stop blaming the affiliate channel for not working, of working poorly, for you. …

This presentation is from Affiliate Summit East 2013 (August 18-20, 2013) in Philadelphia, PA). Session Description: Stop blaming the affiliate channel for not working, of working poorly, for you. Look at what you are doing to facilitate better conversions! Attend this session for practical “how to” knowledge.

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  • 1. Affiliate Program Performance – a Shared Responsibility Geno Prussakov CEO & President, AM Navigator LLC www.amnavigator.com Founder & Chair, Affiliate Management Days www.affiliatemanagementdays.com (+1) 888-588-8866 geno@amnavigator.com @ePrussakov .
  • 2. Whose Responsibility is Performance? Everyone’s!
  • 3.  Deadly Pitfalls (5 to mind at all times)  Conversion Boosters (10 to explore) Outline
  • 4. 5 Don’ts
  • 5. 1. Don’t Manage Affiliates
  • 6. 1. Don’t Manage Affiliates … in reality: we’re not affiliate managers but affiliate marketing/program managers
  • 7. Common Consequence Treating affiliates as employees ⇒ Motivating by threat
  • 8. Motivate by Opportunities! Even in traditional management “threats are generally counterproductive” and “always demotivating.” “We can motivate people to their highest levels of potential by presenting them with opportunities to succeed instead of telling them what to do” Source: Alexander Haim, Streetwise Motivating & Rewarding Employees
  • 9. 2. Don’t Treat Them as Guinea Pigs
  • 10. 3. Affiliate Marketing ≠ Channel “…but, rather, a way of remunerating a marketer… hence, affiliate marketing really exists on the crossroads of a number of online marketing channels and works with nearly all of them.” Source: Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day (p. 24) It is a marketing context, based on the principle of performance-based compensation.
  • 11. 4. Don’t Cruise on Autopilot
  • 12. 5. Strive to Perfect Conditions
  • 13. 10 Conversion Boosters
  • 14. 1. Leak-Free Website
  • 15. Leaks - Definition Leaks – anything that may lead to a course of action for which affiliates will not get credit.
  • 16. Leaks - Examples 1. Phone Number 2. Live Chat 3. AdSense Units 4. Affiliate Links 5. Links to Related Stores/Sites 6. Links to Other Merchants 7. Links to Other Affiliates
  • 17. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  • 18. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  • 19. Leak #2 – Live Chat
  • 20. Leak #2 – Live Chat A different answer:
  • 21. ….are you more likely to purchase from a site that has a phone number …on each page? Psychological Assurance Source: Online Shopping Through Consumers’ Eyes (p. 53) Don’t Remove. Track!!
  • 22. Leak #3 – AdSense
  • 23. Leak #4 – Affiliate Links Amazon widget example:
  • 24. Leak #5 – Related Stores/Sites
  • 25. Leak #6 – Other Merchants
  • 26. Leak #7 – Links to Affiliates
  • 27. Go Leak-Free!!
  • 28. 2. Optimize Creative Inventory Banners • Cover common sizes (incl AdSense unit ones) • Analyze what works for competitors • Create affiliate-friendly banners Text links • Deep-linked to boost conversion Data feed • Well categorized, regularly updated
  • 29. Banner Sizes • 468 60 px – 2-5 banners (AdSense too) • 125 125 px – 2-5 • 120 600 px – 2-5  AdSense size • 88 31 px button – 2-5  overlooked opportunity! • 160 600 px – 2-3  AdSense size • 120 240 px – 2-3 • 234 60 px – 2-3 • 254 331 px – 2-3 • 728 90 px – 2-3  AdSense size • 720 300 px – 1-2 • 300 250 px – 1-2
  • 30. Study Competitors’ Banners Do analyze, but beware of skewed metrics!
  • 31. Banners Common Mistakes 1. Poor graphics 2. Unreadable font 3. Phone number/URL 4. Excessive animation 5. Missing CTA 6. Poor contrast 7. No line around edge Creatives
  • 32. Banners Good Examples Creatives
  • 33. Video Ads Creatives Video ads vs Non-video ads: Dwell Rate increases 29% Conversion Rate increases 45%
  • 34. We’ve analyzed 50 randomly selected merchants (from Internet Retailer Top 500 list) on 3 major affiliate networks (CJ, LinkShare, GAN)… 3. Dedicated Landing Pages
  • 35. 3. Dedicated Landing Pages Targeted campaign-specific landing pages = commonsense technique for increasing conversions. Real-life situation:
  • 36. Example #1:
  • 37. Example #2:
  • 38. 4. Competitive Intelligence
  • 39.  Analyze program terms (payouts, cookie life, lock dates, tiered payouts, bonuses)  Become their affiliate (creatives, policies, newsletters, promos, tools)  “Friend” and follow them Remember: “the real purpose of competitive intelligence is to learn and to act” …not to merely gather data or “develop information.” Seena Sharp, Competitive Intelligence Advantage (p. 100-101) 4. Competitive Intelligence
  • 40. 5. Promos & Coupons
  • 41. 5. Promos & Coupons Be creative
  • 42. Offers/Coupons To Run 1. Year-long - 1-2 2. Monthly - 2-3 (make dynamic links available) 3. Short-term - e.g. weekend 4. Holiday - e.g. to encourage "early bird" sales 5. Exclusive - true or vanity 6. Free Shipping - over certain amount 7. Deal of the Day
  • 43. Problem of Last-Minute Coupon Search
  • 44. 6. Marketing Calendar
  • 45. 6. Marketing Calendar Consider also dynamic creatives!
  • 46. 7. Co-Branded Initiatives Three- to four-fold increase in conversions (from 8.56% to 23.21% for a cashback affiliate, 2.5% to 10.9% for a coupon affiliate) upon introduction of co-branded landed pages Affiliate Window - http://blog.affiliatewindow.com/?p=1789 66.45% conversion increase, nearly 44% revenue boost, and 132% difference in new customers acquired Rakuten LinkShare - m.www.linksynergy.com/share/pdf/linkshare_case_study_smartbargains_072310.pdf “Creating co-branded landing pages… to align an advertiser’s brand with the publisher’s brand” increases the “likelihood of a transaction or action” Google Affiliate Network – “Affiliate Optimization Center”
  • 47. Examples:
  • 48. 3 C’s of Affiliate Co-Branding (1) Connect (affiliate logo, wording, colors) (2) Convince (exclusive promotion, urgency) (3) Convert (auto-apply promo, call to action)
  • 49. Example:
  • 50. 8. List(s) of Top Sellers
  • 51. 8. List(s) of Top Sellers It’s a tool. Equip affiliates with it! • Newsletter • Banner / creative • Widget (dynamically updating)
  • 52. Newsletter example:
  • 53. 9. Demographic Data
  • 54. 9. Demographic Data Where?  Program bio/signup page  Welcome/approval email What? o Basics (gender, age, income) o Details (children, religion, ethnicity, etc) o Geographic data
  • 55. 10. Continuous Motivation
  • 56. Lesson in Motivation
  • 57. 10. Continuous Motivation How?  In their language  Equipping them with what they need  Employing all available means (program bio, approval email, regular newsletters, social)
  • 58. In Conclusion… ...don't repeat the mistakes of others!