Affiliate Program
Performance – a Shared
Responsibility
Geno Prussakov
CEO & President, AM Navigator LLC
www.amnavigator.c...
Whose Responsibility is Performance?
Everyone’s!
 Deadly Pitfalls (5 to mind at all times)
 Conversion Boosters (10 to explore)
Outline
5 Don’ts
1. Don’t Manage Affiliates
1. Don’t Manage Affiliates
… in reality:
we’re not affiliate managers
but affiliate marketing/program managers
Common Consequence
Treating affiliates as employees
⇒ Motivating by threat
Motivate by Opportunities!
Even in traditional management “threats are
generally counterproductive” and “always
demotivati...
2. Don’t Treat Them as Guinea Pigs
3. Affiliate Marketing ≠ Channel
“…but, rather, a way of remunerating a marketer…
hence, affiliate marketing really exists...
4. Don’t Cruise on Autopilot
5. Strive to Perfect Conditions
10 Conversion Boosters
1. Leak-Free Website
Leaks - Definition
Leaks – anything that may lead to a course of
action for which affiliates will not get credit.
Leaks - Examples
1. Phone Number
2. Live Chat
3. AdSense Units
4. Affiliate Links
5. Links to Related Stores/Sites
6. Link...
Leak #1 – Phone Number
Leak #1 – Phone Number
Leak #2 – Live Chat
Leak #2 – Live Chat
A different answer:
….are you more likely to purchase from a site
that has a phone number …on each page?
Psychological Assurance
Source: Onlin...
Leak #3 – AdSense
Leak #4 – Affiliate Links
Amazon widget example:
Leak #5 – Related Stores/Sites
Leak #6 – Other Merchants
Leak #7 – Links to Affiliates
Go Leak-Free!!
2. Optimize Creative Inventory
Banners
• Cover common sizes (incl AdSense unit ones)
• Analyze what works for competitors
...
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 butto...
Study Competitors’ Banners
Do analyze,
but beware of
skewed metrics!
Banners
Common Mistakes
1. Poor graphics
2. Unreadable font
3. Phone number/URL
4. Excessive animation
5. Missing CTA
6. P...
Banners
Good Examples
Creatives
Video Ads
Creatives
Video ads vs Non-video ads:
Dwell Rate increases 29%
Conversion Rate increases 45%
We’ve analyzed 50 randomly selected merchants
(from Internet Retailer Top 500 list) on 3 major
affiliate networks (CJ, Lin...
3. Dedicated Landing Pages
Targeted campaign-specific landing pages
= commonsense technique for increasing
conversions.
Re...
Example #1:
Example #2:
4. Competitive Intelligence
 Analyze program terms
(payouts, cookie life, lock dates,
tiered payouts, bonuses)
 Become their affiliate
(creatives, p...
5. Promos & Coupons
5. Promos & Coupons
Be
creative
Offers/Coupons To Run
1. Year-long - 1-2
2. Monthly - 2-3 (make dynamic links available)
3. Short-term - e.g. weekend
4. H...
Problem of Last-Minute Coupon Search
6. Marketing Calendar
6. Marketing Calendar
Consider also dynamic creatives!
7. Co-Branded Initiatives
Three- to four-fold increase in conversions (from 8.56% to 23.21%
for a cashback affiliate, 2.5%...
Examples:
3 C’s of Affiliate Co-Branding
(1) Connect (affiliate logo, wording, colors)
(2) Convince (exclusive promotion, urgency)
(...
Example:
8. List(s) of Top Sellers
8. List(s) of Top Sellers
It’s a tool. Equip affiliates with it!
• Newsletter
• Banner / creative
• Widget
(dynamically up...
Newsletter
example:
9. Demographic Data
9. Demographic Data
Where?
 Program bio/signup page
 Welcome/approval email
What?
o Basics (gender, age, income)
o Detai...
10. Continuous Motivation
Lesson in Motivation
10. Continuous Motivation
How?
 In their language
 Equipping them with what they need
 Employing all available means (p...
In Conclusion…
...don't repeat the mistakes of others!
Affiliate Program Performance – a Shared Responsibility
Affiliate Program Performance – a Shared Responsibility
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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. Look at what you are doing to facilitate better conversions! Attend this session for practical “how to” knowledge.

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Affiliate Program Performance – a Shared Responsibility

  1. 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. 2. Whose Responsibility is Performance? Everyone’s!
  3. 3.  Deadly Pitfalls (5 to mind at all times)  Conversion Boosters (10 to explore) Outline
  4. 4. 5 Don’ts
  5. 5. 1. Don’t Manage Affiliates
  6. 6. 1. Don’t Manage Affiliates … in reality: we’re not affiliate managers but affiliate marketing/program managers
  7. 7. Common Consequence Treating affiliates as employees ⇒ Motivating by threat
  8. 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. 9. 2. Don’t Treat Them as Guinea Pigs
  10. 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. 11. 4. Don’t Cruise on Autopilot
  12. 12. 5. Strive to Perfect Conditions
  13. 13. 10 Conversion Boosters
  14. 14. 1. Leak-Free Website
  15. 15. Leaks - Definition Leaks – anything that may lead to a course of action for which affiliates will not get credit.
  16. 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. 17. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  18. 18. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  19. 19. Leak #2 – Live Chat
  20. 20. Leak #2 – Live Chat A different answer:
  21. 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. 22. Leak #3 – AdSense
  23. 23. Leak #4 – Affiliate Links Amazon widget example:
  24. 24. Leak #5 – Related Stores/Sites
  25. 25. Leak #6 – Other Merchants
  26. 26. Leak #7 – Links to Affiliates
  27. 27. Go Leak-Free!!
  28. 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. 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. 30. Study Competitors’ Banners Do analyze, but beware of skewed metrics!
  31. 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. 32. Banners Good Examples Creatives
  33. 33. Video Ads Creatives Video ads vs Non-video ads: Dwell Rate increases 29% Conversion Rate increases 45%
  34. 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. 35. 3. Dedicated Landing Pages Targeted campaign-specific landing pages = commonsense technique for increasing conversions. Real-life situation:
  36. 36. Example #1:
  37. 37. Example #2:
  38. 38. 4. Competitive Intelligence
  39. 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. 40. 5. Promos & Coupons
  41. 41. 5. Promos & Coupons Be creative
  42. 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. 43. Problem of Last-Minute Coupon Search
  44. 44. 6. Marketing Calendar
  45. 45. 6. Marketing Calendar Consider also dynamic creatives!
  46. 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. 47. Examples:
  48. 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. 49. Example:
  50. 50. 8. List(s) of Top Sellers
  51. 51. 8. List(s) of Top Sellers It’s a tool. Equip affiliates with it! • Newsletter • Banner / creative • Widget (dynamically updating)
  52. 52. Newsletter example:
  53. 53. 9. Demographic Data
  54. 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. 55. 10. Continuous Motivation
  56. 56. Lesson in Motivation
  57. 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. 58. In Conclusion… ...don't repeat the mistakes of others!
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