Key Affiliate Program Components You’re Probably Missing

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We’ll discuss 15 elements integral to affiliate program growth which are being overlooked. Real-world case studies will illustrate successes to learn from & mistakes to avoid. Q&A time at the end.

Experience level: Intermediate
Target audience: Merchants/Advertisers, Networks
Niche/vertical: Affiliate Management

Geno Prussakov, President, AM Navigator LLC (Twitter @eprussakov)

Published in: Business, Technology
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Key Affiliate Program Components You’re Probably Missing

  1. 1. Key Affiliate Program Components You're Probably Missing <ul><li>Presented by: Geno Prussakov </li></ul><ul><li>CEO, AM Navigator LLC affiliate program management, audit & consulting </li></ul><ul><li>URL : www.amnavigator.com </li></ul><ul><li>Tel. : (+1) 888-588-8866 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: www.twitter.com/ePrussakov </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Using Good Building Material?
  3. 3. Otherwise…
  4. 4. Focus <ul><li>15 integral (yet overlooked ) affiliate program management elements </li></ul>
  5. 5. Management Elements
  6. 6. <ul><li>1. Don’t Manage Affiliates </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>1. Don’t Manage Affiliates </li></ul>… in reality: we’re not affiliate managers but affiliate program managers
  8. 8. Be a Leader <ul><li>7 Rs </li></ul><ul><li>Reachable </li></ul><ul><li>Responsive </li></ul><ul><li>Real </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective </li></ul><ul><li>Resonating </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Be a Leader <ul><li>7 Rs </li></ul><ul><li>Reachable </li></ul><ul><li>Responsive </li></ul><ul><li>Real </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective </li></ul><ul><li>Resonating </li></ul><ul><li>3 Is </li></ul><ul><li>Transformational Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>inspirational motivation </li></ul><ul><li>intellectual stimulation </li></ul><ul><li>individualized consideration </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>2. Leak-Free Website </li></ul>
  11. 11. Leaks - Definition <ul><li>Leaks – external links within your website that lead to sites which do not credit your affiliates for the work they perform. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Leaks - Examples <ul><ul><li>Phone Number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live Chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AdSense Units </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affiliate Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to Related Stores/Sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to Other Merchants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to Other Affiliates </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  14. 14. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  15. 15. Leak #2 – Live Chat
  16. 16. Leak #2 – Live Chat Good answer:
  17. 17. Leak #3 – AdSense
  18. 18. Leak #4 – Affiliate Links Amazon widget example:
  19. 19. Leak #5 – Related Stores/Sites
  20. 20. Leak #6 – Other Merchants
  21. 21. Leak #7 – Links to Affiliates
  22. 22. <ul><li>Go Leak- Free !! </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>3. Dedicated Landing Pages </li></ul>
  24. 24. Dedicated Landing Pages <ul><li>We’ve analyzed 50 randomly selected merchants (from Internet Retailer Top 500 list) on 3 major affiliate networks (CJ, LinkShare, GAN)… </li></ul>
  25. 25. Dedicated Landing Pages <ul><li>4 Points to Cover: </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforce promo/campaign's details </li></ul><ul><li>Provide detailed instructions (if customer needs to do something) </li></ul><ul><li>Spell out any restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Have clear call s to action </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>4. Testing & Conversion Rate Optimization </li></ul>
  27. 27. Testing & Optimization <ul><li>What to Test? </li></ul><ul><li>Headlines </li></ul><ul><li>Calls to action </li></ul><ul><li>Page style & layout </li></ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive copy </li></ul><ul><li>Pricing & promos </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Testing & Optimization <ul><li>What to Test? </li></ul><ul><li>Headlines </li></ul><ul><li>Calls to action </li></ul><ul><li>Page style & layout </li></ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive copy </li></ul><ul><li>Pricing & promos </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to Employ </li></ul><ul><li>Google Website Optimizer </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Website Optimizer </li></ul><ul><li>LiveBall </li></ul><ul><li>A/Bingo </li></ul><ul><li>PickFu </li></ul><ul><li>Vertster </li></ul><ul><li>Unbounce </li></ul><ul><li>Sitespect's A/B Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Five Second Test </li></ul><ul><li>Vanity </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>5. Program Agreement </li></ul>Don’t confuse with affiliate network ’s agreement!
  30. 30. <ul><li>5. Program Agreement </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>5. Program Agreement </li></ul>Merchant naïvete -- loss of defensive behaviors and adaptations needed to deal with “predators”
  32. 32. <ul><li>Program agreement </li></ul><ul><li>What to Cover? </li></ul><ul><li>Coupon & discounts policy </li></ul><ul><li>Trademark policy </li></ul><ul><li>Policies on loyalty affiliates </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosure recommendation </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Program agreement </li></ul><ul><li>What to Cover? </li></ul><ul><li>Coupon & discounts policy </li></ul><ul><li>Trademark policy </li></ul><ul><li>Policies on loyalty affiliates </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosure recommendation </li></ul><ul><li>How to Word It? </li></ul><ul><li>Foreword </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement itself </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>Program agreement </li></ul><ul><li>What to Cover? </li></ul><ul><li>Coupon & discounts policy </li></ul><ul><li>Trademark policy </li></ul><ul><li>Policies on loyalty affiliates </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosure recommendation </li></ul><ul><li>How to Word It? </li></ul><ul><li>Foreword </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement itself </li></ul>“ How often do you read TOS?”
  35. 35. <ul><li>Program agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Get your free sample: </li></ul><ul><li>www.AMNavigator.com/TOS.html </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>6. Policing & Enforcement </li></ul>
  37. 37. Monitor Trademark Use <ul><li>In Paid Search Campaigns: </li></ul><ul><li>iTrademarkBidding – www.itrademarkbidding.com </li></ul><ul><li>Brandverity PoachMark – brandverity.com/poachmark </li></ul><ul><li>SearchMonitor – thesearchmonitor.com/affiliate_monitor </li></ul><ul><li>AdGooroo Trademark Insight – www.adgooroo.com </li></ul><ul><li>In Domain Names: </li></ul><ul><li>CitizenHawk – www.citizenhawk.com </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>7. Approval Email </li></ul>What % of your current affiliates are active ?
  39. 39. <ul><li>7. Approval Email </li></ul><ul><li>Pattern to Follow </li></ul><ul><li>Remind them of your program details </li></ul><ul><li>Include an activation promo </li></ul><ul><li>Enclose performance-based incentive </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-coded affiliate links (incl. coupons, feed, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed contact information </li></ul>
  40. 40. “ What’s the maximum acceptable affiliate program application response time?”
  41. 41. <ul><li>8. Sense of Urgency </li></ul>
  42. 42. Create a Sense of Urgency !
  43. 43. <ul><li>9. Hard-to-Reach Goals </li></ul>
  44. 44. Unrealistic/Demotivating Goals <ul><li>Important details: </li></ul><ul><li>AOV ~$650 </li></ul><ul><li>So, for 0.5% increase - 31 orders/mo </li></ul><ul><li>… and for 1% bump - 91 such orders </li></ul>
  45. 45. Swimmer (illustration)
  46. 46. <ul><li>10. Commission Drops </li></ul>
  47. 47. Commission Drops
  48. 48. Commission Drops As a valued [Merchant Name] affiliate partner, I wanted to let you know that we are currently working to make our program, and our partnerships, as successful as possible . In order to continue to support the success of our current partnership we are unable to continue to offer you a flat 4% commission on all goods. Starting at the end of February, our new offer will be lowered to 1.5% on all goods.
  49. 49. Commission Drops
  50. 50. 11. Competitive Intelligence
  51. 51. 5 Ways to Spy on Competition <ul><li>A nalyze their performance stats </li></ul><ul><li>B ecome their customer & affiliate </li></ul><ul><li>C reate automatic monitoring campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>D o friend and follow them </li></ul><ul><li>E mploy traffic measuring tools </li></ul>
  52. 52. <ul><li>12. Proactive Management </li></ul>
  53. 53. Proactive Management <ul><li>Proactive – “Acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes” (Webster's Dictionary) </li></ul>
  54. 54. <ul><li>13. 2-Way Communication Channel </li></ul>
  55. 55. Chernobyl (illustration)
  56. 56. Global Problem
  57. 57. Global Problem
  58. 58. Communication Channel <ul><li>Build a two-way communication channel (via all available means, including social media) </li></ul>
  59. 59. Preferred Communication Methods Email - over 62% Website - 14% Social media - 12% Source: 2010 AffStat Report
  60. 60. Communication Frequency Source: 2010 AffStat Report
  61. 61. Motivate Through Communication Congratulations! You have been chosen as a CSN Stores Affiliate Program Rising Star . All the members of this group have been able to bring in a significant amount of traffic to our sites over the last few month. We want to help you make sure those visits lead to sales and commissions! For the next month, April 1st- May 1st, the CSN Stores Affiliate program will be offering an exclusive promotion to the members of this Rising Stars group. If in the month of April you can convert just 10 sales you will receive an additional $150 bonus on top of your commissions.
  62. 62. Motivate Through Communication To motivate others effectively, managers must have “a clear, unbiased understanding of the situation at hand, deep insights into the vagaries of human nature, the establishment of appropriate and reasonable expectations and goals, and the constructions of a balanced set of… incentives.” Bronwyn Fryer, &quot;Moving Mountains“ ( Harvard Business Review on Motivating People , 2003) <ul><li>Start with the truth </li></ul><ul><li>Appeal to greatness </li></ul><ul><li>Make them proud </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to your values </li></ul><ul><li>Provide constant & consistent communication channel </li></ul><ul><li>Build trust </li></ul><ul><li>Care for the little guy </li></ul><ul><li>Set different incentive levels </li></ul>
  63. 63. <ul><li>14. Dedicated Affiliate Mini-Site </li></ul>
  64. 64. Recruitment Through Their Eyes Source: 2010 AffStat Report Google - 18% Research - 5.7% Blog - 5.7% TOTAL: ~30%
  65. 65. Affiliate Program Mini-Site <ul><li>Minimum </li></ul><ul><li>Program Details (with sign-up link/form) </li></ul><ul><li>Program Agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally </li></ul><ul><li>Program Details </li></ul><ul><li>Program Agreement </li></ul><ul><li>FAQ Section </li></ul><ul><li>Tips & Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Creatives </li></ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Us </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  66. 66. <ul><li>15. Playing Without the Ball </li></ul>Perhaps the most important part of offensive basketball is the part played by each man without the ball. ~ John Woden, Naismith Hall of Fame Coach One of the most difficult coaching tasks is to teach players to carry out actions that don’t involve the basketball — the magnet of the game. ~ Krause, Meyer & Meyer, Basketball Skills & Drills Moving without the ball requires you to be adept at starting, stopping, faking, and changing directions. You must have excellent court awareness and vision… ~ Ralph Pim, Winning Basketball
  67. 67. <ul><li>15. Playing Without the Ball </li></ul>Perhaps the most important part of offensive basketball is the part played by each man without the ball . ~ John Woden, Naismith Hall of Fame Coach One of the most difficult coaching tasks is to teach players to carry out actions that don’t involve the basketball — the magnet of the game . ~ Krause, Meyer & Meyer, Basketball Skills & Drills Moving without the ball requires you to be adept at starting, stopping, faking, and changing directions. You must have excellent court awareness and vision … ~ Ralph Pim, Winning Basketball
  68. 68. In Conclusion…
  69. 69. <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>Got questions? </li></ul>Mistakes & Areas to Rethink <ul><li>Managing affiliates </li></ul><ul><li>Leaks </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated landing pages </li></ul><ul><li>Testing & optimization </li></ul><ul><li>Program agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Policing & enforcement </li></ul><ul><li>Approval email </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Hard-to-reach goals </li></ul><ul><li>Commission drops </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive management </li></ul><ul><li>Communication channel </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated affiliate mini-site </li></ul><ul><li>Playing without the ball </li></ul>
  70. 70. <ul><li>Got questions? </li></ul>www.amnavigator.com/blog | 1-888-588-8866 | geno@amnavigator.com Mistakes & Areas to Rethink <ul><li>Managing affiliates </li></ul><ul><li>Leaks </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated landing pages </li></ul><ul><li>Testing & optimization </li></ul><ul><li>Program agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Policing & enforcement </li></ul><ul><li>Approval email </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Hard-to-reach goals </li></ul><ul><li>Commission drops </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive management </li></ul><ul><li>Communication channel </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated affiliate mini-site </li></ul><ul><li>Playing without the ball </li></ul>

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