IDM Affiliate Marketing Course December 2012


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Presentation slides form the IDM affiliate management one-day course.

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  • The CPA model versus traditional advertising
  • How does PPC interact with your brand name?
  • Phone numbers Loud video with auto-start Jargon Poor design
  • Most networks will have a range of channels to push offers and new information. Use this as well as your own blogs, A4U forum, and network email tools
  • Items to compare include commissions, reversals, payment speed, conversion rates
  • Attribution
  • Your affiliates should be focussed on the same things as you – driving sales Understanding their mindset and the idea that they “own” the traffic is key
  • IDM Affiliate Marketing Course December 2012

    1. 1. Affiliate MarketingTurn clicks into cash with a successful,sustainable affiliate marketing strategy
    2. 2. Goals For Today• Understand the principles of affiliate marketing• Define how affiliate marketing fits within the marketing mix• Structure an affiliate programme that adds genuine value to your company• Monitor the right data from your affiliates• Spend budget efficiently by asking the right questions to suppliers
    3. 3. Who Am I?• 16 Years Affiliate Marketing Experience• 1996 – First sale through Amazon• 2002 – Set up 1st merchant campaign (• 2006 Sold to Maximiles• Currently manage several high margin retail campaigns
    4. 4. Welcome – Who are you?Exercise 1 - Affilaite marketing in your organisation• Company• Position• Affiliate Marketing, Experience• What are your looking to get out of today?
    5. 5. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing9.45am-10.30am
    6. 6. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliates own marketing efforts. (Wikipedia)
    7. 7. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing LeafletsPrint Display TV There is no risk (in theory!)
    8. 8. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing
    9. 9. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing Online Sales Affiliate Sales 2008 £43.8bn £3.82bn 2009 £49.9bn £4bn 2010 £58.8bn £4.6bn 2011 £81bn £5.2bn Figures ignore lead based programmes, adult industry and gambling sectors Affiliate Marketing accounts for 7% of online business Data Source IMRG, and
    10. 10. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Affiliate Types• Affiliates Fit into 3 main types – Content Affiliates • People visit due to the content provided by the affiliate – Arbitrage • Buy traffic as you or to landing pages specifically aimed at your or your products – Professional Affiliates • Affiliate links are the content
    11. 11. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Content Websites
    12. 12. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Content Websites
    13. 13. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Content Websites
    14. 14. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Content Websites
    15. 15. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Content Affiliates
    16. 16. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Content Affiliates
    17. 17. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing – Arbitrage
    18. 18. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing – Arbitrage
    19. 19. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Professional Affiliates
    20. 20. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Professional Affiliates
    21. 21. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Professional Affiliates
    22. 22. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Professional Affiliates
    23. 23. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Professional Affiliates
    24. 24. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Professional Affiliates
    25. 25. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Professional Affiliates
    26. 26. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Professional Affiliates
    27. 27. Exercise Types of Affiliate10.30am-11.15am
    28. 28. Break & Exercise The Holiday Purchase10.30am-11.15am
    29. 29. Planning a fully integrated affiliate marketing programme11.30am-12.15pm
    30. 30. Integration• Brand Control• PPC• SEO Risk• Setting Budgets
    31. 31. Planning an Affiliate Programme Understand your current marketing strategy and plan where they will fit in.• Content Affiliates are generally issue free – Creative – Copy – Thinking out of the box • Shop whitelabels • Exclusive suppliers
    32. 32. Planning an Affiliate Programme Conflicts Management & Staff Technology Wild West “Next year we’ll reintroduce affiliate marketing, but as it should be. No silly commissions being paid to grubby little people in grubby studios growing income at our expense, getting in the way of genuine sales” Nick Roberston CEO ASOS 2007To make affiliate marketing work you must plan it and implement it properly or it will be an expensive lesson.
    33. 33. Working alongside other channels A balanced affiliate programme should account for 10-20% of online transactions•Brand Traffic – Type in traffic – Search engine•Email Marketing – 3rd party – Newsletters•Search Engine Marketing – Paid listings – Natural listings•Advertising – Banners – Paid Content•Social Media
    34. 34. Planning an Affiliate Programme Understand your current marketing strategy and plan where they will fit in.• Arbitrage Affiliates need rules! – What advertising are you doing? – What is the cost and value of your advertising? – Staff cost – salary & training – Can the affiliates do a better job? – Can the affiliates do a better job on part of the campaign?• Ultimately a Google keyword has a value and a cost. How can you maximise this?
    35. 35. Affiliate Marketing Technology11.30am-12.15pm
    36. 36. Technology• Tracking – Network – Direct• Data Feeds• Ad serving• Attribution
    37. 37. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing –Tracking Solutions• Third Party Network• Own tracking solution
    38. 38. Technology• Links – Cookies – Flash Cookies – Browser cache – Tracking references for affiliate• Cookie Windows – Standard is 30 days• Confirmation Page – Javascript – Image pixels – Pass order details• Reporting Tools – Orders – Validate/Cancel Transactions – Assign commissions – Real-time
    39. 39. Network or Self Managed - Networks• There are 25/30 UK networks and growing rapidly• Many networks aren’t profitableDo your Research!• Affiliates won’t work with all networks or directly with you – Talk to them• Can the network handle your reporting needs?• Does the network have the technical infrastructure?• Is the network cost effective?• What are your competitors doing?• Overseas Reach
    40. 40. Technology• Reliability – Links must not fail – Links must be ‘quick’ – Browser compatibility – Reporting tools uptime – Cope with significant peaks and troughs• De-duping – Last click wins• Approving/Decline Affiliates – Brand protection• Serving Banners• Providing Products Feeds• Customised Reporting
    41. 41. How To Choose Solution• Cost – Set-up costs • Hardware – Monthly fees • Hosting Fees – Override• Support – Experience – Company Resources
    42. 42. How To Choose Solution• Affiliates – Base – How attractive is your brand – Can they trust your solution • Wont sign-up • Slow to test your programme – All reporting requirements• Speed of launch – Setting up technology – Setting up programme
    43. 43. How To Choose Solution• Risk – Traffic through third party servers – You don’t own the data• Control – Ability to customise the programme
    44. 44. Network or Self Managed – Multiple Channels• Running 2 networks or network and direct• Advantages – Larger Reach • Not all affiliates work on all networks • Some networks have own traffic – Improve relations • Affiliates have preferred account managers and networks • Often prefer client contact – Build on lack of company resources• Disadvantages – Cross tracking/Cost of technology – Admin time – Costs
    45. 45. Network or Self Managed – Multiple Channels• Disadvantages – Cross tracking/Cost of technology • Two commissions against one sale – Admin time • Checking sales • Checking affiliates • Uploading creatives • Checking feeds • Approving affiliates • This can be automated – Costs • Multiple set-up costs • Multiple monthly fees • Cross tracked sales – No longer as profitable for a network • Networks want exclusivity
    46. 46. Network or Self Managed – Multiple Channels• Disadvantages – Cross tracking/Cost of technology • Two commissions against one sale – Admin time • Checking sales • Checking affiliates • Uploading creatives • Checking feeds • Approving affiliates • This can be automated – Costs • Multiple set-up costs • Multiple monthly fees • Cross tracked sales – No longer as profitable for a network • Networks want exclusivity
    47. 47. Exercise – The network versus direct affiliate programme12.05am-1.00pm
    48. 48. Planning Your Programme Launch12.05am-1.00pm
    49. 49. Planning an Affiliate Programme• Compliment your activity
    50. 50. Planning an Affiliate Programme Understand your current marketing strategy and plan where they will fit in.• Professional Affiliates – The ‘wild west’ and they use your content – Voucher Codes – someone uses your voucher code, you give a discount and pay commission to the affiliate – Feeds – Incentivises – Customising deals
    51. 51. Planning an Affiliate Programme• Creative• Do you produce internally?• Key size – 468x60 – 120x60 – 120x600 • Issues• File Types – Call to action – Gif – No Urls – Jpeg – No Phone Numbers – Flash – Seasonality – HTML
    52. 52. Planning an Affiliate Programme• Treat your affiliates like a sales team• Video Interviews with the merchant• Marketing guides that are both merchant and industry specific• Branding guidelines• Examples of offline promotions and advertising• Additional creative resource• Seasonality Charts• Frequently Asked questions
    53. 53. Planning an Affiliate Programme• Data Data Data• Product Feeds – Product Names – Product Descriptions – Brands – Destination URLSDon’t worry about duplicate content• Pricing Files – Price – RRP – Delivery – VAT• Voucher Code Feeds• Feed Types – XML – CSV – Live – you are responsible for your data being correct
    54. 54. Planning an Affiliate Programme – Competitors• Already Have Programmes• Commission Structures• Cookie Lengths• Consumer Offers• Incentives• Set-up – Networks/Direct – Do they use an agency• Resources – Affiliate Manager – Regular Communications
    55. 55. Planning an Affiliate Programme - Affiliates2 Top Level Groups• Key Affiliates – drive 80-90% of your programme• Long Tail Affiliates• HitWise• Cintrix• Alexa• Google• Majestic SEO
    56. 56. Planning an Affiliate Programme
    57. 57. Planning an Affiliate Programme• Affiliates Will Come To You• Define targets – Who are your key affiliates – Number of affiliates – Traffic – Conversions – Sales – Spend• Define Tracking & Reporting Requirements
    58. 58. Planning an Affiliate Programme• Reporting Needs – What do you need to report? • Internal KPIs – Weekly/Monthly Reports – Annual budgets – Year on year changes • Early warning system – Budgets – Stock issues • Programme Optimisation/Monitoring – Spotting dropped affiliates – Poor Convertors – New affiliates
    59. 59. Planning an Affiliate Programme• What if it goes wrong? – Too many sales • Budget • No stock left – Too few sales • Site doesn’t convert • Affiliates wont put up links – Commission too low? – Competitors have better relations • Affiliate take links down
    60. 60. Planning an Affiliate Programme• What are you paying commissions on? – Including Vat (check your VAT rates) – Including Delivery – Product variations – Valid lead• Are the Affiliates aware – Offer text – Communications• Test Test and Test• It will break• You don’t want to reduce commissions – However short term launch campaign works
    61. 61. Pre-Launch Checklist • Programme “pitch” • Creative • Terms & conditions • Tracking – PPC / Brand • Data Feeds – Incentives – Vouchers • Communication Channels12.45pm-14.40pm
    62. 62. Launching the programme
    63. 63. Things to avoid• Phone numbers• Broken pages (obviously)• Banners to 3rd parties• Poor site search• Complex checkouts• Forcing registration too early• High delivery charges
    64. 64. Network Communications
    65. 65. Your own site
    66. 66. How do you compare?
    67. 67. Exercise – The Affiliate Viewpoint2.00pm-2.45pm
    68. 68. Optimising Your Programme Growing Sales Growing Profits2.00pm-2.45pm
    69. 69. Growing your programme• Recruit more affiliates to the programme• Activate more dormant affiliates• Increase revenues from active affiliates• Increase conversion ratesAlso• Reducing affiliates who work against these goals• Fraud• Low value-add
    70. 70. Segmenting affiliates - SizeSmall Mid Tier Super AffiliatesSmall or just inactive Regular communication Personal relationsSticks or carrots? Generic communications Bespoke promotions /How much help do they Exposure at larger events landing pagesneed? Understand their USP’s &Is your offer too complex? model
    71. 71. Segmenting affiliates - TypePPC Content Vouchers CashbackHow to use to Effort needed to Tactical programme Tactics & placementincrease brand & create content & calendar How to swop fromgeneric volumes How to manage competitors inactive codes
    72. 72. Optimised Programme• Not all affiliates are equal – Different conversion rates – Different basket values – Different volumes based on commissions – More profitable customers • Higher proportion of returning customers• Not all affiliates are good for you – Sales you’d have got already – Picking up sales that other channels would have converted – Having to pay large commissions to get the traffic
    73. 73. Optimised Programme• The Buying Path – People usually have multiple touch points when buying – Do you know every point each customer touches – Certain website start the booking process – Certain websites finish the booking
    74. 74. Optimised Programme• Affiliate Marketing works on a last click wins the commission – But would the booking have occurred without the first affiliate. – What happens when you have other channels involved.
    75. 75. Optimised Programme• The industry is confused – They want to apportion commissions but how…. – You have to pay Google per click and you have to pay tenancy regardless.• Best Practice – Include all your marketing channels and de-dupe to the last click – Don’t include your brand search campaigns – Don’t include your own newsletters. – Watch your bookings closely to ensure affiliates are being rewarded.If the affiliate doesnt’t earn enough they will reduce your exposure or drop you. Move affiliate commissions to ensure they are happy. Some affiliates can increase volumes if you pay them more
    76. 76. Optimised Programme• Voucher Codes – Paying commissions and provide a discount – Customers who are ready to buy go and find a code (you can track this with an analytics tool) – But would the consumer have actually purchased? – Would they have used another retailer with a code? – Voucher codes are big brands now – receive around 6 million visitor a month – Strict programme terms – Ensure you have your own page
    77. 77. Optimised Programme• Incentive Sites – No margin issue (although savvy shoppers can find a voucher!) – Losing customers who are ready to buy
    78. 78. Optimised Programme• Don’t Cull Affiliates – If they are not active they maybe active later• Sites Not Live – Don’t reject them they may not come back – Affiliates are busy, they may never come back – Who is the next facebook or Instagram? – Some of the smaller affiliates send the best quality customers – Networks don’t always provide full details • Affiliate have multiple sites • Some site are large and not easy find your adverts
    79. 79. Understanding what your affiliates are trying to achieve
    80. 80. Exercise Introducing Affiliate Marketing to the organisation11.30am-12.15pm
    81. 81. Case Study Growing the Affiliate Programme2.00pm-2.45pm
    82. 82. Day in the life of an affiliate• Sports retailer targeting fitness enthusiasts
    83. 83. Day in the life of an affiliate manager• Latest Affiliates
    84. 84. Day in the life of an affiliate manager• The Stats – Daily – Weekly – Month• Targets
    85. 85. Day in the life of an affiliate manager• Success
    86. 86. Day in the life of an affiliate manager• Failure
    87. 87. Day in the life of an affiliate manager• Failure
    88. 88. Case Study – William Hill Bingo & Scottish Friendly4.00pm-4.30pm
    89. 89. Case Study – William Hill Bingo
    90. 90. William Hill Bingo - Client Objectives• New Product launch of Bingo• Branding, exposure and all at a good ROI• Needed at least 2,000 players in a 3 month campaign• Banner Advertising, Residency deals, Pay Per Click, Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing and MGM were all used in campaign
    91. 91. William Hill Bingo – Pre-Programme Tasks• Created Bingo Orientated Design• Setup Main Customer offering (£20 Deposit Match)• Improved signup process• Created and sourced prizes for customer competition
    92. 92. William Hill Bingo - Setting Up The Affiliate Programme• Picking the right network• Setting the CPA - Starting at £25• Budget forecasting - as an overall % of current business• Starting as a invite only programme
    93. 93. William Hill Bingo – Commission Structures• Content/Paid Search Affiliates – Higher Competitive CPA – £10 Spend Restriction for Payout• Cashback Affiliates – 50% Cashback • £20 CPA • £20 Spend restriction – 100% Cashback • £10 CPA • £20 Spend Restriction
    94. 94. William Hill Bingo - Incentives• Higher tier CPAs• Free iPods for customer incentives• Cash Bonuses• Higher tier prize - Trip for two to Monte Carlo
    95. 95. William Hill Bingo – Affiliate Targets• Google• Yahoo• MSN• Hitwise• Syntryx• Affiliate Forums (A4u/CAC)• Network newsletters• Using Alexa rankings for priority levels
    96. 96. William Hill Bingo - Communication• Daily Communication with performing affiliates• Variety of channels - MSN, Email, Phone• Forum Posts• Blog setup and management
    97. 97. William Hill Bingo - Reporting• Managing duel network reporting• Reporting across multiple channels• Budget Management
    98. 98. William Hill Bingo - Results• Results from campaign over first 6 months – Affiliate campaign CPA of £50 and 65-70% of all player recruitment – Final Banner / Residency CPA of £60 – PPC across Yahoo and MSN with CPA of £85 – Other CPA at £97• Total player spend of over £3m• Total recruitment of 4,000 depositing players• Affiliate Marketing is the most cost effective channel while still delivering the volumes required
    99. 99. Case Study – Scottish Friendly
    100. 100. Scottish Friendly - Client Objectives• Spend Millions on DM - Asked to prove that online marketing can be a successful channel• Promotion of two online application forms - Scottish Bond & Child Bond• Ensure that all online advertising meets the FSA guidelines
    101. 101. Scottish Friendly - First Steps• Create landing microsite around two online products – Ensuring phone numbers only on contact page – More focused on online conversion – Separate tracking forms to ensure all leads track• Testing and analysis of interactive PDFs used on site• Strong range of creative including E-Mail with embedded affiliate links
    102. 102. Scottish Friendly - Launching the Programme• Setup of strong CPA (£95) - based on a mix of competitive programs and what Scottish Friendly see as a profitable cost of acquisition• Program launch independent. Due to price and flexibility• Setup of initial validation scheme to protect against fraudulent applications
    103. 103. Scottish Friendly - Affiliate Recruitment• Recruitment aimed towards the following affiliates: – Finance affiliates - sites ranking or bidding for Savings Bonds and similar key terms – Cashback affiliates - high CPA tends to ensure good volume of signups – Email affiliates - Nature of setup ensures it’s seen as a sale cost and not budget - unlimited leads available – Niche Affiliates - Affiliates who are willing to build sites around products and aim to rank on longtail terms
    104. 104. Scottish Friendly - Validation and PDFs• All leads verified via phone and bank details• Affiliate leads validated within 7 days for non-incentive and 30 days for incentive sites (due to 30 day cooling off period)• Site uses Interactive PDFs to track all leads via affiliates – Missed leads still charged to client - are then assigned to affiliate (if traced) or put into a pot and split between affiliates promoting program
    105. 105. Scottish Friendly - Results• Over 250 online applications within 3 months – 8% Rejection Ratio – Program led to 600% increase in online applications – Featured on high quality sites such as Moneysupermarket, Moneyfacts and Fair Investment
    106. 106. Useful Resources
    107. 107. Useful Resource– IAB Affiliate Council– Econsultancy–––––– Network Blogs (esp Affiliate Window)– Evgenii Prussakov • Affiliate Marketing in an hour a day • A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing
    108. 108. Wrap Up• The 5 Point Plan• Personal Objectives• Tutor Contact
    109. 109. Thank Youand good luck!