Affiliate Marketing Program Conversion Optimization Tips

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Geno Prussakov's presentation on affiliate program conversion optimization. Presented under the title of "Affiliate Program Performance – a Shared Responsibility" on August 19, 2013 at Affiliate Summit in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

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Affiliate Marketing Program Conversion Optimization Tips

  1. 1. Affiliate Program Performance – a Shared Responsibility Affiliate Program Conversion Optimization Tips 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 Conversion? One person’s?
  3. 3. Whose Responsibility is Conversion? Everyone’s!
  4. 4.  Crucial Truths (5 to mind at all times)  Conversion Boosters (10 to explore) Outline
  5. 5. 5 Crucial Truths
  6. 6. 1. Don’t Manage Affiliates
  7. 7. 1. Don’t Manage Affiliates … in reality: we’re not affiliate managers but affiliate marketing/program managers
  8. 8. Common Consequence Treating affiliates as employees ⇒ Motivating by threat
  9. 9. 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” [underlining mine] Source: Alexander Haim, Streetwise Motivating & Rewarding Employees
  10. 10. 2. Don’t Treat Them as Guinea Pigs
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. It is integral to understand this for ensuring proper/healthy co-existence (not conflicting, or cannibalizing, but complementing) of affiliate program with all channels of marketing that the merchant is employing. 3. Affiliate Marketing ≠ Channel
  13. 13. 4. Don’t Cruise on Autopilot As any serious marketing campaign, affiliate program must be managed supporting these 5 pillars.
  14. 14. 5. Strive to Perfect Conditions
  15. 15. 10 Conversion Boosters
  16. 16. 1. Leak-Free Website
  17. 17. Leaks - Definition Leaks – anything that may lead to a course of action for which affiliates will not get credit.
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  20. 20. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  21. 21. Leak #2 – Live Chat
  22. 22. Leak #2 – Live Chat A different answer:
  23. 23. ….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!!
  24. 24. Leak #3 – AdSense
  25. 25. Leak #4 – Affiliate Links Amazon widget example:
  26. 26. Leak #5 – Related Stores/Sites
  27. 27. Leak #6 – Other Merchants
  28. 28. Leak #7 – Links to Affiliates
  29. 29. Go Leak-Free!!
  30. 30. 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
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. Study Competitors’ Banners Do analyze, but beware of skewed metrics!
  33. 33. Banners Good Examples Creatives
  34. 34. Video Ads Creatives Video ads vs Non-video ads: Dwell Rate increases 29% Conversion Rate increases 45%
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. 3. Dedicated Landing Pages Targeted campaign-specific landing pages = commonsense technique for increasing conversions. Real-life situation:
  37. 37. Example #1:
  38. 38. Example #2:
  39. 39. 4. Competitive Intelligence
  40. 40.  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
  41. 41. 5. Promos & Coupons
  42. 42. 5. Promos & Coupons Be creative
  43. 43. 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
  44. 44. Problem of Last-Minute Coupon Search
  45. 45. 6. Marketing Calendar
  46. 46. 6. Marketing Calendar Consider also dynamic creatives!
  47. 47. 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”
  48. 48. Examples:
  49. 49. 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)
  50. 50. Example:
  51. 51. 8. List(s) of Top Sellers
  52. 52. 8. List(s) of Top Sellers It’s a tool. Equip affiliates with it! • Newsletter • Banner / creative • Widget (dynamically updating)
  53. 53. Newsletter example:
  54. 54. 9. Demographic Data
  55. 55. 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
  56. 56. 10. Continuous Motivation
  57. 57. Lesson in Motivation
  58. 58. 10. Continuous Motivation How?  In their language  Equipping them with what they need  Employing all available means (program bio, approval email, regular newsletters, social)
  59. 59. In Conclusion… ...don't repeat the mistakes of others!

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