SlideShare a Scribd company logo
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
.
Whose Responsibility is Conversion?
One person’s?
Whose Responsibility is Conversion?
Everyone’s!
 Crucial Truths (5 to mind at all times)
 Conversion Boosters (10 to explore)
Outline
5 Crucial Truths
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
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
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 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.
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
4. Don’t Cruise on Autopilot
As any serious marketing campaign, affiliate program
must be managed supporting these 5 pillars.
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. Links to Other Merchants
7. Links to Other Affiliates
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: Online Shopping Through Consumers’ Eyes (p. 53)
Don’t Remove.
Track!!
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
• Create affiliate-friendly banners
Text links
• Deep-linked to boost conversion
Data feed
• Well categorized, regularly updated
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
Study Competitors’ Banners
Do analyze,
but beware of
skewed metrics!
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, LinkShare, GAN)…
3. Dedicated Landing Pages
3. Dedicated Landing Pages
Targeted campaign-specific landing pages
= commonsense technique for increasing
conversions.
Real-life situation:
Example #1:
Example #2:
4. Competitive Intelligence
 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
5. Promos & Coupons
Affiliate Marketing Program Conversion Optimization Tips
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. Holiday - e.g. to encourage "early bird" sales
5. Exclusive - true or vanity
6. Free Shipping - over certain amount
7. Deal of the Day
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% 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”
Examples:
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)
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 updating)
Newsletter
example:
9. Demographic Data
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
10. Continuous Motivation
Lesson in Motivation
10. Continuous Motivation
How?
 In their language
 Equipping them with what they need
 Employing all available means (program
bio, approval email, regular
newsletters, social)
In Conclusion…
...don't repeat the mistakes of others!
Affiliate Marketing Program Conversion Optimization Tips

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Affiliate Marketing Program Conversion Optimization Tips

  • 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. Whose Responsibility is Conversion? One person’s?
  • 3. Whose Responsibility is Conversion? Everyone’s!
  • 4.  Crucial Truths (5 to mind at all times)  Conversion Boosters (10 to explore) Outline
  • 6. 1. Don’t Manage Affiliates
  • 7. 1. Don’t Manage Affiliates … in reality: we’re not affiliate managers but affiliate marketing/program managers
  • 8. Common Consequence Treating affiliates as employees ⇒ Motivating by threat
  • 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. 2. Don’t Treat Them as Guinea Pigs
  • 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. 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. 4. Don’t Cruise on Autopilot As any serious marketing campaign, affiliate program must be managed supporting these 5 pillars.
  • 14. 5. Strive to Perfect Conditions
  • 17. Leaks - Definition Leaks – anything that may lead to a course of action for which affiliates will not get credit.
  • 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. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  • 20. Leak #1 – Phone Number
  • 21. Leak #2 – Live Chat
  • 22. Leak #2 – Live Chat A different answer:
  • 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. Leak #3 – AdSense
  • 25. Leak #4 – Affiliate Links Amazon widget example:
  • 26. Leak #5 – Related Stores/Sites
  • 27. Leak #6 – Other Merchants
  • 28. Leak #7 – Links to Affiliates
  • 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. 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. Study Competitors’ Banners Do analyze, but beware of skewed metrics!
  • 34. Video Ads Creatives Video ads vs Non-video ads: Dwell Rate increases 29% Conversion Rate increases 45%
  • 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. 3. Dedicated Landing Pages Targeted campaign-specific landing pages = commonsense technique for increasing conversions. Real-life situation:
  • 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. 5. Promos & Coupons
  • 43. 5. Promos & Coupons Be creative
  • 44. 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
  • 45. Problem of Last-Minute Coupon Search
  • 47. 6. Marketing Calendar Consider also dynamic creatives!
  • 48. 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”
  • 50. 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)
  • 52. 8. List(s) of Top Sellers
  • 53. 8. List(s) of Top Sellers It’s a tool. Equip affiliates with it! • Newsletter • Banner / creative • Widget (dynamically updating)
  • 56. 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
  • 59. 10. Continuous Motivation How?  In their language  Equipping them with what they need  Employing all available means (program bio, approval email, regular newsletters, social)
  • 60. In Conclusion… ...don't repeat the mistakes of others!