March 6th, 2014
Hey there! It’s March, which for some, means springtime. For us, we’re going to be out and about all over this fine country of ours.
First stop, SXSW Interactive Festival. While we’re not displaying there, we do have our Media Relations Manager, Lindsay Manfredi going to learn about all the new interactive happenings from the best in the industry. Plus, she’ll be blogging from the event. If you’re going to be there, feel free to hit her up on email or Twitter.
Next stop: LeadsCon in Vegas, March 25 & 26. Daryl Goldstein, our VP of Business Development will be out there. If you’d like to set up a meeting with him or have any questions, pop him an email or ask him on Twitter.
And last but not least: ad:tech in San Francisco on March 27 & 28! ad:tech is one of our favorites as well. Meet up with our Director of Sales, Gary Williams, or Doug Godkin, Affiliate Manager. Both of them will be happy to answer any questions you may have or schedule a meeting.
We’re always thrilled to be a part of conferences and festivals because we get to meet new people. Don’t be a stranger.
March 4th, 2014
Meet Gary Williams, Director of Sales over at our Vegas headquarters. We love Gary in so many ways because he is funny, talented, and knows affiliate marketing like the back of his hand. Gary is skilled in developing meaningful and long-term relationships and works closely with our advertisers to market their products and services.
Gary is unique in his knowledge because he also worked on the affiliate side of our industry for four years before working on the advertising side. Gary’s nine plus years of affiliate and advertising experience has made him a huge asset to the Millionaire Network team for the past year and a half.
Gary’s favorite aspect of being in our industry is being able to network with so many diverse people from around the world. Gary received his BA in Marketing from Western IL University. Connect with Gary on LinkedIn. If you’re an advertiser and want to learn more about how Gary can work with you, pop him an email.
February 28th, 2014
There is a common misconception in affiliate marketing, and Jochem Vroom wrote a blog post this week on how our industry attracts two very different types of clientele: legit retailers/brands and then the “make money online” blogs/casinos/adult entertainment types of sites. There are distinct differences between the two, and Vroom believes it’s up to us, as (affiliate) networks, to engage with only high quality businesses. We couldn’t agree more with that idea.
Vroom feels advertisers haven’t had as much respect for affiliates for quite some time. Is this because of past shady business, or is this out of plain misconception and misunderstanding? Vroom says it’s because they don’t regard affiliates as partners, rather as “money-hungry villains, cunning and willing to do whatever they can to leach off successful brands.” Obviously, for reputable publishers, it’s not right lump them in with the masses of the shady, but that also doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. We actually wrote a blog post about taking the “affiliate” out of affiliate marketing back in December, you can check it out here.
Shady may be true for some, but certainly not for all, and when brands find the right affiliate network to PARTNER with, magic happens. There is a difference, and Vroom mentions “Performance Based Marketing.” If you’d like to read a killer book on Performance Marketing, check out Murray Newlands and John Rampton’s book, “Performance Marketing For Professionals” (Side note: Our CEO and Co-Founder, Parker Powers is also quoted in it, which is very cool). It’s an all-around great book with even better information.
For those in the affiliate marketing industry who aren’t trying to scheme people into “getting rich fast,” Vroom thinks it’s high time we get rid of the word, “affiliate” and get a broader view. We can see that view, but at the end of the day, when you work with a great brand, and that great brand works with a network with strong ethics, does it really matter in the long-term if “affiliate” is associated with it? What are your thoughts? Do you feel we should rid ourselves of the “affiliate” term? Do you feel like it hurts publishers? We’d love to hear from you.
February 25th, 2014
First off, an affiliate manager obviously should be supporting their network’s affiliates and also managing the overall affiliate program. A broad view of an affiliate manager’s responsibilities include:
Finding new affiliates
Managing current affiliates
Nurturing affiliate relationships
Creating new marketing strategies to gain more affiliates
The day-to-day activities can vary between managers. Here are some things top-notch managers do and want you to know they do. After all, they are here to help your affiliate business grow and drive the best traffic to you.
1. Great affiliate managers want to provide the best offers – Be it email, display, or through search and mobile, a strong affiliate manager will spend time every day finding the best offers, along with strategies for their publisher’s site.
2. Great affiliate managers have a trusted relationship with their publishers – When affiliate managers are in tune with their publishers, it can be expected that they will meet up with them at any trade shows, jump on a phone call at any time, and go above and beyond to make the publisher know they and their business are important.
3: Great affiliate managers keep up with the maintenance to publisher’s traffic – From cap updates, paused campaigns, and imported leads, the affiliate manager’s job is to be on top of these things, that way, the publisher is always in-the-know because they’ve been communicated with from the beginning.
4. Great affiliate managers are willing to go out and find any offer – Regardless if a network owns that offer or not, a great affiliate manager will look for the offer the publisher wants, along with keeping the publisher fresh by continually adding new offers to his/her account.
5. Great affiliate managers ALWAYS communicate – This is done by helping answer questions to any concerns a publisher may have about the network or industry. This ranges from the ins and outs to questions about where to buy email lists all the way to referrals.
The role of an affiliate manager is to help connect the puzzle pieces and to help you navigate the affiliate marketing process. Is your current affiliate manager helping you with all the things mentioned above? How do you feel when you work with your network? Contact us with any questions or leave in the comment section below.
February 20th, 2014
This month, we were able to write a guest post on Murray Newlands blog over at The Mail about how to find the best offers. One of the tips was to make sure the offer you get is exclusive. We had someone ask us, “how do I know if it’s exclusive?” That’s a great question.
First off, in doing research, have you seen the offer somewhere else at a lower payout? Here’s an example: If you go to a network and they all pitch the same offer, typically the one with the highest payout will be the one with exclusivity because the other networks are brokering the offers out. That’s one way to tell if your offer is exclusive.
But really, at the end of the day, it boils down to trust. Sure, a network can tell you something is exclusive, but you have no way of knowing 100%. What you DO know however, is how that network makes you feel and responds to your needs. Some questions to ask yourself:
Has my network been upfront with me in ALL things from the start?
Has my network provided me assistance and made me feel like I’m the most important person in the world at that moment of conversation?
Has my network come to me with easy conversations as well as difficult conversations when something may not be going as well as planned?
Has my network been actively engaged in growing my business?
Does my network have my back?
If you’ve answered no to any of the above questions, it may be time to consider other options. What have your experiences been when it comes to exclusive offers?
February 17th, 2014
Anyone in the affiliate marketing world understands this could perhaps be the number one most frequently asked question from advertisers we receive: “How much volume can you get us?” Let’s address this because it certainly is an important question, and there are a couple of factors:
1. Competitors – Your competitors not only include those offers in the same category or vertical, but ultimately, ANY and ALL offers in the marketplace that compete for the same type of placement. Those placements could be email, display, or social. Obviously, in the world of performance-based marketing, ROI rules.
Emailers can’t (or really shouldn’t) email the same offer continuously for obvious reasons. Often times, publishers are more concerned about return/performance, than how unique an offer is, and although they should want to pick the best performing offer, there also needs to be room for creativity among them.
2. Saturation – Another factor when it comes to volume is saturation. How many publishers are carrying out a specific offer? In regard to how we work with our publishers, we have unique sources of traffic but there is overlap in every network. You shouldn’t give your offer to every Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane, or Deborah out there. If you do, you’re less likely to get the concentrated attention a campaign needs. It’s better if you select one great distribution partner that has shown ability to scale.
As a matter of fact, most advertisers would rather work with just one network and sometimes more specifically, one particular person in that network. We would recommend advertisers that are starting out in the affiliate space, pick one good source for distribution and stick with them for a solid time frame to see how well they do. Three to six months is ideal depending on how much optimization the advertiser has done prior to giving distribution to a third party. After all, it usually takes months to create an overnight success.
What have your experiences been when it comes to best volume results? Leave your comments/questions for us.
February 12th, 2014
For many affiliate marketers, the landing page is the most powerful sales tool in their arsenal. It gives potential customers a visual representation and impression of your business, informs them about your product or service, and if all goes well, generates the sales or leads that you’re looking for. With conversions hinging on the design of your landing page, spending time crafting an appealing lander should be of utmost importance to affiliates. You can opt to use tools like The Offer Machine, affiliate marketing software built specifically for our space, or you can hire a designer and developer. Regardless of your choice, there are some things to keep in mind. Whether you’re revamping an existing page or starting from scratch, use these tips to design a page that’s too good to fail.
- Focus On Simplicity—When visitors land on your page they should feel welcomed, excited, and compelled to make a purchase, and the best way to make sure that they’re not overwhelmed or distracted is to keep it simple. Avoid overdoing it with text, colors, fonts, and images and stick to the absolute necessities. Inform your visitors about your product or service, show them a picture of it, and tell them exactly what you want them to do with a big, bold call to action button above the fold. The fewer things that are on your page, the faster your page will load and the easier it will be for visitors to complete your desired action and increase your conversions.
- Use Great Images—Arguably the most important and influential part of a landing page is the visual aspect, which means you need some great photos or graphics. You need to capture customers’ attention and keep them on your page for as long as possible and the best way to do that is by showing them compelling images. Make sure to use images that are both relevant and timely and as we mentioned before, don’t go overboard with too many pictures.
- Optimize for All Devices—People are browsing the web and purchasing products from smartphones and tablets more than ever, and that means that if your landing page isn’t optimized for mobile that you’re losing out on sales. You can create a mobile version of your landing page, but the easiest way to make sure your site works on both desktop and mobile is to go with a responsive design. If your site works as smoothly on smartphones and tablets as it does on a desktop, then you can expect to see great results.
Try using these three tips on your landing page and you’re bound to see your clicks and conversions increase. These aren’t the only factors that contribute to a successful lander, but they will definitely help you improve your results when implemented well. If you have any questions or tips of your own, be sure to leave them in the comments!
February 10th, 2014
I’m a sucker when it comes to customer loyalty. Actually, our entire team are a bunch of suckers when it comes to customer loyalty. Not in a naive way… but in a way where we think it’s one of the most important aspects of our business.
So, why are we talking about all this? A couple of days ago, Tyler Douglas wrote an article on customer loyalty and how it isn’t just the marketing team’s job. It made me think about the way we do things, and it also make me think of the way we do things for our advertisers. One thing he said that really struck a chord:
Marketing teams can provide the most value not by trying to influence brand loyalty but by helping drive innovation. CMOs (chief marketing officers) like me need to flip innovation on its head and empower brands to engage customers, getting a better understanding of their needs, concerns, and future wants. That shift within marketing—a move from broadcasting to collaboration—can eventually result in true brand loyalty without focusing on the wrong dynamic.
So often, marketers are broadcasters. Honestly, we have been also, it’s hard NOT to do that. However, while the realities of marketing will always have some type of “broadcast” aspect to it, (otherwise, we’d all just stop promoting our services, books we’re selling, etc), we have to remember that customer AND team collaboration must be a huge aspect as well.
A 2013 study by Social Media Today found that customer engagement via social media was HUGE among consumers. We’ve written about this before, but here are three key facts we’d like to remind you of:
1. 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers who do not receive a response. ~ NM Incite
2. Consumers 18 to 29-years-old are more likely to use a brand’s social media site for customer service interactions (43%) than for marketing (23%). ~ J.D. Power and Associates Social Media Benchmark Study
3. When companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company. ~ Bain & Company
Consumers have more trust when they can rely on brand engagement on multiple fronts. What is your entire team, not just your marketing team, doing in order to gain customer loyalty?
To win the hearts and wallets of customers, an entire organization should know and exemplify the company’s unique value proposition. My fellow CMOs can help drive brand loyalty by communicating a clear vision of the value their company has to offer. It will take the rest of the C-suite and other leaders in the organization to translate the company’s vision for employees and customers.
Organizations of all levels sometimes need to take a step back and realize that as a team member of any team, each individual is responsible for helping that team grow. This article was a great reminder of that. How can you encourage your team today?
February 5th, 2014
Ayaz Nanji of Marketing Profs reported that nearly two-thirds (64%) of B2C marketing emails were opened on either a smart phone or a tablet in 4C13, which is up from 61% the quarter prior (study conducted by Moveable Ink). Out of the emails opened, the majority (48%) were opened on a smart phone versus a tablet.
That being said, how mobile ready are your campaigns? Is your website mobile-friendly and ready to handle the traffic you’re looking for? Do you have the right landing pages for the different devices your emails are opened on? These are questions you can no longer ignore.
We know it’s a lot to think about, however, this information is so important, especially the information on what device email is being opened on. Here’s why: What we’ve found is that people opening emails with tablets are more likely to put in more personal information than those opening emails on a smart phone. There could be numerous reasons for this from opening the emails in a public place or not wanting to type out so much on a smart phone compared with ease of typing information out on a tablet. (We’ve not done a “scientific study” on that… just speaking practicality.)
So when advertisers are creating campaigns, this information is vital in knowing which landing pages to create: Either a desktop page, a mobile optimized page, or a tablet optimized page. Where your audience is coming from is key to knowing where you’re going to put the most effort. How are you going to cater to your readers? To read more about this study, visit Marketing Profs.
Does this information change the way you look at your marketing campaigns?
Photo credit: Moveable Ink
January 30th, 2014
Last week, we shared with you that one of our own was going to be featured on the hit CBC show, Dragons’ Den. We’re very proud of Affiliate Manager, Doug Godkin. And equally proud that he’s on the Millionaire Network team. Check out his segment, and feel free to send him a congratulations!