December 3rd, 2013
I read an article yesterday on Feedfront that I thought rose an interesting question. It was written by Rachel Hirsch and was about taking the “affiliate” out of affiliate marketing – mainly because the word is widely misunderstood. I can see this point as we continually come across people who get confused by the term. Hirsch breaks it down in a simple terms:
“Affiliate marketing is simply a type of performance-based marketing in which a merchant business rewards one or more of its affiliates for customers generated by that affiliate’s marketing efforts.”
Her basis of argument is that the term “affiliate” has a completely different meaning in other contexts: Legal relationship between two businesses or entities.
She explains how, legally, “affiliates are organizations or individuals that control each other or that are controlled by a third party. Control may consist of, among other things, shared management or employment and common use of facilities, equipment, and employees. One consequence of affiliate relationships in business is that merchants can often be on the hook for the conduct of their affiliates and vice versa.”
She explains how plaintiffs’ lawyers are always in pursuit of the parent company, however, in the internet marketing world, advertisers and networks really shouldn’t be responsible if one of their affiliates goes rouge. Her suggestion: “Publisher” marketing.
Read the entire piece here. What are your thoughts on the idea?
December 2nd, 2013
Affiliate Summit West 2014 is just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. After all, who doesn’t love Las Vegas? However, Vegas isn’t the only thing to be excited about. We absolutely love getting out there and meeting other people in the affiliate space, and we love learning how we can do things better for our advertisers and affiliates.
If you plan on coming out to #ASW2014 and would like to schedule a meeting with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our entire team will be there! We’re looking forward to meeting you all and getting to know you better!
November 27th, 2013
Our Millionaire Network team just wouldn’t be the same without Affiliate Manager, Michael Lavender, and that’s one of the reasons we’re highlighting him today. Michael has been with MN for the past three years and has been in the affiliate marketing space for five years. He has certainly made an impact on us personally AND professionally.
Michael is a people person. He deals with the daily operations with our super publishers, helping them to get the best offers for their unique spaces and answers any questions or concerns that they may have. He makes himself available all hours of the day for his publishers and is always more than willing to help in any way he can. Michael is a hard worker, a positive thinker, and a problem solver.
Michael received his Marketing degree from Middle Tennessee State University. If you have any questions at all for Michael, you can pop him an email anytime.
November 25th, 2013
Digital Strategist, Ayaz Nanji, regular contributor for MarketingProfs, just released a benchmark report on the value of mobile clicks, CTRs by industry and subscriber activity trends. Here are some of the findings:
Across all industries, 16% of sales driven by email now happen via a mobile device, with 56% of those mobile sales being completed on a tablet and 44% on a smartphone, according to a recent report by Yesmail.
The email conversion rate (number of orders divided by unique clicks) remains higher for desktop than for mobile (3.7% versus 1.3%). However, revenue per mobile click is almost double that of a desktop click, suggesting that even though emails are clicked through less often on mobile devices, those mobile clicks lead to purchases more frequently than desktop clicks do.
- The average order value was approximately $9 less on mobile than on desktop in 3Q13. However, that gap was considerably smaller for retail: a little over $2.
- The number of subscribers who view emails exclusively on their mobile device has grown by almost 50% from 2Q13.
- Android continues to close the gap on iOS; in 3Q13, 41% of smartphone purchases driven by email came from an Android device, whereas 59% came from an iPhone.
- Over 99% of all tablet purchases driven by email are completed on an iPad.
This study drives home the importance of mobile marketing and email marketing. Will this information affect the way you continue your campaigns? What is one thing your company will do differently in the next quarter?
November 21st, 2013
We all get them. Emails. Some we like better than others, right? We all have stories about our favorites and also about the ones we hate, yet we don’t unsubscribe because we kinda need to know what’s up with that firm or brand sometimes. Airlines are the worse…because everyone needs to know they can earn 40,000 miles by doing this… Everyday. So are some credit cards. Email is certainly necessary and can be incredibly helpful in boosting awareness and sales, however what is the right amount of email to send to customers?
There are a couple of email issues I’ve noticed recently in regard to frequency and urgency I’d like to address. Let’s talk about frequency – because more is not always better.
I get that you want people to buy from you, but sending more than two emails representing your company per week is a quick way to get an unsubscribe from your customers. I’ve been on an unsubscribe frenzy over the past few weeks because it’s just gotten to be too much. And too much of a good thing is well… too much of a good thing.
One popular email platform says frequency and engagement are negatively correlated—meaning – as you send more frequently, people tend to engage with each campaign less. They did a study showing the more frequently an email was sent, the lower the individual campaign click-through rate was. And this is from a company who makes money off the emails you send.
If you’re sending emails out promoting the same thing over and over, stop. Stick to a couple of times a week in order to give people a chance to WANT to look at your emails.
Another issue is creating a sense of urgency. When your email subject line is shrouded with ACT NOW or LAST CHANCE, or HURRY, ENDS AT MIDNIGHT and you’re sending those emails out EVERYDAY – it’s like the boy who cried wolf, and we know that didn’t end well. When certain retailers sends me emails telling me it’s the last day to get the additional 20% off, I roll my eyes because tomorrow will be another one to let me know I can save big.
Sense of urgency is important when there really IS urgency. When customers see the same headlines over and over, they know there will be another chance to get that same deal in a week. Creating email headings that people open isn’t necessarily rocket science, however it is a bit of an art form. Check out this great blog post from Mail Chimp that discusses the power of words and open rate. Here’s a hint: Personalization.
On that note, it really is important to take a look at your email etiquette and see if there needs to be an overhaul somewhere. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions. What are your favorites? What are your least favorites?
November 19th, 2013
Millionaire Network stands behind our belief that we have the best team in the affiliate industry: Support Manager, Charles Garcia, is yet another one of those examples. Having been in the industry for the past seven years, Garcia has been providing our team support for the last two of them. Garcia’s love of affiliate marketing and commitment to our team has contributed to our overall success.
Garcia not only works with both the affiliate and advertiser side of the sales team, he also provides assets and tracking support all day, keeping affiliate information up-to-date.
Garcia is phenomenal at handling a great deal of tasks at one time, and with the pace of our production department, this is crucial. His strong troubleshooting skills allows the team to overcome any obstacles, especially when statistical tracking is concerned.
If you need to reach Charles, he’s always available on Skype at CharlesMillionaire. We want to thank him for being such an asset to everything we do at Millionaire Network.
November 8th, 2013
We all have them: Expectations. Especially when it comes to how we’re treated by a company or an organization. Of course, your customers have expectations of you. How right is your organizations getting it? We’re going to discuss the social media implications of customer service and the holiday shopping customer service experience in today’s post.
Tricia Morris recently shared some social customer service statistics on Social Media today. Here are just a few of her findings to take note 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
4. Brand advocates drive 33% more sales and 18% more traffic than regular customers. ~ Zuberance
5. The average number of people a social customer will tell about a good customer experience: 42. ~American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer
You can read the rest of her article here.
However, it’s not just about social. Customers are seeking an entire experience.
Barry Lamm just wrote a post about how the holiday season is the most important season for ecommerce.
Holiday shoppers generate 40% of total annual revenue (National Retail Federation, 2013). Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the time leading up to Christmas, we hope you have a game plan for your customer service experience in both the online world and social media world, because shoppers are expecting high quality customer service.
Here are three points Lamm suggests considering as you prepare for the upcoming months:
1. Sites offering a high quality shopping experience will win the Cyber Monday battle
In 2012, Cyber Monday was the “heaviest online spending day in history,” (Comscore, 2012). You’ve covered the basics, and made sure that your website is optimized to handle a heavy onslaught of traffic— but are you prepared to deliver a high-quality experience, at the one to one level, to a larger volume of shoppers? By engaging more “ready to buy” web visitors with real-time assistance or personalized deals, you can maximize conversion rates and boost average order values. From 2011 to 2012, cyber Monday saw a 30% increase in online sales with online activity peaking at 11:25 a.m. (IBM, 2012). These numbers validate a well thought out strategy, tailored to maximize the influx of cyber Monday shoppers seeking special deals.
2. Shoppers Demanded Omni-Channel in 2012
Holiday spenders consulted several channels while making a  purchase decision in 2012. From Google Think Insights: “63% of shoppers used multiple devices to help with their holiday purchases.”
Google also found a direct correlation between number of channels used along the customer journey, and amount of money spent– in 2012, those who consulted more channels shopped more! Ecommerce pros have the opportunity to profit by engaging customers across multiple devices. You want customers to connect with you however they prefer, whether it be your website, mobile site, tablet app, etc., so think of how your customers are using each channel, and find how to optimize the experience for each. Most importantly, you must offer aseamless omni-channel experience, one that provides consistent quality and functionality from one device to the next.
3. 2012 Shoppers Preferred Meaningful, Real-Time Engagement
Great customer service impressed holiday shoppers during 2012. During last year’s holiday season, Live Chat was the top-choice customer service support channel, according to LivePerson’s Holiday Ecommerce Survey in 2012. Customers appreciate the ability to interact with a salesperson in real-time, without having to leave the website. From LivePerson:
“94% are likely to use Live Chat to get help online while shopping.”
By offering customer service support in real-time (whether via voice, video or chat), consumers are more likely to find what they need and complete their purchase successfully. Also by providing an optimal experience, customers are more likely to come back long after the holidays are over.
Your customers want your best. Are you ready to give it to them online, on your social media channels, and personally? Will these findings change the way your company goes into its holiday season?
November 4th, 2013
Let’s have a conversation about training programs in the affiliate marketing space. Given the newness and complexity of affiliate marketing (although growing), this aspect is lacking. Let’s think about it for a minute. We go to college for a business or marketing degree, or whatever it is we go into, however, when I went to college, there wasn’t a “social media” major. There wasn’t’ an “affiliate marketing” program where you learned the ins and outs of that particular marketing space. All too often, we see new graduates getting thrown into affiliate marketing: “Here are your accounts. Go ahead and manage them.” And while experience is certainly best, it’s important to give your marketers a proper training program to protect their reputation along with your reputation.
Networks NEED to have a training program for new managers. It’s incredible that huge Fortune 500 companies don’t have a training programs for their affiliates and new affiliate managers. Without this training, simple everyday “buzz words” in our industry get misconstrued. Here are some of the most common:
Impressions – The legal term for impressions means “how many times a banner ad is displayed or viewed.” Do you know how often we hear people think it means “click?” TOO often, and it’s wrong.
MTD – Which means “month-to-date” – Now, month to date may seem simple enough, however, people have different definitions. Okay, let’s pretend today is November 24. The MTD definition would be from November 1 – November 24. MTD begins THAT same month. This term often gets confused with “Last MTD.”
Last MTD – “Last month-to-date” (we’re still pretending it’s November 24) means October 24 – November 24. (People get confused here thinking it would be October 1 – November 24.) It’s little things like that can screw up revenue and sales if affiliate managers are unclear on this and if your advertisers and publishers are unclear of what this term means.
Above-The-Fold – This term is important because “all content above the fold is assumed to be more valuable to the reader as they see it first” (Affiliatewiz). Above-The-Fold describes part of the email message or webpage that is visible without scrolling down the page. Above the folds will be different. Above-The-Fold is important because the size of the area will depend on the resolution of the user’s computer monitor and number of pixels the monitor displays.
These are just four basic examples of what new affiliate managers NEED to know but often don’t. Affiliate training isn’t something to overlook. Take the time to train your managers so they can adequately learn the business. A simple one-week training program could make all the difference in the world for your affiliate business.
Does your affiliate program have a training program for new affiliate managers? If you have any questions or comments, let us know.
October 31st, 2013
The Millionaire Network Business Development team will be at Adtech this year, and we’re VERY excited! Our team has a few meeting slots remaining for established publishers and advertisers to discuss the Millionaire program. If you would like to find out more about working with us or if you’d like to set up an appointment with one of our team members, email us at email@example.com.
We’re looking forward to meeting you! See you in New York!
October 30th, 2013
Everyone at Millionaire Network would like to take a minute and congratulate Dee Williams on her new promotion to VP of Client Services! Her new role entails serving as our senior leader of the Las Vegas office, overseeing a team of client-facing project management professionals, providing managerial & strategic guidance to the development of Millionaire’s best practices for Client Services and focusing on building key partner relationships within the industry.
This November will mark her three year anniversary with Millionaire Network, being in the affiliate space since 2006 after a full career change from Oncology Nursing! Her strong organizational & leadership skills are exemplified daily through the coordination and execution of all client deliverables, consistently proving herself in this ever-changing market. We truly wouldn’t be where we are today without her hard work, dedication, and love of our team and our clients.
Congratulations, Dee, on a job well-deserved!