I recently had the privilege of spending some personal time with SEO and Performance Marketing legend, Rae “SugarRae” Hoffman of PushFire.
I wanted to get to know her more, having watched her over the last few years, reading her blog and admiring the woman she is, both as a mother and a business owner.
She was wonderful in answering my very personal questions and I appreciated her genuine answers and heartfelt replies.
Exclusive Interview with Rae “SugerRae” Hoffman:
Q. You’ve accomplished an incredible amount in your life and you have much to be proud of. What would you say are your top three most precious accomplishments either personally or professionally?
LOL, thanks. You know, it’s funny – I really had to think on this one because looking at individual past accomplishments isn’t something I do often – neither on a personal level or a professional one. I think sometimes I’m so busy moving forward I don’t have much time to look back. That said… On a personal level it would have to be being a mom. Cliché, yes. Campy, yes. True, yes. I had nothing when my first child was born. My oldest son was severely multiply handicapped – both mentally and physically. By the time I was 27 (which was nine years ago) I was a newly divorced, single mom of 3 until I got remarried about three years ago. Being able to raise them on my own – without any outside financial support and without any financial struggle despite my oldest son’s needs – while still being able to be an “active mom” to them is the thing I’m most proud of at the end of the day. I like to think I’ve shown my kids you can do anything if you work hard and don’t see failure as an option. (more…)
With Europe’s largest and most powerful affiliate community coming to North America next week with the premier of their new Performance Marketing Insights Conference, I wanted to find out more about their move to the US. Below is a Q&A they generously allowed me in an exclusive interview.
Q: Please tell me a about A4u’s move to North America. Why have you decided to come now and what do you hope to gain from your presence here?
A4u has successfully programmed and executed over 15 international conferences, six Performance Marketing Awards Ceremonies, 20+ Networking Events, an Affiliate Forum and Performance Marketing News & Resource Portal. Our events have taken us across Europe including London, Amsterdam, Munich and Barcelona. It was therefore a natural step to come to the U.S. The opportunity to put on a stateside event in an exciting city like New York, complements our innovative mentality and allows us to focus on offering the most forward-looking global content in a performance marketing conference with both a local and international focus.
Our aim in launching Performance Marketing Insights is to grow the presence and professionalism of the industry we have been passionate about throughout our 14 year history. We wanted to offer a platform in which leaders in the digital marketing space could share the latest strategies, technologies and innovation taking place within the rapidly evolving performance marketing industry, as well as meet and develop the opportunity for new partnerships and generate new revenue streams, not only in the U.S. but across the globe. (more…)
This week I interviewed Lisa Picarille of the Performance Marketing Association (PMA) of which I’m an active member on their Industry Advancement Council. I love being part of a community of thought leaders and industry advocates who are trying to make a positive difference in the affiliate marketing space. Here are 5 Q&A’s I sent to Lisa about why the PMA is worth joining, what they are working towards and what difference they make in the lives of those around us.
1. What are the main goals of the PMA?
The PMA has many efforts underway that promote industry education, increase the level of thoughtful conversation about the challenges facing our industry and ongoing efforts to lobby for (and against) legislation that impacts the performance marketing space. All of these efforts underscore the PMA’s single mission to grow and advance the performance marketing industry. (more…)
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Rebecca Madigan, founder of the Performance Marketing Association. We had never met even though we’ve both been in the industry for years and seen each others’ names often. After reaching out via Facebook we connected and got to chat. She’s an incredible lady and has such a keen passion for affiliate marketing. I asked to interview her so we could all get to know her and her contributions to our industry a little more.
Q: Please tell us about yourself and how you got into the Performance Marketing industry.
“I started in performance marketing in 2005 when I joined Commission Junction in product management. My previous experience was in product development in the early Internet days (I was product manager for the first VoIP product on the market), telecommunications and wireless. In all those industries we embraced trade associations and standards groups, to help propel the growth of these emerging markets. It always amazed me there was no trade association for performance marketing, considering how complex this industry is. In April 2008, after raising some outside funding from Lurn, I began organizing the PMA.” (more…)
There are a few people in this industry that I love. Brian Littleton, Founder and President of Shareasale is one of them. Despite his incredibly hectic schedule, he allowed me time to ask him some questions to help us understand him more as a person and reflect on a few key issues faced by our industry today.
Q. Please tell us about the success of your last Think Tank. Was it as you expected? Better? Worse? What were your personal favorite parts?
Think Tank was a lot different than last year, for a number of reasons – the most of which was that last year we tried to “mix it up” and make it an open event for anyone to register. This year we went back to a little bit of the old formula in invitation only, and a little more stepped up on the amenities, etc.. We also shared a week with Affiliate Summit in Austin (their event, Affiliate Summit Central, took place a few days prior to ours) which brought a whole new element to our event and introduced a lot of people that would otherwise not have known about it. From a business perspective, it was a huge success as we had a number of wonderful presentations, great feedback, and I know a lot of Affiliates were introduced to some great Merchants while we were there. From a fun perspective it was one of my favourites especially with the Lake Travis day, boating, jet skis, etc… As you know, our event is about relaxed, casual networking which is how we feel so many of these bonds are formed between Merchants and Affiliates… I was extremely happy with how the event played out. A great new addition was the Affiliate Summit Party which was thrown on our “off night” by Shawn Collins and Missy Ward – it was a top notch event and really added a great element to our agenda… hopefully we can do that again!
Q. Attribution is a major topic these days and one that’s going to become more important over the years. What would you suggest to new and intermediate level merchants in order to understand this area more clearly?
From the Affiliate Marketing perspective, there are two important points to remember.
1. If you use Shareasale, attribution can be customized and is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Our tracking software allows you to segment groups of Affiliates, setup rules to commission them differently based on multiple click points (not just the last click), and allows you to commission differently if the traffic was touched or influenced by another marketing channel. I would highly recommend any ShareASale Merchant taking a long look at these capabilities to make sure that commissioning is happening just the way they want.
2. Affiliates are compensated on sales only, and those commissions can be taken away in the case of voids. This is unique to any other marketing channel being used… for example, you can’t call up a search company and ask for your PPC expenses back when an order is cancelled. This needs to be taken into consideration when dealing with the issue of attribution. I hear often that Merchants are concerned with Affiliates being commissioned on orders that actually came from somewhere else. This is certainly something to research and a legitimate concern, but there is also a lot of leakage as well as reversals that act as a balance.
I recently had the privilege of an exclusive interview with Shawn Collins for my blog. Shawn has touched so many people in this industry and his work continues to set the bar for leadership and influence in productive and ethical affiliate marketing practices.
Shawn’s Brief Bio:
Shawn Collins has been an affiliate marketer since 1997 with a number of active affiliate projects, and a decade of affiliate management under his belt. He is a Co-founder of Affiliate Summit, the leading global conference and tradeshow for the affiliate marketing industry and Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine. He authored the book Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants, and was an editor and contributor to Internet Marketing from the Real Experts. Also, he publishes the annual AffStat affiliate marketing benchmark reports.
Shawn blogs daily on affiliate marketing at Affiliate Tip and co-hosts the weekly Affiliate Thing podcast on GeekCast.fm. Additionally, Shawn has been quoted in numerous publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine, Internet Retailer, Inc. Magazine, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. (more…)
As a continuation to my “Getting to Know Performance Based Marketing” interview series, I asked award winning Affiliate Manager, Matt McWilliams, a few questions. In his responses are some great points and tips for new merchants coming into the space.
Q: How did you get into the Affiliate Marketing industry?
“Everyone seems to have a story for that question. It seems like we are approaching the first generation of people who actually got into affiliate marketing because they wanted to and set out to do it. (more…)
As part of shedding light on the “good” side of affiliate marketing, I think it’s important for merchants out there to get a better understanding of the different types of affiliates including who they are, what they do and how they think.
Too many people assume affiliate marketing is about “get rich quick”, multilevel marketing, pornography and online gaming, let alone scams, fraud and malicious activity. This is not the case for everyone and there are thousands of good affiliates out there who focus on smart and ethical marketing practices to drive incremental sales and value to a merchant’s bottom line. (more…)
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