Vancouver Affiliate Marketers Give Back

Vancouver Affiliate Marketers Give BackLast night we held our first first annual Vancouver Affiliate Marketers Give Back event. It was a huge success and we were able to collect a variety of household and personal items for those in need in Vancouver.

This year, because it was a fairly small group (10 of us in total), we held the event at my home near White Rock, BC. James and Arlene Martell (affiliates), Leanne and Peter Tremblay (affiliates), Jaxon Lam (Hootsuite affiliate manager), and half the AIM team came out to collect, sort and count donations for the Union Gospel Mission.


In all we collected:

Vancouver Affiliate Marketing Sorts Clothes for Donation

  • 79 Toys
  • 261 Kids/Baby Items
  • 43 Food Items
  • 91 Pieces of Men’s Clothing
  • 64 Pieces of Women’s Clothing
  • 29 Pairs of Shoes
  • 70 Books
  • 5 Bedding Items
  • 11 Handbags / Backpacks

Our total donations came to 653 items for those in need. Really fantastic!


James Martell and Hailey Bundy

James Martell and Hailey Bundy

Not only did we have a great time networking while doing something to make a difference, we also enjoyed some great wine and a comfortable laid back environment to enjoy each others company, ideas and conversation.

I really want to thank all those who came out and contributed to such a great event! I also want to thanks Missy Ward for letting us use her Affiliate Marketers Give Back t-shirts for a more unified look. The money we spent buying the shirts also went towards raising money for Breast Cancer which helped towards another cause as well.


Ray Wang and Leanne Tremblay

We encourage other affiliate markers to enjoy events such as this in their local cities. It was a ton of fun and contributes to the betterment of this industry, our surroundings and each other.

I look forward to seeing everyone again in about 6 weeks for out next local Affiliate Marketing Meet-up!

Exclusive Interview with PMA Founder, Rebecca Madigan

Rebecca Madigan of the PMA - Performance Marketing AssociationI 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.”


Q: What would you like people to know about you?

“I take the responsibilities of the PMA and this industry very seriously and personally. I put my heart into this, particularly the fight against the Affiliate Nexus Tax, and I’ve been trampled and beaten back but still keep going. But this pales in comparison to the 76,000 affiliate marketers whose incomes have been devastated. We have to get those people back in business, and that keeps me going. My fight is stronger than ever!”


Q: In all the work you’ve done with CJ, Lurn Inc and the Performance Marketing Association, what would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?

“I think a lot of people in this industry will understand the feeling of being an entrepreneur, taking that giant leap of faith going out on your own, and living on the bleeding edge to get it going. As a matter of fact, I’m continually inspired by all the entrepreneurs from whom I’ve been inspired and mentored.

But hands down, the most difficult and greatest accomplishment professionally and personally, is beating back the Affiliate Nexus Tax bills around the country, and continuing the advocacy work in DC. The only political thing I ever did was vote regularly, so this was not only an unexpected direction but completely unknown and frightening. I feel responsibility to this industry every day with this issue. Even though we’ve beaten this back 60 times, there are 76,000 affiliate marketers, or about 1/3 of all publishers, who have been harmed. We need to get this solved once and for all, our best chances are in DC and we have a good chance of getting those folks back in business in 2013, early I hope!”


Q: Many people are still confused about legislations around Performance Marketing. What are the main points you feel people should understand?

“Affiliate marketers are the unintended victims in a battle between big box retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Target, and online retailers like Amazon and Overstock, who haven’t had to collect sales tax in most states.

In order for a state to get a retailer to collect its sales tax, the US Constitution requires that business must have a physical presence, or ‘nexus’ in the state. Typically that has meant a store or warehouse. But these ‘Affiliate Nexus Tax’ laws, aka Amazon tax laws, state that if those retailers have advertising agreements with Affiliate Marketers in the state, that’s the same as having a store, or nexus. About 1,000 online advertisers responded by terminating their affiliate agreements, to avoid having to collect sales tax. It has passed in 9 states, wiping out a huge amount of income for about 76,000 affiliates. The PMA successfully sued Illinois to block the law, but even though the judge ruled it was unconstitutional, the state is keeping the law in effect during the appeal.

There is Federal legislation in DC that would make this whole thing go away. The bills, in the House and Senate, remove that ‘nexus’ requirement, meaning all retailers must collect for all states, with our without physical presence. The PMA is actively lobbying in support of these bills and we see some very positive momentum. It will likely take until early 2013, after the presidential election.”


Q: If you could tell new merchants something they should know about Performance Marketing, what would it be?

“Performance marketing is the most relevant kind of advertising to consumers. Our whole industry depends on consumers trusting and clicking through on performance ads and taking action. We only get paid if consumers are happy! And publishers take all the up front risk, merchants only pay for ads that perform.”

It would be great if there were more people like Rebecca in our industry. However more and more people who feel the same kind of responsibility and passion are coming out of the woodworks, which is essential to the positive development of affiliate marketing locally and globally. I’m proud to now know Rebecca and thank her for her effort and contribution to the performance marketing world.

Share-A-Sale’s New Leap Frog Feature Good News for Merchants and Affiliates

shareasale's leap frog feature - share-a-saleA little insider information allowed me a sneak peak at Share-A-Sale’s new feature they call “Leap Frogging” which every merchant in Share-A-Sale needs to know about. This is great news for both merchants and affiliates for the reasons described below.

In a nutshell, merchants can now submit tickets to have custom tracking set up that will credit affiliates differently according to different set rules which will significantly help with attribution.

Some of the rules created around the Leap Frog feature could include time on affiliate site, order of clicks, and so on. The “leap frog” affiliate is the one that sends traffic to a merchant first and “leap frogs” over another affiliate who would otherwise get credit for getting the last click.  This makes crediting affiliates much more fair.

Because of this feature, commissions can now either go to the first affiliate or be split accordingly – say 20% of the sale goes to a coupon affiliate who got the last click and 80% goes to the content affiliate who sent the traffic in the first place, as an example.

The features is still very new and Share-a-sale is slowly rolling it out, however they are doing it for a few companies already and it seems to be working beautifully.


Why This is Good News for Affiliates

If you’re a blogger, content site, PPC affiliate and the like, you’re probably used to having some of the high value traffic you send to a merchant be “stolen” or otherwise credited to another affiliate who got the last click, such as a coupon site or someone using a toolbar. With this new feature, you can still get full credited for your hard work if not share commissions according to the merchant’s attribution design. This means a lot more sales for you!


Why This is Good News for Merchants

Because of the last click model that’s been the norm since the beginning, and since online shoppers have changed, many affiliates who are driving high value incremental sales are not being credited accordingly. This is because shoppers often check around before they make a buying decision and possibly even end up on a coupon site half way through checkout, giving credit to the coupon affiliate instead of the affiliate who sent the traffic in the first place. This leaves your best affiliates, the ones who are driving the highest value referrals in the first place, high and dry.

Too many merchants are giving full credit to the wrong affiliates, especially when the affiliate marketing strategy is to drive new customer aquisition. As a result, many merchants rely on coupon and daily deal sites to drive the bulk of their sales. This prevents many programs from effectively growing their sales because the higher value affiliates who are sending the first click are leaving programs they cannot earn from.

With this new feature, you can now keep your best preforming affiliates happy by paying on the first click or by splitting commissions instead of always crediting the last click. This will keep your program growing properly while keeping your highest value affiliates active!


The steps for setting the Leap Frog feature up in Share-A-Sale are: 

  1. Determine the rules for custom tracking
  2. Determine the commission split
  3. Submit request to SAS through a ticket


That’s it! You’re now on your way to a healthier, happier program!



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