E-commerce Affiliate Marketing for Merchants 101 – OMS12


Online Marketing Summit 2012I have the great honor of leading this year’s first Affiliate Marketing Workshop at the Online Marketing Summit being held in San Diego from February 6-9th, 2012.

The workshop outlines all the most essential elements of how to plan, launch and run a successful affiliate marketing program for merchants. It addresses the major issues faced by new merchants coming into the space, as well as industry best practices for communicating with affiliates, negotiating placement of affiliate sites, recruiting “super affiliates” and much more. By the end of this workshop, merchants will have a greater understanding of whether an affiliate marketing program is right for their product and brand, how it can be integrated into their overall online marketing mix and what to do to make it succeed against all other affiliate programs in the same space.

Merchants will learn:

  • What affiliate marketing is and if it’s right for them
  • How to plan their affiiate marketing program
  • Strategies for recruiting affiliate marketers
  • Affiliate activation, motivation, communication and negotation
  • Essential key performance indicators
  • Plus a wholeBUNCH of bonus material.

My session is from 8:30 – 11:30 on February 6th and we’ve already got a good number of people register for the workshop (about 30). I’m happy to see more merchants showing an interest in this area of online marketing and investing a little to learn it properly.

It will be an information packed workshop and a great show overall! I’ve been to the OMS before and really enjoyed how diverse it was, including the caliber of speakers. Last time I went there was a keynote from President Obama’s social media team on how they won the election through smart social media campigns and multivariate testing.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this year has in store. If you still want to register and haven’t yet, as a speaker I can offer you a 30% discount on the passes. Just order online here and use coupon code SPEAKER30.

Looking forward to seeing you all in just over a week!


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Top 5 Highlights from Affiliate Summit West 2012

Affiliate Summit West 2012I’ve just come back from another great Affiliate Summit event and am excited to share my top 5 highlights from the event. In no particular order, here are my personal top 5 favorite things about Affiliate Summit West this year:

1. The People

A record breaking 5000+ attendees made it out to Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas this year. Although many newbie merchants, networks and affiliates made there way around the sessions, meet market and exhibit hall, I was able to meet up with an incredible group of people from various places.

I had the great pleasure of having personal conversations with Shawn Collins and Missy Ward, founders of Affiliate Summit. I had great conversations with top performing affiliates such as Scott Jangro, Todd Farmer (Affiliate Legend), James Martell (Affiliate Super Bootcamp), Tricia Meyer (Sunshine Rewards), Lisa Kennedy (Savings.com), Mike Allen (Shopping-Bargains), Diane Khania (Coupon Cabin), Bill Swartwout (High Noon Marketing) and Sandi Wohlford (FatWallet) to name just a few.

I was able to catch up and have a few laughs with industry veterans Carolyn Kmet (Groupon), Lisa Picarelli (ReveNews), Todd Crawford (Impact Radius), Kim Rowley (Affiliate Legend of the Year) and so many more.

I love this show because of the great caliber of awesome people who attend each year. It’s a warm and welcoming place to spend three days while being productive and progressive. Without all the amazing people who attend each year, this event just wouldn’t be the same.

2. Eric Thomas, Keynote

Eric Thomas, also known as The Hip Hop Preacher and author The Secret to Success of started the day with an incredibly motivating and inspiring keynote right after the Pinnacle Awards ceremony. Within the first 10 minutes of his talk I was welling up, having to wipe inspired tears from my eyes. What a beautiful soul this guy is, to share his story of success despite his disadvantageous start in life. More importantly, his story was brimming with pride for his children and the successes of others.

I very regrettably had to leave half way through his presentation to attend a meeting I had booked at the same time, but WOW, what a great motivational speaker and overall great human being. I wish there were more people in the world like this who are not afraid to keep going, never quit, and create success for themselves and their family through honest, dedicated hard work and belief in ones-self.

3. SeaWorld’s Affiliate Event

OK, maybe it was because we had our baby with us or maybe it’s because I’m really just a kid at heart, but the Sea World Affiliate Event thrown by SeaWorld Affiliate Manager, Ashley Edwards was so much fun!  A few of the SeaWorld crew, including some amazing birds, reptiles and animals from the park came to show themselves off to the room of giddy attendees. They went over the highlights of their affiliate program and a reminder of why SeaWorld is such an awesome place to visit. A few people got some free SeaWorld day passes (including yours truly) and even got to hold some of the creatures that came to Vegas with the team.

It was a very cool promotional idea on their part and I’m glad we got to have some fun with a few other family and kid oriented people. Regardless, affiliate managers could take note that this tactic brought in some very eager and targeted affiliates who signed up for their program right on the spot.

4. ShareaSale’s “Under the Stars” Party

This by far was one of my favorite nights of the entire four days at Affiliate Summit. ShareaSale’s president, Brian Littleton, is notorious for throwing awesome parties and he did not disappoint again. The ShareaSale “Under the Stars” Party was held outside of the Paris Hotel right below the Eiffel Tower! The view was spectacular – a clear view of the Bellagio Hotel and fountains across the street. The DJ was awesome, playing music that even the dead would have wanted to dance to, and the free flowing open bar kept people’s whistle’s wet throughout the night.

Aside from the music and the atmosphere, my personal favorite moments where seeing Brian Littleton in a classy three piece suite and fedora (you looked great, Brian!) and watching a lady roll by with a desert table around her waist. Talk about extravagance! In the words of Missy Ward – those deserts literally went to her hips!

Great job again, Brian. Another successful night by you and the ShareaSale team.

5. AMT Launch Excitement

The most exiting part of the entire show for me personally was the overwhelming positive feedback and excitement around the launch of our new company, Affiliate Management Trainers (AMT). Not only were affiliates thrilled that such a service now exists, helping merchants and affiliate managers learn the business to provide better support and experiences to their affiliate partners, but merchants, networks and even independent industry veterans were interested in the opportunity to further the level of personalized support and education to merchants.

The Merchant Sponsorship Program rewards an “upstanding merchant” for their efforts in working with affiliate partners when following industry best practices and strong business ethics, and was one of the main areas of interest with the AMT launch at the show. Merchants have the opportunity to win a free trip to Affiliate Summit next year through this program, keeping in mind that merchants must be nominated by an affiliate to be considered. The idea is to help better the industry through personalized education and accountability of merchants through “upstanding behavior” as deemed by their affiliate partners.

All in all, the show was another great success and I look forward to attending another Affiliate Summit event again soon!

First Ever Affiliate Management Conference: Affiliate Management Days 2012

Affiliate Management Days 2012There has been some hustle and bustle the last few weeks with some great affiliate related conferences coming up over the next couple of months. Affiliate Summit West 2012 (#ASW12) is just around the corner and with thousands of attendees it’s bound to be another great show.

However something new has come into the space recently that also deserves some attention. Affiliate Management Days 2012 (#AMDays), the industry’s first conference targeted specifically toward affiliate managers and business owners looking to get into the space, will be held in San Francisco on March 8th and 9th.

This event is part of the Data Driven Business Week and will be made up of two full days of informational sessions related to properly and effectively managing affiliate programs. The list of speakers is impressive, ranging from Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners to Ben Edelman, Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School.

This event will be a new “must attend” for affiliate managers looking to properly optimize their programs, improve their skills, keep up with industry issues, trends, industry benchmarks and best practices.

Some of the topics will include Trends & Innovations in Affiliate Marketplace (presented by Ali Pasha of Google), Top 10 Tips for Combatting Affiliate Fraud (presented by Joanna Lord of SEOmoz), and The Latest Tricks, Traps & Techniques Black Hat Affiliates are Using to Cheat Your Affiliate Program (presented by David Naffziger of BrandVerity) as examples. I personally will be doing a session on How to Find & Recruit Super Affiliates Into Your Program. You can find the entire conference agenda here.

I think it’s an important time for a conference like this to be introduced into the marketplace. With the mass expansion of affiliate programs and few affiliate managers having the experience to be a strong leader and thoroughly effective in their work, it’s about time a conference dedicated to the betterment of affiliate management was put forward.

I’m personally looking forward to checking it out. Like affiliate summit in the early days, I feel it will grow year over year and contribute to the betterment of merchant affiliate programs and the affiliate marketing industry around the world.

3 Tips for Attending Affiliate Summit West 2012

Register Today for ASW12

Affiliate Summit West 2012 is just around the corner and is the most anticipated affiliate marketing event of the year. This year’s Affiliate Summit will be located at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, between January 8-10. It is expected to sell out by the end of this month.

All the biggest players from all angles of the affiliate marketing world will be at this event. Last year, Affiliate Summit West saw a record breaking 4,800 attendees, with this year being even larger.



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