CJU Sets The Stage For International Expansion Opportunities

Last month, CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly known as Commission Junction) held their annual CJU (Commission Junction University) event in Santa Barbara, California.

The best performers in the network from a publisher, merchant and agency partner perspective attended, with the intention of gaining insights into the advancements of Conversants’ technologies, publisher relationships and to collaborate on mutual opportunities.

This year’s CJU was no disappointment, and attendees got to learn about new international expansion opportunities, cross device tracking, mobile partnerships, and social influencer & content publisher engagements as a key focus.

AIM’s Director of Client Support Services, Kelly Hagen, with some of Conversant’s International and NA account management team.

Between their Keynote by Parag Khanna discussing worldwide trends, economic ecosystems, and how global connectivity is impacting macro commerce, ecommerce trends and affiliate, and their full Global Expo of top international publishers, there was no shortage of people to speak to about international performance marketing opportunities.

Read full article on All Inclusive Marketing Blog

AvantExpo 2017 Partnership Summit Recap

Last week in Snowbird Utah, Avantlink hosted their exclusive invite-only AvantExpo. This annual summit is one of a kind, and is only open to the best of the best in content, publisher, technology, management and partnerships within the performance marketing industry on Avantlink’s network.

Companies such as REI, Fanatics, Backcountry, The Wire Cutter, Gear Institute (and AIM)

attended and networked with each other in a casual, intimate setting. With only 100 attendees and plenty of activities and networking time, this allowed for us to meet almost everyone there.

This was All Inclusive Marketing’s third year attending, and this year’s conference did not disappoint! Set in the stunning landscape of Snowbird Resort, surrounded by Swiss-Alp looking mountains and rivers, Avantlink created a relaxed and intimate experience for their attendees to network, communicate, experience once in-a-lifetime activities, and grow meaningful relationships together.

Their invite only, casual setting allowed for people to get to know each other better in fun and unique ways. From riding self-controlled roller coasters through the trees to tram rides up to the top of 11,000 ft peaks, every experience was top notch.

 

All Inclusive Marketing was featured on the only thought leader panel of the show with Wade Tonkin from Fanatics, and the Avantlink team discussing why it was hard for affiliatemanagers to have their programs be best-in-class, and how to help them achieve this high level of standard. Insights from attribution and crediting logic to communication and engagement best practices to incrementality and data strategies were shared.

The audience was highly engaged and the content from the day created many more question and key strategy discussions over the day that followed.

On day two, AIM was up for Agency of the Year at the awards ceremony and recognized for our contributions to the industry, our support of Avantlink as a network, and congratulated for our success over the past year.

 

Our key takeaways were:
  • Strong bonds and agreed upon engagements with highly sought after content publishers, who’s reach and revenue generation was in the Millions.
  • A sneak peek at the technology advancements being rolled out by Avantlink in the coming weeks and months (all very exciting and useful in creating more powerful diversified partner portfolios)
  • New connections with strong content publishers and technology providers we had not met before.

 

We will be back again next year, and look forward to the year ahead for both Avantlink and the All Inclusive Marketing team in support of our clients and partners alike.

Read Original Article on All Inclusive Marketing Blog

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mark Walters on Acquisition of US Affiliate Marketing Leader, ShareASale

Mark Walters Zanox Affiliate Window

Mark Walters, CEO of Zanox

As the affiliate marketing space continues to grow and flourish, mergers and acquisitions are becoming more of a norm.

Last month, Global Performance Marketing leader, Affiliate Window, part of the Zanox Group, announced their acquisition of US leading affiliate network and tracking platform, ShareASale.

I had the opportunity to interview, CEO of Zanox, Mark Walters, about the recent acquisition, and why they chose ShareASale as their #1 pick for their North American expansion.

Q: How did you chose ShareASale as the company to buy, and why did you make that decision now?

ShareASale was an obvious fit, their culture, their reach and their reputation (both ethically and performance wise) are just a few of the factors that made them stand out. We’ve been talking with Brian for a while and there was a no set time limit for this to complete. It was more important for him to understand the value of this step from an internal and external perspective. It became as much for Brian to select us as it was for us to select ShareASale. (more…)

Improve Your Attribution Strategy and Keep Up With Your Customers

Are you an affiliate marketer looking to grow your search, affiliate marketing and attribution strategy? Do you want to drive consistent profitable sales growth for your business, and learn from the top online marketing experts?

Welcome to the Digital Strategy Insights podcast brought to you by All Inclusive Marketing, hosted by Sarah Bundy. Attribution tracking has changed dramatically for both brands and their affiliates, and for those who have kept pace with the changing landscape the rewards have been spectacular.

This week’s guest is Todd Crawford, the co-founder and VP of Impact Radius, a previous VP of business development at Digital Rivers and a specialist in guiding industry relations and strategic initiatives. He is also the proud winner of the Marketing Legend Award, which he won back in 2007.

Listen this week as your hosts discuss how to get the most of your affiliate marketing and attribution engagement, which platforms are the best for your business, and how to utilise them to their full potential.

 

Easy Peasey Attribution

Having a good hold on where your company stands with its attribution tracking and affiliate marketing is important in the digital marketing world. With Crawford being a household name in this field his advice is full of gems you can trust to help you with your attribution struggles. Affiliate marketing and attribution tracking is constantly changing and evolving, so if you want to keep up with your consumers demands and increase conversion it is important you jump in.

Do you have a company goal in mind with regards to attribution? If not, you need to. Being able to master attribution and successfully interpret data analysis will benefit your business. Fully understanding marketing touch points and the value they hold will ensure you keep up with demanding consumers and developments in technology.

 

Evolution is Key

Attribution is always evolving because consumers are demanding more. This means you need to keep on top of your affiliate marketing strategies and really understand how attribution affects you and your business. By having a clear goal and open dialogue with your third parties, agencies and marketing team means you will have a clear understanding of your attribution data. In this week’s podcast, Crawford will clear up common questions like:

  • Can you explain what attribution marketing is?
  • Why is attribution so important for my business?
  • Which elements of attribution tracking should I be paying most attention to?
  • Which click models should I focus on?
  • What best practices are there for attribution, and who needs to know?
  • Which is going to be the best platform for my business?
  • How is attribution evolving, what will it look like in 5 years?

These are questions even seasoned marketing pros want answering in order to boost their attribution tracking and affiliate marketing. Listening to all the advice Crawford has to offer will ensure you engage with your desired demographic and optimize your search and digital strategies through attribution.

Even the first baby steps with attribution marketing make a difference to your business. These wobbly steps are imperative to ensuring you and your business fully understand attribution changes and how they help your business. As your strategies develop, your attribution will become unique to you, which will in turn build a stronger relationship with customers and improve sales.

Do you want to optimize your attribution strategies, ensuring you reach out to the biggest audience you can? Are you tired of struggling to get to grips with attribution tracking? Get in touch with Todd Crawford at todd@impactradius.com, or visit their website at www.impactradius.com.

Invest 20 minutes now and learn how you can improve your performance with search, digital and attribution strategies with Sarah Bundy and Todd Crawford of Impact Radius. Want to reach out, engage, and convert new customers? Contact us at www.allinclusivemarketing.com or Facebook.com/trusttheexperts and Twitter @trusttheexperts.

6 Tips to Rock it with ShareASale This Year

shareasale end of year helpful tipsAfter receiving an update from my amazing account manager at ShareaSale, I wanted to share with you a couple of new tools they’ve introduced that may be helpful to you now and in the new year, as well as some life hacks that might make things a bit easier for you moving forward.

They are:

1. The ability to schedule new or update banners in the Creative inventory.  You will now see an “Or Schedule for Later” button when you go to upload a creative or edit a creative. YAY! This is an awesome one for anyone who’s ever been up at 4am PST getting ready to post some banners for a busy sales day.

2. There is a new tool to add in the ability to apply rules to certain affiliate applications by state.  What this means is if you are a merchant who has nexus concerns outside of California, for example, and you have a specific affidavit or form that you’s would like the affiliate to comply with work with the program, you can now do so.

  • The form that the affiliate agrees to and digitally signs can be easily found by navigating to the Your Affiliate List>Links>Download Affiliate Contact Information and importing the document into Excel

3. ShareaSale now let’s you request to enable a privacy waiver for affiliates.  Enabling this function allows affiliates to share their contact information with you.  Yes it’s true! This is great for you because they can share their email address, physical address, etc. with you so you can build closer relationships with them. Double YAY!

4. If you have not already done so, check out the affiliate storefronts, because it is a tool that can be used with nontraditional affiliates who may not have their own websites.

5. Did you know there is the ability to pre-approve affiliates to a program and also expedite their approval to the ShareaSale network (generally cuts at least a day from the process) by using this link?  Yay again!

6. Lastly, this month especially, its recommended that you consider increasing your account deposits.  ShareaSale noted they have found  a lot more programs going offline over the last week (great for sales) but it can often frustrate affiliates. Don’t let that be you!

AND A BONUS TIP! If you haven’t used it already, be sure to check out ShareaSale WIKI!

Hopefully these tips have been helpful as you push to the end of this year and into a new quarter, and as always feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

Google Affiliate Network Shut Down – Now What?

Google Affiliate Network Shut Down GAN's GoneThere has been a feeding frenzy since Google announced the closure of their affiliate network last week. Merchants, affiliates, networks and agencies have been in a mass turnover period while they figure out what to do and how to help each other.

We have been working with several companies with their changeovers in the last few days. Many merchants are going to Linkshare and Commission Junction, while others move to more niche solutions.

We’ve spoken with several merchants who are grateful to have alternative options outside of the obvious few, because in a time of change, comes a time for opportunity and advertisers need to be careful they are making the right decisions long term.

The opportunity for further program optimization and growth, along with potential savings for higher profits, and new profitable niche partner relationships is fantastic right now. But GAN merchants need to be clear on what they are trying to accomplish from their program before they make a big move.

Our team at All Inclusive Marketing is about identifying the smartest opportunities for change in order to improve your affiliate program before, during and after this transition period to focus on savings and higher profitable growth potential. 

If you are a merchant looking for support, we’re here to help transition you in the smartest way possible, not just the most obvious. We have partnerships with all the major networks, but also a lot of the smaller niche groups that could actually mean higher savings and more strategic partner relationships with you resulting in more profits and growth potential.

So what are your next steps:

1. If you have found an alternative and you got a deal, that’s awesome, well done! But it’s not over with that one change. Look at what new opportunities there are for improvement and growth while people are open to change, and while you are flexible enough to make different decisions that could massively benefit your organization’s bottom line.

2. If you have an agency that you already work with and are looking for new geographic target groups, that’s ok, we can still help! We have several clients who already work with other agencies and work with us to penetrate into international market segments such as Canada, the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia other agencies either don’t have time or expertise to move into. We have partnerships with many international affiliate networks to offer additional savings and new customer segment reach.

3. Let’s say your comfortable with CJ or Linkshare and you have internal account management with them – great! They know their network better than anyone else. However what about the opportunities outside of their network they don’t know about or can’t get into? What about working with their (or your) internal team to focus on new affiliate recruitment opportunities, or partnerships that take the mundane tasks off your hands so you can focus on building relationships with your affiliates and negotiating better placements on sites resulting in increased sales? These too are areas we can help.

4. What if you’re “set” in all these areas? Awesome! But how about using tools to become more efficient and effective now? What about working with cross channel strategy to not only increase affiliate sales but every marketing dollar you spend in other channels? There is opportunity to improve program performance and cross channel sales – and we have the tools, systems and team in place to help you elevate your program, whether you’re working with a network, agency or in house manager already.

This is a phenomenal opportunity to make some positive change that could forever push your affiliate program forward in a better direction. If you’d like to speak about your affiliate marketing strategy, selection on new network, affiliate recruitment efforts, tools to help you become more efficient or how to get more from your online marketing efforts as a whole, contact us and we’d be happy to offer a free consultation on what to do before, during and after your move from Google Affiliate Network.

The Role of the Affiliate Network #AMDays

I’m sitting in a session at the AMDays Conference and am very excited about how the following five people are going to define the role of the affiliate network, especially after Google announced yesterday they are shutting down their affiliate network completely.

 

On the panel we have:

  • Todd Crawford, Co-Founder, Impact Radius
  • Gary Marcoccia, Co-Founder, Avantlink
  • Brian Littleton, CEO, ShareaSale
  • Kerri Pollard, President, Commission Junction,
  • Amber Melhouse, Director of Business Development Linkshare

 

Brian: we are working closely with bloggers and trying to help them adapt to this industry. They are trying to figure out how to make money for their families, and they are scared about a lot of things, so the only concern from a network perspective that I have is working with these guys and trying to help them.

Gary: When I started as an affiliate manager I would spend most of my day just going through applications. As long as the network is qualifying people to a degree, that means easier management for affiliate managers.

Amber: Helping merchants who are looking for an active publisher base

Kerri: What problem are we trying to solve? We need to create efficiencies and we need to remove as many hurdles as possible. We are trying to expand the eco-system.

 

Question: What more can be done at the network level when it comes to attribution?

Todd: With de-duplication, networks can make sure the right pixel is being fired, so only the right channels are being credited, and that’s not only when comparing other affiliates, but all online marketing channels as a whole.

Amber: Allowing the merchants to select and be flexible in how to set up tracking to either first click, last click or somewhere in the middle. Just having the capability to customize how credit is paid, is what the networks should be focused on.

Kerri: It’s important to answer questions around all data points related to both online and offline sales and what role publishers are playing in attribution. CJ is pushing forward to advancing the data available to merchants so they can make better business decisions instead of blanket decisions about what role affiliate play, which could be resulting in the advertiser throwing the baby out with the bath water.

We are working on personalizing promotional offers to ensure affiliates can offer more intelligent and personalized customer discounts to increase AOV and conversions.

Brian: People seem to forget that the affiliate channel is the only one that you can reverse your cost if you need to and that affiliates are doing the work themselves at no cost to you. You have to remember in some cases that providing traffic for free is not an easy task and you will not be able to build up your blogger channel through performance marketing if you’re putting up barriers or discouraging them in any way.

 

Question: There are now lots of networks, lots of management options, lots of different fee structures. With everything moving in different directions, how is this all going to factor in to how clients are going to pay the networks?

Kerri : We will always charge either a percentage of commission or a percentage of sale. I believe the performance nature of this business and we are always in line with trying to help our clients achieve their goals and objectives. Management fees are usually a flat fee, but I’m a big believer of the performance model and we want to be incentivized to perform with our clients from a strategy and execution standpoint as well, so it will continue to be a percentage of sale in general.

Gary: We just started managing programs within our network recently for those who are exclusive to us, and there is no rev share around it, it’s entirely a flat fee.

Todd: I’m going to disagree a little bit. I speak with a lot of people. Once of the challenges in this industry is there is only so much of a pie to share. People are going to need resources to cover all the things they need. If I’m a network, I know that publishers and merchants have to come to a network to work their program. However we need to look at where the fees make sense. Some networks earn 6 figures a month in programs that are driven because the publisher and the merchant came up with a solution that increased sales, but the network had nothing to do with that growth and are still getting rewarded for it.

Kerri: We are in this for the long term so we’re not going to do anything to screw anybody over. We charge our fees that we put back into improving our platform and providing better value. If we’re having a pricing conversation then we’re not clearly providing value. So whatever we’re talking about we should be always looking at providing value and not taking about pricing. Price does not mean value. That’s a discussion we just need to continue to have internally and amongst networks to continuously add value.

Amber: Linkshare commissioned Forester Research to help conduct a study on affiliates and what we found is that more companies are looking to invest in the affiliate marketing channels, so obviously the value of the channel is there and if you’re looking at paying 8% on affiliates and 20% on PPC, why wouldn’t you focus on the lower cost performance based model over the higher up front cost strategy.

 

Question: People are using different devices to buy online, and merchants are slow to adapt, which means affiliates are getting the short end of the stick, so what are the networks doing to help fix these issues and move things along faster?

Amber: We have been extremely encouraging to our advertisers to ensure mobile tracking is in place before the holidays. We regularly bring in great mobile publishers to work with them to help them move forward in the space. We are working on a new program called “know your customer” which will help advertisers learn more about which devices customers are using to make buying decisions.

Kerri: We have new mobile tracking that’s come available for app and mobile tracking as of last month, and that’s available on a global scale. It tracks at 120 days after the download of the app. It was discouraging to see how little advertisers have done from a mobile perspective, so we’ve created this to help speed this along for them.

 

Question: What is your definition of the network’s role on a compliance standpoint and what the networks should be doing about them.

Brian: My approach is to give someone one shot. we provide two things: an automated report that gives them an idea of what might be happening and my personally reaching out to the merchant saying “hey this is happening in your program. it’s not for me to say whether this is good or bad for you, but I’m bringing it to your attention so you can make a decision that’s right for you.” It’s a network role to identify the patterns of particular affiliate behaviour. We are the only ones who can see when a particular affiliate is trying to take advantage of a particular group of advertisers, and it is our responsibility to make decisions around how to deal with that behavior when we see it.

T3Leads Offers More Than the Normal CPA Network

DISCLAIMER – This is a sponsored post. However it is an honest review based on my conversation with T3Leads and I told them I would be honest if I didn’t like it.

 

I’m not a huge fan of CPA networks, mostly because you can’t work with their affiliates directly and because they have very few differentiators. However there will always be a need for good CPA networks for particular types of verticals such as finance, real estate, education and services.  These are good for pay per lead, pay per click and pay per impression type programs. T3 Leads, which is the largest Pay Day network in the US, Canada and the UK, had some interesting features I  did like because they were different and useful to both affiliates and merchants. T3 Leads has been around since 2006, so they are not just another pop-up CPA Network. They are established with 40+ employees and have great presence around the world.

Here are some things I liked about T3 Leads as a CPA Network:

 

Pingtree

All leads go through their “pingtree” and are “sold to the highest bidder”. This means affiliates are well taken care of, while merchants have control over their spend. They have 70+ lenders on their US pingtree alone, which allows them to have the highest payouts of up to $150/lead.

 

Turn-key Solution

As an affiliate, no matter what you did before, you can translate your skills into their network seamlessly because of their incredible tools and support. They have many white label offers that are downloadable, public sites, banner creatives, and text ad channels. They understand all affiliates are different, and they want to accommodate all of them and all of their individual monetization models.

For example: if you email, you will have their public landing page that is highly tested and optimized for conversion. If you write authority and review posts, they have display creatives. You can also download one of their CMS templates, or just use their customizable application forms. These tools are meant to help affiliates ramp up as quickly as possible.

 

Protected Network

T3Leads takes extra steps to protect their network, which is really important to me. They do this many different ways. The first is verifying and manually approving all affiliates who register within their network. They also have fraud filters that cross reference IPs, email, bank account, SSN, useragent browsers, etc with all of the other leads in their network.  Along with their tracking and analytics, they are able to protect their merchants and other advertisers from the bad apples more than other networks.

 

Fees

There are no fees for a merchant to get started. There are also no fees to merchants who purchase leads. Leads sell for anywhere between $1.50-$150. They earn money through a 20/80 split with the affiliate or sometimes 10/90 for higher performers.

All in all I was pretty impressed by their team, their platform and what they had to offer. If I had a pay day, financial or auto insurance program I would in fact try these guys out first!

If you’re an affiliate and would like to join one of their affiliate programs, you can register here.

Affiliate Window (Buy.at) Stepping Up Their Game

affiliate window performance marketing network reviewedAccording to Affiliate Window, formerly known as Buy.at, they are the first affiliate network to proactively combat the risks brought about by the recession and expose advertisers who haven’t cleared their existing publisher invoices on time. In one of the boldest moves by a network in recent times, Affiliate Window is putting publishers first by allowing them to manage their cash flow by indicating which retailers pay promptly and reliably. The way it works is relatively straight forward:

 

  • Any advertiser operating on a green status is completely safe to promote and will pay very very quickly.
  • Any advertiser operating on an amber exposure level 1 status is a low risk advertiser who pays Affiliate Window via Direct Debit but has exceeded their credit insurance limits.
  • Any advertiser operating on an amber exposure level 2 status is a medium risk advertiser who has exceeded their credit insurance limit.
  • Any advertiser operating on an amber exposure level 3 status is a medium risk advertiser, within their credit insurance limit but with overdue invoices.
  • Any advertiser operating on an amber exposure level 4 status is a high risk advertiser, they have exceeded their credit insurance limit and have overdue invoices.
  • Any advertiser operating on a red status should be avoided.

 

This is a great new feature exclusive to Affiliate Window that will help affiliates know which programs to join and which to be weary of. So far it has been positively embraced by the affiliate community, particularly those that have suffered from advertisers going into administration resulting in non-payment.

What should you take away from this? If you’re a merchant, pay on time! If you’re an affiliate, you now have tools to make sure you’ll get paid properly. I like the addition and look forward to seeing more ways we can help affiliates while increasing the standards of merchant behaviour.

 

About Affiliate Window:

Affiliate Window is an award-winning performance marketing network. Over a hundred advertisers with more being added every day. Our offering ranges from big name brands such as British Ariways, Ticketmaster and Ticketsnow, to niche retailers like Zone Alarms looking to grow their online presence. Affiliate Window is committed to developing market-leading technology to assist the performance of both advertisers and publishers, such as the development and initial implementation of the Darwin Marketplace.

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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