This column was designed with both retailers and publishers in mind. For online retailers, the focus was on how to get, keep and cultivate relationships with affiliates. For publishers, we covered how to choose the best affiliate programs and maximize earnings. It no longer runs as a standalone column and has since been incorporated into the Content Marketing column.

Great Expectations

One of the biggest benefits of the affiliate marketing channel is that it is all performance-based. This is very attractive because there is very little risk -- payout costs are directly correlated to results. But just because it isn't risky doesn't mean it is easy money. As at the gym, you get out of it what you put into it. Many new advertisers have misconceptions about what it takes to have a successful affiliate program. I field concerns all the time from new advertisers who are worried that they have not seen the results they were expecting. When I ask how long the program has been run [...]


Why Every Affiliate Needs To Use Sub-Campaign Tracking Codes

shutterstock_74696482.pdf Picture the following scenario: You're an Internet marketing consultant and you come across a merchant that is running both an SEO and PPC campaign. You ask them for some information about their campaigns. How many sales come from PPC? How many sales come from SEO? What are your highest converting keywords? What ad copy have you tried and what were the results? Which site layouts or homepage version have proven to be the most successful at increasing sales? Now imagine that the client says "I don't know" to all of the above. "All I know is that we make sales." They could be wasting mo [...]


Creating The Best Affiliate Tools For Your Affiliate Program.

Affiliate tools can be a great mechanism to increase affiliate activation, revenue, and retention.  Searching for useful affiliate tools online, however, can be discouraging and frustrating as most searches that include Affiliate Tools in the query return results are ridden with Get-Rich-Quick books and affiliate marketing “systems”. As an affiliate manager, it is often challenging to identify affiliate tools to build for your program and determine which of those will contribute the most to the success of your affiliate program while generating a Return on Investment (ROI).  Having de [...]


5 Ways Affiliates Can Use Valentine’s Day Strategies To Boost Mother’s Day Sales

valentines-shutterstock It’s still too early to tell, but all signs point to the fact that Valentine’s Day presented another lucrative holiday season for affiliates. Leading up to February 14, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated that the average man would spend close to double his female counterpart on Valentine’s Day. Those numbers break down to $126.03 for men and $85.76 for women. The good news for affiliates is that this number is 8.5 percent higher than last year’s average expenditure of $116.21. More specifically, NRF predicted that the $17 billion that was expected to be spent this Val [...]


5 Tips To Help SEO Based Affiliates Evaluate A Niche

One of the most common questions I'm asked is how to evaluate a niche from an SEO based affiliate perspective before diving head first into it. We all know the obvious - check traffic volume for keywords in the niche using your favorite keyword research tool. But just because there is traffic, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the "right" niche. Over the years, I've learned a lot of lessons the hard way and below, I'll share with you some of the things I research before deciding to enter a niche as an affiliate that is primarily marketing my site through SEO. Check PPC Advertiser Comp [...]


Drawing Out Your Affiliate Program Marketing Plan

Promotional Calendar Example One of the best things an affiliate manager can do for their affiliate program is to maintain consistent and regular communication with their Publishers. Affiliate managers often say to me, “I don’t have enough to say to put out a monthly newsletter.” But you do! Advertisers have much more to talk about than they sometimes realize.  And more importantly, it’s information that will make a marked difference on the program’s bottom line. Take an hour to sit down and draft out an editorial calendar. By having a marketing plan in place for the year, affiliate managers will be m [...]


5 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Affiliate Program Today

affiliate-marketing-featured As a student of performance marketing, I enjoy keeping up on industry publications and forums.  One of the many things I love about this industry is the insight and sharing of information that takes place.  Anyone smitten by affiliate marketing knows the daily challenges that often accompany the rewards of working in such a young industry.  These same challenges have resulted in a cohesive online marketing community that genuinely strives to move the industry forward, making it easy to find many useful articles published online about strategies and methods of improving your affiliate progra [...]


Let Affiliates Pave The Way Into New Markets

When the book “The World is Flat” first hit the bookstands back in 2005, many who read it came to have a better understanding of what it means to run a business in the global economy. Regardless of your view of the book, it did prompt us marketers to look more carefully and closely at the way we perceived and pursued new markets. Certainly we’ve all heard about the companies that expanded into new markets and successfully increased sales, elevated brand awareness and continued to thrive. While the Internet has been the driving force that allows companies to compete on a more level [...]


How 2012′s Rise Of The Affiliate Channel Will Impact The $300B E-Commerce Industry

discounts-shutterstock For years, affiliate marketing has provided a steady stream of traffic and sales to online merchants while publishers reaped healthy yet steady commissions. As a staple in the online marketing toolkit, the affiliate channel continues to play a critical role in driving brand awareness and online revenue. And that role is about to expand significantly as the affiliate channel is projected to reach $4 billion by 2014. There are several factors driving the increased interest in performance marketing. The three biggest drivers are the rise in affiliate deal sites, advances in technology and the [...]


Affiliate Marketing Is Booming On Twitter

hashtag-shutterstock Affiliates are using Twitter to promote offers from merchants.  Yes I am stating the obvious.  What most of us don’t realize is how often this occurs, the tactics used by affiliates, and why it’s important to monitor the tweet content. Frequency Of Affiliate Tweets Affiliates tweet a lot.  Affiliates tweet an average of 120,000 times per week.  Sixty to seventy percent of all affiliates use social media and 47% of all affiliates use Twitter -- these stats via The Search Monitor  and Affiliate Benchmarks. Affiliates like Twitter because it’s free and it’s very easy to get star [...]


Creating A Successful SEO Strategy For An Affiliate Website

Chess_Pieces I've been doing affiliate marketing for over a decade now. Back then, creating an SEO strategy for your affiliate-based website was pretty cut and dried. Pick a market and buy a keyword-laden domain name. Next you'd do a search on the Overture keyword tool (I'm completely dating myself here) and pick the top 50 keywords in your niche. Then you'd create pages for each with about 400 words of content on each one and then start working on your link development with some reciprocal linking. And if you were really advanced in your link development strategies, you'd also work on some one-way link [...]


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