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The Most Crucial Time of the Year: Are You Prepared for Q4?

The Most Crucial Time of the Year: Are You Prepared for Q4?

With its plethora of holidays and consumer spending events, the 4th quarter is a make-or-break season and the most crucial time of the year for eCommerce merchants in a wide variety of verticals.

In contrast to 2020, when the locked down COVID-19 environment led to unprecedented digital acceleration and unpredictable spending behavior, more consumers have now adapted to the climate, becoming much more trusting and savvier in their online discovery and buying of products in 2021. This makes performance marketing relationships more important than ever to help merchants and retailers of all sizes stand out to consumers. Read More

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LinkConnector Tech Shines in New Case Study with JEBCommerce

LinkConnector Tech Shines in New Case Study with JEBCommerce

Building an eCommerce presence to capture online market share is one of the biggest challenges facing new retailers today, with many struggling to stand out in an ocean of fierce competition. Today’s press release highlights how a properly executed and managed affiliate program can help to grow profits for these young businesses faster than a rising tide. Read More

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Adapting to COVID-19 and Growing Together with Affiliate Marketing

As COVID-19 has upended our worlds and forced us into a new normal, we unquestionably recognize the importance of human connections and adaptability in these unprecedented times—two defining features of affiliate marketing.

This state of crisis that has become our reality has redefined ecosystems, shifted consumer shopping behavior and altered stages of growth—quickly beckoning the need for eCommerce retailers to adjust their online advertising spend and strategies.

As digital marketing initiatives are being constrained or paused due to budget cuts, online retailers are leveraging the cost-effective value of affiliate marketing ever more so to help reach today’s consumer and fuel online revenue growth.

Here are some examples demonstrating how affiliate programs are empowering growth for online retailers amidst the coronavirus pandemic:

Employing Customer Ambassadors: Underscoring the human connection factor, retailers are emphasizing the opportunity for their customers to earn money by referring their community of friends and peers to purchase from the retailer’s online store.  A retailer’s customers are effectively becoming a 100% commission-based online salesforce for retailers.

Matching Talent to the Environment: Just as sports coaches adjust game time strategies to external factors like weather, injuries and opponents, affiliates are essential players in these changing times—a powerful combination of entrepreneurship and innovation that helps drive growth for retailers in ways now deemed necessary. Retailers that previously eschewed Coupon affiliates are now placing them in the starting lineup; recognizing the importance of giving consumers a cost-savings in these tough economic times. Search Engine Marketing affiliates are given priority for their peripheral vision expertise in helping retailers become discoverable for search results potential customers are now seeking.

Communicating Value Add: The affiliate marketing industry is a guiding beacon for the importance of communicating and sharing ideas and strategies to help our ecosystem respond to, and rebound from, setbacks. Affiliate managers are utilizing LinkConnector resources to communicate top-selling products, inventory availability, promotional offers and shipping times to their affiliates, who then communicate (within their promotional context) these important details to consumers. Similarly, affiliates are making their resiliency known by highlighting innovative ways which they can quickly pivot to give merchants exposure to relevant customer demographics in need.

Driving Orders in Surging Categories: Read More

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5 Benefits and 5 Techniques that Add Value to Affiliate Networks

#AffiliateTracking

On the closing day of Affiliate Summit East (#ASE19) in New York City, LinkConnector’s Co-Founder and Co-President, Choots Humphries, presented on the topic of 5 Benefits and 5 Techniques that Add Value to Affiliate Networks.  We are excited to recap actionable takeaways from this presentation.

Choots opened by making the point that all Affiliate Networks are not created equally and there are many types of networks.  There are affiliate networks, like LinkConnector, offering a full range of technology and tracking solutions along with management services and program optimization.  There are Ad Networks (or CPA Networks) which generally act without transparency to promote an advertiser’s offer based usually on an insertion order.  And, there are networks which would be better classified as a pure tracking solution which offer advertisers tracking solutions for all forms of online advertising and aren’t exclusively geared towards an affiliate program.  Choots further elaborated that the contents of this presentation were going to be focused around traditional affiliate networks.

Choots kicked off the presentation by listing five benefits of Affiliate Networks and announced he would be offering five techniques or considerations for each to extract value from network relationships.  Here are the five benefits…

Proper Tracking and Crediting

Proper tracking and crediting for merchant and affiliate customers is one of the most critical functions of a network.  Here are five consideration points shared to demonstrate such:

ITP 2.2 Compliant and Supports Parallel Tracking
Make sure your network is ITP 2.2 compliant, if not Apple’s changes to Safari’s privacy policy will increasingly erode at your ability to track sales or receive credit from Apple devices.  Also, if you are a Search affiliate or work with search affiliates, ensure your network supports Google’s new requirement for Parallel Tracking. Read More

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Coupon Affiliates Speak Out About Incremental Value

Coupon Affiliates Add Value

On the opening day of the Affiliate Summit West conference (#ASW19), LinkConnector’s Co-President, Choots Humphries, moderated the panel discussion, Coupon Affiliates Speak Out About Incremental Value. The room was packed with attendees; a testament to the strong interest and chance to learn from three Coupon affiliate experts.

On the panel were representatives from three industry-leading coupon affiliates, Jacob Huang of Slickdeals, Jasmine McCoy of Coupons.com, and Paul Snyder of Offers.com.

The cardinal question the panel tackled: Can coupon affiliates add value to a merchant’s Affiliate Marketing program? The panel shared insights and strategies as to why and how the answer is a resounding YES. Beyond success stories and challenges, the panelists also explained how merchant brands could empower their coupon affiliates with data and tools to better reach a brand’s Performance Marketing goals.

Here are just a few of the topics discussed with wisdom shared from each influential panelist.

CH: Describe the value proposition representative of Coupon Affiliates.

JM: Coupon affiliates earn the trust of users. Consumers seek out the best deal or coupon offer; they often don’t trust that the merchant’s deal is the best attainable.
PS: User experience is enhanced through the cost-savings gained from storefront pages on Coupon sites resulting in a happy customer for the merchant.
JH: The forums available to users of Slickdeals enables users to engage others and help to highlight what they have found to be the best coupon offer. Read More

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Leveraging Influencers in a Performance Marketing Arena

Affiliate Summit West 2019 - Influencer Marketing

The Affiliate Summit West conference (#ASW19) wrapped last week where over 6,000 digital marketers from over 70 countries gathered at Paris Las Vegas Hotel for all things #performancemarketing. LinkConnector was honored to once again exhibit and be a part of this must-attend industry conference.

On day one of the conference, LinkConnector’s Tara McCommons moderated the panel session, Leveraging Influencers in a Performance Marketing Arena to a packed room of attendees. On the panel were affiliate managers Nick Goodling of Bollman Hat, Charity Gerke of U.S. Elite; and Kimberly Cashwell, marketing manager of FMTC.

These three affiliate marketing leaders shared misconceptions, strategies and tactical advice on how they’ve leveraged the power of social media influencers to drive revenue and elevate brand reputation.

Tara: I see influencers as telling a story; they seem intimately in touch with a brand’s products. What do you see as the main differences between an affiliate and an influencer? 

 NG: Influencers are an extension of a brand’s marketing arm. Affiliates concentrate their efforts more on ROI, traffic and conversions.

CG: Influencers have a positive impact on a merchant’s brand. Affiliates are less concerned with the intangibles. Read More

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Why Pay-Per-Click Programs are Making a Comeback

No school like the old school; learn how pay-per-click campaigns are sparking appeal with bloggers and influencer affiliates.

In the world of Affiliate Marketing there are always new strategies merchants will use to make their program attractive to potential affiliates.  These strategies may include bonuses, extended cookie durations and most importantly – commissions paid to the affiliates. There are several methods of rewarding commissions by merchants; pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, pay-per- call, and pay-per-click as examples.

In the early days of Affiliate Marketing there was an explosion of campaigns compensating affiliates on a pay-per-click basis. Unfortunately affiliates utilized nefarious tactics (e.g., click bots) to drive up their commissions with these types of campaigns. Now, with the advancement of affiliate marketing technology networks are  able to identify fraudulent clicks when they occur and prevent costs from being incurred by merchants.

Presently we are witnessing a comeback of pay-per-click campaigns due to the interest they garner from influencers and bloggers. This compensation method is an effective way for brands to ignite relationships with these types of affiliates.

Here are three reasons why:

First, pay-per-click compensation helps bloggers and influencers who may be unfamiliar with affiliate marketing to easily test the waters and gauge their audiences’ interest in the brand (or product) to determine if a successful match may be born.

Secondly, merchants who structure pay-per-click compensation to be based on clicks to specific product pages can appeal to niche influencers who creatively expose the merchant’s products to an enthusiast audience.

Last but not least, this compensation method can be a catalyst for merchants to gain exposure on influencer platforms, those connecting brands with Twitch streamers (as one example) to monetize their content.

Naturally pay-per-click can be inherently risky for merchants. Consulting with your network or agency on the best structure that aligns with your overall affiliate marketing goals is always recommended. You may be surprised by the tools and technologies available to support a pay-per-click monetization component with your program and build additional relevant relationships.

David Troop manages LinkConnector’s Affiliate Operations where he is integral in growing affiliate and merchant relationships.

Are you an affiliate seeking pay-per-click campaigns from esteemed merchant brands? LinkConnector has many; contact us to apply to these programs Read More

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Affiliates – What Powers Their Growth?

Inspiring the excitement, energy and engagement from affiliates is one of the many coveted skill-sets affiliate managers proudly possess. And, it’s one that can be the most challenging.

LinkConnector’s Tara McCommons took the stage at Affiliate Summit in NYC last month to speak about ways affiliate managers can gain attention from affiliates; she also shared difference makers to spark affiliate growth.

Tara started with underscoring the importance of understanding what may motivate one type of affiliate, may not work for another. Whether it be a Google AdWords affiliate, a blogger or a social media influencer, each type of affiliate has different needs at different times. Techniques to find out what those needs may be and glean the needed ingredients that will boost growth include:

Ask Questions

Questions aren’t only important when you are unsure of something or trying to figure out something new–they are a catalyst to deepening discussions. Harvard Business Review published a study noting how “asking questions unlocks learning and improves personal bonding”. An example of one powerful question to ask of affiliates is “What can I do to make our brand’s promotion better for you?”

To demonstrate value learned from asking thought provoking questions of affiliates, Tara spotlighted award-winning blogger, social media influencer and LinkConnector affiliate partner, Kim Rowley of ShoppingKim.com who shared the following as items that empower her to thrive when promoting merchant partners:

“120 x 60 banners, and images sized for social media,
True top selling products – not simply those showcased on merchant homepages,
Vanity coupon codes tracked exclusively to me,
Higher payouts attainable for bloggers and not solely available as a bonus to the top-selling affiliate,
Unique content from merchants,
And, Sharing my posts is so appreciated!” Read More

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Values, Predictions & Strategies from OPM Heavyweights

The Affiliate Summit West conference (#ASW18) kicked off Sunday morning where over 6,000 digital marketers from over 70 countries gathered at Paris Las Vegas Hotel to talk #performancemarketing. At 4:00 pm, LinkConnector’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Tara McCommons (@TaraMcCommons), moderated the panel session, Values, Predictions & Strategies from OPM Heavyweights. Four industry-acclaimed OPMs shared the floor: Sarah Bundy of All Inclusive Marketing; Jennifer Ward of ebove & beyond; Mike Nunez of AffiliateManager.com and Jamie Birch of JEBCommerce.

These award-winning Founders & CEOs shared challenges, lessons and rich insights into how they’ve pushed the boundaries in an ever-evolving performance marketing industry. Below are a few Q & A highlights.

Tara: What is one of your core principles that has helped your employees to bring more of themselves to their role and feel pride in being a part of your company?  Read More