LinkConnector’s Publisher Discovery powered integration transforms the essential recruiting process by connecting merchants with the most relevant affiliate matches.
If you’re a performance marketing professional or enthusiast in search of your next podcast fix, look no further than the Profitable Performance Marketing podcast presented by JEBCommerce CEO Jamie Birch—a treasure trove of inside information and regular discussions with some of the top minds in our industry.
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
Consumers have used coupons for online shopping discounts for over 20 years. As consumer demand for online coupons rose, affiliate websites like RetailMeNot.com, Savings.com, and Coupons.com were created to meet and monetize this demand. And, over time, coupon codes provided by affiliates evolved slightly to increase conversion and value to the Affiliate Marketing relationship. For example, a specific vanity code branded to an affiliate site or a code more easily remembered (e.g., Save10) tends to be more effective than a random code. Coupons specifically designed to increase shopping cart value (e.g., 10% off a purchase of $100 or more) are also used to increase the value of an online transaction for affiliate and merchant partners. These optimization techniques have one thing in common—they represent only minor evolutionary progress when compared to traditional coupons consumers have used for over 100 years. With the plethora of member data available to affiliates today, so much more is possible and significant evolution is inevitable.
Coupon and loyalty affiliate companies have much data about their members. This data includes demographic details, as well as purchase habits and interests. Armed with such data, affiliates could significantly optimize further if they had the ability to present coupons specific to each member. Another level of optimization could occur if these affiliates could react to consumer decisions in real-time, but coupon codes for any particular merchant are constrained by a merchant’s shopping cart and the need for that merchant to create coupons manually and significantly ahead of a consumer’s purchase decision. But what would our Affiliate Marketing world look like if this constraint were lifted? What would be possible if affiliates could create codes on demand that transparently worked in a merchant’s shopping cart?
With the ability to create coupons on demand, affiliates could customize codes to its members based on real-time circumstances. Over time, and with A/B testing, codes could be optimized to each individual versus the general population optimization that occurs today. In this environment, one member might react better to coupons that expire within hours while another may perform better with several days to consider a purchase. Or, a particular member may convert at a much higher rate when offered coupons targeted to certain items already in their cart. With the ability to create member and situational targeted coupons specific to each combination of circumstances, affiliates will begin to add value beyond anything seen before in the Affiliate Marketing industry. This is value only a particular affiliate can contribute with access to their member data and behavior.
Personalized coupons are the inevitable evolution of online coupons as technology allows for real-time coupon creation by affiliates. Much stronger conversion rates, higher shopping cart order values, and greater customer acquisition are all possible with the ability to A/B test and optimize on an individual basis. Of course, this will serve to restore the value offered by coupon and loyalty affiliates once again in our industry.
Choots Humphries is the Co-President and Co-Founder of LinkConnector Corporation.
FeedFront Magazine, Issue 46
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
mThink Blue Ribbon Panel Member, Jackie Bates, recently sat down with Revenue to discuss current trends in performance marketing. Here, we shine a light on Q4 strategy for merchants and two other trending topics.
Jamie drove the narrative to focus dialogue around affiliate marketing technology features available via each of the panelists’ platforms, how these technologies are used and critical considerations (e.g., data and program goals) merchants must recognize when deciding which tools to utilize and how to correctly apply them.
Here are just a few of the valuable perspectives voiced by these industry stalwarts.
Each of the panelists underlined the importance of their platforms in providing the data to empower merchants to make educated decisions on which technologies to leverage to best accomplish their specific program goals.
Shopping cart window data from a 2017 LinkConnector study strongly suggests merchants may be over discounting coupon affiliate relationships.
The Affiliate Management Days Keynote panel, the 2017 Affiliate State of the Union, debated a diverse set of issues ranging from attribution and commission splitting to the globalization of the industry.