Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics #59: A Gateway Conference

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Affiliate Marketing Fanatics |

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics – A couple of hyper-caffeinated affiliate marketers (Mike Buechele) and (Trisha Lyn Fawver) talk about all things Affiliate Marketing. From blogging to branding, social media to search, video and more!

Mike and I jump back into the saddle with this whole podcasting thing.  We talk briefly about how great Affiliate Summit West 2012 was, get off track in some places, and try to get the innocent kids in the Midwest hooked on some affiliate marketing conference goodness. In in this episode we discuss:

  • Affiliate Summit Central – a gateway conference to bigger conferences.
  • Speculation about the night life of Austin, TX.
  • Anybody using Pinterest? Thread on the Affiliate Summit Forum
  • The Story of Skimlinks and Pinterest by Shawn Collins
  • Pinterest “Pin It” Button WordPress Plugin
  • 0% of Affiliate Marketers are Female.  Say whaa?  The rebutted 10 Great Women of Affiliate Marketing
  • Some chatter about the Affiliate Summit Meetups in NY and SF

Find us on Twitter: @AMF_Podcast, @MikeBuechele & @TrishaLyn. Like us on Facebook! Be old fashioned and just leave us a comment!

Special thanks to for hosting Affiliate Marketing Fanatics!

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Affiliate Marketing Fanatics 58: Suicide by Cough

Posted on Nov 21, 2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Affiliate Marketing Fanatics |

Affiliate Marketing Fanatics – A couple of hyper-caffeinated affiliate marketers (Mike Buechele) and (Trisha Lyn Fawver) talk about all things Affiliate Marketing. From blogging to branding, social media to search, video and more!

Like the great prime time dramas of yore, we’ve done a crossover arc episode with the guys at Geek Dads Weekly, Daniel M. Clark and Drew Bennett.  Our fun started during Emo Wolverine Feels Nothing – Geek Dads Weekly 101 and continues here. In in this episode we discuss:

  • Ad:tech NY & Mike’s experience there last week.  It seems more folks are more directed at building mobile networks instead of mobile content, necessarily.
  • Using the broader point of reference of Internet Marketing instead of Affiliate or Performance Marketing.
  • Some Affiliate Summit West 2012 info, talking about our Affiliate Improv! panel with Mike, Daniel, Eric Souza, and myself.  The panel will be at 3:30 Sunday January 8th in the Augustus V room.
  • We’ll be manning a speaker booth Tuesday January 10th at 2:00 pm for any follow up!
  • The discovery of Pinterest, the inundation of crafty folks there, and how it is divided a bit among gender lines between who “gets it” and who doesn’t.
  • The Affiliate Summit Newcomer Program – Our code name for Caesar’s will be Castle Greyskull.
  • Show our guests some love: Daniel M. Clark is a podcast production consultant at and Drew Bennett is a dad, photographer, and blogger at

Find us on Twitter: @AMF_Podcast, @MikeBuechele & @TrishaLyn. Like us on Facebook! Be old fashioned and just leave us a comment!

Special thanks to for hosting Affiliate Marketing Fanatics!

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CJU Course: Consumer Shopping Trends: What makes them tick? What makes them click?

Posted on Nov 3, 2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking |

The Internet has become the main purchase path for many consumers so let’s uncover the latest trends and developments in online shopping and learn about what is making consumers click “Buy Now.” How are innovations in mobile, local, and social changing the shopping experience? What is the real impact of coupon and deal sites? Join us to discuss what is driving changes in shopping behavior, who is buying and why, and most importantly, how affiliates can continue to be at the center of these trends. The speaker was:

  • Ronan Vance, Director, Business Development

This was a great last session to end on.  It was chock full of information – if you were an attendee of CJU and didn’t get a chance to check out Ronan’s presentation, I highly recommend you access the CJUniverse for his presentation PDF.  There’s so much more information in the form of great charts that I can’t really include here.  I love it when presentations have lots of interesting stats, and Ronan sure didn’t disappoint!

Bullet Point Review!

  • Where to buy? Lots of different ways to buy.
  • The times they are a-changin.
    • Early 20th century: personal, social, immediate, informative.
    • Late 20th century: variety, experiential, social, immediate.
    • Early 21st century: variety, convenience, transactional, informative.
  • Understanding the online shopper.
    • Buying more online, 30mil new shoppers online. 5.8% of total retail sales in 2010 (eMarketer). Forrester says if you take groceries out of the equation it’s more like 12%.
    • Top reasons us shoppers will shop online: 24 hr shopping, easier to compare prices, free shipping offers, I don’t want to fight the crowds, more convenient to shop online, easier to find iems online, better variety online, I often don’t have to pay tax.
  • Three hot trends that continue in 2011.
    • Coupons
      • Despite challenging economic conditions, people are still shopping online to get the best deal.
      • More people are price comparison shopping and printing coupons online than looking for jobs.
      • Couponing has become part of our culture.
      • Maximize coupon usage: give choices, diversify placement, remove obstacles, promote sharing, go mobile.
      • Adult mobile coupon users. About 19.8 mil today, est 35.6 mil by 2013.
    • Daily Deals/Deals of the Day
      • Fleeting, play into your emotion because people feel they need to take advantage of the opportunity that they’ll never see again.
      • Groupon and LivingSocial have ~40% of the group/ daily deal market.
      • Very social aspect. Over 80% of Groupon subscribers will share a deal in some way, shape, or form.
      • 77% of deal buyers for Groupon, LivingSocial, BuyWithMe, Travel Zoo are new customers, 36% spent beyond the deal value, 68% returned to the establishment and bought again without a coupon, 20% became return customers, 22% were unredeemed (Source: Rice University Survey)
    • Social local mobile (SoLoMo)
      • F-Commerce? Commerce on Facebook.
      • Discovery + eCommerce + community = future of F-commerce.
      • Local apps (Foursquare, Gowalla): check-in, find deals, build loyalty, earn rewards, get instant gratification.
      • Mobile: check stock, compare prices, find coupons, learn more, read reviews, shop online, phone in order.
  •  What’s next?: Informative, Experiential, personalized, social, immediate.
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CJU Course: Advertiser Best Practices: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Posted on Nov 2, 2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking |

Looking to optimize your program but can’t figure out how? Does the affiliate marketing industry often seem like a giant galaxy without direction? Don’t Panic! Chris and Craig presented a guide on how to jumpstart any new or veteran program and drive results – money! They shared travel-tested principles you can use to offer the right marketing mix, invest your time and money effectively, and engage publishers and customers. Pack light for this trip through the keys to growth in the affiliate marketplace. The panel consisted of:

  • Chris Schwass, Advertiser Account Manager
  • Craig Cacciola, Advertiser Account Director

I’m not a raging Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan but I have see the movie and understand the references, which made this a really fun presentation.  I really enjoyed using the rules of the book/movie as analogies to affiliate marketing. It was fun and informative – my favorite kind of session!  You could tell that Chris and Craig were both having a good time putting together their session, something that’s greatly needed the last day of a conference when people are thinking about going home!

Bullet Point Review!

  • Bring a towel – Bring something of value to the table.
    • Offer the right incentive. Flat rate vs. Performance incentive. Bigger performers don’t need performance incentives, especially loyalty – they want flat rate. Short term vs. Long term. They want long term.
    • Vary your promotions. Give your publishers tools so they can be effective in attracting consumers. Some affiliates build momentum so a long offer is good, but some affiliates hit the moment and short term offers could work better, so don’t ignore either demographic.
    • Fix your site. Make sure landing pages are right, close leaks with phone numbers. Optimize, optimize, optimize! Consider it from the publishers perspective.
  • Use your babelfish – Speak the publishers language.
    • Write to one person. Be more conversational, engage them. Write as if you’re writing it to one person.
    • Keep it simple. The rule of 3: 3 words in the subject line, 3 paragraphs max, 3 sentences per paragraph.
    • Be transparent. Think of them as your sales force. You’ll build loyalty and rapport with your top publishers.
  • Listen to your robot – Don’t ignore the data.Marvin
    • Test everything. Why? What? How? Not everything fits your conventional wisdom. A/B test publisher emails.
    • Find the ROI.
      • Set a baseline.
      • Analyze incremental lift and cost.
      • Organize future opportunities.
    • Think long term. There might not necessarily be return in year 1. Diversify. The more investments you put in, the greater possibility of seeing payoffs
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CJU Course: Doing More With The Traffic You Already Have

Posted on Nov 1, 2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking |

Many publishers spend the majority of their time and resources trying to increase the volume of traffic they receive. In this session, the focus was on how to get more performance out of the traffic you already have. The ValueClick Brands division shared the tips and tricks developed during its ten year history; highlighting what, why, and how each optimization can have impact. The speaker was:

  • Steve Neufer, General Manager, ValueClick Brands

This was pretty informative.  I really liked the direct way Steve presented the information, and it made me realize just how important usability testing is to everyone!  Steve was an engaging speaker, funny, and used great analogies to make his points.

Bullet Point Review!

  • Steve Neufer at CJU 2011Increasing traffic to an under-performing website is like adding more water to a leaky bucket.
  • What we say is we want more traffic, but what we mean is we want to earn more.
  • Traffic is a tool, not a goal.
  • Understanding your traffic.
    • A little bit of information allows you to create a hypothesis and do more.
    • What percentage of your current traffic is “productive”?
    • Where is your productive traffic coming from?
    • Resources: Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, session level conversion reporting.
    • This is easy, doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of money or take a lot of expertise.
  • Understanding your users
    • If you’re not observing actual user behavior you are missing the boat. Usability testing is a must!
    • Myths: expensive, complicated, requires expertise.
    • Resources:, Family/Friends
    • Testing Scenario: go to Google, perform search for “Kohls coupons” and try to find a coupon that you can use the save money on your online order.
    • Testing Results: tested 20 users, most visited 8 sites, 2 successfully found a coupon, most common initial response was confusion, most common descriptor used was spam (pretty much means they’re weary).
  • Designing for Productive Users
    • Them not us: you are not your users, your users are asymmetrically savvy, your users are asymmetrically patient, trust is an issue.
    • Sophistication level may be very low but apprehension level is high, so we have to talk to them with sophistication to gain trust.
    • Unfamiliar terms: SKU, S&H, merchant, related searches, promo, next, sponsored, post.
    • Familiar alternatives: item, shipping, store, popular searches, promotion, next page, advertisement, news.
    • Be concise: what is the user supposed to look at here?
    • Be safe: why do you need my info before you answer my question? Give first, ask later.
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CJU Course: PayPerCall: Dial Up Your Marketing Results

Posted on Oct 26, 2011 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking |

Want to take advantage of a marketing channel that has conversion rates as high as 50%? Want to successfully promote high priced items and services through the affiliate channel? Advertisers and Publishers in this session learned all about PayPerCall and how they can use unique, trackable, phone numbers to attribute calls to various efforts.  The solo presenter was:

  • Nicole Ron, Manager, PayPerCall

There’s not much to share here since it was largely a demonstration of the platform, but wow.  This was what I needed to want to explore it more.  Now, unfortunately for my limited forays into being an affiliate there’s not much on the PayPerCall platform that’s in-line with my ideas, but here’s to hoping they grow!  A personal note for Nicole if she reads this – I LOVED the Wizard of Oz theme & analogies in the presentation!

Bullet Point Review!

  • Nicole Ron at CJU 2011How does it work? Advertisers create a PayPerCall campaign and publishers apply and select unique toll-free numbers. Publishers run promos online or off. When a consumer places the call, CJ tracks it and it connects to the advertisers call center.
  • PayPerCall is powered by RingRevenue.
  • Three ways to get paid: Phone Leads, Phone Sales, and Both!
    • Phone Lead: commission granted for qualified calls based on duration or other factors.
    • Sales: commission granted for sales that result from referred calls.
    • Hybrid: commission granted for quality calls AND from sales from a referred call.
  • More high end products and services do well on PayPerCall. There’s more personal contact which means up-sell and a higher AOV.
  • Tip for Search Publishers: include the phone number in the ad. Lends credibility. Good for mobile.
  • Tip for Display Publishers: advertisers provide the creative and CJ pops in the unique phone numbers you selected.
  • Tip for Blogger Publishers: phone numbers fits nicely into a blog in a write up or review.
  • The average conversion rate on PayPerCall is 20-30%
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