Archive for May, 2007

Merchants: Affiliate Details Upgrade Part 2

May 25, 2007 1 Comment by

On May 15th I posted an article on this blog highlighting some great enhancements to the Affiliate Detail Pop-up available in the merchant account interface. We received some immediate feedback from Greg Toledo at Altrec.com Outdoors on a couple of other suggestions that would improve the upgrade even more. Fast forward one week and our CTO David Clark had the new changes in place and fully functional. Here are the additional Affiliate detail feature upgrades that went into place as a direct result of merchant feedback. Thanks Greg for some great ideas!

  1. In order to get better visibility into which of the integrated tools Affiliates are using, David added a quick view to the ‘STATISTICS’ tab on the Affiliate details pop-up showing the ‘Tool Usage (Last 30 Days)’. For example, Greg T would see something like ‘Altrec: Banner/Text Ad, Coupon Feed, Custom Link, Datafeed, Product Display Builder‘ for a particular Affiliate record.
  2. David also added a system that allows AMs the ability to choose groups of Affiliates to send emails to, such as all Affiliates with a specific tag, or those using particular tools. This email segmentation tool will help merchants avoid desensitization to emails, eg, only the Affiliates using the Dynamic Coupon Feed can now receive emails about updates to coupon offers.

Thanks to David and the tech team for such a quick turn around on not only a HUGE upgrade to the Affiliate detail records, but also on the responsiveness to the feedback we received from one of our most respected merchants! Looks like Greg Toledo appreciated the effort, too. Check out his response to the news:

David,

Nice work. What you have done is actually better than I had in my head. And overall, the affiliate detail page, especially the statistics page, is the best I have seen. For an AM, looking at an affiliate, and getting stats for mtd, ytd and current day in one view is valuable.

Thanks for the quick turnaround.

Greg

Let us know what you think. We have some even more exciting upgrades and system improvements coming soon!

Gary & AvantLink

General Info, Merchant Tools Read more

Merchants: New Affiliate Details Available

May 15, 2007 2 Comments by

Attention merchants, OPMs and Affiliate managers. Some of you may have already noticed the powerful enhancements we rolled out to the Affiliate detail pop-up in the merchant management interface. We’ve expanded the detail pop-up to include an array of information about the Affiliates who are active in your program, or applying.

Now, when you view Affiliate details there are tabs available that include the following: Websites, Application, Tags, Notes and Statistics. I will outline the details of each tab below:

  • Websites. This is the default tab program managers arrive at when an Affiliate name is clicked from either the general reporting or application queue. This tab includes the Affiliate ID # for the account and a list of websites a particular Affiliate has configured in AvantLink (each Website has an ID separate from the Affiliate/Publisher ID). A couple of interesting features to note in the ‘Websites’ tab are the Alexa Web Rank and Google Pagerank APIs. This gives program managers the ability to get a quick view of the pagerank and traffic ranking associated with each site listed.
  • Application. This tab is where program managers can set a new Affiliate applicant’s status to active or denied, send a standard approval/denial email and set action commission per Affiliate. The default Action Commission will be set to the program’s default on this page. Program managers may also use this tab on the Affiliate detail pop-up to change an active Affiliates commission level or program status.
  • Tags. We’ve provided an innovative system for program managers to tag Affiliate accounts with whatever categorization system they prefer. For example, managers can add a tag for ‘Top Performers’ or ’2007 Recruits’ to better organize their Affiliate relationships. Once Affiliate tags are defined and assigned, those groups are available as a filtering option in the reporting interface. We’ll be working to add more functionality to take advantage of the tags in the future. Also, there is an overall tagging administration page available under ‘Tools -> Affiliate Tagging/Group Administration’ that allows for adding/editing/deleting tags, and provides an interface for adding multiple Affiliates to groups, etc.
  • Notes. This tab is a simple way to keep notes on a particular Affiliate relationship directly through the management interface rather than through an external spreadsheet or document. For example, program managers who have worked out a private offer for a specific Affiliate based on certain terms can note those terms through this text-based note pad feature in the account management interface.
  • Statistics. This tab gives program managers the ability to take a consolidated look at the performance of a specific Affiliate. More detailed reporting is available in the ‘Reports’ section of the interface, but on the Affiliate detail pop-up managers can access a performance summary for page views, click throughs and sales for today, this month and this year.

Just a reminder, there are a couple of different ways to access the Affiliate detail pop-ups. One way is to login, click on ‘Reports’ in the main menu, then run any report. The results from the query will return a list of Affiliates based on performance activity. If any Affiliate name is clicked on, the pop-up detail page for Affiliates will be displayed. The other way to access Affiliate details is to click on ‘Affiliates’ from the main menu and then ‘Affiliate Program Applications’. Pending applications (if any) will be showing, but managers can filter by Active or Denied on that page to get the relevant Affiliate list returned. Click ‘Edit’ on any Affiliate listing to get the Affiliate detail pop-up.

Program managers, login and take a look at these new organizational tools and data summaries for Affiliates and let us know if you have any questions.

Gary & AvantLink

Merchant Tools, Press/News Read more

BeautyTrends in AvantLink Getting Press

May 09, 2007 No Comments by

On May 2nd we announced an exciting new program: BeautyTrends is now live in AvantLink

Well the new partnership between BeautyTrends and AvantLink is getting some great press…namely through a recently syndicated press release on PRWeb by BeautyTrend’s management agency, eAccountable.com. Durk Price wrote a great article highlighting the benefits of this opportunity to Affiliate marketers. Namely pointing out that BeautyTrends is a leader in the alternative hair industry, with over 4,000 hair styles and 18 years of experience.

From the PRWeb Article:

As Jessica Beller of Beauty Trends says: “We were really impressed with the RSS datafeed capability and the high value affiliates already in the AvantLink network. And the personal attention they gave to us during the negotiations and setup of our program was outstanding.”

Entire PRWeb article: BeautyTrends.com Launches on AvantLink Affiliate Network and Extends Affiliate Management Agreement with eAccountable Marketing Services

There are also details on this news release available at Durk’s Affiliate marketing industry blogs Affgoo and Affiliate News Review. For more information on this Affiliate program, and a link to appy, visit the BeautyTrends Affiliate Program page at AvantLink.

Gary & AvantLink

New Merchants, Press/News Read more

Press Releases and Your Site

May 07, 2007 7 Comments by

I recently wrote and submitted an article for Revenue Magazine about writing online press releases for your web site to boost link popularity and traffic. It was fun to write because we have been very disciplined in AvantLink about using PRWeb.com’s distribution channel to get out all kinds of information about our company including details on Affiliate tools, improvements to the platform and new merchant co-branded announcements. There is an excellent thread on ABestWeb.com that talks in detail about taking advantage of not only the PRWeb service but several others you have at your disposal. I actually took the title of that thread as the name of my article (sorry MoneyBusiness ;)). Here is the article and a link to the May 2007 Revenue Newsletter where it ran:

Press Releases and Your Site

In the “old days” of the web, you published articles and waited for search engines to come and index your pages. Nowadays powerful syndication techniques will bring your content to readers, search engines and respected news sources. One of the most effective ways to syndicate site content is through online press release distribution services.

With this article I will highlight online press release etiquette and structure, as well as best practices that will drive traffic and result in a valuable, long term link building campaign for your site. To see the most favorable results, be prepared to invest some money but don’t let that scare you. It’s worth every penny. To offset costs, consider moving a percentage of your PPC budget over to press release distribution. In the long run you’ll be glad you did!

  • Press Release Format: Your press release should consist of three segments including the title/headline, summary and body (300-350 word count). As with any effectively structured content, think hard about your title/headline. Get keywords in the headline as well as in a concise summary that outlines your article in two or three sentences. Keyword density in the article body itself should not exceed 5%.
  • Article Structure: Start with a paragraph or two dedicated to introducing the news as something novel, unique and exciting. What new products or services are you offering? What content or technology feature has been added to your web site? In addition to the introduction, you should also add a few sentences quoting a company representative on the benefits of the service or technology. Bullet lists are also powerful elements you might consider using.
  • Your BackLinks: Links to your site can be embedded and optimized very effectively. With PRWeb for example, you have the option of anchoring the link text you want from the context of your article if you pay for their SEO Package (minimum $200 contribution fee). This is far and away the most effective link building strategy so don’t let that $200 scare you off. The backlinks you can include in both the summary and the first paragraph of the body using keywords you’re targeting justifies the expense.
  • About Paragraph: After you have emphasized your company news, added a few quotes praising your new service, product or technology and included a bullet list of any remaining power points, add a brief paragraph for the readers describing your company or site. Three or four sentences on your company background, location and goals are sufficient.
  • Traffic Optimization Campaign: Once your press release is published, many news and related web sites will pick up your article. Don’t be satisfied with just this. Blog about your press release, linking directly to the news source with a trackback URL. You can also post your news to different social bookmarking sites and social networks. Finally, add a Press Room to your site where you can feature the article.

It’s important to remember that the link you’ll get from the online news syndication service is worth the cost of a press release alone. Add to that the benefits of the distribution channel, where your content (and backlinks that come with high-level packages) will be featured across an array of relevant web sites, and you can’t go wrong. An effectively formatted news article will not only drive traffic to your site in the immediate short term, but it will give you a powerful link building strategy for long term search engine optimization.

Check out the entire May 2007 Newsletter from Revenue Magazine where this article recently ran (PDF).

Gary & AvantLink

Affiliate Tools, General Info Read more

Moments of Elegance is now live in AvantLink

May 07, 2007 No Comments by

Introducing another new AvantLink merchant:

Moments of Elegance

This program is yet another outstanding addition to our robust ‘Special Occasion’ category at AvantLink. This is a very high converting and organized web site which would be an excellent addition to your related web content. They offer a generous 12% commission on all referred sales with a 120 day cookie duration. With an average order size of $150, this is one of the best order size averages in the category. Take a look at their web site and see for yourself why they convert so favorably, and trigger such large order sizes. Here’s a snippet from their web site’s About Us page:

At Moments of Elegance, we believe that it is the little things that mean so much. Our products are of the highest quality and purchased from manufacturers and designers from around the world. We combine top of the line products with unparalleled support. We assist every bride or party planner as if we were planning our own wedding or special event.

Read the program launch announcement on ABestWeb.

Drop us a line at AvantLink if you need anything, or contact Ashley Rader, the AM for Moments of Elegance. Her email is: ashley[at]momentsofelegance.com.

Gary & AvantLink

New Merchants Read more

BeautyTrends is now live in AvantLink

May 02, 2007 3 Comments by

Introducing another new AvantLink merchant:

BeautyTrends.com

This company has been in business for 18 years and they are cut-n-dry leaders in their category. They both manufacture and distribute their unique and custom products including wigs, hair add-ons, and hair care accessories. With a 10% baseline commission and an average order size of $80, this program is a great money making opportunity for anyone who has traffic related to beauty and wellness. Take a look at their web site and you’ll see why they will convert your traffic. From their About Us page:

BeautyTrends is a leader in the alternative hair industry, with over 4,000 hair styles and 18 years of experience. We not only distribute our products; we are also the manufacturer. No one can match our expertise.

When you purchase “alternative hair” you want it to be the most natural and comfortable product available. No one does it better. We have exclusive products not available anywhere else. No one can compare.

Read the program launch announcement on ABestWeb.

Drop us a line at AvantLink if you need anything, or contact Durk Price the AM for BeautyTrends.com. His email is: durkp[at]eaccountable.com.

Gary & AvantLink

New Merchants Read more