September 22, 2009
Vol 1, Issue 3
Now that summer is behind us it’s time to start focusing on Q4, and the busy holiday shopping season that’s quickly approaching. From now through the end of 2009, some web retailers will drive 30%-50% of their Affiliate revenue for the entire year. Get started now optimizing your program so you can take full advantage of the season of spending.
The general theme of this newsletter is how to most effectively prepare your Affiliate program for Q4. We will offer segments of relevant articles, as well as links to the full content. We also have some exciting news about a new Affiliate PPC keyword monitoring tool. The Paid Search Review tool has already seen substantial use (and press!), and it’s a free service for existing AvantLink merchants.
Table of Contents:
1. Management Tools Review Sessions
2. Merchant (Self-Managed) Deal Feed
3. Optimize Your Existing Affiliates
4. AvantShare 101
5. Paid Search Review Keyword Monitoring
6. Affiliate Testimonial: Somewhat new to the affiliate scene..
Over the course of the next four weeks we will be offering Management Tools Review Sessions online using GoToMeeting.com. We’re initially planning three 45-60 minute sessions, starting at 11am MST on the following dates:
- Monday, September 28, 2009 (11am)
- Monday, Octber 5, 2009 (11am)
- Monday, October 12, 2009 (11am)
During these sessions we will cover some of the Affiliate management tools available to all AvantLink merchants, including the self-managed coupon/deal feed for Affiliates, Affiliate tagging and group administration, best practices for managing ad lists, communication, recruitment and more. If you are interested in joining in on one of these sessions, please contact Gary Marcoccia (gmarcoccia/at/avantlink.com) and he’ll get you penciled in. Note there are 15 participant slots available for each date.
Here is a snippet from a recent post in the category “Merchant Q&A” of our network blog.
Merchants, you’ll want to be sure you flag any special offer, deal or coupon for inclusion in our Dynamic Coupon/Deal Feed. You can easily do this by flagging “Yes” in the ad configuration field for “This is a coupon/deal campaign:”. Once you select Yes the form will provide an additional field for the offer code, if you have one. If there is no offer code then you can leave it blank. Also note that you do not have to include an offer code in the actual ad text, it you include in the “Coupon Code:” field. We will auto embed the code in that case.
There is a very straight forward process to engaging and activating your existing Affiliates who have yet to send you traffic. You should follow these simple steps first and foremost when optimizing your program for this holiday season. After all, your active Affiliates came and applied to your program. So at one point at least, they showed interest. Maybe all it takes to find your new top-performing Affiliate is reaching out to your inactive list person-by-person with an email.
To access a list of Affiliates who are active, but not yet sending traffic. Follow these steps:
- Login, and click on “Affiliates” in the main menu.
- Click “Affiliate Program Applications”.
- Filter “Affiliate Status:” to “Active”.
- Sort the “Recent Traffic” column header (click that twice and all Affiliates tagged as “No” for recent traffic will filter to the top of the list).
You might not realize that we have an active WordPress blog at AvantShare.com. Our network blog URL is AvantShare.com/blog. And we also have a category for merchants at AvantShare.com/merchantblog. At the top level we’re feeding RSS headlines from both the AvantLink and merchant blogs. Our network’s blog archive goes back to November of 2006, with nearly 400 posts. There is also a growing representation of merchants who maintain their primary Affiliate news outlet via AvantShare.
To effectively grow your Affiliate program recognize the value of distributing news, promotions and special offers through one of more communication channels besides email…like a blog or social media sites. This process of Affiliate program branding will not only engage existing and prospective Affiliates, it will help to establish your business as an authority for your category. Keep the news & info flowing, and over time the best Affiliates for your program will find you!
We have One-Off or Packaged Service Levels that can help you brand your program, and acquire new Affiliates.
You now have the ability to monitor specific keywords/phrases Affiliates are using in paid search marketing campaigns! Introducing the Paid Search Review tool, bundled with any service level making it a free service. By default, we will monitor merchant names and domain names.
For example: Grim Reapers, GrimReapers.com.
Here is an excerpt from an email we received from Brian at Sure Solutions. Brian has been helping us test some new Affiliate technology…
We are somewhat new to the affiliate scene. I spent more than a month researching, reading forums, crawling the abestweb site reviewing tools and trying to choose some providers for different technologies. I am very pleased that we decided to work with Avantlink first and we feel quite lucky that Brownells was in your network. The combination of quality affiliate content that is contextually correct with our published content is without a doubt a home run. Your tools are excellent and your responsiveness to our requests have exceed all my expectations.