Archive for General Info

Looking for an eCommerce solution?

Jan 10, 2008 No Comments by

I wanted to take the time to post about the fine work we’ve been doing with UniteU Technologies, Inc., an eCommerce solutions provider from Pittsford, NY. We were first introduced to the folks at UniteU through Jeffrey Wolfe of Moosejaw.com. Moosejaw, as well as several other merchants on the AvantLink platform (and MANY more in addition!), use UniteU as their eCommerce provider. And from what we can clearly see, all are very satisfied with the level of service and with their solutions including POS Integration, Web Marketing, Web Analytics and Rich Designs.

They have quite the list of clients featured on their site, with many more still that aren’t featured. From their client portfolio page:

Over two hundred successful merchants have selected UniteU and their online businesses continue to grow as a result. They appreciate more site traffic, reduced operational cost and effective e-commerce features that increase total sales and average order values.

Here is a current list of merchants on our network who are using UniteU Connected Commerce:

  • 1-800-SKI-SHOP.com
  • BabySupermarket.com
  • BobbyJonesShop.com
  • ColoradoBaggage.com
  • Dogologie.com
  • Footnotesonline.com
  • HickeyFreeman.com
  • HickeyStyle.com
  • MarissaCollections.com
  • MasseysOutfitters.com
  • Moosejaw.com
  • ParadiesPen.com
  • thaLowdown.com
  • TheFlipFlopper.com
  • theJaw.com
  • WeGotYourPack.com

This company is a true class act, folks. So if you’re currently looking for an eCommerce provider for your new store, or an upgrade to your current platform, take a look at UniteU.com!

Gary & AvantLink

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Merchant Blogs Now Live on AvantShare!

Jan 03, 2008 1 Comment by

Yesterday we posted about Affiliate Program Branding for Merchants, and today we’re excited to announce that our one-off service that offers merchants a branding category on AvantShare is now live!

AvantShare has proven to be a powerful distribution channel for AvantLink this past year, quickly establishing itself as an authority site in the industry by archiving relevant industry news, technology features and details for dozens of quality Affiliate programs. For a very competitive price merchants can now secure their own dedicated (and branded) category on AvantShare.com to promote their Affiliate efforts, their link building campaigns and their overall business bottom line.

From our Solutions page, more information on merchant blog categories:

Branded AvantShare Blog Category – Dedicated and branded Affiliate program blog category on the AvantShare blog network. Use your dedicated category on AvantShare to post Affiliate relevant promotions, company news, product features, Affiliate coupons and any other content or links related to an Affiliate program or merchant site using the AvantLink platform. Costs associated with this one-off service include a one time $500 set-up fee, then a $300 annual renewal fee.

In addition to a brief post from yours truly introducing the new merchant blogs, two of our merchants launched their blog categories yesterday by posting intros (and even the first merchant promo!). The two progressive merchants who signed on early for a blog category include Altrec.com Outdoors and the fine folks from Massey’s Outfitters (and their three sister stores). Click the links below to read their official first posts to AvantShare.com blog network!

Altrec.com Outdoors: Altrec Outlet

Massey’s Outfitters: Massey’s Congratulates Avantlink

Merchants interested in sponsoring a dedicated category for their program(s) on AvantShare are encouraged to contact us to discuss the benefits of distributing news and promotions (in addition to powerful link building opportunities) through this channel. We also have a complete Affiliate Program Branding Package for merchants now, that includes a blog category on AvantShare as part of the package. Check out the thread and subsequent support for this package from the ABestWeb community!

Gary & AvantLink

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Affiliate Program Branding for Merchants

Jan 02, 2008 2 Comments by

We’re excited to announce a new one-off service level for merchants that will offer branded and dedicated blog categories within the AvantShare blog network for active Affiliate programs in AvantLink. AvantShare has hosted the AvantLink network blog since November of 2006 for the purpose of new merchant announcements, Affiliate technology news, press releases and general industry commentary.

With the array of cost per sale, targeted Affiliate marketing archives and relevant AvantLink news being posted for over a year now, the AvantShare.com site quickly gained authority and now ranks highly in the major search engines for many competitive industry terms.

The objective and natural progression of AvantShare is rightfully focused on providing a powerful distribution tool and aggregation point for some of the most technically savvy and progressive Affiliates and merchants in the business. This collaboration between AvantLink and our Affiliate and merchant partners is sure to elevate AvantShare to a new level of authority, with powerful linking options and vast reach for contributors to the blog (contributors will have the ability to build the link popularity to their own site(s) through their respective blog posts).

The AvantShare site will continue to host and categorized the AvantLink network blog, but will also now include merchant branded blogs as well as a channel for Affiliates to post news and information about their sites, technology or general comments related to their businesses. Affiliate participation in the new AvantShare aggregator is of course completely optional (and free!), and merchants will be required to pay a nominal fee for their dedicated branded category.

Merchants interested in utilizing this powerful branding tool from AvantShare, in conjunction with several high value branding initiatives with ABestWeb.com should consider our robust Branding Package now being offered with a substantial package discount on included services. For more information see our Solutions page for more information on the AvantLink’s Affiliate program branding package, or One Off Services which include a blog category on this site.

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Happy New Year 2008

Jan 01, 2008 No Comments by

This is just a quick note on behalf of everyone at AvantLink. Happy New Year to all!

We’re now officially in our 3rd year of business with the AvantLink network, and we’re very happy with all that’s been accomplished in this short time. We have some of the best partners in this business, and it’s our pleasure to work closely with Affiliates and merchants alike to improve this platform (and productiveness) for all. We’ve made huge strides in Affiliate marketing technology initiatives and it has EVERYTHING to do with interacting and responding to Affiliates and their needs. I can’t thank those who have taken the time to contribute and offer feedback enough.

Here’s to 2008, folks. It’s going to be an exciting year while we continue to add quality merchants and Affiliates.

Respectfully,

Gary for AvantLink

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Beaucoup Offering Holiday Charity Promotion

Nov 21, 2007 No Comments by

Just a quick note to bring attention to a great Holiday Charity Promotion from the Beaucoup Affiliate program. Beaucoup is a high converting merchant (2.75% on all Affiliate traffic for the year) in our Special Occasion category.  They’re going to be  donating a portion of all sales this holiday season to multiple organizations devoted to helping underprivileged families escape poverty. Here is the creative that’s available in the AvantLink interface for this offer, as well as a snippet from the press release:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – October 1, 2007 — Beaucoup Wedding Favors, Inc. (www.beau-coup.com), a leading retailer of wedding favors, bridal shower favors, baby shower favors and gifts for all special occasions announced today that it will donate five percent of sales from every order it receives from November 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007 to Oprah’s Angel Network, Kiva.org and World Vision, among others. This will be the company’s largest charitable contribution to date.

Read full article..

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GourmetStation Update – Excellent Conversion!

Nov 02, 2007 No Comments by

Just a quick note to share the encouraging news on the GourmetStation Affiliate program’s 4% plus conversion rate for the months of September and October! Geno highlighted this news on the AM Navigator ABestWeb category earlier this week, so I wanted to get the word out here as well. Here’s a snippet from the thread:

Been going through the 1 September – 31 October GourmetStation’s statistics as far as our AvantLink-based affiliate program goes, and I see a solid conversion of over 4.5% there.

Thank you, all AvantLink affiliates that promote GourmetStation!! You rock!

We announced the addition of this program back in July, and it’s proven to be a great opportunity for Affiliates with gourmet food related traffic. We anticipate even higher conversion for the coming holiday season, so if you haven’t signed up with them yet have a look. Just click on ‘Merchants’ from the main menu, then their name…to access the apply now link for this program.

Note: There are specific Thanksgiving related creative in the ad list. Drop me a line if you have any questions, or contact Geno Prussakov at AM Navigator (info/at/amnavigator.com).

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Benefits of Partnering with AvantLink

Oct 24, 2007 4 Comments by

AvantLink.com launched a unique Affiliate Network in 2005, offering savvy online marketers a secure and efficient environment to promote a specific advertiser segment. This segment utilizes the traditional, cost per sale model of performance-based marketing; and consists of “merchants” offering “product catalogs” or datafeeds. AvantLink is a selective platform where Affiliates and merchants are screened thoroughly to insure professionalism and ethics.

As the industry leader in developing advanced, customizable, deep-linking Affiliate tools, and by offering an exceptional level of support, AvantLink quickly emerged on the radar of the top Affiliate marketers. Have a look at our Affiliate API, one of our most recent tool releases!

What makes AvantLink different from other Affiliate networks?

  1. We are committed to fostering an Affiliate centric and responsive platform.
  2. We run a quality over quantity performance-based marketing network.
  3. We offer a technology suite of free, dynamic tools for qualified Affiliates.
  4. Our network consists of merchants only; no lead generation or CPA offers.
  5. We maintain a parasite-free, ethics-driven and quality controlled environment.

There are two groups of merchants running programs in our network (click here for merchant index). The first group consists of exclusive merchants who use AvantLink as their sole Affiliate marketing provider. The other group is made up of merchants who use AvantLink as an alternate for Affiliates looking for exceptional support and advanced online marketing technology; including ease-of-use datafeeds and Affiliate-embedded RSS feeds.

Why should you, as an Affiliate marketing professional, promote AvantLink merchants?

  1. We pay you a consolidated check for all your merchants on time every month.
  2. We’ll treat you as a partner rather than a commodity.
  3. We’re committed to protecting your legitimate traffic from rogue Affiliates.
  4. Our merchants convert and support their Affiliate programs.
  5. We listen to what you need, then adapt or innovate to meet your needs.

Affiliate Terms of Use:
http://www.avantlink.com/terms_and_conditions.php

Affiliate Application:
https://www.avantlink.com/affiliate_app.php

Thanks to all that have contributed to the growth and sustainability of AvantLink to date, and here’s to a HUGE Q4 2007!!

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions. Drop us a line or comment here on the blog.

Gary & AvantLink

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Unethical Firefox Plugin Exposed

Oct 05, 2007 3 Comments by

I wanted to bring more attention to recent news that exposed a Mozilla Firefox browser plugin that overwrites legitimate Affiliate cookies, with the author’s (author of the plugin) Affiliate cookie. It’s not surprising that the savvy membership base at ABestWeb first brought light to this Add-on that literally rips off honest Affiliates, and merchants…for that matter! Here is the thread that was started by member jtoskey on September 29th, and it’s still actively growing in post count now on ABW:

Firefox promoting cashback add-on

From the thread, post No. 27

Right after they click your link, it’s redirected thru their own affiliate link. Traffic hijacking basically…

Jangro.com followed up on the ABW thread with a very thorough report…

The developer of this program doesn’t seem to have done his homework on “How to play nice as an incentive affiliate with a browser plugin.” It’s a bit surprising to see a tool like this appear without any apparent awareness to the issues that surround it.

Read the rest of the post on Jangro.com..

The author of this plugin is not an active AvantLink Affiliate, and won’t ever be. The good news is that it appears that most networks are now removing the Affiliate account behind this FF plug in. That’s good news, but of course how many people already have it configured on their browser?

At any rate, THANKS ABW (and jtoskey) for exposing this!

Gary & AvantLink

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Affiliates Getting Cut Out of the Loop?

Aug 14, 2007 5 Comments by

There is a lot of talk about “Branded Links” recently. Also known as direct links, these are Affiliate tracking links that do not go through an Affiliate network’s tracking servers and redirects. Rather, the link is direct to the merchant utilizing added parameters to track and credit the sale accordingly. Here is an example of a branded or direct link URL:

http://www.merchantname.com/?network=1611_cl_0_trac

It’s interesting how many merchants are starting to ask the question “Do you offer direct Affiliate links?” as one of the first orders of business when we begin talking about a possible partnership. The answer I give is no we don’t offer branded links, and if we did, it would be the Affiliate’s choice on whether they used them or not. I then go on to explain exactly why we don’t and why that’s not a good idea. In nutshell, building link popularity and pagerank is not the job of the Affiliate. Nor should it be. The Affiliate’s job is to send the merchant their qualified customers. There are many other techniques a merchant can use to build their backlink count.

Most merchants new to the game have an open ear so once I explain everything they look at the whole picture and start to think more reasonably about the Affiliate/merchant relationship. They have to figure out what they want. Do they want inbound links, or do they want sales volume from many highly productive and savvy online marketers.

There is quite a bit of discussion these days on this issue, as the big 3 networks, as they’re known, are all offering branded links. Here is a lively discussion at ABestWeb about just this:

Similarly, we’ve started to see cases in which the network and merchant have cut the Affiliate out altogether! Downtown Ecommerce Partners, an interactive services firm specializing in ecommerce consultancy, recently posted a great blog article about this. In many ways, it’s similar to networks using the selling point of Affiliate branded links to attract merchant business. They have it all wrong, though. Merchants go where the Affiliates are, not the other way around! Interested parties (Affiliates, namely) should have a look at this write up. Here is a quote:

The negative impact to our business is not the point. What is more relevant to the Affiliate Marketing Industry is the dynamic of the traditionally three way relationship. This dynamic is changing and Affiliates and Merchants will have to choose their partners wisely. The former “three-way” pie is rapidly consolidating to just two hands – the Affiliate Network (soon to be renamed as simple a “Network”) and the Merchant.

Read the full article: Affiliates Beware – You may be next

Let us know what you think..

Gary & AvantLink

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Direct Deposit & PayPal Payment Options Added

Jul 24, 2007 1 Comment by

Affiliates, please take note that we now have Direct Deposit (U.S. banks only) and PayPal payment options now available. To configure one of these new payment options follow these simple steps:

  1. Login and click on ‘Account’ from the main menu.
  2. Click on ‘Contact/Payment Information’.
  3. Under Payment Preferences, select either direct deposit or PayPal from ‘Payment Method:’.
  4. Depending on your choice, a smart form will display.
  5. Fill out the required information and click ‘Update’.

That’s all there is to it. Let us know if you have any questions.

Gary & AvantLink

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