Chocolate.com is now live in AvantLink!

Sep 30, 2010 No Comments by

Chocolate.com

Introducing a new AvantLink merchant:

Chocolate.com

Chocolate.com is the world’s largest online marketplace for chocolate!

With over 5,000 unique products, Chocolate.com delivers premium chocolate gifts from a network of over 300 chocolate shops. Most of their chocolatiers are family-owned companies with a passion for gourmet confections.

Chocolate.com offers fast, low cost delivery worldwide and free shipping on select chocolate gifts. Customers also have the option to include a free personalized note on gift purchases. Chocolate.com is also proud to offer a variety of molded, printed and engraved chocolate options, as well as bulk pricing and bulk discounts for large orders.

Program highlights include:

  • Everyone loves chocolate!
  • 10% commission
  • 14 day cookie
  • Average order value $40
  • Average conversion 1% annually, with spikes around holidays
  • Ongoing coupon promotions
  • Creative specific to holidays and categories
  • Trusted and visible domain name
  • Easy-to-navigate website
  • Fast, responsive customer service
  • Rapid growth in our product database and vendor network
  • Dedicated affiliate management

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting Chocolate.com. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Mark McInnis, chocolatesupport/at/gmail.com.

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Further Updates to the Affiliate Email Tool for Merchants

Sep 29, 2010 2 Comments by

Once in a while there comes along a feature request that’s so sensible and useful that you wonder how it stayed off the development list for so long.  In my case, this happened most recently when one of our merchant program managers asked how to send an email to all of their affiliates that weren’t actively promoting the program.  In other words, how to easily contact their inactive affiliates.  It took me a while to formulate a response as I was so surprised that we didn’t have this functionality built in, particularly since we had done a large round of updates to the email tool back in January 2010.

Well, flash forward a few days from that request and the functionality is – at long last – in place.  Merchants going to the “Tools” -> “Email Affiliates” page of their AvantLink account will find two new options in the “Send To:” list:

[Edit: A third option was added after this post, to clarify the distinction between affiliates who have never been active with the merchant program and those who were once active, but are not currently.]

  • All Affiliates with recent traffic (i.e. “actives”)
  • All Affiliates that haven’t sent any traffic recently (i.e. “inactives”)
  • All Affiliates that have never sent any traffic (i.e. “never actives”)

So now it’s possible for a merchant program manager to quickly send an email to all of their inactive affiliates and, for instance, encourage them to use a new ad campaign or datafeed tool.  Or send a message to all of the active affiliates and thank them for their efforts.

Incidentally, our “recent traffic” metric is how we determine whether an affiliate is actively promoting a program.  If the affiliate has sent at least one click-through, or recorded a single ad impression, for a merchant program in the past 30 days then they are considered to be “active”; if not, then they are “inactive”.

I hope this feature will come in handy for many of our users out there!

-David Clark
AvantLink.com

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The Clymb is now live in AvantLink!

Sep 27, 2010 No Comments by

The Clymb

Introducing a new, exclusive AvantLink merchant:

The Clymb

The Clymb is an entirely different way to shop for outdoor, snowsports and cycling gear – a private retail community connecting premium outdoor brands with passionate, influential consumers. Their partner brands offer preferred pricing for members, so a password is required to shop the site – your customers however, get in for free, instantly.

The Clymb holds 72 hour sale events featuring broad selections from the best brands in the industry. These “flash” sale events create urgency to purchase resulting in 60% of sales from first time visitors and conversion rates up to 5x higher than industry averages.

Program highlights include:

  • 8 to 12% sliding commission scale.
  • 60 day cookie duration.
  • Low $5.98 to $7.98 shipping + free shipping codes available.
  • Free $10 e-giftcards available for new customers 4 times per year.
  • Customers are driven to buy through the urgency of our flash sale model.
  • 60% of first time purchases made within 1st visit. 80% within 2 visits.
  • Well tested sales funnel drives customer through checkout in 3 steps.

Check out the site for yourself. Go to http://www.theclymb.com/avantlinkaffiliateaccess for instant access now.

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting The Clymb. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Kelly Dachtler, kelly/at/theclymb.com.

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RockyMountainTrail.com is now live in AvantLink!

Sep 27, 2010 No Comments by

RockyMountainTrail.com

Introducing a new AvantLink merchant:

RockyMountainTrail.com

Introducing the Rocky Mountain Trails affiliate program (TAP)!

RockyMountainTrail.com is a web retailer focused on providing the outdoor gear and the knowledge you need to get outdoors. TAP is managed by a highly motivated and dedicated program manager who is ready and willing to help.

UPC data is available in their feed.

This is a very competitive program in the outdoor industry providing one of the highest commission structures in the category. RockyMountainTrail.com only improves upon the already strongest Outdoor/Recreation category for Affiliates.

Program highlights include:

  • Earn up to 12%
  • 120 day cookie
  • TAP is a pay per sale program.
  • Promote over 55 brand names in the outdoor industry.
  • UPC data available.
  • Dedicated affiliate program manager to help you succeed by:
    • Earning more commissions.
    • Helping you stay informed of specials and promotions with monthly newsletters.
    • Immediate access to a live person dedicated to the program.

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting RockyMountainTrail.com. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Patty Tanner, patty/at/rockymountaintrail.com.

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Davis Men’s Store is now live in AvantLink!

Sep 23, 2010 No Comments by

Davis Men's Store

Introducing a new, exclusive AvantLink merchant:

Davis Men’s Store

Davis Big and Tall, a 108 year old company, provides quality name brand clothing at reasonable prices. Specializing in Big and Tall Clothing, DavisBigandTall.com carries all of the major brands of merchandise with the deepest selection and best choices.

Whether shopping online or inside their store, DavisBigandTall.com has earned the reputation through the years of providing customers with the most comprehensive selection in clothing and competitive prices for Big and Tall customers.

Program highlights include:

  • Commission: 5%
  • 120 day cookie
  • Average order value $90
  • Average site conversion: 5.0%
  • Ongoing sales & promotions
  • Free ground shipping orders over $99
  • Dedicated program management
  • Daily updated datafeed files & scripts
  • Free Affiliate tools from AvantLink

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting Davis Men’s Store. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager William Davis, affiliates/at/davisbigandtall.com.

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SolsticeSupply.com is now live in AvantLink!

Sep 22, 2010 No Comments by

SolsticeSupply.com

Introducing a new, exclusive AvantLink merchant:

SolsticeSupply.com

“Your Outlet Shop for Awesome!”

SolsticeSupply.com is the leading snowboarding gear destination for the best brands at the best prices, period! Everything this web store sells is 30-70% off retail sticker. This is a rider-owned company based in Bend, Oregon near the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range.

Program highlights include:

  • 5% baseline, 10% potential
  • 60 day cookie life
  • Best brands in snowboarding
  • Average order value $125
  • Free shipping all orders over $150
  • Price match guarantee
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Dedicated Affiliate management

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting SolsticeSupply.com. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Justin Clapick, justin/at/solsticesupply.com.

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Front Range Anglers is now live in AvantLink!

Sep 14, 2010 No Comments by

Front Range Anglers

Introducing a new, exclusive AvantLink merchant:

Front Range Anglers

Front Range Anglers offers up over 25 years of fly fishing experience and they have been doing business in the same location since 1982. The online fly shop has been in business for the last six years and continues to grow each year with more offered products, international shipping, and a full time in house web manager.

Front Range Anglers carries all of the industries top brands and have a large inventory of on hand goods. The employees sit on many different pro staffs and are always willing to give advice on products.

Program highlights include:

  • Percentage Payout: 6%
  • Cookie duration: 60 days
  • Free shipping in the continental US
  • One-to-one Affiliate support
  • Free Avantlink tools & scripts

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting Front Range Anglers. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Russell Miller, russell.miller1@gmail.com.

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Wise Food Storage is now live in AvantLink!

Sep 07, 2010 No Comments by

Wise Food Storage

Introducing a new, exclusive AvantLink merchant:

Wise Food Storage

The Wise Food Storage Affiliate Program provides Affiliates with the opportunity to earn great commissions while giving visitors access to some of the highest quality emergency food supplies available today. As their Affiliate, you will have access to creative assets and product links that have been designed to appeal to your audience.

Wise Food Storage’s products carry a shelf life of 25 years, with absolutely no rotation needed. Endorsing Wise Food Storage products can help your visitors discover high quality products, enhance your Web site and earn big commissions.

Program highlights include

  • 12% commission
  • 120-day cookie
  • High average order value
  • Dynamic Tools & Scripts
  • Full-time, pro-active Affiliate Manager

Program managed by Paul Schroader and PS Web Solutions.

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting Wise Food Storage. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Paul Schroader, wise/at/pswebsolutions.com.

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Inc 500 News @PRWeb

Sep 02, 2010 5 Comments by

It’s been a while since I wrote this article, talking up the value of press releases. And it’s been a while since we used PRWeb to distribute one. Last night at midnight the news went out on our Inc.com debut, and I’ve been tracking it’s progress today. Definitely happy with the results so far, and we have no doubt already gotten the $200 value for the “Advanced” service level in links alone. Note the hyperlinks in context of the news article that also get picked up by tons of other relevant sites through PRWeb’s wire.

If you have important news you want pushed around the web, write a good press release and pay the $200 for this service. It’s far better for your bottom line than using 10 freebies. See for yourself and try both PRWeb’s most popular “Advanced” service and a freebie web pr service. Set up Google alerts for your company name, then be sure to put your company name in title to monitor syndication. -GaryM

P.S. Here is an Affiliate best practice in passing: thoughtful web press releases using this PRWeb service level work wonders for Affiliate site link building (and general web exposure). Announce new features, articles, contests, whatever.. just make it compelling and you can’t go wrong putting that money back into your business.

AvantLink Debuts on Inc. 500 List

Best Practices, General Info, Press/News Read more

Value of Coupon Sites Discussion

Aug 30, 2010 8 Comments by

We’re starting to get some good discussion going on AvantLink’s Facebook fan page. I have been posting “Random Qs” to our wall now and then, but unfortunately there are no Permalinks to individual wall discussions.

In an effort to make it possible to refer to this Value of Coupon/Deal Sites discussion at a later date, I am re-posting here.

If you would like to add your two cents to this discussion, go to the fan page to post or simply comment here. Gary M

AvantLink.com: Random Q: We’re seeing a lot of merchants either eliminating coupon sites altogether, or reducing their commission rates significantly. Thoughts or opinions on this trend?

Dave Polivy: Like you guys told when we launched, keep those coupon sites active cause they bring customers you would not normally get. With the current level of competition, all affiliate referrals are better than fewer! We just gave a couple of coupon sites some exclusive deals and they are converting better than expected.

AvantLink.com: Dave, thanks for the comment. Good to hear! Can you tell, are those coupon sites bringing new customers? Usually when folks ask me “Why should I be listed on a coupon site?” …I start with a one line answer: Because your competitors are there.

Dave Polivy: ?90% new customers. the trick is to turn those new customers into OUR customers…..probably the biggest challenge. Similar to those darn Amazon customers. have to find ways to keep their loyalty when they barely know who they are even buying from.

Scott Mason: We have coupon sites w/exclusive deals that generate significant amounts of revenue, it would be tough loose that traffic..

AvantLink.com: Any couponers want to comment?

Jamie Birch: I’ve experienced this since 2003. There are some major misconceptions about coupon sites. I wrote a 3 series blog post a year or so ago about it that I still think is relevant today…
Part of it is the data can be hard to come by. How many new customers, profitability of each customer by individual affiliate – things like that are real hard for the affiliate to get, and sometimes just as hard for the affiliate manager. Without those items, and lifetime value info, merchants can make bad decisions.

AvantLink.com: Wow, Jamie! Thanks for posting that link. I just got through part one, and I’ll look at parts 2 and 3 soon. This quote stands out: “In that survey they found that 54% of adults would decrease discretionary income during a recession and 63% of consumers WILL NOT make a purchase if they cannot find a deal”.

Jamie Birch: No problem at all. Here is our other two links: Part 2, Part 3. Hope that helps!

Blake Kritzberg: I am one of those people merchants hate; I search for coupons only after I’ve decided to make a purchase anyway. So I don’t see the value in it for them.

AvantLink.com: Nothing wrong with being a savvy web shopper, Blake :)

Michael Khodos: Coupon websites help close the sale for the savvy shoppers. Also, lots of people start the shopping on their favorite coupon website. Even if then know where they want to buy from, they start from Google. Let’s say you are “ABC Flowers.com” merchant. And “your” past customer is googling for “ABC flowers coupon”… guess what? They land on the Flowers category page of a coupon website and find a really good coupon from XYZ Flowers. What happens next? XYZ just got themselves a brand new customer!

Wade M. Tonkin: I think you have to have a strategy – working with select coupon sites that operate a really healthy community is great – especially if those sites are respectful of your non affiliate channel coupons and codes that can be found on other sites. There are a few bad actors out there who either directly “scrape” codes themselves or who won’t reign in their audience posted codes when requested that give the others a bad name. It’s also on the merchant to coupon with some strategy.

AvantLink.com: Thanks Michael and Wade. Definitely think that some coupon sites seal the deal.. I think it’s important for merchants to acknowledge that just because the customer was already on their site once, it certainly does not mean they would have bought from them. People that know how to web shop effectively know how to search and find the deals and it’s really that simple. They are not very loyal to any one particular store that’s for sure. So as a web retailer, you either want those customers/sales or you don’t ;)

Jamie Birch: I think a big mistake merchants, advertisers and all of us make is that we talk about this with very little data. At least for the most part. Merchants have to go beyond just a “gut” feeling that “coupon sites are stealing sales we already would have had” and they actually have to look at customer behavior…
You need to look at the performance of each coupon partner. Look at things like, and compare with the site as a whole, avg order size, new customers, lifetime value, margin contribution etc. Typically, advertisers look at sales and make assumptions…
I’ve done this several times in the past. The assumption was that coupon sites were “bad”. Once we dug into the details we found, on several occasions, that a good number of coupon sites had higher than average order sizes, higher new customer percentages and higher lifetime value. When you factor those in, you can see a better picture. But it doesn’t become “coupon sites need to be removed”, it becomes more about each individual partner, how they perform and, in the end, if they are profitable.

Wade M. Tonkin: Jamie is right on this… we’ve worked with a client that seems to think that coupon sites are all parasitic profit suckers and when we crunch the numbers we see that the average order purchased through the coupon sites is well above the average order that the client sees coming in through their own organic efforts. Properly gathered and interpreted data is a wonderful thing.

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General Info Read more