What feature would you like to see AvantLink add?

Mar 23, 2010 5 Comments by

We want to know what new or improved functionality the affiliates and merchants in our network want us to create! If you have an idea, please take a minute to visit our Facebook fan page and share it with us on our “AvantLink Feature Requests” discussion topic.

We’ll take some of the top ideas posted to this discussion, announce the winners and then we will get to work on implementing them.

Scott Kalbach
AvantLink.com

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AvantLink Mobile – A mobile phone application for Android

Mar 22, 2010 8 Comments by

If you’re an AvantLink user and have an Android mobile phone, well this one’s for you!  We recently released a new application, creatively named “AvantLink Mobile” to help you keep in-touch and up-to-date with AvantLink wherever you go.

To install, search for “AvantLink” in the Market app on your Android phone, or just scan the barcode at right with your phone’s camera.  (If you don’t already have a barcode scanner installed on your phone, we recommend “ZXing“).  Scanning the barcode will cause your phone to automatically download the application from Android’s Market and start the installation process for you.

After installation, look for “AvantLink Mobile” in your menu of applications (you can see our icon in the picture below, second in from the top-left):

When you run the application for the first time you’ll be prompted to log in with the same information that you use to enter AvantLink’s website.  After that one-time setup procedure the application will be fully functional and you won’t have to login again.

Once you’ve successfully authenticated as an AvantLink user, you’ll be returned to the “Statistics” tab of the application, where you can review the performance summary highlights for the current day, e.g.:

There’s also an “Applications” tab whose function differs slightly between merchant and affiliate users:

  • For merchant users, the “Applications” tab displays any pending affiliate applications to your program. You can accept (activate) or reject (deny) those applications with a touch of a button right from your phone.
  • For affiliate users, the “Applications” tab displays any recently launched merchant programs at AvantLink that you’re not already affiliated with. You can apply to those new programs with a single button press from this screen.

If you like what you’ve seen here, be sure to check out the “Account” -> “Notification Center” page from your AvantLink account – we have a slew of other tools there for retrieving information from AvantLink without logging in, including a Firefox add-on that was the inspiration for this application.

-David & AvantLink

P.S. Are you an iPhone user?  We’re currently working on a version of the “AvantLink Mobile” app for your platform too – we’ll be in touch!

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Notification Center: Firefox add-on improvement

Mar 03, 2010 3 Comments by

I’ll be honest: I was a bit skeptical when we first released our Firefox add-on for displaying real-time reporting results as part of our Notification Center tools back in December 2007.  At the time I didn’t think very many of our affiliates or merchants would choose to use the QuickStatsBar, as we called it.  But over the years, as we’ve updated the add-on to support each new version of Firefox – often being prompted by users who were a little ahead of us in browser adoption – I’ve come to believe that it really is a valued utility.

And I think after our latest round of improvements our affiliate users in particular will find the QuickStatsBar more useful than ever!

We’ve incorporated two new tools into the QuickStatsBar for affiliates, providing functionality previously available only by logging into the AvantLink website:

  • the ability to easily generate a custom link to any page of a merchant website
  • the ability to quickly retrieve ad campaigns for any merchant

For the first feature, if you’re browsing on a merchant’s site and decide you would like to build a custom link to the page you’re currently on, you just click on the QuickStatsBar icon in the bottom of your browser, and choose the “Create an affiliate link to this page” option from the pop-up menu.  So long as the site you’re on is an active merchant program that you’re affiliated with in AvantLink, you’ll see a screen like the following:

AvantLink QuickStatsBar Firefox add-on displaying embeddable custom link details

The full custom link HTML (or plain URL if you prefer that method) is displayed on that screen, along with functionality for personalizing it even further – such as by adding a custom tracking code.

As you would probably expect, if you’re on a website that is not associated with a merchant program at AvantLink, you’ll see a message to that effect if you try to build a custom link.  Similarly, if you happen to be on the website of a merchant that is active in AvantLink, but with which you’re not yet affiliated, instead of the above screen you’ll be given the option to apply to the merchant directly within the add-on – again, without logging into AvantLink’s site at all.

For the second feature, use the “Retrieve merchant ad campaigns” option from the QuickStatsBar menu.  You’ll be directed to a new page in your browser that lets you cycle through any of your active merchant programs, and retrieve the JavaScript or HTML necessary to embed any of their ad campaigns (banner/image, Flash, HTML, text, or video ads) into your website.  See the following for an example:

AvantLink QuickStatsBar Firefox add-on functionality for retrieving merchant ad campaigns

If you’re interested in these new features and you already have the AvantLink QuickStatsBar installed, just go to your “Tools” -> “Add-Ons” menu in Firefox and search for updates.  The new version will be found automatically and a quick restart of your browser later, you’ll have access to these new features.  If you don’t already have the QuickStatsBar installed, log into your affiliate account at AvantLink and go to the “Account” -> “Notification Center” page for the installation link.

As always, questions are welcomed and feedback is appreciated!

-David & AvantLink

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ULTIMATE BODY PRESS is now live in AvantLink!

Feb 22, 2010 1 Comment by

Introducing a new, exclusive AvantLink merchant:

ULTIMATE BODY PRESS

Ultimate Body Press is a leading source for portable and affordable home fitness equipment, and the first merchant in our “Fitness” category. Demand for fitness equipment is constantly growing because of an increasingly active and health-conscious population. Ultimate Body Press is a consistent innovator; developing new products to meet the changing needs of customers. As a result our sales have only improved in this slow economy.

From their Affiliate program details: Join us today and be a part of the next online fitness breakthrough. Our products are appealing to all ages and skill levels because we have everything you need for high intensity workouts in the smallest of spaces. Program highlights include 10% commission, 120-day cookie and average order value of $105.

  • 10% Commission Rates
  • 120-Day Cookie Duration
  • Average Order Size: $105
  • Discount Codes Available
  • Site-wide Conversion Rate 3%
  • Premium Video Content Available
  • Premium Customer Service Experience
  • 30-Day Full Return Policy Including Shipping Charges

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting ULTIMATE BODY PRESS. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Frank Balentine, frank/at/ultimatebodypress.com.

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RockCreek Blog & ABestWeb Forum

Feb 22, 2010 2 Comments by

Just a quick post to let everyone know that the Rock/Creek Affiliate program has stepped it up for 2010 by sponsoring a dedicated presence on both our network blog and AbestWeb.com. Les and Mark will be actively posting promotions and talking shop about the Affiliate marketing industry in both branded locations. RockCreek.com is a strong Outdoor/Recreation program that has seen consistent and impressive growth in AvantLink over the past several years… So if you haven’t already, be sure and take a look at their site and Affiliate program for your 2010 planning and development!

About RockCreek:

RockCreek.com has over two decades of brick-and-mortar experience in the outdoor industry, and they are one of the fastest growing and most committed outdoor specialty stores currently online. We are committed to growing our business sustainably and look forward to the opportunity to partner with you online.

RockCreek.com on AvantShare
RockCreek.com on ABestWeb

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Scheduling Ad Campaign Version Updates

Feb 18, 2010 No Comments by

We’ve added functionality to our merchant interface to allow scheduling version changes to banner/image and Flash ads.  This allows merchants to prepare updates to creative assets for existing ad campaigns, while keeping the current campaign configuration intact for affiliates.  Of key importance in the solution is that affiliates won’t have to obtain new HTML to utilize the modified ad when the changed version swaps into place.

This is a bit different from the “Staged Campaign” support that we’ve had for some time. Staged campaigns are ads that are configured with a “go-live” date; affiliates have no access to the ad until that date is reached.  Scheduled version changes, on the other hand, help you to repurpose an ad campaign that’s already live and in use by affiliates – but without having to be at your computer when you want the changes to take effect.

Just think of this as one less reason to be chained to your office during promotions.  Pair this with the ability to schedule emails to your affiliates for future delivery dates for ultimate flex-time efficiency!

-David & AvantLink

P.S. Merchants – look for this new functionality in the “Tools” -> “Add/Edit Ad Campaigns” section of your account when you edit a banner/image or Flash ad.

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DepartmentOfGoods.com is now live in AvantLink!

Feb 18, 2010 No Comments by

Introducing a new AvantLink merchant:

DepartmentOfGoods.com

“Full price is dead”

Knowing that price drives conversion, the DepartmentOfGoods.com should get your attention! This is a new web retail brand, from folks in the know. So don’t worry about quality service, order fulfillment and site usability…that’s all dialed. With DepartmentOfGoods.com you have the opportunity to promote heavily discounted outdoor gear from The North Face, Patagonia, Oakley and tons of other top brands.

This about sums it up, from their Affiliate program details: Welcome to the new way. DepartmentOfGoods.com employs industry espionage and the unwillingness to settle for second-rate gear to give you the latest, lightest, and finest surf, skate, bike, and mountain equipment.

Program highlights include:

  • Earn Up To 8%
  • 120 Day Cookie Duration
  • Best Brands In The Outdoor Industry
  • Dedicated Program Management
  • Phone Orders Tracking
  • Average Order Value $125

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting DepartmentOfGoods.com. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Brian Boyd, bboyd/at/backcountry.com.

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Economic Impacts of the Amazon Tax

Feb 15, 2010 1 Comment by

From the Colorado State Senate hearing on HB 1193. This about sums it up. Excellent clip of Sen. Greg Brophy (R) District 1 arguing against the Amazon Tax.

To help fight the Amazon Tax nationwide please complete the Performance Marketing Association’s Advocate Form. Get involved even if these new tax laws have not been introduced in your state yet!

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gearSlash is now live in AvantLink!

Feb 01, 2010 No Comments by

Introducing a new, exclusive AvantLink merchant:

gearSlash

gearSlash is the latest addition to our industry leading One Deal at a Time (ODAT) category, and it’s a very compelling opportunity for any Affiliate with outdoor or deal oriented sites/traffic. For starters, gearSlash will not ding you for a return. All commissions paid are final and not subject to reversal transactions! Additionally, how does a 7% baseline payout on (up to 80% off) snowboard gear deals sound? Compare that payout to the other daily deal or ODAT programs out there, and you’ll clearly see this is a killer opportunity.

From their Affiliate program details: Not only do we serve up to 80% off the choicest snowboard gear; we also provide the little things like daily shipment and world class customer service. gearSlash provides a marketing twist in that all product sales are customer driven. We give our customer the power to ‘Vote’ on what item becomes the next sale. The item with the most votes at each sale’s conclusion becomes the Spotlight Sale.

Program highlights include:

  • Sliding Commission Scales:
    • 7% baseline
    • 8% for sales in one month over $1000
    • 9% for sales in one month over $3000
  • 100% parasite free
  • Deal Of The Day Tool
  • Dynamic HTML banners
  • Detailed reporting
  • Network support from qualified professionals

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting gearSlash. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Steven Berrebi, steve/at/gearslash.com.

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Skinny Skis is now live in AvantLink!

Jan 20, 2010 No Comments by

Introducing a new, exclusive AvantLink merchant:

Skinny Skis

Based out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Skinny Skis specializes in selling top brand gear, apparel and accessories for Nordic skiing. Skinny Skis has been in business for over 35 years and they are one of the nation’s best online sources for high end Nordic gear. Their site is dialed, they have a very responsive program manager and this is an Affiliate program exclusive to our Affiliate network…so you know your traffic is shielded from the cookie theft of unscrupulous Affiliates.

Earn 8% baseline, with 12% potentialm on a 120-day cookie. From their Affiliate program details: Our extensive inventory is available to cross-country and skate skiing enthusiasts nationwide, offering the best selection of Nordic skiing equipment from the industry’s most influential manufacturers – Fischer, Atomic, Rossignol, Madshus, Salomon, and Swix.

Program highlights include:

  • Commission Payout: 8%, 12% potential
  • Cookie Duration: 120 Days
  • Avg. Order Size: $125+
  • 30 Day Return/Exchange Policy
  • 100% Low Price Guarantee
  • Daily Updated Product Datafeed
  • PayPal and All Major Credit Cards Accepted

Let us know what we can do to help you get started promoting Skinny Skis. Contact anyone at AvantLink or the program manager Katie Jackson, katie/at/skinnyskis.com.

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