Affiliate Marketing

Reap What You Sow
April 1, 2008

Marketers hoping to launch a new affiliate marketing program—or invigorate an existing one—should recognize that the best affiliate marketing programs are built on relationships with clear rules of engagement, strategic planning and a steady stream of compelling consumer promotions. Attracting Affiliates Is Only Half the Battle It’s not enough for affiliates to join a program if their marketing partners do little to help them succeed. Affiliates cannot deliver on marketing goals unless the objectives are shared and the right tools and information are made available. All affiliate programs operate within their networks’ standard affiliate agreements, which outline payment frequency, regulations and standards for

Acquisition 2.0
March 1, 2008

Selling on the Web is quickly becoming less about marketers’ supply meeting up with customers’ demand, and more about customers actively bringing demand toward supply. The question is: Who is driving the bus?

DoubleClick Performics: Most Affiliate Publishers Interested in Free Shipping Promotions
February 28, 2008

DoubleClick Performics, the performance marketing division of DoubleClick, announced some results earlier this week from a semi-annual survey of 784 affiliate publishers. In short, affiliate publishers carry out the advertising or sales in an affiliate marketing relationship. The affiliate publisher gives wider distribution to the affiliate merchant's products in return for compensation based on performance. Findings from the survey include:

Affiliate Marketing Is Dead
January 1, 2008

Affiliate marketing is dead. Long live affiliate marketing. But before you accuse me of being some Chicken Little type or just another clown infatuated with hyperbole, let me explain. The way affiliate marketing was done back in the 1990s — and still today by some folks — is done. I’m talking about banners. It’s all about Affiliate 2.0, and you might already be late to the game.

A New Balance
December 1, 2007

Direct marketers are becoming more proficient in vital Web strategies like search, yet they increasingly find themselves butting heads with their own affiliates who already have staked out valuable digital turf. Is it worth playing nice with affiliates? If so, how can marketers maintain healthy doses of affiliate-generated sales while maximizing incremental revenue and avoiding cannibalization of search campaigns? Such questions demand answers. The competitive search environment is leading many marketers to prefer Web affiliates that send incremental visitors—those resulting in sales or leads that otherwise may not occur as a result of marketers’ own efforts. Armed with affordable, easy-to-use Web marketing analytics packages,

Double Team
October 11, 2007

How do you know if a relationship is going to work? Relationships can thrive if both parties have similar tastes and interests, or because just enough differences exist to keep things interesting. Affinity marketing relationships are just like any other relationship: Companies find common ground, similar values and prospects, and then see what happens next. While affinity partnerships are more common in retail and financial services, daily newspapers, like The Washington Post, have been experimenting with them as well. In its most recent test mailing, the newspaper giant teamed up with home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond to offer new movers two offers

Meredith Corp.
September 1, 2007

Since 1902, Meredith Corp., a Des Moines, Iowa-based publishing and broadcasting company, has focused on reader feedback when creating direct mail campaigns. This emphasis on keeping publication offerings and direct mail packages simple, based on reader surveys, has helped grow the company to include more than 15 home, family and personal development women’s magazines; 200 special interest publications; and 14 TV stations. With 2006 annual sales nearly $1.6 billion, Vice President of Consumer Marketing David Ball attributes the company’s success to a continued investment in direct marketing. “We feel our competitors have pulled back from direct marketing because of the costs, but [our] management

Nuts&Bolts: Case Study
May 1, 2007

Challenge: Increase brand awareness and drive sales through creative affiliate marketing solutions. Solution: Develop relationships with bloggers and other online influencers, using product education and incentive plans to generate word-of-mouth buzz. Results: Sales for Q4 2006 increased 10 times over same-quarter sales in 2005. For Dean Rist’s money, few channels deliver ROI like affiliate marketing. Which is why one of the first things he did two years ago after being named the director of direct marketing at iRobot, a Burlington, Mass.-based manufacturer of robotics for consumer and military activities, was to start planning an affiliate marketing strategy. One of the challenges facing iRobot, says Rist, was that its

Partnering for Launch
February 6, 2007

“When Intel or Microsoft announces a new product, they release a list of companies that are ‘supporting’ the new platform or processor. These partners help validate the eventual success, and hence make it easier for a large company customer to take a chance. Once they know that others will be using it also, they feel less afraid of being stranded, or of being unable to convince the supplier to fix the product if it isn’t working. “Smaller companies also can improve their chances of success on a product launch, by including the testimonials and support of a number of key strategic tactical partners in their

Three Steps to Start Fighting Click Fraud
November 15, 2006

Just how rampant click fraud really is might be up for argument, but there’s no denying that marketers must take steps to detect it so they can request refunds from the pay-per-click (PPC) provider. What’s more, says John Marshall, CEO of ClickTracks Analytics, a Web analytics software firm in Santa Cruz, Calif., marketers also might want to simply modify the ad to reduce the likelihood of fraudulent clicks in the first place or even pull the problem ad outright. Regardless of what actions you take to combat click fraud, you first have to identify ads that are drawing dishonest clicks. Marshall offered the following tips