Interview with Ben from Affiliationoption

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you?

I am 23 and I am from England.

How long have you been in affiliate marketing and how did you get involved?

I started as a sales rep for a company and moved on to become an affiliate manager, which I have been doing for about 3 weeks now. I currently manage over 80 accounts and I am still learning. As a result of my introduction to affiliate managing, I have become more involved in the process of becoming an affiliate and what works best.

What was the biggest mistake you made when you first started doing Affiliate

Marketing?

As of now I have not made any mistakes I am aware of, but I am confident that mistakes will happen and when they do they will be there to teach me.

Tell us a little bit about your company and what you do over there?

My company promotes Binary Option brokers. We offer banners, text links, videos and other promotions for affiliates to be able to easily promote our brands.

There are already so many CPA affiliate networks out there. What makes your

company different?

Every affiliate network is the same, the promotions are different for different companies. What makes us different is not our company but the brands we promote. Our brands have excellent conversion rates and use the latest technology for high end platforms.

Which traffic sources prove to be the most effective for your top earning

affiliates – E-mail, PPC, PPV, Facebook, Media Buying or any others?

Our most effective affiliates use SEO

What Affiliate Tracking Software do you use? Which ones have you

demoed? And why did you pick the software you are using?

Currently we are using a Spot Option affiliate program, but we are updating to Hasoffers because we find it to be the most helpful regarding all aspects of affiliate marketing.

What are the criteria for a marketer to be accepted at your network?

A marketer needs to have the tools to target a specific audience. Binary Options is a financial tool for investors so the affiliates should have financial experience.

How does your company prevent and handle fraud?

There is an old English proverb, ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way’. We have our security system but if a fraudster wants to get through, they will find a way.

For those who are interested in working with you and your affiliate network –

What’s the best way/time to reach you?

I am available at all hours during the day, I am not exclusive to my work computer. If an affiliate has a problem I can be reached on my Iphone. “The joys of modern technology.” I value my affiliates and their needs, because I understand that they are dedicated to helping my business grow. My email is ben@affiliationoption.com, and my Skype is affoption.

In your opinion, what are the best places for a new affiliate to learn affiliate

marketing? What advice would you give for them?

The site is free, it is brilliant and is full of helpful network marketers. That is where I learned the most about affiliate marketing. http://www.ibotoolbox.com/invited.aspx?jid=68179

In your experience, what are the three most critical elements of running a

successful campaign?

That is an excellent question, one that my experience will cause me to be not so knowledgeable about. But my answer is as follows: a) Feedback. In my opinion feedback is essential for  good strategy and growth in the weak areas of the campaign. b) Customer needs. In order for an affiliate to run a successful campaign they need to know what the customer has less of, but needs the most. c) Constant activity. I think that says it all.

What are some of the challenges of being an Affiliate Manager/Owner?

I think the biggest challenge for an affiliate manager is finding the right affiliates to partner with.

What are your goals in 2013?

My goal for 2013 is to provide a much better converting product for the brands I promote.

To find out more, visit: www.affiliationoption.com

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Interview with WOW Media’s Matt Lovett

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you?
My name is Matt Lovett. I’m from Nottinghamshire in the UK. I’m 21.

How long have you been in affiliate marketing and how did you get involved?
Since I was 13 years old. I started a cash back site with my friend whilst at school.

How long was it before you realized you could live off your affiliate income?
It wasn’t really something I thought about when I was still at school, I just enjoyed doing it. Once I left school I figured it was going so well, I would just do it full time. A few months later we got our first office.

What has been your biggest success to date?
There are a few things that stick out in my mind, our Cashback site was very successful when it started and the market was less competitive. We launched a mobile game which grew faster than expected and of course our affiliate network, WOW Trk.

What was the biggest mistake you made when you first started doing Affiliate Marketing?
It’s hard to pin point one big mistake, I made many small mistakes – more so at the start. I think jumping into an idea too quick sticks out as a mistake that’s reoccurred. Luckily I have learnt that now!

Tell us a little bit about your company and what you do over there?
WOW Media runs a range of online services, our biggest being our affiliate network WOW Trk. We also run money saving sites like WOW Freebies and WOW Voucher Codes. We are venturing into online bingo and launching a new site which we are very excited about in Q3 of this year (more info will be released closer the time).

There are already so many CPA affiliate networks out there. What makes your company different?
You are right, so many and more are coming all the time. However, many do not last. We have been running since 2007 and are not going anywhere!
We also try to stand apart; we are constantly looking for ways to improve the network. Recently updates include our Mobile site, Chrome & Firefox stat extensions. In terms of improving offers, we are starting to list ‘Recommended Subject Lines’ for email marketers. I feel this is something really useful. Sometimes it’s hard to know what might work for a subject line, and when sending an email campaign the subject line is so important!

Do you offer biweekly or weekly payment? If so, how much does one have to make to qualify?
We offer Monthly, Bi-monthly and Weekly. Information on the minimums can be found here: http://www.wowtrk.com/payment-terms/

Do you have any exclusive offers that other networks don’t have?
Yes! We of course have our own sites on the network which no other network has. We also have other exclusive offers.

Which traffic sources prove to be the most effective for your top earning affiliates – E-mail, PPC, PPV, Facebook, Media Buying or any others?
Email and PPC seem to be the main ones.

What Affiliate Tracking Software do you use?  Which ones have you demoed?  And why did you pick the software you are using?
HasOffers. We used to use Direct Track. I have had a look at most, and to be honest, HasOffers is my favorite by far. I think it has the best affiliate and advertiser interface, which is so important.  It’s nice and easy for affiliates to use and is pretty flexible in terms of modifying it and adding your own unique features in.

What are the criteria for a marketer to be accepted at your network? How does your company prevent and handle fraud?
You can get accepted instantly by verifying your phone number. Getting approved instantly I think is very important, when someone wants to run a specific offer or wants to check out a new network they tend to want to do it there and then.
Regarding handling fraud, we obviously use the built-in tools in HasOffers. We also do address verification for some affiliates. This is done by posting a letter out to affiliates with a verification code on it. We also have staff monitoring affiliates.

For those who are interested in working with you and your affiliate network – What’s the best way/time to reach you?
My email matt@wowmedia.eu or Skype – mdelovett. Any time.

In your opinion, what are the best places for a new affiliate to learn affiliate marketing? What advice would you give for them?
We offer some getting started guides, but a really good forum I like is Cpafix.com.

What’s the difference between a Super Affiliate and an Average Affiliate?
In my opinion, nothing. We treat all affiliates the same, we are trying to add more guides on our network to help new affiliates get started (and the same for advertisers).

For more information, go to http://www.wowmedia.eu/

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Free Webinar Friday with Zac Johnson

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Creating a Niche Affiliate Site with Residual Income

Have a blog, but no real focus?
Have a blog, but no traffic, and no idea how to get more?
Have a great idea for a blog, but have no idea how to start?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you won’t want to miss the next webinar in “Free Webinar Fridays”. This month we are speaking with Zac Johnson and he is going to discuss his ongoing case study of creating a niche blog.

Title: Creating a Niche Affiliate Site with Residual Income
Date: Friday, March 22, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/699702018

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Interview with Ring Partner’s Mike Williams

  1. 1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you?

I was born and raised in Victoria, BC, Canada and I live here with my wife and 3 kids. I’m 33 years old.

  1. 2. How long have you been in affiliate marketing and how did you get involved?

In 2006 I started working at local performance marketing company and I spent 3 years there, working in a number of different areas of the company. I left in 2009 and started my own online marketing agency and performance marketing network. So, I guess it’s been about 6 years.

  1. 3. How long was it before you realized you could live off your affiliate income?

Well, since I started at a network, it wasn’t until I was on my own trying to start my own company that I realized I could live off affiliate income. I also realized at that time how difficult it can be to get started.

  1. 4. What has been your biggest success to date?

Creating a startup company and making it profitable within a year.

  1. 5. What was the biggest mistake you made when you first started doing Affiliate Marketing?

To be honest, I’ve made many mistakes in Affiliate Marketing and I’ve realized that it’s a great way to learn. Probably the biggest mistake was forgetting about how important cash flow is to a business. I’m never afraid to fail, but I make sure that I always learn from my failures.

  1. 6. Tell us a little bit about your company and what you do over there?

Ring Partner is a pay per call performance marketing network. We’re focused on delivering high-quality leads to our advertisers while helping our publishers succeed and profit by promoting high-converting campaigns.

  1. 7. There are already so many CPA affiliate networks out there. What makes your company different?

We’re focused on the pay per call industry and we are committed to service, communication and quality with our partners.

  1. 8. Which traffic sources prove to be the most effective for your top earning affiliates – E-mail, PPC, PPV, Facebook, Media Buying or any others?

Mobile search and display are doing well. There’s a big opportunity right now as more and more consumers are getting smartphones, making pay per call a much more viable form of marketing and lead generation. Beyond that, there are several other ways for publishers to make money with pay per call promotion, including offline.

  1. 9. What Affiliate Tracking Software do you use?  Which ones have you demoed?  And why did you pick the software you are using?

We’re using HasOffers. I’ve used Direct Track, Linktrust and an in-house proprietary system. We feel that HasOffers has the most intuitive and best tracking system.

  1. 10. What are the criteria for a marketer to be accepted at your network? How does your company prevent and handle fraud?

They need to be a good publisher and be serious about pay per call marketing. Very few publishers that apply will actually get approved.

  1. 11. For those who are interested in working with you and your affiliate network – What’s the best way/time to reach you?

Publishers can reach me by email – mike@ringpartner.com or add me on Skype/AIM – RingPartnerMike. They can reach out to me anytime.

  1. 12. In your opinion, what are the best places for a new affiliate to learn affiliate marketing? What advice would you give for them?

The absolute best way to learn is by doing. However, not many new affiliates have cash burn. I’d suggest reading various blogs and forums to get started. Read Unbounce’s blog, PPC Hero is good, and check out IM Grind. Use Google Reader to syndicate all of your aggregated resources and read them daily.

  1. 13. In your experience, what are the three most critical elements of run a successful campaign.

Finding a niche market, conversion rate and payout. To compete as an internet marketer you need to find an “angle” or niche within a market in order to make a profit. Find your long tail keywords and unique traffic sources. Conversion rates and payout are obviously important to a successful campaign and the payout will directly impact how much you can earn.

  1. 14. What’s the difference between a Super Affiliate and an Average Affiliate?

The commitment to success. A super affiliate is willing to work on a campaign until it succeeds and an average affiliate isn’t putting in as much effort. There are definitely campaigns that do well by luck, but super affiliate’s put more effort into making money from campaigns that require effort.

  1. 15. What are the keys to building successful relationships between Affiliates and Affiliate Networks? What are some of the challenges of being an Affiliate Manager/Owner?

Communication is very important. Affiliate Managers and Affiliates need to be communicating regularly. A strong relationship creates an environment for success.

Affiliate Managers are the ultimate middle-man, it’s their job to maximize profits for the network, while keeping the affiliate happy. It’s a very difficult balance to juggle and open communication is key.

  1. 16. What are your goals in 2013?

To establish Ring Partner as the pay per call performance marketing network.

  1. 17. If you could change one thing about the affiliate industry, what would it be?

I believe performance marketing is great in theory, but sometimes the motivations get twisted and the end user loses out. I wish that publishers, advertisers and networks didn’t twist those motivations at the cost of the end user in order to solely drive up revenues and profits.

For more information, or to sign up, please visit: http://publishers.ringpartner.com/signup

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Engageya’s Readers Exchange Eco-System

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Arye Barsky, the director of marketing for Engageya. Engageya supplies a free on-site content recommendations widget for bloggers and publishers, which enables the content owners to develop a new audience and drive fresh, targeted traffic to their site.

Arye comes from the blogging and affiliate marketing field, and as such, he understands the thirst of online marketers to find targeted traffic for an affordable price, and even better, for free. As one who switched careers paths from finance to online marketing, he also understands the struggles, frustrations and doubts bloggers might have at the beginning of their online career.

Not long ago he joined forces with Engageya’s founders, Anat Sever and Barak Frohlinger to assist their exciting start up – Engageya. Engageya realized that exact struggle webmasters are having and developed a unique and groundbreaking solution. Engageya’s plugin not only displays related posts at the end of an article, like many other plugins do, but also creates a readers exchange eco-system. In this eco-system, related websites will promote each other’s related posts, and through Engageya’s crediting system, they will exchange readers back and forth, a reader for a reader.

Not only bloggers will enjoy this. I imagine larger publishing networks that run 20 or 30 websites, each with a decent amount of traffic will see a benefit. Installing the plugin on all of their sites will allow them to keep those isolated readers surfing their network for a longer period of time. This way, instead of struggling to get new traffic, you simply exchange it, and receive a stream of engaged readers in return!

I have asked Arye whether he uses the plugin on his own blogs. He answered that the funny thing was that actually when he met Barak & Anat, he was already using the plugin and that is why they are such a good fit.

And does it really work? Well, according to Arye, yes! Publishers are reporting amazing 6%-10% CTRs, which means readers view more pages, bounce rates are lower, and as some of these clicks are going to related external sites, they are getting fresh targeted traffic in return.

So what are Engageya’s main features you can use?

Internal content recommendations- Engageya suggests additional related articles to readers on your site.

External content recommendations- Engageya displays articles to users on other relevant websites, based on an exchange system that guarantees targeted readers to your site.

Customization- Engageya offers a variety of layouts and designs (view them here)

Reporting- You can monitor your incoming and outgoing targeted traffic

Coming Soon- ability to drive traffic to your related Facebook posts

Engageya’s content recommendations widget support all niches, languages and platforms. They already have a dedicated WordPress plugin, a Blogger widget, a Wix app and a JavaScript code to fit all other platforms. Additional platforms widgets are in development as they aim to reach as many websites and publishers as possible.

Well, that does sound exciting and we wish them the best of luck!

For more information, please visit www.engageya.com or contact Arye directly at arye@engageya.com.

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How well do your emails convert?

Compared to social media and content marketing, email is a mature channel for engaging online consumers. Its longevity is a testament to its ability to convert leads into buyers and buyers into repeat customers. However, in the age of mobile marketing, customers are viewing emails on smartphones, tablet PCs, and standard laptop/desktop devices. Your email campaigns need to take this into account in order to ensure that you’re reaching everyone effectively. Whatever you are trying to accomplish with your emails; whether to increase sales, get more traffic to your website, or establishing trust between you and your customers,   it is imperative that you do your homework ahead of time.

Keep it simple to avoid information overload. We have all received those emails that cover way too much information, have too much content, or are just plain boring. Maintain the focus of your emails by limiting the amount of test. Write a brief description of the content in your email newsletter, and then include a link to read more on your website. Smaller emails take less time to digest, take less time to open and read, and are more likely to convert. Many users may only glance at an email while on the go; if you don’t capture their attention within the first few lines, they may delete and move on. Shorter messages help you stay on point while creating an atmosphere of respect between you and your customers – you respect their time, so you get to the point. Not only is this easier to consume, but it also drives visitors to your website, provides opportunities for reconversion, and gets you more indexable pages filled with great content to improve your SEO!

Learn the art of the subject line to increase the percentage of people who actually read your emails. There is conflicting advice coming from every corner of the internet, so what should you do? Keep your subject line straightforward, avoid using promotional phrases, or things that look or sound spammy, and know your audience and what will interest them. There’s nothing easier to test (or more important to test) than email subject lines. It’s incredibly easy to break your email list into two parts and simply send a separate email subject line to each and see which one gets a high open rate. Of course, make sure that all other variables such as the time of the send, the size of the list, and the breakdown of email service providers on the list are basically the same. Because email subject line performance can vary so much based on industry segment, it’s important that you test a variety of keywords, calls-to-action, lengths, personalization, and other factors and then make your own list of what is most effective at generating opens of your emails. Starting with the above best practices can help ensure that you don’t have an email subject line that is designed to fail. Ultimately what’s best for your email campaign program will need to be determined over time.

Be useful. Is what you’re sharing relevant, applicable and useful? Give people something they can use and you’ll not only develop thought leadership, but you’ll be seen as a friendly force in people’s lives. People like doing business with someone who helps them.

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Choosing an Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing has become a popular way to make money online, partly because of the flexibility that is offered in terms of working from home. But how do you choose an affiliate program that will make you money? The key to success is picking the right program. But that’s another problem, as there are literally thousands to choose from. Because there are such a large number of affiliate programs to choose from and many are structured differently, here are some tips to keep in mind while looking for a good match. A good affiliate program is a must if you want to make money on the internet.

First, you need to be sure you are comfortable with the product you’re promoting or selling and you have confidence in the advertiser you are linking to. Check the pages on the advertiser’s Web site. If it’s something you yourself would never consider purchasing, or it possibly looks a bit unreliable, then chances are your visitors won’t be interested in it either. If you’re running a content-based site, you don’t want to sell anything that might offend visitors or lower their opinion of your site.

The best rule of thumb is to pick affiliate programs that offer something that’s relevant to your site. For example, if your Web site is about registering domain names, look for affiliate programs that are related to the topic such as Web site hosting, Webmaster tools and software, Web site templates and so on.  There is nothing worse than advertisements that stand out like a sore thumb on your pages (e.g., online casino ads placed on a Web site about elementary school math tutorials). Even niche sites can find affiliate programs that are a good match.

Another important aspect of choosing an affiliate program is comprised of three things:  trust, commissions, and when, how and if they pay. Do your research before choosing a program. Compare the websites and see which has the best prices and products for your customers. Check out their websites and see how user friendly their site is—no one will stay on a site that’s hard to navigate.  Even the best marketing efforts can be wasted if the program isn’t attractive to visitors.

What is the Advertiser really offering to their affiliates? Make sure you understand the affiliate agreement and that you can comply with it. Take the time to check out the advertiser before joining to ensure they really do pay out to affiliates and that their program is not a scam. Will you have a dedicated account manager to work with?

Have a look at what the advertiser is offering in terms of tracking and reporting tools for affiliates. Good programs will provide you with a way to access real-time automated statistics to view conversions, sales and commissions. Be sure you have ad and product display options to integrate the advertising into your Web site. Can you change the colors, themes and choose from a selection of different sized banners and buttons?  With this type of service it means a little less work for you, the affiliate, and it also means your affiliate program meshes with your site.  Some higher-pay programs may look attractive, but may offer a higher commission because they might not provide support and tools to their affiliates. If this is the case, make sure you determine if this program will be too high-maintenance for you before joining.

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Offer Inspector’s Inaugural Webinar with Evan Weber

Are you looking to maximize your affiliate marketing efforts by integrating social media into your strategies? Then be sure to attend our upcoming webinar with Online Marketing expert Evan Weber from Experience Advertising, Inc. where we will discuss and show practical examples including:

- How to acquire more Facebook fans

- How to advertise effectively on Facebook

- How to integrate Facebook into your website or blog

- How to run sweepstakes and contests to build Facebook fans and email optins.

- How to share content from your website effectively on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

- Basic strategies for growing your connections on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

- How to “work” your social networks to increase traffic to your website

Friday, February 15th at 4:00pm est

Hope to see you there!

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Upgrade to Success 5K-1M Run/Walk Benefiting Pinellas County Schools

Read about the latest news from our non-profit, Gulf Coast Giving! http://www.feathersoundnews.com/a16.html

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Happy Holidays!

We at Offer Inspector would like to wish you all Happy Holidays!

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Interview with Evan Weber of Experience Advertising

Recently I spent some time on the phone with Evan Weber, CEO of Experience Advertising Inc., discussing what makes an amazing affiliate manager. For those of you who already know him, I’m sure you know he is a wealth of information on the topic. For those of you that aren’t familiar with him or his company, head on over to their website http://experienceadvertising.com/ and check them out. They have some amazing affiliate resources that will teach all types of strategies for online marketing. Evan is the self-described “ultimate affiliate manager”, who is extremely passionate about what he does, and doing it very well. He has been in the online marketing industry since the late 1990’s, and is well-versed in all types of Internet marketing including: SEO, pay-per-click search, social media, affiliate marketing, ecommerce, email marketing, and more.

Evan, what makes a great affiliate manager?

There are many characteristics to being a great affiliate manager, such as being very friendly, outgoing, proactive, helpful, and knowledgeable about online marketing. Many affiliate managers however get thrust into that role without any previous online marketing experience. They don’t have the background or the skills needed to really help their affiliates become better affiliates; and most importantly they don’t connect with them as friends and build the relationship. Your affiliates are your salespeople on the web and should be treated like gold and spoon-feed whatever they may need. They should be responded to immediately and facilitated as much as possible to promote the company or offer. Unfortunately, too many affiliate managers don’t take the time to get to know their affiliate,; but rather just push offers on them and expect them to produce sales. I like to get to know every affiliate my agency works with on a personal basis, so I can analyze what they are doing with their online marketing and provide helpful suggestions and strategies. I find this is always received really well and I get a lot of positive reinforcement from the affiliates I interaction with in this way. I look at it more as an opportunity to help them expand their online project, rather than a means to an end.

How would you advise affiliate managers to become better affiliate managers?

There definitely needs to be a good process in place in place for how everything is handled related to the affiliate program, from screening and approving, to maximizing the EPC average, to sending quality newsletters on a frequent basis. The two most important factors to growing an affiliate program are recruiting new affiliates and managing current affiliates. Many companies have a good amount of affiliates signed up, but not really many participating. You need to do something to set yourself apart from the other 1000’s of companies they could be spending time promoting, like running exciting sales contest with guaranteed prizes. Also, communicating and messaging your affiliates is of the utmost importance and should be done amazingly. “Being there” for your affiliates on a 24/7 basis is always the best policy in my opinion, so people don’t have to wait to be approved or for their question to be answered. It also shows you are there for them, whereas your competitor may not be, so you will win their loyalty.

Another valuable part of the affiliate management process is to have a really good affiliate strategy in place; ask yourself “What are we doing to grow our affiliate program?” This needs to be evaluated on a monthly basis. Focus on how you are inspiring your affiliates to produce more traffic and sales, as well as how you are recruiting new affiliates from sources like affiliate networks, search, and Facebook. Personally contacting each and every affiliate and offering to have a phone call with them is a great way to increase participation and get more affiliates inspired.

So it would seem a good affiliate manager has to be knowledgeable to be effective?

If you want to be a great affiliate manager you have to educate yourself! You need to have a strong skill set in HTML, SEO, site building, site editing, search engine marketing, newsletter sending, content strategies, and social media. In order to help your affiliates learn, grow, and produce, you have to be an expert in your field. There is so much free information out there, use it to become a better online marketer yourself so you can impart that knowledge to your affiliates. Also, make sure to always build relationships with your affiliates, and be accessible. They shouldn’t have to wait until Monday to be approved to be your affiliate. While they are waiting for you to approve their application, they have already been accepted to your competitor’s affiliate program.

What do you think about how to fully maximize an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is never fully maximized. You always have a certain amount of people participating and a certain amount producing traffic and sales. The key is to increase the overall recruits and participation levels, so more traffic and sales will be generated. Regarding recruiting…there are always more producers out there, and you need to go out and find them. Remember, your affiliates are not a means to an end. Get to know them, their niche, their needs, and work on building the relationship. Then you can expect to have a large, productive affiliate program.

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Is Affiliate Marketing a Long Term Business?

There was a somewhat heated discussion recently about whether affiliate marketing was a long term, sustainable business or not. It’s tough to come up with a definitive answer to this question, because it depends what you definition of a good business model is.

I think this topic brings up something bigger regarding the way affiliates think which hurts their business.

Check out the rest of David’s article here.

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