Affiliate Marketing Then and Now – Roundtable Discussion

Listen to host Deborah Carney in a roundtable discussion about how affiliate marketing got started and how it has evolved with some of the people that have been in it since the beginning. Are they in the same place they were when they started? Where do they see the industry going?

Listen as panelists Todd Farmer, Todd Crawford, Connie Arnold, Scott Jangro and Brian Littleton have a lively discussion, history you probably don’t know, and as they answer some burning questions about the beginnings of our awesome industry. Our industry is so young that we want to capture the thoughts about it’s growth some of the leaders in the industry. No one currently in our industry wanted to grow up to be an affiliate or affiliate manager, the jobs didn’t exist. But now, there are many young people whose parents are in the industry and they kinda would like to do what Mom and/or Dad does.

Let us know what you think about this format! Who would you like on a future podcast in this style? Or would you just like to hear more from this crew? :)

Meet Team Loxly at Affiliate Summit

We are heading to Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. It starts on Sunday January 12th – 14th at Paris Casino in Las Vegas. We would like to meet with you and discuss ways that you can make more money in our affiliate programs.

Feel free to contact any of us and make a time to meet up. If you would like to do a one-on-one and have us go over your site to see how it can be optimized for both the search engines and to make you more money meet with us at Affiliate Summit. If you can’t make it to Affiliate Summit but you want to have us go over your site feel free to send Vinny an email at vinny@teamloxly.com and we can set something up.

Deborah will be speaking on a panel about working from home. While people like to say that you can work in your pajamas that doesn’t quite cut it all the time. It takes a lot more than that to get all the work done. Her session is on Tuesday at 10am with industry veterans Shannon Weidemann, Karen Garcia, and Scott Jangro. Combined they have over 30 years experience of working from home.

Liz and Vinny will be in the audience so if you want to stop by and say hello don’t be shy. We are here to help you make money with our affiliate programs.

Check Your Affiliate Site on a Mobile Device

I am always telling affiliates to get an email sign up form on their website. I try to drive the point home to them that once an affiliate has an email list they can use that email list over and over again and get multiple sales. It is so hard to persuade a reader to take out their credit card once, never mind over and over again.

Smart affiliates have figured out that it is very hard to get your website found and once you have that site visitor you have a small opportunity to get that customers attention.

Getting that reader on to a newsletter list can lead to getting that reader back on your website without them having to use a search engine again. You hear all the “Affiliate Guru’s” telling you the money is in the list. Guess what, they are right.

Some things have changed though in the last year or so that is actually costing you sales and visitors to your website. In the past I have had a No-Popup policy when it comes to my websites. I strayed along that and put a few pop ups for email sign ups on few of my sites. While I was loving the additional sign ups the site was getting I was baffled by the mobile traffic. To be honest I wasn’t paying attention to mobile traffic that much and at first it didn’t concern me that my bounce rate was almost 100%. Yes I said 100%!

Don’t Take Mobile Traffic for Granted!

It wasn’t until I looked at my sites on a mobile device that I noticed the problem. Sure I had looked at my sites on my smart phone but that was ages ago and it looked just fine. I didn’t notice that the sites I had put the pop up on was the only sites with the 100% bounce rate. Usually I get a site visitor to sit on my sites for 5 minutes and visit 4 to 5 pages. It was only after I sat down on the couch with my iPad one night when it hit me. Since my pop up was configured to pop only once to new visitors I got the pop up on the iPad.

Well it stopped me in my tracks. The pop up was nothing like I had it looking on a normal site. It was huge and there was no way to close out the pop up and visit the site. As a user I was mad, as the site owner I was even more mad that I didn’t pick up on this before.

So lets see, I was telling Google through my analytics on mobile that my site sucked and that I wasn’t up to date on mobile. Exactly what I didn’t want to happen.

I encourage you to take a look at your websites on a mobile device, make that a few different mobile devices and see what your site looks like. You may be surprised by what you see. I would bet that you won’t be happy with what you will see.

10 Steps to Move a Merchant Program From Google Affiliate Network

Affiliate ABCs hosts Deborah Carney and Vinny O’Hare from Team Loxly talk about what merchants need to do now that Google Affiliate Network (GAN) is closing their doors.

How To Move Your Affiliate Program To a New Network
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With the Google Affiliate Network shutting down there has been lots of talk about how to move a program to a new network. There aren’t too many places that give step by step instructions. Each program will have their own certain features and quirks but here is a run down of some things you should be doing right away.

#1 Send an email out to your affiliates letting them know what is going on. Even though you don’t really know all the details yet yourself. Be as honest as you can and let the affiliate know as much as you know. Tell them they will get further updates as you find out more. Communication is the most important thing you can do at this point. Let them know you were as blindsided as they are by GANs decision.

Get as much info as you can. In your email encourage the affiliates to keep up to date with you by following you on social media. Make sure you have a phone and an email address for affiliates so they can reach out to you. You may want to think about some sort of activation bonus and get the affiliates prepared to move.

You also need to identify your top affiliates and send them a personal email. Remember the 90/10 rule. Your top affiliates are busy and need a handholding throughout this process.

#2 Gather a list of your current affiliates. Download it off GAN because they may pull the switch on you at any moment. Do not do this tomorrow. Stop reading this and go do it. Don’t worry about reading the rest of this post, it isn’t going anywhere.

#3 Gather all your sales reports off GAN. They will be going bye bye and you will need them for your end of the year reporting. Your boss is going to care that your first 4 months of reporting are not in your new totals on the new network. It sounds stupid but a lot of managers don’t think about this until it is too late. You should have a folder called migration and put all the stuff you are pulling off gan into it. Also back it up.

#4 Gather your creatives. You may already have these saved somewhere else but if not get them off GAN and put them in the folder. You won’t have a shot after they pull the plug.

#5 Take a deep breath and see what the other networks have to offer. Hopefully you have started some research and you are ahead of this. Sign up as an affiliate to the networks and see how you like the interface. Do yourself a favor and don’t just put your program on a network that is the most expensive. Just because they cost a lot doesn’t mean they are right for you. If your affiliate program is a good program your best affiliates will follow you to the new network. I could go on and on about how to chose an Affiliate Network but that is a post for another day.

Personally we run our programs on the Shareasale network. I would also look at Avantlink, they have some cool tools over there that I like. Don’t join a network that claims they are the biggest. That doesn’t matter to you, what should matter is the quality of the affiliates. We all know Gan sucked at this so why would you put your program back into a situation where you are spending your time policing your affiliates. Your top affiliates will follow you no matter what network you go to unless they were doing something shady and they are not allowed into that network. For which you wouldn’t want them back in your program anyway.

#6 Prepare another email for your affiliates. Reassure them that you are moving asap and you will have every resource possible to help them make the switch. Make the emails personal and about how much better the program will be on the new network.

#7 Chose a new network and get the ball rolling. Load up your creatives (especially your top performing ones). Make sure you have a creative of all sizes represented as your affiliates will let you know if you don’t. This includes text links.

#8 Send an email to your top affiliates letting them know which network you choose asap. You may want to send out a press release announcing which network you are moving to. This will get picked up by all the Affiliate news sites and news will spread very quickly. Then go to as many affiliate forums you find and announce it there.

#9 While you are doing that send another email to your GAN affiliates letting them know where you moved and what bonus you will give them for their trouble of changing links. Usually $5-10 will do it. Take a deep breath and wait for the applications to start coming in.

#10 Get on the phone with your top affiliates and ask them if they need any help switching. Once again they are very busy and the last thing they want to do is swap out links. The sooner you get them up and running the sooner you will be back making money in the affiliate program.

We are encouraging merchants to reach out to Outsourced Program Managers such as Team Loxly and GTO Management for help moving to a new network. Merchants can get both short term help with moving and long term management from firms like these.