Archive for the ‘affiliate’ Category

Google stealing second click?

March 27, 2008

It looks like Google’s search within a search box is possibly winning the 2nd click battle that so many affiliates have relied on for revenue. Affiliates were used to getting traffic from Google to their site and then making money when the visitor clicks through on when of their ads, even if its a Google AdSense ad. Now however, Google’s search within a search box is allowing people to get to their destination without having to leave Google. This will definitely have an affect on the affiliate marketing model with so many relying on SEO to get traffic and then redirect users to places they probably would have liked to go in the first place.

Google is looking at all ways to increase their ad revenue, but they need to tread lightly sometimes as a major affiliate backlash could actually punish them more in the long run in terms of revenue than trying to make the extra few cents now. This will be interesting to watch and monitor the reactions of Google’s AdSense community.

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Seven for All Mankind join Performics affiliate program

March 21, 2008

I think it is interesting to see that a premium designer denim brand is launching an affiliate program. I received the email yesterday from DoubleClick Performics (now Google) introducing the new advertiser in their program. Interesting seeing a brand that is prominently displayed at the likes of Saks and Nordstrom’s using an affiliate channel for online marketing, maybe they have had their time in the sun as the “premium” denim company and True Religion and Rock&Republic have taken over and this is 7’s expansion strategy. Whatever it is, I like the move.

It will be an interesting move for the high end brand to engage in the channel and it will be interesting to follow through Performics and watch the retailers. Personally wouldn’t buy $200 denim online as each pair is different. I have around 6 pairs and each fit different even though they are the same size and fit. Bold move for a premium brand, maybe the economy is affecting the mid-level luxury purchases.

This could pave the way for other premium clothing lines to join the affiliate marketing world and increase direct sales.

Affiliate Summit

February 26, 2008

I was at the affiliate summit west this past weekend and had a great time. It is amazing to see how much the affiliate world has evolved into a technology driven industry. There are some definite growing pains in the industry as their is a lack of affiliate management talent and there are still some shady practices, but overall a growing industry. As I walked the exhibit hall, I realized there wasn’t much differentiation amongst several of the media networks. You stop and talk to one and can have flashbacks of the previous conversation. From a marketing standpoint, they stink.

Networks need to offer value and service, not just a we have x publishers, cause guess what, affiliates look at a lot of networks. I was impressed however with some of the technology from firms like Syntryx. Overall, it was a great conference and experience in Las Vegas. The highlight was The Ashley Madison Agency which is a dating site for married people. Their shirts read, “Life is Short, Have an Affair.” I have some issues with that, but guess there is a market for everything.

Hoodia affiliate hit with $2.6 million Can-Spam penalty

February 6, 2008

The Can-Spam law is rearing its ugly head for a Hoodia affiliate out of Las Vegas, Sili Neutraceuticals. The complaint filed against them states that they were using misleading subject lines and falsely advertised the product, stating that Hoodia and growth hormone could make an individual lose 40 lbs a month. That seems to be a lot of weight to lose in a single month, unless the person is so obese to begin with. They are being hit with $2.6 million fine by the FTC.

Anyways, this will be the largest fine the FTC collects over Can-Spam as the HiTech Marketing fine was larger on paper, but they were only able to pay $485,000. It looks like the FTC is going to be more active regulating the Can-Spam law, but I would recommend they rewrite it first, as there is a lot of grey area and everyone seems to have a different view on what you can and can’t do. Obviously there are best practices that most corporate marketers take, but the affiliate/co-reg marketers like HiTech and Sili Neutraceuticals use mass email as their marketing medium and there is not a lot of regulation on this.

Hopefully we will see more spammers fined, but ultimately, I would like to see the Can-Spam law more solidified and easier to understand.

LendingTree affiliate lead generation model

January 21, 2008

I had an interesting conversation this weekend with someone about affiliate lead generation. I was trying to explain the ins and outs of the model and they struggled to get a full comprehension. He said he would never imagine buying leads from vendors where he didn’t know exactly where they came from, adn how they were acquired. I understood his concerns, and then the mortgage industry meltdown came up. He mentioned he hadn’t seen many LendingTree ads lately, and I thought it was weird that he brought up a superior in the affiliate lead generation model.

I asked him if he understood how the LendingTree model worked, and he said yes. He submitted his information to them and their in-house team ran comparisons against similar scenarios and created options for him offered through local banks. When I tried to explain that he was partially right, he was a little set back. I explained to him that LendingTree was really just a mass aggregator through affiliates to become a super affiliate to the mortgage industry. There slogan is “when the banks compete, you win” but really THEY WIN.

They get your information through affiliates or direct marketing efforts themselves and then resell it to several banks that buy the info as a lead to send a quote to. LendingTree has done an excellent job of selling their value proposition of providing a central information source for consumers, while making money on selling the “perceived value” to financial institutions. He was amazed at how well LendingTree had positioned themselves as a “friend” of the consumer, when they were actually making millions off “their friends”.

I don’t know if he changed his mind on affiliate lead generation, but he definitely opened a new window of how companies can benefit from such marketing tactics.