Affiliate Marketers Unplugged

by Shawn Collins on July 23, 2008

Question: What is the future of affiliate marketing?

“I believe affiliate marketing’s future will to some extent mirror the projected online advertising growth worldwide in the coming years, as several publications have predicted. Right now, affiliate marketing is one of the outlets that is (or should be) in most marketing toolkits and I think this will remain true. I do think the expansion in affiliate marketing will come globally, there will be more education in general on what affiliate marketing is and how to do it right, and there will likely be an increased focus on marketing integrity and compliance.”

-Michael Sprouse
Chief Marketing Officer, Epic Advertising

“I think we’ll continue to see smaller affiliate programs as advertisers grow concerned over knowing how affiliates are promoting their brand. Many affiliate managers don’t have the resources or tools they need to police affiliates and may look to reduce the number of sites they allow in their programs in order reduce their risk.”

-Chris Kramer
NETexponent, Co-Founder and Media Director

“True partnerships between smart advertisers and top publishers will form. I can see some situations where top publishers get stock options or significant bonus pay outs if certain performance levels are reached. There is a “next level” of affiliate marketing that we haven’t seen yet. But it will come.”

-Ola Edvardsson
Performancy, Inc., CEO

“Retailers have learned how to be successful doing online marketing through by advertising from Google, Yahoo and MSN. The “What’s Next?” question is going to lead them to affiliate marketing. Once there they will be excited to see a marketplace that is increasing in strength and sophistication allowing another way to grow their brand or their online presence.”

-Durk Price
eAccountable OPM LLC, President

“Video – Entertaining and informational videos either sponsored or displaying ads in rotation. Although blogs will still be important as a destination, people are getting accustomed to watching video through widgets, video hosting sites (like YouTube, Revver, or Magnify), or from their iPods. Making quality video available at your customer’s convenience is the growing trend.

Social Media – Trusted web authorities selling to communities. An affiliate needs to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Ning, or another niche community. They must give great value to that community. Think more you must give to get, and less pitching.

Transparency (current Buzz word) – Honesty is the best policy. Web surfers are getting savvier. Be honest with your advertising and they will more likely join your community.”

-Michael Buechele
1115 Media Group, Founder

Question: What is one new thing an affiliate should know?

“Outsource — hire an affiliate manager! There are so many things an experienced OPM can do for you to boost the effectiveness of your program. I finally offloaded this task after running a CJ program myself for 9 years. My new affiliate manager helped me to restructure the program and fix some blunders that were holding me back. They’ve also increased my competitiveness with new creatives, and forged alliances with super affiliates who are already driving new business to Flowers Fast.”

– Bob Rankin
Flowers Fast!, Owner

“Affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick program. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. That being said, a successful affiliate business can be very profitable, and provide wonderful flexibility.”

-Adam Viener
imwave, inc., Chairman & Founder

“With the recent explosion of super affiliate and make money blogs, there is no longer a need for new affiliates to buy into the whole “make money” eBooks scheme. With so many “make money” blogs out there, new affiliates can learn just as much, if not a ton more, by reading affiliate marketing blogs and interacting with the blog owners, then spending their money on eBooks with old recycled information. My advice to you is… don’t buy eBooks, read the blogs and invest in yourself.”

-Zac Johnson
MoneyReign, Inc., President / CEO

“Try to find a niche and also something that really interests you.”

-Nik Mohan
PC Tools Software, Affiliate Manager

“The best tip for any new affiliate is they need to do is study the programs which they want to work with. Test everything out and fully understand what is expected of them as an affiliate and how to stay within the guidelines that are specified from the advertiser.”

-Collin De Ruyck
Feed Flare, Owner

“Two things a new affiliate should know:

If you are going to be building a content site, use a content management system. Whether it’s WordPress, or Movable Type, or Joomla, take some time to learn about content management systems. Using a CMS will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Any link that goes out from your site should be through a redirect. There are multiple reasons for this, and if you don’t know what a redirect is, do a Google search and some reading about why you want to use redirects. But this one tip would have saved me a lot of time and frustration if I had known it getting started.”

-Jonathan Kraft
Strive4impact, LLC, Fun Guy

“There is always a better (private) pay-out level that you likely don’t know about.”

-Ola Edvardsson
Performancy, Inc., CEO

Question: What is one thing a new affiliate manager should know?

“If you treat your top affiliates like business partners, you can accomplish great things together. Being a great affiliate manager is a tough task, it takes a lot of negotiation and education skills to deal with top affiliates and fight internal battles. A good Affiliate Manager is worth their weight in Gold!!!”

-Adam Viener
imwave, inc., Chairman & Founder

“A new affiliate manager should know to not always assume things, but research the facts before drawing a conclusion. This can relate to reports, but also relate to affiliates that may look “shady” in the beginning.”

-Jesse Bouman
1 & 1 Internet Inc., Senior Affiliate Program Manager

“Don’t underestimate how much can be gained by working really closely with some affiliates and truly treating them like partners.”

-Chris Kramer
NETexponent, Co-Founder and Media Director

“An affiliate manager should know the ins and outs of their tracking system so that they do not have to pass their affiliates along to multiple team members.”

-Ian Fernando
IANternet Media LLC, Affiliate Marketer and Blogger

“New affiliate managers should be proactive! Reach out to each publisher and learn more about what each one does online. Find out more info about each publisher and develop a friendly rapport with each of them. This helps break the ice and will open up the lines of communication, which will provide the affiliate with more targeted campaign suggestions, and as a result, more money!”

-Debby Banning
Market Leverage, Digital Media Relations

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