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Effective Affiliate Programme: Top Tips

Unearthing how to keep on top of your affiliate programme can be difficult, however we believe that with covering the basic elements, you can drive your programme forward this new year. We have put together some top tips for ensuring that your affiliate programme is as effective and efficient as it can potentially be. They are simple. They may seem trivial. They are also the most obvious of things. They are also the most over-looked when speaking with other account managers, so don’t snarl at us before you ensure that you have covered these areas too.

There will be certain affiliates who you always turn to who drive the majority or large amounts of sales for your programme. One thing that we like to do is create a list of the top-tier affiliates so we can keep track on what is selling where. Ensure they’re signed up to your programme firstly and foremost, and then double check their site. You want to make sure that they have live links in listing that are relevant to your programme on their sites, and if not, mention this to them. You want to take special care of these golden few, as all it takes is for them to start making better sales elsewhere, and you have lost an important affiliate. Be sure you supply them with interesting consumer messages frequently so they can keep on top with fresh data, links, offers etc holding you in place.

For any affiliate, it is more than important to create and establish a good working relationship with your contacts. Staying in touch is vital, and we don’t just mean by consumer messaging and bulk emails. Pick up the phone every now and again or at least send them a personal email just dropping in and ensuring that everything is OK. It’s in our human nature to care more about something if someone shows you a little time and affection. We’re not saying you have to wine and dine your contacts, but a little wave and a nod here and there doesn’t go unnoticed. Make sure you have done everything you can do to keep them happy, and as a result, you will see results and be happy too!

Don’t forget about the ‘little man’ in your contacts lists. We all have those contacts that crop up towards the bottom of our reports pages that haven’t generated that much or any volume in sales. Don’t assume they have everything they need and definitely don’t write them off just yet. Check in with these contacts periodically to ensure they are up-to-date with things and don’t need a little help. You will be surprised to hear that sometimes, people just need things explaining to them and once this has been done, you may uncover a hidden treasure cove in this contact.

To sum up, one of the best tips that we can offer for running an effective and successful affiliate programme, is ensure that you have the basics covered. Things like speaking with your contacts, ensuring people know what is expected of them as an affiliate and updating them with consumer messages to push out to generate sale are the fundamentals of affiliate marketing and require your attention. With this in mind try we are quite sure that you will see a difference in your programme and the results you see.

Performance Marketing… Still Grubby?

Performance marketing is forever changing, ever-adapting and widely becoming recognised as a thing of ‘the norm.’ Up until recently performance marketing has been seen as quite taboo and for want of a better word, grubby. There has been a past view that monitoring the performance of companies and businesses, including customer visits, product selection and consumer habits, is seen as a little ‘backhanded.’ The famous words of ‘Big Brother is watching you’ gripped the nation and as such, monitoring what we do when visiting a website was seen as a little uncouth. As the marketing industry continues to develop at a velocity of ‘change,’ the way in which we research, view and capture our audiences has also adapted.

Performance marketing now is seen as something that most companies can’t do without, and is seen as more of a necessity than a sin. Some of the leading industry experts and the big boys in business have embraced this change and need for customer consumer information, as a result of this have invested large quantities of money into research for the best platforms and training tools to use. Ploughing money into something that until recently has been seen as outlawish may seem like a waste or indeed a risky move, but with more and more businesses and companies admitting that we can in fact learn from our customers by buying into this research, there really does seem to be a shift in judgement.

A4uexpoLondon recent held its 2012 conference, focusing on this very topic. The dynamic role that performance marketing holds in today’s society derives from the thirst and need that brand loyalty and customer satisfaction scores mean nothing unless you know what your customer wants and why. Speakers from Tesco, Sky and Moneysupermarket all spoke about the importance of data-capturing and putting time and effort into researching what it is your customers want, need and look for when choosing your business brand.

All in all, the days of performance marketing being bad-mouthed are now long gone, and it’s now a case of who doesn’t do or have it. The more we can learn about our customers shopping patterns and what draws them to a certain brand is something that we have all been for donkeys years, but now it seems it is, at last, an acceptable thing to behold and capture.

Commission Factory Re-Launch Affiliate Platform

With the rapid increase in online retail currently being seen in Australia, the affiliate marketing industry is fast expanding to meet the growing demands of online retailers. Commission Factory, an affiliate marketing network based in Australia, provides a platform for Australian advertisers and retailers that allows them to quickly and easily create affiliate programs. Devoted to the Australian market, Commission Factory want to see the Australian affiliate industry grow to compete with other countries.

To help with this goal, Commission Factory launched its new platform that will help users continue to grow their businesses while meeting the demands imposed by the market’s expansion. The company spent eight months researching, programming and testing their new platform for security while ensuring it was robust enough to stand the stresses of a growing industry.

The new platform has been designed to focus on reporting and compliance, allowing affiliates to track their statistics with confidence. Supported by comprehensive training documents and Q&As, new users and old will have no trouble adapting to the new platform on offer, while being in position to meet the demands the market’s growth will require.

Due to the current boom, the Australian market is seeing a lot of international interest from affiliates in the UK and US. Zane McIntyre, Commission Factory’s Managing Director, said: “Many UK and US affiliates are finding great success in the Australian marketplace because up until recently the industry was relatively underdeveloped. The competition is low and the professionalism and competitiveness of the UK affiliates translates to an aggressive and successful presence in the Australian online space.”

It’s hoped that the new platform will help provide a catalyst for change within the Australian affiliate marketplace, and Commission Factory is set to further expand functionality by offering an API to third party developers, allowing them to create their own add-ons, plug-ins and apps that can be incorporated as needed by users of the network. By offering such customisation, the platform can be tailored to each individual user’s needs.

With it’s simple, clean and easy to use interface, Commission Factory’s new platform that has been specifically designed to meet the growing online marketing industry. Affiliate marketing and it’s paid-on-performance structure needs a stable platform foundation to work from in order for the Australian market to reach its full potential. Commission Factory’s new platform offers just that, with a large pool of verified and ethical affiliates available to users so they don’t have to search and vet for themselves.

Relative newcomers to the market, Commission Factory launched just under two years ago and have swiftly become rising stars in the industry. Working hard to train clients and provide a strong knowledge base around affiliate marketing, the company is keen to help facilitate the affiliate and online retail industry towards greater online visibility. Passionate about seeing the market grow to compete with other countries, Commission Factory are working to become a leader in the Australian affiliate market and their new platform will set them well on the road to just that.

Download their Merchant Brochure Here

Visit Commission Factory Here http://www.commissionfactory.com.au/

a4uexpo London, 16th & 17th October 2012

It’s the return of one of the year’s biggest performance marketing conferences…a4uexpoLondon. The exhibition begins today and continues tomorrow, a by the sounds of it, there is a lot in store. This year the expo is more focused on reflecting the ever-changing, constantly dynamic role that performance marketing holds in today’s business sector. The event will be attended by some of the biggest names in the business, and with key note speakers including the likes of Tesco, Sky, Debenhams and Moneysupermarket joining the fray, you are almost certain to hear some strong and sound advice.

There has been a past view that monitoring the performance of companies and businesses, including customer visits, product selection and consumer habits, is seen as a little ‘backhanded.’ The famous words of ‘Big Brother is watching you’ gripped the nation and as such, monitoring what we do when visiting a website was seen as a little uncouth. As the marketing industry continues to develop at a velocity of ‘change,’ the way in which we research, view and capture our audiences has also adapted. Performance marketing now is seen as something that most companies can’t do without, and is now seen as more of a necessity than a sin. With this in mind, a4uexpo has embraced this change and need for customer consumer information, and as such has created a whole conference around this being one of the main issues. This, along with the use of digital and data capturing technology, with topics such as brand advocacy, customer journeys and utilising data captured, will make for an exciting and very interesting exhibition.

The conference isn’t just for the big boys in business either. It is designed so as everyone, from the beginner to the more advanced level of production can get to grips with the knowledge and information given over the course of the two day event. With over 40 sessions you can get involved with, a4uexpo has designed a fully functional interactive theatre in which everyone can have their say. Offering different discussions, sessions and opportunities over the two days, remember to bring your tablet or laptop with you to ensure you get everything written down that you need and want to!

For more information on the exhibition, lease visit www.a4uexpo.com/london

Incentivising Your Affiliates

If you are about to launch an incentive for your affiliates there are a few things you might want to think about first;

Set Your Objective
Incentives are an easy method to improve affiliate marketing, and can be very rewarding for all those involved. In order to make an incentive successful, it is vital to recognise your objectives. Some programs are designed to promote brand name. Yet others are have the goal of gaining new affiliates, while others are made to promote productivity in current ones. Whether you have similar goals, or completely new ones, remember to think about what you want to achieve whilst you design your incentive.

Making It Fair
Your program will be more successful if you make it fair. If you arrange it so that only a select few will be able to win (top affiliates, most sales etc) you will probably not be reaching your goal. In this circumstance, many people may not wish to participate, due to the feeling that the prizes are not easily reachable. If you create an incentive which offers different levels and types of prizes, more participants will be able to get a reward for good work. Remember, the goal of the incentive is to either have your affiliates perform better or to attract more affiliates or for you to gain additional exposure. Many companies use their own products as incentives, which can often be successful, as your affiliates will get to experience first hand the products they are promoting.

In order to get the word out about your incentive there are a few tools you can use to ensure you get maximum exposure.
Network Blog
Affiliates4U Forum
Other forums such as ABestWeb or AffiliateForum.com.au
Your own affiliate blog
Email your affiliates direct
Network email system
Direct mail
And more…

Monitor and Measure
After you implement your program, you will, of course, need to put measures in place to find out how well it is working. You will need to find out how much is being put towards giving out incentives as compared to how much your profit is. Obviously, the program will benefit your company more if you have gained something from the program as well. It will also be necessary to see how well your affiliates are satisfied with the prizes. You will get much information from monitoring increase in sales and other markers of better productivity. When these numbers are compared to number of prizes given out and who is receiving the prizes, you will get a better idea of whether your program is successful at the goals you had predetermined.

Welcome To Bright Digital Minds

Finally after what seems like weeks and weeks and months of plotting, writing and building, Bright Digital Minds is finally live!

Hopefully the site gives a good insight into the many services BDM offer along with some interesting articles on digital marketing. We’ll be updating the site regularly so make sure you keep coming back.

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Huge thanks to everyone who has supported BDM these last few weeks, from the creative aspects to the content tweaking and the feedback!
Here’s to a bright future!