Don’t Miss Affiliate Summit East 2014

by Melanie on July 13, 2014

Affiliate Summit East 2014, taking place in New York City this year, is less than a month away. Affiliate Summit, Inc., ASE14, is being held at the New York Marriott Marquis  August 10 through August 12.  I am excited to  be attending and am reviewing the agenda to narrow down the sessions I will attend.  As usual the agenda is packed with some great speakers.

Since their first conference in 2003. Affiliate Summit has been the premier event for both networking and educational seminars. The founders Missy Ward and Shawn Collins are both strong advocates for our industry and they always ensure that the conference is a balanced well rounded event for affiliates, merchants,vendors, networks and agencies. No matter which category you fall into, attending Affiliate Summit is a worthwhile investment. Once you register, review the agenda and list of attendees to plan your days. Be sure to leave some free time for impromptu meetings as you are sure to make new connections.

To get the most from the conference you’ll need to do a few more things. First, remember to bring your business cards. Seems silly to even say that but in the last minute packing frenzy, business cards sometimes are forgotten or misplaced. Business cards are great for those quick introductions or those that take place during one of the many networking events. Since I work in a couple of different areas, I always have different versions showcasing a different aspect as well as a general contact card.

Practice ahead of time answering some basic questions. Also known as an elevator pitch, you should also have a short quick summary of what you do.  Give enough information to gauge interest and suitability. At times the exhibit hall or networking event may be very noisy so a short introduction is practical and most effective when used with a business card. Since it can get hectic when you meet a lot of people. keep a pen handy (to write on back of card) or use your phone to make a brief note reminding you of what you want to follow up on. There is nothing worse than sitting in your office a week after the conference trying to remember who you wanted to follow up with. I try to make notes throughout the conference.

Leave time to relax and attend some of the many fun networking events and parties. If you are a first timer, join the newcomer program. Pair up with a friend ahead of time or just approach someone and introduce yourself. To get the most from the conference you will want to talk with other attendees. Exchange thoughts and ideas, ask questions or just talk to someone who actually understands what you do for a living.

Affiliate Summit is worthwhile event, you will leave ASE14 energized (but tired). Once home, implement what you’ve learned and your business will grow. Then, start planning for Affiliate Summit West 2015.



What Do We Really Want

by Melanie on July 10, 2014

If you manage an affiliate program you’ve probably wondered how you can connect to an affiliate you’ve never met. Not identify them but connect to them – get them actively into your program. What in the world do we want? Is it the percentage? Is it an extra incentive? Is it great metrics?

There are many factors we consider when joining and beginning to promote a program. It starts with a product or service- can we market it? After that, the decision process differs; some affiliates promote everything and some are more defined. Some larger affiliates can take more chances with adding new program/products but smaller affiliates are more challenging, they have to pick and choose. It is those affiliates that can really help expand your program. If you manage multiple programs, those are the affiliates that can help grow all of your programs. How can you get them to try your program out? For some affiliates, the network the program is on is an important criteria; the network can impact whether we  move further into the decision factor.  The closing rate, reversal rate and commission are also deciding factors but often the deciding factors  are two that are often underrated.

Time and Trust.

Its quite simple really- time and ease of promotion is the first factor. Depending on the affiliate’s approach it may simply be a matter of time.  If the program (or the network it is on) makes it difficult to  promote you will drop down on the to do list.  If your data feed is a mess or incomplete, will an affiliate have the time to clean it up so it is usable or tweak it to make it more productive?

Do you (or your network) provide tools or make it easy to promote? Do you limit links?  Do you have variety of banners? I could go on but it comes down to the basics of if you make it faster and easier to promote you move up the list. Make it cumbersome you move down.

Trust is complex.  We need to trust the network, the manager, the website and for some, trust the product or service. We have a lot at stake and need to be able to trust.

Gaining trust is straight forward.

Keeping trust is simple.

Regaining trust is very difficult.