January 2014

Disclosure: If I'm not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on my part and will be corrected soon.

Affiliate Marketing: Smart Merchants’ Road to Incrementality and ROIIf you're involved in marketing today, you know that it no longer matters how much your audience purchased from your marketing efforts, but how much more they purchased because of those efforts.

Incremental Sales Drives True ROI

The revenue generated from customers in addition to what they intended to by when they shopped a merchant's store (whether online or brick-and-mortar) are incremental sales.

Whether it be additional items or higher-ticket items that are being purchased, instead of what was originally being targeted by a marketing campaign (or even if they were not targeted by a marketing campaign), these incremental sales are what smart merchants are looking for.

Successful marketing campaigns begin with an understanding that incremental sales, not total sales should be used to determine ROI on marketing programs.

The Case for Affiliate Marketing and Incrementality

Before diving in to some fascinating statistics, it's important that you have an understanding of what affiliate marketing is and what that channel can do for your overall marketing plan.

What is Affiliate Marketing and Why is it So Awesome?

Affiliate Marketing is a comprehensive term that refers to performance-based marketing and advertising programs in which advertisers (a.k.a., retailers or merchants) and marketing companies (a.k.a, affiliates or publishers)are paid when a specific action is completed; such as a sale, lead or click.

Combining performance-based marketing and innovation helps retailers and affiliates grow their businesses in dynamic ways. Campaigns should be highly targeted for each retailer, so that everyone can be successful.

Affiliate Marketing done right creates win-win opportunities for both retailers and affiliates.

What Makes Affiliate Marketing Different from Other Forms of Advertising

Affiliate marketing has successfully reversed the traditional value proposition of advertising and also allows for real-time measurement of ROI. Unlike other forms of traditional advertising where fees are paid up front and do not depend upon the success of the ads, advertisers in affiliate marketing only pay for successful transactions.

Since affiliate marketing is trackable and measurable down to the click, merchants can measure everything from the cost of acquisition to incrementality (e.g., new customers of new customers or average order value).

Affiliate Marketing is Growing

According to Forrester Research, affiliate marketing spend is projected to reach 4.4Billion by 2016. Smart merchants are harnessing mobile marketing, online-to-offline tracking technologies and shaping commission models based upon attribution statistics.

As affiliates are on the cutting edge of content creation, mobile apps, emerging technologies, social media and niche marketing; the affiliate channel creates a unique value proposition for merchants.

Here's What You Don't Know About the Affiliate Marketing Channel

Steve Denton, vice president of Marketing Solutions at eBay Enteprises, gave an extremely comprehensive keynote address this January, at Affiliate Summit West 2014.

Steve has been in digital media for 13+ years and before joining eBay Enterprise, he was president of Rakuten Linkshare. I've known Steve since 2001. He knows affiliate marketing. When Steve talks, I listen.

But more than that, he is in a unique position to provide access to data that the majority of companies involved in the the affiliate space (myself included and likely all my readers) have never laid their eyes on.

As eBay Enterprise provides commerce technologies, omni-channel operations and marketing solutions, Steve has access to rich, proprietary commerce data on their 2000+ global clients.

Below is Steve Denton's keynote address at Affiliate Summit on video. He used a very solid data set which he elaborates on. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax to 45 minutes of affiliate marketing data laced with funny Steve-isms.

Affiliate Marketing Statistics that Will Blow Your Mind

Here are a few data points that stood out to me:

  • 49% of customers that close from the affiliate marketing channel are new customers.
  • If an affiliate is involved in the click path, the average order value is higher.
  • 12% of the time, affiliates are 1-step closers.
  • More than 20% of affiliate clicks leading to a purchase were the first touch (a.k.a., “the introducer”)
  • 73% of all conversions occur within 24 ours from the last affiliate click.

Today, with a plethora of overlapping marketing campaigns and crazy discounting, the affiliate channel proves to be extremely robust when it comes to incrementality.

No longer should a smart merchant ask whether they should add affiliate marketing to their mix our question whether their affiliate channel is really valuable.

The questions merchants should be asking now are:

  • “Where do I get more of these awesome affiliates?”
  • “How do I support them to ensure that we both have long-term growth and profitability?”

Thoughts???

Affiliate Summit West 2014 in Las Vegas is all wrapped up, and we’d like to extend a hearty thank you to all of the sponsors and exhibitors that came out to the conference.

Affiliate Summit West 2014If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, we’ve got recaps from each day of the conference.

The keynote videos will be ready in a week or so, and the videos from the breakout sessions will be available in about a month.

We will be sending an email with access information.

Here are the booths from the top sponsors of Affiliate Summit West 2014. If you didn’t get a chance to visit with them in Las Vegas, be sure to click on through to get more information about them.

Diamond Sponsor: T3leads

T3leads at Affiliate Summit West 2014

Titanium Sponsor: ShareASale

ShareASale at Affiliate Summit West 2014

Platinum Sponsor: Dedicated Media

Dedicated Media at Affiliate Summit West 2014

Gold Sponsorship: Docler Holding

Silver Sponsorship: HostGator

HostGator at Affiliate Summit West 2014

Bronze Sponsorship: HasOffers

HasOffers at Affiliate Summit West 2014

Thank you to all of the other companies that got tables, booths, and sponsorships.

Booths, tables and sponsorships are open to book for Affiliate Summit East 2014.

The post Big Thanks to the Sponsors and Exhibitors at Affiliate Summit West 2014 appeared first on Affiliate Summit.

Last year, Hulk Hogan got back in the ring (with Tech Assets, Inc. in his corner) to bring Hostamania to the world.

This past week, the Hulk and the Hostamania crew exhibited at Affiliate Summit West 2014.

About Hostamania.com

To me, Hulk defines wrestling.  His over-the-top persona was responsible for me noticing the WWF (now WWE) even existed, back in the 80's.

But, while I needed no introduction the Hulkster, I did need to do some research on Tech Assets, Inc., as I was unfamiliar with their brand.

I had no idea that they've been in the hosting business since 1997 when they launched their first hosting brand, Jumpline.

As of 2013, they have 11 brands that offer low-cost, top-tier web hosting solutions.

Hulk Hogan and Hostamania at Affiliate Summit West 2014

Missy Ward's husband, Beaudon Spaulding as Hulk Hogan during RAW in OrlandoWhen I heard that Hulk was going to be at Affiliate Summit West 2014, I gotta tell ya… I was stoked!

As a total fan-girl myself, raising two boys who love WWE (they're huge John Cena fans) and admiring my husband who dresses up like Hulk Hogan (that's him to the left) when he takes the kids RAW and WLive events; I knew that I could totally boost my street cred with my sons if I got a picture with the Hulkster.

Right after our keynote ended, I made a bee-line to the exhibit hall to do just that. What I saw, blew my mind. There was a ginormous line already formed to take photos with Hulk at the Hostamania booth.

Luckily, Amy and Colleen (who work for me at Affiliate Summit) were next in line to meet him, so Shawn and I jumped into their photo with Hulk Hogan.

Hulk also autographed two photos for my boys. When I gave Hulk's photo to my son last night, the expression on his face was priceless. Between seeing me in the photo with Hulk and the signed autograph, I was officially the world's coolest mother.

Here's a little video of Hulk at the Hostamania booth at Affiliate Summit West 2014.

Hostamania = Smart Marketing

Besides getting to see Hulk Hogan in person, here's why I think that this whole Hostamania hoopla was awesome.

At the end of the day, web hosting companies for the most part, are similar in nature. The crucial factors involved with being a good hosting company are 1)offer competent support by folks who understand that most of us do not speak “tech”, 2) keep pricing competitive and 3) make sure the user process is easy to understand and fast to set up.

The web hosting companies that stand out are the ones that not only understand those three crucial factors, but are also smart marketers.

Let's face it, being able to generate significant buzz around a boring topic, isn't easy. Who better than Hulk Hogan, to do just that? After all, he already knows how to be an attention grabber (see paragraph 2) and is an expert when it comes to developing loyal fans that span generations.

Having Hulk at the Hostamania booth at Affiliate Summit West 2014 was smart marketing as well.

Hundreds of folks stood in line to take their picture with him which they immediately shared socially; they all received signed autographs (something that they will all keep) that had the Hostamania affiliate offering on the back of it; every person's badge was scanned so that the Hostamania folks can follow up with them after the show and yes, affiliates have joined their program (myself included).

It was a great showing of creativity, with a huge dose of energy — all perfect for the Affiliate Summit attendees and the affiliate marketing industry overall.

Hostamania Offers 6 Months Free Hosting

Hostamania offers hosting starting at $7.95 per month for their Mini package up to $14.95 per month for their Pro package. In addition, for a limited-time, they are also offering a 6-Months Free Hosting package. The $0 setup fee, cancel anytime package is good if through January 31st and you must use Coupon Code: CHAMPION”.

I've not used Hostamania before but I'm definitely willing to give them a try with this offer.