Ami is the Chief Operations Officer at Webgains the hi-performance affiliate marketing network. She’s been at Webgains for over 4 years helping their international growth by connecting the right publishers and advertisers. Before that, she spent 5 years at Vouchercloud so it would be fair to say Ami REALLY knows her Affiliate marketing!
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At university, Ami studied business and marketing because she was interested in consumer behavior, including how people spend their money and why they choose to spend it a certain way.
She first got into affiliate marketing working at Vouchercloud, and eventually moved to Webgains. She has been in the affiliate marketing industry for over 10 years now and considers her journey truly amazing.
Affiliate Marketing Myths and Challenges
Ami’s goal is to dispel the myth that affiliate marketing is only about discounts and discounted products.
There is value in the channel, and it has significantly grown especially in the past year.
One of the challenges in affiliate marketing is that it doesn’t get a lot of press, which Ami hopes to change by getting on podcasts such as this and presenting case studies of successful implementations in the industry.
The Significance of Diversifying
It’s important to start with a diverse mix of affiliates in your program.
All publisher types have the ability to drive full price sales, and it comes down to how you engage and work with them for your product set, and the content of your marketing messages.
What is a Comparison Shopping Service?
Comparison Shopping Service or CSS is a fairly new publisher type that translates to accessing different inventory on Google in order to drive sales.
The benefit of CSS is it allows you to showcase more of your product inventory. You will be able to identify where you can sell your products at full price, to customers who are also willing to pay full price.
Quality Product Feeds in Affiliate Marketing
Ami says you need to get your product feed in shape so your publishers can work with them properly.
At Webgains, they’ve seen huge increases year on year for those who have great product feeds. This again can help in your full price strategy.
Utilizing Content Creation
When publishers are able to place your products in a way that’s appealing to customers, they can help drive full price sales.
In implementing your content strategy, research must be done:
- Understand how customers place value on products they buy
- Recognize how ethical stance or social responsibility can also impact purchase decisions
Connecting Brands with the Right Publishers
There are tools that can help brands connect with the right affiliates.
At Webgains, they have the Affiliate Discovery tool which recommends publishers who will strategically grow your program through the analysis of various data and algorithms.
Additional Plans of Action
Ami discusses 2 additional incentive programs that can drive full price sales.
- Gift cards – companies such as Giftcloud and WeGift create gift card campaigns, supplementing your orders with vouchers but not discounting your product
- Closed-loop publishers – refers to large customer bases that are not publicly available such as employee benefits or loyalty programs that tap into highly engaged customers
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If we’ve inspired someone to take their first step with Affiliate Marketing – what do they need to know to give themselves the best chance of success?
It is essential to communicate your objective of the channel, your campaigns with your affiliate network, and also with the publishers you’re working with, then focus your energy to hitting that objective.
Additionally, affiliate marketing is a channel that’s great for test and learn campaigns. It is low-risk, and with low barrier to entry. This makes it a great environment to try new things.
Once you’ve started of course you’ve got to ‘keep optimising’! So what’s your favourite way to improve affiliate marketing performance?
Once you’re up and running with affiliates, optimize your relationships. Diversify the publishers you’re working with and expand your reach.
Test and learn from different campaigns and various publishers to build more data, that will eventually help you optimize this channel.
If someone listening wants to learn more about affiliate marketing is there one cheap/free resource you’d recommend?
Webgains has tons of material for anyone who’s new to affiliate marketing.
Webgains Academy contains online learning tools to help you get started.
They also have an e-book that’s meant to be a quick guide for growing your business through affiliate marketing.
Crystal ball time – what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months that we should be getting ready for in affiliate marketing?
More start-ups are coming into the channel. There’s also going to be innovation in terms of having new ways of targeting new customers.
We will also see emphasis on ethical shopping and social responsibility and who are the publishers promoting this.
Ami on Social media:
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