Chris Frost, an old time affiliate (7 years now), known as either ColdSnail or Frostie on the A4U Forums, often found moaning at www.webaffiliate.co.uk/blog
You can find me…
On MSN during the day (work fulltime for Unilever/Hewlett Packard). During the evening I am either out running or eating/drinking more calories than I wish to count
What best describes my website?
DiscountCodes.co.uk is one of my busiest sites, attracting over 100,000 unique visitors per month. It does exactly what it says on the tin! It’s one of the oldest and one of the most popular code websites out there, now helping ColdSnail generate over £3m of sales via the affiliate marketing channel.
The best feature on my website is?
Untapped resources! I have been collecting newsletter signups for a year, of which I have only sent 1 email out. It’s something that I plan to make better use of this year, concentrating on those merchants that provide me with Exclusive discount codes such as BHS, Boden and The Body Shop. Features on other websites include emailing offers to a friend and also an ever increasing facebook following. Over the next 12 months, I have a few features in development that will run hand in hand with a large PR exercise in the run up to Christmas that’s all I’m saying!
Which of the following best describes your affiliate activities?
Niche or true content site
Blog / Personal Website
Product /Price Comparison
Coupon or Voucher Code redemption site
What is the best piece of affiliate marketing advice you’ve been given?
Having been involved in the industry since 2001, I have been lucky enough to receive advice from a wide range of affiliates. One that has stuck with me, and continues to influence my decisions on which vertical to concentrate on was “develop websites that you have a genuine interest in”. I’ve found that by following this simple piece of advice, my view isn’t blurred by commission levels, incentives or bonuses and makes content writing/updating a piece of cake.
What advice would you give to a brand new affiliate programme manager?
Download my presentation here. Get to know your affiliates – we’re a relaxed bunch who enjoy a beer or two! Plan! If you know a sale is taking place in 2 weeks time, then give us a heads up. Don’t leave it until 5pm on a Friday to tell us. We too have social lives, holidays, families etc and can’t put everything on hold in order to update banners and content. The more notice you provide us, the more targeted we can be, including mentions in our email newsletters!
What are your thoughts of creating a code of conduct for merchants, affiliates and networks to follow?
It’s something that has been banded around for some time and if it results in complete transparency by all those involved in the industry then it can only work in its favour. As for how it is managed or policed is a different issue and one that may be a bit more difficult to agree or overcome. The industry is slowly changing as I’m aware that networks are meeting with each other, reaching agreements on certain industry issues. This is encouraging from an affiliate point of view, and something I expect to spread to merchants and affiliates in coming months/years.
Which methods have merchants used effectively to motivate you?
We all like achievable incentives ranging from free samples and bonus commission levels to holidays! Over the past I have received goodies such as Blackberry’s, holidays to Barbados and Japan, Aftershave and… a pair of knickers! Personally I find either a solid working relationship with a network account manager or with the merchant directly is just as much an incentive as receiving goodies and is key to a long lasting working relationship.
Which retailer site has the best content?
Speaking from a male perspective and in terms of eye candy, then it has to be BeCheeky or Prezzybox
Which retailer site has the best functionality?
Looking at functionality from an online shopper perspective, then I think Woolies has to be up there amongst the best. Their website is very simple, clean and precise and is a dream to navigate.
Which retailer site has the best style?
The makeover that the BuyAGift website received last year, was a huge improvement that was welcomed by many an affiliate. Again the clean cut, minimalistic style suits this merchant and the vertical they operate in. Their account manager, Graham Keen, also has style… or so he thinks!
What is your favourite blog and why?
There are many blogs out there, some offering solid and sound advice, others that are cleverly used as marketing tools or simple ego boosters. I enjoy reading blogs by affiliates, networks or merchants who aren’t afraid to speak the truth, offer something other than self-promotion, and those that assist others in this industry.
3 blogs which fall into this category, which I read regularly are;
Kirsty McCubbin – www.affiliatestuff.co.uk Offers non-stop advice for new and old affiliates alike.
Shane Robinson – www.revenueaddict.com Straight to the point advice, suggestions and rumblings in the PPC world.
Paul Wheatley – www.mooseontheloose.co.uk Another no bull, non-egotistical, self-praising blog on the AM world as a whole.