Archive for May, 2009

IAB’s Affiliate Marketing Council Meeting

Written by Kirsty Grimes on . Posted in Events, IAB

The May meeting for the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Affiliate Marketing Council (AMC) takes place tomorrow (3pm, Thurs 28th May) at the IAB’s offices in Holborn, central London.

The AMC was created two years ago to regulate the affiliate marketing industry and champion its status as a highly effective, performance based marketing channel. As a member of the IAB AMC, Affiliate Window is working with other members to broaden the involvement of all parties involved in affiliate marketing. Therefore if you’ve never attended but would like to take the plunge (we’re a friendly bunch and there’s usually the promise of a free IAB pen and post-meeting beverage) then just drop Dan Redfearn at the IAB an email to let him know dan@iabuk.net. It’s free to attend if you can spare a couple of hours of your time.

The agenda to be discussed tomorrow will be:
• Rebate catching application guidelines
• Ethical merchant charter
• Rewriting current IAB site copy (incl. case studies)
• Forthcoming events
• AOB

If anyone else has anything that they would like to be brought up, either formally or informally, please let the chair Matt Bailey know in advance.

Finally, if you would like to be included on the circular emails that go out with agendas and minutes etc, please can you drop Matt an email on matt.bailey@i-level.com.

i-level Affiliate Surgery – SEO and Content

Written by Kirsty Grimes on . Posted in Events, IAB

Our friends at I-Level, one of the UK’s leading digital marketing agencies, are running what should be an invaluable workshop for affiliates looking to grow their businesses. Here’s some more details;

i-level Affiliate Surgery – SEO and Content

Who are we?

At i-level we passionately believe in the affiliate channel and are committed to helping it grow. Being the largest independent digital agency in Europe we understand the entire digital mix and where affiliates should and do fit in. The affiliate community has been good to us over the years and so now we have decided to give something back.

What’s this all about?

To this end, i-level are proud to announce the i-level Affiliate Surgeries. Drawing on our expertise across sectors we will be hosting a series of seminars aimed at assisting affiliates in increasing their earnings. The first session will be jointly hosted by Matt Bailey, Head of Affiliate, and Judith Lewis, Search Director.

The Affiliate Surgery will be hosted at i-level’s office close to Oxford Circus in Central London at 5-7pm on Tuesday May 26th. This is open to every affiliate, regardless of whether you’ve worked with i-level before or are active on any of our campaigns, this is simply our way of giving something back.

What will we talk about?

Matt will be talking about the emergence of new technologies in the affiliate space and how these can be used to increase your site stickiness, click through rate and conversion, ultimately meaning more money for the affiliate. Matt is the current Chair of the IAB’s Affiliate Council and a popular speaker at events such as A4U Expo and AdTech. He is a passionate proponent of both performance marketing and Manchester City.

Also speaking will be Judith Lewis with her introduction (and so much more) to SEO for affiliates. Learn what you need to know about the fundamentals of how search engines work, how they rank pages, what every site can do and what you really need to know without fluff or filler. This course will be about the white hat, Google-allowed techniques for gaining a higher position in search. It will then go on to give specific examples for affiliates looking to earn even more by examining what is possible and what is practical in affiliate SEO. Delivered by popular speaker Judith Lewis, she shares her love of SEO and chocolate while teaching everyone what they can do themselves now to rank better and drive more traffic.

There are only 30 hot tickets up for grabs so email your vital stats to matt.bailey@i-level.com and you’ll be informed by 21st May if you’ve bagged yourself a spot at the i-level offices in Oxford Circus W1 for the May 26th evening. And hey don’t be greedy – pass this on to a friend

Exciting Changes at Digital Window

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in Network News

As Digital Window the business evolves, then so too must the team. We are therefore pleased to make the following announcement which will ensure we have the necessary infrastructure in place for our continued growth.

Eva Bowring will become a Team Leader for Key Accounts. As one of our most experienced Key Account Managers, Eva has a wealth of experience in dealing with brands in the affiliate channel. Her personality with both clients and employees should guarantee her team a fair balance of professionalism and play hard tactics.
Effective from Wednesday 20th May

Richard Plumridge is to become the new Manager of the Key Accounts Team. Originally recruited for a new business role with Affiliate Window, Richard’s consultative style and approach formed the basis of a shift towards account management. His willingness to offer guidance and support will now cover the whole of Key Accounts ensuring we make the most from our home grown talent.
Effective from Wednesday 20th May

Adrian Botelho will integrate into the Partnerships Team to continue offering development and support for the ShopWindow solution. This role will develop further as the SW verticals take effect allowing Adrian the necessary scope to help shape how ShopWindow will evolve as an effective publisher tool.
Effective from Monday 8th of June

George Fletcher will take the role of Product Manager working within the recently formed Product Team helping to prioritise requests and identify product opportunities throughout the various divisions. The product team has already allowed us to streamline a number of ongoing projects, accelerating their time to market and ensuring issues such as backwards compatibility and commercial viability enhance the value to both the company and the end users.
Effective from Monday 8th of June

Chris Giddins will head up the Product Team as Product Director and continue the excellent work of overseeing the various projects within the organisation. Part research & development, part project management; this role is critical to the company and our development pipeline and one which Chris is ideally qualified to fill.
Effective from Wednesday 20th May

Anthony Clements will become Client Services Director. There should be no surprises here following on from Anthony’s successful tenure as Manager of the Key Accounts Team. His positive impact across the team and keen analysis of programme performance has proved invaluable in assessing current and future plans for growth. This next step will see that influence expanding to cover a number of the client facing divisions.
Effective from Wednesday 20th May

Adam Ross will become Chief Operating Officer. This natural progression ensures the business continues to gain from his strengths. His inherent understanding of many of the divisions through direct involvement has allowed the company to evolve a unique client strategy. This new position will further that evolution enabling us to maintain our lead on the competition.
Effective from Wednesday 20th May

Mark Walters will become Managing Director, helping to implement the necessary controls to allow all heads of divisions to manage resources and work load to maintain or increase profitability. Developing the strategic direction for the business and working with Kevin on opening up new markets are other areas of influence.
Effective from Wednesday 20th May

Kevin Brown’s role as CEO under the new infrastructure will allow him more time to be dedicated to exploring new opportunities for the entire Digital Window business. This focus is key in enabling the business to diversify; identifying new income streams and creating opportunities that offer areas of growth and development for everyone. With new investment on the horizon this time of change will require a return to our entrepreneurial roots.
Effective from Wednesday 20th May

Whilst the UK and global economy struggles to find footing, we are maintaining our growth projections and remain a secure sector for the foreseeable future. 2009 may prove to be pivotal year for Digital Window, we are already a main player in the UK market and our existing strategy is yielding the necessary results to allow us to consolidate that position further.

The company has always maintained an open door policy and accessibility to all senior management is something that will continue. The real test of any change is how much it goes unnoticed so anticipate business to be very much, as usual.

On a personal note, I would like to be the first to congratulate everyone highlighted in this announcement and wish them the very best of luck in their new roles.

Samantha Leigh
Head of Communications

Cast Your Vote for the A4U Awards 2009

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in Events, PerformanceIN

Here at Affiliate Window HQ we are delighted that the affiliate community has seen fit to nominate us in the 2009 A4U Awards, thank you all very much.

This is the third year in a row that we have appeared on the shortlist for Publishers Choice of Network; the last two years have seen us win the category. With features including AWin Analytics, Create-a-Feed, Managed Widgets and the Firefox Plug-In all developed and launched in the last 12 months, we are hoping to make it a hat-trick.

Congratulations also go to Julie Wood who won the 2008 Publishers Choice of Account Manager and has been nominated for the same prestigious title again this year. David Hall, Julie’s line manager, had this to say on her nomination:

“Julie Wood is widely know across the industry as a person who will get things done. Contactable all hours of the day and night, tirelessly reviewing merchant offers and effectively communicating new opportunities across the industry. Julie isn’t one to let the grass grow (nor will she let you rest on your laurels!!). Anyone who works with Julie knows that she will do what is needed to help your affiliate activities succeed.

To know Julie is to vote for Julie, so I hope everyone goes and registers their opinion. ”

In addition to the network’s nominations, a round of applause goes to the following merchants who have also made this year’s shortlist for Publishers Choice of Affiliate Manager:

joshnarld Joshna Patel, Red Letter Days

naomi_headshotNaomi Brown, Firebox

zakprezzybox Zak Edwards, Prezzybox

If you haven’t already cast your vote then you can do so here. We wish all nominees the very best of luck and we look forward to catching up with you on the evening (mine’s a Gin & Tonic ;) ).

Samantha Leigh
Head of Communications

A4U Expo Goes Dutch

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in Events, PerformanceIN

Such is the busy world of affiliate marketing it’s taken me a little while to produce this write up on the A4U Expo held on 28th and 29th of April in Amsterdam but given the significance of the event I wanted to share a few thoughts on it.

I have to admit when Matt Wood announced he was taking the A4U Expo show on the road I didn’t pay much attention to it. Affiliate Window is a UK network with a UK focus and as such I thought there would be limited value in our network having any involvement. But when Matt contacted me asking if I’d like to speak at the event I delved a little deeper into the agenda for the two day conference.

It’s fair to say the Expo struck a good balance, offering a pan-European conference with a British slant. And let’s not forget the Internet isn’t constrained by national borders so there is inevitable crossover between trends and developments.

Highlights for me from these conferences tend to be the areas I know least about. Anything involving SEO tends to attract my interest and sessions on linking strategies and WordPress optimisation tips were particularly informative. As ever the biggest challenge with the Expos is deciding which clashing session you’d like to miss least and as such I usually opt to miss some of the bread and butter affiliate specific content.

Inevitably there were some disappointing sessions and I still think there is work to be done with pushing the level of sophistication available through more advanced sessions but the overall sustained quality Matt manages to squeeze from the small army of speakers is enviable. I’m also keen to help encourage more merchants to participate and share best practice.

My own session (I was part of a panel alongside Affiliate Future, Nectar and TopCashback) was a little disappointing dealing with the cashback and reward market – a market I’ve been led to believe is significantly less developed in mainland Europe compared to its British neighbour – but the perennial challenge is knowing at what level to pitch to as wide an audience as possible without rendering the content too basic or complex.

One interesting nugget I gleaned from the Q&A of my session was how the Dutch market sought to regulate cashback rebate catchers and toolbars late last year. Given this is a discussion that has been running parallel on this side of the water made me wonder if some of the claimed differences between the UK and the rest of Europe aren’t as pronounced as we always assume they are.

Overall the Expo was an excellent opportunity to hear new ideas, meet old friends and discuss the industry away from the cut and thrust of day to day business. As such these will always be invaluable events. The fact that Matt Wood and his team are able to do so in such a professional and polished way is a testament to their hard work and how far we’ve all come as an industry.

I look forward to seeing you all in London for the A4U Expo in October.

Kevin Edwards
Strategy Director