Archive for September, 2010

Free MOO Business Cards, exclusively with Affiliate Window!

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in PR & Press Releases

The lovely guys over at moo.com are an enthusiastic and creative bunch; they’re also extremely generous too! Not only do they offer 15% commission on all sales through their programme, but they are also offering all publishers signed up to Affiliate Window 50 free business cards.

The MOO team want to help affiliates promote their websites and business, as well as experience the MOO brand so they can fully understand why customers the world over choose their innovative print products. Create a “portfolio for your pocket” using MOO’s simple online system to build your own bespoke business cards… all you pay is the P&P.

Born out of a love of beautiful, high-quality print, MOO combines the values of professional design with the accessibility and reach of the web. With their patent-pending ‘Printfinity’ technology, MOO helps its customers to promote their business, brand, products or personality, by printing a different image on every card in a pack.

Printing millions of cards a month, MOO has hundreds of thousands of customers in over 180 countries. The company has also become a much-loved brand, with a 75% NetPromoter rating, and winning 3 Webby awards (the web’s Oscars). MOO has also been profiled in the Financial Times, and was ranked in the top 10 UK start-up companies by the Guardian Newspaper.

Take advantage of this fantastic free offer now by visiting the MOO and Affiliate Window offer page. No promotional code is required! PLEASE NOTE: this offer is open to Affiliate Window affiliates only and not meant for distribution to consumers. MOO will not pay commissions on any sales that are generated from this offer.

Like what you’ve seen? Then the next step is to join the MOO programme and start promoting their fabulous range of customisable printed products including Business Cards, MiniCards, Postcards, Greeting Cards, and Stickers. Any questions? Simply drop the MOO Affiliate Team a line on affiliates@moo.com. They’re happy to discuss any and all opportunities for affiliates on the MOO programme – from discount codes and tailored copy, to consumer competitions and bespoke banners.

For publishers reading this article who have yet to join the Affiliate Window network you can find out more here.

Review, Reviewed

Written by Lisa Chaikin on . Posted in Network News, PR & Press Releases

Last night Digital Window hosted its 4th annual black tie reception, Review, at the exquisite Altitude 360. With spectacular views of famous London landmarks including The River Thames, The London Eye, and The Houses of Parliament, the evening was the perfect setting for us to thank all of our clients and partners for their continuing support and to celebrate the successes we have enjoyed throughout the year.

Over 300 merchants, affiliates, agencies and other industry representatives attended the gala and enjoyed divine food, copious amounts of wine, and a memorable evening of strengthening existing relationships and forging new ones.

As the after party commenced, the infamous Digital Window vodka luge became the evening’s hot spot in addition to the photo booth snapping some hysterical pictures, the digital graffiti wall and of course the dance floor which didn’t stop rocking until 3 am.

Jo Lyons from e2Save commented; “All of us at e2save thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at last night’s annual black tie event. Not only were we able to meet new affiliates and discuss possible promotional opportunities but it also gave us the chance to meet up with some our top performing affiliates and thank them for all their hard work. Thanks again for a wonderful night, once again Digital Window exceeded our expectations.”

On behalf of Digital Window, thank you again to everyone that attended and helped to make the evening a memorable one.

A few snaps of the evening can be found on our facebook page. All photos from the photo booth can be found here.

Please use the following login details to access the photos.

Username: digital
Password: window

Lisa Chaikin
PR Manager

Red Letter Days’ Affiliate Incentives Set the Standard This Christmas

Written by Lisa Chaikin on . Posted in PR & Press Releases

With Christmas only four pay days away, the affiliate channel is already gearing up for the peak trading season. Engagement and motivation are key at this competitive time of year, so to follow-up on their 2010 a4u award-winning incentive scheme, Red Letter Days has launched its Christmas rewards for affiliates.

Following the same successful theme but with added benefits, the scheme again offers a host of rewards accessible to affiliates of all sizes and types.

With guaranteed prizes for hitting realistic sales tiers, plus 5 luxury UK breaks and a South African adventure to be won, this year’s Christmas incentive is set to achieve Red Letter Days’ aim to continually build on its award-winning formula.

Red Letter Days Affiliate Manager, Joshna Patel, said the company’s success at the a4u Awards this year created a challenge to deliver even bigger and better incentives this Christmas.

“Our goal was to once again ensure that rewards are within the reach of every affiliate, as well as offering some inspirational top prizes to spur everyone on to reach for that once-in-a-lifetime South African holiday for two,” Joshna said.

“The lucky winner of our top prize will have plenty of stories to dine out on for years to come, after experiencing skydiving, great white shark diving, sandboarding, kite surfing and abseiling down the famous Table Mountain.

“We also have a range of luxury breaks across the UK to give away, and we’ve made sure our holiday prizes are within the reach of all affiliates by incorporating criteria beyond sales alone.

“For example, the affiliate judged to have the best Red Letter Days landing page or blog post will have their choice of staying at the Savoy, Chewton Glenn or St Andrews.

“Other criteria such as improvement in performance rather than just overall sales volume ensure that the democratic approach to rewards which we’re known for continues this year.”

Full details of Red Letter Days’ Christmas 2010 Incentives can be found here.

Relocation Plans for Newcastle Operations

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in Network News, PR & Press Releases

Today Digital Window Ltd. announces the relocation of their Newcastle operation to London, scheduled closure of the Newcastle office will occur no sooner than  31st March 2011.

Having conducted a thorough strategic review of the business as a whole, following the purchase of competitor affiliate network buy.at in March 2010, it has been concluded that all Digital Window’s UK operations should be located in London. With buy.at’s London operation already successfully integrated with existing Digital Window franchises, centralising this remaining outpost will further strengthen the working relationships and processes that have already been formed.  Additional office space has already been secured which will enable the business to continue to grow within close proximity throughout the coming years.

Every member of staff in the Newcastle office will be given the support and opportunity to transfer to the London office with additional job guarantees. Tailored relocation assistance will be provided, including the use of a specialist relocation agency.

Mark Walters, Managing Director added; “The Newcastle office staff have operated remotely from the core of the Digital Window business since the acquisition and whilst I applaud their efforts to date, the business benefits of relocating to London are numerous.  We will make every effort to help all individuals affected by this transition and trust that the lengthy lead time and support on offer will allow us to keep everyone within the organisation.”

The relocation of buy.at operations from Newcastle to London will not affect merchant or affiliate service levels and planning has begun to ensure a smooth transition over the coming months.

For all PR enquiries please contact:
Lisa Chaikin
PR Manager, Digital Window

e: lisa.chaikin@digitalwindow.com
t: 020 7553 0333

A Jolly Holiday Event at the IAB

Written by Sarah on . Posted in Events, IAB

Yesterday Affiliate Window had the honour of presenting at the IAB’s third annual Travel Forum. Following on from the success of previous years, the day promised to be varied, informative and relevant. Alongside a line up of guests from big travel brands and respected agencies, Affiliate Window was invited to speak about running a successful affiliate programme in the travel sector. As the account manager for Opodo and the lowcosttravelgroup, I was asked to represent the network with a rundown of the key points for travel brands to keep in mind, as well as highlighting case studies from recent successful campaigns.

Other speakers included Expedia’s Faye Sheppard, Microsoft Advertising’s Caroline Mastoras and Big Mouth Media’s Anneli Ritari. There were many useful talking points thrown up by the presentations, with the role of social media, re-targeted ads, SEO and mobile all up for debate. A whole spectrum of approaches to online campaigns were put forward; from new technologies being explored by Microsoft, to a case for a more 1950s view of display campaigns advanced by Adam Pattinson of Specific Media.

Presentations given on the day are now available via the IAB website.

Many thanks to everyone at the IAB for organising the event, and a special thank you to Jon Mews for chairing proceedings with a particularly special sense of humour!

Katherine Eames, Account Manager

Google’s Instant Search: Some Considerations

Written by Sarah on . Posted in Technology

In the short time that has followed Google’s release of Instant search much has already been written about the possible ramifications for online marketing in general. Whilst it is certainly too early to assess the impact of giving users immediate feedback on their search queries, we can make an initial assessment of the considerations it raises for advertisers and affiliates.

It might seem obvious that as results now display instantaneously and change as the search terms are entered – without users having to hit enter after each search – it follows that users will refine their searches as they go, based on what they think of the instantaneously-served results.

However, it is not for certain that people know what it is they want to find before they start searching for it. Will users really continue refining their searches by using longer and longer search queries, or will they want to keep their options open and explore the web based on the results closest to a more limited string of terms?

For example, a user might know that they want to buy at 32 inch LCD TV, but beyond that they might not have a preference – or not have enough information to be able to decide – about the TV’s exact specification (brand, colour, serial number, etc). They might therefore decide to search on keywords related to ‘32 inch LCD TVs’, but not extend their Google search further than that. Any deeper comparisons may be done on the rest of the web, away from Google. If this is the case, we might wonder whether sites optimised for longer tail keywords are really in a better position following this change, as some have already argued.

Google’s attempt to predict with ever-greater accuracy what a user is looking for might be more effective on brand-led search terms than ones where generic terms lead. Compare the difference in results, for example, on ‘Comet sales’ against a generic term that is also related to a brand: ‘Low cost holidays’. The impact on sites that are dependent for their traffic on mis-spellings could be significant, but at the same time Google is good enough at predictive corrections to suggest results that have already anticipated the most common mis-spellings. Generic terms however are another matter. A company whose brand name incorporates a generic search term, such as ‘Low Cost Holidays’ or ‘Sports Shoes’ (or even part of a generic term), might find that users bypass the opportunity to click-through to their sites and opt to continue typing, refining their searches as Google automatically suggests results tailored to those generic terms and attempting more accurate and informed click-throughs. As such, Instant Search could potentially lead users further away from the advertiser quicker, and therefore it might be necessary for these advertisers to rank better for long-tail generic terms, or brand + generic long-tail terms (‘low cost holiday car rental’ or ‘low cost holiday travel insurance’, for instance).

Advertisers may find it necessary to look to affiliates to support them to a greater extent for long-tail keywords that follow common generic search queries. For example, at present Google returns results for Tesco, Curry’s and John Lewis on ‘LCD TV’; for Curry’s and Tesco on ‘LCD TV 32 inch’; but for none of these three on the longer tail ‘LCD TV 32 inch reviews’.

If we imagine a scenario in which users know roughly what they want – a TV, or travel insurance, for example – but not exactly what they want (or are not willing to search for exactly what they want) – a 32 inch Samsung LCD TV, for example – then searches are likely to stop somewhere ‘in the middle’: on a relatively short but nonetheless product- or service-specific search term. Users are unlikely to be satisfied with the results presented very early on in their Instant searches. A user beginning their search with the term ‘car’, for instance, does not necessarily want to shop at the first suggested results: Carphone Warehouse. Google’s Instant search results invite the user to extend their search far enough until Google has found an apt suggestion for their query. However, users may not wish to keep searching beyond what they are absolutely sure of looking for in case they miss potentially good offers or want to keep their options open.

We might compare this situation to an analogous one that has faced price comparison sites. As comparison sites have become more and more sophisticated, users are invited to refine their searches to an ever greater degree. It is no longer enough for a user to know they want an LCD TV, they are invited to go further and specify the brand, the colour, the dimensions and more in-depth specifications. As argued above however, it is not always clear that potential customers are yet aware of what they want to this extent, and even if they were, whether they would be willing to risk missing out on deals, offers, or similar products by going through a more in-depth search. One possible implication for affiliates might therefore be that the hard work of converting the sale would still take place on affiliates’ site, despite their route to this site from Google being slightly different, perhaps shorter.

There are however a few things that the appearance of Instant search makes more certain. One might be that the greater the use of Instant search the less important that below-the-fold results will be. This is likely in turn to privilege the paid results, which for most popular keywords with Instant search appear to be more prominent and more numerous than organic listings. Searches will be quicker, and so the impression times for each paid ad will be shorter, but the relative importance of the placement of these ads against the rest of the search results will be greater as the generic terms further down the page will get seen less. However, we might wonder whether people will still prefer to cast their eyes up and down the results page after each search, rather than only at the top few results with Instant search.

There is a final consideration to think about. If Google is expecting that users are more likely to continue searching for something until they find results which offer them what they are looking for, exposure to paid ads is going to be far greater, even if they are not clicked on precisely because the paid ads change as the queries change. For example, suppose a user wants to search for ‘mobile phone exchange’ with the intention of getting cashback on their old handset. The keyword ‘mobile’ might return paid ads for Carphone Warehouse, as might the extension to ‘mobile phone’. Finally, if the full search term, ‘mobile phone exchange’, also shows a paid ad for Carphone Warehouse the user will have been exposed to Carphone Warehouse ads at every stage of their search – essentially, for three different search terms. Surely this would increase the chance of them clicking the Carphone Warehouse ad, even if its position was lower than a competitor’s – such as Mobile Phone Xchange’s – given the likelihood that the user now has the impression that Carphone Warehouse is the best possible result for their mobile-related query? Carphone Warehouse could be embedded in the user’s mind as synonymous with mobiles.

Search habits and attitudes vary from person to person, as does the way we interact with our computers when we search. Think, for example, of the difference in user experience for someone who touch-types and can look at a page of results at the same time as they search, compared to someone who looks from the keyboard to the screen alternately. The introduction of Instant search by Google might be seen as a part of its wider strategy to bridge the gap between what the user looks for and what they find, and therefore an attempt to keep users on Google and diminish the time spent hopping around the rest of the web. We will have to wait and see however to what extent users adopt the new service or reject it, and how affiliates and advertisers adapt to this new way of conducting search.

Owen Hewitson

Client Strategist