Affiliate Profile: Cashback Kings

Written by Kirsty Grimes on . Posted in Interview

I am…
Cashback Kings

You can find me…
www.cashbackkings.com

What best describes my website?
Cashback Kings – the sister site of Rpoints – is simply the smartest way to shop online. Shoppers use the site like a gateway to more than 2,000 online retailers, including blue-chip companies like American Express, Debenhams, Expedia, Currys, M&S, Dell, and Tesco. These retailers pay a referral commission for any business that is passed to their websites, but rather than keeping this commission, Cashback Kings passes the commission straight back to the customer i.e. giving the customer “cashback”.

The best feature on my website is?
Cashback Kings guarantees to pay the highest cashback rates available online. We promise to match (or better) any offer that can be found advertised on other cashback sites.

Which of the following best describes your affiliate activities?
PPC
Niche or true content site
Blog / Personal Website
Product /Price Comparison
Directory
Loyalty site
Coupon or Voucher Code redemption site

What is the best piece of affiliate marketing advice you’ve been given?
With Loyalty it’s all about customer service… make sure you keep your members happy.

What advice would you give to a brand new affiliate programme manager?
PPC works very differently to loyalty so make sure you learn the difference between the two different areas. Also, don’t go assuming what the Affiliate wants… ask them!

What are your thoughts of creating a code of conduct for merchants, affiliates and networks to follow?
Rpoints Limited is a founding member of, and chairs, The Loyalty Association. Founded in November 2007, the Association is a not-for-profit organisation consisting of leading online loyalty sites. The Association aims to maintain the industry’s positive reputation and further improve business relationships between all players involved in the online loyalty industry in the UK. For further information please visit: www.onlineloyalty.net

Which methods have merchants used effectively to motivate you?
Performance based rewards always help to motivate us to promote a particular merchant.

How do you use the AWin index to help profile suitable Merchants?
As a “cashback” site we generally add all available Merchants to our database to help improve the user experience for our members.

Which retailer site has the best content?
IWOOT

Which retailer site has the best functionality?
Currys

Which retailer site has the best style?
Zavvi

Affiliate Profile: Chris Frost

Written by Kirsty Grimes on . Posted in Interview

I am…
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?
 PPC
 Niche or true content site
 Blog / Personal Website
 Product /Price Comparison

 Directory
 Loyalty site
 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.

 

Affiliate Profile: Raymond Theakston AKA Befuddle

Written by Kirsty Grimes on . Posted in Interview

I am…
Raymond Theakston, known as ‘Befuddle’ on the affiliates4u site.

You can find me…
When I’m not in my full time job for Orange in Leeds, I’m updating ShopCodes.co.uk when you sleep or updating my blog at www.befuddled.me.uk.

What best describes my website?
ShopCodes.co.uk is a directory of UK shops and services, with a particular focus on those that offer promotional codes. It has the largest collection of Exclusive retail codes in the UK. I’ve just invested in and acquired ShopCodes.co.uk to help build my own brand. After that site launches later this year, I’ll be working on a mobile version.

The best feature on my website is?
All the codes are clearly visible without any ‘click for code’ buttons that hide content and force new windows to open. All codes or sales that have expired are removed, so I have loyal repeat users.

Which of the following best describes your affiliate activities?
PPC
Niche or true content site
Blog / Personal Website
Product /Price Comparison
Directory
Loyalty site
Coupon or Voucher Code redemption site

What is the best piece of affiliate marketing advice you’ve been given?
To capture visitors email addresses and turn them into loyal users. I’ve now have over 500 subscribers to my RSS and newsletter, which is more than the daily visitor numbers I sometimes receive from SEO.

What advice would you give to a brand new affiliate programme manager?
Your email newsletter is probably the most effective tool you have. So include as much information as possible. If you know a sale ends in two weeks time, say so and I can use that effectively.

What are your thoughts of creating a code of conduct for merchants, affiliates and networks to follow?
I sometimes have to deal with other affiliates copying my codes or content verbatim onto their sites. I don’t know if a code of conduct would help me in this position but I do feel that networks should support and police affiliates where necessary.

Which methods have merchants used effectively to motivate you?
If you email me with the word ‘code’ in it, you’ve got my attention immediately. For all the other merchants that don’t offer voucher codes, I’ve been motivated by receiving some very nice gifts and even a holiday over the past year.

How do you use the AWin index to help profile suitable Merchants?
When it first launched I particularly looked at the poor performers to see if I could help them improve and to see if there was some untapped potential.

What is your favourite blog and why?
There isn’t one blog out there that includes all the elements I like which are inspiration; factual statistics on performance and humour. The closest I’ve seen is Jason Dale’s One Little Duck.

*Interview from the AWin Merchant Newsletter, Thanks Raymond