The Internet Advertising Bureau’s Affiliate Council section of the A4U Forum is live.

Written by Sarah on . Posted in IAB

Today saw the launch of a new area on the A4U Forum. The IAB Affiliate Marketing Forum will be, I’m sure, a hot bed of discussion!

Everyone wants to see our industry raise its profile and gain ever-greater credibility and the Affiliate Marketing Council, through the IAB, has provided us with an excellent platform to do this. The members of the council have to date been very proactive, producing; The Affiliate Marketing Handbook, an FAQ’s database of Affiliate Marketing, a blueprint for a devising a Best Practice Accreditation and now its own Discussion Forum.

In an industry where the mantra, “Communication, Communication, Communication” is often heard, this discussion forum is an important step; it gives the council a means to report on what is being talked about and for everyone to have their say. This will help the Council to better shape its ideas and implement successful strategies to improve Affiliate Marketing for all.

We should thank the A4U for recognising the role they play in developing the industry. I for one look forward to seeing the widest variety of views and ideas fleshed out in meetings and on the forum throughout 2008.

Merchant Training Seminar November 2007

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in Events

Maybe it was our staff presenters, possibly it was our guest speaker, potentially it was the presence of an affiliate in the audience or just perhaps it was the drinks after the event… who knows? Whatever it was our guests seemed thoroughly pleased with our latest Merchant Training Seminar!

Post seminar networking Last Friday we hosted our fifth training event (held quarterly) at the Novotel in Greenwich. As well as some fantastic food we also treated our merchants to a whole host of presentations covering everything from ‘Who Affiliates Really Are’ to ‘Optimising Your Commission Structure’. The course is designed for merchants who have recently launched on Affiliate Window network. The objective is to introduce techniques that will help merchants develop and profit from an efficient affiliate marketing campaign.

AWin staff deliver most of the sessions but the most popular was ‘Memoirs of an Affiliate Marketer’ from our guest speaker, Ben Hart of Evans Cycles. With feedback such as “Fascinating!” and “Absolutely fantastic to hear from someone who has been there”, we’ll definitely continue to call on the experience of existing merchants for events. A surprise hit was our affiliate attendee, Mr Keith Budden. We had not intended for Keith to have to earn his lunch, but network staff and delegates were keen to hear his perspective on the industry and he proved to be an invaluable addition to the day, thanks for your input Keith :-) .

In 2008 we will host these events on a more frequent basis so that a greater number of merchants can benefit from this highly valuable part of our service. We are also exploring the possibilities of Intermediate and Advanced level days for experienced affiliate managers to come and discuss and develop ideas with a panel of industry experts including affiliates, agency and network staff.

If you feel you would benefit from attending our next Merchant Training Seminar, most likely to be in January 2008, then simply drop me an e-mail at samantha.leigh@affiliatewindow.com and I’ll make sure you’re kept updated.

Thanks to all those involved in the event, you all did a fantastic job!

Analysing Programme Performance

Written by Kevin Edwards on . Posted in Publisher Tips, Technology

A recent thread on the A4U Forum questioned the availability of sale approval statistics (the number of sales validated) for one of our programmes.

This made me realise that perhaps at Affiliate Window we don’t make it clear enough that we offer a wide range of data to help affiliates make considered decisions about the programmes they can promote, all readily available to download, including the above statistic. In fact I don’t think any other network in the UK offers such a complete range of information for its affiliates.

So what’s available? Well hopefully you’re aware of the AWin Index (a snapshot rating for every single programme on the network). This is displayed numerically as a score out of 100, enabling affiliates to compare programmes within a given sector to see the best of breed for that vertical.

The AWin Index is based on four key metrics
Earnings per click (EPC)
Validation period (the average time it takes a sale to be processed)
Conversion (click to sale percentage)
Approval rate (percentage of sales that are approved).

Awin Index Example

Having established this information we iron out discrepancies by using 3 months worth of data and then apply standard deviation to arrive at a reliable ‘average of the average’ score.

The Awin Index has been very well received and allows us to encapsulate at a glance the quality of the programme.  You are able to download a pretty hefty spreadsheet featuring all the data mentioned above and more. Besides sector categorisation you can also see commission ranges and product feed status.
When I started at Affiliate Window around a year ago I realised this data was available however we were unnecessarily quiet about its availability!  So we recently put the data together in a colour coded spreadsheet and distributed to some of our biggest and up and coming affiliates. Whilst it’s difficult to quantify the knock on effect there’s no doubt that making this information available allows all affiliates to make an informed choice. No one is guaranteeing a programme’s performance but if you’re armed with the tools you need you can at least make an educated appraisal of its potential success.

And if you’d like to pull the data for yourself log into your account, click on ‘Join New Merchants’ or ‘Current Merchants’ and download the information in a .csv file by clicking on the Excel icon.

So what for the future? We don’t want to rest on our laurels and as a network that prides itself on development we want to enhance the product offering. So fire away; if there’s specific data, information or reporting you require we really want to hear about it. You can either post here or drop me an email: Kevin.Edwards@affiliatewindow.com

Who let the blogs out?

Written by Sarah on . Posted in Network News

Affiliate Window has wanted to join the blogging community for some time now and so I am delighted that you’re reading this post because it means we have launched the Affiliate Window Blog.

The blog aims to give the affiliate marketing community of merchants, publishers and agencies an insiders view on the goings on at Affiliate Window.

As time goes by you will see a wide range of entries that cover; network news, AWin technology updates, ideas about using our services, industry comment and opinion and advice about programme performance and improvement.

Your input will be invaluable, so please add your comments to posts that interest you. We hope that you learn, laugh and interact with our blog in the weeks and months to come.

David