This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
By Shawn Collins
9 Tips for
By Mike Allen
Rise of Afﬁliate
By Ricky Ahuja
Practice Safe Email
By Khris Thayer
Issue 14 | April 2011 The Ofﬁcial Magazine of Afﬁliate Summit
The Official Magazine of Affiliate Summit Issue 15 | August 2011
Imagine your face
on the cover of
FeedFront | April 2011
02 Editors’ Note: Keep Afﬁliate
By Shawn Collins
03 Afﬁliate Tax: 9 Tips for
By Mike Allen
04 Taking a Podcast to the Next
By Daniel M. Clark
05 Avoiding Copyright Issues
While Using Someone’s
By Riley Pool
07 A Newbie’s Guide to Afﬁliate
By Rob Merlino
08 Three Ways to Improve Your
By Charles Bohannan
09 5 Steps for Successful
By Jen Goode
10 Online Advertising and the
Evolving Privacy Landscape
By Richard Newman
11 Content Marketing & Social
Media: The New SEO
By Chad H. Pollitt
12 Afﬁliate Summit West 2011
By Shawn Collins
14 Using Exact-Match Domains
to Improve SEO and Trafﬁc
By Morgan Linton
16 When Do You Plan Your Q4
By Adam Riemer
17 Merchant Terms: Protecting
or Hurting Afﬁliate
By Deborah Carney
18 The Beneﬁts of In-Person
By Nick Throlson
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 1
19 Rise of Afﬁliate Marketing in
By Ricky Ahuja
20 Implement Audience
to Drive the Highest
By Russ Riley
22 Succeed by Doing What
By Tom Wozniak
23 Titles Don’t Matter & Titles
By Greg Hoffman & Lisa Riolo
24 Emailers Beware: Vigilantes
Are On the Prowl!
By Rachel Corcoran
25 Simple Mobile Strategies for
By Dustin Donham
26 Congress Intercepts “Data
By William Rothbard
27 Practice Safe Email
By Khris Thayer
28 Plowing through the Slumps
of Afﬁliate Marketing
By Nick Reese
Co-Editors in Chief
Missy Ward, Shawn Collins
Missy Ward, Shawn Collins
Ricky Ahuja, Mike Allen, Charles
Bohannan, Deborah Carney, Daniel
M. Clark, Shawn Collins, Rachel
Corcoran, Dustin Donham, Jen
Goode, Morgan Linton, Rob Merlino,
Richard Newman, Chad Pollitt, Riley
Pool, Nick Reese, Adam Riemer, Russ
Riley, Lisa Riolo, Bill Rothbard, Khris
Thayer, Nick Throlson, Missy Ward,
Afﬁliate Summit , Inc.
522 Hunt Club Blvd. #411
Apopka, FL 32703
tel (417)-2SUMMIT (278-6648)
fax (908) 364-4627
Articles in FeedFront Magazine
are the opinions of the author
and may not necessarily reﬂect
the views of the magazine, or its
owners. FeedFront Magazine always
welcomes opinions of an opposite
For more information, visit: www.
Interested in advertising? Please
advertising/ or email us at:
© 2011 Afﬁliate Summit, Inc. and
2 | April 2011| FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
Afﬁliate marketing isn’t just a business. It’s a lifestyle.
No, not the one you see on lame books on the industry
that promises yachts and bling. I’m talking about free-
spirits that come from all walks of life who have this
common connection of ﬁre in their belly.
There was an entertaining post recently at AdHustler.com
that stated, “ Afﬁliate Marketing Brings Unlikely People
Ad Hustler cites an example of two fun characters in the
industry who are unlikely buddies...
“There are probably tons of unlikely
friendships within the affliate marketing space
but I always fnd it funny to observe Jason
Rubacky & Eric Nagel. Jason is a tattooed,
crazy, hip-hop loving maniac who lives &
breathes being ShareASale’s well known
affliate manager. Eric is more like that nerdy
kid who loved computers in high school and
got straight A’s in every class. Yet, these 2
guys are like peas in a pod and you see them
hanging out at every affliate conference. I’m
not knocking either one of them. In fact, they
are awesome people and I’m friends with
both of them. My point here is when did you
ever see the tattooed maniac & the kid getting
straight A’s hang out in high school? You
It’s just the fun ﬂavor of the industry. Instead of wearing
suits, we wear smiles. And some of us wear tattoos
related to our business.
On the day before Afﬁliate Summit West 2011, my
partner Missy and I took a quick trip to Club Tattoo at
the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops in Las Vegas, so
we could each get the Afﬁliate Summit logo as a tattoo
(that’s the cover of this issue).
But we’re not alone in having the compulsion to brand
ourselves with our brand.
The aforementioned Jason Rubacky of ShareASale got
one of his own during Afﬁliate Summit for a brand he’s
There are, at least, two other people who were at
Afﬁliate Summit with tattoos of their brand.
Rae Hoffman has one of
her Sugarrae logo, and
Greg Hoffman has some
You think we like what
Anyhow, when it comes
to those clowns that
write about getting rich
quick. They’re not part
of our tribe. No, they
are already dreaming up their next scam over Ramen.
Shawn is a Co-founder of Afﬁliate Summit and Co-
Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, and you can
follow him @afﬁliatetip on Twitter.
Editors’ Note - 14th Issue
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 3
Many legislators view online shopping transactions as
potential sources of revenue. Since a state can only
compel sellers with a physical presence, or nexus, within
their borders to collect sales tax, they have no authority
to require this of online and catalog retailers located
outside their state. While most online retailers serve a
national market, many have nexus in only one or two
Since 2008, legislation has been proposed in nearly two
dozen states and passed in three to compel out-of-state
online retailers to collect sales taxes from their residents.
In “afﬁliate tax states” the law deﬁnes afﬁliate marketers
as establishing nexus for out-of-state retailers.
Many online retailers have responded by dissolving their
afﬁliate relationships within those states. The result has
been little new sales tax growth. Because afﬁliates are
job creators, the state also loses income tax revenues as
afﬁliate marketing income and jobs are lost and afﬁliates
relocate to more tax-friendly havens.
As a matter of self-preservation, afﬁliates have felt
compelled to ﬁght such afﬁliate tax proposals. Many
have asked how they can better address the issues and
inﬂuence the debate. Here are some suggestions for
maximizing your impact:
1. Do your homework ﬁrst – go online and read the
proposed law (called a “bill”) thoroughly.
2. Evaluate how it personally impacts you and your
3. Track the bill’s status regularly. Note all legislators on
the committee where the bill is assigned -- they have
the power to amend or even kill it.
4. Carefully plan your response – practice until you
can express it in less than one minute. Stress that
afﬁliate marketing creates jobs. Tell how the afﬁliate
tax will hurt you (and your employees, if applicable).
Point out how your business will suffer if this bill
5. Summarize the above details into a one page fact
sheet (bullet points are good). Include bill number,
title, and your source references. Bring multiple
copies to any meeting.
6. When contacting legislators, be brief, honest, and
to the point. Personal meetings and phone calls are
far better than impersonal emails. Be polite and
respectful. Don’t argue or burn bridges. Offer to help
by providing personal testimonials and data from
other states. The Performance Marketing Association
(PMA) and the major afﬁliate networks have
resources that you can use.
7. Encourage co-workers and employees to contact
their legislators (their jobs could be at stake). If you
have employees, personally contact each of their
legislators as well.
8. Don’t forget to talk with legislative staff members
(they’re very inﬂuential).
9. If possible, form an advocacy group with a positive
name (Afﬁliates Create Jobs, for example). Contact
legislators and local and state news media outlets on
behalf of your group.
After your meeting, be sure to promptly provide any
promised materials. Also, sending a hand-written
thank-you note can help build valuable, long-term
Afﬁliates are innovative and need to be part of this
debate. As entrepreneurs, some should probably even
run for ofﬁce!
Mike is “Chief Executive Shopper” at Shopping-
Bargains.com, a Mississippi-based coupon and deal
By Mike Allen
adapter. Your headphones should
reliably reproduce exactly what your
recording will sound like, so don’t
skimp and try to use the ear buds
that came with your cell phone. You
can get into a great pair of quality
headphones for under $100.
Solo podcasters that never have
guests may send the audio from the
mixer into a computer for recording.
If you’re using your computer’s in/
out for a Skype mix-minus with a
co-host or guest, you cannot record
on the computer unless you have
more than one sound card or set of
input/outputs. In this case, you’ll
want to connect your mixer’s output
to a second computer or to a digital
recorder, such as a Tascam DR-07.
Recordings can be moved to the
computer later for processing and
uploading. Recorder prices vary
wildly, anywhere from $50 up to
$500. The better units start around
You’ve spent about $700 and you’re
ready to start producing professional
quality podcasts. Congratulations,
you’ve entered a whole new world.
The good news at the end here is
that connecting everything together
is pretty straightforward. All the
cables you need can be bought at
the same locations as the equipment
and many guides and diagrams
exist online to get you going. Happy
Daniel M. Clark is a podcasting
consultant and the founder of
tarting out as a podcaster with a cheap headset and free software
is ideal for a beginner, but what do you do when you want to
take your show’s quality to the next level? The most dramatic
impact you can have on the quality of your show is to change to a
Nothing is more crucial to your sound than your microphone. For podcasters,
one of the most important considerations in a microphone is the directional
pattern. Omnidirectional microphones pick up every sound in the room–bad
for voice work. A unidirectional microphone, like the Heil PR-40, is perfect
for podcasters. It’s a dynamic microphone, requires no external power, and
provides fantastic range. Another solid microphone is the Shure SM58. Good
microp hones will run between $150 and $350.
To use a high-quality microphone, you’ll need a mixer. Hundreds of styles
exist, some featuring USB or FireWire. Podcasters generally won’t need
more than a 4 to 8 channel mixer, and don’t think that USB/FireWire is
automatically the way to go. Any analog mixer can connect just ﬁne to a
computer using the computer’s sound card. Don’t be intimidated! Mixers
are deceptively easy to learn how to use. Look for brands like Mackie or
Behringer, and budget for $250 or less.
The name of the game with headphones is comfort. Your headphones
shouldn’t be too tight; the cups should ﬁt around your ears without
pressing on your ears at all. Mixers have 1/4” jacks for headphones; if
your headphones ship with a 1/8” connector, you’ll need an (inexpensive)
Daniel M. Clark
4 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
By Daniel M. Clark
Being an afﬁliate in the dating vertical, I come across
these clauses daily. As such, I’d like to share with you
three instances where things could have gotten very
1. A while ago, I used a friend’s picture with verbal
permission. Regreably it later ended up in a
massively distributed ﬁle across the web and she
complained about stalkers using her picture.
2. Last year, an extremely popular dang adverser
sent out a lawsuit noﬁcaon to all their aﬃ liates.
Thankfully, I wasn’t aﬀected by this lawsuit.
3. Melissa Theuriau, the French reporter, whose likeness
you can sll see on many sites was used without
permission earning her a Wikipedia menon.
To protect you rself from situations like these, I suggest
having your attorney draft a licensing agreement
template and securing images that won’t get you into
To ﬁnd great images to use, I recommend looking on
Facebook for local photographers. They will often know
individuals that want to model and might be receptive
to your request to use their photos. You can also save
yourself all of this trouble by purchasing stock images
from any number of sources online. These images work
pretty well for most landing pages. Be forewarned, just
because you bought the images from a third-party, it
doesn’t always give you legal permission to use the
Although it may be a little more trouble and cost
intrusive to obtain permission to use someone’s likeness,
it’s a great way to help protect your company, yourself
and your assets from possible legal trouble from the
person pictured. It will also keep you out of hot water
with your trafﬁc sources, your afﬁliate networks and
possible commission reversals.
Riley Pool is a high-volume lead generation
specialist for the world’s most popular online
ave you ever wanted to use someone’s
picture on one of your landing pages
or creative? Did you worry about a
potential lawsuit for using their likeness
without permission? I know I have and
I was determined to combat this often
overlooked issue facing afﬁliates.
Typically, before being able to promote an offer, you
must agree to the advertiser’s terms and conditions. In
many cases, there will be a clause stating that you must
show proof of ownership of all material used in your
Other programs may also ask that the images ﬁt
within their brand guidelines and do not damage their
reputation. Failure to comply with these terms can
result in having your afﬁliate commissions reversed and
potentially being kicked out of the program and network.
By Riley Pool
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 5
To Iearn more and Bnd out why top retaIIers choose ShareASaIe,
IoIIow MattIngIy the dog to shareasaIe.com and sIgn up!
thirds of the sessions left me feeling
as if I had an incomplete experience.
If you follow these simple tips and
approach Afﬁliate Summit with
curiosity and energy, you will have
an educational, enjoyable, and
Rob Merlino publishes
HotDogStories.com and a several
dozen niche websites.
n my previous careers,
I’ve attended many trade
shows as an exhibitor and
attendee. I attended
my ﬁrst Afﬁliate Summit
this past January in Las
Vegas. I knew the basics
about how to approach
this sort of event, but in
many ways, I was still a “newbie.”
One of the best things an Afﬁliate
Summit newbie can do is sign up for
the Afﬁliate Summit forum at forum.
afﬁliatesummit.com and start doing
some pre-show networking. This is
very helpful because you will be able
to ﬁnd other attendees with similar
interests and arrange for face to
face meetings while at the event.
This strategy worked very well for
me and I was able to make some
great connections before I even
landed in Las Vegas.
It’s important to check the
conference agenda prior to the event
to see which sessions to attend
and plan accordingly. Having a set
schedule keeps you on task during
a very intense three days. Make
it a point to attend every keynote
speech, too; the speakers are
always people who have had success
in various areas and their insight
is priceless. But, if an important
meeting pre-empts a session that
you wanted to see, you can always
catch it on video if you are on a
Gold, Platinum or Diamond pass
The Meet Market and exhibits are
great places to ﬁnd new products
and services. Try to stop at every
booth and see if you can develop
new partnerships. You can research
exhibitors in advance on the Afﬁliate
Summit website. The sheer number
of exhibitors can make this seem
like a daunting task, but it will be
well worth it.
By Rob Merlino
You should also decide in advance
on your networking approach. Some
folks want to meet as many people
as possible at the event, collect a
bunch of business cards, and follow
up with them later.
I prefer to “go deep” and make
strong connections that will last
long after the conference is over.
Whichever approach you prefer, or
whether you do a little of both, make
sure you bring plenty of business
cards. I went through 500 cards at
Afﬁliate Summit West 2011!
Also, there are tons of parties at
Afﬁliate Summit, and you should try
to attend a few. I found it a bit too
loud to do any quality networking at
some parties, but it’s good to blow
off some steam after a long hard
day of networking. Just don’t overdo
it, so that you can be fresh for the
The one thing I would do differently
is get at least a Platinum pass, which
gets you access to all the sessions.
Even though it’s more expensive,
there is real value in the education
you receive at the individual
sessions, and missing out on two
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 7
chest of opportunity for people who
can create great content.
Charles is obsessed with
creating and advocating great
content and blogs at
ince afﬁliates focus
on marketing, it’s
no wonder that
with creating great
may sometimes be
necessary, but it can
results and become
a drain on time and
Here are a few simple suggestions to
help improve your content:
Maintain a Blog
Even if you don’t consider yourself
a blogger, having a blog can very
helpful for a number of reasons.
First of all, creating content on a
consistent basis will help you get
comfortable writing and establishing
your voice. Once you discover your
voice, it’s much easier to express
yourself with personality and
conﬁdence. That’s when people
really start listening.
Another reason to have a blog is to
spread your ideas to people eager
to listen to them. A reader may like
something you wrote and get in
touch with you to collaborate on a
Don’t worry about sounding like
a seasoned expert. It’s more
important to get your point across
in clear, easy to understand
language. If you’re really inhibited,
your blog can start off as a private
project that only you engage with
until you establish a comfort level
with your writing. But don’t wait too
Collaborate with other
Bloggers and Writers
I’m not talking about outsourcing
here - it’s about developing
relationships with more experienced
writers and bloggers in your niche.
Get in contact with them and offer
some sort of reciprocal beneﬁt in
exchange to have them write some
content for you, or at least give a
good edit to what you already might
Of course, the stronger your
connections and ability to offer
something in return, the more
bargaining power you’ll have. Just
remember - it’s all about mutual
Teach Yourself How to
Write and Edit
This option, of course, is the most
time consuming and requires the
most commitment, but in the long
run it has the most payoff.
Anyone who has the skill to produce
their own content—good content—
will be the one who ultimately
comes out ahead. There are volumes
of savvy people marketing online,
which provides an entire treasure
8 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
By Charles Bohannan
5 Steps for Successful
By Jen Goode
We attend events to meet with like-minded people in
a face-to-face setting. Sometimes we have meetings
to discuss business details, while other times we
offer a quick handshake and swap cards. With all the
conferences and meet-ups we attend each year, we cross
paths with hundreds of potential business relationships.
How do we turn these introductions into real
These 5 steps will help you prepare and make the most
out of your networking time.
Organize and take notes
Take all the cards you’ve collected out of the stack
and store them in a small notebook where you can
include notes. Write down items to remember such as
information about the company, what interest you had
in them, or they in you. If you store cards in separate
notebooks for each event, later you will be able to
reference contacts according to when you met as well as
keep track of when you make contact later.
Do your homework, then prioritize
It’s important to follow up as soon after an event as
possible so both you and the lead can easily continue
the conversation you started. However, it’s even more
important to make sure you are prepared for the
conversation. Go through the notes you took, gather
additional information, check out websites, products or
services and look into any other helpful details before
you reach out. Prioritize the leads so you have a list to
follow based on that criteria.
Reach out in the right direction
Since you’ve taken notes about each contact you should
have a good idea what way to best reach out after the
show. If they asked that you copy someone else on
emails, they prefer phone calls or usually need a week
to recuperate from the show, respect that information
and use it to your advantage. Paying attention to these
details shows you listened and are serious about this
Don’t just be polite, be interested
When you ﬁnally reach out to make contact with
your leads, don’t sales pitch or demand something;
you’re making contact to continue building a business
relationship. Include reminders of who you are and what
you discussed. Mention why you’d like to continue talking
and what you look forward to working on together.
Additionally, the message should be something of value
and not simply a canned “nice to meet you”. Make sure
you are sending something of interest and providing
enough information to earn a reply.
Patience and persistence
Not all opportunities offer instant gratiﬁcation. You might
meet someone at the next show but the real opportunity
to work together won’t come up for another six months.
Business seldom happens overnight, and neither do long
lasting business relationships, continue to connect with
those you want to work with every month or so.
Business is all about relationships, so work on seeking
out new potential connections while continuing to grow
and nurture existing partners. Your follow up is the ﬁrst
step in demonstrating that you’re capable of following
Jen Goode is the Doodler in Charge at
JGoodeDesigns.com and Afﬁliate Summit’s
Newcomer Program Coordinator.
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 9
Reasonable and sound data
retention periods should also
be implemented and should be
based upon legitimate business
requirements. Location based
data, increasingly common in the
mobile device community, is a
perfect example for which long
term retention presents signiﬁcant
consumer privacy concerns.
Finally, reasonable steps should
be taken to ensure the accuracy
of collected data, particularly if
such data could be used to deny
consumers beneﬁts or cause
Consumers should be given a
choice regarding what they do or
do not want in terms of behavioral
tracking. Increased transparency,
in the form of reasonable access to
what information is being collected
and how it is being used should be
made easily available for consumers.
A conspicuous choice mechanism
to opt-out of having certain types
of information collected, used or
shared should also be provided.
Not only will this serve to mitigate
fears by placing consumers in
control of their information, but it
can go a long way in enhancing
consumer trust while avoiding
potential government investigations,
ﬁnes and costly litigation.
Richard Newman is an Internet
Lawyer and a Partner at Hinch
Newman LLP - HinchNewman.
Online Advertising and the
Evolving Privacy Landscape
By Richard Newman
It is no secret that new privacy laws and regulations are hot-button issues
these days, particularly where behavioral advertising is concerned. The
signiﬁcant changes that have been expected to emerge this year were
“kicked-off” in February by the introduction of the “Do Not Track Me Online
Act of 2011” – a bill that attempts to impose yet another regulatory burden
Aimed at giving consumers the ability to prevent their online activities from
being followed by advertisers, the proposed legislation would direct the
Federal Trade Commission to develop standards and provide enforcement for
the Internet “do-not-track” mechanism. Online advertisers and marketers
would be required to respect a consumer’s choice, the failure to do so would
be considered an unlawful unfair or deceptive act.
Lobbyists and supports of the overly-broad bill are clearly not seeing the
big picture or the consequences that may harm the very consumers that
the bill seeks to protect. After all, free online content is supported by timely
and relevant advertisements that actually improve a consumer’s experience.
Non-targeted ads simply may not generate sufﬁcient revenue to ensure the
continued supply of content.
So, in anticipation of possible prescriptive regulatory reform, what self-
regulatory best practices should those in the online advertising sector
For those that collect data that can reasonably be linked to a speciﬁc
consumer, computer, or other device, substantive privacy and security
safeguards should be incorporated into everyday business practices.
If consumer information is retained, reasonable protections should be
employed to prevent unauthorized disclosure. Further, only consumer
information that is reasonably necessary to fulﬁll a speciﬁc, legitimate
business need should be collected. Collection methods should also be more
clearly and conspicuously revealed in privacy policies.
10 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
The New SEO
By no means does content marketing and social media
distribution alleviate the publisher from doing basic SEO
due diligence such as a keyword workshop, deﬁning
on-page conventions, competitive research, etc. Below
are just a few of the SEO beneﬁts that can be realized
by deploying content marketing and social media
Content marketing and social media distribution lessens
the publisher’s need to acquire backlinks using “grey”
or black hat methods, because quality content that is
properly distributed creates backlinks naturally.
Publishing valuable problem solving content daily, even
several times per day, is ideal for content marketing in
order to maximize its SEO value. The more frequently
content is published on a website the likelihood of the
website being crawled more increases.
Social Media, Increased Social
Authority & Web Traffic
A robust publishing schedule will also drive social media
engagement on blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Google and Bing recently admitted to SearchEngineLand.
com that their algorithms do look at several social media
metrics when ranking websites.
As a result, social media engagement around a
publisher’s content is more valuable than previously
thought. When properly executed this engagement will
lead to increased web trafﬁc as well as growing the social
authority of the publisher.
The above SEO beneﬁts of content marketing are not
exactly “new.” They represent a more holistic approach
to SEO while ﬁrmly remaining within Google’s Webmaster
Guidelines. Rather than looking to game the system, like
J.C. Penny supposedly did, consider the white hat
strategy of content marketing and social media for SEO.
Chad H. Pollitt is the Director of Social Media &
Search Marketing for Kuno Creative.
By Chad H. Pollitt
Why did J.C. Penny recently get punished in Google’s
SERPs (Search Engine Results Page)? They were
allegedly caught buying hundreds of links from spammy,
low pagerank websites by the New York Times, who
reported their ﬁndings to Google.
J.C. Penny took a black hat shortcut with their SEO
(Search Engine Optimization) campaign, which is a clear
violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They could
have a voided the violation if their campaign focused on
the new SEO - content marketing and social media.
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of content
with the purpose of promoting a product or service. The
focus of this content may not speciﬁcally be about the
publisher’s organization or its offerings. Assets created
for content marketing include a mix of problem-speciﬁc
information and thought leadership.
For afﬁliate publishers, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
recommends, “If your site participates in an afﬁliate
program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide
unique and relevant content that gives users a reason
to visit your site ﬁrst.” In other words, publish unique
problem solving content.
Social media acts as a distribution conduit for content
marketers. By distributing content via social media, the
distributor potentially has access to millions of eyes that
may comment, share, consume and/or evangelize the
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 11
Chad H. Pollitt
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 12
West 2011 Recap
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | A il 2011 | 12
I started off Afﬁliate Summit West 2011 with my
partner, Missy Ward, at a tattoo parlor to get inked
up with the Afﬁliate Summit logo.
You could say we have some passion for this
conference, as we kick off our 8th year with 4,627
afﬁliate marketers at the Wynn Las Vegas for Afﬁliate
Summit West 2011.
That makes it the biggest Afﬁliate Summit to date.
The ﬁrst day kicked off as I led a 10 AM session
geared towards folks attending Afﬁliate Summit for
the ﬁrst time.
It was great to have a large, packed room of
conference attendees looking for advice on how to
make the most of Afﬁliate Summit.
My session was followed by the opening of the
Meet Market and a series of breakout sessions
that covered all sorts of topics, including blog
monetization, web redesign, email marketing, and
local lead gen.
I really liked the way our new method of Q&A via
SMS, Web and Twitter worked out.
While the action was taking place in the Meet Market
and sessions, the exhibit hall was being built out for
days 2 and 3 of Afﬁliate Summit West 2011.
In the evening, I headed to the ShareASale “Under
the Stars” Party at Tryst Nightclub to continue the
networking and good times.
It was a nice celebration to mark the ten year
anniversary of ShareASale, and there was a moving
speech from Brian Littleton, founder and CEO of
The second day of Afﬁliate Summit West 2011 got
off to a great start with a funny, informative keynote
from Drew Eric Whitman, author of CA$HVERTISING.
The keynote took place in the Encore Theater, where
Garth Brooks performs when he is in town, and
Whitman had the packed crowd captivated.
Afterwards, there were a series of breakout sessions
By Shawn Collins
on SEO, social media, trendspotting, personal
brands, and, of course, afﬁliate marketing.
The blogger lounge at Afﬁliate Summit West 2011
was buzzing throughout the day with podcasts,
videos, and blog posts.
Crowds packed the exhibit hall throughout the day.
I was excited to meet legendary quarterback Warren
Moon at the Digital River booth in the exhibit hall
and get a signed football.
But it wasn’t all good football news at Afﬁliate
Summit, as I had to wear a New England Patriots
jersey, as a result of a bet with Michael Martin, who
was on a panel today about Mobile Afﬁliate Site
But I did win some cash in a BCS football ball, which
was run by the Football Fanatics Afﬁliate Program.
It’s Vegas – I need to make some bets!
After the exhibit hall and breakout sessions ﬁnished
up, there were a series of roundtable discussions,
which were led by experts on legal issues, content
creation, Facebook, buying sites and more.
The last event of the day was the launch of a new
product from Jeremy Schoemaker called Linkcontrol.
It’s a really cool looking project, and I look forward
to hearing more about it.
The ﬁnal day of Afﬁliate Summit West 2011 started
off with the announcement of the 2011 Pinnacle
Afﬁliate of the Year: Deals.Woot
Afﬁliate Manager of the Year: Carolyn Kmet
Exceptional Merchant: Zappos
Afﬁliate Marketing Advocate: Lisa Picarille
Best Blogger: Eric Nagel
Afﬁliate Marketing Legend: Todd Farmer
Congratulations to all of the ﬁnalists and winners.
The Tuesday morning keynote was delivered by
Brian Solis, author of Engage: The Complete Guide
for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and
Measure Success in the New Web, to a big crowd in
the Encore Theater.
After the keynote, Brian gave away a bunch of copies
of his book, Engage. I wish I was ready to capture
some video, because a group of people pounced on
the books. Clearly, they liked what he had to say.
The keynote was followed by a second day of crowds
in the exhibit hall, as well as sessions on afﬁliate and
afﬁliate manager relationships, mobile marketing,
paid search, and industry regulations.
Afﬁliate Summit West 2011 wrapped up with a
closing keynote from Dave Taylor of AskDaveTaylor.
Dave gave an interesting and compelling talk about
achieving a work/life balance.
Thank you to all of the folks that came out for
Afﬁliate Summit West 2011 – see you August 21-23,
2011 at the Hilton New York for Afﬁliate Summit East
Shawn is a Co-founder of Afﬁliate Summit and
Co-Editor-in-Chief of FeedFront Magazine, and
you can follow him @afﬁliatetip on Twitter.
names that exactly
match a speciﬁc
For over ﬁfteen
been using these
names to generate
revenue in a
variety of ways.
Initially, investors focused on
monetizing the type-in trafﬁc coming
to the domain names. Just think,
if you own a domain like BuyCars.
com you will get a reasonable level
of type-in trafﬁc to your domain for
people who simply enter “buycars”
in the URL bar of their browser.
Domainers use parking services to
quickly generate pages full of PPC
links to monetize trafﬁc coming to
The problem with parked domain
names is that while they may get
a stream of type-in trafﬁc, the
services rarely rank in the search
engines. Another problem with
domain parking is that the type-in
trafﬁc usually only exists on .com
domains leaving .net, .org, and
other top-level domain (“TLD”)
holders with little trafﬁc and
revenue. As premium domain name
owners started looking for ways to
increase their revenue, the concept
of organic trafﬁc became more
Domainers quickly learned that
they received a noticeable bonus
in Google and Bing for having a
domain name that exactly matched
a user’s search query. For less
competitive terms having an exact-
match domain allowed domain name
owners to simply focus on building-
out content, rather than running
complex link-building campaigns.
Unlike parking, which only provided
signiﬁcant revenue to .com domains,
the SEO beneﬁt of an exact-match
domain is the same regardless of
TLD. This means that the owner
of BuyCar.net has the exact same
chance of ranking well as the owner
of BuyCar.com, based on the exact-
match bonus, since Google and Bing
will ignore the TLD. Of course, other
factors, like domain age, can impact
ranking, but this is unrelated to the
keywords in the domain name.
To enjoy the best of both worlds,
owning an exact-match .com domain
name can generate a steady stream
of direct trafﬁc, while also providing
a nice beneﬁt in the search engines.
You can estimate how much type-
in trafﬁc a domain name will get by
looking at the search volume using a
tool like the Google Trafﬁc Estimator
and taking 10% of the global search
Couple direct trafﬁc with a ﬁrst-page
ranking in the search engines and
it’s easy to see why exact-match
.com domains can be so valuable.
So how can you find
Since most of the great .com’s
are already registered, expired
domains offer the best opportunity.
As parking revenue has declined,
14 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
many domainers are dropping some
excellent exact-match domains,
which can usually be purchased for
You can even search for speciﬁc
characteristics that are meaningful
to search engines, like domain age
and DMOZ listing, to further increase
the SEO value of the exact-match
domain that you buy. Couple this
with a good landing page and unique
content and you’ll enjoy the beneﬁts
of both direct trafﬁc and better
search engine placement.
Morgan Linton is the President
of Linton Investments LLC, a
domain name investment and
By Morgan Linton
ou probably love the extra income that comes
with Q4 shopping, but you more than likely also
love when Q4 ends, so that you can go back to
a lower stress time.
Although it’s nice to be able to put Q4 behind you, if
you want to be able to grow for the largest consumer
shopping time, you need to prepare ahead. I always
recommend that you start your Q4 planning in Q2.
By giving yourself 6 months before the Q4 shopping
season starts, you give yourself enough time to not only
test your trafﬁc, but index and strengthen your hold on
your rankings for the next holiday season.
Here are some things that you can do to prepare for Q4
in Q2 and why you may want to start them now.
• Update your copy and add new articles. By
updating your copy 6 months in advance, you can
see how it indexes and also have time to build
backlinks to secure your rankings in the Search
Engines (SERPs). If your site isn’t blog based,
then your competition probably won’t be looking
at your seasonal section to see what you are up
to which gives you time to overpower them in the
• Start guest posting for the keywords you want.
Once you have your pages built, start looking for
sites that you will allow you to be a guest writer.
You don’t even have to write about the holidays,
but simply mention the keywords and phrases that
you want in your article and link from them, this
will help strengthen your respective pages for the
holiday shopping season.
• Prep your articles and other domains. Instead of
waiting until Q4 to write all of your articles and
submit them to directories, etc…why not let them
start indexing over the next 6 months then you
can slowly add in your backlinks so that they help
your ranking sooner and gain strength during Q3
If you plan your Q4 ahead of time, you’ll have time to
test everything from how your trafﬁc reacts to your
design and color schemes to where ads are placed, etc.
More importantly, you’ll be able to build new trafﬁc to
your site and secure your SERPs, so that you’ll be able to
have a more successful Q4 shopping season.
Adam Riemer is the President of Adam Riemer
16 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
By Adam Riemer
Once you have
your pages built,
start looking for
sites that you will
allow you to be a
By Deborah Carney
Afﬁliate program terms and conditions (or lack thereof)
are often misunderstood. Some merchants set up in-
house afﬁliate programs on networks without giving
thought to how afﬁliates might promote their products.
Suddenly an afﬁliate is successfully promoting a
merchant via a pay-per-click campaign that includes
the merchant’s brand name. The merchant is shocked,
quickly turns off that afﬁliate and then reverses
commissions with the attitude that those sales would
have occurred anyway from the natural search results.
But wait, the merchant didn’t specify in their terms that
afﬁliates aren’t allowed to bid on their brand name. They
quickly add that in. Problem solved? Maybe.
At the same time, the merchant is noticing that afﬁliates
are ranking higher than the merchant themselves, in the
natural search results. The merchant changes their terms
to not allow afﬁliates to have the company’s brand name
in their meta tags, titles or ﬁle names.
These are two examples of merchants actually hurting
They need to protect their brand name, but in many
instances the merchants do not have an in-house PPC
campaign and are not bidding on their own brand. Their
competitors could very well be.
In the case of the natural search results, this is what
afﬁliates do. They create pages to get indexed for
brands. If an afﬁliate is ranking higher in natural results
for a brand name, then the afﬁliate is doing their job,
and the merchant isn’t doing a good job of SEO on their
Merchant terms need to be constructed in a way that is
fair to both the afﬁliate and the merchant. If a merchant
has internal staff that overlaps with their afﬁliates, the
terms can be a little more strict.
But, in the case of SEO, even the afﬁliates that are very
good at it can’t control everything the search engines
include in natural results. Having terms that exclude
paying afﬁliates that rank high in search results for
company names or products will result in fewer afﬁliates
working an afﬁliate program. Top afﬁliates won’t give
these programs a second look.
Terms and conditions that acknowledge the various types
of afﬁliates that are out there, like coupon, loyalty, and
incentive sites are very helpful. Merchants need to think
about how to harness the advantages of those types of
sites, and encourage afﬁliates to promote the merchant
by creating terms that allow for ethical afﬁliates to do so.
Balance is the key, along with understanding what you
want to gain from your afﬁliate program.
Deborah Carney is an Outsourced Program
Manager, Merchant Consultant, and Admin of the
Afﬁliate Summit Networking Forum
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 17
Protecting or Hurting
By Nick Throlson
veryone talks about networking, but not everybody knows how
to do it successfully. The key is to create and build lasting,
professional relationships, and the only way to accomplish that
is by meeting people in person.
At Afﬁliate Summit West 2011, I learned that some of the
beneﬁts of this conference are meeting industry experts,
making new contacts and solidifying existing relationships.
You just can’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to strangers.
While emails, phone calls and online chats are acceptable ways of
maintaining contact once a relationship has been established, there is no
substitute for meeting face to face for an initial contact. It provides two
people with the opportunity to shake hands, smile and get to know each
other on a professional level. By taking the time to meet in person, both
people have the chance to discover exactly how they can work together to
their mutual beneﬁt.
Meeting in person also facilitates clear communication. There’s less of a
chance of being misunderstood and it encourages the exchange of ideas in a
freer environment. People can gauge the tone and inﬂection of what’s being
Likewise, body language plays a large part in how people communicate and
being face to face allows for the most effective exchange of information. It
helps others make a connection between a face and a name.
At Afﬁliate Summits, it may not
always be possible to have extended
face time with a guest speaker, but
if an opportunity arises to speak
with one of the many professionals
in attendance, take it. Don’t be
afraid to ask questions, request
clariﬁcation on a point they made,
seek examples or ask advice.
The experts at Afﬁliate Summits
are there to help. Take advantage
of their expertise, knowledge and
experience. If time allows, focus
on building a rapport that can be
expanded upon later.
Industry professionals often see
advantages and opportunities for a
business, marketing plan or product
that the business owner or afﬁliate
marketer does not. The experts at
a conference can provide a fresh,
new perspective. They’ve developed
dozens of their own contacts that
they may be willing to share that
can prove helpful.
Networking is much more than
exchanging business cards. True
networking requires people to
get out of the ofﬁce, mingle with
experts, and take any opportunity to
meet with them face to face. No one
is ever so knowledgeable that they
can’t learn valuable lessons from
others. The only way to truly learn,
network and form valuable alliances
is by speaking with others in person.
It’s a business investment that will
pay dividends in the future.
Nick Throlson With Jim Kukral
Nick Throlson is an
entrepreneur, website designer,
blogger and Internet marketing
18 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
By Ricky Ahuja
India is quickly becoming a rising star in the world of
afﬁliate marketing. Due to the high human capital and
the low cost of labor, working with Indian teams to
develop and implement afﬁliate marketing solutions is a
cost-effective practice for global businesses.
When looking for new opportunities to increase revenue
and grow a business, afﬁliate marketing in India can be a
reliable investment for companies all over the world.
Indian digital work teams have come a long way over the
past decade. As internet commerce booms and replaces
traditional ofﬂine forms of marketing, companies are
constantly on the lookout for a cheap, reliable way to
get their products into the hands of consumers. Afﬁliate
marketing in India allows companies to create marketing
programs for their products at rates lower than anywhere
else in the world.
Contrary to the fears of some, Indian marketers are
proﬁcient in English, tech-savvy and often come from
other job markets that require a wealth of intelligence
and skill in their prospective studies and ﬁelds.
As a result, there are Indian afﬁliate networks launching
seemingly every other week. Many of these networks are
able to create systemized, performance-driven marketing
campaigns for companies who are looking for a long-
term and cost-effective afﬁliate marketing solution for
their businesses and products.
A majority of these networks often have the same level
of experience creating websites, ad creatives, writing
copy and assisting with PPC and SEO as their American
counterparts. Additionally, many of these networks utilize
the well known American tracking platforms, making
them an attractive and efﬁcient alternative.
Some of the more promising ones and their top
Shoogloo Network (British Airways, Jet Airways,
vCommission (Maakan.com, Snap Deal)
DGM India (Naukri.com, MakeMyTrip, Met Life)
and an up-and-comer, Canada-based Ad Indian.
Of course, like any other business decision, there are
some fundamental questions to ask yourself, such as...
How do you know which ones to trust?
Which ones are legit?
Will they comply with the laws that govern your
product/campaign? The answer is rather simple:
DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE.
How long have they been around?
What brands are they marketing?
Are they VC funded or being run out of a boiler
room in a remote village (do they have boiler
rooms in India…hmm?) with little supportive
The legit Indian afﬁliate networks are highly trained,
have experience with afﬁliate marketing, very ﬂuent in
the technology piece and are able to assist clients in all
parts of the world.
Through email, AIM and Skype, Indian afﬁliate marketing
teams are able to work across continents with clients
to provide streamlined afﬁliate marketing plans, cost-
effective service, and a “potentially” ﬂawless marketing
Afﬁliate marketing in India is on the rise. With
customizable solutions that can beneﬁt individual afﬁliate
publishers and companies alike, turning to India for cost-
effective technological solutions makes perfect sense for
anyone interested in afﬁliate marketing.
Ricky Ahuja is the CEO of Afﬁliate Venture Group
specializing in outsourced program management,
PPC and SEM.
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 19
ne goal all marketers
share is to drive the
best results from their
campaigns at the
lowest cost. To do this
requires the integration
of efﬁciencies across the
campaign lifecycle. The
concept is simple; the
execution is not.
At the core of the most successful,
high-revenue campaigns is the
understanding that who you advertise
to are not “lists.” They are audiences
of high value with dynamic tastes,
needs and desires. They often behave
wildly different than we expect, and
at times, they also tire of receiving
From a reporting perspective, we
know this because the success of
the direct response and/or lift of the
sometimes plummet. When response
declines, it doesn’t necessarily mean
audience members do not want to
hear from you. At times, it’s simply
the frequency of what we send.
Successful marketing campaigns start
with a commitment to understanding
audience members at a proﬁle and
preference management, behavioral,
demographic and response-level.
Begin the campaign development
process by layering analytics
across audiences in order to dictate
campaign content, targets, ﬂow, pace
These analytics then need to be
constantly applied across campaigns
to allow for in-campaign adjustments
as audiences do things to surprise
us, either negatively or positively.
We all know too well that every
campaign we send, including seasonal
campaigns, hit a point of diminishing
returns in which the value of what
we are sending is less than the value
of what we receive. The solution
is the application of analytics and
RFM (recency, frequency, monetary)
controls to ensure that what we are
delivering is of the highest value.
Applying these analytics across
a campaign allows us to change
up creative, optimize frequency
and rotate messages to audience
segments in order to pace them out
to the highest responders in the
optimal format. The results are often
25-35% greater than control groups
without audience-driven targeting.
Finally, the golden key of audience
preference is providing the ability
for audiences to control what
they receive through preference
management and secure opt-out.
While opt-out compliance comes by
law for email and telecommunications
marketers and best practice for
display advertisers that adhere to the
OBA (online behavorial advertising)
self-regulatory principles, the
best marketers apply preference
management and audience
empowerment across all channels
because it signiﬁes something much
more powerful than compliance – that
is care and a commitment to listening
20 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
Today’s best marketers “converse”
with audiences at junctures in which
a consumer responds favorably or
opts out. Successful brands respond
to clicks, conversions and buys with
a “thank you,” and future deals to
Brands also respond to opt-outs
by honoring the opt-out globally or
providing the consumer with the
ability to dictate exactly what they do
and do no want to receive.
For those interested in top results,
the number-one rule is the realization
that your lists are not lists but
valuable audience members. From
there, you must commit to the art
and science of audience management.
Russ Riley is the Director of
Marketing at UnsubCentral.
By Russ Riley
By Tom Wozniak
What separates a successful afﬁliate from one that never
generates much revenue? Is it just technical knowledge
or is there something more to it?
One of the biggest differentiators I’ve seen is that
successful afﬁliates are willing to do what other less
successful afﬁliates won’t, or don’t. Call it “going the
extra mile” or “giving 110%,” the idea is that people who
are truly successful in almost any endeavor are willing to
put more into it than their competition.
So, here are ﬁve things you can do that will set you
apart and position you for success.
1. Test, test, and test some more
Some afﬁliates don’t test at all. Others do some
testing, but aren’t very systematic about it. Be
obsessive about testing. You should always run tests
on every offer you promote. Don’t stop testing when
a campaign starts making money. Continuing to
test proﬁtable campaigns will help you drive the best
returns from every campaign.
Many afﬁliates get into one niche or vertical and
never venture into any other areas. Do not put
all your efforts into one offer or even one vertical.
Diversifying your business will help you avoid major
peaks and valleys when an offer goes down or the
playing ﬁeld changes in a particular vertical.
3. Keep learning
You will never be an expert on every aspect of
online marketing. There is just too much to know
and the industry is constantly changing. But, that
doesn’t mean you should settle for simply knowing
enough to get by. The more you learn, the more
opportunities will become available to you and the
better your chances of success.
4. Put in the time
Many people get into afﬁliate marketing because
they think it is easy money. They think they can set
up some campaigns, put them on autopilot, and then
kick back and watch the money come in. Successful
afﬁliates know that it takes a lot more than 4 hours
a week to build your business and make afﬁliate
marketing into a successful career. In fact, it takes
more than 40 hours a week if you want to be a
successful afﬁliate marketer. Put in the time and
effort if you really want to succeed.
5. Take risks
No one has ever succeeded in afﬁliate marketing by
playing it totally safe. By getting into this business
you are becoming an entrepreneur and starting your
own business. By its very nature, starting your own
business is a risk. So, once you take that step you
can’t suddenly pull back on the reins and expect
to succeed. A big part of risk-taking in afﬁliate
marketing means being willing to invest some of
your own money with no immediate guarantees
that you will get your money back, let alone make
a proﬁt. I’m not saying you should spend your life
savings on your very ﬁrst PPC campaign. But, you
need to be willing to spend money to make money in
Tom Wozniak is the director of marketing for Media
Breakaway, LLC and writes the ofﬁcial blog for
22 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
Succeed by Doing
What Others Won’t
By Lisa Riolo
Full disclosure: my company does not print job titles on
our business cards. We don’t put them on our signature
lines either. We do, however, give everyone a title. Here’s
why titles are necessary for most businesses:
#1. To convey information about the company’s
brand and culture
#2. To quickly express “who does what” in the
Both reasons act to help customers and prospects
interact with your company’s team. The choice of “no”
title or a fun, whimsical title may well serve reason #1
but not #2.
Obviously, titles don’t serve much purpose for your
well-established relationships, but what about those
customers you’ve yet to acquire? We’re all seeking ways
to make it easy for people to conduct business with us,
so “who does what” is important to convey no matter
what size your organization.
Titles are simply a necessary business vehicle, an
identiﬁer. Let’s be clear: I’m not suggesting title inﬂation,
which may tarnish your brand and reputation. I’m
suggesting simple, intuitive titles that serve as signposts
in the journey from prospect to loyal customer.
Titles were invented and remain relevant for reasons
far more important than ego or formality. It’s like
traveling on streets without names -- you can get where
you’re going, but it’ll take longer and be unnecessarily
confusing. Titles show us all how to get where we’re
going quickly and easily. Titles matter.
Lisa Riolo is a Co-Founder of Impact Radius and
functions as the company’s General Manager.
Titles Don’t Matter
By Greg Hoffman
Job titles might say a lot about a company and a person,
but when it comes to the afﬁliate industry and the large
amount of small business owners, it’s all about the
relationships. Afﬁliate marketers want to get to know
who you are, regardless of your title.
Trust, integrity and professionalism will open more
doors for you and represent your brand much farther
than a title on a business card or a sticker on your ofﬁce
door. They might care more about your label - afﬁliate,
merchant, agency or network, but they could care less
if you are the Vice President of Ecommerce or the Chief
Imagination Ofﬁcer. How they choose to interact with you
once they learn your label is completely up to them.
An impromptu survey amongst my connections in the
afﬁliate industry tells me that titles carry about as much
weight as college degrees and resumes. None of which
reﬂect the innovativeness and creativity of many people
that have succeeded in performance marketing.
What these people worry about is paying the mortgage
and working toward a lifestyle that will grant them
freedoms in the future. They work hard, many of them
from home ofﬁces or even harder if they have full-time
jobs during the day and afﬁliate marketing is where
they plant their hopes and dreams at night and on the
weekends. Their egos still exist but only because of
individual accomplishments and not because they get
new business cards with fancy new titles every year.
Greg Hoffman is a blogger and outsourced program
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 23
By Rachel Corcoran
The new year started with a roar for Internet vigilantes when the California
Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District issued its ruling in
Hypertouch, Inc. v. ValueClick, Inc., et al. (B218603, Cal. Ct. App., January
18, 2011). In a stunning decision, the Court of Appeal overturned a lower
court’s award of summary judgment to defendants ValueClick and Primary
Ads, Inc. holding that the CAN-SPAM Act did not preempt Hypertouch’s claims
under the California anti-spam law (California Business and Professions Code
section 17529, et seq.).
Just when it looked like ValueClick had a victory under its belt against
Hypertouch’s allegations of spam under California law (as the result of
the trial court’s ﬁnding that Hypertouch failed to show ValueClick had any
knowledge or control over the alleged spam activity of afﬁliates and that the
federal exemption for state spam statutes prohibiting “falsity or deception”
in emails was only intended to permit state law claims based on all the
elements of common law fraud – and nothing less) the Court of Appeal upset
the machinery of email marketing by holding that the CAN-SPAM Act does not
preempt state spam law claims provided plaintiff simply shows that the entity
advertised in a commercial email ultimately sent an email which contained
falsiﬁed or misrepresented header information or a subject line that a person
knows would be likely to mislead a recipient about a material fact concerning
the contents or subject matter of the message. (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §
The bottom line is that we can expect to see more spam lawsuits in the
future brought by these self-proclaimed spam watchdogs intent on saving the
world from unsolicited commercial
email now that the foundation has
been laid for emails that were not
even intentionally or knowingly
Vigilantes only need to show that an
advertiser was the party ultimately
responsible for sending an email
that contained either a falsiﬁed
or misrepresented header (e.g., a
“From” name that the sender can’t
prove has any relevance to anyone
in particular) or potentially deceptive
subject line, such as the “free” stuff
that was promised to recipients in
the ValueClick case but was not, in
Undoubtedly, the world would be a
better place if everyone played by
the rules and sent emails that did
not contain any deceptive content.
Reputable networks go to great
lengths to make sure that their
afﬁliates follow these rules and only
use pre-approved, non-deceptive
subject lines and “From” names in
So, you may be asking yourself
why you should care about the
ValueClick ruling since these folks
only pursue advertisers with deep
pockets, right? While most of these
professional spam litigants will
seek maximum damages against
advertisers, your commissions
may be negatively impacted if the
advertiser or network decides to
invoke its indemniﬁcation or set-off
provision under the terms of your
publisher agreement. You could ﬁnd
them stealing your proﬁts right out
from under you!
Rachel Corcoran is an attorney
with extensive internet
advertising experience and
is Compliance Director for
24 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
hese days mobile is a pretty hot buzz word, and the scene
has a wild-west gold rush feel with a lot of people looking to
cash in. From the marketing “guru’s” selling $2,000 courses
to 18-year-old mobile “millionaires”, there are lots of folks
claiming they can tell you how use mobile to get rich.
Well, I am no guru, but here are some simple strategies that
if applied properly could bring huge results.
There’s a lot of talk about building subscriber lists and sending out afﬁliate
offers. Your subscribers better like what you’re selling, because getting
off your list is only a text away and getting them on it, well that’s the real
battle. Consider offering a special freebie that requires a mobile number
be submitted with the contact information with proper opt-in notiﬁcation
disclaimer. You can also ask your text provider to supply an HTML script
that is designed for double opt-in. Add it to a video teaser squeeze page
requesting their mobile to receive a link. An autoreply asks them to conﬁrm
their opt-in by replying with a keyword (double opt-in) to receive the link.
That’s right, email. If you got a list, use it to send out the special offer you
just created and get more opt-ins. Be sure to use scarcity and limited-time
availability. That text list should be more than about just sending offers,
you have to give them a reason to stay subscribed, so try rewards, but be
respectful of the space. Include a “gift” or a free-no-strings-attached bonus
like training,, but don’t overdo it.
Everyone knows webinars work well, so how can you apply them to mobile?
There are a few websites out there that do live video streaming and also
offer live mobile streaming, as well, whether you are presenting an offer or
training afﬁliates use your text list to send out a link to a live mobile stream.
Be sure to include the regular live stream link to your email list as well.
Find a decent mobile publisher to make yourself a mobile website. It’s not
nec essary to know HTML, but it helps. There are some great ones that use
a rich text editor CMS. Go ahead view page source code and embed a video
teaser. Don’t forget to add that text web script and tie that to a special
reward or offer. Put it out via Twitter and Facebook, as well.
Mobile Advertising/Affiliate Networks
Use a mobile publisher to create another video squeeze page with a contact
form to use for performance-based lead gen campaigns. You may even want
to explore a click-to-call campaign as well.
I hope you give these proven mobile marketing strategies a try in your next
Dustin Donham is founder of Hookd Mobile Marketing and is a
professionally certiﬁed mobile marketer.
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 25
for Afﬁ liate
By Dustin Donham
By William Rothbard
If you’ve been passing your Internet customers’ accounts
to other online merchants, you’ve just been picked by
Late last year, S. 3386, the “Restore Online Shoppers’
Conﬁdence Act,” sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller
(known as “Rockefeller”), sailed through Congress. The
measure, the capstone to an investigation by Rockefeller
into consumer abuses in online upsells of negative
option plans for membership clubs, codiﬁes, for online
transactions only (ofﬂine is unaffected), existing Visa/
MC restrictions on transfer of account data (“data
pass”) between merchants. No longer will an online
upseller legally be able to use pre-acquired account data.
While the statute arises from a club industry inquiry,
it applies to the data pass and marketing practices of
all online upsellers, and to negative option offers of all
online merchants, not just upsellers. It:
Forbids an “initial merchant” to pass billing
accounts, which it has used to charge a customer
in an Internet-based sale, to an unafﬁliated upseller,
or “post-transaction third party seller,” for use in an
Internet-based sale (data pass between corporate
afﬁliates is still allowed)
Requires the post-transaction 3rd party seller to:
Disclose purchase terms before obtaining
Disclose it is not afﬁliated with the initial
Obtain the full account number from the
Requires the terms of all negative option offers by
any type of seller to be disclosed before obtaining
In anticipation of Rockefeller, some online upsellers
already had begun to abide by data pass restrictions, by
having consumers reenter billing data. If you’re one who
hasn’t, you need to do so now to be in compliance.
Unanticipated, because it was not in the bill earlier, is
the requirement that a merchant disclose the terms of
upsells and negative options (whether an initial sale or
upsell) before getting the consumer’s billing information.
This “late hour” amendment has the Federal Trade
Commission’s ﬁngerprints all over it. While prior law
(and earlier versions of Rockefeller) had only required
disclosure of terms “before sale” (before the consumer
clicks and buys), the FTC favors the stricter “before
billing information” standard and routinely places it in
consent orders. This disclosure standard is now federal
law for online sales under Rockefeller.
While the law is pretty clear, certain questions remain.
Does the data pass ban apply to accounts that have been
collected, for example, by an online lead generator, but
not charged? May an online seller who receives account
data that has not been charged use it without getting the
account number from the customer again?
These and other questions will be sorted out as the
agencies responsible for administering the law, the FTC
and state Attorneys General, issue guidance and enforce
it. It’s important they be answered, because violators will
face substantial monetary penalties.
William Rothbard is a former FTC attorney and
specializes in FTC advertising and marketing law.
26 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
By Khris Thayer
For those of you who embrace email, there is a great
deal of money to be made and success to be had, BUT
ONLY IF DONE RIGHT. It starts with understanding the
hierarchy of an email campaign; where it starts and
ends, and how to remain compliant in the process.
As newer, more stringent regulation is enforced, we all
have to look at the sustainability of our industry and the
things that protect it. This means that we all have do our
part to ensure the integrity of our partners.
Here are a few key items in email compliance to keep in
mind that will provide perspective and ultimately help
sustain long-term revenue opportunities within the online
Brand advertisers, afﬁliate networks, ad agencies, and
mailers all make up the channel in which an advertiser’s
message reaches an inbox. Each segment plays an
integral role in deliverability and conversion.
Without the advertiser, there is no offer.
Without the networks and agencies, there
is no way for the advertiser to effectively and
efﬁciently establish a relationship with the mailer.
Without the mailer, the email does not get
sent and the consumer has no idea that the
potentially valuable offer exists.
With the use of multiple partners comes an
inherent challenge: How do you protect yourself
from abuse or misuse?
This is not only for advertisers. Everyone in business
represents a brand, even if it is their own. Without your
reputation… you have nothing.
Follow compliance guidelines carefully. Pay close
attention to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
regulations, how you manage your suppression
list(s), and how your partners are interacting
with your sensitive data.
Track your opt-out volume at every level from
your brand(s), list(s), campaign(s), mailer(s),
and more speciﬁcally… mailers within campaigns.
Implement best practices, such as encrypting
any unsubscribe data you distribute.
Utilize resources that provide you with alert
notiﬁcations, detailed reporting, and analytics on
how your brand reputation is perceived.
Practice Safe Email
Many advertisers are becoming more rigid with their
internal compliance practices and therefore will only
work with compliance conscious networks. Networks are
coming under a signiﬁcant increase in liability, so they
only want to work with compliant mailers. Mailers only
run advertiser offers if the advertiser has a compliance
solution or process in place.
Be selective with you work with. Remember, the email
you send today will determine the reputation you have
down the road and the reputation you have down the
road will determine how successful and sustainable
your email efforts are. The most successful players
in the email space are those who do not compromise
compliance for conversions, so… GO COMPLIANT!
Khris Thayer is the CEO of OPTIZMO™
Technologies, a Suppression List Management and
Email Compliance company.
FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE | April 2011 | 27
By Nick Reese
The afﬁliate world has its ups and downs for both new and seasoned
marketers. The afﬁliates that can plow through the slumps are the ones who
will be successful.
Here are a few tips to help you overcome the rough patches.
Dream Big When Building Campaigns
Selecting the right afﬁliate offer/industry is the ﬁrst step to not burning out
as an afﬁliate. When scouting potential offers, dream big. With enough TLC
and testing, many campaigns can be successful. Would you rather be a big
ﬁsh in a tiny pond or a small ﬁsh in a multi-million dollar industry? Capturing
a small portion of a huge industry gives you room to grow over time. Don’t
limit your long term potential with small thinking. By dreaming big, even
the small successes are rewarding because they are often accompanied by
sizeable bumps in revenue.
Build a Brand
If you are targeting a large established industry, work toward building a
brand. Consumers reward brands with loyalty and Google has been known
to show preference to brands in rankings. Building a brand gives you a
foundation to stand on when your competition gets washed away chasing
questionable marketing tactics. Brands are the key to sustainability in afﬁliate
marketing and if you know you are building for the future, making smart
decisions today is much easier.
Focus on Actionable Information
Invest time and effort in tracking. I’m probably not the ﬁrst to tell you to
take tracking seriously, but investing in solid tracking can help you identify
opportunities that otherwise might
be over looked. Make sure you have
at least simple goal tracking setup.
When the going gets tough, analyze
what keywords and referrers are
converting the best and hunt down
similar trafﬁc sources. It is always
easier to leverage the data you have
instead of shooting blindly in the
Focus on TWO Big
Starting a new project is often
accompanied by a huge rush of
enthusiasm, but as you hit a few
speed bumps, this enthusiasm might
begin to ﬁzzle. As things start to
slow down and you have the urge to
shift your attention, start a related
project or a sister site that you can
cross promote with your main site.
When your second project loses
steam, pick up where you left off
on the ﬁrst. Feel free to alternate
between sites as needed. Most
afﬁliate campaigns go through cycles
of excitement. Working on multiple
big projects will allow you to “ride
the waves” of enthusiasm as they
come and go.
Work Smarter Than the
Identify areas of your business
where you can work smarter instead
of harder. Think outside the box
about new ways of accomplishing
routine tasks. This alone can make
things interesting but remember at
the end of the day the only thing
that pays off is action. Sometimes
this won’t be fun, but long term
action is the only key to success.
Nick Reese is a Digital Nomad
and Author of How to Turn
Trafﬁc and Trust into Sales.
28 | April 2011 | FEEDFRONT MAGAZINE
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