Happy Friday to you! It’s the LAST Friday of 2013. Next time we “see” you atAffiliate Marketing Digest, we’ll be starting a new year. Before we do, we thought you might be interested to join us for a look back at some of the biggest stories of 2013 as shared in this newsletter. By a huge margin, mobile commerce dominated the headlines this year – but it was hardly the only news that mattered to affiliate marketing this year.
Our Community section is spotlighting a few industry notables this week – including some exciting news (hint: rock-a-bye baby!) for Katharine Spanish, eBay Enterprise Affiliate Manager, Operations & Project Management at eBay Enterprise Affiliate Network, is expecting a baby. Congratulations, Katharine!
Just like you, we’re looking forward to the new year and all of the exciting things that lie in store for affiliate marketers in 2014. It’s going to be a great year.
But we also like to reminisce (please don’t judge us!). So, before we close the books on 2013, we spent some time going through the 52 issues of the 2013 editions of our Affiliate Marketing Digest weekly newsletter.
In doing so, we identified many important headlines.
Here are the biggest news stories of the performance marketing industry in 2013.
2. Supreme Court Denies Amazon Affiliate Nexus Tax Petition Earlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions by Amazon and Overstock to appeal New York’s affiliate nexus tax law. New York was the first to pass such a law. Today more than 80,000 online affiliate marketers in the U.S. who have had their incomes devastated by various states’ attempts to regulate interstate commerce.
4. The Performance Marketing Association Turns Five; It’s Changing Role The Performance Marketing Association turned five years old this year and continued to be champion for an industry that continues to grow and mature.
6. Google Panda, Penguin Change SEO Landscape Affiliate marketers and advertisers who relied on natural search traffic as part of the marketing mix struggled in 2013 to navigate, endure and recover from the numerous Google organic search result algorithm changes(called Google Panda and Penguin).
7. Google Affiliate Network Shuts Down
The announcement in April that Google Affiliate Network would shut down at the end of July put the industry on alert as hundreds of advertisers were faced with network migration decisions.
9. We Were Asking: Is Attribution the Future of Affiliate Marketing? The tracking of sales – and the crediting of sales to affiliates – will always be central to affiliate marketing. In 2013 the industry examined the future of cookies and asked: is attribution the future?
The holidays have been huge for affiliate marketing. Brace yourself: 2014 is going to be even better.
We’re hope you’re all going to be kicking off the excitement of the new year by attending Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas. We’ll be there!
That’s right – just 12 days into the new year we’ll join other affiliate marketers from around the world in Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West 2014. Let us know if you’d like to meet up with us. We’ll be taking meetings throughout conference Jan. 12-14.
For affiliate program management agencies such as ours, Affiliate Summit is always a valuable experience. We spend time with our clients, go over plans for the new year and share nice dinners. We meet industry friends including network representatives. We always find publishers doing exciting things in new ways.
This year’s keynote speakers are:
Steve Denton, Vice President of Marketing Solutions, eBay Enterprise
Derek Flanzraich, Founder & CEO, Greatist
And this year ShareASale is hosting another potentially epic party. This year we’re asked to dress as our favorite super heroes.
Mobile mobile mobile. Year of mobile. Everything mobile. You get the point. We’ve all got mobile on the mind – and for good reason. As all indicators continue to indicate, mobile commerce continues to grow. This wek Rakuten LinkShare released its Cyber Week results – and, no surprise, mobile commerce was the key factor in this year’s stellar performance. Same story at Affiliate Window, which reports that the tablet conversion rate reached 8.7%.
It’s your community – and the people in it had some noteworthy events to share this week. Top of the list this week were two birthdays: Todd Farmer and Kris Jones. Join is sending them happy birthday wishes.
To work with coupon sites or not to? It’s a question we hear often – and as affiliate managers we stress the value of coupon sites and encourage clients to find a way to work with them.
The Strategic Insights team at CJ.com has just shared results of a survey in which 1,000 shoppers were asked about their use of coupons and coupon sites.
Among the key take-aways:
– Loyalty or familiarity with a brand does not stop price comparing behaviors
– Shoppers in the shopping basket are still seeking the best deal and are open to being influenced to buy from different retailers.
– Coupon sites introduce brands to new customers.
– They also keep an advertiser in the mix when shoppers are comparing prices.
– Shoppers seek the best price possible, regardless of familiarity with a retailer.
The statistics offered in the survey reinforce what we as an affiliate management agency know to be true – that coupon sites are an important part of the e-commerce equation.
Of those surveyed by CJ, 98% said they find coupon sites an essential part of the shopping experience. Furthermore, 58% of those surveyed consider coupons “extremely useful” when researching and shopping online.
We urge all clients and affiliate marketers to review the new CJ documents, which cover such topics as:
how coupons influence retailer choice
how coupons drive new customers
how coupons affect shopping cart abandonment
how coupons affect brand loyalty
ABestWeb has created a thread that enables you to share your thoughts about coupon sites and CJ’s report. You can read and join the ABestWeb thread, Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Coupon Sites.
While we’re on the topic of good news, we just learned that the Schaaf-PartnerCentric blog has been named a Top 25 Affiliate Marketing Blog of 2013 by Affiliate Summit. We want to thank those of you who voted for our blog. We appreciate your support!
We’ve also got a new feature for you called Community where we’ll offer shout-outs to people in the industry who are changing jobs, getting promoted or being awarded for general awesomeness. Check it out in this week’s Affiliate Marketing Digest.
As always, thank you for reading Affiliate Marketing Digest, and make it a great day!
Confession: We get a big kick out of the holidays.
First, there’s the excitement of seeing a year worth of planning come together for our clients and partners as the holiday shopping season nears. All the promotions, coupons, special savings, big deals, etc., – everything we need to do to make sure our clients have a successful Q4. There’s great satisfaction in seeing the clients succeed – exceeding goals and beating results of holidays past.
Then, amid all of that important work, there’s the fun we have in spreading holiday cheer.
It starts with our company holiday card. Each year we start brainstorming themes for the card in September. So many jokes – so few of them funny. But with patience and time we always manage to find a theme that fits.
You may recall our greeting cards of holidays past. In 2010 we’d just merged two companies – Schaaf Consulting and PartnerCentric to become Schaaf-PartnerCentric – so the 2010 holiday card was merger-themed. In 2011 we spent much of the year pitching in on the enormous task of educating legislators about the effects of state affiliate nexus laws – and our holiday card for 2011 attempted to make light of that weighty issue. In 2012 our company had its first retreat at the new headquarters in Austin, and the 2012 holiday card shined a spotlight on Brook’s growing obsession with mechanical bulls.
This year we’re giving you a break from our admittedly wonderful sense of humor because we had the perfect photo to share. Our entire team (including spouses and children) spent a few days at Walt Disney World this fall for a company retreat and celebration. It’s so rare to have everyone in one location at the same time – so we wanted to share our group photo with the 2013 holiday card.
We’ve got another holiday tradition: our holiday cookie exchange. It began in 2011 when someone (we’ll credit Stephanie Harris because it was, in fact, her idea) decided it might fun for the team to do a cookie exchange. The idea was simple enough. Each member of the team would submit one cookie recipe. It could be a family recipe, a favorite recipe, a recipe that was intimidating and therefore never attempted – or a recipe found online on a whim. All of the recipes were collected and sent to a baker who would bake each recipe and send a few of each cookies to each member of the team who had submitted a recipe.
Needless to say, it was wildly popular and with chocolate-stained fingers, the team let the word go forth that the cookie exchange must go on.
In 2012, we took the holiday exchange to the next level and shared our favorite recipes – and those gorgeous, delicious cookies – with our clients. Once again we had a hit on our hands.
This year the holiday cookie exchange continued to grow. Right now the packages are en route- more than 9,000 cookies in all are going out to more than 100 recipients. Here’s the roster of cookies on this year’s cookie exchange and the reasons why we chose them. If any of these recipes catch your fancy you can bake them yourselves and enjoy the gooey cookie goodness.
Thank you for sharing in our holiday traditions. We wish you Happy Holidays – and a wonderful New Year!
There’s still time to order the Cherishables photo cards and photo gifts in time for Christmas.
Please note the holiday shipping dates for photo cards:
Ground Shipping: Order must be placed by 11:59 EST on 12/13
3 Day Shipping: Order must be placed by 11:59 EST on 12/15
2 Day Shipping: Order must be placed by 11:59 EST on 12/16
Overnight Shipping: Order must be placed by 11:59 EST on 12/18
And here are the photo gifts shipping dates:
Ground Shipping: Order must be placed by 11:59 EST on 12/12
2 Day Shipping: Order must be placed by 11:59 EST on 12/14
Overnight Shipping: Order must be placed by 11:59 EST on 12/16 Details below:
Cherishables (formerly PhotoCardsDirect.com) is an online retailer of high quality personalized photo greeting cards and E-Cards.
If you haven’t already joined the Cherishables affiliate program, apply to join today.
The Collections Etc. affiliate program is under new management and is making plans now to help affiliates have a great spring with the brand’s garden season products – from birdhouses, barbecue accessories and feeders to garden stones, lawn ornaments and planters.
Collections Etc. offers more than 1,500 products that sell for less than $14.99 in hot categories such as home decor and gifts. Consumers who have a lodge or cabin style den, or who enjoy primitive decor, will find rugs, curtains, wall art and other decorative accessories to complete their look.
The Collections Etc. affiliate program is already active on the CJ and eBay Enterprise affiliate networks – and affiliates can earn an 8% commission. The program is now under Schaaf-PartnerCentric management.
Collections Etc. has a great selection for those who have country kitchens with themes such as apples or roosters and for gardens decorated with fairies, angels, butterflies and animals of all types. Collections Etc.’s solar lighting items are among our best sellers. When it comes to Holidays, Collections is your low cost source for unique home decor and gift items.
Collections Inc. also has Christmas merchandise including decor featuring Santa, snowmen, tin soldiers and more. Other best sellers are As Seen on TV items, well priced bedding and apparel. The ever expanding assortment now includes more health, beauty and comfort items.
When last you read Affiliate Marketing Digest, you were in the grips of Cyber Weekend madness. We hope your Cyber Week was a productive one. And now, as you take a
well-earned breather from all of the holiday stress, here’s a look at the news of the week:
Speaking of Cyber Weekend, we’ve been sharing the statistics from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is now officially the BIGGEST online shopping day in history, having grown 18% compared to 2012. Among the big winners this year is Pinterest, which tripled (yes – tripled!) the revenue it sent to online retailers. Shall we agree to put a pin in this one as not only one to watch – but one to get active with in the future?