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Affiliate Summit West – Rant…

As normal I started to respond to a post on wickedfire about affiliate summit west and got into a rant so I decided to post it here.

First off as I mentioned in my previous post I really like conferences and of all the conferences I’ve been to I like affilaite summit the best. Shawn Collins puts on a great conference and they seem to be getting better all the time.

However this one was a little overwhelming seems as though it had grown to about triple the size of the one last year. However felt like it didn’t grow proportionately. What I mean and what got sooooooo annoying is there were like 50 affiliate networks there. And every single one would constantly try and pitch you with the same crap.

When are these guys going to get a clue and provide a unique value proposition. This is an industry where the good people are good marketers and sales people. There’s nothing that makes me sadder then being pitched the same pitch over and over again. “I’ve never been an affiliate and made good money at it but I’m going to help you make money”.

For example, I was in the elevator with some guy going to a club and he just wanted to hard close me on being an affiliate for his shitty network I’ve never heard of. And they all say the same shit “we have the best payouts”, “we have lots of unique offers”, oh and don’t forget this one

But honestly the affiliate network space is getting more and more crowded and for those of you networks that are reading this FIND A —> UNIQUE <— VALUE PROPOSITION. Because the pushy salesman tactics isn’t going to get you anywhere in my camp And I don’t speak for all affiliates of course but if you’re looking to pull the bigger affiliates into your network give them things, that are going to make them money. As far as I’m concerned every pitch I heard was the same, they say we have unique offers and the highest payouts….. but all I heard if we want your traffic so we can make money off you.

Of course I have my people I’ve worked with for a long time and I don’t plan on changing because I have a comfort level with them and know I’m going to get paid. However if it was me and I was pitching a network I’d come up with things to offer bigger affiliates and make it about them making money and not yourself.

What tools might an affiliate use that you could help supply?

  1. emails
  2. bid data and keywords
  3. subscriptions to bid management systems
  4. use of in house coders
  5. custom built landing pages
  6. access to large networks to use for linking or discounts to paid link systems ( for example if you own a paid link network in addition to an affiliate network then give affiliates discounts )

My point is get creative people. And honestly make it about the affiliates and not about you. I know this is sales 101 but it just irked me walking through hearing the same crap over and over. My guestimation was there was about 1/3 affiliates and 2/3 products, advertisers and networks. Which is great for me but walking through I started to skip the booths that were networks and go to the technology booths because I know the technology is what makes me money.

Well enough ranting, I’ll throw up another post about some of the good stuff that happened when I get the chance but this one got started first. 🙂

P.S. My pitch would be if I owned a network and someone walked up to my booth I’d say

“I have a way to make you more money, are you interested in talking a little?”
“what monthly budget, volume do you do now?”
“If I could supply you with a couple things that would increase that would you be interested in running traffic to my network?” OF COURSE. < Insert Unique Value Proposition Here >

6 Comments

  1. Do you mean to say that if we are late-comers to the game and keep doing the same tired thing that everyone else is doing, we won’t be better than them? Dang it.

  2. Totally dude. I talked to a ton of affiliate networks in vegas, and i kept having to say the same thing. What do you have to offer me that other networks don’t? Everyone claims to have the best payouts and/or best customer service, which are great, but at the end of the day, they’re taking a cut of the money I’m making and need to do something to make up for it.

  3. I never understood why affiliate networks didn’t provide a toolset to make marketing their products easier.

    No hard pitch here, but that is exactly why we created Lead Alchemy (www.leadalchemy.com). Don’t re-invent the wheel each time you build a campaign or landing page.

    I couldn’t find any contact info to send a private message, but give me a shout and I can tell you more. andy_at_leadalchemy.com. Thanks.

  4. Lee Lee

    Hey man – great seeing you at the summit.

    I was shocked at the number of networks there as well. I spoke to most of them just out of curiosity and realized most of them aren’t going to make it because of what you’ve said. Most these guys get a bright idea that they want to run a network so they rush out and buy DirectTrack, which is pretty cheap and easy to do. The next part they don’t think about — how the hell do we stand out? You’ve got some great ideas and any network should pay heed if they want to succeed.

  5. I’m emailing this to my AM at CXDigital (Nate Poupko). I’ll bet he finds it interesting!

  6. Good point Lee. It was nice meeting you in Vegas!

    I’ve been an Affiliate in the game for almost 10 years and I can say from experience that I’ve seen almost every one of my Account Managers leave their company to start their own Network by simply buying DirectTrack. I think that’s why we see so many uncreative, cookie-cutter Networks with nothing unique to offer to their Affiliates. I go to these events as an Affiliate looking for new opportunities and I agree that most Networks lack uniqueness. There is nothing more annoying than when I tell someone my primary vertical is Home Business and just seconds later they’re pressing their Dating offer on me. I choose to work with those Networks who listen to my needs and work with me to help me accomplish my Affiliate goals.

    Diablo Media does operate an Affiliate Network but we don’t use DirectTrack. Instead we’ve built our own proprietary Ad Tracking platform 100% in house to insure it tracks and reports the way we would expect it to as an Affiliate. We also take a different approach with our Affiliates. We don’t use “big business” pressure tactics! Instead we listen to needs of our Affiliates and we work with them one-on-one to build a mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationship. Our backbone is our technology and we’re always updating our Ad Tracking platform to meet the needs of our Affiliates. Whether it’s reporting enhancements, ad serving optimization, or improving offer conversion, we’re always available to hear how we can make the Affiliate experience the best it can be.

    Great Article! It’s refreshing to see how other Affiliates like me view these bigger conference events.

    Ben Smith
    Founder & CEO
    Diablo Media, LLC

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