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Businesses turn to affiliate marketing during economic uncertainties


Most companies have felt the economic impacts over the recent years, not only from increased overheads and struggles to keep up with demand but from greater pressure on budgets across all key functions. This has encouraged many to explore the benefits of performance-based marketing. With goals of maximizing tight budgets while driving growth and recovery post-pandemic, more than 400 affiliate programs are launched on ShareASale each month – making this performance marketing platform one of the largest and most in demand in the US.

The role of performance-based marketing in a difficult economy

Just when economies have started to recover from the worst effects of the global pandemic, recent geopolitical events threaten them once again.

Energy prices skyrocket across the world and continued supply chain issues affect businesses and consumers alike. In the US, we have seen one of the largest surges in the consumer price index (CPI) outside of Eastern Europe, hitting an 8.5% annual increase – a high not seen in over 40 years. Exacerbated by geopolitical complications, prices of key goods like gas have surged 48% compared to last year. Even taking energy and food out of the equation, the so-called core inflation rate currently stands at 6.5% YoY – significantly higher than the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. The situation is compounded the rate of inflation rising above salary increases, cancelling out any added pay. Average hourly wages dropped 2.7% in February once factoring in inflation, the 12th month in a row workers have seen their effective pay fall.

Unsurprisingly, most businesses are tempted to cut spending from core functions like marketing during economic downturns. However, history shows us that businesses that tried to increase short-term profits and efficiency during a recession by reducing marketing spend saw virtually no benefit. The classic illustration of this comes from the Harvard Business Review’s researchin 1927 following the fortunes of companies during the Great Depression.

Tracking ad spend and company revenues during this period, it found that those that continued to invest in marketing grew inordinately quicker than those that did not.

Cereal brand Kellogg’s epitomized this tactic, doubling its ad spend during and surpassing market-leading rival Post, which had reacted by cutting marketing dramatically. In doing so, Kellogg’s established a dominance over competitors that it never relinquished.

Without capital to invest aggressively like Kellogg’s, greater pressure is naturally placed on brands that can’t simply spend their way through challenging periods. This is when intelligent and cost-efficient marketing measures like affiliate marketing offer critical solutions during economic uncertainty.

How ShareASale makes the channel more accessible as ever

When ROI is at the heart of the discussion, only paying for desired outcomes – whether that be sales or leads – is a huge benefit. Working with an affiliate platform like ShareASale offers the smallest startups and the largest businesses flexibility to fine-tune commissions via an intuitive and easy-to-use platform.

ShareASale’s low-cost entry point solution to affiliate marketing appeals to business of all scales, and is perfect for any brand looking to test the waters. However, entry level doesn’t mean feature light. All tools, from real time APIs to attribution tech, are readily available and accolated for speed, efficiency and accuracy.

While affiliate marketing is inherently lower risk due to its payment model, exploring a new channel can understandably come with concerns, especially during times of uncertainty. Compared to a general investment that could (or could not) pay off, enabling an affiliate marketing solution can drive more value with existing marketing budgets. With spend squeezed harder as inflation climbs, making each dollar go as far as possible is vital in maximizing efficiency. On average, ShareASale brands see a measurable return of $16 for every $1 spent, and due to the affiliate model, these dollars are only spent on desired outcomes – no performance, no payment.

That by itself would be a strong sell, but discounts the massive potential that lies in the new audiences and customers reachable via ShareASales’s vast range of partners. Every month, ShareASale welcomes over 10,000 new revenue-driving partners, which offer a completely new avenue for growth in a cost-efficient and minimal risk manner.

Setting up a ShareASale affiliate program is simple. Along its self-guided integration solution, ShareASale supplies readily available app store tags across popular ecommerce platforms like the ShareASale plugin for Shopify. Via these apps, ShareASale accelerates a brand’s ability to launch by tapping into the platform’s diversified partner directory – ranging from micro-influencers and bloggers to content commerce and tech innovation partners, as well as loyalty and coupon affiliates.

Although economists have suggested inflation is nearing its peak in recent months, implementing cost-effective strategies now will have significant impact even after pressure eases. If you are looking to simultaneously grow to meet demand, while also ensuring each dollar is spent as efficiently as possible, ShareASale’s easy and low-cost affiliate marketing solution best positions you to achieve these goals.

Get started with ShareASale today and maximize your dollars with affiliate marketing.



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The Awin Group introduces new agency certification and launches multi-market Agency Success Center


We’re excited to release two new Awin Group agency-exclusive offerings, supporting our partners in managing successful programs on our platforms and to unlock the Awin advantage. 

Developed by Awin’s agency team, the new certification is designed to enable agency representatives to optimize affiliate marketing activity on Awin and recognize them as industry experts and leaders across the platform. Agencies with accredited account managers can become fully accredited and earn preferred Awin agency partner status.

In addition to the accreditation and following the success of Awin US and ShareASale’s Agency Resource Center, we’ve launched a new multi-market Agency Success Center. This all-in-one interactive hub of partner opportunities, resources, support and Awin and ShareASale training materials empowers agencies to drive even better results for themselves and their clients across our two platforms.

Get certified, get discovered,
get recognized

Comprised of four modules, Awin’s certification
program provides agency account managers with a comprehensive overview of the
platform, from integration and launch to partner recruitment and best practices.
Testing knowledge on the affiliate and partner marketing industry as well as
Awin, the accreditation gives the elite recognition needed to stand out from
the competition. While any agency account manager can become certified,
agencies with multiple certified employees achieve preferred Awin partner
status and are recommended to brands looking for strategic guidance and
hands-on management.

US performance marketing agency PartnerCentric is the first to become fully certified under Awin’s new global accreditation. When asked about the importance of this to PartnerCentric, Account Manger Leah Vogel says, “It was important I get certified so we can show to prospective clients we are experts in our field and across the platforms we use. Expertise is a core pillar for PartnerCentric that we value highly and always strive to exemplify. Awin’s new certification aligned with our ethos perfectly. The videos were really helpful for summarizing key processes and teaching me new things. Ultimately, all of the materials were incredibly relevant to being an Awin account manager and serving my clients well.”

In addition to the Awin program, North
American agencies can also become ShareASale certified. This six-part training
course, developed by recommendations from industry experts and actual
experiences of ShareASale clients, provides the know-how on running an
affiliate program on the platform – learning everything from the basics of
setting up a program and the best ways to communicate with affiliates, to the
variety of ShareASale tools and technologies and how to maintain long-term
success. And like the Awin certification, while any agency representative can
become certified, agencies with multiple certified employees achieve preferred
partner status to increase visibility and profile on ShareASale.  

To make sure agencies remain Awin and
ShareASale experts, certified partners must renew their accreditation annually.

Grow, connect and optimize across our
platforms

With exclusive access to over 150 partnerships opportunities, strategic insights, Awin and ShareASale training materials, industry resources and more, the new Agency Success Center helps agencies get the most out of our two leading platforms, their partnership opportunities and innovative technologies. Similar to Awin’s Partner and Advertiser Success Centers, the user-friendly design of the agency portal means partners can easily find the guidance and recommendations needed to tackle even the most critical affiliate marketing challenges and optimize client programs and their own agency offerings.

When discussing how the Agency Success Center has impacted its business, Acceleration Partners Chief Client Officer Sarah Johnson-Dayes states, “Brands are increasingly seeking more advanced expertise from agencies as they navigate the ever-evolving affiliate and partner marketing landscape. The Agency Success Center elevates our team’s ability to guide these brands, strengthen their relationships with partners, and scale their affiliate and partner programs around the world.”

Speaking about the launch of the agency certification and Agency Success Center, Awin US Partnership Development Director Rachel Tyrer says, “I’m incredibly excited to launch the new accreditation and to make the US Agency Resource Center exclusively available across multiple markets. We’ve long understood the demanding task agencies face in managing several programs and varying stakeholder needs, all while simultaneously delivering growth for the channel. With the specialized education and resources Awin provides, our agency partners have access to the resources and insights needed to bring even greater value to the brands they represent. Furthermore, our clients can benefit from working with preferred agency partners and be confident they possess the critical know-how to running a successful affiliate program. With over 10 agency account managers certified as part of the BETA launch and two certified agencies, I look forward to seeing more agency partners get certified in the coming months.”

Completing Awin and ShareASale’s agency certifications are an exclusive benefit to partners using the Agency Success Center. Apply for your access here.

If you’re an agency not working with the Awin Group looking to enhance your partner marketing efforts and drive growth for your clients, please get in touch.



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ShareASale releases new partner Help Center and ticketing support system


As part of our commitment to continually improve your experience on our platform, we’re excited to release ShareASale’s new Help Center and ticketing support system – available tomorrow, May 17.

Please note: We are upgrading the Help Center and ticketing support system at 3pm CT on Tuesday, May 17. Access may be temporarily unavailable but will be complete by end of business day. If you currently have an open support request in the previous ShareASale ticketing system, this will automatically be transferred to the new ZenDesk system during this time and you will receive emailed instructions on how to access once complete.

What is
the new Help Center and how do I access it?

Powered by Zendesk’s award-winning customer service software, ShareASale’s new Help Center is an all-in-one support hub designed to drive partner success. Visit the site for access to articles, videos and guides on topics including program training, growth opportunities, industry and sector insights and partner recruitment, as well as general guidance and optimizations. The Help Center is also where you can submit a ticket to request further support from our team of experts.

To
access the new Help Center and submit a ticket:

What are the benefits of the new Help Center?

ShareASale’s modern Help Center accelerates our customer-first approach, making resources more readily available to all partners. If you cannot find answers to your questions, simply raise a ticket via one of the above methods. You will be asked to select your account type and answer some initial questions to help us understand the scope of your request and provide feedback. The more information you can provide, the easier it is for us to assist.

Start
using the Help Center Today for:

  • 24/7
    access to relevant partner resources
  • Accelerated
    response times
  • Defined
    ticket fields to increase response relevancy
  • Real-time
    support feedback
  • Direct
    access to team of experts

Alexandra Forsch, president of Awin US, says, “ShareASale’s new Help Center elevates our ability to bring long-term success to clients by providing direct access to expert guidance, tips on how to strengthen relationships with partners, and best practices for scaling programs. The platform also enables our partners to easily get answers to any question through either a dedicated article or by a member of the team. We are excited to offer yet another resource to help you find success in the affiliate channel.”

We hope you will find value in our new Help Center and ticketing support feature and look forward to your feedback. You can visit it here or directly within the UI starting tomorrow, May 17.

For any
questions, please contact shareasale@shareasale.com



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Businesses turn to affiliate marketing during economic uncertainties


Most companies have felt the economic impacts over the recent years, not only from increased overheads and struggles to keep up with demand but from greater pressure on budgets across all key functions. This has encouraged many to explore the benefits of performance-based marketing. With goals of maximizing tight budgets while driving growth and recovery post-pandemic, more than 400 affiliate programs are launched on ShareASale each month – making this performance marketing platform one of the largest and most in demand in the US.

The role of performance-based marketing in a difficult
economy

Just when economies have started to recover from the worst effects of the global pandemic, recent geopolitical events threaten them once again.

Energy prices skyrocket across the world and continued supply chain issues affect businesses and consumers alike. In the US, we have seen one of the largest surges in the consumer price index (CPI) outside of Eastern Europe, hitting an 8.5% annual increase – a high not seen in over 40 years. Exacerbated by geopolitical complications, prices of key goods like gas have surged 48% compared to last year. Even taking energy and food out of the equation, the so-called core inflation rate currently stands at 6.5% YoY – significantly higher than the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. The situation is compounded the rate of inflation rising above salary increases, cancelling out any added pay. Average hourly wages dropped 2.7% in February once factoring in inflation, the 12th month in a row workers have seen their effective pay fall.

Unsurprisingly, most businesses are tempted to cut spending from core functions like marketing during economic downturns. However, history shows us that businesses that tried to increase short-term profits and efficiency during a recession by reducing marketing spend saw virtually no benefit. The classic illustration of this comes from the Harvard Business Review’s researchin 1927 following the fortunes of companies during the Great Depression.

Tracking ad spend and company revenues during this period, it found that those that continued to invest in marketing grew inordinately quicker than those that did not.

Cereal brand Kellogg’s epitomized this tactic, doubling its ad spend during and surpassing market-leading rival Post, which had reacted by cutting marketing dramatically. In doing so, Kellogg’s established a dominance over competitors that it never relinquished.

Without capital to invest aggressively like Kellogg’s, greater pressure is naturally placed on brands that can’t simply spend their way through challenging periods. This is when intelligent and cost-efficient marketing measures like affiliate marketing offer critical solutions during economic uncertainty.

How ShareASale makes the channel more accessible as ever

When ROI is at the heart of the discussion, only paying for desired outcomes – whether that be sales or leads – is a huge benefit. Working with an affiliate platform like ShareASale offers the smallest startups and the largest businesses flexibility to fine-tune commissions via an intuitive and easy-to-use platform.

ShareASale’s low-cost entry point solution to affiliate marketing appeals to business of all scales, and is perfect for any brand looking to test the waters. However, entry level doesn’t mean feature light. All tools, from real time APIs to attribution tech, are readily available and accolated for speed, efficiency and accuracy.

While affiliate marketing is inherently lower risk due to its payment model, exploring a new channel can understandably come with concerns, especially during times of uncertainty. Compared to a general investment that could (or could not) pay off, enabling an affiliate marketing solution can drive more value with existing marketing budgets. With spend squeezed harder as inflation climbs, making each dollar go as far as possible is vital in maximizing efficiency. On average, ShareASale brands see a measurable return of $16 for every $1 spent, and due to the affiliate model, these dollars are only spent on desired outcomes – no performance, no payment.

That by itself would be a strong sell, but discounts the massive potential that lies in the new audiences and customers reachable via ShareASales’s vast range of partners. Every month, ShareASale welcomes over 10,000 new revenue-driving partners, which offer a completely new avenue for growth in a cost-efficient and minimal risk manner.

Setting up a ShareASale affiliate program is simple. Along its self-guided integration solution, ShareASale supplies readily available app store plugins across popular ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify. Via these apps, ShareASale accelerates a brand’s ability to launch by tapping into the platform’s diversified partner directory – ranging from micro-influencers and bloggers to content commerce and tech innovation partners, as well as loyalty and coupon affiliates.

Although economists have suggested inflation is nearing its peak in recent months, implementing cost-effective strategies now will have significant impact even after pressure eases. If you are looking to simultaneously grow to meet demand, while also ensuring each dollar is spent as efficiently as possible, ShareASale’s easy and low-cost affiliate marketing solution best positions you to achieve these goals.

Get started with ShareASale today and maximize your dollars with affiliate marketing.



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Four major trends driving success in influencer marketing


Influencer marketing is not a new concept but it’s enjoying newfound reach. According to Collabstr, even after climbing more than 40% in 2021, influencer will continue its rapid rise to hit $15 billion in value by year’s end. Naturally, brands are leaning into influencer marketing partnerships, hoping to cultivate meaningful and profitable relationships with creators and customers alike.

This activity is reshaping the industry landscape in many ways. From the explosion of TikTok and blended influencer-affiliate campaigns, to a developing dichotomy of influencers and the value of authenticity, there’s plenty to take in.

The rise of TikTok

Insider Intelligence projects TikTok will hit 755 million monthly users in 2022. This is after experiencing nearly 60%  growth in 2020 and approximately 40% growth in 2021. The rise of TikTok demonstrates the potential of the creator economy. No longer viewed as a Gen Z platform for dance challenges, it’s rapid growth was made possible by a creator-centric approach. And, the variety of creators and content is now providing brands with a great opportunity to find the right fit and convert TikTok users into new customers.

The relatability of many TikTokers is what makes users trust its recommendations and take action. This is not lost on TikTok, which realizes the value in enticing content creators. Users are more likely to buy a product seen on a video from profiles they follow regularly or from their feed because the content is relevant to them. That said, sponsored content doesn’t immediately feel like an “ad,” hence the popularity of #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt – a tag that doesn’t just attract billions of views. It drives sales for brands.

Blended influencer and affiliate marketing

Proving
ROI from influencer marketing remains a primary challenge for marketers. As
companies look to successfully track influencer engagement and maximize ROI,
we’ve seen a recent shift in brands bringing affiliate and influencer marketing
closer together.

Platforms like ShareASale offer brands access to affiliate tracking links and cookieless coupon tracking – tools that are particularly effective for engaging with creators, measuring performance and controlling influencer spend. The robust tracking and attribution available on ShareASale can further support this by effectively assessing the value of a creator in complex multi-touch and multi-channel consumer journeys.

With social media platforms pushing for in-app shopping, creators now have the potential to own the majority of the customer experience. And with the ShareASale platform, brands can most-effectively leverage creators to support awareness and discovery, as well as to drive sales.

Influencers and authenticity

Brands have started to recognize the benefits of partnering with nano- (under 10,000 followers) and micro- (between 10,000-200,000 followers) influencers, compared to creators with millions of followers.

Nano- and micro-influencers have a greater reputation for being genuine and authentic. Their followers trust that the products featured are ones they’ve actually tested and liked. And the perception that these influencers are more approachable supports higher engagement rates.

Brand
authenticity and transparency are key to building connections and influencing
the next generation of customers. The most engaging and successful videos are
usually the ones that are non-promotional and reflect the personality of the
creator. Also, authentic content is more likely to be repurposed by brands to
reach users outside of the creator’s audience – creating a win-win situation that
gives more exposure to both the brand and influencer.

Social media platforms recognize this shift. New tools and opportunities continue to be made available to more users than before. Instagram Stories’ link feature, originally available only to users with 10k+ followers or verified accounts, is now accessible by anyone on the platform and can be used to share products with their audience at the click of a button. Creators of all size can now also take advantage of the rise of livestreaming shopping, providing further means to engage with audiences and create a more interactive and immersive experience.

As brands prioritize organic development and authenticity over audience reach, a growing share of influencer marketing budgets will continue to go to nano- and micro-influencers.

It’s a partnership

Partnering with creators through a brand’s affiliate program builds
long-term relationships, making creators feel valued and fairly rewarded. This
also encourages the creator to produce more organic content as opposed to waiting
until the next campaign, providing the brand with more exposure and adding to
the authenticity that audiences value most.

Today, brands can best engage with creators by adopting technology designed to manage affiliate partnerships, deliver resources and drive results. As an affiliate platform, ShareASale allows the monitoring of influencer traffic and conversions to identify what product(s) resonate most with audiences. Influencers can then better ensure the success of their partnerships via tools that leverage related data, while you can assess the value of influencer campaigns to accurately determine ROI.

Join an ShareASale today.



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Publisher spotlight: Reviewed – ShareASale Blog


Reviewed‘s mission is to help you buy the best stuff and love what you’ve already got. Learn more about their new Accessibility category.

Reviewed is a team of product experts that put in the hard work of testing products so you don’t have to. They’ll have solid recommendations for you—no matter your budget—and will teach you how to unlock the secret benefits of the things you already own.

We saw the recent announcement regarding Reviewed’s newly launched Accessibility category, and knew immediately that this is something we want Awin and ShareASale to be a part of.  It is always fantastic to see more of our partners bringing accessibility to the forefront. Continue reading to learn more about Reviewed’s accessibility initiatives, the motivation behind it and how you can partner with them in this space.

To give more insight into this exciting new development, can you elaborate on what exactly the Accessibility category is? What kind of content and products can readers expect?

We want to be the authority on disability and aging products and services in a digital landscape that has long excluded this growing population. Our reviews are trustworthy because they are written, curated, and edited by the people who use these products: the disabled and caregivers of the aging and disabled. We bring a unique authority to the topic with our collective experience, and we are leading the industry in serving the people who so deeply need to find the right product for their specific use cases.

We review anything that fosters independence and/or wellbeing for people who need to adapt to changing physical or mental abilities. These products are not always marketed toward the disabled – in fact, they often are not. Instead, we look for products that just make life easier and more doable, regardless of the intended market. We have covered portable air compressors for wheelchair tires, adaptive silverware for people with tremors, yoga apps for chronic back pain, an easy meal kit for those with dexterity limitations, vibrating alarm clocks for the deaf, and much more. Disabilities vary broadly, and therefore so does our coverage.

Why did you feel that it was important to create this dedicated section?

To live without a disability is, at best, a temporary state of being. One billion people globally, or about 15 percent of the population, currently live with disability and until now have been ignored in the product review space. They rely on word-of-mouth recommendations that often lead to round after frustrating rounds of trial-and-error. Reviewed wants to do its part to change that. There are so many adaptations, hacks, and ideas that could be shared if given the right platform.

How does your team select the products and companies that you feature?

Instead of a product-first approach, we put the experience of people with disabilities at the forefront of our publishing process for this vertical. Our accessibility coverage follows the experts. We scout out experienced, talented disabled writers and ask them what works – what they would be excited to share. We don’t so much select products as we do people, and then we let them lead us to the right reviews.

How does your team test these products? Does it differ from your process for other product categories?

Adaptive products are tricky. We cannot often create a testing rubric or standardized means of defining a “good” adaptive item. In fact, what might be the “best” product in our regular testing might not be great for someone with a disability, so we take a different approach with this coverage. Again, we rely on the writer’s expertise as someone who has lived with and used the product to make their world more accessible. These are not quick-turnaround reviews, because we want to be sure to capture most accurately what it’s like to be a disabled person or caregiver using this product. No two disabled people are the same, so we know what works for one person might not work for another. That is why it is so important to us that we present the information as thoroughly as possible, so the reader can decide if it fits their needs.

Are there opportunities available through the affiliate channel for the Accessibility category?

Absolutely. Not only do major retailers and brands now carry accessible focused products and lines, which are covered by affiliate, but there has been a shift in consumers behavior towards purchasing and supporting universally designed products. Many of the products we traditionally define as Accessible actually are made for all types of people, not those with just one particular disability. We are constantly working with new and emerging brands as well to help foster and promote category awareness.

What makes an advertiser a good fit for this section?

We currently work with a limited group of partners. To be considered a good fit and worthy of coverage, product must be well-reviewed by our experts and the community at large. If the product wins one of our Editors’ Choice awards, it is an even better fit, and will likely get more attention. That being said, we only work with and promote products and services that align with our values and mission as a company.

How can advertisers best support this campaign?

The best way to help is to get products and services to our editors for hands-on testing. Or to simply alert us when there are new things that need testing and vetting. There are also many opportunities for our partners to help support our efforts around key events and holidays, such as Autism Awareness Month.

Where do you see this category/initiative growing to in 2022?

This category has been neglected for a long time, so we see this as a high-growth opportunity, but it needs to be handled with care. We believe the Accessibility category will continue expanding this year into a more universally designed focused category and audience, with products and services created for all types of people, across all abilities. Our goal is to align with and cover the best brands and retailers in the space, and to showcase the amazing innovations taking place across e-commerce, which are helping people live better, healthier and happier lives. We are proud to be supporting the Accessibility category, along with the disability community at large.

Interested in partnering with Reviewed? Please contact our publisher management team.



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Connect with ShareASale to optimize your affiliate activity


We are thrilled to be ramping up our event attendance this year, through a variety of event sponsorships and speaking engagements.

As we head into Q2, the Awin Group will be busy sharing how our marketing technology platform can help brands accurately measure marketing spend, acquire new customers through a diverse publisher portfolio, and ultimately, achieve incremental revenue growth tied directly to sales performance at 16:1 ROAS. Find Awin and ShareASale at the following events this March through June and learn more: 

Shoptalk 2022, March 27-30, Las Vegas: One of the retail industry’s largest events, Shoptalk brings together large retailers and branded manufacturers, startups, tech companies, investors, media and analysts to learn, collaborate and create the future of retail with four days of highly relevant content, curated meetings, productive networking and facilitated social engagements. 

PI Live Advanced, April 26, New York City: A one-day performance marketing conference focusing purely on how e-commerce brands can optimize the planning, execution and return from their performance and partner marketing strategy. 

Influencer Marketing Show, April 27, New York City: A conference structured purely for brands to ensure they navigate their way through the planning, execution, and management of smart influencer marketing campaigns. Awin’s Influencer Marketing Manager, Carissa Flinders, will be presenting on “Maximize Your Influencer ROI: Tracking and Attribution through the Affiliate Channel.” 

eTail Connect East, May 4-6, Fort Lauderdale: The one-stop shop for eCommerce, digital marketing and customer experience executives, eTail Connect aims to inspire top retailers and brands to embrace and test transformative technology in order to master customer personalization and boost their omni-marketing strategy. 

Affiliate Summit East 2022, May 24-25, New York City: The “original performance marketing event,” this two day conference brings together the best ecommerce entrepreneurs, affiliates, media buyers, networks and tech suppliers. 

SubSummit 2022, June 1-3, Orlando: The world’s largest conference dedicated to D2C subscriptions, where you can grow your network and discover services provided by industry-leading suppliers to unlock the next stage of your business. 

In addition to contacting our team via at these events, you can connect with us at any time by arranging a meeting or reaching out via LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook





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Why small businesses and startups are using affiliate marketing to find their next customer


Affiliate marketing allows you to work with individuals that promote what you sell to their audiences and only pay on a performance basis. 

Every business, from the biggest brand to the smallest startup, needs a digital marketing strategy.

That fact has only grown, with online sales increasing by almost 50% in 2020. As shops closed their doors through ongoing lockdowns – leaving people with no option but to buy online – ecommerce purchases skyrocketed and consumers of all ages and all walks of life turned to the internet.

Established retailers with slick online stores could take advantage of this revolution, but that didn’t mean it was bad news for small businesses as data showed consumers were just as eager to shop locally.

A recent survey found almost half have been buying from neighborhood businesses online during the pandemic. And research from Barclaycard indicates that trend is set to continue, with more than 90% of people who have shopped locally saying they will keep doing so as life returns to normal.

If you’re a small business that’s an obvious relief. But just because shoppers want to buy what you’re selling, it doesn’t always mean they know where to go online to find your products.

If you’re strapped for time, the huge variety of solutions companies offer to help connect you with your next customer can feel overwhelming.

So where should you invest your time, energy and marketing budgets to guarantee the biggest bang for your buck and help you ride the wave of interest in online shopping?

Affiliate and partner marketing.

Affiliate or partner marketing, put simply, allows you as a business selling something to work with individual affiliates that promote what you sell to their audiences.

These audiences will be different depending on who the affiliate is. And there is no such thing as a standard affiliate, with a wide range of channels from Google AdWords, paid listings and display advertising to influencers, bloggers, price comparison and incentive platforms like coupon code or cashback sites.

This type of performance-based marketing opens up a new world to many businesses, helping to find your next customer and only pay for results (not risk).

We see it as one of online marketing’s best kept secrets.

There are a range of low-cost options to choose from to create an affiliate marketing program that complements your other online marketing activity. Here at ShareASale we’re proud that we’ve been supporting the growth of small businesses and startups with affiliate marketing for more than 20 years.

Accessible to anyone with an online store, ShareASale offers a variety of solutions that are underpinned by the three principles of automation, ease of use and low-risk.

With a quick and easy setup, supported by comprehensive training materials guiding advertisers as they progress through their affiliate journey, ShareASale offers brands the perfect affiliate marketing solution and empowers these businesses to flexibly manage all their online relationships with one tracking and payment platform – giving you the tools, confidence and capabilities to unlock digital marketing at a time when you perhaps need it most.

Don’t believe us? Let’s examine one startup’s success story on running an affiliate program with ShareASale.

With over 15 years of experience in the rug business, Boutique Rugs is a small direct-to-consumer ecommerce store offering area rugs and runners in a variety of sizes, designs and colors to customers with diverse taste. With an existing affiliate program on the ShareASale platform since 2018, Boutique Rugs looked to elevate and optimize its activity in 2020.

Starting the year with a just small mix of influencers and traditional coupon affiliates, the ShareASale platform allowed Boutique Rugs to understand how every partner influenced a consumer’s journey in the path to purchase. With these insights, Boutique Rugs could then recognize the need to incorporate mass media publishers into its affiliate mix as a new partner type. Not active on the program, mass media publishers had the necessary audience and reach to introduce Boutique Rug products to an untapped customer base.

Furthermore, the ShareASale platform allowed Boutique Rugs to group affiliates within its program for targeted communications and commission rates. This helped the brand keep partners engaged and motivated.

Thanks to the easy-to-use tools and technology of ShareASale alongside the platform’s diverse partners, the Boutique Rugs affiliate program saw $4 million in additional revenue from affiliate-driven sales in 2020, with 46% of all program revenue coming from new affiliate partnerships. Additionally, 10% of all traffic was now being driven by from the newly-engaged mass media publishers.

Are you ready to take the plunge into affiliate and partner marketing? Get started on ShareASale today.



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Publisher spotlight: theSkimm – ShareASale Blog


theSkimm is a mission-driven media company dedicated to giving millennial women the information they need to live their smartest lives.

Since launching in 2012, theSkimm has become a trusted source for a community of millions of Skimm’rs by seamlessly integrating into their existing routines, fundamentally changing the way its audience consumes news and makes decisions. theSkimm’s flagship product, the Daily Skimm, is still the fastest growing newsletter on the market, and its sub-brands have expanded to help this audience maneuver through life’s necessities – from news, to money, wellness, career, and recommendations.

As we come to the end of Women’s History Month, we asked this female-founded company to share their thoughts, reflect on their experience and provide advice for other women in the industry.

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

theSkimm makes it easier for millennial women to live smarter. Every day, we aim to consistently create content that helps women solve everyday problems with the best products year-round. We’re constantly looking for new ways to partner with other woman-owned brands, especially in the branded and affiliate spaces. theSkimm also provides educational content, from finance content to wellness tips. We also want to help women shop smarter and discover quality products – all while saving time (and money) along the way. We’re focusing on ways to guide women through big life stages like buying a home, landing a dream job, growing their families, and more.

What values are core to your company’s culture, and are these things you look for in an advertiser partner?

Our core values are Go Big, Be Humble, Work Smarter, Have Perspective, Elevate Voices, and Skimm Together. We aim to set ambitious goals, show gratitude, hustle every day (but enjoy the ride), take action to foster belonging and inclusivity, and always work as a team. We definitely look for these things in the advertisers we partner with.

Is partnering with other woman-founded companies a priority for your team? Are there any woman-founded advertisers you have a particularly valuable partnership with?

Yes! We strive to partner with other woman-founded companies to increase awareness and educate our audience. We want to diversify our partnerships and be as inclusive as possible. In the affiliate space we work with Deux, Yellow Owl Workshop, Free Period Press, and Tushy (among many others). We’ve also partnered with Lively, Andie Swim, Daily Harvest, Our Place, and Saie Beauty, among many others on the sales side.

Did you have any specific campaigns or opportunities for Women’s History Month, and how could advertisers participate?

As a company founded by and for women, we like to celebrate extraordinary women and their big wins all year long. And although women are at the top of their game, there are societal standards and norms that haven’t grown at the same rate. This Women’s History Month, we took it up a notch and created Scrap the Rules, presented by Fidelity and Lilly Pulitzer. All month long, we highlighted the women who are rewriting society’s rules and empowering future generations to play by their own. And inspired our audience to do the same — through an interactive timeline featuring trailblazing women from all industries, podcast episodes on the lasting impact of rule breakers throughout history and today, curated product and book guides, and more.

Do you have any advice for women in media?

Create connections, lift other women up, and share your experiences. When you join forces, there’s always a greater impact.

Interested in working with theSkimm? Please contact our publisher management team.



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Introducing Awin’s Power 100 – ShareASale Blog


In an industry first, the sixth annual Awin Report showcases 100 of the most innovative partners on our global platform.

Curated by our own experts, the partners profiled in the new Awin Report represent some of the most exciting partnership opportunities on our platform across all sectors and types, drawing insights from markets as geographically disparate as Latin America and Eastern Europe. Coined the #Power100, these 100 publishers aren’t simply the biggest or highest revenue generating, but instead push the boundaries of what it means to be a partner in the affiliate channel.  

Spanning every imaginable model – TikTok creators, price comparison sites, niche bloggers, global media powerhouses, cutting-edge technologies, FinTech pioneers, even brands – the Power 100’s diversity is testament to the sheer depth of innovation and malleability of affiliate marketing. And their impact speaks for itself, generating $4.5 billion in revenue across 52 million sales for 7,465 Awin advertisers in 2021. Furthermore, the Power 100 provided brands, on average, an ROI of 14:1, 37% more revenue and 22% more sales. 

Meet the first ever #Power100.  

As you flip through the new Awin Report, you’ll see this industry-first benchmark demonstrates how affiliate partnerships helped retailers address all needs of the consumer in unique ways, culminating in five key themes:  

  • Enabling ethical ecommerce: Discover publishers helping advertisers and customers connect for positive impact – extending beyond sustainability to shopping in ways that also support inclusivity, diversity and community good. Some of the partners profiled in this section include Sustainable Jungle, a blogging site sharing tips, hacks, brands and products for a more sustainable life, combining SEO-focused content with an environmental lens to drive results; and &Charge, the first loyalty program for electric and sustainable urban mobility in Europe that lets users earn and redeem ‘kilometers’ on purchases in exchange for free public charging of electric vehicles. 
  • Redefining ‘affiliate’: When you think of the word ‘affiliate’, is the definition the same as ‘influencer’ or ‘partner’? This chapter aims to reshape what it means to be an affiliate today, as it’s beyond those engaged at the bottom of the sales funnel. It’s global retailers like MyProtein, who are partnering with other brands to promote complementary offers and products in exchange for a commission that can be reinvested into its own performance marketing channels. And agencies like Sellers Alley, an official TikTok marketing partner that can deploy ad strategies on behalf of advertisers at no additional service cost. These are two examples of businesses changing the narrative around what it means to be an affiliate. 
  • Outsourcing innovation: An extension of Redefining ‘affiliate’, this section spotlights the new opportunities advertisers have in channel to enhance their ecommerce offerings by removing the burden of developing tech in house. With most partners enabled at the flip of a switch via the Awin MasterTag, those profiled include MikMak, an ecommerce marketing analytics and enablement software that helps retailers understand and perfect their consumers’ online journey; and Twenga, a CSS shopping ads provider that can predict conversion rate and basket value on products to set the optimal bid value.  

Of course, we couldn’t forget the brightest among the more ‘traditional’ partners on our platform like discount code and cashback. In Tapping into local markets, read about different publishers cornering the affiliate landscape in one of the 35+ countries we operate. And in Going global, find affiliates offering brands ample opportunities to expand their reach and target new customers across Awin’s global remit. 

The Power 100 will inspire, inform and challenge your perceptions of affiliate and partner marketing, and provide the perfect guide to amplify your activity.  

Access your free copy of the Awin Report 2022: Power 100 here

What partners featured in this year’s Awin Report excite you the most? Join the conversation by sharing your thoughts on social using #AwinReport and #Power100.  



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