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The Affiliate Program Managers Newsletter April 2001 Issue

30th April 2001


1.    Overcoming the Negatives
2.    How Much Time and Money Can I Really Save You?
3.    Ibiz Interview
4.    Goodbye to MagicButton
5.    Powerful New Features From 'My Affiliate Program'
6.    Have Your Say (WilsonWeb survey)
7.    Post Your Affiliate Questions Here
8.    UK Managers Get2Gether
9.    Hired Gun
10.  Back Issues
11.  How to promote your services to Affiliate Managers


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1.  Overcoming the Negatives

You only need a brief visit to one of the popular affiliate forums
to find vocal affiliates illustrating the latest merchant that has
'stiffed them'.

Affiliates complaining that they haven't received due commissions,
payments being made late and terms imposed retrospectively to simply
prevent making payments are commonplace.

Often these posts only show the affiliates side of the story but
occasionally damning 'evidence' is presented such as the recent
posting of alledged ICQ logs of a merchant discussing how to minimise
their partners due payments.

While I know such unscrupulous merchants are in the minority, such
cheats and fraudsters damage the industry as a whole.

Imagine how a new affiliate feels after reviewing such message boards
- that lack of confidence will go a long way to stopping them from
promoting *any* affiliate program.

Every industry has its share of sharks and cowboys but spend too long
talking to affiliates and you could come away with the impression that
it's rotten through and through.

So what's to be done and is there anything you, the honest merchant
can do to overcome the negatives within the industry?

The Affiliate Union (www.affiliateunion.com) was a great start and has
gone a long way to initiate a fair criteria for affiliate agreements.
Perhaps if you haven't already you ought to ensure your program
agreement works in line with their recommendations.  The AU seem to
have gone a little quiet for now, but let's hope we start to see
active certification from them soon.

Perhaps the industry would also benefit from a trade body or
association, responsible for promoting the positive aspects of the
industry and represent merchants to develop affiliate confidence?

In the meantime, look at what you can do to overcome such negatives.

They may all seem rather small points but added as a whole and with
concerted efforts I have no doubt they can make a difference in
generating confidence about your individual program.

- Make your program stand out.  Put a person behind your program.
Don't tell potential affiliates to get in touch with your 'Affiliate
Team' - give them a name, an email address and a phone number.

- Maintain a high level of communications with your affiliate partners
and feature successful partners editorially.  Why not include
affiliates testimonials on your affiliate information page?  Few sites
would try to sell their products without 3rd party testimonials why
should selling the concept of your affiliate program be any different?

- Be upfront with your affiliates, if you do need to change your terms
or business model explain why and with good notice.  A request for
link updates by tomorrow morning really isn't very helpful.

- Dedicate a little time - it need only be an hour or two at the end
of play on Friday, but drop into the affiliate discussion forums and
be active in helping affiliates with questions.  Your help will be
appreciated and generate positive exposure for your program.

- Ensure management within your organisation understand the importance
of your affiliate program and the commitment that you have made as a
company to your 'partners'.  Other departments need to be aware that
business decisions have to be balanced with your affiliates in mind so
as not to undermine their efforts.

- Remember your program is about people and relationships.  If you
don't already own a copy I highly recommend clicking thru to your
favourite bookstore and buying a copy of Dale Carnegie's 'How to Win
Friends and Influence People'.

Have any comments on this article? Have your say at the Affiliate Managers
Discussion Forum -



Optimising Traffic, Sales and Profits through
Performance-based Advertising

21st & 22nd May 2001, Central London

Showcasing European merchants already taking advantage
of the benefits of performance-based marketing.  Through
case study examples and expert presentations, delegates will
gain invaluable insight into developing a successful and profitable
affiliate program.

Anyone seeking to establish a new program or looking for
ways of refining an existing affiliate marketing strategy cannot
afford to miss the vital tips and insider information being offered
at this event.


Tel : +44 (20) 7647 2250 or email tahirr@marcusevansuk.com

2.  How Much Time and Money Can I Really Save You?

Last week one of my customers got in touch to offer some friendly

They told me that when they purchased my new book 'The Practical Guide
to Creating and Managing a Profitable Affiliate Program', they where a
little doubtful as to how helpful the guide would actually be.  In the
end they decided to pick up the book as the cost represented a tiny
proportion of their total investment of both time and money in their
affiliate program.

It turns out that this particular customer found the manual really
rather useful and this led to an ongoing relationship with me helping
to actively launch their affiliate program.  <Quick Customer Plug>
www.blexel.com offers an 'intelligent' virtual shopping assistant to
help store visitors choose the right products for their needs -
helping to put more sales in your shopping cart!</plug>.

The 'Practical Guide' was truly a labour love, it took me years to acquire
knowledge and almost 3 months to put to paper.

Whether I save you a few months of learning by trial and error, in
choosing the correct tracking solution or simply provide one great
idea to help recruit or activate more partners the guide will pay for
itself many times over.

If you're in anyway unsure, please accept my invitation to take full
advantage of the guarantee.  Download the book and take as much time
as you need to read through.  If you can't find anything that saves
you time, money or helps you generate additional income then email me
and I'll process a refund immediately.

To accept my 'Time and Money Saving Challenge' download your copy at -


3. Ibiz Interview

Nettie Hartstock of Ibiz Interviews interviewed me last month, if you
would like to find out a little more about me and my thoughts on what
makes a successful program visit:


4. Goodbye MagicButton.Net

I'm sorry to report that as of April 27th the first UK specific
network, MagicButton.Net has gone into liquidation.

I've commented in the past that the UK market is a little overcrowded
with solution providers, but it's a great shame to see MagicButton go.
They where a professional outfit and had attracted many leading brand
names to the industry.

Speaking with George Burdon, CEO for MagicButton he assured me that
they where continuing to act on behalf of their merchants advising on
suitable alternative solutions in the interim.

It's good to see their professionalism follows through to the end.


Affiliate Announce Premium service

Still the same great service, providing
a quick and easy submissions service
to all the leading affiliate directories
but now offering a personal one-to-one
consultancy service to help optimise
your directory listings.

Visit http://www.affiliate-announce.com

5. Powerful New Features From 'My Affiliate Program'

I've raved about Kowbunga's 'My Affiliate Program Software' for a
while now, in fact I use the software to power my programs.  Kowabunga
have now added two new features to their software to make it even

Strictly speaking these new features have been added to their email
module 'Opt In Pro'.  It is now a fully fledged email marketing
package in it's own right and can be purchased separately but 'My
Affiliate Program' customers have access to the software free of
charge (they simply pay an additional list hosting fee).

Opt In Pro offers a lot of features to make it easy to communicate
with both your affiliates and customers.

For example, I use Opt In Pro integrated with my affiliate tracking to
tag referring affiliate ID codes to customers follow-up email
messages.  This ensures affiliates cookies aren't refused or deleted.
It also allows you to send 'up-sell' emails again with the option of
using the referring affiliate ID code to take you closer to offering
lifetime commissions.

Kowabunga have just announced two new features that will make the task
of measuring your marketing efforts even easier.

ClickTracker allows you to create special links that, when clicked on,
will direct the reader to the proper page, and add them to the number
of people that clicked on the link.  It can also send the reader an
autoresponse message that thanks them for clicking or tells them more
about the information they clicked on.  Plus - it can add the reader
to a special list so that the user can see exactly WHO clicked on the

EmailTracker works just like ClickTracker - except that it doesn't
rely on the reader to click on a link.  It tracks them as soon as they
open their mail - letting you know WHO opened their message.

You can find out more about Kowabunga's Affiliate Tracking Solution
and companion email software at -


6. Have Your Say (WilsonWeb survey)

Dr.  Ralph Wilson of WilsonWeb is surveying users of affiliate program
software solutions and promises to share the results in future issues
of his newsletter.

If you want to have your say on your chosen solution provider follow
the link below:


7. Post Your Affiliate Questions Here

I spent most of the weekend putting the affiliatemarketing.co.uk site
through a rather well overdue refit.

Lots of work still to be done, but you can see it taking shape at

I have re-introduced the Affiliate Managers Discussion Forum - if you
have an affiliate related question post your comments here and I shall
try to come back with a helpful reply within a day or two, plus you
might benefit from the wealth of experience of the many thousands of
other program managers on this list :)

Post your views or questions at -


8.    UK Managers Get2Gether

Based in the UK? Would you like to meet up and share ideas with fellow
Affiliate Program Managers?

The Affiliate Managers Get2Gether's are free networking events to give you
a chance to meet and share ideas.

I'm planning the next event for May 11th, at a yet to be decided central
London venue.

We will be joined by Ola Edvarrdsson and Declan Dunn of Adnet
International (www.adnet.com).

To reserve your place please email me on neil@affiliatemarketing.co.uk
or telephone 01322 520874.

9. Hired Gun

Need help to create, launch or manage your Affiliate Program?

Perhaps you have a specific problem or affiliate related project you
need to outsource.

I have a growing portfolio of tools and services to help you.

Click below for a brief overview of my products and services-


10. Pass it on

Found the newsletter helpful? Great...let me know and pass it on.

Tell your colleagues they can get their own copy of the Affiliate
Program Managers Newsletter by sending a blank email to -


Back issues can be found at -


11. How To Promote Your Services To Affiliate Managers

The Affiliate Program Managers Newsletter is mailed monthly to
over 1,800 affiliate program managers.

Targeting a typically difficult to find audience.  It will possibly be
the most expensive CPM you have ever bought but it will still be a

Contact Neil@affiliatemarketing.co.uk for details.


If you have any news, articles or features you want to share with your
fellow affiliate managers drop me a line.


All the best
Neil Durrant


PS. Don't forget to grab your free extracts from my new book,
'The Practical Guide to Creating and Managing a Profitable
Affiliate Program' -