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Affiliate Marketing Basics

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Additional resources

Case Study: Creating The Bottom Line Secrets Affiliate Program

26 June 2000 - Continuing work on Commissions Junction interface

Dear HelpMates,

Next installment on setting up http://boardroom.com's affiliate program.

And please, take a look at the banners and give us some feedback. We do have some 'Do Everything Right' banners up.

Granted, we will do everything in our power to discourage affiliates from using banners on their site. In fact, Nancy and I have come up with some ideas (a la virtualis.com's incentive system) to reward affiliates for using text and following our guidelines. More on that when we get to the marketing end of operating affiliate programs.

I was up until after midnight the other night working with CJ's Smart Zones to see how they operate. You can see what they do here - The graphic and the related text in the article come from the smart zone.

Smart Zones don't do what I expected - instead of creating a PAGE, they create a rotating banner. So, if you refresh the pages on the three main articles, you will get different banners or text/banners in the position.

They DO let the affiliate paste in the code a specific place on the page and let them change/update the banner itself by simply selecting a new one from the CJ directory OR if WE replace the banner with that code number each month/week it will instantly change their page. Now, THAT has some interesting applications.

The trick is, we want to train affiliates to use ONE banner per Smart Zone.

This will let us change content and graphics regularly, without bothering our affiliates.

One of the things that I DID discover was that, aside from CJ's list of BANNER links which show no graphics, the PRODUCT links DO show the product's image. So if we can offer a copy of the first page of each publication - and a paragraph or two about the publication (the review or article we want to use) - not only can the affiliate SEE what the banner will look like, they can also paste the whole shebang right into their site as part of an article or page. (The banner links are WAAAAY too frustrating until they fix the graphics on those pages.)

We can use that same graphic for as part of different styles of text or articles as we go along.

So, the next question we will have - how to get the text in there with the graphic. Aha! I looked at that interface. And it requires us to provide straight code. Although CJ has an excellent grid that describes each aspect of the code - they don't have a template where you can just drop in the product codes, SKU, and text. That grid would make an excellent basis for a template - so helpless folk like me don't have to rely on a programmer each and every time we wanted to add or change a product.

Your Humble Guide,

Eva Rosenberg