Archive for February, 2012

Setting up a 7Search Campaign

setting up a 7search campaign

Yesterday I sent out an email to everyone who has joined my newsletter, Affiliate Manager Exclusive, with a quick example and walk through of setting up and tracking a 7Search campaign. Today I am going to go into a little more detail on how exactly that is done, give you some example offers you should run on 7Search, and I have even included a screencast going over my example campaign. Later this week I am going to do a follow up post on how to optimize your 7Search campaign by finding and blacklisting losing sources.

Join 7Search and get $25 FREE!

Of course, before you can setup your 7Search campaign you need to join as an advertiser. Use the banner above or click here to join under my link. Once you create your account and deposit at least $50 you will get $25 added to your account for free.

Once your account is setup simply click the Create Campaign link on your Campaigns tab and you’ll be taken to the New Campaign form.

7Search New Campaign

The form is pretty self explanatory, but there are a few things I’d like to note. To insert the keyword that you are bidding on that the user has searched for in order to see your add simply add the variable ###KEYWORD### to your ad title, ad description, display URL, or destination URL. This can really help your CTR.

For your destination URL you need to pass 3 variables into your link so you can track everything properly. Those are:

  • ###KEYWORD###
  • ###AFFID###
  • ###RID###

As I explained above, the ###KEYWORD### variable will pass the keyword as a subid into your link. The ###AFFID### is the affiliate’s ID number from 7Search that you are getting traffic from. The ###RID### variable is that affiliate’s website ID that they are generating traffic from. Obviously, each affiliate has their own ID, but each affiliate can have many websites so each website has it’s own ID as well. It’s common to see that one website from an affiliate on 7Search may be generating conversions, but another may not. Later I will explain how you can blacklist a certain website an affiliate is sending you traffic from if it is not converting for you.

You will want to pass these variables into your PeerFly Affiliate Link as subids. I suggest passing them in the following order (this is what the end of your Affiliate Link should look like):

&s1=###KEYWORD###&s2=###AFFID###&s3=###RID###

With those variables added to your link you will be able to see a subid breakdown for each click you get from 7Search on your PeerFly Reports and then track which keywords, affiliates, and websites on 7Search are generating leads and which ones are wasted clicks.

Finding Keywords

After you create your campaign you are taking to the page to add keywords. 7Search has a very nice keyword search tool with all their data built right in.

7Search Keyword Search

Type in your main keyword you would like to work with. For each campaign there should be a main keyword obvious. For the one I used in my example screencast above, that is scrapbook. So, I type in scrapbook and 7Search returns suggested keywords with some very cool data:

  • The keyword
  • Estimated searches per month
  • Estimated clicks for the top position
  • The top 3 bids for that keyword

Using this data you can access how much volume is possible and how much it’s going to cost you. The actual keyword scrapbook gets about 200 clicks a month and it looks like I’m going to have to bid at least $0.05 to get some traffic. That’s not very much traffic at all and fighting for it at $0.05 a click doesn’t seem worth it. As you go down the list you’ll see there’s less and less volume available for those keywords and apparently zero clicks. This is a little disheartening, but I’m sure there are other keywords that I might be able to get some traffic on if I continue my keyword research. Just for example purposes, I am going to choose 10 of those keywords and explain in the video below how I go about bidding for them.

Place Tracking Pixel

The last step to setting up your 7Search campaign is placing the 7Search tracking pixel on the offer on PeerFly. You can find the 7Search tracking pixel by clicking the [Track It] link on your Manage Keywords page, the Conversion Tracking link on your Dashboard, or by clicking here.

Get 7Search Pixel

Just copy the pixel code and then place it on the offer on PeerFly. Placing the tracking pixel on PeerFly is easy. Once you get your first lead your tracking code will be “verified” on 7Search. No need to do this manually. By adding the pixel you are helping 7Search optimize your traffic for you.

With that information you should be able to setup your 7Search campaign and start getting some traffic. I will be doing a follow up post on how to optimize your campaign based on the traffic you have gotten. I will also be doing a case study from my own campaign.

I suggest to get started you run some of our top email submit offers. Please let me know if you have any questions. Let’s make some money!

Becoming an Awesome Affiliate Manager

awesome affiliate manager

Last week the final results from a survey performed in by Performance Marketing Insider were released and not only was PeerFly voted the #1 Affiliate Network in our industry, but I was voted the #1 Affiliate Manager. I am very proud of this accomplishment and I appreciate the recognition of the industry. I have worked very hard to get where I am and I wanted to take an opportunity to reflect on what I think it takes be become an awesome Affiliate Manager. My buddy Ruck over at IMGrind posted The 3 E’s That Will Make You An Awesome Affiliate Manager (IMGrind blog) a few days ago and they are the same three points I would like to examine. Those three points are engagement, education, and evolve.

Engagement

Being involved in the growth of my publishers is my number one goal. As I mentioned in my interview on AffPaying, I have had thousands of publishers make their first dollar working with me at PeerFly. It is my goal to help those publishers take that $1 and turn it into a nice secondary income. Some are able to do it on their own, but most need some help. I try to be as involved as possible and I do it through email, social media, instant messenger, various forums, phone calls, here on my blog, and my newsletter. I have been able to successfully pull this off for over two years now with PeerFly with over 70,000 publishers coming into our network.

Education

There are some affiliates who do not believe their Affiliate Manager should run traffic. How would you like to have someone who has never driven teach you how to drive? I am constantly testing new traffic sources. Not only that, but I spend hours each week reading affiliate blogs from AffDaily, Affbuzz, and my Twitter feed so that I know what everyone else is doing in case it were to come in handy for you. I read the threads on IMGrind daily and although I can’t share all of that information with you, it definitely has helped me become a more “well rounded” Affiliate Manager. Education is so important that PeerFly is paying a few thousand dollars for me to attend Affiliate Management Days!

Evolve

The affiliate marketing industry is a like a roller coaster. It is constantly changing. We’ve seen it just recently with all the changes being made because of the FTC. Campaigns change, traffic sources change, and what is expected of you changes. As an affiliate manager I am doing my best to keep up with the changes and evolve as needed. Are you?

I agree with Ruck that these three points are great examples of things required of an Affiliate Manager to become awesome at their job. I am going to continue to try to improve on these things and look forward to seeing what the future holds for myself as an Affiliate Manager and PeerFly. Now, let’s get back to doing these things and making some money!

Your Own URL Shortener with YOURLS

url shortener yourls

A few months ago I purchased the domain luke.am. I did not really have any idea what I would do with it, but when I was researching some “Luke” domains I found it and the .am caught my attention because although it’s really the TLD for Armenia,  AM is also an abbreviation for affiliate marketing or affiliate manager. So, I threw down the $90 and registered it through GoDaddy. Earlier this week, I decided on how I was going to use it.

My Own URL Shortener

If you follow me on Twitter (@LukePeerFly) you know I am a pretty active Twitter user. I’m constantly posting links to different articles my own Twitter followers are posting or things I’ve found that I think will be useful. One of the guys I follow, Dukeo, created his own short link a few months ago and I always thought that it was pretty cool. So, after looking into it a bit I found out that he was using the script YOURLS. I set it up on luke.am and now have my own URL link shortener!

YOURLS lets you create your own url shortener in just a few easy steps. It’s very cool. They have a WordPress plugin so you can automatically create short urls for your blog posts and pages and it also has an awesome backend where you can track all the clicks going to your links. Here is an example:

YOURLS stats

As you can see, I created a luke.am short link which redirects to my IMGrind referral link and if I were to show you my “Traffic sources” tab it should tell you that the traffic was coming from Twitter.

If you generate a lot of traffic through social media I’d highly suggest setting up your own YOURLS. Prior to using YOULS I usually used bit.ly and the problem with that is your data is then public. By using YOURLS and luke.am I am in control of everything.

YOURLS may also be a nice alternative to tracking your affiliate campaigns. Obviously there’s no pixel or anything like that, but for tracking your clicks, referrers, and traffic location it might come in handy.

I just thought I’d share how awesome YOURLS is. If you have a blog I highly suggest setting it up. It’s a nice, easy, and free way to help build your brand. If you need any help let me know :)

Attending Affiliate Management Days

am days featured
I have officially registered for Affiliate Management Days. As you may have guessed from it’s name, Affiliate Management Days is a conference that focuses primarily on the different aspects of being a better Affiliate Manager. I take my job as the PeerFly Affiliate Manager very seriously so when I saw that there was a new conference specifically for Affiliate Managers, I decided immediately that I needed to attend. After some discussion with our CEO, Chad French, we decided that it would be very beneficial to both PeerFly and myself so we booked everything and I’m ready to go! Affiliate Management Days (AM Days) is going to be a two day event held in San Francisco on March 8th and 9th. I actually have a friend coming from Illinois to visit who is flying back on the 7th so this will work out perfect because my flight to San Francisco leaves 7 minutes after his does to Illinois. According to their website, some of the topics that will be covered are:
  • Affiliate program management
  • Affiliate recruitment
  • Affiliate marketing analytics
  • Effective affiliate motivation
  • Affiliate marketing fraud
  • Types and value of affiliates
  • Conversion optimization
  • Compliance policing & enforcement
  • Solutions to challenges and threats
  • Legislative questions/issues
  • Leveraging emerging trends
  • Mobile affiliate marketing
  • Offline performance marketing
A few of these really stand out to me and those are affiliate recruitment, effective affiliate motivation, affiliate marketing fraud, conversion optimization, leveraging emerging trends, mobile affiliate marketing, and offline performance marketing. I have discussed quite a few of these things already on my blog, but it’ll be interesting to get other people’s take on them and ways to improve what I am already doing.

Taking advantage of the opportunity

The pass for this two day conference is about $1,500 so I think it’s extra important that I really take advantage of the opportunity. I am going to use iCal and put every single session in my phone so I make sure I do not miss anything important. On top of that, I am also going to take a notebook (yes, pen and paper) and take notes at each session I go to. A lot of the information I am going to be getting will help other departments at PeerFly just as much as myself as Affiliate Manager. For example, I am sure Corey, our Compliance Manager, will find the information from the Compliance policing and enforcement sessions more useful than I will. Depending on the value of the information, I may even do a follow up post and share some of the information I collect with you guys. Conversion optimization sounds like something you may find useful :) Needless to say, I am excited for AM Days and look forward to attending. My ultimate goal is to be the best Affiliate Manager possible and I think the information from AM Days will really help. If you are attending AM Days email me so we can schedule a meeting!