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  1. #1
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    Merchants Missing out by not offering RSS
    CJ seems to now have RSS capabilities for merchants to offer their promotions, small datafeeds and coupons in real time.

    RSS is all about offering your content in real time.

    I know of one merchant offering RSS feeds (with our tracking links included) - Boca Java although they only offer a small datafeed and only the titles are offered. They offer it through the "Smartlink".

    Merchants could take advantage of this technology that is available now and offer what AvantLink & Linkshare merchants have the luxury of using. This means for affiliates that have the technology operating, merchants could offer a coupon feed for example in real time that would include out affiliate links of course and the merchant manager can update the links anytime while they would show up live on our sites or in our promotions.

    Lots of potential for this, hope to see knowledgeable & leading merchant managers start offering this very soon.
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  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager JusticeforGirls's Avatar
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    Good to see you're interested in RSS feeds from merchants. We've been considering this, but there hasn't been much demand from affiliates. Good to see that's changing! RSS really is a great content tool!

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    We've been considering this, but there hasn't been much demand from affiliates.
    Same here, we have them running on LinkShare but the usage is still very limited, but we're all for making them available for everyone who needs them for our CJ programs

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Anyone have a step by step on how to set it up easy?
    Bob Pets Warehouse
    Worlds Largest Pet Supply DataBase
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    My problem is merchants offering rss feeds and not updating them.

  6. #6
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Several of the RSS tools in AvantLink are driven from merchant datafeeds, and we have routines to update merchant feeds daily (or even more often if needed)..

  7. #7
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    I've been enjoying Avantlink RSS feeds for almost a month now. The only issue I've found is that while some merchants take care, others will have multiple categories with the same exact name, so I just skip them and go on to the next one.

    Perhaps merchants need to be aware of how the interface works. (or just pay more attention to their datafeeds.)

  8. #8
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    RSS Feeds Pay ?....
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodwind&Brasswind
    Good to see you're interested in RSS feeds from merchants. We've been considering this, but there hasn't been much demand from affiliates. Good to see that's changing! RSS really is a great content tool!
    I guess my lack of interest stems from the fact that I really don't get what they do nor how having such a tool {?} will benefit my business.

    I've yet to see anything in print that says that an RSS will increase Click Throughs 60 % or that it will increase my commissions by 10,000 USD a month.{these are just examples of course }

    What are the advantages for me ? Why do I need this as opposed to a static stock content, ect ect ect. ????????????

    How does this affect my conversions ??


    Steve

  9. #9
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveWilliams
    I guess my lack of interest stems from the fact that I really don't get what they do nor how having such a tool {?} will benefit my business.

    I've yet to see anything in print that says that an RSS will increase Click Throughs 60 % or that it will increase my commissions by 10,000 USD a month.{these are just examples of course }

    What are the advantages for me ? Why do I need this as opposed to a static stock content, ect ect ect. ????????????

    How does this affect my conversions ??


    Steve
    I don't think it does affect conversions.

    It is dynamic and you can use it in different ways. PHP is also a good option. Use your imagination and research RSS.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager JusticeforGirls's Avatar
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    I think RSS would be a good option for affiliates who get burried in Emails from merchants and have to sort through them to determine which links to pull and which promotions to promote. RSS keeps the content all right there in the same format. It may not fit your business model to reparse the RSS to your customers, but rather to use it as an alternate form of communication instead of my beautifully coded HTML emails!

  11. #11
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    I guess my lack of interest stems from the fact that I really don't get what they do nor how having such a tool {?} will benefit my business.
    A few thoughts on the benefits of products/deals RSS feeds as they relate to Affiliate marketing..

    As you guys all know having dynamic ads affect (better) conversion by allowing up-to-date and accurate pricing/inventory.

    With RSS Affiliate feeds (with embedded tracking) the added benefit is that the feed's contents are parsed to HTML, which results in static and spiderable content. So if a product display changes, for example, from time to time based on promos, inventory changes, etc. than the end result is fresh new content on a web page.

    Same holds true for ads/campaigns that aren't at the product level...meaning there are the benefits of having regularly changing content the SEs can see and read.

    -

    Here's something cool, too. Squidoo for example has an RSS module where you can syndicate any RSS feed through their service (on a Squidoo member's "lens"). This could be an RSS feed from a Wordpress blog, a news source or (as it relates to Affiliate marketing and this discussion) an Affiliate tracking embedded RSS feed from a network or merchant.

    So not only can you parse Affiliate RSS feeds to create good, dynamic and spiderable content for your site, you can actually syndicate your tracking links around the web.

  12. #12
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Dang. I didn't even realize I was posting to CJ's category until just now! I just get a little excited with RSS related topics I guess.

    Feel free to remove my comments on this thread if it was not appropriate to post here.

  13. #13
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    The advantage of RSS feeds is the convenience. You build a page once and then its on auto pilot. The content of the page changes whenever the feed is updated by the vendor. Plus the page is spider friendly.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetsWarehouse.com
    Anyone have a step by step on how to set it up easy?
    I would have a look at one of the merchants feeds there already or see if you can get CJ to show you how to create a "Smartlink" to the feed and get it setup. I'm not sure how it is set up from that end. You just need to create feed with these required channel elements:

    title : The name of the channel.
    link : The URL to the webpage where the product or promotion is which would include an afflilate tracking code
    description: full details on the promotion or product.

    There are quite a few optional elements you can also use, read more here (RSS 2.0 Specification)

    You can also use the Feed Validator

    Once that is up then affiliates can access the rss using basic code something like:

    Code:
    {TITLE}{DESCRIPTION}
    which would be used in a php or an asp script to cycle through and display the data.

    For an example: here is an the raw RSS feed of the New York Times home page. Anyone could quite easily display that content formatted into html using the code example above. Now using content like this with our affiliate links included is where it becomes much more attractive for affiliates
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  15. #15
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    Gary's Mispost....
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary-AvantLink
    Dang. I didn't even realize I was posting to CJ's category until just now! I just get a little excited with RSS related topics I guess.

    Feel free to remove my comments on this thread if it was not appropriate to post here.
    Gary

    I think your comments are perfectly fine...

    Keep them coming !

    Steve

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glinted
    CJ seems to now have RSS capabilities for merchants to offer their promotions, small datafeeds and coupons in real time.
    Mind elaborating on that? I work on the merchant end, and CJ offers no native way to have RSS feeds or links hosted by CJ to my knowledge. Right now my only option would be to host a feed myself, and have publishers input their PID in a query string to pull correct links. It could well be a "Value added service" (advanced links, maybe?), but they've never approached my programs with any information offering such a service.

  17. #17
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    Joshua, as I wrote above, Boca Java have one running as a SmartLink in CJ, how this is done is something your need to talk to either CJ or Boca Java about. It would be great if CJ could offer some help & a guide to merchants on this.

    Also I thought I would mention Ebay also have RSS feeds offered to nearly any ebay category and Amazon also offer them now (all with affiliate tracking code).

    Quote Originally Posted by flamingoworld
    My problem is merchants offering rss feeds and not updating them.
    yes a couple of the Linkshare merchants are not updating their feeds so I had to disable them.
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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glinted
    Joshua, as I wrote above, Boca Java have one running as a SmartLink in CJ, how this is done is something your need to talk to either CJ or Boca Java about. It would be great if CJ could offer some help & a guide to merchants on this.

    Also I thought I would mention Ebay also have RSS feeds offered to nearly any ebay category and Amazon also offer them now (all with affiliate tracking code).


    yes a couple of the Linkshare merchants are not updating their feeds so I had to disable them.
    I see it now - CJ doesn't actually host anything. The SmartLink "Get HTML" button just passes the variable back to the advertiser's existing feed.

    I'm really looking for a solution where the feed itself is hosted by CJ and pulls from the existing product catalog, based on whatever categories or keywords the user chooses - This way I don't have to keep tabs on a number of different feeds, or have techs program something custom. Since we're already uploading full catalog data to CJ, it'd be nice for them to have an RSS solution to parse it (especially with thousands of products). This would really benefit affiliates, as tons of advertisers have product feeds, but I'd gamble that most program managers have no idea how to do RSS, or what RSS even is.

  19. #19
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    The advantage of RSS feeds is the convenience. You build a page once and then its on auto pilot. The content of the page changes whenever the feed is updated by the vendor. Plus the page is spider friendly.
    yes that is some of the great benefits of rss....

    I'm really looking for a solution where the feed itself is hosted by CJ and pulls from the existing product catalog, ....
    that would be much better I agree, they have setup an rss system for newsletters etc. They did say awhile back something about advertiser promotion rss feeds to be included in the future in that section. Having something setup like you describe is what is needed but at least they do have affiliate links attached to the smartlink rss This would be used by merchants who have a system already setup I guess to update the feeds regularly.
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  20. #20
    Full Member bobby131313's Avatar
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    I use RSS to death. I have thousands of feeds out there on multiple sites and they are killer. Like Ron Popeil says, "Set it and forget it".

  21. #21
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    I decided to try a feed for our coupons after seeing this thread. Take a look at SmartLink # 10529205 on the AC Lens account (or go here http://www.aclens.com/aclens-coupon-deals-feed.asp) and let me know if that's of any use.

    If I get more feedback on it I can expand that one to include rebates, build one for our top 15-20 most prescribed lenses, etc.

    Hopefully it's of some use and if this goes well, I'll put a few together for Baseball Rampage and LensCatalogue.co.uk.

    Thanks

    Bob

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