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  1. #1
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    vertical publisher recruitment strategy // fashion
    With a target audience of fashion enthusiasts, what would be the best way to acquire the right publishers?

    Are there specific tool and features that should be offered to publishers for Fashion?

    Any insight highly appreciated

    Thanks very much

  2. #2
    Mardou, we are on a similar mission, to connect with affiliates & publishers of fashion blogs, and websites that have topics of interest to women.. We are a merchant of ladies shoes.

    Perhaps we can exchange some ideas and contacts?

  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Are you on a network or running a white label program?

  4. #4
    Hi Chuck,

    Shoe Shopping Spree is on the Shareasale network.

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    It costs $100 for a New Program Announcement on ABW and the thread is good for a month. You could make a post every work day (20) to promote your program.

    Zappos is the 900# gorilla in the space, how do you compete against them?

    You can offer 1st sale bonuses and a 5th sale bonus to get affiliates active.

    Try using the SAS Aquarium to find SAS affiliates.

    Its tough as you will have to promote outside of the network to get attention.

    Are you offering any coupons and are they in the deals database? Couponers look there for those. If yes then you can request to have them added to For Me To Coupon - Automated Coupon Affiliate Feed

    Do you have a datafeed in your SAS program, if so you can enable 3rd party tools like GoldenCan and Bounce.cc. Then you can ask to have your program added to PopShops.

  6. #6
    Chuck, great post, full of good ideas.. I respond to a couple of your points below.

    >Zappos is the 900# gorilla in the space, how do you compete against them?

    Zappos can't beat our prices. Zappos cannot carry all styles. We have to be more careful than Zappos, to pick the shoe styles that are more desirable for our target shopper. Zappos caters to a broader audience, we have to focus on a sweet spot, those more active shoppers, fleeting trends, price-conscious shoppers, also what we call cult-styles (some buyers love certain brands and styles). Zappos also cannot keep all styles in inventory, they sell out (we may have some in stock). There are many ways to compete with the mass-market merchant, just as boutiques compete with Sears, and many thousands of restaurants compete with the big chains.

    >Try using the SAS Aquarium to find SAS affiliates.

    I've looked at that, it seems dead? At least for the topics of shoes and fashion, I couldn't find anything to work with. I might need some guidance with this..

    >Are you offering any coupons and are they in the deals database?

    We do have coupons, mostly available to email list members (rather than the general public). Couponers do not send us much traffic, it really goes the other way. Women buying shoes almost always look for the right shoe (style/color/size), before looking for a coupon. This is our experience. Let me know if you think I'm way off track with this, maybe I'm missing something important?

    >Do you have a datafeed in your SAS program?

    This is something we are thinking about. On the negative side, we already rank in search engines for our shoe styles, and we work that avenue to optimize against the competition. This is a dynamic process, as certain styles sell out or our competition adjusts their pricing. So distributing our database to other websites may cause more clutter and competition for the same keywords? I'm interested in alternate opinions on this (see more discussion below).

    Generally, our shoppers fall into a couple of major categories.

    Those who already have done their shopping/browsing are closer to a decision, will be using search engines to find availability and best price. Availability is a huge concern, because these fashions sell out, and finding the right size is also a problem. Best price only comes into play if the same shoe and the right size is available from multiple sources. We already work to earn this type of buyer, via google, seo etc. This customer searches using precise keywords, rather than browsing for entertainment. In this category, affiliates may not be able to contribute as much. If we're in the main search engines, that's where the buyer is. We hope that the affiliate has already set their cookie by this time (next paragraph).

    Another category of shopper, where affiliates can be the most successful, is the category of shopper that has not yet made a decision. Women love to look at fashion, to form opinions, make impressions, get a sense of current and upcoming styles etc. A shopper in this category may click any banner that catches her eye, and may search for shorter keywords (ie summer sandals). Bloggers who review current styles, fashion trends, celebrity news, female oriented forums etc are ideal channels for this type of customer. Affiliates can provide unlimited content to the internet, to set cookies and earn commissions from this type of shopper.

    With all this in mind, it seems that we will have a lot of work finding affiliates. Your suggestion of promoting outside of the network will be valuable.

    Thanks for your ideas, all of them, really good input. I appreciate your advice, and any further comments.

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    >Are you offering any coupons and are they in the deals database?

    We do have coupons, mostly available to email list members (rather than the general public). Couponers do not send us much traffic, it really goes the other way. Women buying shoes almost always look for the right shoe (style/color/size), before looking for a coupon. This is our experience. Let me know if you think I'm way off track with this, maybe I'm missing something important?
    Several years ago I had a merchant who refused to coupon but sent retention emails every week with coupons. After nine months they finally agree to let us promote their coupons and we doubled the program. They sold light bulbs, every type, size and style. We emailed the best deals, biggest discounts, latest products as text links every week. Sent them Friday afternoon as a big couponer here RedTagDeals told me that would give his staff the weekend to have them positioned. That's because couponers send out newsletters at midnight on Sunday so they are in the consumers inbox first thing Monday morning. We had the links for the affiliates and eventually coded them in the newsletter so they were ready to use. Grew it to over a $M a year in sales.

    You have already identified your target affiliate and USP to them. You are looking for the Zappos affiliate that is writing about individual products. Affiliates don't promote products by putting a stickie on front doors. They are using blogs, organically ranked sites, PPC, Facebook and even Twitter. Find them!

    Sounds like you are afraid to compete against affiliates and keep things for yourself. To me program management is getting every competitive option for affiliates. I can tell you that the big brands with restrictive policies can only extend so far via an affiliate program. 10% is what I see, while less known brands that partner with their affiliates can create a 40% channel. Have you read Zappos policies and tattooed them to the brain? Search the forum and you will see years a angst by affiliates who have been reduced in their ability to promote Zappos.

    I think your company is misguided on datafeeds. In the outdoor gear vertical the top affiliates are all datafeeders. I have met datafeeders here on ABW who create shopping comparison sites that no merchant can replicate. If you have what they want they will come to you, if not they will pass by.

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  9. #8
    About Zappos.. This forum is a good resource for affiliate information, I should mine it.

    We are associated with a company that has more than 60 affiliate domains, and much of their income is from Zappos via CJ. That source of information could also help us to build and maintain a successful affiliate channel.

    It won't be easy though!

    Thanks again for the input.

  10. #9
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    A lot of affiliates only work with merchants that provide them with datafeeds.

    Zappo provides a datafeed for affiliates.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

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  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy View Post
    A lot of affiliates only work with merchants that provide them with datafeeds.

    Zappo provides a datafeed for affiliates.
    Thanks Burger, we'll take this into account. We'll be reviewing our affiliate marketing plans in the coming weeks.

  13. #11
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    If all I was getting to work with is banners, I would not sell any shoes at all.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy View Post
    If all I was getting to work with is banners, I would not sell any shoes at all.
    Do you have a fashion website? Tell us what you need, we'll work with you. You can review one of our shoes, or we'll craft something just for you.

    If you have a fashion channel on youtube, let's talk! We want our shoes in your videos.

    If you have an email list (primarily female), we'll work up a promotion and customize/brand it just for you.

    Let me know if you have a website that is female oriented, apply on shareasale, we'll help you monetize your traffic.

    If you have the traffic, let's make it happen.
    Last edited by Shoe-Shopping-Spree; June 2nd, 2011 at 03:21 PM.

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