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  1. #1
    Affiliate Network Rep Chad-AvantLink's Avatar
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    December 7th, 2010
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    Monetize Forums with the ALE
    Recently, Gary posted a case study on ABW about the monetary impact the AvantLink Affiliate Link Encoder (ALE) had when installed on a forum. The site in question was the Teton Gravity Research forums and once the ALE was installed, they began earning extra money almost instantly from years worth of old, archived content.

    Now, as I'm sure many of you already know, this tool isn't just for TGR. Any Affiliate with AvantLink has access to it, including any and all forum owners out there. If you own a forum (or know somebody who does), we highly encourage you to try it out.

    For those who don't know or haven't read the case study, the ALE works by converting static links to a product on a merchant's website into a fully trackable affiliate link. Now, you will receive credit for any sale resulting from any traffic from your forum that is sent over to this merchant's page. The ALE instantly and automatically scans all of your forum's archived content and converts any appropriate links. I'm more of a visual learner than anything, so here's a little video explaining the ALE process.


    A couple things to note:

    1. The ALE will only convert links that belong to merchants on the AvantLink.com network. Any static links to merchants not on our network will not be converted. See our full list of AvantLink merchants here.
    2. The ALE also gives users the ability to choose up to 5 common key words or phrases that they would like to covert into an affiliate link. Just like the static links, the ALE will automatically scan for these key words/phrases and instantly convert them as well.
    3. You obviously must be a member of AvantLink.com to use the ALE. Don't worry- it's totally free and there's no fees at all, ever, ever, ever. Fill out the AvantLink affiliate application if you'd like to join.
    4. The ALE can be used on just about any website, not just forums.


    If you have any questions, take a look at Gary's blog post on the TRG case study or just shoot me an email (address in sig) and I'd be more than happy to help you out.

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Chad how does this work with product links for The North Face with its affiliate program on LinkShare? Say if the forum is an affiliate for Backcountry will the ALE find the product there instead?

  3. #3
    Affiliate Network Rep Chad-AvantLink's Avatar
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    Hey Chuck- The ALE will only convert links for merchants with a program on AvantLink. For example, say ABW were to install the ALE and we were talking about a trail running shoe in an off-topic thread.

    I say "Hey, I love this shoe: http://www.backcountry.com/merrell-trail-glove-shoe-mens"

    Since Backcountry.com is an affiliate with AvantLink, the ALE would pick up that static link and automatically convert it to an affiliate link through a visitor's browser (meaning your forum still gets any SEO value out of it still).

    As I mentioned above, you can tell the ALE to also convert up to 5 key words/phrases to go to a merchant's URL of your choosing. So you could have it look for the phrase "northface.com" and convert any occurrence of "northface.com" into a trackable affiliate link that would lead to whatever URL you specified.

    Hopefully the makes sense.

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I'll have to experiment with it on a forum and see how it works. I have worked with Skimlinks and can see it form the links. I am most curious how to form the forum posts so that the ALE will best connect the dots.

  5. #5
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Chad,

    Is there logic to differentiate a between let's say a username of xyz and a merchant named xyz? If there isn't, which link would be the one to work, user name xyz or ALE link to xyz?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  6. #6
    Affiliate Network Rep Chad-AvantLink's Avatar
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    Haiko- We've included the ability to put in terms that the ALE should avoid encoding. For example, say someone's username was "backcountry.com" and you wanted to make that a negative term that doesn't get converted by the ALE. Check out this screenshot of the ALE configuration page to see what I mean.

    Photo.jpg

  7. #7
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Schweet! Great Stuff!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

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  9. #8
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Thanks for checking in Haiko ..we're trying to get the word out to relevant forum owners that if they have links to stores on the network, this is a no brainer.

    TGR is a great case, and I have seen bloggers in the outdoor space immediately turn on revenue the same way by adding the small line of javascript. Some of these folks had been sending customers/sales to merchants for years for free before they added the ALE..

    GM

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