Nov Meetup Recap: Email Marketing, Ecommerce Seasonality & Preparing for #ASW12
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November was another packed month for Affiliate Summit Meetups, with 16+ meetups taking place across the US & Canada. Topics included email marketing, seasonal promotions, the affiliate tax, computer technology tips and tricks, as well as preparing for Affiliate Summit West.
Also, Affiliate Summit supplied many meetup groups with a $250 food and beverage budget as a gift for the holidays – thanks Shawn & Missy!! As a result, many groups used the time for holiday parties, networking and fun.
Taking place on a monthly basis, these meetups are open to anyone with an interest in affiliate marketing or online marketing in general.
To see what’s happening in your local area, visit the Affiliate Summit FB page: affiliatesummit.com/meetups. If there isn’t a group in your local area – start one today! Email Mary Poiley to learn more.
In Baltimore, Amy Hollomon from WhatCounts (formerly Blue Sky Factory), spoke about Best Practice in Email Marketing. She provided a very informative presentation: click here to view!
Key Takeaways Include:
Five components of a successful email marketing program:
In addition to elaborating on the information above, the presentation also includes best practices checklists and tips for improving performance.
- Social media and email integration – encourage sharing via Facebook and other channels
- Continuous and effective testing – A/B testing, creative testing, and more
- Targeted messaging – collect user information at sign up or within emails, then set up segmented lists
- Automated sending – including a welcome email and messages at different lifecycle stages
- Strategic planning and analysis – review metrics and compare to campaign goals
In Denver, attendees talked about making the most of Affiliate Summit, regardless of whether or not everyone was planning to attend, although almost half of the group is going to Vegas!
Key Takeaways Include:
- Check out the agenda in advance, so you don’t miss any of the sessions you really wanted. The speakers are also very friendly and usually happy to speak with you after the session too. (Durk Price, eAccountable OPM)
- As a first-timer, don’t be afraid to ask questions and just start conversations. People at Affiliate Summit are very friendly and welcoming to newbies, and attending ASW is the best way to quickly learn a lot about the industry. (Brad Crooks, TrippingTheGlobe.com)
- DON’T SKIP THE EVENING EVENTS — When I first started attending professional conferences, I diligently went to every talk, took notes, and by the time evening rolled around was ready for some quiet time so I’d go up to my room and watch a movie on TV while catching up on email or relaxing. That’s exactly how NOT to attend Affiliate Summit, because you’ll get far more out of going to the dinners, parties and other evening activities (midnight bowling, anyone?) in terms of actually making connections with others in your industry and perhaps even making some terrific new friends. (Dave Taylor, GoFatherhood.com)
- Don’t decide not to talk to someone just because their badge color code doesn’t seem to be a match – you’ll be surprised at how many people work in more than one area and could be possible business partners. Just start the conversation and see where it takes you. (Jeannine Crooks, buy.at)
- There’s still time for first-timers with a Platinum or Diamond pass to join the Newcomer Program! (Jen Goode, ProjectsforPreschoolers.com)
- Even if you’re not attending Affiliate Summit, follow along on Twitter at #ASW12. Read the thread posted by people in sessions you were interested in, and follow those speakers on Twitter as well.
Also, Jeannine mentioned that Denver set the record for “farthest distance traveled to attend an Affiliate Summit Meetup” – two attendees joined from Holland!
Liz Gazer’s robust recap of the Toronto meetup is written below. Also, click here to view the presentation shared at their recap.
Affiliate Summit Toronto
Tuesday, November 29th, the Toronto Affiliate Summit community got together for their monthly event. The Clickzoom/Generex team kindly donated their boardroom for this month’s meeting and the group saw its biggest turnout yet.
Roughly 25 members attended to hear Liz Gazer’s talk on Ecommerce Seasonality: Promotional Partnership Value Throughout Peak Season & Beyond (topic inspired by Tricia Meyer of Sunshine Rewards – Tricia Meyer) and ScaleEngine’s Allan Jude speak on Accelerating WordPress for Pagerank & Profit.
Key takeaways on the Seasonality presentation included:
Download the slide deck from this presentation by clicking here.
- Seasonality matters because it affects buyer behavior
- We can influence buyer behavior by building promotions around seasonality
- There is much more to seasonality than just Christmas/Black Friday. We can influence buyer behavior toward higher spends or more frequent buying by using seasonal promotions even regarding those products/services we wouldn’t typically think of as seasonal. It’s all in how you structure your strategy/content/campaigns.
- Plan well ahead for best results. Use a campaign calendar – there are many templates you can find online or create your own. Get creative!
- Don’t be afraid to speak to your partners about their plans for seasonality and see where you can ally for success. They may have unique ideas for how you can feature them (or for merchants, on how they can feature you) and how you can each benefit from the partnership. Remember it’s about creating a win:win. Communication makes a world of difference.
- Historical data is always helpful if you have it, but doesn’t always tell the whole story. Common sense, good foresight and quick response to current events make up other parts.
Key takeaways on Accelerating WordPress for Pagerank & Profit presentation included:
Download the full slide deck from this presentation here: http://www.scaleengine.com/media/Acc...and_Profit.pdf
- Site speed matters. Google now uses it as one of many key factors in determining your page rank.
- The only way to know how your site performs is to test it! Test site speed at both peak and non-peak times regularly; watch for patterns/trends and interruptions in them to determine what is most affecting your site speed (positively or negatively). Weekly is recommended.
- Using a CDN (Content Distribution Network) especially for image/CSS/Java heavy sites, can vastly improve site loading time.
- Benefits of dedicated vs. shared hosting servers (Dedicated is better)
- Full admin rights, no shared resources, more control over performance, increased security
- ScaleEngine.com offers scalable hosting/CDN services and dedicated server space
- Plugins on sites like WordPress can bog down site speed. Avoid plugins written by amateurs; check reviews for performance details before using and reduce # of plugins to reduce risk of crippling site with too much code
- Ad Networks/social media plugins are usually slowest loading elements
- Load non-critical elements after page has been rendered. No one will “like” your page in first 3 seconds but they will leave quickly if page takes too long to load.
- Even Google Analytics should wait until page is loaded to fire
Before & during presentations, the group indulged in a tasty spread (generously provided by Affiliate Summit), including sushi, crudites & dip, pizza, Christmas cookies and festive candy canes along with an assortment of wine and non-alcoholic beverages. After the meeting the group moved over to the Watermark Irish Pub down the street for some open networking & holiday cheer, where pitchers were on the house, courtesy of Affiliate Summit.
Photos can be viewed at All Photo Albums - Toronto Affiliate Marketing Community (North York, ON) - Meetup
The group will meet again end of January.
Find Tobias Brusegard on Twitter - @adbullpen
For more information about Generex Biotechnology, visit Generex Biotechnology Corporation
Find Allan Jude on Twitter - @allanjude and/or @scaleengine
For more information about ScaleEngine Hosting/CDN services visit Video Streaming, Custom PHP and Wowza Development Hosting, Content Delivery Network
Find Liz Gazer on Twitter – @LizGazer
For more information about Growthspurt Media visit Growthspurt Media - Affiliate Marketing Management & Internet Marketing Consulting Services for Online Retailers & More
Liz Gazer can also be found on Facebook (Growthspurt Media | Facebook), Twitter (@lizgazer), Google+ (http://gplus.to/affiliatemanagement) and at LinkedIn.
For more information about the Toronto Affiliate Summit Community, visit Toronto Affiliate Marketing Community (North York, ON) - Meetup.
Thanks to everyone who attended meetups this month and we’re looking forward to the next meetup!