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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    How an Affiliate Manager Can Make More Money
    So this post is based on the assumption that some affiliate managers have compensation that is somehow related to the amount of affiliate sales generated via the program they manage? I guess really every AM's salary is somehow related to program success...

    If you want to make more money, then you should try to provide a great datafeed. Here's what is involved in creating a great datafeed:

    1) Updated daily. See GoDatafeed.com if this is a problem...
    2) Contains unique identifiers like UPC codes or Manufacturer Name and Part Number
    3) Contains a good taxonomy (hey I prefer Google Shopping's Taxonomy)
    4) Contains shipping costs and free shipping offers
    5) Contains as much other data as you can possible cram into it, in plain text. Don't stick HTML into it darn it...

    So why does a great datafeed matter so much? Because datafeeds are used by the big boys. The VC funded internet startups. The websites with a dedicated engineering team. Websites with serious traffic and sales. The more data you cram into your datafeed, the more opportunities you have for placement on these important websites.

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  3. #2
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Venture capital funded startups are interesting because they are more concerned with gaining an audience and momentum than actually being profitable. They can take $100 million in funding a blow it on all sorts of traffic generation techniques. As long as they are sticky and can retain an audience size measured in the millions, then it is money well spent. Keep in mind that they are continually split testing as they refine their feature set. Its more about spending for eyeballs and trying different features to see what resonates with the audience.

    Imagine having a merchant program that benefits from so much "crazy money" being thrown around. You can, if you have a great datafeed...

  4. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Thanks and I have to say I learn a lot from you on how to structure datafeeds for affiliate benefit and from Convergence. That said its always been difficult to get all the right data into a feed. There are no good tools to monitor feeds daily to know if they didn't load. One network notifies me after a monthly review but most don't say boo!

  5. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    There are no good tools to monitor feeds daily to know if they didn't load.
    Your Affiliates will tell you before the networks. Send out many emails every week to merchants with the subject line: "Your feed on xyz network is <insert expletive here>...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  6. #5
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    There should be a technical way to get stale datafeed notification. I could write something like this in about five minutes using the affiliate network API or by grabbing the datafeed and inspecting it. Yeah, affiliate networks should have this type of thing "built in". Doesn't godatafeed have notifications?

  7. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Doesn't godatafeed have notifications?
    Believe it does but only use it as an interim solution until the merchant gets the feed fully optimized.

    Your Affiliates will tell you before the networks.
    One did this afternoon.

  8. #7
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Believe it does but only use it as an interim solution until the merchant gets the feed fully optimized.
    Chuck, could you elaborate on this? What does it mean to have a fully optimized feed? Is there godatafeed inferior in some way or do you go with a home grown solution to save money?

  9. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Get SKU, MPN, UPC and On Sale Price, besides the usual stuff.

  10. #9
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    So I was talking with a GoDatafeed rep a couple of days ago and he said that unique identifiers would automatically be sent to an affiliate network datafeed. He pointed out that if someone was using their service to distribute to other shopping sites like Google Shopping, they absolutely had to be able to handle the unique identifiers.

    I was quizzing him on this to try to figure out why so many crappy affiliate datafeeds exist, especially when the Google Shopping feed had more data. Anyway, the GoDatafeed dude said that it absolutely wasn't their fault?

  11. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    For the two merchants I used it for we started with the Google feed and morphed it in this case for AvantLink. First merchant completed their AV feed so discontinued GDF and got a flat file for the other so am using it until the merchant automates their feed.

    why so many crappy affiliate datafeeds exist
    Because merchants don't want to spend the time to fully write the affiliate network feed i.e. they are cheap. I have talked to several networks and asked why they don't just implement a Google feed and the response was they are looking into it. Because they get more insight with Google and its tied to a vendor spend they give it much more relevance.

  12. #11
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    Thanks for the post. I'm actually looking at godatafeed. Any recommendations?

  13. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Run it through their free trial then have them optimize it. Optimizing takes a few days. Both are free with a new account.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Run it through their free trial then have them optimize it. Optimizing takes a few days. Both are free with a new account.
    Godatafeed, and whose the other?

  15. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Account and optimization, same vendor. I believe you get two free accounts.

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