Publisher Communication

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Communicating with Publishers

As your 'virtual sales force', updating publisher s on key issues is crucial to the success of your programme. You wouldn't walk with your eyes shut, so why let publishers promote you blind? As a general rule, we encourage you to communicate at least once monthly and no more than two to three times per week, so we've put together some of the reasons for, and means of, communicating to publishers.

Contents

Reasons for Communication

• Changes to Terms & Conditions

• Changes to the Commission Structure

• Site-downtime (planned or otherwise)

• Modifications to the site or links

• Affiliate Suspension

• Promotional Opportunities (e.g. new products, sales)

• Updates to promotional tools (e.g. New Creative, datafeeds, Hot Picks)

Changes to Terms & Conditions

To ensure clarity, we strongly recommend detailing terms and conditions in the Listing Details section from the programme's launch. Prime examples of significant changes include those made to the PPC Policy or new restrictions to the types of publisher that can promote the programme such as incentive-based publisher s offering cashback, for example, to which some advertisers object.

Where major changes are made, advertisers should make every effort to communicate and discuss these with publisher s in advance, particularly when they are likely to affect top performers. Best practice is to give 30 days’ notice, or more if feasible, but please ensure you inform your point of contact at the network prior to taking any action. Essentially, the longer in advance publisher s know about changes, the more likely they are to adhere to them whilst minimising disruption to themselves and therefore to their activity on your programme.

Changes to Commission Structures

Though increasing commission can be a great incentive, publisher s have to know about this to make any necessary adjustments to their campaigns. As such, it is important to push offers and opportunities as much as possible if they are to drive performance.

At the same time, if commissions are going to be reduced, it is imperative that you contact the network so this can be authorized and it's essential to give as much notice as possible since this can impact greatly on the publisher 's return on investment. Indeed, if you attempt to lower the rate in the interface (via Commission Manager), the following message will appear advising you to contact us, so please ensure that you do so.

Image:newsletterimage2.JPG

Methods of Communication

The next step is to select the best way to talk to your publisher s. The key methods are as follows:

News Manager

This is our dedicated email tool that allows you to adopt a simple text format or HTML if you wish to include images and deep links. It's perfect for communicating anything from general announcements directed at all publisher s to specific one-to-one messages.

Affiliate Newsletter

This grants some exposure to advertisers that have recently launched on the network, but also contains sections on the Advertiser of the Month, the Offer of the Week and Featured promotions. If you have a particularly strong offer, it's a good medium to let publisher s know about it, so contact our content manager via promotions@awin.com or your point of contact if you wish to feature.

TheHub

This is another great platform for miscellaneous communication, with dedicated categories for new programmes, promotions, policy changes and closures. Subscribing publisher s can even receive automatic live updates on particular sections, including offers emerging from specific sectors, allowing your promotions to reach a much wider audience! For a step-by-step guide on how to use this, you can click on 'TheHub' under 'Communication Tools' in the advertiser administration area.

One-to-One Communication

It is good practice to keep in regular one-to-one contact with your top performers to ensure they have all they need to promote you effectively. Ask your point of contact if you need e-mail, telephone or Instant Messaging contact details for any of your publisher s.

Communication Top Tips

Given that most publisher s receive hundreds of advertiser communications each month, below are some Awin top-tips for keeping your audience engaged.

Start With A Bang

The title of your e-mail or blog post can influence a publisher ’s key decision; am I going to read this? Ensure your title is catchy and inviting with a clear call to action, but don't be misleading. Also be sure to include your programme name so that it is clear w3ho has sent or posted the message. Below are examples of strong communication titles:

• TODAY ONLY - 50% Off All Disney DVDs at Play.com!

• Fancy a safe bet? Join Sky Gaming on AW today and start earning!

• IMPORTANT PROGRAMME CHANGES: Updates to the Currys PPC Policy

Keep It Relevant

The key to a good communication strategy is to ensure that all of your communications are relevant to your publisher s. There is no point getting publisher s excited about a new top-seller if you will not be paying out commissions on sales of that product, or sending an automotive publisher pages of information on your bridal range!

Consider making e-mail groups of your publisher s so that sending targeted communications can be done quickly and easily. Although some messages are vital for every publisher on your programme, such as sale dates or changes to commission structures, there are some messages that only apply to a small group of your publishers. This also allows you the opportunity to create bespoke product lists or 'must-have' information by publisher type or sector.

Make It Easy

Making your e-mails, blog posts and forum posts user-friendly is vital if you want publisher s to act on the information you've provided. If you have a seasonal sale or offer then ensure your communication includes a link to the relevant landing page, an example of the seasonal creative, images and deeplinks for any promotional products, any relevant codes WITH their terms & conditions, plus your contact details so that they can speak to you if they have any further questions.

Going one step further, you can create product or page links for your publisher s that already include Awin's tracking, simply access the deeplink builder in your advertiser account. This will allow publisher s to simply copy & paste links from your communication directly into their own site or e-mail; the only thing they'll need to do is replace !!!id!!! with their own unique publisher ID. When sending links out via AW's News Manager service then !!!id!!! will be automatically replaced with the publisher s ID as the message arrives in their account.

This image shows the Deeplink Builder within an AW advertiser account

Encourage Feedback

Many publisher s have worked in the digital marketplace for many years and have worked hard to create user-friendly websites, which means they come with valuable knowledge about what does and doesn't work online. Add to this the fact they ultimately want the same thing as you; for genuine sales to be made on your website, as this is how they make their living!

For these reasons we would actively encourage you to open up a two-way dialogue with your publisher partners. Ask for their feedback and suggestions to any changes you make to your site, promotions and incentives you offer or policy changes you have in mind. Most publisher s are only too happy to give their honest opinion, and whilst some might not be exactly what you are looking for, there will be some real pearls of wisdom freely offered from individuals who know the publisher industry inside and out.

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