Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
No way! In the coming year, make sure that you remember your affiliates and everybody else who helps your program to succeed. In fact, now is a great time to sit down and make some resolutions for your affiliate program. The affiliate marketing industry saw fantastic growth and prosperity in 1999, and 2000 brings the potential for even greater gains.
I’ve gathered together for you what some of the leaders in the industry hope to see or accomplish in the industry in the year to come. Learn. Think. Resolve.
“We have seen a shift towards performance-based partnerships aligned with consumer buying behavior. The financial markets have responded favorably to the vision of performance-based marketing as demonstrated by our recent IPO. This will fuel more investment and opportunities in this new market sector. My goal is to help leading sites level the online playing field through innovative practices that align value with performance.” – Dave Feng, Director Industry Practices, Be Free, Inc.
“Make ALL of my online purchases through my own affiliate links!” – James Marciano, Founder, Refer-it
“My first resolution is to help merchants and affiliates wake up to the fallacy of the ‘click and bye’ affiliate model. I am determined to introduce more people to the ‘click and BUY’ affiliate model Nexchange developed. My second goal is to help affiliates do better site merchandising. By site merchandising, I mean thinking like a retailer when embedding commerce in content.
“Finally, I am hopeful that the major players in the affiliate marketing industry will form a cooperative industry group. We must work together to establish industry standards. Since a rising tide lifts all boats, wouldn’t it be great if we could all just get along?” – Joe Michaels, Co-Founder and President, Nexchange
“I’d like to teach the world to sing… Whoops, sorry, wrong tune. I’d like to persuade a few merchants to stand out from the crowd by introducing better, fairer contracts, including commissions for lifetime customers. My own goal is really simple, and hard, to go a whole day without touching a computer. I haven’t managed that since early 1998.” – Allan Gardyne, AssociatePrograms.com
“I would like to see the major affiliate networks abandon their exclusivity clauses that keep merchants from joining multiple networks. It probably won’t happen, but it would be nice.” – Michael Benavides, Director of Business Development, AutoFusion, Inc. / CarPrices.com
“The Year 2000 will see the maturation of the affiliate model. There is a parallel in the franchise industry of 40-50 years ago. It took decades for franchisers to wake up. McDonald’s was one of the first with Hamburger University. ‘Ham U’ ensured the success of their franchisees by providing the tools, information, and infrastructure necessary.
“The first e-merchants who make quantum shifts in attitude towards their affiliates will also reap the rewards… which are far, far greater than ever before, in this bright, new millennium.” – Ken Evoy, President, GoodBytes Information Products Inc.
“Our New Year’s Resolution is to provide the affiliate community with the best customer and technical support, the easiest management system, and a paycheck every month – that’s 12 paychecks in the year 2000.” – Todd Crawford, Vice President of Sales, Commission Junction
“We will see incredible growth next year in affiliate marketing as merchants strive to strengthen their partnerships with their affiliates. We will offer our Affiliate Partners more tools and services to help them succeed with MP3.COM, and Affiliate Partners will receive one of the most robust reward/payment systems for their efforts.” – Jeffrey Jennell, Affiliate Marketing Team, MP3.COM
“Our goals for the year 2000 include strategically aligning ourselves with other e-commerce companies that have or are in the process of building an affiliate program channel. We will still continue to strive for excellence as an educator for our affiliates and advocate for true and honest business practices for web mankind.” – Steve Tirella, Executive Director, E-Commerce Exchange
“I’d like to help a million people learn how affiliate marketing works in 2000. With that knowledge, Netizens can build great Web sites that make their lives – and the lives of others – a better place.” – Daniel Gray, Author, “The Complete Guide to Associate and Affiliate Programs on the Net”
“Two words: constant improvement. Just months after launching our program, we called our affiliates and asked them how we could improve. Their feedback guided the improvements that we made in 1999 and helped our program grow. Over the course of the year 2000, the needs of our affiliates can change quite a bit! In the New Year, we want to be the first to identify the new and different things that we can do to make our affiliates more successful.” – Dan Clifford, Director of Strategic Alliances, Career Central
“In the year 2000 I want to generate 5,000 ActiveStorefronts generating over $5 million in gross sales via our tested, affiliate merchandising approach. My ultimate goal is to empower as many affiliates to make sales instead of trying to sell advertising at their sites. Unlocking the power of affiliate programs means putting the right offer to the right list, and I will share new tools to make this easier for affiliates to put into action now.” – Declan Dunn, Vice President, Active Marketplace
“During 2000 I hope to see more merchants using their affiliate program as a high priority component in their business. I also hope to see merchants providing their affiliates with good quality content, and paying residual commissions. My personal goal is to help and contribute to this development while having as much fun as possible! :-)” – Ola Edvardssson, affiliatetips.com
“In the new year I would like to see more people understand the true power of affiliate programs. They will become the new dominant advertising method online within a few years and those that get on board now will have enormous advantages. My real wish (but not expected) is for regular advertising mediums to accept and use affiliate programs in the offline work (instead of the occasional ‘per inquiry’ some businesses do). It would be an enormous evolution and change in the way business is conducted in the world today.” – Corey Rudl, CEO, Internet Marketing Center
So what are you going to resolve for 2000… Get more sleep? Lose ten pounds? Break sales records with your affiliate program? I can’t help you with the first two, but I have resolved to help you strengthen your program by providing tips and comprehensive industry coverage. Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and profitable 2000!