This isn’t going to be a typical post on ASE’s parties and the fun of networking. There are plenty of other blogs that cover that. This is a business blog. I’ll just go over what will help you make more money.
Simply the best part of Affiliate Summit is meeting other successful affiliates. They know the traffic sources. They know copywriting (the smart ones at least do). They actually know advertising. They simply know what they’re talking about. This is the primary reason to attend. You’ll also end up with a lot of affiliate contacts that you’ll AIM/Skype after the conference. Many are likely to even be working in your exact niche.
I thought last Affiliate Summit’s keynote would be impossible to ever top. However, this ASE’s keynote by Frankie Luntz was also extraordinary. Luntz often works as a political consultant. Ironically, his presentation was not politically correct at all, but it was funny. Anyway, there’s the necessity of a lot of persuasion in politics, as you know. He definitely knew his stuff. He has this book on “Words That Work“. Of course, I was persuaded to buy it. I justify it by assuming that I should be able to split test some of his book’s words with my own adcopy and simply make more money by the results. Here are a few words he recommended from his presentation:
- cleaner, safer, healthier
- hassle-free/no worries
- you’re in control/you decide
- renew, revitalize, rejuvenate, restore, rekindle, reinvent
- the simple truth
- bold action/getting it done
- peace of mind
- independent certification
- cutting edge
- common sense
- exceeding expectations
Kukral’s talk was good as well. I didn’t find it as applicable to the many affiliates I know, however. He definitely understands branding better than 99% of marketers out there. If you’re interested in branding, here’s a good summary of Kukral’s talk.
I’ve heard affiliates speculate that the seminars are useless. I disagree. Most affiliates don’t even attend many seminars so they don’t know what they’re talking about. You may know the quote: “Those that fail to plan; plan to fail.” I take 5 minutes beforehand and lookup which presentation will actually be useful. You can figure it out by the title typically. Good presenters should know copywriting. That means, they often write great teaser headlines for their presentations. The one exception to this rule is if you want to see a more technical presentation. Both are still easy to spot.
On Sunday, when I was walking to the first presentation, this woman stops me and asks me which presentation I’d recommend. Since I had a visible press badge, the woman thought I had some “inside scoop.” I admitted I didn’t, and I gave a reason for the one I was about to attend (below)…
Innovate! New Exciting Applications of Affiliate Marketing by Joe Stepniewski
I’ve never heard of this guy before, but it didn’t matter. I knew he was going to talk about startups using affiliate marketing, and that would definitely inspire me with some ideas. A few of the points he brought up:
- Adult industry leads the way in a lot of innovative online advertising.
- Coupon code sites would use cookie stuffing when they didn’t have any active coupons. Told users to “click to reveal” coupon code. That click just redirected user to merchant’s site without coupon, but new affiliate cookie would be set.
- Retargeted users are four times more likely to convert.
- Interesting affiliate startups: Empora (fashion search engine), PremierInnFinder, Pixazza (ads on images).
More Money, Same Traffic, List Building & Paths by Jason Akatiff
Also known as Smaxor online, I knew Jason’s stuff would be good. It was a session about building lists and selling (from emails, phone numbers, to other personal information). One thing he mentioned is how you typically have to incentivize to get a user to optin. The way you incent, can make a huge difference:
- Incent for a free iPad, PS3, etc. makes the email worth $ (down the road)
- Incent for a free report makes the email worth $$
- Incent for more information makes the email worth $$$
Facebook Advertising From Soup To Nuts by Shoemoney
Jeremy’s session was funny and helpful. I’m not a Facebook advertiser, but there were a lot of takeaways that I’ve already made new display ads because of.
- Affects CTR by percent: 70% Images, 20% Body text, 10% Headline
- Top images clicked contain: cleavage, brands, blended images, etc.
- FB titles should be/have: CTA, association, FB feel, simple
- FB body text should be/have: results, CTA, scarcity
- Smartest to start with CPC campaign
SEO Site Review/Clinic by Rae Hoffman and Michael Gray
The presentation got off to shaky start, and a panel member was missing. I used to do a lot of SEO. I decided to attend this just to see if SEO has suddenly gotten exceptionally complicated since then. Not much has changed in this area.
Strategies for Marketing to Women
I enjoyed this session more than I thought I would. When I first walked into the session, there were a higher percentage of women in this session than any other I had seen. I guess just putting the word “women” in your headlines works. (Okay, I’m kidding. Actually, not really.)
They also mentioned some cool weeking-parting and day-parting data to target stay-at-home moms.
So, essentially women want to see your ad and shout “That’s ME!” They’re right: women want benefits (not features as much), stories, feelings, and a connection to the ad. I was coming up with ad headlines and writing them down while listening to this panel (of only women). They did well, and it was well worth attending.
I laughingly thought that made them slightly biased without at least one man on the panel. I imagine the affiliates that understand women the most, have dated a lot and talk with their mother regularly. That’s probably an oxymoron, but still true for those very rare cases.
In summary… I’ve got a few great contacts. I have a lot more adcopy and campaign strategies to split test. Overall, well worth it.