Video Interview: Are Networks Being Transparent with You?

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The other day I did an interview with Murray Newlands for Perform Insider. I decided I want to share the interview with my readers as well, just incase  you missed it. Here is the video interview with the transcription below as well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBbrZSPh66A[/youtube]

Murray: Hello, I’m Murray Newlands. Welcome to another episode of Performance Marketing Insider. I’m here speaking to Ian Fernando. Ian and I, we’ve met each other at several conferences. He is one of the best known affiliate bloggers. He’s a super affiliate in his own right and his blog recounts his stories, information and tips about how you can optimize what you are doing in affiliate marketing, as well as really digging into what’s happening in the industry.

Now one of the challenges that he had was really understanding what was happening with his campaigns. He’s setup and created a new tool that really helps you as an affiliate. You can find out where your links are going to, so when you click on an affiliate link is that being broken from another network? And so can you go up those different network links and see who’s the top network and maybe who’s going to give you the top pound? And it will also monitor the landing pages of the offers that you’re running to make sure are there any changes, has that page gone down, has it been redirected, what’s happening to it?

If your like Ian, a super affiliate and you’re driving lots of traffic, or even if you’re just a small affiliate, this money matters to you. How are you going to optimize that? How are you going to look after that? Ian has created a great tool for you as an affiliate, to really make sure you’re getting the most return for your clicks. Ian tell us more about it and why you created it.

Ian: Yes, my tool is basically Offer Snitch. It’s basically snitching on the actual affiliate link from the affiliate network. The reason why I actually created it is because I’ve been having numerous problems with networks not telling me when the offer is actually going down or when the actual advertiser is changing something on the actual offer page. So for me being an affiliate, I actually want to know when the offer goes down. If the offer goes down, I need to know about it because I’m sending volume and that traffic costs me money.

Murray: Absolutely.

Ian: As well with the advertiser trying to split test their landing page with our affiliate traffic, which they shouldn’t be doing in the beginning anyways. I actually need to know about that because if I’m creating a landing page and my ad copy is relevant to the actual advertisers landing page and they decide to change it, then my ad copy and my landing page becomes non relevant to the offer page at all. So without those notifications, I created a software basically to help me find out what’s going on with my actual affiliate link and the advertiser’s landing page.

Murray: What problems have you had in the past with advertisers say changing their landing page and the clicks just being wasted?

Ian: Well, one great example was one of the bigger changes… is basically I was promoting a dating campaign and I put it through the network, I put traffic to it but then I kind of realized my income just dropped mid-day and I was trying to figure out why. So I was looking at it and then I realized that half my traffic was actually being redirected to several other internal offers through the network. That was really, really, pissing me off and I actually complained to the network. They started giving me some BS about it, so I was like here’s my report, here are my quality reports, here are the reports from my traffic source. I was being transparent with this specific network but they couldn’t even allow me to see their quality reports, see their server reports and that kind of ticked me off.

If I’m being transparent with the network, you know, why can’t you be transparent with me. So after that incident, I was basically like there has to be something out there that tracks all of these changes and honestly there wasn’t. So I created Offer Snitch to actually watch these links. So if anything happened to these links, if they’re actually redirecting to another offer than where it was intended to be, then it actually tells me what’s going on. The best part is if the network offer goes down, it actually tells me when it went down and I actually have proof of when the changes happen and I can actually show this to the network and they can’t really do anything about it but maybe even just credit my traffic.

I needed something where I could actually show the network here’s hard proof of the changes that happened to my affiliate offer I was promoting.

Murray: I found this really interesting, there is a lot of money going into monitoring affiliate fraud, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of that’s monitoring merchant and advertiser and network fraud. So Ian you are doing great service to the industry by providing this. Thank you.

Ian: Thank you no problem. I’m an affiliate and I’m spending money on my traffic, I need to make sure it’s visible and have some sort of control of my affiliate links.

Murray: Absolutely. This is just the first iteration, presumably. Does this integrate with automatically cutting off your ad span or redirecting your traffic? Can you set it up to do that?

Ian: Well right now it only alerts you of when the offer goes down or when the landing page changes or when a redirect happens to your links. But if you’re using a system like Prosper202 or another tracking platform, you can actually just go into your system, turn the link off or put in a brand new link and say: hey, that offer went down, I’m going to redirect it to another network’s offer. So it just gives you the alerts for now. To me I think that’s the most important part. Everybody has their own tracking so they can actually just change the track links whenever they need to be.

Murray: Excellent. Ian, thank you very much. If people want to find out more about this and actually try it out for themselves, how can they do that?

Ian: They can actually just go to OfferSnitch.com and it breaks it down to all the features… with screen captures… link hop counts and bulk uploads, so they can just go to that website,  OfferSnitch.com and find out more.

Murray: Is there a free trial?

Ian: Yes, there is a free trial for it. Right now it’s going at 100 mb for unlimited links and you can actually track any of your affiliate links if need be, but you have 100 mb per month to use it.

Murray: Excellent. Ian thank you very much… always great to speak to you… look forward to seeing you soon. I’m Murray Newlands and you’ve been watching Performance Marketing Insider TV. Bye.


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