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Subject: UKNM: affiliate networks / page impressions
From: Ian Tester
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 11:31:07 GMT

Leslie wrote:

"So why should someone entrust an affiliate programme and not do it
themselves? - that is the question!"

Affiliate programmes give you 2 things, hopefully

1. Access to a large pool of interested consumers with traffic on their own
sites. Essentially they're doing what we all do in one shape or form -
selling access to a valuable community. Verifying the quality of this pool
is pretty hard to do in any kind of quantitative way, so you're back to a
combination of guesswork and a number of people in the company's particular
pool. Be very inquisitive about the way the punters were signed up, and also
think about the "freshness" of the signups and their recent activity (were
they signed up quickly, and since have done nothing? / what is the churn?).
. . also think long and hard about the synergies between the sites offered
and yours.

2. A package of conveniently packaged software with which to manage these
people. Essentially 2 things - a monitoring & reporting tool, to track
referrals and their actions on site (very easy to build in-house), and a
communications toolbox to make sure you can communicate with them (email,
and site to upload new graphics etc)

If you think you can do both of these things better in-house, and don't want
the risk of relying on somebody else's systems, then I guess do it in-house.
But only if you really think you know what you're doing - it's very tricky
to manage.

That said, getting access to a pool of small site owners is a massive pain -
the same dilemna as in the offline world.

Also remember that although affiliate programmes are huge in the US, there
is very little "punter knowledge" of them over here although this is
increasing. When we were starting one in Germany last year, we realised that
there was almost no knowledge of them whatsoever. We also reckoned we were
only the third site of any size to launch them over there. France marginally
better, rest of Europe. . . .ahem!

Nick asked:

"Does anyone know where to get information on the numbers of sites with
particular numbers of impressions ? For instance, how many sites are there
with over a 1m impressions a month, how many with 500,000 etc. ?"

You wish! Not possible to measure except by gathering info from the sites
themselves - in the UK, nobody does this properly. And quite often the sites
don't know (looking at the Revolution 100 a few weeks ago, I reckoned that
only about 40% of the sites were reasonably audited) The closest you'll get
is panel-based thingies such as mediametrix, which are staggeringly
inaccurate. Basically, believe them slightly less than the viewing figures
for TV (and then imagine all the data from TVs was only picked up in
people's living rooms, and no other rooms in the house).



Ian Tester, Business Accelerator, EMAP Digital
http://www.emap.com - building the most exciting media company in the world
Exmouth House, Pine Street, London EC1V 0JL, UK
T 020 7868 7574 F 020 7868 7514 M 07880 557692 E ian [dot] testeratemapdigital [dot] com
AIM iantester

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