Customer Relationship Management CRM

November 29th, 2013 by

Customer Driven CRM

Customer driven CRM means that organizations first understand the customer, then move inward to operations.

  •  What will they buy, when, why and for how much?
  • What creates value for them, and does this create a structural bond?
  • What services can we perform that merit premium margins?
  • Can we establish a new market segmentation strategy focused on potential profitability and willingness to purchase?
  • Do we understand their business drivers, financial metrics, buying process and decision criteria?

A decade of CRM has taught us that nothing happens until your people interact with the customer in a manner consistent with new CRM customer strategies and systems.

And, finally, you should be well positioned to apply predictive modeling algorithms to establish a financial model with exceptional accuracy.

Not an easy task, but case studies are proving financial predictions that can demonstrate account-level forecasting with over 80 percent accuracy.


Here’s a simple framework for CRM:

  • Focus on financial results: Learn how to identify existing profitable customer segments and determine what will establish a profit-based profile for moving forward. Then develop the business requirements to support sustained, and structurally bonded, relationships.
  • Find cost effective alternatives for non-buyers or low-margin customers: Not all customer relationships are profitable and very few companies can afford to pay to deliver an equal level of services. Control costs and save your best resources for premium accounts—while working to bring low performers into an acceptable profit portfolio.



Top 5 Affiliate Program Mistakes

November 29th, 2013 by

Affiliate Managers: Your Top 5 Affiliate Program Mistakes

1. Competing With Your Affiliates

This is by far the worst mistake made by companies that offer affiliate programs.  I often see companies for products I am trying to promote compete with me in the search engine rankings and pay per click advertising programs.

Why companies invest money and resources in competing with their affiliates is beyond me. By competing with me, you’re trying to put me out of business. Have marketing directors ever thought of it in that way? Because if you succeed, you will no longer have an affiliate network to speak of.

The money would be better spent on supporting your affiliate network by creating a better product, providing more referral statistics, higher commission payouts, faster support, and more, fresh promotional creative.

2. Not Providing Your Affiliates With Useful, Real-Time Statistics

All marketers rely on statistics to measure the effectiveness of any marketing campaign. Yet most affiliate programs only provide their affiliates with basic statistics such as number of visitors sent, number of sales, and commission earned.  These statistics aren’t much help to affiliates who want to measure the effectiveness of a particular pay per click campaign.

Affiliate managers – please consider providing these useful statistics so that I can market your products effectively:

  • Archive of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly statistics and by date range.
  • Commission earned, broken down by product or service, and how the customer was referred to the site.
  • Daily email update of all affiliate statistics.
  • Instant email notification of a new affiliate.
  • Instant email notification of a new free trial sign up.
  • Instant email notification of a new sale and all relevant statistics. I love getting new sales notification emails!
  • Number of free trial downloads or subscriptions.
  • Number of returns and all relevant statistics.
  • Affiliate links with trackable IDs, so that affiliates can tell exactly which site, or ad campaign is sending the referrals and sales.
  • Unique clicks – which refers to the unique number of visitors referred – in addition to raw clicks – which refers to the total number of click throughs.
  • A list of top performing affiliate statistics, so that affiliates can compare how they’re doing and which areas they can improve on.
  • Include the most important statistics at the top of the email and subject line. There’s nothing worse than having to scroll down to see what the referral purchased or how much commission I have made.

The following only apply if the affiliate program offers more than one level of commissions.

  • Commission earned as a result of referrals sent by 2nd-tier affiliates.
  • Commission earned, broken down by commission level.
  • Number of 2nd-tier affiliates referred.

3. Not Compensating Your Affiliates Fairly For Their Hard Work

The #1 incentive for any affiliate is cold hard cash. So tell your marketing director to fire the search engine optimization firm and advertising department, and redirect the resources to paying your affiliates a higher commission rate.

4. Not Providing Enough Fresh Promotional Creative.

Most affiliate managers seem to give their promotional creative little thought. All they offer is a handful of 468×60 banners, buttons and text links. What happens is that affiliates end up using the same ads on hundreds, even thousands of web sites.

Affiliate managers – what about these promotional creatives?

  • Articles and tips with embedded affiliate links
  • Classified ads
  • Customer testimonials
  • Direct email ads
  • Email signatures
  • Newsletter ads
  • pay per click ads
  • Pop-up/under ads
  • Product photographs
  • Product reviews
  • Product screenshots
  • Rich-media ads
  • Skyscrapers
  • Staff interviews

Different ads perform better on different sites. And ads generally have a life span of a carton of milk. So offer your affiliates a greater variety of ads, more often.

5. Not Providing Fast, Quality Support For Your Affiliates.

Don’t make your affiliates wait longer for an email reply than it takes to send a letter by snail-mail post.

Don’t outsource your affiliate support work if you can afford not to.  If you have to outsource,  then you must take your time and concentration to train your support staff so that they understand the ins and outs of your products and affiliate program.  Do this with outlined bullet point processes.  I’m often dumbfounded by affiliate support staff who can’t give me answers to simple questions.

Earth Skater’s real time affiliate tracking GETS WORK DONE!

Call 877-627-2492 to discuss your affiliate marketing plan today.

Link Exchanging How To

November 24th, 2013 by

Finding Link Exchange Partner Sites To Improve Your Link Popularity

Link popularity is considered by most search engines to be one of, if not, the most important factor that determines a site’s ranking in the search engines.

Let’s say we have two identical sites. One has thousands of targeted sites linking to it. The other only has a few incoming links. It’s virtually guaranteed that the site with thousands of incoming links will rank higher than the other site.

So how do you find reciprocal link partners?

First, you need to work out what type of web sites would link to your site. Here are some examples of sites and the types of sites that would link to them.

Your Site: Links From:
Pet store Pet lovers’ sites
Web design service Webmaster sites, how to sites
Travel site Local guides, local tourism
PC store Software/hardware review sites
Music store Music fan sites

So how do you find these sites?

In the following examples, we’ll use “pet lovers'” sites as the type of sites we’re looking for.

1. Find targeted sites in the web directories, such as or

Go to a directory’s home page and search with the keywords, “pet lover.” Then click on the category the top listings belong to. The sites listed in these and related categories are the types of sites you need to contact.

If the category has a resources or directories sub-category, then try the sites in those categories first. Resources typically offer links to sites on the same subject.

2. Use search engines to find sites that link to your competitors’ web sites.

Using the search engines is probably a more efficient method of find reciprocal link partners, than searching the directories.

Now make a list of the sites. Then create a links or resources page and carefully craft your pitch to solicit your link to be included on each one of those sites.

Some sites, such as web directories, will not require a reciprocal link. So simply submit your link.

Only exchange links with targeted sites.  Linking to poor-quality or spam sites may affect and typically will affect your search engine rankings.


Under no circumstances should you link to, or add links from, link farms. Link farms are considered as spam sites in the eyes of the search engines.

Call 877-627-2492 to discuss your marketing plan today.

Submitting To Directories

November 22nd, 2013 by

Selecting The Best Category When Submitting To Web Directories

Selecting the best categories when submitting to a web directory, to give your site every chance of achieving top rankings for the keywords you want to target.

Selecting the right category when submitting to a web directory can mean the difference between achieving top rankings and being lost in oblivion.

Don’t think that by paying for your submission, it guarantees top rankings. It doesn’t! The only guarantee you will get is for a review within a certain time limit. If you don’t select the right category, you might as well just be throwing your money out the window.

Here’s how you should find the best category to submit to, in order to give your site every chance of achieving top rankings for the keywords you want to target.

Go to the web directory’s home page and enter in the exact keyword phrase you’re targeting in the search box.

Let’s use the Yahoo! directory as an example. A search for, “cheap Web hosting” returns this page of results:

Take a look at the category link directly underneath the #1 listing, where it says:

“More sites about: Web Site Hosting > Directories”

The majority of the top listings are placed under this category. This tells you that Yahoo! considers this particular category as the most relevant for the keyword phrase we searched for.

Click on the “Web Site Hosting > Directories” category link. This will take you to the sub-category in the Yahoo! directory.

On the next page, take a look at the border at the top of the page that stretches across the screen, directly underneath the banner. It’s in yellow. This indicates that the category is classified as commercial. Non-commercial categories are in blue.

You will also find the listing that you clicked on located somewhere down the page.

There you have it. That’s how you select the best category when submitting to a web directory. You can use a similar technique when submitting to other web directories.


Search Engine User Behavior

November 22nd, 2013 by

The Importance of First Page Rankings

This article summarizes findings of two Penn State University researchers, who analyzed more than 450,000 Web queries submitted search engines in a 24-hour period, reviewing users’ actions in chronological order.

They studied the length of sessions, number of pages visited, and relevance of search results. Their findings were presented in a paper titled “An Analysis of Web Documents Retrieved and Viewed” at the 2003 International Conference on Internet Computing in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here is a summary of their findings:

  • Half of all users entered only one search query.
  • 54 percent viewed just one page of search results per visit to the search engine.
  • Searchers typically visit only the top three search results.
  • About 55 percent of users checked out one result only.
  • Only 19 percent went on to the second page.
  • Fewer than 10 percent bothered with the third page of results.
  • More than 80 percent stopped after looking at three results.
  • Eight out of 10 times, the abstract dissuades searchers from going to a site.
  • Upon clicking through to a site, one in five searchers stay 60 seconds or less.
  • One out of every two search results isn’t relevant to what the searcher was looking for.


Getting your web pages indexed by the search engines is clearly not enough. They must be listed within the first 3 pages of search results, otherwise eight out of ten searchers will never find it. Ideally, you should strive for a first page listing. For best results, a top 3 ranking is needed.  Obviously, any 1st page listing is ideal for your target keywords, any farther down the list the clicks will be minimal.

To enhance your chances of getting your listing clicked, improve your site’s search result abstract by making it more enticing and relevant to the searcher. Many search engines, such as Google, use the contents of your website pages, social media accounts, YouTube videos, and additional META information to rank your website.  So take another look at what you can do on your own to increase your first page keyword rankings.

The findings of this study reiterate the importance of optimizing your web pages for top search engine rankings. Ignore it at your peril.

Call 877-627-2492 to discuss your marketing plan today.