I went away for a two week vacation and came back to find some really interesting things in my inbox and in the networks. I think that the closure of the Google Affiliate Network has really shaken some things up in terms of merchants and affiliate networks (and in a good way). Most of the surprises were good ones! It’s going to make Affiliate Summit in Philadelphia fun because we have just a little bit of time between now and then to watch how everything plays out and then be able to gossip about it.
Here are a few of the things that made me go “hmmmmmm” this week:
- Hilton all of a sudden popped up in Commission Junction. Up until now, we have had to rely on the Converseon tracking and the program has been HORRIBLE! In fact, we haven’t been paid since about August. Andrew Kardon promised some exciting new things now that he is cleaning up the program, and this is a good indication that they are serious about making the program better.
- Pandora opened a program on Linkshare. I had been under the impression for years that they were never going to have an affiliate program because of their “brand concerns.” They have always been really picky even with their resellers. Combining this program with the Chamilia program could result in some cool new datafeed sites.
- Oriental Trading Company announced that they are leaving GAN for Impact Radius. This is a HUGE win for Impact Radius. It actually poses some problems for ME because Oriental Trading Company is a big merchant for me and, honestly, we have not taken the time to integrate fully with Impact Radius yet because they just didn’t have any exclusive merchants that we really needed to integrate with. This is going to change that for us for sure.
- Gymboree opened a program on ShareASale. I think this is a big win for ShareASale. My mom site visitors have been asking for Gymboree for years. I had come to doubt that we would see a program from them. This one started converted for me pretty much as soon as I posted it!
- Joe Sousa is moving to Florida to join the Fanatics Affiliate Management team. I can’t say this is a HUGE surprise because I knew he was interviewing, but it was interesting nonetheless. I’ve known Joe a long time and think he is going to be a fantastic addition to the team. He has sports knowledge, affiliate program management experience, and an open mind when it comes to the Steelers. (Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad)
- In the negative news department, a lot of GAN merchants still have not announced where they are going. For those of us who are solo or who have small staffs, we aren’t going to be able to change out hundreds of merchant links in just a month. Even though GAN is supposed to continue tracking for awhile, many of the notices we are getting are only giving us a week or so before the merchants completely close down their GAN program. This is definitely going to cause some chaos in July (and otherwise relatively slow month for affiliate marketers).
- Also in the “bad surprise” category is news on the Performance Marketing Association’s Facebook page today that Ohio has introduced Affiliate Tax legislation and it is moving quickly. If you are an Ohio affiliate, you need to get the word out about this and get to work. I had not previously seen Ohio on any of the “watch lists” by the PMA and the fact that it happened so fast is scary for all of us.
So what else have I missed besides the normal affiliate marketing buzz? I used to think that June was a slow month for affiliate marketing, but not this year!
Edited: So right after I published this, I got a knock at the door from FedEx. My biggest affiliate marketing surprise this week was apparently that I was a winner in the ShareASale Spring Fling contest! Check it out! Thank you, ShareASale. 🙂