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This Publisher Spotlight introduces Tricia Meyer. For those of you who don't know her, she's a qualified lawyer, a blogger, publisher of sunshinerewards.com and also Executive Director of the Performance Marketing Association.
This series of interviews was based originally on a comment by a customer interested in a more in-depth understanding of different affiliates.
The Publisher Discovery app provides outline affiliate analysis, including social and email details to give you more than the simple domain url. This is a relationship industry so it pays dividends to understand publishers more fully and there are links to a few other interviews below.
CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND YOUR WEBSITES?
My name is Tricia Meyer but many people in the industry call me “SunshineTricia” after my main website, Sunshine Rewards. A lawyer by trade, I started affiliate marketing in 2004 after doing a lot of online legal work for LexisNexis.
My first site was HelpingMomsConnect.com, which I coded using FrontPage before WordPress became a big thing. I dabble in other sites but my favorite is with two of my friends at WineClubGroup.com - for obvious reasons!
It’s been a tough two years for many advertisers and publishers - what are your stand out highs and lows as a publisher?
One of my biggest lows as a publisher was big brands deciding that they didn’t need affiliates all of a sudden because everyone was shopping online out of necessity. It was quite a blow to work with a company for 15 years and then just have the affiliate program yanked away without any notice. And not because the company wasn’t doing well - but because they decided they were doing well enough without affiliates.
Conversely, one of the best things to come out of it is that new brands ARE realizing the benefits of affiliate marketing and we are getting to work with a lot of small businesses.
You’re also Executive Director of the Performance Marketing Association - how does being a PMA member help you as an affiliate?
The PMA in general is a great resource for finding out how to stay compliant with my website, emails, etc. to stay out of trouble with the networks, my merchants, and the law. Even more than that, as Executive Director I get to sit in on all of the different Council and Committee meetings, and they are just FULL of information and ideas.
I’m always learning about new ways to monetize my sites, how to grow my traffic, and what merchants are looking for. It keeps me on the cutting edge of affiliate technology, which as a small business can be hard to do because there is ALWAYS something new in our industry.
You wrote about the Content vs Coupon ratio a while back; should this form a part of any attribution model?
Content versus coupon is really tricky for me because I run a number of content sites but my primary site is a loyalty/coupon site. So I always see both sides of the coin in attribution. The data shows that both types of sites (as well as other models) are vital to our industry because of the ways that different consumers shop.
The key is to apportion the commission in such a way as to truly reward affiliates based on their work.
As a rider to that - what’s your view on the way attribution is being applied (after all, it was the 'next big thing' as far back as ASW07)?
Not all coupon sites are the same, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. A last-click coupon site without a loyal audience isn’t providing as much value as a deal site that has a loyal audience and is able to steer that audience toward particular deals.
So attribution is a much better way to compensate affiliates than across-the-board commission drops for all coupon sites. My biggest complaint about attribution currently is that most networks provide the merchants with the attribution data but not the affiliates. If we are going to send more valuable traffic, we need to understand more about the traffic we are currently sending.
From your publisher viewpoint, can you share the best and the worst outreach to recruit you as an affiliate?
Flat lying to affiliates is the worst. “I think your site X is a great fit” is a lie when you don’t even look at my site but tell every affiliate the same thing. And it happens all the time because I often get emails for merchants that are a TERRIBLE fit for my sites! That doesn’t foster a good relationship from the outset.
Actually looking at my site and saying “I see you promote merchant X or X product already and we target the same audience” gives me a reason to actually consider that the merchant is a good fit. I love when I can see that a merchant actually has a good reason to want to be on my site and not that they are just blasting thousands of affiliates at once in hopes of getting random responses.
What are your top nuggets of advice for anyone new to managing an affiliate program?
Relationships are the key. Adding a program to my sites takes not only time but also money when I am paying employees to add them. So understand that a publisher really needs to see a financial value to adding the merchant.
In addition, for those of use with loyal readers and audiences, our credibility is at stake when we promote a new merchant. We’re much more likely to take the financial and credibility risks when we trust YOU as an affiliate manager.
Whether that is from building a relationship through conferences or the PMA or even just social media conversations, those relationships will be what you can then use to get a publisher’s attention.
About Tricia Meyer
Although originally a lawyer, Tricia Meyer has found her true calling in affiliate marketing. She loves being able to couple online technology with connecting with people. At Sunshine Rewards, she has created a place where people can not only shop but also connect with friends and earn cash back for everyday activities. Her niche sites such as HelpingMomsConnect.com allow her to write about everything from product reviews to important news.
Her affiliate marketing knowledge has led to various consulting jobs from helping bloggers monetize their sites to helping merchants with SEO. As Executive Director of the Performance Marketing Association, she has the chance to combine legal knowledge and affiliate knowledge to the benefit of the entire industry.
ABOUT PUBLISHER DISCOVERY®
Read more about our affiliate discovery and recruiting tools in the shopping market vertical in Finding Shopping Affiliates. These ‘Publisher Spotlight’ articles focus on different affiliate website examples, covering a variety of business models and promotional types.
You can see more about Publisher Discovery in our About Us page. Our leading AI-driven affiliate discovery and recruitment tool can help any advertiser find new affiliates – like Redu – to grow their program.
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