Vick Strizheus’ Affiliate Network Platform Evaluation

I’m writing this affiliate network platform evaluation in response to people who ask me all the time, “Vick, what’s the best affiliate network to get started with?”

It is Click Promise hands down because it’s so easy to get started. the application process is simple, and the affiliate network platform has a ton of tools to make it easy. A lot of people want to say that it’s because I’m affiliated with the network, but actually I’m not directly. My partner, Jason McClain, owns Click Promise.

The longer you’re involved with Internet marketing, you slowly begin to replace the products and services you use on a regular basis with your own that you’ve developed. This is what I refer to as the authoritative level of marketing. This is one of the areas that Jason and I are passionate about because it allows us to give our audience full service. Click Promise is a huge part of that.

Is It CPA, Affiliate Marketing, or What?

Some people consider Click Promise a Cost Per Action (CPA) network because many of the offers pay out based on sign ups rather than product sales. We do consider it to be an affiliate network because we do have many of our products available for promotion on the site. Anyway, the important part is that regardless of the type of offer, they all pay out well. Another reason that Click Promise is my favorite affiliate network.

How to Apply

Applying for Click Promise is easier than with most networks. Simply follow the link and fill out the form completely. It’s that simple. Many times, you will see how-to articles on the long process of applying for other affiliate network platforms.

People tend to have a couple of common problems as they are applying:

  1. They are presented with  log in page instead of a form
  2. They don’t know what to put in the company name and URL fields if they have neither

One thing to remember when you are applying to an affiliate network platform, they most likely aren’t that concerned with all of your information. They just make all of the fields required so they can ensure they have all of the information they need to get you started. So, things like your company name and URL can be ironed out later. Just because the fields are required doesn’t mean they are required to be eligible.

So the solutions here are simple. If all you see is a log in page when you go to apply at Click Promise, scroll down. The form is below the fold. If you don’t have a company name or website, simply fill out these fields as follows:

  • Company Name – Retype your name
  • URL – You can use anything here. Facebook.com, ProjectBreakthrough.com, or HighTrafficAcademy.com. It really doesn’t matter. The information can be updated at a later time

How It Works

Once you are accepted, log into your affiliate account. Click Available Offers and click the Request Offer button next to any offers that interest you. None of this should take longer than 24 hours, so if you encounter a delay, make sure to contact support. Once you are approved for offers you’d like to promote, they will appear in your account under the My Offers tab. You then have the option of grabbing your affiliate link and/or using some of the creatives provided to promote your chosen product and start earning. Click Promise pays out monthly on the 15th of the following month. For example, your earnings for May 2016 would be paid out on June 15, 2016.

Wrap Up

Whether you are new to affiliate marketing or a seasoned veteran, Click Promise has something to offer you. I stand behind it fully as an affiliate network and as my preferred affiliate network platform. I’d love to hear from you in the comments about your experiences with this affiliate network.

 

Vick Strizheus’ Data Management Platform Evaluation

Welcome to my data management platform evaluation. One of the big things you realize when you reach a certain level in Internet marketing is that there are more things that can be monetized besides content, products, emails, etc. One of those things is data! This is so huge that we have a course on it at High Traffic Academy called Data Secrets. The thing is, you need a way to manage all of your data, and there are a number of date management tools available to help you accomplish that.

How Data Management Platforms Are Measured

Forrester is a research firm that works with business and technological leaders to drive growth based on customer-based strategies. That’s just fancy talk for helping people better reach their target audience. Forrester publishes a number of reports called Waves and one of them happens to deal with data management platforms. Their detailed report is a costly asset, so I’m going to evaluate the top data management platforms and give you my pick.

Krux

Krux ranks high for their independence in the data management platform industry. Based in the cloud, they help companies worldwide deliver better experiences in marketing, media, and commerce. What you get is a deeper understanding of your target audience as a whole and as individuals. It get’s quite complicated since Krux’s capabilities depend on its 6 pillars:

  • Completeness – 100% of the people data from all sources
  • Governance – Security of your data
  • Learning – Learned responses to evolving needs
  • Synthesis – Data converted into digestible insights
  • Identity – Recognition of people across multiple platforms
  • Actionablity – Converting data into dollars

Krux is a great choice for data management whether you are a publisher, marketer, or agency. Some recognizable names you may know among their clientele are Kellogg’s, AARP, and the BBC.

Neustar

Neustar brings real-time information on services and analytics. It is also based in the cloud. They are a little less technical in their terminology and what they do than Krux which can be quite refreshing when you are new to data management. They prize themselves on their real-time emphasis to help you to better understand your audience right now. Their service are targeted toward:

  1. Marketers – providing customer insights and data onboarding
  2. Information Technology/Security – Fraud detection and DDoS protection
  3. Data – Communication analytics and Internet compliance

Formerly a division of Lockheed Martin, they were divested and renamed Neustar in 1999. Some companies who utilize Neustar’s data management platform and more are Forbes, lenovo, and ticketmaster.

Vick’s Pick: Adobe Audience Manager

Adobe Audience Manager is my absolute favorite for data management. It is, by far, the most simply platform to use and gives you more control over the profiles and segments that you create. Using Adobe Audience Manger, I realized for the first time what a valuable asset data was to my business. It allows me to  sort my audience into many diverse profiles and then service each profile effective advertising based on their interactions with my content channels. Forrester chose them as one of two best options for data management platforms, so I feel even more confident offering them as Vick’s Pick as well. So who’s using Adobe Audience Manager? Oh, just Conde Nast and Time Warner Cable.

Wrap Up

Data management was something that I didn’t even consider early on in my Internet marketing days. It really is an advanced Internet marketing strategy. A lot of marketers advise you to know your target audience, but you won’t find very many of them teaching data management as a business asset and monetization method. I want to teach you to understand your audience better. That way, you can offer more effective advertising and get the maximum benefit from your data.

How are you using data in your business? Let me hear from you in the comments!

 

Vick Strizheus’ Marketing Automation Evaluation

If your business has reached a point where you need automation, then you’ll want to check out this marketing automation platform evaluation. All marketing automation platforms are not created equal, so I’ve put in the work to bring you the best of the best.

 How Much Automation Do You Need?

You need to decide this first, so you don’t have to worry about data migration later. Migration is possible, but it’s an added pain you can eliminate by choosing the right marketing automation platform to begin with. Marketing automation platforms are going to range from automating just one aspect of marketing such as email, to handling multiple channels. If your business is small, you can usually get by with a one-trick pony. These tend to be more cost effective for you and do just enough to be worth it. However, if your business is big or you plan to scale, then you need to start big.

Marketing Automation Platforms for Small Business

  • Constant Contact – What!?! We thought Constant Contact just did the email thing like MailChimp and GetResponse. Nope, the level of automation your small business can achieve could be key for your business. Welcome to lead generation in addition to email marketing!
  • Hubspot – Hubspot is perfect for the small business owner who wants to do a little bit of everything. That’s going to be the caveat to this choice as well as it does a lot of things, but none of them to a very deep level.

Marketing Automation That Gets the Job Done

  •  Salesforce – Salesforce resides in the cloud and provides you with a ton of tools to help automate your business as well as acting as a customer relations management system (CRM). It will let you handle a lot of tasks at once and take your automation to the next level.
  • iContact – iContact handles a couple of the biggest hurdles in business for you: email marketing and social media marketing. I would venture to say that if these two things were automated in your business, you’d probably find yourself with some free time or a couple of employees with nothing to do.

Vick’s Pick – Marketo

Marketo is the Cadillac of marketing automation platforms. It includes a set of marketing tools that is second to none and includes mobile options! If you’ve been reading my blog lately, then you know how important that is! Check it out:

  • Email marketing
  • Lead management
  • Consumer marketing
  • Customer based marketing
  • Mobile marketing

It’s a weight off my shoulders! Marketo is a marketing automation platform for marketers like me made by marketers like me. That’s the kind of thing you just can’t beat in business.

What You Can Do With Marketo?

Generate Leads – You get a range of marketing automation tools that let you build forms, create calls to action, and more. You get better quality leads that are close to your brand.

Nurture Leads – Your leads are prepped as they move through your sales funnel. They get to you at just the right time with real-time data, email marketing, and workflows.

Decides if Your Leads are Hot or Not – The mystery of hot, warm, and cold leads will be demystified for you.

Analytics – You’ll get a myriad of awesome stats from your website as well as other aspects of the marketing automation process. You will be able to conveniently stay on top of it all.

Team Integration – Get your whole team in there. They’ll get timely notifications for tasks, data, and more.

Benefits of Marketing Automation

Since it can be quite costly, then there have to be some pretty robust benefits to marketing automation, right? I’ll keep this short and sweet:

  • 63% of companies that are running over their competition are using marketing automation
  • Marketing automation = 451% increase in qualified leads
  • 75% of companies utilizing marketing automation recoup their investment within a year

Wrap Up

Needless to say, if you’re serious about business, using a marketing automation platform is a no-brainer. I always love to hear from you, so if you’re using automation, leave me a comment and let me know how it’s going. Also, don’t forget to subscribe so you catch my future evaluations.

Vick Strizheus’ Email Platform Evaluation

If you haven’t implemented email marketing into your business and begun building your list, then it’s definitely time to get started. Building a list of contacts is the first, cheapest, and most important asset you can build for your business. I’m going to share my email platform evaluation with you to help you get started with the best service for you today!

AWeber

AWeber has long been an industry standard for Internet marketers and it’s a worthy choice. It’s actually the PC Magazine 2016 winner for the Business Choice Award for Best Email Marketing Service. AWeber was founded in 1998 and serves more than 100,000 businesses with its plethora of email marketing tools. If you choose AWeber, you’ll find their tools simple to use and their customer service is second to none. Certainly a great service to get the job done, and you can try them free for 30 days with a trial.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a full-service platform and then some. Not only do they make it simple to handle your email marketing endeavors, but they will also do it for you. If that’s not enough, you can likely find one of their partners near you who is trained and certified to help you get your campaigns off the ground. Since they are a popular platform, you’ll find plenty of ways to integrate them into your business platform and you can get started with their generous 60-day free trial.

MailChimp

MailChimp is another popular service with a ton of integration options. What it does really well is simplify the entire process with templates that are easy to customize and sign-up forms that…well, a chimpanzee could build. Simplicity is very important for beginners, but so it affordability. MailChimp is pretty much the only email marketing service to bring both to the table with their Forever Free plan. This allows you to build a list of up to 2,000 subscribers and send them 6 emails a month (for a total of 12,000) without paying a dime for the service. MailChimp is a little less robust than other services, but this is one of the ways they manage to stay simple and easy to use for a wide margin of users.

Campaigner

Campaigner is another offering that is friendly for newbies. However, you shouldn’t just choose a platform for that reason. One of the more notable things about Campaigner is their research into integrating Buy buttons into social campaigns. That seems like a pretty innovative company to me. Their knack for data and analytics spills over into their platform with some pretty hefty monitoring tools for your campaigns. Overall, Campaigner looks to be a decent new player in this realm and you can find out with a 30-day risk-free trial.

Get Response – Vick’s Pick

I’ve noticed a lot of marketers who’ve had trouble with other platforms use Get Response, but that’s not why it’s my top pick. Get Response simply gets the job done. Their service is reaching nearly 1 billion email recipients per month from the campaigns of more than 350,000 businesses worldwide, including mine. Their simple drag-and-drop design gives me the ability to create campaigns so stunning, you’ll think they were professionally designed. I just have no complaints with this service. I affiliate with them, and I use them exclusively to handle my lists and email campaigns flawlessly. That’s why Get Response is Vick’s Pick for this evaluation. Try them free for 30 days!

Wrap Up

When it’s all said and done, it really doesn’t matter which service you choose, as long as you choose one and start building your list as soon as possible. Most, if not all, of these services will allow you to export your list in a CSV file. That way, you can upload your contacts to a different service later without leaving anyone behind. So, you have no excuse not to choose one and get started.

Let me know in the comments if you started building your list today. What service did you choose?

What’s New with High Traffic Academy? | April 2016 Edition

There are so many new things happening at High Traffic Academy that I can barely keep up with them all, but I’m still so excited to share with you all that’s going on. When I started High Traffic Academy, it was my sincere hope that it would grow to what it has become. We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to build this great online marketing company that concentrates on showing others how to do the same.

High Traffic Academy Expands!

First and foremost this month, we opened a new headquarters located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. Not only is this our new home base, but it’s also a facility that offers space and equipment for use by our current and future members. In addition, we also welcome guests to come and see what’s happening at High Traffic Academy.

With this new facility, we not only have an awesome space for our staff to work, but a place for the HTA community to hang out and build their businesses. It’s a huge convenience to members residing in the Orange County area. They can stop in and we can show them in person how to make their business work. It’s our hope that this kind of interaction will bring a new perspective to online marketing for our members and possibly new things to the industry as a whole.

That’s not all! We’ve also added new offices in Oregon and Baja and have been busy staffing them with new and fresh talent. These new additions to the High Traffic Academy family are focusing on the following areas:

  • Web development
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service

With more than 60,000 members in High Traffic Academy, we just needed more help. That’s all there is to it. We are honored to add new talent from all over the country to our growing team. I really think they are the key to helping us stay relevant in the marketplace with the constant changes in the online marketing terrain.

DotCom Reporter Launch

This month, we released DotCom Reporter as an extension of the High Traffic Academy Elite membership. What DotCom Reporter does is help you understand the pro’s and con’s for all of the different ad networks available to you as an online marketer. DotCom Reporter exists inside the closed Elite community and gives you exclusive insider information so you can make educated choices for your campaigns.

The goal is to ultimately save you the time of testing numerous networks on your own. You get the benefit of the community sharing what worked and what didn’t for them on a personal level. You can avoid networks that fail to deliver and shoot for the ones that are in it to help you succeed. There are already hundreds participating. If you’re interested, get over to High Traffic Academy and become an Elite member today.

Introducing Data Secrets

Data Secrets was another huge product we launched this month. My partner, Jason McClain shows you how to master data and monetize it. Did you know that you can monetize text messages, emails, and more without spamming? This is a huge gap in Internet marketing that no one else is teaching!

Jason put together a course containing 6 modules that will show you how to monetize data that you already have. While this can be a complicated topic to learn and implement, Jason will take you step-by-step from data mining to dissecting and analyzing it for monetization. Data is a very lucrative, but often overlooked, aspect of online marketing that can completely overhaul your bank account for the better. Make sure you check out Data Secrets.

Wrap Up

Wow, it’s really been a busy month here at HTA, and it’s not even over yet. However, it’s left me feeling really motivated for the future and I hope you feel it as well. We are completely dedicated to offering you the very best that we can. Big things will continue to happen at High Traffic Academy, and I hope that you will be a part of it!