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$100 Off Kindle – What’s Amazon Up To?

Posted on: August 25, 2008 I Written By

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Today I was notified that Chase users can get $100 off the Amazon Kindle. Here’s the message:

Thanks to Chase, your readers may be eligible to receive $100 off the regular Kindle price. Amazon.com’s revolutionary wireless reading device now has more than 160,000 books plus top newspapers and blogs available and is more affordable than ever with this limited time offer from Chase.

I’m sure this is a way for Chase to be able to get more people using them, but what’s Amazon doing? Is Amazon helping to subsidize the cost of Kindle so that it can sell other Amazon products? Either way, if you’ve been looking at a Kindle and use Chase, then this deal is worth taking a look at.

eBay’s Subversive Plan to Save Money

Posted on: April 17, 2008 I Written By

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Today I received an email from eBay’s affiliate program. Basically they wanted to remind me that I needed to change all my ebay affiliate links to their new eBay Partner Network. The following is pieces of the email and my personal commentary.

Dear John,
As you know, eBay’s new global platform, the eBay Partner Network, went live on April 1st. We have gotten a great amount of interest and response to the new network’s new creatives, new single global registration, and enhanced reporting capabilities!

Note that eBay said they’ve gotten a lot of interest and response to this program. They didn’t mention whether this was good or bad response. My guess is most of it has been bad.

As a reminder – please register now and plan to complete your migration to the eBay Partner Network by April 30th, 2008 as we anticipate access to parallel reporting to discontinue shortly thereafter.

Note that unless you migrate your links, you will stop receiving commissions from eBay sometime shortly after April 30th.

This is really the core of this post. eBay wants users to go in and change all of their eBay affiliate links over to a new system. Sure, if you only have a few links this is not a big deal, but imagine if you have a few thousand links. I only personally have a few hundred, but even that has me overwhelmed at the thought of having to update them. I did some of them so long ago, that I’d have to try to remember what I was even linking to on eBay.

Basically a total pain and let’s be frank, hundreds of thousands of affiliate links won’t be changed because either the webmaster doesn’t get the notice, doesn’t care to change them, they don’t know where to find the links or they just have so many that they can’t change them all. I see most affiliate members doing like myself and only converting the links that convert well. The rest just aren’t worth the extra time to convert.

However, the real question is why should I have to convert them? eBay should honor those links as mine. It’s really a rather genius plan for eBay to be able to save a ton of affiliate money. By telling everyone that they have to update all their links, eBay can stop paying affiliate payments on literally thousand of old links that people don’t update.

Is this fair? Well, it doesn’t seem like eBay really cares. I mean, eBay isn’t doing this to save money. they’re doing it to provide better tools to their affiliates. Yes, that is a byproduct of this change, but I can’t imagine that this huge cost savings wasn’t part of the strategy too.

You can still receive an additional 5% bonus for all traffic tracked through eBay Partner Network in April 2008 (bonus applicable to traffic sent to Half.com and US, UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, India and Spain eBay sites). The sooner you migrate, the more you’ll earn! Just:
• Register at https://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com and confirm your registration via an e-mail you will receive
• Obtain your new links in the “tools” tab, then update your eBay links on your websites with the new code. See our migration guide for more details: http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/english/ebay-partner-network-migration-guide/
• Enter your payment and tax information in the “accounts” tab

See, you can even get a bonus for selling more eBay products. I wonder how this 5% bonus will compare with the savings from old affiliate links.

If you still have questions, we have several additional resources for you:

• Check out our new blog (http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/), and specifically our step-by-step how to get started guide: http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/english/getting-started/

• Take a look at our cool new video tutorials for help! http://eyeview.vo.llnwd.net/o23/eBay/FullMode/Player/Player.html?Video=1&Lang=EN.

• Get help from our other users on our new Discussion Boards (http://forums.ebay.com/db2/forum.jspa?forumID=1000000047)

• Or visit the HELP section of eBay Partner Network, where there are links in each topic where you can ask questions to our dedicated support team (note that you have to click on specific help topics to see the “Contact Us” link).

At least they did offer a bunch of support options. In fact, so many that it illustrates how overwhelming it is to switch.

Thanks for being a valued partner. We’re excited for a successful transition, and the opportunity to grow your business through even more innovation, information and communication moving forward!

Thank you, but if you were a valued partner you’d figure out a way to have commission junction track our old affiliate links for a lot longer. Shafting your “valued partners” with a whole bunch of work changing links is not a good way to thank your partners. A nice big fat bonus check would be a better option. Maybe that’s just me.

Sincerely,
eBay’s Affiliates Managers

Cordially,
Overworked Link Changer

Interesting “Amazon” for Homemade Products

Posted on: February 1, 2008 I Written By

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I had read about a website called Etsy. It’s kind of like the Amazon of homemade products. I guess it’s also quite a bit like eBay since the products are generated by the end user. It has a pretty cool business model. I’m really interested in it since my wife made this cool chair. I figured she should sell it on the site and see how she could do.

The downside is the fees that Etsy charges.

Sign up – free, your own shop – free, listing an item – 20 cents, selling – 3.5% fee. That’s it. All listings include up to 5 images. Listings stay up for 4 months.

Sure they have to make money, but they should make listings free. Or at least your first 10-20 listings free. Let us try the site and see if our products make money. That way more people will try it out and if they start making money, you can be sure they’ll be listing a lot more. Plus, Etsy would still be able to take the 3.5% fee off the backend. Are you listening Etsy?

Thanks for pointing it out to me Fred Wilson.

Business Intelligence Textbooks for My Class

Posted on: January 31, 2008 I Written By

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I’m in a Business Intelligence course this semester and the teacher has required two textbooks. The first is Delivering Business Intelligence with Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Looks like this book we’ll just be going through and doing exercises. Here you can buy it on Amazon if you’re interested:

The other book is called Business Intelligence: A Managerial Approach. I guess this is suppose to be the theoretical book on implementing Business Intelligence. I was going to post the link to amazon, but it turns out they don’t offer it. In fact, I can’t find it anywhere on the net. What kind of crappy book is that? If I find it later, then I’ll post a link. Ok, so the teacher is responsible for my pain. I found it on Amazon and the correct ISBN is 978-0132347617 Looks like some entertaining reading:

iTunes Affiliate Sucks

Posted on: December 19, 2007 I Written By

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I’ve been doing iTunes Affiliate for a while, and let me say that their payout sucks. Considering it costs them almost nothing to deliver the music, it’s sad that they can’t share more with their affiliates.

Here’s a quick look at how I’ve done recently:

Items Purchased: 799
Sold: $928.54
Average Order: $4.30
Total Commissions: $46.79
Average Commission per order: $0.22

Something doesn’t seem quite right with only getting paid about 5% of all the sales. Oh well, I guess eBay, Amazon and CJ just got more of my business.

AIMPromote Announces New CRM Offering

Posted on: October 22, 2007 I Written By

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I’ve been taking a keen interest in CRM products recently. There are so many choices out there that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Today AIMPromote offered a new version of their CRM product for lead management. It looks like they have a decent product offering for a pretty low price. I also` love that they offer a 14 day free trial. It’s always nice to be able to kick the tires before you purchase something. It’s never fun to change your CRM after the fact. If all goes well, then I’ll be needed a good CRM for my new business soon.

Here’s the full press release.

Traverse City, MI October 19th 2007 — AIMpromote, provider of lead management and customer relationship management software, has launched a significant upgrade to their CRM offering. The newly added white-label CRM software feature enhances the value that lead aggregators can offer to their lead purchasing customers. The enhanced reselling functionality provides an intuitive interface to completely manage the selling of a privately labeled CRM as their own.

Lead aggregators operate in the highly competitive B2B space, and need ways to add value to their offerings. Michael Myles, President and CEO of AIMpromote said “The significant added value provided by the AIMpromote white-label customer relationship software gives lead aggregators a way to differentiate themselves in what has become a highly commoditized market.” He went on to say that “this product also provides an easy way to leverage existing client bases to more rapidly increase sales.”

The close tie-in between the selling of leads and the powerful sales management functionality of the AIMpromote customer relationship software enables the end-users of the system to easily purchase leads that are then available to be worked directly in the system. There is no importing necessary. Billing is also consolidated, providing an easy way for the end-user to manage their funds and billing profile. The system has been designed from the ground-up to offer high levels of customizability and advanced functionality for everyone involved, while requiring little investment in time.

The CRM reselling and lead sales functions functionality includes the ability for lead aggregators and CRM software resellers to completely customize pricing, including setup fees, discounts, and free trials. This flexibility empowers the resellers of the system to enhance their profit margins as they see fit. The CRM reselling system allows lead aggregators and consultants the ability to brand their system with their own logo and contact information. Integrated Authorize.Net payment processing gives an interface to take credit cards automatically, and have the funds deposited directly into their bank accounts. The advanced accounting and reporting pages in the AIMpromote system give a top-down view of the business as a whole, as well as for each individual account.

The tiered approach that AIMpromote has taken to the reselling of their powerful customer relationship management software gives even the end-user clients the ability to also resell the system. The billing and accounting system automatically takes care of everything for them, even automatically setting up accounts. “The ease of use and flexibility of the AIMpromote CRM for those providing business-to-business consultation services and those selling leads has created an opportunity to significantly improve the bottom line, with very little time or expense,” said Matt Wolfe, Vice President of Operations for AIMpromote. Wolfe added, “The service and functionality of the system is unique in that customers are supported through an integrated support ticket system by their parent account. The end-users of the system will never know that the service they are using is being resold, or that the company from which they are licensing the software are not the actual manufacturers of the software. To them, it won’t be AIMpromote at all, it will be ‘ABC Software Company CRM’, or whatever name the company reselling the software chooses.”

About AIMpromote
AIMpromote leads the market in growth and technology for on-demand lead management and CRM reselling solutions. AIMpromotes enterprise lead management software empowers companies in any industry to more effectively generate, delegate, and report on leads and the teams that manage them. AIMpromote is the only solution that integrates detailed web analytics with sales and marketing analytics to provide a complete closed-loop view of the sales process. The AIMpromote lead management software offers a completely customized solution that can be tailored to fit any organization’s customer acquisition workflow. The unique combination of having the most functionality, and the lowest total cost of ownership, AIMpromote is the most cost effective solution for improving close rates and marketing efficiency.


This post sponsored by AIMPromote

Trying Out Some Video Advertising

Posted on: July 16, 2007 I Written By

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Today I came across a TechCrunch article about a company called Prerollr. They have a really simple way to put advertising on top of video content that is posted on a third party site. I thought it was a really interesting concept around monetizing videos. We’ll have to see how the company evolves. A quick look at their blog shows that they are a very new company. I love being part of new companies and watching them evolve. However, the real key with Prerollr will be how well they can sign up advertisers and therefore monetize blogs. Targeting the ads to the videos will be a challenge and signing up enough advertisers to make it worth a websites time to use Prerollr will be a major challenge they will have to overcome. Should be an interesting ride.

Here’s an example of a YouTube video with the Prerollr ad. By the way, this video is of the dance Benji Schwimmer choreographed for Pasha and Sara on So You Think You Can Dance.

I am a little concerned that it doesn’t say how much the pay will be and whether it will be an impression model or a click through model. Although the terms of use seem to indicate impression. I assume some of these details are because the site is so new. Hopefully they’ll get this information out soon. Also, they really need to have a stats page on their admin panel so we can watch our impressions and know how our sites are doing. Maybe they aren’t ready for that kind of traffic. You know we are stats junkies.

Now if Prerollr only had an affiliate program. Either way, I’ll at least give them a little bit of link love.

Affiliate Marketing for Businesses

Posted on: September 8, 2006 I Written By

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I’ve participated in a lot of affiliate marketing programs in my days. From what I’ve found the company offering the affiliate marketing is the one that really reaps the benefit of affiliate marketing. It is a great way to get exposure to your product or business for a very low cost. In fact, it’s one of the best marketing strategies there is because the cost of the marketing is directly related to the revenue that is generated. Something could be said for the pay per click affiliate programs, but from my experience if people are only getting clicks to your website and not generating revenue for you then you won’t have to pay them anything. The pay per click is usually so low that it is a mute point.

What is important is that you take good care of your affiliate management. It takes knowing someone who is skilled in that area and knows where to get and how to configure the right tools.

Selling a Website and Domain

Posted on: September 4, 2006 I Written By

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I’ve always been interested in the idea of selling a website or domain to another person. If you don’t have a website that is a very well known name or company than it is sometimes difficult to sell your website. I previously posted about a company that was selling their website on ebay. That seemed like a decent idea, but how many people really search for a website purchase? I think that still leaves most of the marketing to you.

Today I found a site that might solve some of the pain of marketing a website you want to sell. It’s called DealASite.com. It’s a nice clean concise website for DealASite.com“>buying or selling a website.

Online Price Comparison Tool

Posted on: August 23, 2006 I Written By

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I’ve recently been learning about some of the amazing tools that have been created for purchasing online. For example, there’s a nice post about eBay and a Freeware eBay Sniping Tool on the blog Something for Nothing that was really interesting. It takes the buying experience to whole new level. It’s all about saving money and being able to find good stuff cheap.

I just recently found another important tool in your quest for the cheapest price for your product. It’s a price comparison tool from Pricepirates(nice name). Here’s a summary of some of their features:

* eBay auction search in up to 13 countries
* Price research at the world’s largest product catalog, including 95 percent of the top 300 merchants in the U.S. and the majority of the leading online stores in the U.K.
* Searches 3 Amazon Marketplaces (.com, co.uk, and .de)
* Extended search options (PayPal, categories, regions)
* Integrated alert function reminds you of auctions ending soon by SMS or message window
* Optimized for Buyertools Reminder
* Ingenious statistics function
* Further functions

The things I have found most useful in the software is of course the comparison feature. eBay isn’t always the best price. It often is, but sometimes websites are selling the same product for even cheaper than you can pay for it on eBay. I love that the program is adware/spyware free. However, the best part of the program is the statistics it can keep on a product. Maybe I’m a statistics junky. I love seeing trends of what’s happening. It really takes the online buying experience to a whole new level.