Archive for September, 2009

Before You Get Started: Familiarity With HTML

This post is the first post in a series of posts that will go into further detail of the ten bite-sized affiliate marketing tips published on the MediaTrust blog in late July.

As with any profession or expertise, in order to prepare yourself to succeed at a higher level, you must know the fundamental basics. On the web the fundamental programming language is HTML. Even though it’s the most basic and easy to use code language, most affiliates still use HTML and CSS to create their landing pages.  This is mostly because HTML is simple and can be learned literally within a couple days, which makes it the easiest to edit and optimize. This is important because any successful affiliate knows that in order to increase or maintain profit margins, constant testing and editing of new landing page variations is necessary. A Google search of “learn HTML and CSS” will give you more than enough information to learn the language quickly for free.

Now remember I specifically mentioned “familiarity” because its not essential to know how to completely code and design the landing pages you make; the most effective styles and designs will likely come from the web designers that create unique pages on a daily basis. So, it is still important that you understand the page if there is a small error that you need to fix, and of course to place a conversion pixel in order to test which of your pages performs the best. Once you have an understanding of HTML, it will become much easier for you to optimize your site with whichever tracking tool(s) that you chose to use. Here are a few great posts on site optimization by MediaTrust’s own web designer Matt Richmond.

Another valuable use of any marketers time is to understand the jargon of the mediums they are using to advertise on. A list of commonly used terms associated with internet marketing can be found here. This is an affiliates first step to becoming a so called “savvy’ internet marker. After learning the basics on how landing pages work on the back end with HTML and CSS, the next step is to of course use that knowledge to setup a campaign to promote an offer.  Note that if you do not plan on using a landing/bridge/upsell page its still essential that you are familiar with HTML in order to understand how simple web pages function with links to creatives, pixels, etc..

24

09 2009

My Internship Experience at MediaTrust

This is a little more about my recent internship with MediaTrust this past summer in New York City. Originally posted today on the MediaTrust Blog.

Back in June, when the summer of 2009 began, many of my friends were off traveling throughout the world or simply taking in the sun on the Jersey Shore. For me, a 16 year old student at the Hun School of Princeton, I decided to see what it’s like working for an internet company by interning here at MediaTrust. This experience was my first taste of the corporate world, largely thanks to the MediaTrust CEO Peter Bordes who responded to my Twitter message, which lead to me being invited to join the MediaTrust team.

Leading into my first couple days as the new intern in the New York City office, I was unsure of how I would be accepted being that I am much younger than the typical college intern. Also, as an affiliate marketer myself, I know that very few affiliates have seen the other side of performance marketing networks in depth and my opportunity was invaluable. My official title was “Marketing Intern”, and I spent the majority of my time working with both the marketing and sales teams under guidance from Trip Foster, the MediaTrust CMO.

As I started out, my main goal was to get a little taste of everything within the company. This allowed me to gain perspective of the areas within a company that I would likely enjoy working in, as well as the areas where I would be most effective and efficient. One great thing that I noticed is that right away once I started is that there was a mutual learning relationship between me as an affiliate marketer (the demographic which MediaTrust currently caters to) and the performance marketing network themselves which I as an affiliate, heavily rely on. I was able to provide insight to the affiliate managers of my experiences as an affiliate so they could understand the tools and techniques savvy affiliates use, as well as provide the sales team with information on hot offers to bring onto the network.

My experience shed light on a lot of the good, bad, and ugly parts of managing a company that is growing at an astounding pace. One of my most memorable parts of working with the MediaTrust employees is their entrepreneurial spirit. Quite frankly, I am glad that I was actively involved with MediaTrust this past August because as you are probably aware, MediaTrust was recognized as the 9th fastest growing company in America by the Inc.500. They really do deserve the prestigious award. Their hard work is a testament to the award along with the entrepreneurial drive within each employee that motivates them to be the best in this industry.

Just to put this in perspective: eBay’s employees generated $527,238 per employee in 2008.(RoyalPingdom.com 2009) Meanwhile, MediaTrust’s employees generated $638,333 per employee in 2008.(Inc.com 2009)

I am really glad that I was able to give my input and contribute to this fast paced and fast growing internet marketing company throughout the summer. I really can’t thank the MediaTrust New York City team enough for taking the time to show me how you guys do business. Chantelle White, the Senior Sales Manager had one clever way to describe it: “This is a company full of achievers; you have to be on top of your game.” In case you guys haven’t noticed yet, MediaTrust is making things happen. I am truly proud and privileged to work for MediaTrust, I could not have asked for anything more.

Now as I leave MediaTrust for my junior year in high school, I will surely miss this internship and I will always remember the core values of the people here that made my experience so memorable. I look forward to contributing to the MediaTrust blog throughout the year. Stay tuned throughout the year for more affiliate tips that I discovered this past summer!

16

09 2009

Web Analytics Apps That Deliver

Perhaps the most important part of trying to grow anything on the web is analyzing the data that you have generated. For the many activities that I participate online in, I need a variety of powerful tracking/analytics apps to monitor and analyze performance. Here are my favorite tools to keep track of my activity-

General Website Analytics -

Mint

Features:

  • An interface that makes data easy to digest.
  • Real time user data.
  • Self hosted.

Price: $30

Landing Page Optimization -

ClickTale

Features:

  • Watch videos of real users interacting with your site.
  • Analysis of links on your page.
  • Optimize your landing page to maximize conversions and usability.

Price: Free account with limited features. Paid accounts start at $99/month.

Social Media Campaign Tracking -

Peashoot

Features:

  • ROI based social media tracker.
  • Custom shortened url’s.
  • Provides real metrics to your social media profiles.

Price: $17/month for the basic plan.

User Interaction Analytics-

MixPanel

Features:

  • Analysis on your sales funnel.
  • Custom event tracking.
  • Simple integration with your site’s API.

Price: Free

Upcoming app to watch out for:

AttentionWizard.com - “AttentionWizard uses artificial intelligence algorithims to simulate human visual processing and attention. Our software instantly creates “attention heatmap” of your Web page that predicts where real people would look during the first few seconds of their visit.” (Currently in beta testing by invite only.)

Do you know of any web analytics apps that are simply spectacular in form and function?

10

09 2009

Increasing Productivity and Efficiency

Internet usage among all age groups and professions is increasing each year, along with activities that distract you from getting things done online. This past summer I have been learning a lot about increasing efficiency participating in a work lifestyle that maximizes your ability to focus on making things happen. My guide has been the book Getting Things Done by David Allen and the Action Method by Behance. Getting  Things Done makes an attempt to change the way you work and deal with your “stuff”. Meanwhile, the Action Method aims to change the way you manage and execute your ideas. Both examine two vital parts of your work, with the intentions that by practicing the methods, your productivity and efficiency will be maximized.

We always have “stuff” to do. David analyzes what all of this “stuff” really is to us, and how we can work through it:

Here’s how I define “stuff:” anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for which you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step. [pg. 17]

In short, the method helps you turn “stuff” into tasks that you can take action on, or get rid of. One part of Getting Things Done that I liked in particular is David’s idea of scheduled times to review and re-examine what you have gotten done and what needs to get done. I think this is very important to maintain the confidence that you are on top of things, or if  not you can prioritize to catch up. Throughout the book David identifies how we can manage our stuff and get rid of our stuff. In other words from 43folders.com, David explains how to “do your stuff in a way that honors your time, your energy, and the context of any given moment”.

I believe that good ideas are a dime a dozen. What I value is the ability to take the idea you have and execute it. The Action Method helps people take a big idea that when thought about seems complicated, and turns it into simple actionable steps. This way the big idea is not the focus, but instead the critical small steps to get there are the primary focus. They have both an online version and a physical book version, both simple and easy to use. I think the best use for the Action Method is right after a brain storming session, when you are thinking big and have an idea, and then you need to figure out how to execute the big idea.

These two productivity and efficiency tools should reduce the stress when you work, and eventually allowing you to take more action and get more things done!

08

09 2009