I wanted to get the skinny on the industry from Nick Foley this week, partially because I’ve known him for a while, but also that despite being around for over a decade, his company isn’t always listed on the top lists of networks. Well, this year that changed with the readers of Performance Marketing Naming him as one of the top 20 performance marketing networks in the world. It’s obvious that he’s quickly making a name for himself, and TheRevenueStreet is a network to examine as a possible major player in the industry.
How did you personally get into Affiliate & Performance based Marketing?
I started TheMediaCrew in 1999 and RevenueStreet in 2004. I got involved with performance based marketing or affiliate marketing because I noticed the CPC/CPM model slowly changes towards the CPA/CPL model. We wanted to be able to capitalize on this change hence; RevenueStreet.com was born.
What makes Revenue Street Unique and interesting?
Well, we have great offers but so do a lot of networks. My true answer is our Experience, People & Technology. I have been in the industry since 1999 and in my opinion we have the best team of industry professionals a company could put together. We maintain a relatively small and tight ship which allows us to respond quickly to changes in our industry and the needs of our advertisers and affiliates. In addition, we have always leveraged our experience and built our own software platforms, and most recently implemented EFFECTUS (effectus-software.com). This is our proprietary performance based marketing tracking software which was in development for close to two years. It’s now powers RevenueStreet.com and we have started to license it.
What does Revenue Street look for in its affiliates?
We typically look for 4 key ingredients: Experience, Integrity, Communication, and Results. We take an in depth look into the affiliates industry experience and the individuals drive to succeed. Next we lay out our expectations for the affiliate and discuss openly and honestly the process the affiliate plans on using to generate traffic. Then we encourage a solid line of communication and transparency. We want to help our affiliates earn as much money as possible so having a solid line of communication with our AM’s is the key to achieving this. Finally, we want to understand the results they are expecting and come up with a game plan to achieve those results.
What is your perception of all the get rich blogs? Does this hurt or help the industry?
As with many of the “get rich schemes” this just inundates our industry with inexperienced people thinking affiliate marketing is a quick easy home based business. I believe this mainly spawns fraud and a bad image for our industry. This is becomes a burden when larger branded advertiser look to affiliate marketing as part of their marketing plans.
What changes have you seen in the industry since 2001, and what changes do you wish you’d see?
I have seen CPM rates going from $150 CPM down to $10 CPM. I also was involved with the transition from CPM/CPC models moving to CPA/CPL models. I would like to see a reduction in fraudulent activity. As I previously stated, big name advertisers and fortune 500 companies need to be able to trust our industry to provide true performance based results without all of the hassle of fraud. I understand this is a part of business, but also believe it can be controlled and reduced.
What is the most common fraud you’ve found in the industry, and what steps does RS take to combat that?
A majority of our campaigns are lead based and we see a lot of form filling. One of the steps we take is to maximize the quality of the lead on the landing page. For example, we implemented a simple not interested button on one of our landing pages which reduced non-interested leads. In addition, we don’t allow any host & post, all traffic is driven directly to the advertisers landing page which we have seen to reduce fraudulent traffic. Our platform, EFFECTUS has fraud features which alert us of fishy lead generation and sales.
If you could have any wish, what tool would you like seen made for affiliates?
Sometimes, I can’t understand the way some businesses in our industry operate and stay in business. If I had a wish, I would probably wish for a way for affiliates to x-ray a company and really see how a company or network operates its business and takes care of its people.
What ideally would you like to teach brands about affiliate marketing?
Affiliate Marketing (aka Performance Marketing) is TRULY a win/win situation for a company and it’s marketer. The main thing is to educate brands about the legitimate and illegitimate practices in our industry. If we can create an open line of communication and transparency with big brands, they will ultimately join in the reduction of fraud and the growth of the industry
Whose is the sexiest girl in our industry?
My wife .. 🙂 (another wimp, what da hell?)