iTunes Doubles Affiliate Commissions for Holidays

iTunes is sweetening the deal for affiliates who promote their online gift certificates with 50% more commission. You can email, or buy and print a gift certificate in amounts from $10.00 to $200.00. They’re also throwing in a free iPod nano for the top performing affiliate.

That puts commissions at 7.5% for all sales generated until 12/31/07. But the catch is that affiliates must opt in to Offer 54.1 to earn higher commissions. This is good news for music affiliates, but it’s not for individual downloads, just electronic gift certificates. iTunes is run through LinkShare’s affiliate network.

Amazon.com introduced their new music download service this year with a promotion for affiliates. Even though the selection is less, they are paying 20% commissions until January 2008 then it drops to 10%.

What Customers Want: More Detailed Product Descriptions

Want people to come to your site a little longer this holiday season? Then give customers adequate information about your products. This isn’t new but WebCollage’s 2007 Survey of Online Consumer Product Research Habits confirms how important product information is to shoppers.

79 percent of those surveyed “rarely or never” purchase a product without complete product information.
– the e-tailing group

Shoppers want to know if a product is compatible with the products they already own and easily see what accessories come with a product. I was researching a CD/clock radio for my son’s room and couldn’t tell if the models worked with headphones (so if he wakes up early to listen to some music, I don’t have to). It was impossible to tell by the pictures and product descriptions, so I had to go to an actual store.

Facebook Marketing Stunt Backfires

Molson brewing company has pulled a promotion on Facebook after complaints that they promote binge drinking. They ran a photo contest targeting 19-24 year old college students.

Called the The Molson Canadian Nation Campus Challenge the ad said, “Be the #1 party school in Canada” and says that the school with the most pictures uploaded would win a trip for five people to spend spring break in Cancun, Mexico.

The next line said: “Show everyone how you and your crew get the party started!” Then it listed the top 10 party schools.Universities and parents both contacted the company to complain. Xavier University administrator Joe MacDonald, who is the dean of students said: “This is not something that is welcome within our campus community.”

Pilgrim’s Picks for November 26 – Cyber Monday Edition

Happy Cyber Monday!

If you can tear yourself away from your online bargain-hunting for just a few minutes, you might find these news items of interest.

Retailers Primed for Cyber Monday

Reading through my RSS feeds this morning, I was shocked at the distinct lack of anything news-worthy–surely companies are over their turkey-induced slump. Then Reuters reminded me that today is "Cyber Monday" which means that anyone with a keyboard is currently shopping the biggest online sales day of the year.

How big is Cyber Monday for online retailers? comScore predicts sales will exceed $700 million online today. That’s a lot of shoes, iPods, and tiny flying helicopters.

With the economy in a mini-slump, etailers are going all out this year…

…the number of retailers offering free shipping with no conditions, such as a minimum purchase, has jumped to 41.4 percent from 36 percent last year.

SMX London Part 5 – Understanding the Needs of a Searcher

(GSINC‘s Gareth Davies couldn’t resist the lure of SMX London and took excellent notes while he was there. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)
understanding searcher needs at SMX panel profile photos

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Understanding the needs of a searcher
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On the morning of day two I made my way to the first session of the day. The first person up to speak to us was Gord Hotchkiss from Enquiro. Gord had a charismatic style and even though it was first thing in the morning, he knew how to engage his audience.

Newspapers: Online Ads Up, Print Ads Down

Print advertising continues to slide while online advertising in newspapers is growing consistently. According to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) advertising expenditures for newspaper websites increased 21.1%, to $773 million, in the third quarter. That was compared to the third quarter in 2006. It’s a trend that looks promising – this is the 14th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for online newspaper advertising since the NAA started reporting online ad spending in 2004.

While print advertising is still the majority of advertising with newspapers (newspaper website advertising now accounts for 7.1% of total newspaper ad spending), the online spend continues to get bigger. Spending for online ads is still in the millions while print advertising brings in $10.1 billion. And print advertising is down 9% compared with the third quarter of 2006.