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eBay Drops Commission Junction

I don’t know if this had anything to do with Shoemoney’s cajoling but eBay is going solo and bringing their affiliate program in-house. They’re calling it the eBay Partner Network and launched a new blog about it.

As of April 1, 2008 the program will be dropped from the largest affiliate network – Commission Junction. They handle the reporting and pay affiliates in behalf of customers like Yahoo!, Home Depot, and Buy.com. Commission Junction is owned by ValueClick (which recently had some bad news of its own).

eBay started their affiliate program in 2001 and it has more than 100,000 affiliates globally. For those unfamiliar, an affiliate marketer is a person or business who promotes eBay’s products on their web site, blog, or forum and makes money each time they refer a sale.

New Affiliate Marketing Tool Debuts at Affiliate Summit

Affiliate Summit, a conference for affiliate marketers and affiliate managers, just ended in Las Vegas. I usually attend but I didn’t go this year. Gary Marcoccia at AvantLink told me about a new affiliate tool that debuted at the Summit, that I wish every affiliate network had. AvantLink is a smaller network of affiliate programs.

The tool is called the Affiliate Link Encoder (ALE) and it makes the process of adding affiliate links automatic. Any time you link to a product or service with a merchant in Avant Link’s network, a piece of javascript automatically changes the links redirects it to an affiliate link. As an affiliate this would make my job much easier, because it’s so tedious to change your links one by one.

Microsoft Launches Affiliate Program

Microsoft has launched a new affiliate program for paid search ads (Microsoft adCenter) and their security and PC backup service Windows Live OneCare.

There are two ways Affiliates can earn cash.
1. Each time someone signs up for a free trial of Windows Live OneCare.
2. The Microsoft adCenter program – which I can’t find details about – but you can earn cash each time someone you refer from your site signs up for paid search ads.

They are launching Microsoft adCenter with a $50 ad credit for your visitors (Andy ought to sign up Marketing Pilgrim!).

Microsoft will provide the banners to put on your blog or web site. I can’t find figures on their payouts.

Online Advertising and Display Ads Rise

Internet advertising as a whole is steadily rising. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) announced in early October that Internet advertising has reached a new record of $4.9 billion for the first quarter of 2007. Last year first quarter revenues were at $3.8 billion – a 26 percent increase.

I recently read a MarketingSherpa article on one type of online advertising that is making a small comeback. Some call them banner ads some call them online display ads, but according to MarketingSherpa, they are back in vogue. Why? They are lower cost other online advertising methods. MarketingSherpa published a helpful introduction to this advertising medium.

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%.

How Advertising Works Our Nerves (In a Good Way)

At last, neuroscience is applying itself to understanding how that extremely artificial endeavor — advertising — engages our basic biological instincts.

Two pieces of science news will interest marketers. First, the more we can anthropomorphize products, the better we like them. Second, advertising can take the place of real memory in our beliefs about a product.

It seems that dancing raisins, talking cars and the Geico gekko — but probably not subservient chickens — can actually change consumers’ perceptions and attitudes, according to Pankaj Aggarwal (University of Toronto) and Ann L. McGill (University of Chicago).

This Science Daily story says that we’re more likely to positively evaluate an anthropomorphized item.

Death to Russian Scammers

Here’s one way to eliminate spam – corporal punishment. We all hate spam, especially the ones that advertise Viagra, and pills for penis enlargement (and as I write this I’m thinking of the related ads I might trigger just by writing this). You can rest easy knowing that the man responsible for around 30% of those ads won’t be spamming you anymore. He’s dead. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. Now it appears the story is a scam.

The story made the home page of Digg, and quickly got picked up by bloggers. The story goes that a man named Alexey Tolstokozhev (which in Russian means ‘Thick Skin’) was shot in his luxury house near Moscow. Shot by Russian hit men.