July 30, 2003, 12:00 AM

Affiliate Marketing

(Page 2 of 2)

“We tell our clients it’s a much better strategy to have a managed approach," says Henger. “I would rather see a client add 50 productive partners over the next six months than add 500, figure out which ones don’t do anything, and get rid of them later. Size and number of affiliates is a statistic that’s becoming immaterial. It’s about aligning our clients with affiliates and distribution partners who are productive.”

Like other affiliate services providers, Performics has moved into other online marketing services, including support for online search marketing. And while the providers constantly seek ways to fine-tune performance for clients and expand services further, retailers are beginning to come up with innovations on their own, as well.

Outdoor gear retailer BackcountryStore.com, for example, has created its own version of an online tool called a sniplet generator for the use of its affiliates. The tool lets affiliates choose the brands, product categories and price points from the retailer’s inventory that best match their site. The sniplet generator provides product images and descriptions of the selected items and allows affiliates to customize font size, colors and other aspects of content presentation. It even updates the posted link daily with inventory, price and best-seller status from the retailer’s current data, which has helped increase sales from the growing number of BackcountryStore affiliates that are using the tool. Notes vice president of marketing John Bresee, “You’re never directing a shopper to an out-of-stock product.”

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