Todd Crawford the Podcast

Todd Crawford joins Sam for 45 minutes of fascinating talk about domains, online marketing, mustard bbq and knives (and what exactly Impact Radius is doing today and in the next few years).

There’s a different performance marketing landscape in 2013 and Todd has a great vision of what might lie ahead for networks, advertisers, agencies and publishers.


(Cross published with our Thinking.FM network and about 45 mins and change)

CJ Success Guy Meme

I forgot how cheesy the “success guy” at the end of the CJ signup process was until I walked a new client through the process today. Reminds me of a certain success kid


At Least Give a Disclosure, LinkShare

You’d think there would be … I don’t know … a disclosure near and/or at the top of a post on a blog such as MarketingLand clarifying the author’s intended purpose (or at least job) here:

Managing The Migration To A New Affiliate Network: “The topic of affiliate network migration is at the top of the agenda for a lot of advertisers these days. Whether a transition is driven by the urgency around the closing of the Google Affiliate Network, or you’ve bandied about the idea of switching networks for some time, moving to a new network requires thoughtful, strategic planning. Otherwise, you may find yourself hopping across different networks while you disrupt your brand, sales and publisher relationships.”

Kinda scummy, Scott.

Motive Interactive


I’m in San Diego for the week as I begin my first full week as the Director of Performance Marketing at Motive Interactive.

You’ve probably heard of Motive Interactive if you’re in the affiliate space but probably not exactly sure who they are, what they do or how they stand out from the crowd of CPA and affiliate networks that have been in full bloom for the past five or so years.

That’s what I’m here to change (as well as grow the network of course).

I got my start in the world of affiliate/performance marketing years ago with an email firm (SubscriberBASE) that eventually morphed into a CPA network (AdDrive), so I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the pure CPA world. Along with that, I’ve always been a firm believer that one day a network would bridge the gap (chasm?) between the CPA world and the pure rev share world and thereby get the best of both for publishers and affiliates. A few networks have tried it, but no one has been successful. I’ve got the opportunity to do that here at Motive. So, when this position was offered to me, I couldn’t turn it down.

So what makes Motive stand out from the crowd?

Let me show you.

Tomorrow (Thursday May 29), I’m doing demos for a few larger affiliates as well as folks who might be interested in what Motive is doing and why I would be crazy enough to get back into the turbulent world of CPA networks while I preach social media marketing. I’m here all day and night and I’d love to show the affiliate managers here the power of blogging by saying “Oh yeah, I’m giving this person a walk through because I blogged to see if anyone would like a walkthrough.”

Not only is this a demo and walkthrough of the network, but we’re launching Advent2.0 (Advent is the technology behind the Motive network) later in June and I’d love to have your input as to what you would like to see, what tweaks we could make to improve things and what sorts of offers you’d like to see in a network.

All that said, give me a call/txt (803.413.6834), send me an email ( or any of my other 97 email addy’s), send me a direct Tweet (samharrelson), send me a Facebook message, comment here… you get the point… and let’s set up a quick 5, 10, 30 or whatever time slot and chat. It’s not a pitch as much as an explanation.

I’d love to show you what we’re up to, where we see the industry heading and why you should be interested in Motive. Good things are happening here, trust me.

Seriously, I’d love to show you around. Get in touch.

(Special thanks to Linda Buquet! BTW, If you’re not following her coverage of the NY state affiliate tax, you’re missing out.)

ShareASale On the NY Affiliate Sales Tax

Brian Littleton of ShareASale weighs in on how his network plans to address the delicate situation surrounding the NY state tax on affiliate revenues and provides a nice model that other networks may want to consider (both in terms of practice as well as openness with the affiliate community):

ShareASale Blog » NY State and the “Affiliate Sales Tax” Law…: “Our plan at this time, is to treat any case where a merchant wishes to terminate NY affiliates with great care and caution. If a merchant requests to do this, there is little we can do to stop them – but ShareASale will be performing the task so that merchants aren’t accessing information which traditionally is considered private within the network.

There is a chance that this plan will not work. My hope is that we can warn merchants that terminating NY is a bad plan – and one that needs rethinking. If our plan doesn’t work – and we end up needing to provide more information to merchants, we may end up having to do so… I say this as a heads up to affiliates because while we don’t like to give out info, we also don’t want to put merchants in a place that makes it difficult to adhere to the laws of their state or others.”

Great job for addressing the situation and letting us know your thoughts from a network perspective, Brian and team.

Xobni Open to the Public

Xobni is an interesting plugin for Microsoft Outlook users that allows for the grouping, organizing and searching of an inbox via more social attributes such as recent conversations and contact details.

If you’re overwhelmed by your inbox, this could be something useful to try out:

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

I’m a Linux and Mac user, but if I were on Windows I’d certainly give Xobni a try (here’s the NY Times piece on it) since Outlook can become quite the beast with the flood of affiliate network emails!

eBay Leaves Commission Junction, Starting eBay Partner Network

ebay.pngThis morning, eBay is announcing that they are moving their affiliate program in house to the eBay Partner Network effective April 1, 2008 (no fool’s day joke). eBay is also bringing over to the new network. Affiliates and publishers need to have links changed over by May 1, 2008.

Of course, this means that eBay is leaving Commission Junction as its affiliate network platform. This is a blow against CJ in terms of a solid long lasting program with significant revenues and strong brand name in a month where CJ is already wrapped up in a PR food fight with Pepperjam Network.

With over 60,000 affiliates here in the United States and 100,000 affiliates worldwide, eBay is a significant powerhouse in the affiliate marketing world. So why the move?

I spoke to the Senior Manager of the eBay affiliate program, Will Martin-Gill, and he emphasized that the move had nothing to do with a dissatisfaction with CJ or ValueClick.

Instead, Martin-Gill said it was time to bring the affiliate program in-house the same way eBay brought their search services in-houe a couple of yeas ago. Martin-Gill told me eBay is also looking to build in more flexibility and innovation into their program to reach and sustain the more diverse crowd of affiliates and publishers on the web today and to have a direct relationship with those affiliates (key point, I believe). In short, eBay wants more control over data and wants to be able to coordinate across marketing channels.

Martin-Gill said the international factor was also a major reason for the move away from CJ to in-house managing of the affiliate program. eBay is looking to turn its program into a global platform where publishers and affiliates can sign up to all the various country-specific programs at once through the same interface.

Shopping API’s and eventually RSS will be implemented into the program as well as in-depth reporting.

I also spoke with ValueClick VP John Ardis and CJ’s Dave Osmond on Friday about eBay’s departure. They emphasized the mutual good will on both sides and said the move was not a surprise, but something that CJ had been working with eBay on for the last couple of years realizing the needs that eBay had for their affiliate program.

Ardis also pointed out that eBay is not severing all ties with ValueClick or Commission Junction since VC’s Mediaplex tracking solution is being used for the eBay Publisher Network and Tradera AB, ProStores, Reseller Marketplace, Media Marketplace, eBay Stores and StubHub will continue to be on the CJ platform.

This is certainly a major development and could signal a sea change for the place of the networks in the affiliate marketing world. We’ll have to see how affiliates and merchants respond to the news.