Episode #21

Chelseah Murphy – Working with a Trademark Plus Affiliate

With Chelseah Murphy - Business Development Manager, Wickfire

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Summary

On today’s episode, I have a conversation with Chelseah Murphy, Business Development Manager at Wickfire. Wickfire is a data driven digital agency that focuses on SEM work for their clients.

I really enjoyed this conversation and I think you’ll find it extremely informative. You may know this affiliate best for their trademark+ SEM bidding, www.buyersguide.org or TheCoupon.Co website. But there is so much more that they do.

This episode is going to be impactful if you:

  • Allow affiliates to trademark plus bid in the search engines
  • Are 100% against this activity
  • Looking for cost effective ways to maximize your ROI through SEM campaigns
  • Would rather only pay for SEM that produces sales
  • Are looking to maximize your coupon results
  • Think affiliates do very little work that they should be compensated for (this may change your mind)
  • Want information on innovative affiliate partners

Wickfire does some amazing work in Trademark Plus, Product and Brand Review sites and Coupon area. I hope you find this podcast episode as informative as I did!

If you’d like to get in touch with Chelseah or Wickfire, email them at partners@wickfire.com or chelseah@wickfire.com

And don’t forget, we put together a case study focused on controlling customer acquisition costs. This case study highlights the commission structure, technology utilization and promotional strategies we use for our clients’ affiliate programs to help them increase their overall revenue while reducing their cost of acquisition. It can be done, and we outline that in this case study. Get your strategy today.

About Our Guest

Name: Chelseah Murphy

Achievements:

Chelseah leads the direct and coupon business development teams at Wickfire – a prominent search marketing company. She manages overall strategy and messaging, and is the point of contact for over 400 affiliate campaigns.

Previously, she was the analytics manager at Genn/Jerkens Marketing & Communications where she provided analytical insights into target audience development and segmentation.

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Top Tips

Outsourcing direct search marketing to Wickfire is a cost-efficient strategy for many merchants. Chelseah discusses how direct SEM campaigns are a cost-efficient strategy for many merchants, especially smaller shops with marketing managers who are busy with other tasks. It is usually beneficial to test it out to gather data. She mentions that everything they do is at no-risk to the advertiser because they are the ones taking the risk as they front the paid-search costs. She reiterates that any advertiser can run a coupon or direct campaign with Wickfire.

Don’t give TM+ rights to everyone, choose one or two trusted partners. Chelseah mentions that it’s important not to give TM+ rights to anyone and everyone, but to have a couple or even one affiliate that you completely trust to bid on your terms. It is important to keep your brand recognition and consistency. Many times, when it comes to coupon terms, customers are looking for a reputable 3rd party. As a brand, if you are the only one bidding on your coupon terms, you may lose customers. She says consumers have been programed to look for third party coupon sites to get the best deal, and aren’t looking to be redirected to the brand’s sale or homepage.

Highlights

80% of traffic driven to buyersguide.org is generic.  

“You don’t actually need a full SEM campaign to get included on our review website. It will always have an SEM component but we bid on generic terms. We don’t necessarily need trademark approval. 80% of the traffic we drive to our website is generic traffic. A good chuck comes from bidding on keywords that many brands can’t afford on their own. We are able to make it work because we are driving to a page that lists 10 other advertisers so our conversion rate is there to make it worth it for us.”

Being able to control the search space is a large benefit of working with a TM+ partner.

A key benefit of testing a TM+ partner is being able to control the search space. As an advertiser, you can only really run one paid search ad. If you are in the top position, you may have two competitors right below you that could be offering better deals in their ad copy. You may be losing a lot of traffic this way, and you can’t run another ad to your domain. A TM+ partner can bid to position two on the page and push others out of the top positions and space all together.”

Quotes

[24:10] – “When customers are in the research phase, what they are really looking for is a 3rd party to say what is best for them. We have an algorithm (for thecoupon.co and buyersguide.org) that works though data and provides an index for each coupon or advertiser and we look at click through rate, average order value, conversion rate and overall interaction with that merchant or coupon, and that is how we rank our pages. It’s not a guessing game! Everything is rooted in the data”

[33:50] – “The term TM+ is thrown around a lot, and everyone automatically assumes people know what it is. It is trademark+, which means bidding on a brand or product name in combination with other keywords on Google, Bing or other search partners. Whenever someone asks about a TM+ search partner, what it means is giving the rights to an affiliate to run a paid search campaign on the brand name in combination with terms like coupon, discount, promo or review.”

[47:01] – “I highly recommend having coupons, but we can also promote free shipping or even current specials. Those will still convert. Even if brands don’t have coupons available, we can focus on other value propositions of their particular product.”