Episode #017

Tara McCommons – Influencers, Non-traditional Affiliates

With Tara McCommons - Vice President of Sales and Marketing, LinkConnector

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Summary

Many of our clients and our listeners have been asking for a deeper dive into some of the technologies available to get better results, make better decisions and incentivize affiliates for the right type of orders. Well, today my guest delivers!

Today’s episode features the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for LinkConnector – Tara McCommons! Tara and I have been friends forever. And just last week she was named as one of the PerformanceIn top 50 industry players for 2020! And we couldn’t agree more.  Tara is a driving force in our industry. Congratulations Tara!

In today’s podcast we dive into specific technologies available for advertisers at LinkConnector – Naked Coupons and Advanced Commissioning. Both of these technologies allow you to run more efficient and higher producing affiliate programs, reach out to non-traditional affiliates (influencers and content producers etc) and provide really unique commissioning structures in real time to ensure you are incentivizing the right affiliate behavior and paying for the right type of sales. It’s a deep dive into the weeds that I’m sure you will find a ton of value on.

About Our Guest

Name: Tara McCommons

Achievements:

Tara McCommons is VP of Sales & Marketing at LinkConnector, a performance marketing network providing support and optimizing technologies to affiliates and ecommerce merchants since 2004. Tara leads a high performance team with a pivotal role in identifying new merchant & affiliate opportunities to drive partner growth.

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Top Tips

Reflect on your own strengths and passions to figure out your next steps. Tara is asked what her main advice is to someone who is 5-6 years into their career. She says a person should reflect on their strengths and passions. Ask yourself, what do you truly enjoy? What else can you contribute with these strengths to help with personal growth, as well as company growth? She also mentions to be sure to ask what other areas you can contribute to, as it is a key part of success.

Implementing the “naked coupon” technology through LinkConnector is very easy.  Tara says that all that is needed to utilize their commissioning technology is having a coupon code present during the conversion. She says occasionally there are some merchants that don’t have this ability, but it is only a requirement to pass code through the tracking. LinkConnector’s tracking takes the code into consideration as a parameter with the coupon value. This code is also available within the reports for analysis.

Highlights

Tara discusses the changes she has seen during her career in the affiliate marketing industry.

“The relationship component [is the biggest change]. Seeing advertisers recognize the value of that human connection with an affiliate partner. Yes, it’s a company and technology but being able to have a merchant have a conversation and get to know not just the affiliate, but the people and the company behind it.”

 Tara describes the different technologies that LinkConnector uses to help with managing influencers.  

On the influencer side, these are partners that often the merchant will recognize. These could be influencers that are in the merchant’s niche, that have a lot of engagement on specific topics or a merchant’s vertical. They could be customers of the merchant as well. They are non-traditional…LinkConnector created an affiliate application for these types of relationships, recognizing that when a merchant would approach these partners, the partner often wasn’t familiar with affiliate marketing and would be intimidated.”

Quotes

[20:50] – “The stories are so powerful. One thing that I have enjoyed in this role is sharing real-life things with customers so they can really see how this technology or how this relationship can make an impact.”

[35:02] – “We can commission from a product level, SKU level, or even a link level. There are a ton of options and it’s not one size fits all.”

[47:12] – “[If a code is leaked], we do have close relationships with many of the coupon affiliates so it’s not uncommon for our team to notice they are promoting a code they shouldn’t be. Having this communication and taking away credit, it’s incentive for them to remove the code. It does happen, but we try to communicate right away.”