Category: Advice for Merchants

Channel Conflict 101

By , April 10, 2014

Sixteen years ago, I received a call from someone who worked for a large computer manufacturer, which was planning to add an online direct-sales program.  The caller was creating a business plan for this new division of the company, and wanted to hire me to design an affiliate program.

My first question was, “What about channel conflict?”

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In Praise of GTmetrix.com

By , September 18, 2013

GTmetrix.com is an awesome web site: it analyzes your web site and provides detailed suggestions for how to improve the page-load time; this is incredibly useful when trying to diagnose the issue, “why is my web site loading to slowly?”

Note that there are multiple tabs with information: make sure to click on the “YSlow” and “Timeline” tabs to see more information.

Here are screen shots showing the information for this site (markwelchblog.com). Read more »

Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day (Geno Prussakov)

By , May 3, 2012

The breadth and depth of the advice in Geno Prussakov’s book, Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day, is exceptional.

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Risks of Hiring Interns and Students

By , March 29, 2012

Over the past 15 years, I’ve often heard clients suggest that they intend to hire “interns” or “students” as temporary workers, and I’ve always offered warnings. The problem isn’t really hiring the interns or students, but instead assuming that they understand and respect “the rules.”

Students and other temporary workers “assign far more value to [their own] potential short-term earnings than to the merchant’s long-term reputation” (quoting myself).

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Weird Characters after cut-and-paste

By , August 22, 2011

A teacher asked about “Weird letter characters appearing when viewing [her] product description online.”

High Payment Threshholds for Affiliate Programs

By , May 31, 2011

I’ve recently noticed several merchants who’ve created in-house affiliate programs with alarmingly high payment thresholds. Here’s why it’s a bad idea.

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Super Affiliates

By , October 4, 2010

I’m often asked how merchants can find and recruit “super affiliates” to participate in their affiliate programs. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple, because there’s really no such thing as a “super affiliate.” Read more »

Free Affiliate-Program Advice for Merchants: 11-Part Series

By , May 19, 2010

In November 2007, I posted a series of articles sharing my most common advice given to advertisers (merchants) who had hired me to advise them on the design and launch of their affiliate programs.  Below are links to the whole series in proper chronological order. Read more »

Web Site Checklists for Merchants (draft)

By , December 11, 2007

This is a “work-in-progress” checklist that I created in December 2007, but never finished. It is essentially a list of “issues” to consider when evaluating a merchant’s web site. Read more »

Types of Affiliates (Web Publishers)

By , November 11, 2007

Most merchants find it useful to divide prospective and current affiliates into major categories, which usually have different performance characteristics and concerns. Read more »

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