FAQ Publisher Guide

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Frequently Asked Questions by Publishers, for Publishers - Admin

What is an Advertiser?

An advertiser (retailer), sometimes referred to as a 'merchant', is an online company which sells its products and/or services through a publisher network. The advertiser will pay either a percentage or set amount of commission once a certain action (in most cases, a sale) has completed.

To find out more information on our advertiser commission rates - please visit Advertiser Directory in the interface.

If you are not signed up to the Affiliate Window network, a full listing of our advertisers by category is available in our advertiser directory at http://www.affiliatewindow.com/merchant_directory.php

What is a Publisher?

A publisher is the owner or manager of a website (also referred to as an 'affiliate' or 'partner').

They are rewarded commission when a visitor to their site clicks a publisher link, (for example, a banner, logo or text link), goes to a particular advertiser's website and performs a certain action on the advertiser's site. Usually, this is completing a transaction. However some advertisers ask publishers to refer them traffic that results in a lead instead of a sale, perhaps through the completion of an online application form, or the submission of the user's email address.

Please click here to see a full guide to signing up as a publisher .

In short:

  • A advertiser is someone who has a product to sell
  • A publisher is someone who advertises products


What Kind of Publisher am I?

Content

Cashback

Cashback publishers have a member base that earns monetary rebates from online purchases.

Communities & UGC

Community publishers host online environments where groups of people interact together with publisher links included where appropriate.

Comparison Engine

Comparison publisher sites compare the prices and features of searched-for products available through a number of online stores.

Discount Codes

Discount code websites list discounts, coupon codes and other deals which may be redeemed at advertiser websites or stores.

Editorial Content

Editorial Content publishers write editorial content to engage an audience on a specific topic with publisher links included where appropriate.

Lead Generation (Content)

Lead based publishers generate prospective consumer interest or enquiries into products or services for advertisers via websites.

Loyalty

Loyalty publishers have a member base that earns non-monetary rebates such as points, miles and tokens from online purchases.

Media Content

Media Content publishers will produce video, music and pictures with publisher links included where appropriate.

Shopping Directory

Shopping directory publishers list business information such as sector, website and store description for numerous advertisers.

Bloggers & Social Content

Bloggers and social content publishers are active in driving traffic through personally opinionated content blogs and/or social media platforms.

Virtual Incentives

Virtual incentive publishers encourage their audience to take up advertiser offers in return for in-game rewards such as virtual currency, bonuses and power-ups.

Display

Ad Networks

A publisher who buys ad space on numerous websites (creating a network) with the intention of serving advertiser creative across this network of sites.

Contextual Targeting

Publishers who display advertising relevant to the content of the web page the user is browsing.

Direct Traffic

A publisher that displays creative to their audience in the form of banners, pop-ups and exit traffic adverts.

Media Brokers

A publisher who buys exit traffic and pop under opportunities from website owners.

Mobile Traffic

Mobile traffic publishers purchase display inventory across mobile enabled platforms including apps, games and websites.

Retargeting (Display)

Behavioural retargeting displays personalised advertising on third party websites to customers who have previously visited the advertiser's site, specifically displaying products in which they have shown recent interest.

Social Traffic

Social networking publishers purchase display inventory on social networks.

Sub Networks

A collection of publishers owned by numerous third parties brought together and being seen to operate as one single publisher.

Email

Lead Generation (Email)

Lead based email publishers generate prospective consumer interest or enquiries into products or services for advertisers via email.

Newsletters

Newsletter publishers produce a content rich email distributed to an owned, shared or rented database.

Retargeting (Email)

Email retargeting generates a personalised email for customers who have exited the advertiser's site during the checkout process. The email will only reference the product(s) that were abandoned.

Search

Direct Linking

Publishers that navigate the user from 'search engine results' to the 'advertiser's website' with absolutely no other interim stages.

Domain Parking

Domain parking is the registration of an Internet domain name with a distinct absence of content. Publishers who own these domains, often populate the associated landing pages with paid search adverts.

Linking via Landing Pages

Publishers that navigate the user from 'search engine results' to the 'advertiser's website' with at least one interim stage (usually a landing page).

Mobile Search

Publishers that run search advertising campaigns that navigate the user from 'search engine results' on a mobile device (such as a smart phone) to the 'advertiser's website'.

Social Search

Publishers that run search advertising campaigns which navigate the user from 'social media websites' to the 'advertiser's website'.


How do I get traffic to my site?

There are two main ways to get traffic to your site: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay per click)

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via 'natural' (or 'organic') search results. The higher a site or page is listed or 'ranked', the more visible it will be as well as more relevant to the user. This can increase the volume and quality of traffic to your site.

In order to improve the ranking of your site you need to consider how search engines work and what people search for. Optimising your website will therefore involve editing and improving content in order to improve its natural search listings

PPC

Pay per click involves paying a search engine every time a user clicks on a link to visit either an advertiser's website or your own website. You will typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to your target market to ensure that you only pay when you believe there is a chance of a sale.

When a user types a keyword query matching your keyword list, your advertisement may be displayed. These advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to or above the 'natural' or organic results on search engine results pages. Content websites commonly charge a fixed price for a click.


How does Affiliate Window track sales?

AW tracks all sales made using AW publisher links by using cookies.

The tracking process:

1. The User (most likely a customer) visits a Publisher website

2. The User clicks through from the Publisher, via the Network (Affiliate Window), to the Advertiser website

3. The Network records the click and drops a tracking cookie on the User's device

4. The User is re-directed to the Advertiser website and, if applicable, the Network subsequently drops one or more tracking cookies from the advertiser's domain onto the User's device

5. The User purchases an item from the Advertiser website

6. The Advertiser order confirmation page contains the Network conversion tracking

7. The Network links the Advertiser conversion request with the previously dropped tracking cookies present on the User's device

8. Information is passed to the Network, allowing AW to record the sale; this information for example includes the Advertiser ID, the last click referring Publisher ID (from cookie(s)), unique order reference, total sale amount and the commission group breakdown

9. The Network allocates the correct commission based on the information passed in the conversion request and the pre-defined reward set by the Advertiser (Either a set amount per transaction or a percentage of the total sale amount)

10. Commissions are either approved or declined by the Advertiser dependent on the order being fulfilled

11. Publishers can see these commissions in the Network's interface

Notes on point 3:

The cookie which is dropped is referred by Affiliate Window and is stored on the Network's domain. This would be considered a third party cookie from an Advertiser's perspective.

There are three kinds of links a user could click on to move from a publisher site.

1) A text link. This would be an AW link behind a hyperlink in some text on the publisher site.

2) A banner. This would be an AW link behind an advertiser banner or logo on the publisher site.

3) A product feed. This is when a publisher uses a data-feed from an advertiser to display particular products on their publisher site, in conjunction with AW’s ShopWindow tool. There is an AW link behind each one of these products.

Notes on point 4:

The advertiser would have already added a small script onto all pages which will allow for our system to send through a unique variable to then be stored on the domain URL. This would be considered a first party cookie from an advertiser’s perspective.

Notes on point 5:

A sale is only tracked if it is completed. This means that the user has to submit all information and payment details required by the advertiser and reach the advertiser ‘confirmation page’ before it will be tracked as a sale and a publisher paid commission. If a user leaves the transaction part-way through the payment process the sale will not be tracked and the publisher will receive no commission.

Notes on point 6:

When an advertiser starts to work with Affiliate Window, they implement AW tracking on their site, so that AW can match this information to the information stored in the publisher links, and in the cookies dropped on the user’s PC.

Notes on point 7:

Affiliate Window tracks sales on a ‘last referrer’ basis. This means that if a user visits two publisher sites before purchasing something from an advertiser, the last publisher site they visit will receive the commission.

If both publishers are using AW links, AW will overwrite the first cookie with a second one to show that the second publisher should receive the commission. This means there will only ever be one AW cookie per transaction per advertiser on a user’s PC.

If one publisher is using AW links and the other publisher is using links for a different publisher network, the advertiser should provide data to AW and the other network to show which publisher should receive the commission. This process is called ‘de-duplication’.

Affiliate Marketing Reports

eConsultancy UK Affiliate Census - 2009

BigMouthMedia UK Affiliate Census - 2010

Advertising Methods and Activities Not Permitted on the Network

The following list provides an overview of advertising methods and activities that are not permitted on the Affiliate Window network:

  • Blocking or interfering with referrer URL Data transmissions unless pre-agreed in writing
  • Using advertiser links to mislead visitors in terms of anything other than carrying out a valid transaction. This includes carrying out transactions based on malicious or intended deception
  • Automatically initiating or conducting transactions
  • Use links to an advertiser site that have not been provided or approved by Affiliate Window
  • Solicit advertisers without prior approval
  • Spamming or the use of unsolicited emailing marketing
  • Distributing any form of incomplete, out-of-date or misleading information regarding advertiser goods or services
  • The adoption, use or registration attempt of any trademarks or trade names that are confusingly similar to Affiliate Window or any advertiser
  • Asserting copyright, trademark or other intellectual property ownership or other proprietary rights in any IP Materials
  • The utilisation of any form of click bot
  • Forcing clicks in any way
  • Grabbing domains or any domain content
  • Using invisible IFRAMES to play code
  • Publishing or sending any advertising that is deemed ‘unfair’ via emails, newsgroups, forums or other telecommunication means
  • Refer to this guide about Downloadable software activities File:Network Partnership with Software Publishers - Guideline.pdf

Publishers must adhere to these guidelines at all times.

Any questions should be directed to the Publisher Services Team

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