The Battle of Kiss Offs and Contacts

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: February 1st, 2008

I had an awesome interview yesterday on Webmaster Radio’s SEO 101 show about Top Affiliate Challenge. The hosts and audience had tons of questions, some of which I could answer and others are still TBA.

For example, the big question hanging out there right now is which Affiliate Networks believe in their products enough to sponsor this show. We haven’t even started auditions yet, and we are already getting requests for interviews, printing T-Shirts, preparing press releases, and getting submitted to Digg.

With all of the promotional opportunities that we have had to this point, it is amazing to me that some affiliate networks are either too scared about having their names plastered all over this project or just not confident that their networks are ready for this kind of exposure.

The first network we contacted was Azoogle Ads. Chantalle did an awesome job moving us up the food chain to the marketing department. I was pretty pumped until I got the kiss-off email saying we had just missed Azoogle’s budget cycle.

I know business works on budgets and time lines, but I pointed out that we wouldn’t need the bulk of the sponsorship until late June of 2008 – nearly 2 quarters away at the time. I was told, “I think we budget 2 quarters out.” They added to call them “if anything changed” whatever the heck that meant.

Next we approached CPA Empire. One of their former affiliate managers had recruited me into the network a while back. Again, we quickly moved up the food chain to the upper management of their parent company. They have said they will get back to me next week. Of anyone we have approached, they have been best with their interest, questions, and requests for additional information.

Next we reached out to the new Pepperjam Network. I emailed Kris Jones directly and he pinged me back in less than 10 minutes with a simple sentence. “How much do you need.” I shot him the number back and… crickets.

I waited a few days to let the idea sink in with them, then I contacted him again. Kris, the consummate politician, said this is an opportunity that is best for another network at this time. I know the Pepperjam Network affiliate stuff is new and still scaling up – maybe that was the problem.

We also contacted Commission Soup, and they are currently reviewing the materials we sent over and will get back to us.

We emailed RocketProfit as well, and heard nothing back. By coincidence a friend of the show has a relationship with Rocket Profit and contacted them on our behalf. They are in the middle of a major acquisition right now, but we should check back in a few weeks.

Sorry guys, but in a few weeks we will be going full tilt. We want to wrap up this sponsorship next week so we can produce commercials and bottom thirds for the auditions that will appear on our website in March.

So there is the update folks. I have been talking with some friends about splitting up the sponsorship into smaller amounts and bringing on multiple affiliate networks. I still believe that this show will catapult one network to household-name status among affiliate marketers.

Evidently that is not worth allocating some budget outside of the plan, returning my email, or giving a new affiliate network a one-of-a-kind exposure opportunity for some networks out there.

Based on the interest we are receiving I KNOW we are going to get the sponsorships we need. I am going to ENJOY season 2 when the networks that didn’t sign on for season 1 come back asking to be a part. Exclusivity has its privileges, and one of those is boxing out your competition.

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