1- Frank, what is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a business model, where a website which sells something online (merchant/advertiser) pays a promoter (affiliate/publisher) each and every time there is an agreed result (sale or lead) by a customer. The affiliate is given a unique URL to use, that is how the merchant knows which affiliate brought the sale.
2- What brought you to Affiliate Marketing?
I started to do Internet marketing at a very young age, that was back in late 1995. I have been in Affiliate Marketing since 1999, I loved the opportunity to monetize my interest for books (with the Amazon Partner Program) and to write about free services (that were paying per lead). Then, I moved into the lucrative niche of eGaming, and I never looked back. On http://www.ravanelli.com/ and https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankravanelli readers can find more details about my background in affiliate marketing, plus affiliate marketing articles, tips and news.
3- What are your focus areas and why?
I specialise in eCommerce affiliate marketing for luxury brands, products with innovative design. I also managed the affiliate programs of leading North American SaaS and consumer companies, plus global Fintech startups and eGaming operators.
4- What are some things that most people don’t know about your job as an Affiliate Marketing expert?
I think it is easy to notice the many benefits of being one of the few Affiliate Marketing professionals who successfully lead affiliate programs on both sides of the Atlantic, and in both B2C and B2B: being invited to speak at leading Affiliate Conferences around the world, from Vegas to Russia, from London to Barcelona. Meeting a lot of interesting and smart affiliates and merchants. Being able to work remotely.
However, sometimes people forget it is almost a 24/7 work. When customers and affiliates in Asia go to sleep, the ones in North America are just waking up. And they all expect an excellent service. I love to see that productivity never stops.
5-What can you tell to young affiliate marketer and entrepreneurs?
Affiliate marketing can be the most rewarding business activity you will ever do. The opportunities to learn, earn and improve are endless because the markets are always changing. There are affiliates who scale-up quickly, I witnessed and contributed to the success of several affiliates who started as a one-person band and scaled up very quickly to become corporations. However, this does require a lot of smart and determined work. I would not believe the people promising you’ll make thousands overnight, just by taking their course or buying their eBook.
Results can be achieved, and many affiliates do turn affiliate marketing into their full-time passion. But you get what you give, there are no short-cuts.
6- What are you most excited about at the moment?
Mobile is still taking the world of eCommerce by storm. The gap between online and offline marketing is closing fast, thanks to technology. Virtual Reality still has plenty of room to grow. Markets like Brazil and Nigeria are still unexplored by the majority of affiliates. These geoeconomic and technological trends bring massive opportunities.
7- What’s the future of Affiliate Marketing?
Things can change very fast in Affiliate Marketing. That means even big Corporations, who are driving tonnes of sales to merchants and earning a massive amount of commissions, need to keep investing and innovating. Of course, they cannot cover all the possible scenarios. That leaves untapped niches that new affiliates can identify, cater to and turn into profitable opportunities. It is exciting to see affiliates grow, help existing affiliates to stay ahead of the curve, start and grow affiliate programs for innovative merchants, and connect amazing products and services with Customers who do genuinely benefit from them.