Affiliate Marketing Is Undergoing Changes
This has been a season of change. Google changed its algorithm, updated page ranks, and released Google +1. Kaltura dropped my free account and WordPress released its most radical update yet. (Thankfully, it’s still free!) Twitter bought BackType and Google bought PostRank. Tristan Higgbee started a membership site and Sergio Felix is shutting down his blog.
Summertime is in full swing!
Then Amazon pulled out of California, setting off a fire storm fueled by angry affiliates, said fire being doused by the faction furiously defending them. (Who’s on the State’s side?) Which segues nicely into the topic today …
How to sell your product out from under your affiliates.
Of course, Amazon didn’t sell a product from under their affiliates, they yanked all the products and the entire sales-making infrastructure from under them for all the right (or all the wrong) reasons.
Fortunately for you and me, Ajax Edit Comments has a different process.
Are you familiar with Ajax Edit Comments? It is a WordPress Plugin that allows your commenters to edit and spellcheck their comments, even after submitting them, for a pre-defined amount of time. There is a free version (it was keeping pace with each WP release) and there is a paid version which adds new features and year-by-year support.
Ronald Huereca, the original developer, happily sold his baby.
Ajax Edit Comments was sold to iThemes Media, LLC. What’s notable is how smoothly the transition sailed along. A couple of announcement emails from the original developer (Ron) detailed the process and timeline, as well as offered owners (who were also affiliates) a bonus gift for our troubles.
Shortly thereafter, the emails from AEC were followed by a Welcome Letter from the new owners, along with instructions for accessing our new accounts. Upon signing into a radically different control panel — which took some getting used to — it took a few minutes to see that iThemes Media had extended the time left on the support contract. Another nice bonus from the sale!
Don’t you love receiving gifts when it’s not even your birthday? Me, too!
But Wait . . . That’s Not All!
(Do I sound like your favorite internet marketer or late night gadget hawker?)
These guys sweetened the pot even more, giving each owner/affiliate a second free copy of Ajax Edit Comments plugin (along with the relevant support license) to use on a completely different domain of their choosing. (I own a single license, so that was my bonus. Most likely they extended comparable multi-site copies to owners who originally purchased the Developer’s License.)
What’s Not To Like?
Just like summertime, everything seems to be coming up roses. Except the process for signing up for the new affiliate program. It turns out that what were owners andaffiliates are now just owners. Not only is it a mysterious maze of twists and turns to find out where the affiliate program is hiding, they’ve got TWO!
You heard me correctly. iThemes Media has two affiliate programs — one for their themes and one for their WordPress plugins. To their credit, they say they are working to merge the two affiliate programs. They also have a manual approval process. I applied and received a well-crafted email from their Affiliate Manager. But in the meantime? ** I’m waiting to see if I’ll be approved.
UPDATE #1: **Since writing this, I’ve been accepted into the affiliate program but was a bit disappointed to find that Ajax Edit Comments is no longer offered as a standalone product.
All in all, the Ajax Edit Comments sale went through a smooth transition and had all the hallmarks of an email marketing campaign done right. You might not call it an email marketing campaign, but give it some thought and you’ll see where I’m coming from.
Developer Ronald Huereca informed me (in his comment below) that this was less “a sale” and more of an “acquisition” since no money changed hands. (Thanks, Ron!) Even so, this is the perfect way to sell (transition?) a product right from under the affiliates’ noses. Wouldn’t you agree?
Share your own experiences below
Are you an affiliate of a product that has changed ownership?
Was it a smooth transition?
Were the affiliates negatively impacted or were they better off in the deal?
Tell us your experiences in the comments below.