Neverblue is well known as a leading Affiliate Network in North America, but would it surprise you to learn that roughly 40% of their conversions occur outside of the US?
While the size of their network continues to grow, they have been giving extra attention to increasing their business internationally.
Michelle Reid Bio
Partnering with Max Kless, our Senior Manager of International Business Development who has spearheaded our international growth, I have joined him to support the expansion as it picks up speed in Western Europe – particularly in the UK, Germany, France, and Spain. With a background in international marketing & sales, I bounced around from the non- profit sector to the mining industry and later landed at Neverblue as an Affiliate Manager. I have since lengthened my title to International Business Development Coordinator. In an industry without borders, Neverblue recognized early on that there is tremendous potential for growth abroad.
But who else should care?
North American Affiliates looking for cheaper international traffic, a less competitive market, and more responsive consumers. International Affiliates are learning about the success in US online advertising and capitalizing on similar opportunities in local markets. Any Affiliates with traffic outside their domestic market that they’re not monetizing. This year alone, we’ve tripled the number of international Affiliates contributing traffic on our network, and brought on a whole slew of campaigns localized for a multitude of countries. While there has been success, there have also been challenges….
- To accommodate Affiliates who’s native language is not English, Neverblue.com had to be translated into French, German, and very soon we will launch in Spanish.
- Communication with non English speaking Affiliates was a barrier, especially during the Affiliate sign up process. We are now much more sensitive to language differences and try to accommodate as best we can. Between Max and I we have German, French and Spanish covered. Neverblue’s current internal language skills also include Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindi, Punjabi, Romanian, Thai and Turkish.
- When we turn on our computers in the morning, our Affiliates and Advertisers in the UK are about to head home for the day. And at our day’s end, our Australian friends are enjoying their morning coffees. It takes some coordinating and flexibility to stay in touch.
- Our Compliance team has been busy managing differences in international anti-spam regulation, as well as vertical-specific regulations (mobile, casino gaming, etc).
- Ongoing legal support is needed to modify contracts for international merchants to reflect local regulation.
- We’ve found differences in expectations of pay structure – some European merchants structure their campaigns on a rev share model where US merchants might pay more on a CPL basis.
- Consumer values differ by country, affecting the type of campaigns we need to offer – some European Affiliates are not as keen on continuity programs as US Affiliates.
- The business models of Affiliates differ – the US is heavy on PPC Affiliates whereas France has many webmasters and whitelabellers.
- Educating our Affiliates on these differences and getting them excited to branch out & promote internationally has been both a challenge & an opportunity!
Speaking of opportunities…
We’ve found that we are able to offer international Affiliates more frequent payments than they are used to from their domestic networks. Our heavy focus on Affiliate support has surprised some European Affiliates who haven’t had much contact from their domestic networks. Some Euro networks appear to be more self-serve. Some networks are structured so that affiliates apply for each individual campaign, whereas our one time application process opens hundreds of campaigns upon account activation. As the growth in lead campaigns increases, we are giving international Affiliates and merchants the opportunity to explore CPL marketing.
The industry is growing!
- In 2008, Affiliate Marketing in the UK grew by an estimated 45%, where resulting conversions have generated more than $6bn in sales in that country (E-consultancy.com Limited).
- In Germany, Europe’s second biggest Online Advertising market behind the UK (OVK (IAB Germany)) Affiliate Marketing had grown more than 28% in both 2007 and 2008, reaching almost $0.5bn in Affiliate Marketing advertising expenditures.
- Central and Eastern Europe will be the biggest gainers the market for Online Advertising in the 2007-2011 time period, growing at an estimated 41.1% per year. This is followed by the Middle East and Africa at a 29.8% annual growth rate and Asia Pacific (ex. Japan) at a 25.4% (IDC Corporation, 2008)
- Outside of Asia and Europe, major emerging online markets are Brazil and Russia, which are already major advertising markets. Russia is expected to be the 6th largest ad market worldwide by 2010 (ZenithOptimedia, 2008)
The following graphs has been internally compiled based on data from Jupiter Research’s key trends 2008report.