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Drive Sales Using Affiliate Marketing With Dominick Keenan, VP of Sales & Account Mgmt at ClickBank

Dominick Keenan

Dominick Keenan is the Vice President of Sales and Account Management at ClickBank. ClickBank is one of the oldest and longest-running ecommerce and affiliate marketing companies globally, supporting many merchants and product owners since 1999.

At ClickBank, Dominick focuses on supporting the company’s current vendors and affiliates and growing ClickBank’s business. Before joining ClickBank, Dominick worked in business aviation and commercial lending.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [02:41] Dominick Keenan explains what ClickBank does with affiliate marketing
  • [05:21] Navigating affiliate marketing’s bad reputation
  • [09:49] Preparing to launch an affiliate program
  • [13:00] The role of an affiliate manager and why you need one
  • [15:41] What to consider when building a team for your affiliate sales channel
  • [23:34] What ecommerce brands don’t work well with affiliate marketing?
  • [30:49] Qualities of ecommerce brands that can use affiliate marketing as a sales channel
  • [32:05] Great affiliate marketing examples
  • [36:44] Starting your affiliate marketing program

In this episode…

If you’ve been thinking about starting an affiliate program for your ecommerce brand, there are a few things you should know upfront. Not every ecommerce brand can use affiliate marketing as a sales channel. For instance, a fast-moving fashion brand with many SKUs may struggle to set up a working affiliate program.

However, if you have a brand that fits the affiliate marketing model, you want to ensure you correctly set up you program to keep bad actors away. You also want to choose the right network and tools and hire the right people. How do you do all of that?

In this episode of the eCommerce Profits Podcast, Joshua Chin talks with the Vice President of Sales and Account Management at ClickBank, Dominick Keenan. They discuss using affiliate marketing as a sales channel, how to know if your brand can succeed on the affiliate network, dealing with the bad reputation of affiliate marketing, preparing to launch your program, hiring to scale, and more.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Special Mentions:

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency.

If you are a direct-to-consumer ecommerce brand that wants to unlock the optimum customer lifetime value through email marketing, then look no further than Chronos Agency!

Our team of passionate email marketing experts has helped hundreds of brands generate over $70 million in return from email alone, and our clients receive an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts.

Chronos Agency has worked with a variety of brands, including Truly Beauty, Alya Skin, and many more. Our mission is to help real businesses achieve real results. 

If you want to take your revenue to the next level using email marketing, be sure to email our team at sales@chronos.agency or visit chronos.agency to learn more.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the eCommerce Profits Podcast, where we feature top founders and experts in the ecommerce Industry and take an in depth look at the struggles and successes in growing ecommerce brands profitably.

Joshua Chin 0:21

Hey guys, Josh Chin here. I’m the host of the eCommerce Profits Podcast where we feature top experts, entrepreneurs in the ecommerce Industry, and we go behind the scenes and struggles in growing a brand. Now this episode is brought to you by Chronos Agency if you run a direct to consumer ecommerce brand that is ready to scale to double your customer lifetime value true retention marketing Chronos is your company has helped hundreds of brands scale profits with email, SMS and mobile push while getting an average of 3500% ROI from our efforts. We’ve worked with brands like Truly Beauty Ally Skin the Oodi and many more now the next step is to email us at Sales@Chronos.Agency or you can go to Chronos.Agency to learn more. Today’s guest is Dominick Keenan is the VP of Sales and Account Management at ClickBank in case you guys are living under a rock. ClickBank is one of the oldest and longest running ecommerce and affiliate marketing companies in the world supporting many, many, many, many merchants and product owners over the years since 1999. ClickBank has paid out over 5 billion in commissions. Is that still accurate? Dominick?

Dominick Keenan 1:41

Yeah, more pretty close. Yeah, it was more than that today.

Joshua Chin 1:47

I figured it’s probably more than that. And you can only imagine how much value and revenue ClickBank has actually generated for its offer owners product owners over a year. Now prior to joining ClickBank Dominick worked in many different industries from aviation to commercial planning. Don’t you have been in ClickBank for over seven years now? Is that right?

Dominick Keenan 2:15

Yeah. Yeah. been a it’s been a phenomenal job.

Joshua Chin 2:21

That is that’s that’s a long time and that’s definitely a longer than I’ve been in the ecommerce space. Dominick, welcome to the show. Tell us a little bit about you. And what exactly it is that ClickBank does with affiliate marketing.

Dominick Keenan 2:41

Yeah, they i Thanks for having me, Josh. Little bit about me, you hit the high points, worked in aviation for a long time, then joined ClickBank seven years ago almost to the day actually. And worked as an affiliate manager when I first started here, travel the world as a biz dev guy. And then sense of have taken on this role a couple years ago, but it’s been such a phenomenal job because I just really enjoy getting to work with the entrepreneurs that we’re surrounded by. That’s who I’m you know, when I’m on calls I’m on calls with with really smart entrepreneurs every single day. And so, this would be an impossible job to walk away from its front row seat. But as far as what ClickBank does, you know, we’ve been around since 1998, which, even to me seemed like an eternity ago, but especially in internet business, and we’re primarily known for affiliate network, which is large 10s of 1000s of active affiliates on ClickBank. However, ClickBank does quite a bit more than that. So we provide merchant processing, we process all the payments, we can process it at high scale, we also provide quite a few conversion, increasing feature conversion boosting features. So like, one click upsells, or post purchase, not not pre purchase, the ability to add order bumps, subscription, recurring billing, subscription management, so a lot of the lot of the back office, things that you kind of have to cobble together elsewhere. And then on the affiliate side, we don’t just track affiliates, we also collect and pay them so we’ll we’ll split the transaction at the time the transaction occurs and ensure that everybody gets paid on time every time.

Joshua Chin 4:40

What I’m interested in with with affiliate marketing is and we talked a little bit about this before I hit record is that the affiliate space all its tarnished with just a relatively bad image of Blackhat and that layers What is it actually like for a legitimate brand, building a sales channel through affiliate marketing? How can a brand build something out like this? And is it true that it’s rife with bad things?

Dominick Keenan 5:21

Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s the internet, there’s bad stuff all over the internet, I know for, for our business, any product that we’re selling, we’ll review to, to make sure that it’s compliant. But certainly, I think the industry has gotten a bad rap for what has occurred in the industry, you know, years or even a decade plus ago, we also see a lot of the platforms in which traffic is coming from is much, much more stringent on compliance, right? Like, you can’t Facebook five years ago allowed quite a bit, you’re not getting away with most of that today. Or you think of your ESPs aren’t going to allow nearly the spam through in those those types of campaigns that had to had to adjust or migrate off those major traffic sources, as compliance got more and more tight. So I, I can understand people’s hesitant, you know, when they hear affiliates, but really, in the end, affiliate marketing is just paying a professional marketer to drive either sales or leads to your business. So in ClickBank case, when it comes to you mention branded branded products, in ClickBank case, we recommend a couple different things for brands to be able to protect their products and their brand image when it comes to dealing with affiliates. The first of those is just get to know your affiliates. So in our platform, and you know, I certainly have people using other affiliate platforms, most of them are going to have the ability to do this, but is to either whitelist or blacklist affiliates. At the affiliate level, and so we say, you know, you should, as a seller who’s very protective of your, of your brand, and go in and get to know those affiliates before you whitelist them, make sure that they’re promoting you in in a manner in which is is congruent with your brand. Because in the end, you know, I, I mentioned this a couple minutes ago, the best part of the job is working with entrepreneurs and I talked to 1000s of them. And the entrepreneurs that have spent the time to build out a brand that’s that’s their baby, they’re, they’re really protective of it. And the last thing they want is that that affiliate just smearing native ad networks with with their brand name in a way that’s not not appropriate. And so that’s where we say like build a relationship with those affiliates because you’ll know you’ll get to know what their traffic sources are, whether you’re comfortable with them promoting or not. And you’ll also be able to provide the material whether it’s images logos, email, swipe copy that is consistent with your brand’s expectations and the customer’s expectations so that you’re not you’re not losing control of it and then lastly, I’d say for a lot of the brands that I’ve worked with have built their brand by being really good at one two or three channels you know say they’re really good at Facebook ads really good at YouTube. You can also go in and tell us affiliates you know you’re prohibited from from promoting our product on YouTube we already own YouTube we got that we don’t we don’t need your help, or say bidding on keywords on branded keywords. And in search we see a lot of brands prohibiting that that’s not to say some affiliate that you thought you knew and approved comes in and and does that from time to time if that’s the case, we have a close relationship with the brands we’re working with. They come they come back to us the the network and say, you know this affiliate was was bidding on our branded keywords, and we’ll just will ban them right away.

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