AB #409 | Why Data Feeds Are an Affiliate Marketer’s Secret Weapon with Asif Malik, CEO at GoldenCAN

In this edition of the Affiliate Buzz, host and Instructor of the Affiliate Marketers BootCamp, James Martell speaks with Asif Malik, the creator of GoldenCAN. GoldenCAN Datafeed Integration is a tool which adds millions of products to websites using only one line of code.

James kicks off the episode with an introduction to this episode’s guest, Asif Malik. James explains GoldenCAN is not only the secret weapon of affiliates, but also for bloggers, podcasters, entrepreneurs, and any type of content marketers.

Asif Malik is a well-known name in the industry with a Bachelor of Science degree in Double Math and Physics from Punjab University Pakistan. He also sits on the Amazon Web Services Developer Advisory Council and the Google Affiliate Network Publisher Advisory Board.

Upcoming Affiliate Conferences

Before digging into the topic of data feeds, James and Asif review why they enjoy attending industry conferences, including diverse classes and sessions and opportunities to meet other affiliates in person. Asif says meeting face-to-face changes how you do business with people.

Two of these conferences include Affiliate Summit and ShareASale Think Tank, which have provided lasting memories for both James and Asif. One memory they share is a golf outing which provided a few hilarious moments that wound up in a video (linked in the resources below).

Then James and Asif segue into things that make the ShareASale Think Tank a first-class experience. Registration for ShareASale Think Tank 2016, which takes place in Chicago, Illinois, is open now open.

For affiliates, the fee is a reasonable $100, which covers the hotel stay, food, and access to the conference. The only thing not covered are travel expenses for getting to the conference.

The Results of Asif’s Early Marketing Efforts

Next James harkens back to October 1999, a time when Asif was trying to solve some early problems which triggered his idea to come up with a data feed program. Asif’s first marketing effort involved using the Amazon affiliate program to link books on his website.

Asif explains this process was quite tedious. He knew there had to be a better way and, as a result, he was one of the first people to ask CJ Affiliate (then called Commission Junction) for their data feed.

A data feed is a type of spreadsheet with products you might feature on your website along with various attributes that define these products, such as their URL, name and ID, image, and so forth. You can then save the data feed as any number of file types, including text or Excel.

Then James and Asif discuss some of the benefits of using a data feed versus a wide range of merchant websites. Asif points out that a single data feed can hold all of the information pertaining to millions of products.

How Asif Simplified Data Feeds for Affiliates

After a short break, James and Asif return to discuss how data feed integration software works. The nightmare of trying to create static web pages from data feeds combined with constantly changing information within the feed led Asif to create tools to make data feeds more user-friendly.

This tool was GoldenCAN, which enables affiliates to display multiple products from merchant on their website with a single line of code. The tool also removes the administrative nightmare of keeping up with frequently changing information, like price and availability.

Signing up begins with clicking the “Get Your FREE Account” link (https://www.goldencan.com/newuser.aspx) in the left-hand column on GoldenCAN’s homepage. Asif walks through the process and explains:

  • There is no setup fee. (It’s free!)
  • You do not need a credit card.
  • It is easy to install and use.
  • You can try sample HTML.
  • Create multiple stores on different websites.
  • Change the look and feel of stores to make them as unique as the website which features them.

GoldenCAN also offers a look at sample stores (https://www.goldencan.com/samples.aspx) set up with one product in each row, coupon and search integration, and so forth to show you some of the ways you might use these features on your own website.

As Asif explains, the original idea behind GoldenCAN was to help affiliates, so most of the fees are applied to the merchants. GoldenCAN uses a “4th Click™” model. Merchants that are “4th Click™ Free” are 100% free for affiliates to use.

When using a merchant on the 4th Click™ model, on every 4th Click™ the affiliate’s ID is replaced with GoldenCAN’s affiliate ID. The 4th Click™ may never convert to a sale, so using a 4th Click™ merchant does not necessarily mean an affiliate gives up 25% of their sales.

Making GoldenCAN Even More User-Friendly

Next James and Asif discuss how Brian from ShareASale integrated GoldenCAN within ShareASale to make it easier for merchants to offer GoldenCAN free of 4th Click™. This tool, within ShareASale, enables affiliates to use the merchant without enabling 4th Click™.

Asif points out that GoldenCAN has a great team which is happy to assist new affiliates in getting started with monetizing their websites.

Then James and Asif reminisce about attending conferences. They agree that one thing they look forward to at ShareASale Think Tank 2016 is meeting up with other affiliates and merchants in the industry.

The conferences are like a homecoming where you can not only catch up with old friends who feel like family, but also make new acquaintances who soon become close friends as well. It’s a small, fun community that can help you bring in great profits in the affiliate industry.

Did you enjoy today’s episode? Head over to http://jamesmartell.wpengine.com/subscribe for all your subscription options to receive alerts about new episodes. You can also send a blank email to affiliate_buzz@aweber.com to subscribe.

Resources:
GoldenCAN - https://www.goldencan.com/
Affiliate Summit Marketing Conference - http://affiliatesummit.com/
ShareASale - http://shareasale.com/
ShareASale Think Tank 2016 - http://shareasale.com/thinktank/2016/
ShareASale Think Tank Golf Video - http://blog.shareasale.com/2009/11/10/shareasale-thinktank-golf-video-a-tutorial-bonus/
InterContinental Chicago - http://www.icchicagohotel.com/
CJ Affiliate - http://www.cj.com/

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