Investing in our Affiliates in 2009

As we stated in a recent blog post, we believe strongly in the potential of affiliate marketing.   We’re getting out there and letting others know how important we think this channel will become as companies continue to focus on understanding the performance of their marketing dollars. At eBay, we’re going to continue to invest a significant amount this year in eBay Partner Network and in you, our affiliates.  In keeping with this momentum, we have several more changes to announce.

We’re bringing on a new partner agency to help support the US team. PartnerCentric will be helping us work with more US affiliates directly to grow the volume and quality of their traffic.  Please read more about this new exciting partnership here.  This builds on the successful partnership we launched last year with another agency, ROEye, to help with program management in the UK.

We’re also continuing to grow our internal team.  Several new members have joined this year to help with account management, tool and platform development, and operations.

Our aim in building our internal team and working with great external companies is to provide the best opportunity for success for both our affiliates and eBay.   Please join us in welcoming PartnerCentric to the extended eBay Partner Network team!

We are launching several new tools and upgrades for the eBay Partner Network Platform on May 1st.   A new link generator tool will allow more options for search results links and will later this year allow publishers to take advantage of higher conversion rates through automatic landing page optimization.  Publishers will also be able to link their account to their eBay Partner Network account for improved customer service across platforms.  You can read more about all the new features in this release here.  These new features are in addition to the brand new product feeds and the improvements in the RSS generator we launched on March 24th.

We will be expanding our blog with more helpful articles and guest bloggers.  PartnerCentric is going to help us write more frequent posts on tips and case studies to help publishers improve the quantity and quality of the traffic they send to eBay.  We want to hear more from you, so we’re also going to start publishing comments we get on our blog.  Finally, we’re also launching a guest blog series, with tips from industry experts on ways to improve publisher traffic and affiliate websites.  We’re posting today our first guest blogger post by Wil Reynolds, founder of SEER interactive and a well known thought leader in SEO.  Check it out! As our publishers’ efforts in improving the quality of the traffic they send to eBay have paid off over the past year, we’ve been able to increase our investment and focus on our affiliate channel.  We’re working hard to continue to improve and expand the program and you’ll be hearing more about these changes in the days and weeks to come.

In the meantime, feel free to reply to this post with your thoughts and comments.  We’ll be at Ad:Tech and Ad:Space in San Francisco this week, come drop by if you’re there!  And keep an eye out for the eBay Partner Network at several other events in 2009, including a4uexpo later this month, the eBay Developers Conference in June and eTail and Affiliate Summit East this August.

We hope to see you soon! The eBay Partner Network Team