Affiliate Spotlight: EarthLink

Shannon Lisecki, Senior Strategic Partner Manager of EarthLink, one of our long-time affiliates, took the time to share some of her insights with us on various industry related topics. earthlink1

As a leading national Internet service provider, Atlanta-based EarthLink has earned an award-winning reputation for outstanding customer service and its suite of online products and services to facilitate a safe and secure Internet experience.

Q: What percent of your overall commissions earned does eBay Partner Network represent?

A: Well, if I told you this, I would have to kill you. In all seriousness, we do not disclose that level of financial detail. However, suffice to say, eBay Partner Network (ePN) is a valuable and significant part of our advertising and partnership revenue stream. I see our ePN relationship continuing for a long time.

Q: How do you evaluate the economics of different advertising options on your website?

A: We look at the overall revenue stream to the company based on the placement and on our user experience. We may elect to go with direct partnerships, advertising, or affiliate advertising, or use one of our content providers. We also look for opportunities to promote specific items that interest our demographic.

Q: Which industry thought leaders impress you the most?

A: I was impressed with Lorrie Norrington’s presentation at a recent event. I look forward to seeing how eBay is able to capitalize on the secondary market [Editor: here Shannon is referring to eBay’s unique strategy of growing by being the best marketplace for out of season, outlet inventory, overstock/returns, and liquidation inventory on the web.].

Q: How did you get started in affiliate marketing?

A: EarthLink’s first foray into affiliate marketing was with eBay via CJ and Amazon.com Associates program. We later expanded our use of affiliate marketing to include additional advertisers on CJ and other affiliate networks. We continue to use affiliate marketing selectively on our site.

Q: How long have you been a member of ePN?

A: We joined the ePN as a beta partner. We have been an eBay affiliate as long as I have been at the company. Our affiliate relationship with eBay started on or before 2001.

Q: What new directions do you think the industry is headed in?

A: I think the industry will continue to move towards rewarding quality buyers and cracking down on shady practices.

Q: What concerns you most about recent developments in affiliate marketing?

A: EarthLink’s core business is Internet access. While we have affiliate relationships, we don’t use all the bells and whistles that most affiliates use. Many of the recent changes in affiliate programs have not affected our implementations.

Q: Which sites or feeds do you read on a daily basis?

A: I am old school. My husband and I read the paper. We get the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the New York Times. There is something relaxing about reading the paper in the morning or, even better, in the evening after the kids go to bed. For my daily online fix, I check out searchengineland.com, searchenginewatch.com, sphinn.com, eBayinsiderblog.com, ebaypartnernetworkblog.com and affiliate-blog.amazon.com. I also use Google Alerts to keep up on my latest interests. I am on my.earthlink.net throughout the day getting my fix of breaking news, weather and my eBay watch list.

Q: One tip that you can share with other affiliates about improving their performance on ePN?

A: Your best bet for success is to bring quality buyers to the eBay site. That means understanding your users and highlighting eBay opportunities that resonate with them. For EarthLink this means integrating eBay throughout our start page including our “my eBay” feature, which allows real-time tracking of our users’ personal bid, watch, sell and won lists. We use eBay’s API and XML feed to pull in listings on our web search result pages and our deals page (deals.earthlink.net). Every year, I am always surprised at some of the listings that resonate with our users. Our users were very interested in the cave home that was for sale earlier this year. Not only did they look at the listing, they then went on to buy other items on the site. I am always looking for interesting content or popular products that I can promote. I rely on the eBayinsiderblog.com to find it.

Thank you Shannon, for letting us get to know you! We wish you and EarthLink continued success.

Amanda eBay Partner Network Team