Hey you bloggers we are back again with another brilliant interview.
As part of our BloggersIdeas interview series, today we have Victoria Galperina here, she is the Affiliate Manager at SEMrush. She is managing Communication with current partners, search for new affiliates, answering incoming inquiries through contact form. Also spare time to teach conversational English to High School students in Brig. She is skilled affiliate marketer and today she would be sharing her immense experience in affiliate marketing.
Let’s start with interview!
First of all thanks a lot for accepting my interview proposal. I and my readers are very pretty glad to have you. Please tell us about yourself and your educational background.
Hi Jitendra, thank you for a warm welcome.
My name is Victoria Galperina and I am the Affiliate Manager at SEMrush. Being born in St. Petersburg, Russia, I was actually very fortunate to get a chance to study abroad. I graduated from “Institut Le Rosey” high school in Switzerland and then went on to study in New York, USA.
After studying for 2,5 years at St. John’s University, I transferred back to Switzerland and graduated with a Bachelor of International Business Degree in Hotel and Tourism Management from “Cesar Ritz” University.
As you can see, I did a fair share of both studying and travelling.
What are your favorite social media tools? Which tools do you prefer to use to increase user engagement?
The Affiliate Program that I manage, BeRush, doesn’t have a social media presence. We do not want to distract the focus from our main service: SEMrush, which does have a very strong social media presence on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. I prefer to use a personal touch. In this digital era, I think it is nice to receive personal messages.
Therefore, I do strive to send a personal welcome e-mail to every new member and let all my affiliates know that I am here if they have any questions or need any help. Another important aspect would be confidentiality.
I am sure that many people wouldn’t want to broadcast their partnership ideas, so that others can use them. Everyone has a different situation and/or offer, and it is important to address each issue separately.
Do you fear the possibility of web surfers having their browsers to auto-clean cookies at the end of every browsing session? What if this becomes a default feature on browsers?
I don’t think that it will become a default feature, but if it does, we will cross that bridge once we get there. There is no sense in worrying about something that wasn’t in our control in the first place.
Clickbank seems to be the big thing among affiliate marketers. Do you use it extensively as well, or most of the offers you promote come from other places?
Currently we keep our program in house and don’t work with any Affiliate Networks, but it is certainly a good possibility for the future. I’ve heard a lot of great feedback from people who use it and it seems that it is worth a try.
What was your first affiliate marketing success. How did you measure it?
I can’t say that this question applies to me. I never actually used affiliate marketing to make money for myself. I used to have a blog on WordPress back when I was at university and then I shared in on StumbleUpon to get some recognition, but it was more of a personal CV, than an informative resource and it was never about making money.
I did however shut it down a couple of years ago. Perhaps in the future I will create a personal blog, where I would share my insight. For now, I think there is still a lot to learn.
What blogs do you read in Affiliates. Tell me about an article you recently read that stuck out to you?
I keep tabs on quite a few blogs of our affiliates, some of them have affiliate marketing content, but most are related to SEM and SEO. I also use SocialMention to keep track of any posts about SEMrush. In terms of Affiliate blogs, I do love using Luke Kling’s affposts.com. It allows me to see the latest affiliate marketing news and posts all under one roof.
It is a great resource. Other than that, here are a few of my favorite blogs that I read on the regular basis: Sugarrae, Zac Johnson, ShoeMoney, Affiliate Fix and LukePeerFly. I also really enjoyed reading the latest posts on blog.hubspot.com.
Their recent articles that stuck to me were “Typography 101: Everything a Beginner Should Know” by Brittany Leaning (http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/typography-terms-introduction) and “Better Content Through Chemicals? How Caffeine, Alcohol, & Other Substances Affect Creativity” by Erik Devaney (http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/caffeine-alcohol-nicotine-marijuana-creativity)
Do you believe that social media platforms can be used to promote affiliate offers? Can you explain it in brief?
Social media is definitely one of the top means of promoting affiliate offers. It is a matter of trust. Normally on these types of sites you gather peers, friends, colleagues and other people with similar interest, so it is a great way to share information about a product that you personally find attractive with the audience that already trusts your opinion.
If you mention how and why you find a certain product or service useful, without going into too many details, it will not look so much as advertising, as friendly advice. So in a way it is better to recommend something to a group of people whom you know, or who know you, than to try and push it to total strangers.
They can also send you follow up questions, if they have any, on the spot and you can reply to them in a jiff, instead of chasing each lead individually.
Tell us about BeRush. What is so special about it? Do you think we should join it and why?
BeRush is the Affiliate Program for SEMrush. It is a Pay Per Sale Affiliate program, so even though it might be considered more challenging than joining a PPC program, we do offer high commissions – 40% from every sale. The commissions are also paid on recurring basis, and not just from the first sale.
Let’s say your referral purchases a recurring account on SEMrush. You will receive 40% commission every month until this referral cancels their subscription.
It is quite a generous offer. I think that what makes us stand out, is that we provide promo materials (flash banners, static banners and text links) in five different languages: English, Spanish, French, German and Russian. If you didn’t find the right size for your blog/website or the right language, we can always create a banner just for you.
So we do take client satisfaction and individual approach very seriously.
We also have an excellent tech. support team, so if you ever need any help, rest assured that we will resolve any issues you might have. I can also proudly say that most requests that come through our contact form are answered within hours, sometimes a few days.
We value your time and don’t make you open tickets and wait for 2-4 weeks for a response.
And if you are not convinced yet, I can add one more thing. We welcome collaboration: webinars, posts, contests, giveaways, speaking opportunities and so on. If you love our service and want to spread the word, we will help you find a perfect way to do so. All you need is ask.
Read more about SEMRush here: Best Keyword Research & Marketing Tool
For those of us who don’t know, please tell us a little bit more about SEMrush
SEMrush is a leading provider of advanced competitors research and business intelligence software and analytical tools for SEO and SEM professionals. SEMrush is created by SEO/SEM professionals to help SEO and SEM teams, interactive agencies, and SMBs get and keep their websites in Google’s and Bing’s top results.
SEMrush has the ability to provide its members with information such as which ads competitors are running, what they spend on each ad, how much traffic they receive from each ad (thus portraying how successful that ad is), and much more.
In a nutshell, SEMrush provides digital marketing professionals with indispensable data to gain an in depth understanding of competition and market trends, determine a long-term content strategy for organic and paid research, and conduct an overall website analysis.
What are your future plans?
I would say expansion. There is a lot that can be done in terms of attracting and retaining quality affiliates. I am not going to give away any secrets, but all I can say is this: expect to see a much higher presence of SEMrush online. This is just the beginning and we are not going anywhere 🙂
So to date, what would you say your biggest achievement is?
I can’t really single out the one big thing. Every day I connect with many people. I enjoy establishing new relationships and seeing how each one of them turns out. I guess I am quite proud of the relationships that I form every day. I take a certain pride every time our affiliates publish a new review, case study, webinar, tutorial and so on.
On a personal level, I am quite proud of the charity work that I have been doing with “Habitat for Humanity”, “Terre des Hommes” and several charity organizations in Russia that help to support orphans. I think it is important to give back and help people who are less fortunate.
What made you choose to apply to affiliate marketing…position?
It was something new and quite a lot different from what I used to do before, but I welcomed the opportunity and a new challenge. It wasn’t easy to adjust at first, but I love helping people and affiliate management is all about that. Plus it is a chance to establish long lasting relationships with people from all over the world.
Who wouldn’t like that? J But honestly, it also had a lot to do with the service we provide. I am proud to be working here at SEMrush and I honestly believe in what we are doing here. I work with an exceptional group of professionals, whom I am proud to call my colleague. If we provide an excellent service, why not recommend it to others?
What are key tasks for affiliate marketing…position?
Put in one line, key responsibilities sound like this: retain current affiliates and obtain new ones. There is obviously much more to it than that, but this is a job description in a nutshell.
How do I get quality affiliates to promote my own products and services?
Top affiliates are the people who see affiliate marketing as the afterthought. They are opinion leaders with their own products and platforms. They are well-known and respected in their professional field and people listen when they promote.
To find quality affiliates you have to start by establishing your own product or service first. You find your niche and establish a loyal fan base. You can then use it to communicate useful information to them using newsletters.
Newsletters should bring value to your subscribers. At the end you can mention in a subtle form that they can benefit a lot more if they purchase your product or service.
Since you now have loyal fans who purchase your product or service, you can easily convince them to spread the word about this product or service in return for commissions.
To them, this is a win/win situation. So the lesson here is that the more people promote your product, the more sales you receive and the more potential affiliates with them. Another good way to attract top affiliates would be to compile the list of opinion leaders and contact them directly.
You can offer them your product or service, and if they like it they will mention it to their readers. There are of course many other approaches.
Message for my readers & suggestion for my blog?
As Dale Carnegie once said: “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” So I would recommend everyone to try their best to achieve their dreams. There is no guarantee that all your dreams come true, but if you won’t try – you will never know.
If you have any questions or doubts please do ask in the comments below !