We’re very excited to present our 29th interview with Paul Campanella of ValuLeads.
Paul Campanella is the president of ValuLeads, a premier online advertising agency that he founded with the goal of creating more value for both advertisers and publishers than anyone in the business. A native of Connecticut, Paul is a graduate of LaSalle University in Philadelphia, where he majored in business administration with a concentration in management and marketing. As head of ValuLeads, he is applying his experience in affiliate marketing, his vision, and his interpersonal qualities to set new standards of excellence in the industry. His business plan is straightforward: grow his innovative business by helping his customers grow theirs.
1. How long have you been in affiliate marketing and how did you get involved?
I have been involved with online marketing in some form for the past six years and jumped into affiliate marketing three years ago. I started off small, doing part-time publishing. My interest in the industry grew quickly. I did a lot of research on affiliate marketing and on several promotion types, and when starting out my approach was largely just trial and error. Some time in 2007 I met a small group of entrepreneurs who brought me under their wings and really showed me what affiliate marketing was all about and could become. We started working on projects together and a few months later I was working full time with them, eventually becoming chief operating officer responsible for day-to-day operations, managing affiliate relationships, and growing the business. In 2009 I went out on my own and ValuLeads was born.
2. What has been your biggest success to date?
I created ValuLeads because I didn’t like how other companies in the industry did business. I told myself I was going to create something different – something that would be around forever, a legacy. I didn’t want to be one of the guys who skim margins, or scrub leads, or “forget” payments to publishers. I wanted to be honest and credible, and I wanted to build ValuLeads’ reputation based on that commitment. I wanted to create the best campaigns out there, and produce the most valuable leads for my advertisers. My biggest success to date would have to be sticking to my guns and not being tempted or persuaded to compromise myself or my business plan. As a result, the people who currently work with ValuLeads consider us to be the best. I’m very proud of this. We could have grown faster and I could be much better off personally now than I am, but these benefits would have come at the expense of someone else and my own reputation. I’m in this for the long run so I can’t and won’t compromise my integrity or cheat my customers. Unfortunately greed, dishonesty and temptations are too prevalent in the industry.
3. Tell us a little bit about ValuLeads and what you do over there?
ValuLeads is an advertising agency with an exclusive affiliate network. This being the case, we work with many different clients on many different levels. When a new advertising client comes to us with a product we will build them a campaign and get some traffic rolling in. We design landing pages, help optimize the offer, and get it online – through media buys, email marketing, social media marketing or affiliate marketing, just to name a few avenues we use. We have a solid media buying team and email data for any campaign type.
ValuLeads not only creates campaigns for advertisers and promotes them across all media types, but we also have our own products and have the ability to white label them for high volume publishers. We are always staying one step ahead of the game and, when it comes to affiliate marketing, we believe we can get any campaign out there for our publishers thanks to a great business development team.
4. There are already so many CPA affiliate networks out there. What makes ValuLeads different?
ValuLeads is not just an affiliate network. We think of ValuLeads as an ad agency with an affiliate network; the network formed organically from within because we had our own products and so many hot/exclusive campaigns that we were promoting in-house. The network at ValuLeads is a private community. We do not accept hundreds of new publishers. We like to work off a referral basis, and generally try to attract the large publishers who want to touch the best campaigns online and need help optimizing their current campaigns. We have the ability to white label our products for the right people.
5. Do you offer biweekly or weekly payment? If so, how much does one have to make to qualify?
We guarantee on-time payments and we offer flexible payment options, including weekly and biweekly payments for publishers. Everything we do here is on a one-on-one basis so it is hard to give specific qualifications or a general rule of thumb regarding how to qualify. If you are a publisher who has shown ValuLeads you are an asset and can produce quality traffic, we can work with you to make sure your cash flow is not hurt when you ramp things up.
6. Do you have any exclusive offers that other networks don’t have?
We do. Currently we are offering two new products: an Acai weight loss product and a colon cleanse product. Before going live with them we tested them internally and have fully optimized the campaigns. We have several landing pages and email creatives that have been proven. And as I said earlier, we do also have the option to white label our products for high volume publishers. We are currently working on building a campaign for an anti-aging/anti-wrinkle cream. Also we have a refinance campaign and auto zip submit which are exclusive to us.
7. I see you are using HasOffers as your affiliate tracking platform. What made you pick them instead of choosing HitPath, DirectTrack or LinkTrust etc.?
Working with HasOffers for the affiliate network just fell into place, and I couldn’t be any happier. I’ve dealt with most of the “big dogs,” if you will, in the industry and I felt we weren’t getting the most bang for our buck. With the bigger tracking platforms, I was just a number in their system, and had to pay for support. With HasOffers, I can call up anyone in their executive team and work out a problem immediately. I have been with them from their start and have built a great relationship with Cameron Stewart and the Brown brothers. HasOffers really does have the best team, and takes care of their clients. For anyone looking for a reliable, quick, easy-to-use platform, I would definitely recommend HasOffers.
8. What are the criteria for a marketer to be accepted at ValuLeads? How does ValuLeads prevent and handle fraud?
We work hard here to keep our affiliate community exclusive and full of top notch publishers. We have a full compliance & fraud team that spends part of every day screening potential threats from the community. The best way to help get in the door with us is through a referral. We have found that good marketers know and talk with other good marketers. And the bad ones tend to do the same thing. So if you know someone already in the ValuLeads community, have them refer you. If you are a big publisher, with no referral, and feel like you deserve to be part of the ValuLeads community, then shoot me an email and we can set up a time to talk.
9. For those who are interested in working with you and your affiliate network – What’s the best way/time to reach you?
I am available most of the day by email or IM. (Email: Paul@valuleads.com & AIM: ValuLeadsPaul). Hit me up. We can figure out a convenient time to jump on a call. A phone call with someone from our team is a must. It seems like people nowadays are scared of a phone call. I feel that it is essential in any relationship, especially a business one.
10. What are the keys to building successful relationships between Affiliates and Affiliate Networks?
Trust and communication. Trust because no relationship can be built and last without it. There needs to be a certain level of transparency and complete trust. When I say something will be done, it will be done, and that should go both ways. There needs to be trust because we are dealing not only with a lot of money, but with a lot of laws and fine lines that govern this industry. We need people to stay compliant with the current regulations and laws, just as we do. Communication is another key because no relationship can grow without it. There needs to be constant communication between affiliates and account managers. There needs to be dialogue about performance, and how performance can get better. There need to be questions and answers so that new ideas can be formed. There needs to be constant brainstorming during this communication. Working as a team is a lot better than working solo. If there is no communication, then like a flower with no water, the relationship dies.
11. If you could change one thing about the affiliate industry, what would it be?
The integrity – or should I say lack of it? I work hard everyday to make ValuLeads the poster child for the online advertising industry. I have seen that there are many people working in the affiliate industry who just want to make as much money as possible as fast as possible. And that is a problem. Greed is a very powerful force, and I have seen many fall victim to it. I would love to see everyone in the industry want to build something that is legit and that will be around for a long time. I want the overall integrity of all affiliate marketers to change for the better. We need more honest, hard working people – people who will add to the industry and strengthen its image, not take away from it or hurt it.
12. What do you think about where the industry is going? Where ValuLeads may be going?
I think the industry is only going to get stronger and more competitive. Online advertising has never been bigger, and it is going to get even bigger. Newspaper and magazine sales have dropped and internet usage has grown exponentially in the past few years. In 2000 around 40% of the U.S. population logged online; by 2008, 75% logged on, and in 2010 the total surely will hit 80%. And in two years we could be looking at 90%. That represents a whole lot of people who are potential customers for online advertisers. I also see the mobile sector exploding with potential. Advertising on mobile devices is definitely going to be growing fast.
As far as what’s going to happen to ValuLeads, we are confidently predicting that we’ll stay ahead of the curve and be respected as a dominant force as time goes on. We spend a lot of time and money here staying on top of things and I’ve got to believe the ValuLeads research team is one of the best, if not the best.
13. What advice would you give to affiliates to keep up the pace?
If I were to give some advice, I would advise affiliates to take a risk. If you have an idea of something that you think will be the next big thing, do what it takes to make it happen. This industry was created by great thinkers who took chances, and it is growing because of them too. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
14. What are your goals in 2011?
Where to start? I have many goals! My biggest goal would have to be to set up a second office to accommodate an even bigger/stronger team. Other goals would be to expand and fortify the ValuLeads brand image. Of course I also want to create new products/campaigns. I would also like to expand the company’s consulting services. We are not just going to help big corporations but also small mom & pop stores. We see that there is always a local market and starting with the small stores is a great way to build credibility and help spread the name by word of mouth.
15. What are your hobbies/interests/passions?
When I am not stuck in front of my computer or on business trips, I love to be outdoors. I am an avid fisherman, both freshwater and saltwater. I have enjoyed fishing for as long as I can remember. I play golf in the warm months and snowboard in the cold ones. I like to spend some of my spare time composing digital music. I have always liked creating things, and music is one of my joys in life. I also like to drive fast, but that might end up getting me in trouble.
Many thanks to Paul for sharing your time with us and for sharing some great insight tips here! If you have any experience with ValuLeads Affiliate Network, please write a review for them on the ValuLeads review page.
Ps. If you are an affiliate marketer, AM or Network owner and are interested in answering a few questions about you, your network and affiliate marketing, please drop us a message.