We’re very excited to present our 24th interview with Samantha Brachat of Neverblue.
Samantha Brachat is a network manager of Neverblue; a performance-based online marketing company based in Victoria, British Columbia. Neverblue is focused on building the premiere global lead generation network. Our mission is to help our clients grow by driving quality leads for advertisers and top earnings for affiliates.
1. Where are you from?
I am originally from the Canadian prairies; Winnipeg or “Winterpeg” as people often refer to it due to the bitter cold winters. About 9 years ago, I moved to British Columbia and never looked back! I lived in Vancouver for awhile, but for the last 5 years I’ve live on the island, in Victoria. Having been all over the world, I can honestly say that the island is one of the nicest places I’ve ever been to. I’m extremely fortunate to live here.
2. How long have you been in affiliate marketing and how did you get involved?
I have been involved in the industry for almost 5 years. Before moving to Victoria, I was working in the marketing department of a health and vitamin company in Vancouver. I applied at Neverblue thinking that I would be doing traditional marketing; I had no idea what I was getting myself into! I started off in the properties division of the company and since then have done coreg, advertising, business development and my most recent position is Network Manager.
3. Tell us a little bit about Neverblue and what you do over there?
Neverblue is a performance based, lead generation network. We were founded in 2004 by 4 partners who were originally search affiliates. We have grown from a small start up into one of the larger CPA networks in the Affiliate Marketing space. We are constantly evolving to ensure we are always on top of the current trends within the industry.
Currently, I am a Network Manager and my main responsibility is on the affiliate side of our business. I work with our team of Affiliate Manager’s to make sure our publishing partners are taken care of. I also do a lot of traveling for the company; attending various tradeshows to expand brand awareness and meeting with clients to develop our new and existing business.
4. There are already so many CPA affiliate networks out there. What makes Neverblue different?
You’re right, there are a ton of networks in the space and new ones are popping up every day. Competition is good though, it keeps us on our toes! Neverblue has proven to be different than the rest, that’s why so many partners choose us over the competition.
One of our biggest differentiators includes our proprietary tracking software. A lot of competitors have tried to duplicate our slick interface, but I truly believe we still have one of the best platforms out there. We are constantly updating and adding features to make the user experience easy and enjoyable. Another big differentiator is our customer service. We have Account / Affiliate Manager’s and Network Manager’s dedicated to helping our partners grow their business. Every partner account has 2 dedicated reps associated to it so that you can always get in touch with someone 24/7.
5. Do you offer biweekly or weekly payment? If so, how much does one have to make to qualify?
We do offer accelerated payments. We don’t classify them as weekly or biweekly, rather as accelerated terms. The threshold is $1000 and a quality check. Every time you reach $1000 you’ll be paid the following Thursday. If you don’t reach the $1000 threshold within the month period, we’ll swap you back to the default payment terms so you get paid on the 15th of the following month.
6. Do you have any exclusive offers that other networks don’t have?
We do have exclusive offers in a variety of verticals. Not just white labels, but actual offers that you can only get at Neverblue. If you don’t have an account, I recommend you get one to check them out!
7. Which offers are performing well on your network?
We have a wide spread of offers that are performing well right now. We work in about 20 different verticals and we have been trying to diversify and grow those niches. Without giving away too much, I would say that downloads, dating, mobile, freebies and gaming are strong for us.
8. Which traffic sources prove to be the most effective for your top earning affiliates – E-mail, PPC, PPV, Facebook, Media Buying or any others?
We don’t discriminate, we love all traffic sources! I would say that right now, the majority of our traffic is from PPC, Social Media and Media Buying.
9. Do you offer online training for new affiliates?
We have an excellent selection of DIY tools; pixel manager, global country redirects, banner ad rotators and many more for new affiliates to Neverblue.
10. I see you are using your own affiliate network software. What made you build yourself, instead of choosing HasOffers, LinkTrust, DirectTrack and HitPath, etc.?
We have been using our own proprietary tracking software since late 2006. The choice to build our own custom interface was the vision of our founders. They were affiliates themselves and recognized the need to create a platform that was unique, easy to use, and easy to adapt. We continually make changes and upgrades to the platform based on suggestions and recommendations from our clients. Since we feel this is one of our biggest differentiators, we always want to be ahead of the game on functionality and usability.
11. What are the criteria for a marketer to be accepted at Neverblue? How does Neverblue prevent and handle fraud?
There is such a high volume of affiliates that apply to the network every day that we need to make sure we do our homework when going through the applications. The affiliate will need to go through a phone interview with our approvals team who will ask them about their marketing practices. The approvals team is within our compliance department and they have many tools that help them detect a fraudulent application. I believe that our dedicated compliance team is one of toughest in the industry, so watch out fraudsters!
The best bet for an affiliate to get approved is by having some industry knowledge and knowing how they will be promoting our products.
12. For those who are interested in working with you and your affiliate network – What’s the best way/time to reach you?
New applicants can sign up here: www.neverblue.com/signup. Our office hours are Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm PST. If you would like to expedite your application, give us a call at 250.386.5323.
13. In your experience, what are the three most critical elements to run a successful campaign?
1. Capital – the majority of our affiliates pay for traffic, so capital is probably the most critical element.
2. Knowledge – research your niche, where you will be buying your traffic from and who you will be targeting.
3. Testing – Make sure you try different variations of your campaign to see what works best. It’s not uncommon to lose some money when you start to promote an offer and are in testing phase, so don’t get discouraged. Keep tweaking until you get something that works.
14. What are the keys to building successful relationships between Affiliates and Affiliate Networks?
I think the key to building a successful relationship between an affiliate and their network is trust and communication.
As an Affiliate Manager at Neverblue, you have thousands of affiliates assigned to you. When I was an AM, the best relationships I built were with affiliates that took an interest in getting to know me and were willing to take my advice when I gave it. If you’re an AM, staying on top of trends, and informing your affiliates of opportunities in a timely fashion is important to building a solid working relationship. Understanding your affiliate’s niche enough to recognize which offers are viable is key. As an affiliate, make sure your AM knows your spectrum of interest. The best is when an affiliate can trust his/her AM to get them what they need before they even know they need it.
15. If you could change one thing about the affiliate industry, what would it be?
If I ruled the AM Industry, I would ensure that all networks had the same affiliate approval standards as Neverblue does. As I mentioned earlier, we screen all affiliates before they are approved to the network and have amazing fraud detection tools. A lot of companies are already doing a great job of screening affiliates, but there are way too many that are not. This hurts the bottom line for advertisers and can drive overall margins down.
16. What are your hobbies/interests? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
One of my favorite things to do is go shopping! I love retail therapy and you can often find me at the mall hunting for deals. I love reading fluffy chicklet novels and enjoy traveling. My favorite movie is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (original). I am a self-admitted treat-a-holic and this movie was my inspiration.
I do things in extremes. I’m very competitive but, unfortunately, very accident prone. I love sports and when I play them I compete full tilt, at least until I hurt myself. Lately I’ve been golfing quite a bit, besides jamming my wrist while taking a divot, I’m injury free. To offset my treat addiction, I’ve taken to working out in the gym regularly; I love my body pump classes!
17. Give us a little glimpse into what a typical day in your life looks like.
I usually wake up around 7:30am (I am NOT a morning person) and the first thing I do is check emails from my blackberry. I make sure there is nothing urgent and then roll out of bed. I’m like a slug in the morning, so it usually takes me a long time to get ready. I end up at work by 9 and I have a cup of coffee, check emails again and listen to phone messages. I prioritize my list of things to do for the day. Lately, my days have been packed with meetings so I am rarely at my desk. When I’m not meeting with various departments or AM’s, I am getting back to emails and returning phone calls. In my free moments, I stay on top of certain industry blogs, forums and websites. When the end of my day in the office nears, I make a “to do” list for the next day.
I try to squeeze in a workout at lunch or after work and find that it’s a great stress reliever. I eat dinner around 7pm and then I’m back on the computer talking with affiliates and thinking up ways to grow our business together. I usually call it quits around 10 and watch a bit of TV or read. I go to bed around 1am.
Many thanks to Samantha for sharing your time with us and for sharing some great insight tips here! If you have any experience with Neverblue.com Affiliate Network, please write a review for them on the Neverblue 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.