Lee Ann Johnstone on ‘Hashing It Out’ Episode 8: BSV Blockchain for Affiliate Marketing


Lee Ann Johnstone, founder of Affiliate Insider, has spent the past two decades in affiliate marketing and affectionately calls him his “first love”. She has worked in multiple sectors of industry, from retail to finance to insurance and most recently iGaming, from every angle possible. “If you can bet on it or bet on it, I marketed it as an affiliate,” she said.

In order to lead a popular and successful affiliate marketing agency like Affiliate Insider, Johnstone is constantly studying future digital trends including BSV blockchain technology, which is exactly why she was invited to speak at CoinGeek Zurich last June.

“Almost everything I do is about affiliate marketing and does it better and makes it brighter, easier and more accessible for businesses that want to use this channel to increase their sales,” Johnstone explained.

“You have to know what is happening with the trends in order to evolve with the times. And as an agency, we obviously want to be ahead of these trends and this is beneficial for all of our clients, ”she said.

Affiliate marketing infrastructure is on old rails

Throughout our conversation during this 9th episode of Hashing it Out and during our panel at CoinGeek Zurich, Johnstone referred to affiliate marketing as “sitting on old rails” built 20 years ago. She said we are approaching a time when these old rails cannot handle today’s digital marketing landscape and a massive upgrade is needed.

“I think we are on the cusp of an evolution, an exciting evolution of the way we think about digital and also of the way we do digital and how these infrastructures are going to be upgraded as they go. as we move forward, ”she said.

“There will come a time when we cannot [old rails] for functionality and for the things we want to be able to do. And so looking at different infrastructures and different architectures to handle all this information and data is the sphere we find ourselves in right now, I think, ”she added.

Affiliate monitoring and its weak points

To minimize risk, Johnstone said digital marketers need to diversify and not depend on a single channel such as Facebook or YouTube ads.

“You don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket with Facebook which can cut you off in a nanosecond because your ad doesn’t match their rules and regulations and especially in the gaming industry where regulation and the compliance are so strict that it is sometimes even difficult to get ads on Facebook, ”explained Johnstone.

While diversifying channels to reduce risk can be crucial for our digital marketing strategies, tracking all data is extremely complicated with inconsistent tracking systems in place.

“All this infrastructure is a mess. You have all of these different backends and platforms that need to connect to your affiliate program. Tracking gets lost, stats can drop, pixels can skip… it becomes a minefield just to reach your customer, ”Johnstone confirmed.

“Looking for ways to streamline all of this infrastructure is, I think, what the blockchain community is looking at right now. It’s time to move from those old rails where everything is disconnected and running in silos to a platform and a solution that can really make everything smart, ”suggested Johnstone.

Microtransactions are the major innovation

The ability to perform many instant microtransactions for a fraction of a dime is one of BSV’s biggest innovations, a feature that sets it apart from all other blockchains and payment methods out there. This feature opens a number of doors for digital marketers, for example, by incentivizing them to actions as simple as sharing content, as facilitated by the TonicPow platform.

“There is no difficult paperwork, there is no big IO that we have to sign, there is no validation process, it’s just one person to another. The action is over. It can be that simple, ”said Johnstone.

She also used the example of being able to test digital marketing campaigns quickly and at a lower rate than a CPA (cost per acquisition) model. You can test some pocket of traffic by offering a small fee for referred players instead of the more traditional CPA which looks more like $ 150 per depositing player and more.

“You don’t know because you are testing something for the first time and now you can do it as an immediate transaction. There is no waiting time. It makes it a whole lot easier, ”Johnstone said.

Make sponsorship sexy again

The BSV blockchain’s microtransaction capabilities also stand out in the ‘refer a friend’ model, where customers can be rewarded immediately for bringing their friends on board and perhaps even continue to earn residual income after signing up, such as the Haste arcade ease.

“I think we’ve all moved away from sponsoring a friend. And in fact word of mouth or personal referrals are the best type of business you can do… you can make a friend referral sexy again, ”Johnstone said.

“If people are buying into what you do and the whole millennial generation, they are referring to their own personal experiences. So, depending on your business and who you’re targeting, there are so many ways to use this new technology that’s coming to market, ”she added.

Sales attribution for iGaming

Sales attribution is another area that is expected to benefit from the micropayment and smart contract capabilities of BSV blockchain technology, a point made by Frank Vertolli of Net Conversion during the CoinGeek Zurich Performance and Affiliate marketing panel with Johnstone.

“Especially in games, we don’t really use sales attribution. We always work on the last click. This is mostly the norm… you can actually still earn residual income even if you didn’t make that last click sale, ”Johnstone pointed out.

“So you can earn a small percentage for making the mark appear in front of my eyes two days before I actually convert, whatever the case is,” she explained.

“And looking at these revenue models and seeing how you can inspire your partners to do more not only in the conversion journey, but also in the awareness journey, can cut your costs in other channels as well,” he said. she adds.

Automation and simplification of data management

Extracting statistics and managing multiple data channels has been a notorious problem for affiliates and affiliate managers. In order to handle the huge manual workload, affiliate programs need to build up large account, manpower, and budget management teams that could be redirected to relationship management if there were to be. a more efficient system in place.

“Get your employees to focus on building relationships that work well and supporting the process instead of dealing with the administration of the process,” Johnstone advised.

The data stored on the blockchain is also 100% reliable because it is immutable and verifiable by anyone, a feature that would benefit any affiliate program in any industry.

“It will build confidence faster. I mean, anything that builds trust faster is going to help you grow your program because at the end of the day this industry is always built around trust, ”Johnstone confirmed.

Storing data on a single, universally accessible blockchain – a “universal source of truth” about data silos – would be a huge step forward for the affiliate and digital marketing industry. The data breakpoints that affiliate programs face today would be a pain point of the past.

“I have to collect the data from my side as a client, then I have to pass this data to an FTP server, then the FTP server has to retrieve it and feed it into their affiliate platform,” explained Johnstone.

“The bane of most affiliate manager lives has been to follow the breaks, how to fix it, but where did it end in all that long journey? So that all would not be a problem if we were to move to the new rails where everything is interconnected and it cannot be overwritten and there are no stopping points, ”she added.

How long?

While it is obvious that the benefits of upgrading affiliate industry rails to BSV blockchain technology are obvious, the when and how are not at all clear. We’re now at the early adopters stage and finally seeing the first signs of life thanks to forward-thinking trendsetters like TonicPow’s Luke Rohenaz and Haste’s Joe DePinto, but there is still plenty of room for innovation in the ‘new. rails ”based on blockchain. for the affiliate marketing space.

“There’s a lot of money involved in moving to a new protocol… there are so many things, so many big guys who have to buy into all of this and start making these changes, and then that trickle down effect will happen,” predicted Johnstone.

“As far as I’m concerned, it has to happen because the current infrastructure is not optimized and we know it is broken. We all know what the problems are, but we just haven’t found, or we haven’t agreed to, what the next solution will be. But I think [blockchain] is a probably viable option… I’m just interested to see how fast we’re all going to move forward, ”concluded Johnstone.

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