Zorz. Posehn discussed start-up websites that creatively use affiliate-based monitization strategies. Similar to Mint.com, which according to Posehn is a glorified financial affiliate website that cashed out to Intuit for $105 million by offering a fantastic free product, Hipmunk.com and Cakehealth.com provide a similar unique selling proposition by offering a valuable service in an innovative way. Hipmunk takes travel search and simplifies it to include departure and arrival information and then sorts flights by agony or how much the website determines a person will dislike taking that flight, Posehn shared. Cakehealth is like Mint.com but for your health needs, and assists users by providing services for saving money in this area, Posehn continued. A good question to ask when seeking to determine the value of an affiliate-based website is, “would people miss your website if they didn’t have it anymore?” Posehn noted. There are a lot of blogs or coupon websites with a lot of copying because people jump on a bandwagon, but it’s more challenging and effective to provide something with value that stands alone, Posehn said.
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Zorz developed quite a bit of affiliate-based software and just completed the transition of releasing that to the public over the last year, Posehn said, and it’s proven to be more profitable than their affiliate and agency work combined. The software assists in filling the gaps when trying to optimize a website, figure out how to drop bounce rates or increase site speed, Posehn shared. Prarie, one of the most successful systems developed by Zorz, recaptures lost sales through banners, email and search, and the end result has been a huge uptake in overall sales. You don’t control the Google search algorithm, you don’t control what they determine Google quality score with, but you can control your website, design and creative, so the factors that you can control to optimize your website and to drive more sales to your product is what Zorz is focusing on now, Posehn emphasized.
According to Posehn, hot topics at Pubcon included figuring out how to make more money by determining how to maximize affiliate payouts, staying competitive, and driving more profit. The other hot topics Posehn noticed were mobile, and to an even greater degree, Facebook ads. Facebook local ads have been a huge profit driver for Zorz with margins at three to four hundred percent on average, so it’s highly profitable yet surprisingly still not as well-known as it should be, Posehn concluded.