FMTC Daily Deal Email

My Favorite Publisher Toolkit Feature? The Daily Deal Emails!

If you're an affiliate marketer or website owner using FMTC's Publisher Toolkit, it's important to make sure you haven't overlooked any of their great perks. One of my favorite features is hands down their daily deal emails for your selected favorite merchants.

Once subscribed, start by selecting your favorite merchants in the Program Directory. This is easily done by “starring” the merchant in the search results.

FMTC Starred Favorite Merchants

I personally go with a mix of merchants whose specific deals I want to watch for along with new merchants I'm considering promoting.

Then go to your account page and make sure that you've selected to receive new daily deal emails.

FMTC Daily Emails Option

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Find Possible Deals on FMTC's Blog

Find Potential Deals on FMTC’s Blog

I've previously written about FMTC's amazing affiliate directory and their essential browser extension. But did you know they also offer a low-tech way to help bloggers and shoppers alike?

I love using their New FMTC Merchants blog posts both for work here on HIF and for personal shopping! Every week, I look forward to scanning their list of merchant changes, like this one from last month.

Why do I like these posts? Because I've noticed that discounts, sales, and coupons can often increase when a merchant joins a new network!

How Affiliate Networks Work

There are roughly a dozen options for merchants when it comes to running their affiliate program. They range from having none at all to using in-house, internal systems to outsourcing it to 3rd party networks. This last option is by far the most popular. The four largest networks are Commission Junction, Impact, Rakuten, and ShareASale, but there are plenty others. Merchants then hire a network to manage their affiliate program for them.

When my friends ask me to explain affiliate networks, I always liken them to banks. Each bank has their own pros and cons, but essentially they all work the same – they protect and store your money. I could keep all my money under a mattress and hand-deliver cash to my utility companies each month. But it makes more sense to outsource handling my money to a company that specializes in it.

I don't know about you, but switching banks is always a task I tend avoiding. Transferring all your money from one bank to the other is usually a simple task, but it's all the smaller details that are annoying. You have to order new checks, setup new online accounts, reconfigure all your direct deposits, then make sure your monthly withdraws are set.

Now go one step further. When's the best time to order new checks – before you change banks or after? It's after! Otherwise, you're stuck with checks for an old bank account.

The same loose logic sometimes applies to merchants! Like switching banks, there's a bit of legwork required when a merchant joins or switches networks. Thus, when's the best time to launch a new multi-month ad campaign with discounts and deals? It's certainly not in the months leading up to a network switch, because the last thing a merchant wants is traffic being driven to a soon-to-be-obsolete affiliate system.

However, once a network switch has been made, it's the perfect time to sync a marketing push for a new ad campaign. Which, in turn, is a great time to release limited discounts, sales, and promotions. In effect, merchant's changing networks can trigger an avalanche of deals!

Watch for Affiliate Network News!

Which brings us back to FMTC's affiliate news blog.

Let's pretend I'm a huge fan of Favorboots. Shoes aren't something I'm buying all the time. But given that Favorboots joined ShareASale last month, now would be the perfect time to rejoin their rewards club, sign my freebie email up to their newsletter, and follow their social media accounts. Chances are I'm more likely to find a unique discount for them now versus anytime last summer or fall.

It's not a foolproof method, but it's definitely a little trick I've shared with my friends and family. It tends to work best for smaller merchants. Your Walmarts and Targets of the world don't always do this, but your smaller boutique and niche brands frequently do.

So if you have a favorite online vendor, store, brand or merchant then I highly recommend keeping an eye of FMTC's blog! You just might stumble across a sale you wouldn't have otherwise found.

fmtc browser extension guide

FMTC’s Affiliate Browser Extension

As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of FMTC's affiliate database directory. I've used it daily for years while working on HIF and it doesn't look like that'll end any time soon because they have a new Chrome browser extension.

This allows FMTC subscribers to swiftly access affiliate links and merchant information without needing to load the database each time, all from within your browser while still on a merchant's website. If you run a website or any sort of business that works with affiliates, I can't recommend it enough.

fmtc browser extension guide

This upgrade might seem small at first glance, but it completely cuts down on the number of clicks and time it takes to check on a merchant. Even if it only saves you a minute or two each day, that time saved quickly ads up. And I find myself using it way more than just once a day!

Setting up the extension couldn't be easier either.

  1. Install the browser extension from the Chrome store.
  2. Log into your FMTC account.
  3. Click “Browser Extension” from the sidebar.
  4. Generate your unique API key, then enter it into the extension.
Tip: While this extension is designed for Chrome, it should also work in HIF's preferred browser – Brave!

Once you're set up, you can start using the extension on thousands of different merchant websites to check their program status & restrictions, deeplink ability, and even covid-19 temporary affiliate changes.

I find that covid-19 perk to be especially helpful these days. The pandemic has decimated my industry and I spent so much time trying to figure out merchant updates earlier in the year. You should seen the mess of post-it notes I had all over my desk in a futile attempt to track all the changes.

However, with the extension, I can immediately tell if a merchant has nuked their commissions as soon as I land on their website.

covid affiliate commissions cut

COVID-19 Status
We received confirmation that there has been a decrease or zeroing out of commissions.
Notes: 6/24 – Emailed about status of commission rates
Verification Type: Merchant Newsletter
Last Update: 2020-06-24

That info tells me if I'm trying to make money, I should probably head elsewhere for the time being since Best Buy has “zeroed” out their commissions. πŸ˜…

Accessing all of this merchant info would have taken, at minimum, three additional clicks and page loads without the extension. Loading the database, searching the database, then loading the merchant page. But with the extension, it's all at my fingertips right from the browser!

Deal bloggers will also love the “Deals” section within each merchant's listing. It contains both a link to FMTC's full deal page for each merchant while also highlighting a few “top deals” that FMTC thinks you might be interested in.

fmtc browser extension affiliate deals

Tip: For those with extreme privacy concerns, you can set the extension to only load external scripts when you activate it with a click. To do so, go Menu -> More Tools -> Extensions -> Details -> then select “On click” like so.

I won't lie, there's one big item I have on my wish list for the extension. While you can create a deeplink within the extension, it doesn't let you create an unbranded affiliate deep link! This is the only time I find myself constantly swapping back to the FMTC database and thus is one of the slight bottlenecks I find with the extension. That said, I still find myself using it all the time. This one missing perk is the only thing holding it back from being absolutely perfect.

Are there any other bloggers out there who use FMTC's merchant directory? Have you tried the extension yet? If so, please let share in the comments how it helps your daily routine!


FMTC Affiliate Directory for Bloggers

One of the most frequent, non-freebie questions I get asked is “got any tips for starting my own site?” I gotta admit, it's a really hard question to answer! However, that's exactly what I'm going to attempt over the coming months with this series.

I'm kicking things off with one of the only services I use on a daily basis to run HIF, the FMTC's Publisher Toolkit.

Years ago, I signed up for their free plan in order to easily access their affiliate database directory and over time it grew to become a tool I seriously rely upon to streamline my workflow. I can't even imagine trying to run HIF without it.

Let's say you run a niche site and you've decided to keep spammy affiliate offers away from your blog (good for you!) You've also joined a few affiliate programs to promote, but they're inevitably spread across multiple networks. As it stands, you have to regularly log into every network in order to lookup programs, pull links, create deeplinks, or find new deals to promote.

If you don't run a website, what I'm describing is akin to grocery shopping at 10 different stores each week. Imagine being forced to shop at Store A for milk, then Store B for bread, then you drive to Store C for vegetables only to remember at the last second they're sold over at Store Z, etc. Sounds like a pain in the butt, doesn't it?! And it is!

Affiliate Directory Database

Enter FMTC's amazing Affiliate Directory. This feature alone is a huge highlight in my book, as they allow both free and subscribers to search their affiliate directory of over 14,000 programs. The database grows by the dozens every week and acts as a one-stop shop for juggling large amounts of affiliate programs from handfuls of networks.

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