Affiliate Nerd Out

Affiliate Attribution Troubleshooting Tactics with Dave Zaron

August 28, 2023 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 19
Affiliate Attribution Troubleshooting Tactics with Dave Zaron
Affiliate Nerd Out
More Info
Affiliate Nerd Out
Affiliate Attribution Troubleshooting Tactics with Dave Zaron
Aug 28, 2023 Season 1 Episode 19
Dustin Howes

Technology wizard Dave Zaron joins us on this episode to reveal the intriguing origin story of his e-commerce business and how word-of-mouth marketing propelled it towards success. Sit back and uncover the captivating journey behind his tech company, Zaronology. From leveraging the power of video editing to overcoming the challenges of finding the right product-market fit, Dave's tale is a testament to perseverance and innovative thinking.

Dive deep into the world of tech as Dave recounts his adventures in the 2012 election, his collaborations with black hat networks, and his experiences with online retail and tech debt. Get an insider's glimpse into his work with household names like Mr. Beast and Mark Grober. But we're not just here for the stories - Dave also offers some invaluable advice on navigating tracking, implementation, and attribution in the realm of online marketing.

Finally, we venture into the practical side of things. Discover the power of cross-selling and how it can significantly increase your average order value. With Dave's strategies for upselling and order bumping, you'll be well-equipped to maximize your business's potential. Whether you're a tech junkie, an entrepreneur or just intrigued by the intersection of tech and marketing, there's a wealth of knowledge waiting for you in this episode. It's time to learn, grow, and unleash the power of technology!

Publisher out there, go check out their easy javascript functions on WordPress sites. It works like magic to add up to date CTAs within your blog posts. Go see it for yourself at dustinhowes.com/acom

This is a tool all publishers out there need to be utilizing, go to dustinhowes.com/nuc for a 1-month free trial and a demo of the product. Please use my link to enable my content making addition. Dustinhowes.com/nuc

For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Technology wizard Dave Zaron joins us on this episode to reveal the intriguing origin story of his e-commerce business and how word-of-mouth marketing propelled it towards success. Sit back and uncover the captivating journey behind his tech company, Zaronology. From leveraging the power of video editing to overcoming the challenges of finding the right product-market fit, Dave's tale is a testament to perseverance and innovative thinking.

Dive deep into the world of tech as Dave recounts his adventures in the 2012 election, his collaborations with black hat networks, and his experiences with online retail and tech debt. Get an insider's glimpse into his work with household names like Mr. Beast and Mark Grober. But we're not just here for the stories - Dave also offers some invaluable advice on navigating tracking, implementation, and attribution in the realm of online marketing.

Finally, we venture into the practical side of things. Discover the power of cross-selling and how it can significantly increase your average order value. With Dave's strategies for upselling and order bumping, you'll be well-equipped to maximize your business's potential. Whether you're a tech junkie, an entrepreneur or just intrigued by the intersection of tech and marketing, there's a wealth of knowledge waiting for you in this episode. It's time to learn, grow, and unleash the power of technology!

Publisher out there, go check out their easy javascript functions on WordPress sites. It works like magic to add up to date CTAs within your blog posts. Go see it for yourself at dustinhowes.com/acom

This is a tool all publishers out there need to be utilizing, go to dustinhowes.com/nuc for a 1-month free trial and a demo of the product. Please use my link to enable my content making addition. Dustinhowes.com/nuc

For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com

Dustin Howes:

Hey folks, welcome to Affiliate Nerd Out. I am your Nurturator, dustin Howes. Spread that good word about affiliate marketing. You're gonna find me here on LinkedIn Live on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so please consider subscribing and set it on your calendar to come on to LinkedIn and join us. My nerd guests of the day is David Zarin, ceo of Zarinology. Thanks for joining me, dave. Welcome to the Nerditorium.

Dave Zaron:

Thanks, dustin. Thanks for having me.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. Now is Dave or David? I'm getting a mixed message on the internet. I don't know what to call you exactly.

Dave Zaron:

Sure, Uh well, I'd say around about 40. I started really getting serious about being called Dave. Uh, I'm getting a lot of publicity. Um, we all have uh enough cognitive uh drain during the day, so keeping my name down to one syllable is uh beneficial for everyone.

Dustin Howes:

All right, that's fair. Um, I'm not gonna change anything here. Uh, dave, david, uh is is joining me today. I think Dave's one of those names that, um, like you change your name from William to Bill at some point in your life, right, dave? Dave has one of those. What do you call those kinds of names? I don't know if that's a. There's a thing.

Dave Zaron:

There probably is a term for it, but I don't really know. But I don't really know what. It is All right.

Dustin Howes:

You're gonna have to get on that and get back to me. All right, let me know. Uh, if you want to join us on the live Q&A, please drop a comment in the chat. Uh, dave and I are are here having fun and joking around. Uh, come and bust our shops or ask us anything about affiliate that you want to without further ado. Here, dave, who are you?

Dave Zaron:

Well, I am a developer at heart and a business owner as well. Um, I I guess for who I am. Uh, I am a pretty crazy uh martial arts fan, a uh crossfitter, uh, a father, a husband, uh, and I like to, uh, you know, spend some time goofing around with my, my family. Uh, we like to go on vacation, love going on trips Uh, we do as many as we can in a year, um, and then my passion is development, but not just being a developer, it's creating really cool tech and working with really cool tech. Um, I brought that into uh, my, uh, my journey, I would say, here and my.

Dave Zaron:

When I started, uh, my company, I didn't really plan on working in e-commerce as much as we do now or having that as our focus.

Dave Zaron:

It just kind of happened.

Dave Zaron:

Uh, we just found out that a lot of uh marketers and online businesses didn't have a lot of really good tech expertise.

Dave Zaron:

Uh evolved over time and, you know, back in the the beginning days things like Shopify and when there wasn't as many great tools out there as there are today a lot of uh retailers struggled, you know, to sell their products online and to, uh, you know, tracking, attribution, understanding the flow, data. So, uh, that's kind of how we built our business and the funny, another fun fact about my company is uh, been around a little over eight years, or a bit over eight years, and I just built my own website for my company this year, and the reason why is because our entire business has been word mount uh for years and it uh and we've achieved uh a lot in that time. Uh, with word mount, which we always hear people talk about. You know the difference between the types of advertising you do, and word mouth is very strong and we have a really good reputation with the people you work with. Um, it tends to be the strongest thing that you could possibly imagine.

Dustin Howes:

I mean quality of leads, without a doubt, um, super strong, but um, that is very impressive that you've got along this far. Uh, just rolling off word of mouth and uh also, uh, weird, like I have this uh odd thing in my head if, if somebody doesn't have a website and I'm considering hiring them, I won't unless their website looks legit and uh, you know, maybe you missed out on sales in the past, but glad you got it up now. Uh, but really that is pretty funny, that that you have a developer mindset and haven't done that until now. To be honest, with you.

Dave Zaron:

Uh, about four years ago I had planned we started breaking ground to do it and I was really busy. So I I hired another group to help and I just didn't like it. It didn't give me. I didn't feel like it really said about who we were. So it's like, you know, I kind of like the uh, it's kind of like the thought process behind I don't carry business cards around because I'm too busy to care, right, you know. So you know, you give me your business card and I'll contact you when I have time and we'll see if we can do business. It's like that same thought process, right?

Dave Zaron:

thought to be by a mentor that really got me to to break into my own company and start my own company. Uh, so I kind of treated it that way for a while. They're like you know, I don't need a website to uh impress anybody, because you know the word mouth speaks for itself and the quality of the work, that of the results send to as well.

Dustin Howes:

Alright, well, you can go to Dave's website or, uh, jump on to LinkedIn if you want to get a hold of Dave and and like what he's saying today. Uh, fun fact, dave, you came on. Uh, you're one of the people that have actually clicked this link here. Or gone to dustinhousecom slash nerd to join me on this podcast. Like, how did you hear about me?

Dave Zaron:

Uh, actually, through LinkedIn, I um through a mutual person that we know, uh, amber Spears. Uh, uh, you did the uh the podcast with her and I saw it. I was like, oh, this is really cool, and so I, uh thought, started following you and then I decided to follow up with you about some questions I had, uh, for some clients that I currently have that it's more questions about, yeah yeah, even though I know a lot about it, it's not really my wheelhouse. So, uh, I reached out to you, I got to chat and I was like, oh, this would be fun. Let's uh, let's uh do the podcast.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, I mean, you're, um, I don't I don't take everybody that that sides up. Uh, there's gotta be some kind of connection, there's gotta be some kind of interest for the audience out here watching and, um, I just gotta be interested in the topics and you're one of those people that, uh, even though you're a developer mind, uh, you have a very amazing charisma about you. Like, we got along immediately. We're just kind of goofy guys and and I wanted you on this podcast, so I'm so glad you signed up. If you want to sign up as well, come on in. Uh, I'm taking on guests. I booked uh nearly through October, but I'm always looking for interesting people to come on uh, so so glad you did this, man, thanks definitely.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. So let's talk about Xeronology. First off, let's explain your name here. What's going on?

Dave Zaron:

All right. So when original name in 2013 was when I actually started Xeronology, but it was under a different name and that was Chucky Chihuahua whether or not she's an alchemy. So the story behind that is my wife. When I met my wife, she had this little Chihuahua. That was not little.

Dave Zaron:

He looked like he ate two other Chihuahua, so his name was Caesar and the dude would like walk up and down the neighborhood. He'd come home from three houses down and he'd have rib bones in his mouth. It was just the funniest thing. You know a lot of like awkward personality and he hated everybody unless they had food in their hand giving it to them, or if they were my wife, christina. That's the only way that you win his affection. So, and one day we actually came home and we found him a bag of cat food on the floor and we found him on his back unable to roll over, because his stomach was three times bigger than it normally is, because he got into a bag and he couldn't even roll over, and it was the funniest and saddest thing I've ever seen.

Dustin Howes:

Oh my God, please tell me you've got some kind of video that we can share with the audience here.

Dave Zaron:

Well, the thing is is that video was shot before iPhones were as big as they are, so I don't know if I have that one, but I do have pictures up there which I will share. I don't know if I can Maybe I can have chat GBT dig into some old videos and see if you can find it in that, like the terabytes of data I have stored on some drives. But if I ever come across it, this will be the first place I throw it at oh fantastic man Last that led to.

Dave Zaron:

sorry, I didn't get past that, but after Chucky Chihuahua, which I enjoyed and the thought process behind that was, well, he did pass away and it was maybe a couple months later that we actually started the company. So we're like, oh, we'll do it in honor of season and it'll be memorable. So I don't know if he was Chucky Chihuahua when the mobile development is going to be like, oh okay, but they're going to remember it.

Dave Zaron:

So it didn't really have the effect I wanted it to and you know so, over time, in 2015 actually is when I incorporated just for, as I learned about business and the kind of business I was trying to grow, you know, going to an S-corp was the best path, so that's where I came up with Xeronology. So I was like, oh, this is everything about this company is about me. It's about the study of Dave and his mind and how it works and what I do and what I'm putting out there to the world. And that started a lot with development and helping people, you know kind of, I guess, have improved their technology stacks and improved their technology.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. It sounds like your Chihuahua was the after picture of Taco Bell's. Like dog, old mascot.

Dave Zaron:

Oh, that dude was skinny compared to you, I was like I don't know, that's like yeah.

Dustin Howes:

And super unfortunate you weren't building yourself a website, because I would have loved to see what you would have done with that.

Dave Zaron:

I have business cards. I think I still have some of them lying around the Chihuahua on Twitch my awful design implementations at the time. But I'll look for that as well and I'll take a picture and post it for it.

Dustin Howes:

Awful is so much better. Well, great story. I love hearing how companies progress and that was definitely one of my favorites of all time. All right, so tell me more about your company on a serious level. How did you end up getting here, like what was your background leading into like development, and then how you're starting this agency and how this came about.

Dave Zaron:

Sure. So, to keep it short, there was a lot of things that got me here, but I was doing video editing work and kind of do my own video stuff for a while and I actually met a guy who was doing technology that created more interactive videos. So since I had a little bit of a development past growing up and my interest in yours and so on from my dad, I decided to go and work with this company and I helped them build a bunch of interactive video players. Now this is 2010. So this is a time period way ahead of its time. Just streaming video is really starting to become a thing at this time.

Dave Zaron:

So for people to be able to stream video and then, on top of that, be able to interact with it, so it was just it was too soon and it wouldn't have been so bad if the owner of the company actually had the ability to find the proper product market fit, which you just couldn't have anything to do, and then you know it is what it is. So I kind of stepped away from that, had a lot of cool experiences Got to find a private jet, got to work with Rick Santorum. We shot him for like eight hours in his house to build this whole thing. So if he was going to get past the primary this is for the 2012 election he was trying to become the Republican nominee. He didn't get it, so we never watched any of the stuff, but that was supposed to be part of the plan, like our technology was actually going to be part of his campaign. That's primary.

Dustin Howes:

Devastating.

Dave Zaron:

Like, yeah, Well, you know it is what it is. I mean, I don't know how devastating it really is that it went down the way it did. I'm pretty happy with how everything kind of turned out. In the end, I ended up leaving that company. That's when I started Chunky Chihuahua Web of Global Development and then, you know, that kind of progressed and the people I worked with were in the ad space, the network, so like an affiliate network in a sense. So you're not an advertiser, you're not an affiliate, you just kind of sit in between them and you create relationships, and that's the kind of format a lot of people I was working with were in no-transcript. I kind of discovered. I didn't know this at the time, but I discovered in 2014 that my largest client was what we like to call Black Hat and I was like, oh, as I started learning more about the industry because I was kind of ignorant, I was just building cool stuff I started to kind of pick up. I was like, man, I don't really think what they're doing is technically legal here. So I started to investigate it a little bit more. I discovered it wasn't, so I left and I got an opportunity to work with a very somewhat popular company at the time. That was a much better opportunity anyway. So it just kind of fell into my lap and that was through networking and connections of people. I knew that, knew the stuff I was doing with this other group, and this other group was giving me a lot of trouble when I tried to leave because they didn't want me to leave because I was doing so much, so many good things for them. But obviously I didn't want to keep promoting any of that stuff, so I walked away.

Dave Zaron:

I started working with that company and then that company the owner of that company loved what I was doing with them, so he recommended me to another guy and then he recommended me to another guy and then that guy became one of my largest clients. And then I started having relationships with various agencies and then I started doing the freelancer route. I'm like, oh, let me hire a group of freelancers to sell me these projects and then all kinds of money getting wasted there. So never build a team with just freelancers. Just doesn't seem to work because they're dedicated. So I started hiring employees and then we got this really awesome opportunity in the end of 2021 to work with Mr Beast and Mark Rover to build the team sees campaign. So our company did all the tech for team sees and we partnered with a three to one agency out of Orlando and they handle all the design and the relationships and stuff like that. We just sat back and coded really about 25 days to build the entire thing, so we didn't need any distractions.

Dave Zaron:

So really cool opportunities that have come by. You know, gotten a few jobs off of stuff. You know exposure from stuff like that. It's really just been. We worked a lot of online retailers currently and we do a lot of troubleshooting, helping them, you know, fix problems that they have in their organization. So we know we find that many companies that if they have a tech team, then that tech team can many times not have enough bandwidth to deal with things like tech debt problems and they have been existing for a long time and nobody cares about tech debt at the higher level until it becomes a 911. Yeah, so we got 911, everyone from that team is to drop off of whatever they're working on and go back over here and try to work on that project and try to not really project, go and try to fix that and then it's duct tape time like we throw tape on it and make it work, yeah.

Dave Zaron:

And then we come back over here and we keep moving through these projects. So, and then the other types of companies we work with are you know they don't have the expertise on SAP. You know they started stitching together services like Click Bottle, shopify, that's it and that, and then things start breaking down and tracking as if working and those kinds of things. So our company just comes in and remedies it. We audit everything, we plan a blueprint to execute and if they can't execute internally, we do it for them.

Dustin Howes:

Fantastic Sounds like I need your service myself because my course seems to be a mess at times while I continue to grow and like, adjust to what I'm trying to do. Mark Grober is one of my favorite YouTubers of all time. I bought it so brilliant Like he created his own brand of box, like I get it for my kids. It comes every month. It's a subscription. Absolutely love it.

Dave Zaron:

Yeah, yeah, well, yeah, I can't think of the thing about that in my head either, but I know what you're talking about. Yeah, really cool stuff. Yeah, he's a cool dude. I mean very late, I mean he's exactly in real life. He's exactly the same way that he is in the video, like he just laid back, you know, has the hat on.

Dustin Howes:

Funny, I even reached out to like his team, which is in the Bay Area. I want to say, and I said hey, I will run your affiliate program for free. I just want to be a part of this. Like I'll work as a JV, I'll bring in all the affiliates, give me credit for the affiliates, I will build this affiliate program for free. And he mentioned that we've already got a solution in place. I think that might have been you.

Dave Zaron:

Like I don't work on any of those things. Team Seize is the only project that I've worked with them all along. They're pretty high profile. It's kind of hard to you know. When they approached us in the agency 321, they didn't really. They had done team trees already in 2019, but the Arbor Day Foundation was the recipient of all that money and they were the organization the 511c3 that was actually executing and they had a tech team already. So that tech team was tasked with the effort for team trees and one of the pain points that came from that they brought to us was that that site went down for like 12 to 14 hours during the launch of that event and they're like we cannot go down, like that is number one. Nothing can go down and there's a lot of reasons why it happened.

Dave Zaron:

But you know our specialty is high traffic infrastructure. I mean we've been doing live events. We do docu-series launches and not just. You know there's a lot of sizes of docu-series launch. But I mean we've had, we've done launches that had over 300,000 registrants in them and we're talking thousands and thousands of page visits at a time. We've even built our own streaming service around this to help a lot of those people deliver better quality video at a lower expense than they would on most other channels. And then, obviously, youtube's free, but YouTube isn't always the greatest thing for putting free content on that. You would want people to buy, so anyway. So we just had a lot of experience with that high traffic stuff and I had a lot of experience with fraud. You know online fraud like credit card testing and things like that. And I just remember that first meeting with them, I'm like, so who's your merchant? And they were like, whoa, like you don't have a merchant yet. So we had a problem there.

Dave Zaron:

So, yeah, we ended up working with Stripe because Mr V reached out to the CEO and was able to get a quick collaboration going, because we didn't have a lot of time and when you're dealing with that kind of volume they raised $30 million in 68. I mean, when you're dealing with that kind of volume it's hard. I would never recommend somebody actually stick with one merchant. But we didn't have a lot of choice and as long as you have a very good relationship with your merchant, you can usually pull it off. Otherwise, when merchants start to see all of a sudden hundreds of thousands of dollars coming in a day, they're like, oh, what are you doing? Is this fraud? Lit, fraud and lit doesn't that work? Good play.

Dave Zaron:

So it was very interesting, you know, just like seeing or hearing from like what their pain points were, exposing some more that they had. And I think that's why we won the job is because you know I was sitting there telling them all the problems that we're going to have and they didn't even think about it. So, yeah, so we ended up implementing it and you know we had our. We didn't have a lot of time. We had our little technical snafus here and there. The site never went down after hundreds of visits and billions of requests. It was lost multiple times, so I never went down. Thank you, cloudflare, for your awesome service there. But yeah, it's an interesting infrastructure. We have a case study on it. I don't think I have it up on my LinkedIn just yet, but I'll put it out there a little bit later.

Dustin Howes:

I'll get the link from you a little bit later and I'll share with the audience. I'll put it in the description on the YouTube video here. So just amazing how well connected you are to some of the biggest influencers on YouTube. That's a really incredible story. We got one comment in here. Looks like Kristen Bigtime Evans is jumping in. Chunky Chihuahua is A plus. Yes, she might end up stealing that URL and name her company something a little bit different. All right, I'm going to switch gears and jump in the sponsor of the day, and that is Ah, ah. Neco time cigarettes. Are you an expecting mother that likes cigarettes and don't like doctors telling you what to do and how to live your life? Neco time to the rescue. They have the flavor pregnant women crave by Neco. Secret their heads exclusively at DustinHousecom. Slash Neco and use the code Dustin15 for an exclusive discount. That's DustinHousecom. Slash N-I-C-O. Neco cigarettes. Treat yourself, girl and mom.

Dave Zaron:

Yeah, I think that ad is the epitome of freedom. Isn't free because you were going to suffer one way or the other from that freedom of smoking, whether it's the dial or uh.

Dustin Howes:

Uh, yeah, but I get Chris. Yeah, chris didn't. Chris is calling me out. I can't even keep a straight face. Hey, you know what?

Dave Zaron:

Times are tough.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, you got to take on sponsorships wherever you can. And for those of you that went to the URL, I hope you got a laugh. Obviously a fake ad, but you know I'm challenging myself these days to work on a sales pitch and so when I have a real sponsor, when I don't have a real sponsor, like I'm going to start making up stuff just for funsies.

Dave Zaron:

That was a good one yeah.

Dustin Howes:

You're familiar with N-I-C-O. Yeah, yeah.

Dave Zaron:

My brand of choice. Fantastic, especially when I was pregnant.

Dustin Howes:

Oh, all right, let's get back into that serious note Affiliate program audits. This is the main functionality of what you do. This is how you start your process. Let's talk about you taking on a client and what that process looks like.

Dave Zaron:

Sure thing. So really, when it comes down to it, it's more or less a tech audit in a sense. But a lot of these companies come to us and they have pain points already. But most pain points just come across as symptoms, kind of like when you have a stuffy nose.

Dave Zaron:

Obviously you have a cold. The stuffy nose is just a symptom. So many times in tech you see something over here, but the real problem is over here. So I'm a simple way. So what we do is we go into your systems and we look at how everything's structured, how everything's been executed, how these systems are connected, how you're in the case of affiliates. It's typically attribution, or two tracking systems aren't talking to each other properly, or we're not getting the proper attribution, or we're losing. We've got a poor conversion rate. Why is this happening? We think that something's broken. Maybe the form's broken, maybe we're not collecting every click and there's so many variables that we have to look at. So we have to dig into the infrastructure, see how it's set up, Then we have to dig into what.

Dave Zaron:

Ultimately, how is this set up in the first place? A lot of times we find that it's typically the setup was done incorrectly or it was just a patchwork job. And that's very common because typically, like I said, in-house tech teams get a lot of things thrown out, and we've been there because we were tech for hire for a long time and we still have some old clients that we do this with. Are there internal tech teams as well as doing what we do with audits and stuff. So ultimately, the implementation is just incorrect or sometimes there's an update on one side of an integration.

Dave Zaron:

The API went up from version one to version two and then they defrecate the old one or they just try to force you. You see this a lot with APIs they try to force you. Same thought process as when the new iPhone comes out they try to slow down all the rest of them so you can move to the next one. There obviously is a reason for it, but we all say, oh, they just want our money. But at the end of the day, it's all about security vulnerabilities and fixing problems that existed that they never told you about.

Dustin Howes:

The real time to absolescence is. I think it's the correct term there.

Dave Zaron:

So it's really all about kind of going in and figuring out what's wrong and then giving that company a blueprint for how to fix it. Typically, when we kind of talk about this in the beginning, do you want the blueprint or do you want us to just tell you what we're going to do, how much it's going to cost, and we'll do it? It depends on the situation, the urgency and so many different levels. Sometimes people don't have completely broken attribution. They have no idea what's going on. They're pushing ads and Facebook coming from one side, affiliates coming from another, and then you have your email campaigns. If you can't tell the difference between which one of those is generating your revenue, then you're kind of flying blind when that happens. These are very different tracking systems that you're going to use for this kind of tracking. We basically kind of go in, make sure it all works the way it's supposed to, it's set up the way it's supposed to, and if it's not we can fix it, or we can just kind of write out a blueprint for your internal team.

Dave Zaron:

But, usually, if you brought us in, they don't have bandwidth, take care of it. They're working on sales funnel or they're working on another implementation or anything else. Then obviously there's the people who don't have a tech team and they just kind of use free managers, and we all know how that goes. Sure.

Dustin Howes:

On top of that, how many development teams have you come across that are versed in affiliate marketing as well, or that kind of connection between the affiliate network and the website?

Dave Zaron:

That's fair. I'd say that really, when you're a developer, you kind of understand the basic. Any developer is going to understand the basics of how these connections work, like how data gets passed from one place to another and then how that can be attributed back to an original source. Any real developer that's going to that is an actual developer. There's plenty of people who call themselves developers that probably shouldn't. If you call yourself a developer and you do everything in click funnels, man, all right, I can stop a developer. You understand technical stuff but you're not necessarily a developer and you couldn't write the actual code that makes it work. It just kind of gives you that lower level understanding of what's actually going on. When you've written a tracking system before written code for a tracking system before, you want to understand the underlying functionalities within it and what it's looking for, how it operates. When you have that kind of understanding, it helps you to adapt a lot easier to what could potentially be the problem. It's a lot of deductive reasoning. It's really what I call it. You start with the problem and you work your way backwards and you try to make a path to the original point of contact.

Dave Zaron:

I'd say With ability tracking it's typically they click the link. Well, there's a tracking link that was issued to this person. It's in this email. They clicked on that link. What happens next? Okay? Well, this seems to be working. It's passing all of the information parameters to the URL, to the domain. That's all working. What's next? Okay, it should be storing that information and then passing that along to the next step so that it can be fired back to the tracking system. Those are the kind of things that it sounds simple, but it's really about just reducing all the steps that should be taking place and finding out where they're broken.

Dave Zaron:

If you can do that effectively and really understand how that process works, I'd say just about any developer could figure it out. But yeah, there are shortcuts. When you already know how all these systems work, we do find that people there's like two or three different implementations. There's a script you put on a page or there's a post back URL that you can use. Well, not everybody understands why they should be using post back. Everybody should be using post back because that's a server side call. You're just passing everything from the front end to the server side and then letting the server make that communication when it knows something has actually occurred. We're at the browser and you do it with scripts which used to be iframes and image pixels and things like that. But the third party cookies and all that blocking those are very unadvisable to use anymore. But you can use that JavaScript which I don't want to be too technical.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, yeah. But your point is valid. Like, yeah, okay, after we run that, open up Google oh man, what were you saying? The server tracking, your, the affiliates with, post back. The most sophisticated affiliates out there that are gonna make the biggest difference are gonna want to post back, and if you don't have that set up, they will go on to the next program. And I've come across this too many times to count. And Is that one of those common pain points that you're seeing with merchants that that don't have to set up properly?

Dave Zaron:

Yes, it is. The lack of setup is is common. It's actually much more common than I thought it would be, like that I'm finding, but it's. But there's so many different levels to how to implement that. Based on what card are you using or using it? You know, something like Shopify works a little bit more closed. Well, then you have to kind of turn to depending on what affiliate tracking system you're using. Do they have an app to integrate with that? Or like, just as an example ever flow? They integrate very nice of Shopify, but it's probably the only one.

Dave Zaron:

There is a reversion, but I don't recommend that one to many people. No offense, it's just not my. My style is more about influencer. I believe it's better influencer Anyway. So I Probably talk for the next three hours about tracking implementations really good.

Dave Zaron:

So try to think of the best way to summarize this in as few words as possible.

Dave Zaron:

It's really all about understanding how that flow of the data is supposed to work, and if you understand that, then you're good to go, because then you can make any type of integration work.

Dave Zaron:

You know, when you're working with something like click funnels, you really don't have the opportunity to do a lot of server side, because the only thing that you get out of that is they land on a page and then you can get a there's no way open API unless you go to 2.0.

Dave Zaron:

But I'm not going to start talking about my opinion about any of those things, but I will say that unless you're doing 2.0, then you have no insights to the back end of what's going on. So you can't really do anything server side. So you have to kind of make shift it on the client side and then just more and more work. And you know client side coding like JavaScript, to make those things work the way that they need to, and there's a lot more opportunity for For errors, because you can't go back and check and make sure it was fired, you can't make sure certain things, so the things slip, do the crack a little bit further. So it really depends on what their technology stack is and how they're implementing it, and you know that all kind of comes down to their budget.

Dave Zaron:

So the bigger guys were using there's some big guys using click files, which you know they just see it as, oh, this is easy. But you know it's really not. It's costing you in a lot of other places. So you know but that's just from limitations that they have the ability to access certain kind of data through it. So you know it doesn't mean that you can't be successful with it. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that when we run into a lot of problems, you know Technologies that they're using and that's another thing that we do is we look at, like, what softwares are using. You know You're a. You know $50 million, your company. Why are you using this? You know, yeah, yeah, you know five texts. You know why are you using this? There's a lot of that that goes on too, because usually there's a lot of. There's, like you know, the, the tracking problems, a leaf on a tree, so we have to look at the tree to make sure the trees not dying, okay, oh, yeah, what is?

Dustin Howes:

What's your favorite tech stack? Like it. A client comes to you and has some issues like, yes, go high level. Super excited about like digging into this.

Dave Zaron:

Sure, it really depends on the situation. Besides the budget, everything else, you know somebody's starting out. They don't really have a lot of those. You're trying to build a program, something like the funnels, is great because you know they don't have to spend a lot of money on on People like me to build and design or design those funnels. They're able to implement them. And when you're doing a little bit like when you have one affiliate, obviously you know who's sending that traffic. You know so. But then also if you're doing other types of tracking, then you know clients.

Dave Zaron:

I tracking can be effective for that, you know, for lower, lower volume of clicks and lower volume of Sales and things like that. When it starts to come to the heavier stuff, I always recommend some kind of headless CRM or OMS order management system, especially for your, for your sales models. I mean shop buys great for e-commerce stores. It's hard to say anything negative about shop buying, what they're doing in e-commerce space. As far as shopping carts are concerned, I do not like them for sales funnels, mostly because You're restricted in their cart and that's and there's check out and three step check out. Is it always the the way that you want to do it, especially on sales funnels. You want to. You know the one click, one page checkout is very, still very popular and it converts very well, but then so you need something headless, something where you can kind of control flow that data. You need some. You need a good affiliate tracking system. You need a good implementation.

Dave Zaron:

Personally, I like ever flow a lot. I like to tune. Tune does a good job. You know like they've gotten really big, so they're they're. Their infrastructure is so spread out that you know there's a huge delay from when something happens to when you see it. But other than that it's a very good system. I've been using it for six, seven, eight years probably. I think 2014 or 15 is when I started working with you, so it's a good system as well. Those are probably my tops.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, I mean it's funny that you're picking networks that are like the traditional big ones like a CJ or an impact either, and I like that aspect of it. I mean, if you try to take a good affiliate off of cake, they will kick and scream Like they do not want to leave cake because they know and trust the people that are there. They do not want to leave cake because they know and trust that platform for what they do. Tune is incredible with mobile Everflow. I think it's an incredible solution as well for what you're speaking about, and Amber is like such a big fan of Everflow as well, and she's a big fan. I'm a big fan, so that is. That is funny.

Dave Zaron:

Well, yeah, things like you know, like impactcom is just, it's almost like an ecosystem more than just an affiliate tracker. So that's where it really depends on what your goals are. Because you know, if everything that you tell me fits within a model that I feel that impactcom would take care of for you, then sure I can make that suggestion. But nine times out of 10, it's not, you know, nine times out of 10,. A more modular approach makes more sense, just because then you have flexibility, because your flexibility to move between things, your flexibility of putting a data bridge in between those systems so that you can kind of own your data a little bit better. This one's that gets into you know, everflow, just as an example. You know they cash out a lot of emails if you are passing emails in. So that means that obviously you're going to catch those in your you know your, you know email responder, with whichever one you're using. There's so many of them but you're going to capture that information there.

Dave Zaron:

But most of the time you know we worked a lot of you know a lot of companies that push a lot of traffic and you know we don't always send the. It's hard to say, okay, I'm going to send this contact into Marcos, for example, or Klaviyo, or any of these other ones.

Dave Zaron:

And I'm going to associate with them an affiliate ID or a click ID. Well, you can't really do that, because the thing is is that those are typically custom fields that you stick in there, and that means that when this person gets added to another list from another affiliate, it's going to just overwrite that field. So you're never going to have a history of what's actually going on, unless you write some code that will actually create a new custom field for every single time that somebody comes in there.

Dustin Howes:

And that's just like a waste of resources.

Dave Zaron:

So you're better off having more contact with your data and, you know, setting up your own system that allows that data and pushes it out to the appropriate places. And that's a lot of what we do. There's a lot of bridges that's really what I call them, because it bridge all your systems together and then they give you some transparency to your actual into the activity that's going on yourself. So that bridge could have a dashboard, depending on if that's what you want. You want some visibility, then you can go in and see, you can create your own campaigns. There's all kinds of custom solutions that can be fit into something like that, or it doesn't have that. It just kind of controls the flow of data from there, you know, and there's other services that offer things like that.

Dave Zaron:

But we find that some clients that we run into just say you know what? We just can't find anything out there that like enough. And they come to us and we build something custom for them. We do that a lot as well. And then there's other times where we just implement you straight into out of the box type software. You know, get you done a Shopify 20 times and you know and. But like I had a great example of a Shopify store client. They had all their products were bundled. Every product was just a bundle of something.

Dave Zaron:

So, that Shopify doesn't. It can't, obviously you build a bundle of products, but it doesn't do that. When it's talking about the logistics side, where it's communicating with your, with your logistics or fulfillment and all that, it doesn't necessarily go over to them the way that they want it structured, because they don't want the bundle, they want to know each and every individual product and then they want to know what the quantity of each and every product is. So for this particular client who is dying to get off of this custom system that he had built for him to get on to Shopify, we're like well, we don't really see the value in it for you, just because of the complexity here. And these are the issues that we see, and we don't move into the shop bikes this way. One and I was fine, but we had to build a custom fulfillment bridge in between because there was no out of the box software that would handle the type of manipulation that he needed to get his bundle products over to his fulfillment successfully. So you know, there's always, there's always solution.

Dustin Howes:

I love the way your brain thinks. Like you know, coming up with that blueprint is always essential, and not staying like really strict to what you always believe in is super important. The flexibility with each client is always an important aspect of this. I love how passionate you are about this, man, but we have to wrap this up. We've only got a few minutes and before we get into closing parts, I want you to defend your posts here. I want to see what you've got going on. You have an awesome little D-Milify with Dave. I love this little segment you've got going on on LinkedIn. It's like eight part slides. This one was cross-selling and you explain what it is and like in great detail. I always thought cross-selling was something you did, like you know, after you put the kids to sleep, you sleep away, you slip, slip, jump into the bars and do your own thing, like. But tell me, what is the D-Mistify with Dave? Kind of thing.

Dave Zaron:

So really what I wanted to the whole thought process behind it was just to kind of clarify certain terms that are used widely that you know. When I look at them, I know exactly what they mean, and I found you had some discussions that some people don't know what they mean. So I just kind of wanted to number one, obviously, when I'm pretty new to the LinkedIn content creation. I'm very new to content creation altogether, as I said, didn't really have a website for a long time. Marketing is a newer thing for me, so this just seemed like a good opportunity to kind of talk about some of the knowledge that we have, that I have gained over time, and kind of talk about things that I feel people should be doing and should be aware of. And you know things like cross-selling are when it comes to AOD, which is really the bottom line for why I kind of came up, why I decided to go with cross-selling.

Dave Zaron:

there was average order value is something that everybody cares about you know I'd rather have a hundred dollar average order or, sorry, a 250 average order value than a 100. And cross-selling is kind of the key to this, because you already have a customer and, whether that's you upselling or order bumping, there's many different strategies when it comes to it. I mean, cross-selling could really be as simple as they put something in their carton and you make a suggestion. You do that very well, like, oh, use these 18 other courses.

Dustin Howes:

For sure, you do me a dozen.

Dave Zaron:

Yeah, so that's just another form of it. But what it's doing is that you've already captured somebody's attention. So it's the same reason why up-sailing is so effective because somebody's already given you their credit card number, somebody's already purchased your product. Now let's make a sensical offer to them for a product and give it to them perhaps, and a discount to make it more enticing for them to convert, and that just drives up your average order value because you're already paid to acquire that customer.

Dave Zaron:

So things like cross-selling are very important because, number one, they benefit your customer. Because, I mean, how many times have you gone to buy something at a grocery store for a recipe and kind of realize you forgot something else? Well, somebody suggested like, oh, you must be making buffalo mac and cheese. You also need buffalo sauce before you walk out the door. So you're like, oh, I totally forgot. So there is a lot of benefit to cross-selling that benefits your customers because, basically, and also there's things that there that would be very beneficial for them based on what they have purchased that they don't know- so yeah great.

Dave Zaron:

Powerful. Powerful for customers and powerful for companies.

Dustin Howes:

All right, go go check out demystify with Dave it's a great little segment he has and Go follow him on LinkedIn if you want to get that, those kinds of updates. So lastly, as we wrap this up, what kind of little clients are you looking for here, zerinology?

Dave Zaron:

sure I would say anyone that is selling anything online, we can help you. Okay, a lot of people you know, whether you have a tech team or you don't have a tech team, we offer a lot of benefit. You know, a lot of times we can kind of come in and and we're not really trying to overstep what your tech team has implemented. But, as you said, you know there are various skills and, yeah, I've been with some other people I've been speaking to recently.

Dave Zaron:

It's really hard to develop, to have a one-man show as your developer and get things done in a company, and we see a lot of one-man shows.

Dave Zaron:

When it comes to that, developers need to be managed and when they're not, they tend to go down radicals, and they go down a radical and spend eight hours on something you expected them to on. It's just because they're not being properly managed. So by not having that, by by not having four or five people in that team, you're doing yourself a disservice because you're not, you're gonna just end up with more tech debt and and less efficiency, as you Be as you scale. So for companies that are struggling the scale just because of technical issues, or companies that are Struggling to implement certain things that they want to implement because of those technical issues. Those are the perfect people for us, because if you have a pain point, even if you don't need us to come in and actually fix it, it'd be very helpful for your current tech team. We can come in and help them identify it and give them a blueprint so they can execute the fix a lot faster than they would on your own Fantastic.

Dustin Howes:

All right, dave, you're a wealth of knowledge. I really think you should be a part of the PMA if you are not yet. I'm a big fan of this community and Everybody in that community are having some kind of tracking issues that they could use your help with and you could be that go-to Solution. Really think you should take a look at it. I'll share a link with you a little bit later. Yeah, but really appreciate time and your knowledge here. My guests next week gonna be Adam Weiss and Chuck Amric. If you would like to be a guest, hit this QR code up here, go to dustinhousecom slash nerd and be a part of this. And, lastly, if you want a free 15 minute call with me to talk about anything Affiliate need any help at all, go to dustinhousecom Slash pod and I'm gonna point you in the right direction. Awesome, dave, appreciate your time. Thanks for being here and we'll see you out there. Awesome, take care, man you too, you.

Affiliate Nerd Out
Xeronology and Company Background
Building Campaigns and Troubleshooting Tech
Troubleshooting Tracking Systems for Affiliates
Technology Solutions for Successful Affiliate Marketing
Understanding Cross-Selling and Its Benefits