We’re pleased to announce that Azam Marketing is working with Jim Kinloch at Signature Gifts to manage the affiliate programs for Gone Digging and Historic Newspapers, two of the UK’s fastest-growing brands for personalised and unique gifts.

Jim KinlochThe affiliate programs have been available on the Webgains network since 2005, and we’re looking forward to assisting Jim and his terrific marketing team to grow them.

Having grown to discover he is one of the most ambitious and proactive marketing managers in the industry, we asked Jim to tell us about a typical day:

07:45am – The alarm goes off. I pretend it hasn’t happened and turn over… it doesn’t work. I rally my bones and get breakfast and a shower.

08:30 – I drive to work whilst a) admiring the autumnal Hertfordshire countryside, b) wondering when I’ll be able to buy an Alfa Romero Brera S, and c) trying to remember where I left that leaflet about Tai Chi in St. Albans.

08:45 – Arrive at work, make strong black coffee and log on to the PC. Read email and reply to a couple of affiliates who have featured GoneDigging in an offline publication. Chat with Sam, our in-house SEO guy, about the competitions currently running on our blog. Exchange banter with Tim, the top designer and pun-engine. Sip coffee and plough through more email including new sign-ups to our Facebook Fan Page, Tweet alerts and Google alerts on competitors.

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09:15 – A bit later than normal, I check our stats on Webgains and see that a lot of sales are coming through from voucher code sites. Sunday was a good day – I wonder whether this is just seasonal or whether our decision to increase affiliate commissions in the run up to Christmas has made our sales tiers more achievable? Historic Newspapers is also performing well through PPC.

GoneDigging are due to run more advertising in national newspapers and TV listing magazines later this week. With an email campaign due to go out as well, everything is looking positive.

10:00 – Paul, our PPC guy, arrives and we discuss our latest search campaigns. We also reflect briefly on October’s stats which saw our traffic percentage rise above one of our competitors for a full month for the first time.

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I ponder on the upcoming email sendout for our new range of Personalised Christmas Cards. We’re testing a full-length email with 14 gift spots against a smaller ‘post card’ version. My money is on the shorter version winning the A/B test.

11:22 – Call Nadeem at Azam Marketing and run through our current action points, including sponsoring affiliate competitions using our best selling personalised Football Club History Books. We also arrange where we’re going to meet tomorrow for an affiliate networking event.

I field a sales call from an email list provider touting for business before phoning David Vince, our Webgains Account Manager, to discuss affiliate recruitment.

13:00 – Rather promptly stop for lunch: a tasty salad made for my South Beach Diet regime followed by a short walk outside to get some fresh air.

13:32 – Return to desk refreshed and talk to Sam about picking the winner from over 500 entries in our blog competition. The winner receives a bottle of personalised Champagne, and two runners up get a choice of Daily Mirror spoof newspapers.

Spend the next couple of hours answering emails and reviewing some software to help our affiliate marketing efforts.

15:30 – Time for a black tea. I take 5 minutes to look at our Twitter streams. Nothing to re-tweet so far, so move on to looking at our dashboard of stats and a particular segment that has potential to grow next quarter.

15:44 – Check out the A4U forum for interesting blogs and forum posts. I contemplate offering some exclusive short-term offers to encourage sales. I’m pleased with the growth of the GoneDigging affiliate program since the start of October but there’s still a lot to do…

18:10 – Drive home in the dark. No countryside to look at, just the occasional burst of headlights. De-brief myself on the success of the day and what needs to be done tomorrow and the rest of the week. I make a mental note to write some more posts on the forums, promote the increased commissions for Christmas, and push the new Easy Content Units that we’ve made available.

Historic Newspapers

19:00 – Eat and wash up, followed by the news on TV.

20:00 – Answer an email from a writing friend. We’re both entering a comedy writing competition called the Sitcom Trials and are working on our scripts. This is our second attempt, having failed to get into the competition last year. I wonder why I keep entering these competitions when I never win, but remember that you have to keep plugging away…

23:00 – Time for bed; I seemed to have packed in a lot today. I dream about Alfa exhaust notes, my trousers being too big, giant coffee cups, Tai Chi in the kitchen and a fading memory.