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STARTUP STAGE: Roame lets travelers search flights based on credit card points

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STARTUP STAGE: Roame lets travelers search flights based on credit card points

Roame

Roame is like Google Flights for award travel; it lets users search for flights based on credit card points/miles.

CEO and co-founder Tim Qin outlines Roame’s mission to help simplify redemptions for the 100 million people who have credit cards with points ready to use.

What is your 30-second pitch to investors?

Frequent travelers know the tricks of redeeming points/miles for award flights, but the average person does not. Even the most seasoned traveler spends hours searching for airline routes to redeem their points.

Roame is Google Flights for award travel. We let users search for flights based on credit card points/miles. And like Google, we distill information from every airline into one familiar search engine. 

Website

https://roame.travel/

Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.

We have built a system that takes public data, organizes it and offers it up for free for fellow travelers. Roame lets you search over 180 airlines (with more to come!) for the best flight redemption using points/miles in seconds.

We provide the core search engine free of charge and plan to pursue affiliate marketing for travel-related products.

Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company.

Strengths: We are an extremely lean team with an obsession for our product. Our company focuses primarily on user experiences and outcomes. Our proprietary algorithm delivers award flight results in mere seconds.

Weaknesses: We are a small startup with limited brand recognition.

Opportunities: Travel is a large market with more than 100 million credit card holders with under-utilized points. We want to simplify credit card redemptions for the average person.

Threats: Execution is key to our success in a competitive market with rapidly changing technology.

What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?

Our mission at Roame is to simplify credit card redemptions for the average person.

Over the last decade, the points and miles community has grown explosively. Now more than 100 million people have credit cards with points ready to use and an entire ecosystem has developed to teach others how to redeem their points to maximize value. However, even with such a supportive community, redeeming points can be extremely frustrating.

We all want to redeem that elusive first-class ticket on the cheap using our points, but searching the individual websites of multiple airlines is tedious. Most people just give up. The current technology services out there are slow, hidden behind paywalls and inaccurate.

Roame aims to help the points and miles community with a free, real-time, and easy-to-use search engine.

So you’ve got the product, now how will you get lots of customers?

First, we are focused on building our core award travel search engine and delighting our users. Our growth strategy is product-led, focusing on user outcomes and high retention.

In our first month, we powered over 50,000 searches. We have since grown tremendously just from viral word of mouth and earned media. In the future we may pursue partnership opportunities. 

Tell us what process you’ve gone through to establish a genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.

Initially, we were looking to solve our own problem of finding award flight redemptions, but after building Roame, we felt like we could help the broader points and miles community by offering a service.

We have interviewed and spoken with hundreds of users with an extremely positive reception to Roame. Our target market is the more than hundred million people who have unused points and miles.

How and when will you make money?

We provide the core search engine for free and plan to pursue affiliate marketing for travel-related products.

What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?

The founding team has a complementary background. Our CEO has a background in technology and finance, both as an investor and operator. He has over a decade of experience executing mergers and acquisitions and data-driven strategies within travel, technology and financial services.

Our CTO has a background in distributed systems at scale and artificial intelligence. He has led teams at top tech firms to scale out mission critical components.  

How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within your business?

We are very much committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. We are keenly aware of the differences in access and opportunities, especially when it comes to financial services. Our whole business is about accessibility – we realized that the point/miles system caters to the wealthy. By giving everyone free access to data, we level that playing field.

What’s been the most difficult part of founding the business so far?

At Roame, we are user-obsessed, so the toughest challenge has been choosing between user-requested features and focusing on our planned product roadmap.

Generally, travel startups face a tough time making an impact – so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?

We are solving an extremely tedious and painful task for consumers that could take hours and simplifying the process down to a simple click to search. The tremendous reception we have received now is just scratching the surface.

A year from now, what state do you think your startup will be in?

Roame will have scaled to 10 times our current size and continue to serve the points and miles community. Flights are just part of the equation for Roame. It took emerging technology for us to be the fastest in our field. With our technology, we look forward to tackling other data-intensive parts of consumer travel. 

What is your endgame (going public, acquisition, growing and staying private, etc.)?

We want to continue to be the lean company we are now – building a great product to delight our users. We aim to make deal-hunting fun, and we are open to all potential opportunities and partners in the future.

PhocusWire’s Startup Stage

PhocusWire profiles startups in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.

Phocuswright Europe 2023

Some of Europe’s smartest investors share their views on the state of startups and how to pick winners for travel’s next era.

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John Thornhills Ambassador Program Review: Unleashing Digital Prosperity

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In the realm of online marketing, the pursuit of high-ticket commissions has become a focal point for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Among the various programs available, the John Thornhills Ambassador Program stands out as a proven system that offers a pathway to substantial earnings. This comprehensive review will delve into the core components, benefits, and earning potential of Thornhill’s program. By the end, you will have a clear understanding of how this program can empower you to achieve digital prosperity.

Understanding the John Thornhills Ambassador Program

Designed by the seasoned digital product expert himself, John Thornhill’s Ambassador Program presents a unique opportunity to generate significant commissions. This high-end affiliate marketing initiative revolves around promoting Thornhill’s flagship programs, providing participants with the chance to earn up to $3,493 per high-ticket sale. Notably, the program also offers a 50% profit share from the sales generated by referrals, creating a two-pronged income source.

John Thornhills Ambassador Program Affiliate (credit: PR)
John Thornhills Ambassador Program Affiliate (credit: PR)

Click here and start earning your commissions without doing any selling >

Core Components of the Program

To fully comprehend the Ambassador Program, let’s dissect its three core components:

  1. High-Ticket Webinar Funnel: As an Ambassador, you gain access to a personalized high-ticket webinar funnel, allowing you to effectively promote Thornhill’s flagship programs.

  2. 50/50 Profit Share: Any sales generated by your referrals entitle you to a 50% profit share, further augmenting your income potential.

  3. Email List Building: Building and leveraging your email list, which you solely own, is a fundamental skill that you will acquire through this program. This skill will result in consistent monthly revenue.

Click here and start earning your commissions without doing any selling >

Benefits of the John Thornhills Ambassador Program

The Ambassador Program offers several distinct advantages that set it apart from other online marketing programs:

  1. Earning Potential: With the Ambassador Program, your earning potential is substantial. Not only do you receive significant commissions from high-ticket sales, but you also benefit from the sales generated by your referrals, creating a dual revenue stream.

  2. Second-Tier Profits: The program provides an opportunity to earn second-tier profits through the success of your recruited ambassadors. This mutually beneficial arrangement enhances your overall income potential.

  3. Email List Building: Effective email list building is a critical aspect of online business. The Ambassador Program equips you with the skills to build and monetize your list effectively, ensuring consistent monthly revenue.

  4. Fast-Mover Bonuses: As a testament to Thornhill’s confidence in his program, he offers Fast-Mover Bonuses to those who take swift action. These bonuses typically include additional resources and tools that can jumpstart your affiliate marketing efforts.

  5. The Guarantee: Thornhill’s commitment to the success of his program is evident through his guarantee. If you don’t earn at least $2,000 within your first 60 days, he pledges to work with you until you do.

Success Stories

Numerous success stories from beginners to seasoned marketers exemplify the program’s effectiveness. These stories serve as a testament to the potential that the Ambassador Program unlocks, showcasing the real opportunities it offers. The program has empowered individuals to achieve their financial goals and build thriving online businesses.

Joining the John Thornhills Ambassador Program

Joining the Ambassador Program is a straightforward process. Once you sign up, you gain access to all essential resources, including the high-ticket webinar funnel, promotional materials, and comprehensive training modules. This all-inclusive package provides you with everything you need to start earning high-ticket commissions.

Click here and start earning your commissions without doing any selling >

A Deeper Look into The Ambassador Program

To truly maximize the benefits of the Ambassador Program, it is important to delve into its various aspects:

The Training

The program’s comprehensive training serves as the cornerstone of your success. It guides you through every step, from setting up your webinar funnel to driving traffic to your site, ensuring that you have the knowledge and tools necessary for success.

The Commission Model

The Ambassador Program employs a unique two-tiered commission model that allows you to earn from both your sales and the sales made by your recruited affiliates. This model enhances your income potential and provides additional revenue streams.

The Benefits of High-Ticket Commissions

Focusing on high-ticket items has the power to transform your income potential. Selling high-ticket items translates to higher commissions per sale, potentially catapulting your income to new heights.

 John Thornhills Ambassador Program Commission (credit: PR)
John Thornhills Ambassador Program Commission (credit: PR)

Click here and start earning your commissions without doing any selling >

Making the Most of The Ambassador Program

To truly capitalize on the Ambassador Program, you must take action and implement what you learn. While Thornhill provides the tools, resources, and knowledge, it is your commitment to applying them that will drive your success. The program offers several strategies to help you make the most of your journey:

Networking and Collaborations

The Ambassador Program is not solely about selling; it also emphasizes building valuable relationships. Networking with fellow ambassadors can lead to collaborations, idea sharing, and more commission opportunities. By fostering connections and engaging with the community, you open doors to new possibilities.

Continual Learning

In the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape, continuous learning is essential. The Ambassador Program provides consistent support and updates, ensuring that you stay ahead of the curve. By staying informed about industry trends and implementing new strategies, you can maintain a competitive edge.

The Power of Thornhill’s Proven Funnels

Leveraging Thornhill’s proven funnels is a game-changer. When you join the Ambassador Program, you gain access to his tried-and-tested strategies that have generated millions in sales. By utilizing these proven funnels, you eliminate the guesswork from your marketing efforts and increase your chances of success.

Click here and start earning your commissions without doing any selling >

Top 10 John Thornhill’s Ambassador Program FAQs:

1. What is the John Thornhill Ambassador Program?

The John Thornhill Ambassador Program is a program designed to help individuals build a profitable online business leveraging John Thornhill’s affiliate marketing resources and strategies.

2. Who is John Thornhill?

John Thornhill is an entrepreneur and online marketer known for his expertise in affiliate marketing and digital product creation. He has built a successful online empire and aims to empower others through his programs and courses.

3. What are the benefits of joining the program?

The program offers several benefits, including:

  • Access to John Thornhill’s proven affiliate marketing strategies and resources.
  • Done-for-you marketing materials and sales funnels.
  • Community support and mentorship from experienced online entrepreneurs.
  • Free training and resources on various online marketing topics.
  • Lifetime commissions on sales generated through your affiliate link.

4. Do I need any prior experience to join?

No, the program is designed for individuals of all experience levels, even those with no prior knowledge of online marketing.

5. How much time do I need to commit to the program?

The amount of time you need to commit will depend on your individual goals and desired level of success. However, the program recommends dedicating at least 10-15 hours per week to achieve significant results.

6. What are the payment options available?

The John Thornhill Ambassador Program offers three main payment options:

  • One-Time Payment: Pay the full program fee upfront through a secure online payment system for immediate access to the program’s resources. This option offers significant savings compared to monthly plans.
  • Flexible Payment Plans: Spread the cost over several months with convenient monthly installments. The program offers various plans with different durations and pricing. Choose the one that best fits your budget and financial situation.
  • Financing Options: Partner with third-party financing providers to extend your payment term and manage your cash flow. This option allows you to access the program and start generating income while making manageable monthly payments.

7. Is there a guarantee?

There is no money-back guarantee offered by the program. However, they offer a 30-day refund policy in case you are not satisfied with the program content.

8. What makes this program different from others?

The program emphasizes John Thornhill’s proven affiliate marketing strategies and provides access to his done-for-you marketing materials, which are designed to save participants time and effort. Additionally, the program offers personalized mentorship and support from experienced online entrepreneurs.

9. Who should consider joining this program?

This program is ideal for individuals who:

  • Want to learn proven affiliate marketing strategies from a successful entrepreneur.
  • Are looking for a step-by-step system to build a profitable online business.
  • Appreciate done-for-you marketing materials and resources.
  • Desire community support and mentorship.
  • Aim to earn lifetime commissions through affiliate marketing.

10. Where can I learn more about the program?

You can learn more about the John Thornhill Ambassador Program by visiting their website. They also offer free training sessions and webinars that provide further details about the program and its benefits.

Conclusion

In conclusion, John Thornhill’s Ambassador Program offers a comprehensive and proven model for earning high commissions online. With its focus on high-ticket products, a two-tiered commission structure, and proven funnels, it presents a compelling opportunity for anyone seeking substantial online income. Success in the program requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to apply what you learn. By leveraging the training, support, and mentorship provided, you can embark on a journey towards achieving digital prosperity.



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Revolutionising affiliate marketing in the era of influencers, ET BrandEquity

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Revolutionising affiliate marketing in the era of influencers, ET BrandEquity

Affiliate marketing spends in India are estimated to be Rs 2500 crore in FY 2023, constituting eight percent of the overall digital marketing spend, according to the State of Digital Marketing in India report. Despite the popularity of affiliate marketing, the model presents its own challenges, such as onboarding and managing affiliates, high commission fees, and vulnerability to fraudulent and malicious practices.

During a discussion at DigiPlus Fest 2023, marketers explored the evolving landscape of affiliate marketing and strategies to optimise return on investment (RoI). The session featured Nishant Jaiswal, VP – marketing, Zupee; Sachin Vashishtha, chief marketing officer, Paisabazaar, and was chaired by Saumya Jain, ETBrandEquity.com.

Essentially, affiliate marketing involves incentivizing affiliates with a commission or payout to drive a business action, such as a click or purchase. The practice began with blogs, websites, and email but has since expanded to include social media and e-commerce platforms.

Vashishtha observed that while affiliate marketing was one of the most profitable and RoI-positive ways for online businesses to grow, it didn’t take long for bad actors to leverage it for fraud. Affiliates with malicious intent began generating traffic for brands using any means necessary to earn a commission.

The practice started losing its appeal until the explosion of the creator economy and the rise of influencers. Additionally, improvements in technology and the emergence of attribution models like multi-touch attribution or view-through attribution started bringing transparency into the affiliate marketing model.

Jaiswal remarked that affiliate marketing in India is still nascent compared to global platforms, where many end publishers are not directly accessible to advertisers. He said, “With technology, many fraud-related concerns like click hijacking, app install hijacking, and click spam can be controlled by your mobile measurement partner (MMP) or attribution partner.”

However, despite technological advancements, brands still run the risk of being visible in an unsafe environment due to the way affiliate marketing models are structured. While advertisers primarily engage with larger affiliate networks, campaigns might be outsourced to smaller publishers, networks, and individuals, making it challenging to map where conversions are coming from. Additionally, smaller publishers or creators may create clickbait content or reach out to irrelevant audiences simply to drive traffic or act with malicious intent, harming the brand’s reputation.

Vashishtha stated, “You can go back to the affiliate network and ban the publisher, but it is still very difficult to work with the ecosystem the way it is now. We prefer to work with large publishers or content creators directly.”

By working directly with publishers or creators, brands can see how content gets created and deployed to generate conversions. Jaiswal suggested that brands could share a high volume of assets with affiliates directly to test their effectiveness and ensure that the brand positioning and messaging remain consistent.

While it is not entirely avoidable to discourage malicious activity, Jaiswal opined that assigning realistic key performance indicators (KPIs) while designing the campaign can automatically rule out any fraud from the equation. He said, “Marketers could leverage a combination of hard KPIs and soft KPIs, where soft KPIs can be click-to-conversion rate, sign-up-to-purchase rate, and hard KPIs could be cost-to-purchase or cost-to-sign-up.”

Affiliate marketing has its fair share of challenges; however, the ecosystem is continuously evolving. With new technologies like AI, affiliate marketing initiatives will become sharper and more targeted.

  • Published On Dec 9, 2023 at 05:03 PM IST

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Revolutionising affiliate marketing in the era of influencers ET BrandEquity

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First, AI came for Sports Illustrated. Soon, it will want to give you sports betting advice

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First, AI came for Sports Illustrated. Soon, it will want to give you sports betting advice

Open this photo in gallery:

Real Sports Bar and Grill in Toronto on Nov. 24, 2016.Glenn Lowson/The Globe and Mail

When Sports Illustrated was outed last week for its alleged use of generative AI to create online articles – and, even worse, for topping them with fake bylines and AI author headshots – readers of the legendary glossy were appalled and disappointed at how the mighty had fallen.

But there was one element of the story that largely got lost amid the outrage, and it hints at an even darker prospect of what lies ahead for sports media and fans.

The SI pieces in question were product reviews: Inoffensive rankings of say, seven brands of volleyballs, which included links to Amazon that a reader could click on if they suddenly felt the urge to take up the sport. So, not only was the editorial copy generated by fake people, it was actually fake editorial copy. It was real advertising.

The practice of peppering editorial content with commercial links – known in the business as affiliate marketing – is a mainstay of Internet advertising, from movie reviews that direct readers to online ticketing sites, to podcasters and TikTok influencers giving out discount codes for listeners or viewers to buy merch from specific retailers.

But affiliate marketing has exploded in recent years in one notorious segment of the industry – sports betting, and its gush of ad dollars that are falling on a desperate media sector like rain on a parched prairie.

Affiliate sites that funnel new customers to online gambling operators are raking in the cash because of a quirk in that segment of the business – and they’re doing it on the backs of those new bettors.

In the spring of 2021, the Canadian sports media startup Playmaker Capital went public on the TSX Venture Exchange and quickly began scooping up digital properties with large followings that the company believed could be converted to bettors. When I interviewed Playmaker’s CEO, Jordan Gnat, shortly after shares began trading, he said he wanted to be in “the fan monetization business.”

There were tens of millions to monetize. The company began by buying soccer-focused sites in Latin America such as Bolavip, which targeted fans in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Central America and the United States, then expanded into the English-language North American market with the newsletter publisher and aggregator Yardbarker. Here in Canada it bought The Nation Network, which operates the hockey fantasy site, Daily Faceoff, and the Quebec-based La Poche Bleue.

But last month, Playmaker went from the hunter to the hunted when Better Collective, an affiliate-marketing giant based in Denmark that Gnat had cited to me as an inspiration for his company, gobbled it up for about $260-million.

The flurry of activity is partly because affiliate marketers who funnel customers to sportsbooks are an entirely different beast. They’re not just making one-time commissions, as they would if they were helping to sell concert tickets or tennis racquets or fly traps. Instead, they get a percentage of the sportsbook’s net revenue made from any new bettor.

“Net revenue” is another term for “total lifetime losses by a new bettor.”

Forget the pennies that digital ads are infamous for bringing in. If a site converts a reader or listener or viewer into a regular gambler – that is, a regular loser – the payday can be hundreds of dollars or more.

Here’s where it might occur to you that the incentives for a site to give you good betting advice might clash with that same site’s incentive to get you to sign up with a sports book and then lose a lot of money.

You would not be wrong.

In the social-media industry, there’s a saying that if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. In the world of affiliate marketing, you are the product – the one that’s being sold to the sportsbooks. But boy, are you paying for it.

An academic paper published in January, 2020, in International Gambling Studies titled Affiliate Marketing of Sports Betting – A Cause for Concern? points out that many sites aren’t transparent about their duelling allegiances. It also notes that “people assign greater levels of trust to expert advice during decision-making tasks involving financial risk. This may be a particular concern for those who are just beginning to gamble upon sport, as they may be more inclined to rely on expert advice on bet choice due to their lack of experience.” Newbies may be especially susceptible, given that affiliates position themselves as being on the side of the bettor, when in fact they’re being paid by the sportsbook.

Which brings us full circle back to where we started. Generative AI is notoriously bad at a lot of things, including getting facts straight. But it’s very good at sounding confident, even as it bluffs its way through life.

And it’s about to use its charms to lull you into thinking you can beat the house.

Last May, Lloyd Danzig, the managing partner at the New York-based venture-capital company Sharp Alpha Advisors, noted in a piece for Sports Business Journal that publishers doing affiliate marketing for sportsbooks, “will soon leverage generative AI to instantly create thousands of SEO-optimized articles that discuss the current day’s calendar of games, betting trends, stories to follow, and sportsbook promotions. Pregame previews, postgame summaries, and highlight reels can be created on command without the use of specialized software or manual oversight. Articles, sportsbook reviews, and odds comparison pieces can be generated for any audience, with a fraction of the effort required from human writers.”

Think we’re already swamped with sports betting content? You haven’t seen anything yet.

Après ChatGPT, le déluge.

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