AWE 2017 Interview Series: Emanuel Cinca

Affiliate Marketing is as complex as it’s always been.

You always need the help of some super enlightened folks to guide you through.

That’s what Emanuel Cinca, Head of Business Operations of STM, is able to provide every single day to thousands of eager affiliate marketers from all over this green earth.

Emanuel is also the owner of Adefy, a performance marketing company that specializes in digital media buying, consulting services and ad creation.

We met this cool customer at Affiliate World Europe and of course we had to chat with him!

Ready to watch the video of our awesome chat?

Go for it!

Don’t feel like watching it?

Prefer reading this phenomenally informative content, instead?

Check it out, then!

Emanuel Cinca Interview at AWE 2017

1. Tell us About Yourself

First of all, thanks for having me.

I’ve been in the industry for two years now.

A bit over two years.

It was a very specific date:

May 1st 2015.

Before that, I had a few projects.

Typical startup projects.

One of them was involved in mobile advertising so I had a good idea about how traffic works.

Other background:

I’m a University dropout twice.

At one time, Technology, at another Business.

I have an interest in Technology and Business but I never went through the whole University thing.


I find the Affiliate Industry quite interesting because I think it also brings both of those two sides together very well.

It’s a very meritocratic environment.

I’m excited about what we can do in the future.

2. What is the Most Common Thing Affiliates Struggle With?

The most common struggle that is brought up on STM has to do with tracking their campaigns, to be honest.

If you come from a non-technical background, it’s not so easy to understand how information flows back and forth so that you see all the data.

I think that’s the one thing that they cannot overcome, aside from just learning.

We try our best to provide tutorials and the tools.

I see that they provide a lot of tutorials themselves.

It’s unavoidable to learn the tracking because the affiliate industry…its main focus is the performance.

You need to learn how to read and create the correct data.

3. Is There Still a Place for Beginners in Affiliate Marketing?

I would say there is.

There’s always room for new people that come out with different ideas.

There are people who go out of the industry, for instance.

I think it’s always a cycle.

People go in and out of the industry and there’s always room for people to provide more value.

I don’t think it’s much different from the car industry, when you think about it.

Let’s think about the car industry 50 years ago.

classic cars

That’s kind of probably the state of the affiliate marketing industry now.

It’s so new that saying that there is no space for newbies would be quite a pessimistic view of it.

I would say:


4. Verticals and Strategies to Succeed in Affiliate Marketing

I would be a bit biased.

The main thing to understand with this sort of question is that every affiliate would probably answer that they would start with something that they used to do already.

I started out with mobile offers, a lot of App Installs.

I would say that those made a lot of sense then.

Now, I would say either Mobile Traffic with CPA or CPI offers or CPL lead generation.

But also it’s getting easier and easier to also start with Shopify Ecommerce.

I think that – depending on what sort of background the affiliate has – they should think it through, if they want to go mobile or Shopify, Drop Shipping, Facebook Advertising and that Ecommerce route.

5. “Zero to 100 – All You Need to Know to Start Making Money in Affiliate Marketing.” Tell us About Your Ebook

That was a side project of mine.

I was curious about how I could structure all my knowledge to introduce for example – if I hire someone to do media buying for our affiliate campaigns – how will I teach them.

So that’s how the project came to be.

The industry moves so quickly and – to be fair – the basic advice such as how funnels look like and what you should pay attention to…those still apply, of course but the advice of “do exactly this”, that’s definitely questionable, the industry moves too quickly.

I would say that it’s an interesting read if someone wants to check my thoughts.

person reading

Maybe my thoughts almost a year ago.

And compare to what I write now on STM, for example.

It was just a purely fun side project for me.

6. From Poker Into the Affiliate Industry

Poker came before startups and then the affiliate industry was after the startups.

While I was at University (and dropping out of University) I also played some poker.

I also was coaching a poker community that’s kind of the equivalent of the STM forum now.

I have some teaching experience.

The main thing with poker was that it let me learn how to read data.

person playing poker

It was a lot of judging numbers on a screen and taking action based on that instead of…not this whole Hollywood type of thing, where you look someone in the eye and know if they’re bluffing.

It’s a lot of data-oriented decisions.

7. Does Playing Poker Help You in This Business?

I think so.

The main thing that I would say is that there’s an edge coming from poker directly.

The edge is the ability to desensitize yourself from money.

You don’t make emotional decisions based on numbers on the screen.

Then you can take that calculated risk and usually make more profitable decisions when it comes to your campaigns.

I actually wrote a small series on STM about how playing online poker connects to running affiliate marketing campaigns.

If someone wants to check those out there, they can be my guest.

8. Biggest Mistakes of Tracking and Optimization

It’s a very personal opinion and I know a lot of affiliates that don’t share it but first and foremost, they’re too paranoid about the fact that the tool they’re using is not self-hosted.

I’m a huge fan of software as a service and I think they should just use the solutions that are click and go and start tracking their campaigns properly – no technical background needed.

Learn how to analyze the data and focus on the skills of an affiliate instead of being a coder, installing, setting up servers, installing software on that server, making sure that updates don’t break whatever tracking you have now.

That’s the tracking part.

In terms of optimization, it’s that they are not so aware of statistical significance.

It comes back to the mindset and desensitizing yourself from money because if you focus purely on statistics and data, you should not have too many questionable decisions.

A lot of affiliates start with low budgets and then they are very risk-averse.

But the correct decision is to follow the data and not care about the risk aversion part of it.

Don’t quit early because you feel bad about it.

You have to make sure that you spend as much money as you need.

Not more than needed but definitely as much as needed so you can get the data.

Another mistake:

A lot of affiliates are very scared and they stop everything early.

9. Strategies that Work Best in Affiliate Marketing

That’s actually not so easy to answer.

I think it depends on your goals.

A lot of affiliates are very happy with being a solo entrepreneur, running their own campaigns.

And that strategy can work pretty well.

But you have to remember that the main thing is:

Even if you’re working alone, you have to network.

You have to come to these conferences, connect with people at all these affiliate events and conferences, afterparties.

Don’t stop at the conference.

Go to all the afterparties.

My advice would be not to get too drunk so that you can make sure to remember the things that you discussed.

I think the strategy is to learn from the others.

Everyone is very open if you show that you are a hard worker and that you can provide value to them at some point.

They will open up to you as well.

The secrets are not so well-kept, let’s say.

Network with people and then you’ll figure out your own path, whether you want to be a solo entrepreneur, build a team, start a product.


Whatever you want to do, you have to gain the knowledge from the crowd.

10. Affiliate Marketing Trends

I think Ecommerce, CPA Facebook…so promoting products on Facebook.

Mostly Shopify, because it’s easy to go and to start off with.

It’s very clear now.

We’re in the middle of the year and it’s picking now, even more and more.

11. Future Opportunities in Affiliate Marketing

There’s always things you can improve.

I’m not sure how easily an affiliate can get into them if they haven’t been in the industry.

There are many inefficiencies when it comes to how traffic is bought and sold.

Bot traffic – at least for mobile devices – is clearly an issue.

Related: What is Affiliate Fraud? The Definitive Guide for Marketers

It’s sometimes priced in, and sometimes it’s not.

Having fewer bots would probably correct the price.

Then…how people interact with each other.

I think getting more of an idea about the so-called EQ, instead of IQ.

The emotional side of things will help people interact better and that’s a very personal thing.

It’s not like an opportunity where you can build a product but just learning how to be a more social person, even if you’re an introvert, will help you a lot.

I think that’s it:

One very human side of things and a more technical side of things.

12. How Do You See Mobidea?

I think Mobidea is doing a very good job taking people from a newbie level and offering them tools and opportunities to be big affiliates.

You mostly have networks that you can put in tiers:

There’s one network for newbies, one for advanced and then there’s direct advertiser.

Mobidea seems to do a very good job at being at all levels there.

I think that it’s interesting to see how you guys are gonna develop over time.

Mobidea goes through all the layers.

It seems to be doing a good job.

One thing that I like a lot about you guys is that – you can correct me if I’m mistaken; if something changed – but I like the fact that, for example, you provide daily payments at a very low threshold and that helps a lot of new people who struggle with the cash flow.

That’s just amazing, I think.

Most networks cannot do that so you’re doing something that you’re keeping secret and not telling others how!

13. What Do You Think of Mobidea’s New Affiliate Tracker Software Capabilities?

It’s a very good opportunity and a very interesting tool.

It all depends on how you continue to develop it.

I’m a very big proponent of performance in terms of technical performance.

I would expect that such a tool would make the whole redirect chain much faster because it’s integrated within your own platform.

And of course, there’s access to more data because then you can feed certain…it helps with the automation and optimization of campaigns.

I’m quite curious with how you do both on the performance side of things.

How do you improve performance without having so many redirects, if you’re using another tool that basically takes you out and then takes you back into the affiliate flow.

And also what sort of auto-optimization tools like that, because that…like I said bots might be a big issue to begin with but if you can automatically optimize that, the bot traffic is gonna be priced in much better.

You care much less about it.

You still care because it affects your infrastructure and you have costs but it’s more manageable for the affiliate, in that case.

14. Future Plans

Personal plans?

Not so many.

But I can say that there’s gonna be some STM forum plans in the making and it’s gonna be…we’re gonna follow the trends and there are gonna be some surprises coming around.

I cannot say exactly what.

Follow our Facebook page and everything and see.

It’s gonna be a good time to jump in and learn affiliate marketing.

Cheers, Emanuel!

It was a privilege to have had the chance of meeting you!

Keep paying attention to this amazing Mobidea Academy Affiliate World Europe Interview Series because we’ve got more awesome videos for you to check!