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Question: Transparency and how it affects your affiliate base.

 
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  #1  
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ABW Founder
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: New York
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Send a message via AIM to Haiko de Poel, Jr.
Question: Transparency and how it affects your affiliate base.

Kris,

Recently an OPM/low tier network was managing a program which was concurrently run on PFX, which is all fine, but a major problem arouse when that OPM firm solicited the PFX affiliates to offer them a better deal if they went in house with their low tier network. BTW, PFX found out on ABW, they had no idea this was happening.

Questions:

With the "added" transparency that PJN offers, do you feel that your affiliate base would be more likely to get such private offers from ethically lacking companies?

How would you/PJN preclude such action from happening?

And lastly ...

What actions would you/PJN have taken (realistically) if this had happened on your network?
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Haiko
The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli
  #2  
Old
Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: February 4th, 2007
Posts: 207
Haiko,

Thanks for this very thoughtful question.

It will be very interesting to get some feedback here from your other members based on Pepperjam Network's affiliate disclosure (transparency) / "we don't own it" policy versus how the other networks treat affiliate information.

Pepperjam Network discloses to advertisers affiliate information for all affiliates within our network, regardless of whether the affiliate has joined or not joined the advertiser's affiliate program.

In other words, we don't hold back on disclosing affiliate information to our advertiser's and we strongly believe we are doing the right thing (for affiliates and advertisers) with his policy.

Of course, since Pepperjam Network has a "we don't own it" policy it is very likely that advertisers will take advantage of it by attempting to use Pepperjam Network to grow their own internal programs.

This may come as a surprise to you, but we aren't overly concerned about this happening, even though we realize it will on some level.

One way we will attempt to minimize this is by carefully accepting advertisers into Pepperjam Network and once they are accepted providing them with exceptional technology and service.

The other way is through innovation (better technology, communication tools, incentives, etc.).

I strongly believe that networks such as Commission Junction, Linkshare, and Performics have committed a grave disservice to our industry over the last 10 years by taking the stance that they "own" the affiliates on their network.

As a result, these networks have always been very reluctant and protective about giving advertisers access to affiliate contact information (among other things) to the detriment of the advertiser, the affiliate, and the industry as a whole. This type of non-disclosure has stymed the growth of thousands upon thousands of potentially successful partnerships and has made it difficult, sometimes impossible for advertisers to control the integrity of their affiliate programs.

We built Pepperjam Network under the premise that improving affiliate transparency and providing better, more reliable forms of communication helps affiliates and advertisers equally.
  #3  
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Advertisers see affiliate information even if the affiliate hasn't joined their program? Is this opt in/opt out?
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  #4  
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"Pepperjam Network discloses to advertisers affiliate information for all affiliates within our network, regardless of whether the affiliate has joined or not joined the advertiser's affiliate program."

Oh, that's not good. I would bet, you could poll this, that most wouldn't want their info available to merchants they're not even affiliated with. Unless it's opt in, if it's automatic, you should rethink that.

And on a side note, this might be split into it's own question. Is PJ associated in any capacity with Jeff Molander? I heard him mentioned in a podcast as something positive but there were some issues with his Affiliate List awhile back. Just wanted to make sure.
  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperjam
Pepperjam Network discloses to advertisers affiliate information for all affiliates within our network, regardless of whether the affiliate has joined or not joined the advertiser's affiliate program.
You can't be serious? There is NO WAY I'll ever join PJN if that's the case.

What information do you share about affiliates? Their contact information? Their stats? Their web sites?

If I wanted hundreds (and perhaps thousands if you continue to grow) of merchants (most of which that I have no intention of ever working with) to have my contact information, see my stats, see my web sites, I would give it to them. I DON'T! If I have an interest with a merchant or a niche, I'll join their program. At that point, and at that point only, will I share my contact information with them.
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  #6  
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I assume OPMs allowed into the merchant back end? You make no mention of them, only merchants and affiliates.

OK so how about an unscrupulous OPM doing this activity or mass recruiting (spamming) or better yet going into the back end and selling your list of affiliates? Molander did something along these lines with his "affiliate list" - I can easily see the same happen with the PJN back end. I don't think "we don't own it" is the answer to preclude this activity, or is it?

Do you think affiliates are really cognizant that they are fully visible to merchants that they are not affiliated with? [No SS# but enough info]

You "don't own it", but it's someone's and if they don't know if it's out there, is it right to offer it unbenounced as a marketing tool named "transparency"?
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  #7  
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Affiliate Manager
Join Date: January 17th, 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperjam
I strongly believe that networks such as ......Performics have committed a grave disservice to our industry over the last 10 years by taking the stance that they "own" the affiliates on their network.

As a result, these networks have always been very reluctant and protective about giving advertisers access to affiliate contact information (among other things) to the detriment of the advertiser, the affiliate, and the industry as a whole. This type of non-disclosure has stymed the growth of thousands upon thousands of potentially successful partnerships and has made it difficult, sometimes impossible for advertisers to control the integrity of their affiliate programs.
In the case of PFX that is incorrect.

In the case of SAS that's correct.


.
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  #8  
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Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: February 4th, 2007
Posts: 207
PetsWarehouse,

BTW - I was unable to get the private message you attempted to send me.

I guess since my account doesn't have an status (since I'm a newbie) I can't read private messages.

Kris
  #9  
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The Jeff M. question. And the question if affiliates can opt out of having their info shown to advertisers they have no interest in. Thanks.
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  #10  
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Bob, in Shareasale *affiliates* have the *choice* to show you their contact information, from email to snail mail.

It's opt IN, not automatic.

Kris, this needs to be answered, and if it is automatic opt IN, that needs to be communicated to your affiliate base ASAP so they can chose to opt out or leave your network.
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  #11  
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Affiliate Network Rep
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Gang,

As part of Pepperjam Network's "Recruit Partners" feature the only information that the advertiser is given is the non-joined publishers name, company name, transparency score, Web site, company category, and disclosed promotional methods (i.e. coupon, blog, product feeds, etc.).

There is NO outside contact information given to the advertiser - only internal communication methods.

Thanks for expressing your concern.

Kris
  #12  
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The Jeff M. question. I really want to know.
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  #13  
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Join Date: March 25th, 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperjam

As part of Pepperjam Network's "Recruit Partners" feature the only information that the advertiser is given is the non-joined publishers name, company name, transparency score, Web site, company category, and disclosed promotional methods (i.e. coupon, blog, product feeds, etc.).
Can I ask why merchants who I have no intent on joining need this information? Is there some benefit to this for your company?

I read what you wrote but I'm still not understanding how this is helpful (for the affiliate), and in fact I find it rather invasive.

Sure it will help merchants find out how affiliates are promoting their competitors. Merchants and AM's might even be able to take ideas from one niche and use it in another.

How does this help me as an affiliate and how does this add to getting affiliates to trust you?

And as someone asked above is there a way to opt out of this?

Last edited by ProWebAddict; March 13th, 2008 at 04:34 PM. Reason: added more information
  #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperjam
Pepperjam Network discloses to advertisers affiliate information for all affiliates within our network, regardless of whether the affiliate has joined or not joined the advertiser's affiliate program.

In other words, we don't hold back on disclosing affiliate information to our advertiser's and we strongly believe we are doing the right thing (for affiliates and advertisers) with his policy.




As a result, these networks have always been very reluctant and protective about giving advertisers access to affiliate contact information (among other things) to the detriment of the advertiser, the affiliate, and the industry as a whole. This type of non-disclosure has stymed the growth of thousands upon thousands of potentially successful partnerships and has made it difficult, sometimes impossible for advertisers to control the integrity of their affiliate programs.

We built Pepperjam Network under the premise that improving affiliate transparency and providing better, more reliable forms of communication helps affiliates and advertisers equally.
That may look and sound good, but...

For example:

If the Pepperjam Network has 5,000 merchants already, but an affiliate decides to join the Pepperjam Network tomorrow because there is just one new merchant that the affiliate likes, would that means that the other 5,000 merchants would know that affiliate websites, and worse yet, those other 5,000 merchants would also have acces to that affiliate contact information?

< 5k possible extra emails...
  #15  
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Affiliate Manager
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I think Kris stated his merchant base is 175, not 5,000.

Also I recall him saying PJ has +-10,000 affiliates.
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  #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperjam
There is NO outside contact information given to the advertiser - only internal communication methods.
Ummm Kris ....

Here's the info on Shop at home select that I pulled down from the interface yesterday ...




I agree this system is VERY transparent - thus my question

NOTE:
1. Sorry to Chris Stroud and SaHS for this but I was given the account at PJN, I NEVER agreed to any terms, Brock Siegel set it up for me to test drive the system back in Jan but I'm pretty sure I will not have access to this account anymore.

2. I picked to display SAHS and not any of the other affiliates because they are publicly known, so it's not like only belcaro group had all this information, I could pick anyone, even some ABWers and see their info.
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Haiko
The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli
  #17  
Old
Affiliate Network Rep
Join Date: February 4th, 2007
Posts: 207
Check again.

You were using a test account (not LIVE).

I just had them refresh the test account we selectively and carefully handed out prior to launch to reflect our current system.

I encourage you to post the new screen since it demonstrates that indeed NO outside contact information is given to the advertiser.

I'd do it quickly bec/ I asked our quality team to terminate your test account because it is clearly being used as part of your fishing expedition here on ABW, which is outside of what it was intended.

Last edited by pepperjam; March 13th, 2008 at 05:35 PM. Reason: typo and clarification.
  #18  
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It was a plain merchant backend account - what a merchant sees.

No need for a new screenie, I'm sure we all know you've changed it, NOW.
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  #19  
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That is false.

To assume I'm lying is no better than PetsWarehouse claim yesterday that I must be a corporate fraud.

I notice that you often don't hold yourself to the same standards as you do your members, when and if you do randomly decide to enforce rules.
  #20  
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Send a message via AIM to Haiko de Poel, Jr.
What EXACTLY is false?

Don't think I assume anything ... I'm a straight shooter, you should have seen that by now, if you didn't know beforehand. I have no problem calling a spade a spade either.

Now, to call me a liar, that will get you nothing but trouble that, I can assure you. I'll advise you to proceed with extreme caution.

Every time I show an inconsistency (at least today) with what you write and what is reality you claim witch hunt or us attacking you ... why is that?? Do I have you locked up in a room without water and light and am forcing you to type these words that aren't consistent? Come on, your here on your own free will posting and answering ... what should I be a "YES MAN", join the affiliate program and write a damn testimonial? (No offense to any of the testimonial writers).
__________________
Continued Success,

Haiko
The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; March 13th, 2008 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Not a threat, just a point of information.
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