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GRIPE: Terminated Due to Inactivity

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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Mansfield, TX
Posts: 16,135
When I see a merchant whose affiliate program I think I might want to promote in the future, I sign up. I have a backlog of several hundred merchants. Some I may never promote. With others, it may be weeks, months, or years before I get around to adding them. Sometimes they have a great promotion come through and they get added right away. I add the ones I think have the most potential.

Lately, I've had several merchants (including some who BEGGED me to join their programs) terminate me for inactivity. I had one specifically tell me that they could only have so many affiliates. That's hogwash. Don't throw away your opportunities by terminating inactive affiliates.

I'd love to hear from merchants. Is there really any VALID reason to terminate inactive affiliates? I don't see that it costs you a thing to keep them.

Michael Coley
Affiliate Manager
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 1,056
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I'd love to hear from merchants. Is there really any VALID reason to terminate inactive affiliates? I don't see that it costs you a thing to keep them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> None that I can think of... maybe server space, if they are on an indie. I dunno...

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Chet Brzezinski
eVitamins Affiliate Manager
ICQ: 296837976
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,026
Michael, was there a shoe merchant from LS?
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Affiliate Miester
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: far far away....
Posts: 2,161
I agree that terminating affiliates is a dicey subject...

just today I got 2 emails from merchants telling me i was terminated...

these merchants were to be used on a website i am currently building... guess i'll find replacements...

I think sometimes merchants do not realize that it may take a while before an affiliate will do something...

the real problem for merchants is that 98% of all affiliates will never create a single lead... so some merchants look at how much disk space is being consumed by "deadbeat" affiliates and they want to clean out the barn...


And, that's the bottom line because it's my2cents!
ABW Veteran
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 6,788
I ask that question long time ago to a merchant and they reply that the had too many inactive affiliates and that they wanted to be able to concentrate only on active affiliates because many joined their programs just to buy for themselves at a lower price and never intended to promote the products.

I too sign up when I see a merchant program I think I might want to promote but, when I sign up and then I get that box that says, (pending application) then I move to the next one and by the time the reply (welcome to our program) reach my inbox, I probably have another merchant listed on that page and just leave the newly aproved in the reserve list. Some time I get the new links, some time I just forget they are in my to-do list.


<span style="background: navy"><font color="yellow">I am the master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul. -- W. E. Henley.</font></span>
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Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: U.S.A
Posts: 2,777
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Hello MichaelColey,

I agree an email simply stating 'due to inactivity of your account you are hereby notified that your affiliation with our program has been terminated' is a little harsh.

It is far better to send a first an inquiry as to how they can assist the affiliate in creating sales. If no reply, then terminate.

Yes, it does cost money to have affiliates. How you might ask? When you have a large base of affiliates you should always scan these affiliates site for compliance of promotion offers on their Web sites, adwords, etc.

Time = money .. that is most likely the definition of what this merchant meant by "I can only have X many affiliates in the program". If this is a 1-3 person service .. hundreds of affiliate sites can cause 1 person to be solely dedicated to compliance scanning.

My 2 cents anway.

Ray Thomas
DesignerWiz.com CEO
Development Resource & Javascript Public Archive Center
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Mama in Charge
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,780
I know of a few sites that were dumped by Disney this week, and I personally know those sites work their buns off to keep very nice updates on Disney.. ugh! Seems like getting the name out is an advantage to merchants even if sales are low... ugh, free advertising!

It pays to be clever
The slot machine that IS paid!
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Small Town in Tennessee
Posts: 5,223
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Hey! I'M one of the sites that Disney dumped yesterday! It was an annonymous email (no contact info whatsoever) and it didn't state a reason other than the disclaimer "merchants are allowed to do whatever they want for whatever reason they choose" Don't think it was inactivity - we sent them 2018 visitors last month. Maybe they wanted more!

My gripe is that I had to remove the disney links from every page on our websites - all 20,000 - and then upload the entire site to the server. Up 'till 2am working for free (there's no commissions in removing links!) for a reason I was never told.
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: in the PhillyBurbs!
Posts: 3,097
We've had a couple merchants threaten to terminate us, but we've contacted them and come to an understanding.

Can't speak to Disney. They rejected our site when we applied. So I guess it probably worked out for the better in the long run.

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ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Nunya, Business
Posts: 23,680
Yep, dropped me too. Wonder if Comcast will succeed in buying them.

I work in lounge pants
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,650
Threats are no fun, but if they threaten to terminate for inactivity, that gives you a chance to explain what your plans are.

If they drop without warning, that can be a real injustice in some cases. Bad news!

Good merchants COMMUNICATE.
Full Member
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 243
That's one of the great benefit of running an indie program...WE get to set the standards for our affiliates.

Frankly, the only affiliates I've terminated in the last 6 months are those that have violated the marketing restritcions portion of our affiliate agreement (i.e. spamming).


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ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,026
Disney dropped me too. Had a bunch of sales for them until December.

Then there was Footlocker today. Announcing that they will drop us after 16th.

My reply was like - I removed all your links already. (Takes me a few clicks to update my database). 0.16 return days and tiny commission rate which 1/3 of your competitors do not justfy to keep your links even until 16th.

I do not contact back nowadays for that tiny 5% commission.
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 3,219
Disney drops me every time they do the dropping thing. All my links are in a database so they cannot read them in the normal fashion, making it’s perceived as inactivity.

2 years having to contact them is a PITA. I will leave them dropped this time. WarnerBrothers does just as well.

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Affiliate Manager
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 739
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I only know two systems- CJ and our indie- but with both I have found it much more effective to keep the nonperformers. Some of my best affilaites are people that have taken their own sweet time getting around to getting the travel site up - I'd hate to squelch that. In cj- a merchant can easily "bucket" accounts- we simply keep the inactive ones in a separate bucket and check it frequently for anyone we can move to active- quick and easy.

Jessica Hutson
Senior Manager of Affiliate Relations/Development
Interactive Affiliate Network

A parasite free contract since June 2001
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Full Member
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 369

Personally the way that I manage programs I do not see the need to terminate an affiliate for that reason. However I have consulted briefly for some major retailers who were just looking for a few tips and a frequent question they had for me was regarding "quantity vs quality"...

Seems that some "higher ups" have the idea that their affiliate managers need to come in and "clean house" of "junk".

I am surprised that this certain merchant who deactivated you would deactivate YOU, a "super affiliate" obviously their manager doesn't know the affiliate pool very well.

Too bad for the merchant.

Lizabeth Sorensen
AIM: emerchantconsult

"Affiliate Program Management for Merchants"
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 641
Got dumped by Disney too yesterday.
That one, I wasn't the least bit upset about .
They did me a favor . To tell the truth, I've been stringing them along for the ride for no apparant reason whatsoever .

The ONE highly targeted category page that had a few "homemade" product links to them converted to just a few measly sales . They never made it past my "test" exposure level and/or proved themselves worthy of more links anyways .

Enough is enough . Disney had to go .

Those "other" merchants that will dump you before you even get a chance to promote them, annoy the heck out of me too. I wish they wouldn't do that .

You merchants know who you are ... Stop doing that !
Don't you know that patience is a virtue ?
notary sojac
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Central/Western NY State
Posts: 7,692
Disney had two affiliate programs, one of which was difficult to get into unless your domain name seemed right to them.

One of my indies has enough licensed Dizzney products that I don't miss them at all.

My gripe though is when any merchant cuts you off and then a few months later shows up in your network inventory without notice. I have to audit the lists against my actives almost every three months. It is too bad that when a merchant goes away, say in LinkShare, that you can't find a button to keep them away.

I earned something? Who screwed up?
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Web Ho - Design B!tch
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,040
Disney dumped me yesterday too.

Oh well, their loss.

"All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
"Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius
Intergalactic Trader
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 87
Guess I'm in good company: dumped by Disney. Probably inactivity.

I've only been doing this since November, so my sites are just barely getting on the radar. And of course like most other people doing this I signed up with every merchant under the sun and haven't had the time yet to get them all the attention they need.

The direction I'm headed in my marketing, I won't miss Disney at all. I got the same kind of termination from Coldwater Creek, but them I wanted to keep for a while longer so I just wrote back and asked to stay as an affiliate and they said okay. So if you want to stay with Disney, I'd say, write back and state your case.

ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,597
Me too. Dumped by Disney. Inactivity.

Joined them long ago, promoted them actively on for quite some time without any sales. I think I removed those links eventually.

Finally got dumped for inactivity.

Parasites are thieves. What are you going to do about it?
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Full Member
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 357
I also got dropped. They were a very small part of one site, so no big loss.

They did convert OK for what little I sent them though.

"Don't let yesterday take up to much of today."
Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 12,817
Count me in as Dumped by Disney.

It was only under severe duress that I ended up promoting them in the first place. (Snare merchants are always the last resort!) But I had accidentally optimized a page for [Licensed Character] Widgets, and was suddenly getting good traffic to the page. And when I went around to find a supplier for this particular thingy, Disney was the only one besides Catalog City that I could find that actually had both the item and an affiliate program!

They didn't bring in all that many sales, but I made more than I would have if I just had de-optimized the page from showing for that character.

Another merchant who sent me a drop notice today is one of the few CJ Ink merchants that's not in The Cartel. No loss there, but I did find it strange that they gave me more than the usual 7-day notice. I wonder if they're leaving CJ? Also I wonder what pages I was promoting them on...I know they're showing somewhere...

~Cheapskate merchants need not apply
ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Posts: 1,978
I too belong to the elite 'dumped-by-disney' club.

I sent the following reply this morning:

"Thank you for the notification.

If you want to know why I never promoted you it is because shortly after joining your program I discovered that you partner with parasitic affiliates who use BHO software to hijack affiliates' commissions at the point of sale.

If you are interested in more information on this, please visit:


If you ever reconsider your stance on this, I will consider promoting you through my websites.


Blah blah blah"
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ABW Ambassador
Join Date: January 18th, 2005
Location: Winterpeg, the Mosquito Capital of Canada
Posts: 2,299
I got dumped only with a notice of merchants have a right to blah blah blah
I sent them an e mail on how unprofessional the tone of the letter was. Of course they didn't reply to me wondering why.
If there is a problem let us know. To drop people as such is a total joke.
I am sure they will be more than happy to keep my money I have sitting in the account under the minimum. Sure glad I used that PPC money for x mas that converted squat!!!
A total joke as far as I am concerned. I will move on to a program that wants to work with people properly.


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