Wow! Where to start...
It appears that our restructuring has been greatly misunderstood. It is in no way meant to "harm" our affiliates. Our affiliates have been great to work with.
The main reason these changes became necessary is because an executive at Oreck was spammed by one of our affiliates. Not knowing the details of our affiliate program, the question was immediately raised:
"What kind of damage can be done to our strong brand by affiliates?"
"Is maintaining an affiliate program worth running the risk of negatively affecting the brand?"
Needless to say, with these questions being asked, the whole future of the program was in jeapordy. In order to "save" the program, some pretty drastic steps were deemed necessary.
It was decided that the best way to protect the brand was to establish solid relationships with our affiliates and have them commit to protecting the brand. The plan to give the program a fresh start was derived and questioning it is welcome, because that's part of communication. I knew the decision wouldn't be terribly popular with some, but figured that if we explained things, then it would be generally well accepted.
The first few responses to my e-mail were emotional and similar to some of the posts I'm seeing here. After the first few e-mails came through, I started seeing more understanding and cooperative messages. My message to both the emotional and cooperative affiliates has been the same.
"If you haven't made any sales but have put considerable effort into promoting Oreck.com, and feel you have a legitimate reason to remain active, then please let me know and we will not deactivate you. We're happy that you are communicating with us and look forward to a successful partnership."
I would like everyone to know that the restructuring was decided upon by a number of different entities as the best way to protect Oreck's brand name and keep the affiliate program viable.
As always, I invite phone calls, e-mails or any other means of communication. I would be happy to go into as much detail as possible.
I know what it's like to be an affiliate and have felt that with some advertisers there was no one listening to affiliates. I can assure you that I will listen and help in any way I can.
I'm sure there will be more posts and hopefully more communications by other means. I welcome these, and hope that we haven't ticked too many people off.
A lot of money can still be made with our program and I hope to continually improve the program so that affiliates can make even more.
Now, to address individual posts....
-E-mail is OK, but 3rd party e-mail is sub-par
-Expiring inactive affiliates was decided as the best way to protect the brand. Affiliates who communicate valid reasons for not being deactivated will be kept active. Others can always do a search and replace on the PID
in their indexed pages.
-Micro-management is not the goal. Commitments to protect the brand and solid communication is.
-I hope everything mentioned above gives a better definition. Again, it's all about protecting the brand and communicating.
-My not caring about affiliates time and effort is untrue. Believe me, I understand the time and effort involved. I'm not trying to be anybody's "boss". I'm just trying to keep a vibrant program alive and kicking.
-I've explained this to you, before. Cash back sites are a channel conflict because customers can assume the cash back offers can be applied offline as well as on. They can't.
-Just give me your PID
and I'll make sure all your hard work wasn't a waste of your time.
-As for communication, I include all of my contact information in every message that goes out from Oreck's affiliate program. It was there when you signed up and in all messages sent since. Hopefully, after the restructuring, no one will doubt that there is a "real person" here.
Good luck with this. I know the reseller you're thinking of and you'll soon see that the math is not in the affiliates favor. Please do the math, because that's how the money is made.
-If only it was a simple case of greed. As you've seen, it's a bit more complex than that.
-I would hope that you don't drop us based on not knowing all the facts. You can bet that if it weren't a conflict of interest I'd be making a ton of money off this program. You even posted the EPCs.
-Expiring (zero sales) accounts older than 1 or 2 months may have been a workable approach. However, the offer still stands for any affiliate who has put significant time and effort into promoting Oreck to contact me with their PID
to remain active.
-Congrats on being spidered by Google. You have a couple of options. Send your PID
for exclusion from the expiring or re-apply and switch your new PID
for your old one.
-No, there is no minimum amount of sales. Any affiliate who has made a sale will be excluded from being expired.
-Posting on Friday was not done on purpose. Just happened that way.
-Bidding against advertisers for their trademarked terms in PPC
search engines is an interesting philosophical discussion to have. I'd be happy to share how much fun it was to even get buy-in on allowing affiliates to even play in this space.
-Adding this program to the clueless affilate manager list ----- Priceless
Hope this helps. Looking forward to keeping the dialogue going.
Affiliate Relationship Manager