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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    C'mon Merchants! It's NOT Rocket Science - aargh!
    I had well performing products that merchants dropped, so I swapped links to a merchant that had them - not a single sale.

    I resisted the urge to just drop them and send them a nasty email.

    I wrote a "professional email" (by Billy Kay standards) and actually asked the merchant for help or suggestions.

    From: [mailto:me]
    Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 5:53 AM
    To: affiliates
    Subject: HV- Affiliate Help

    Hi

    Can you help me?

    I sold a lot of doormats when the links went to PersonalizationMall. They dropped the items, I swapped the links to you... and in the past year... not a single sale. Not one.

    Ditto on the Noahs Ark afghan. It was probably my biggest seller thru ThingsRemembered. They dropped it, swapped to you, not a single sale.

    Are there any suprises affiliates should know about once a customer gets to your shopping cart? Ebates? A message that says "Save more by phoning in the order"? Anything? I've been unable to find any obvious problems.

    Here's links to some of your products. As you can see, I pre-sell the hec out of them. And make customers jump thru a lot of hoops before sending them to a merchant. So the fact that not a single click has been a sale is frustrating.

    [Links to several of my product pages were here]

    Regards,
    Billy
    Before I post the response, can I please get feedback that this was a straight forward "why do you think I'm not converting/do you have any suggestions" email... and nothing more

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Talking
    yup. almost. yup.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It looks like a decent email to me. Looking forward (in a twisted way) to seeing the response.

    Have you tried Ebay? The payouts aren't are good as most actual merchants, but they convert incredibly well.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    You were very to the point. You gave history, you gave the ability to check where their products links are. You left little for an AM to question, they have your stats and can check the number of hits you have sent.

    I am interested in the response you were given.

  5. #5
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I'd be on the phone to help you 30 seconds after I got this email. Of course, i also know what you're capable of. I wonder how well some programs know their affiliates. They may just see you as a zero sales guy. Who knows?

    I suspect we may all know once you post the response.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  6. #6
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolet
    I am interested in the response you were given.
    Same here BK. I've been tempted to send a few e-mails like this also, now I wish I had. The heck with that, I think I will. Maybe it's time merchants were held accountable for what happens when a visitor gets to their site. Screw this lack of transparency crap.

    Merchants, you better believe we're watchin'.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    I can't wait - you asked all the right questions. It seems it should have been easy for them to see you know what you're doing.

    Will this be the beginning of a new ABW annual award - Clueless?

  8. #8
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    Best presell for a post yet.
    cmon, cmon ... show us the response.




    At this point I'd probably pay for the ebook if you were to say, pay for my ebook to see the response.
    ================================================================
    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
    ================================================================

  9. #9
    Member
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    A very professional email, I thought. Straightforward and clear, polite and professional. It will be interesting to see the response.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    OK, post the response : )
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager Stephanie Harris's Avatar
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    Straightforward email and I liked that you provided the links so the AM could check out what you're talking about. Truthfully, an AM can get a lot of emails like this but are a surprisingly often from affiliates who talk a big game saying how well they do and how well they convert but when you go to their site, you see a banner farm or some other really disorganized, not well thought out site. And as AM, you wonder why they spent the time writing an email to you when they could have spent the time working on their site appearance or navigation. So that's just in defense of AMs and the kinds of obstacles we deal with on an everyday basis.

    My first instinct to an email like that would be to check out the links, see your page, think of any suggestions I can make off the top of my head as to where we could be better promoted, and see if there is anything the affiliate can do better on his end. And if all that checks out or if what I see on the affiliate end is up to snuff and couldn't be part of the conversion issue, try and circle back with the merchant team to figure out if conversion on these products is site-wide and if so, how we can improve the experience (or if I should just recommend other products that do better).

    Now I'm curious to see what response you received as well...
    Stephanie Harris
    Schaaf Consulting
    p/f: 323.386.2338
    AIM: stephschaafco
    www.schaafco.com | stephanie@schaafco.com
    Our Programs: Baby Catalog | Blue Bee | Constant Contact | CourseSmart | ForMeToCoupon | Homestead | InTheSwim | Ipsos Survey Panel | LightInTheBox.com | Moosejaw | Mrs. Prindables | Payless ShoeSource | simply youth ministry | SnagAJob.com | Specialty Pool Products

  12. #12
    Sara - NetShops's Avatar
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    Wow, as an AM I'd love to get more emails like that! It shows that you're making a concerted effort to really promote your merchants products and also draws attention to where there could be some very serious issues with their website. I'm eagerly awaiting the response!

  13. #13
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    I already know the response:

    Dear Billy:

    We have forgotten to turn on the magic tracking lever that enables your account to accrue commissions. You were sending us a lot of converting traffic and we appreciate your efforts. Be assured that these efforts are not in vain. We will have the lever turned on as soon as we get 3 more monkeys in here to balance on the wheeled office chair in an attempt to reach the lever.

    Of course, you understand since you are a top-notch affiliate, that we placed your lever at the very top. Understanding how this is the case, I'm sure you realize that this may take some time in order to gather a team to fix the problem. Please continue to promote us while we work on a solution. Thanks for your understanding.

    Mr. Monkey
    Monkey Management


  14. #14
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Sorry - was out of cigs - had to run to the minmart:

    Subject: Re: FW: HV- Affiliate Help (KMM340176I55L0KM)
    Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 16:15:55 -0500 (EST)
    From: LinkShare Internal - DS <something-pretty-hi-up-the-linksksahe-chain-of-command at Support.Linkshare.com>
    To: [me]

    Dear Billy,

    Thank you for your email!

    I have checked your sales on February and I show that there are
    actuallly sales on your account.

    Please check your Synergy Analytics and see the details of your sales
    for last month. You will find that these commissions are pending as we
    are still awaiting merchant payments for these.

    Kindly note that LinkShare invoices the Merchants in our Network for the
    commissions they owe to Affiliates. We cannot pay you until the
    Merchants have paid us.

    Please run a Merchant Payment History, located in the Payment Analysis
    section of Synergy Analytics. You can also click on a bar in the
    Invoice/Payment Summary graph to see when each Merchant has paid
    LinkShare.

    If you see Awaiting Merchant Payment in the Payment Report, we have not
    yet received the payment. When we receive it, the reports will be
    updated and you will be issued payment in the next payment batch.

    We do have a team of people who ensure that Merchants pay their invoices
    on time. If you wish to inquire about the delay, you can feel free to
    contact the Merchant directly. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Please note that in order access this you must be logged into Synergy
    Analytics.

    Thank you for contacting LinkShare!

    "I won't embarras him by saying his name"
    LinkShare.com Affiliate Support

  15. #15
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    !. I contacted HomeVisions - does this mean there's no affiliate manager there?

    2. They say I made sales... here's the last YEAR:

    HomeVisions.com 72 75 104.17% 0 0 0 0.00% $0.00 $0.00

    all I see is goose eggs!

    3. This email sounds like I asked "The merchant hasn't paid their affiliates since October. Can LS help collect the money owed us

    4. My EASY SIMPLE question was not answered

    aargh

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Stephanie Harris's Avatar
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    Wow - both long winded and saying nothing all at the same time. Is it just me or did that totally NOT answer what you were emailing about? If you read it through all the way, I give you credit. My head started to swim from all the How-Tos about midway through...
    Stephanie Harris
    Schaaf Consulting
    p/f: 323.386.2338
    AIM: stephschaafco
    www.schaafco.com | stephanie@schaafco.com
    Our Programs: Baby Catalog | Blue Bee | Constant Contact | CourseSmart | ForMeToCoupon | Homestead | InTheSwim | Ipsos Survey Panel | LightInTheBox.com | Moosejaw | Mrs. Prindables | Payless ShoeSource | simply youth ministry | SnagAJob.com | Specialty Pool Products

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    They can't even pick the right form letter?

  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    LOL - hope the response wasn't a letdown

  19. #19
    No Longer Banned!
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    Even The Big Earning Affiliates Get Blown Off By The Networks....
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    LOL - hope the response wasn't a letdown
    BK

    Sadly this is normal from link share. When I posted this, I got a few responses, but the core issue was ignored. LS won't even talk to you most of the time if you are small.

    Well Bill. I am sure glad you brought this up, cuz CJ just did this yesterday.

    I wonder what's the cure bro.

    Steve
    DreamLinux.net | Registered Linux User 453976 | PM me to view our sites. It's a Google thing.

  20. #20
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    LS won't even talk to you most of the time if you are small.
    Little Billy


  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    It doesn't sound good to email the merchant and have LS reply. It sounds like nobody is at the helm there and LS's reply sounds like they either don't want to answer your questions or just don't understand and that's the best canned response they could find. It does seem to reinforce a decision that a replacement for this replacement is in order.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  22. #22
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I received a generic "Hi I'm the new AM email" that was sent to all their affiliates

    Seems they were without an AM for awhile - and was hoping no one would notice(?????).

    I pointed her to this post... but as you can see, they don't even feel the need to do damage control.

    NOT a converting merchant.

    NOT a responsive merchant.

  23. #23
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I think LS must hire the same form-email writers as Google...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  24. #24
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfcom
    I already know the response:

    Dear Billy:

    We have forgotten to turn on the magic tracking lever that enables your account to accrue commissions. You were sending us a lot of converting traffic and we appreciate your efforts. Be assured that these efforts are not in vain. We will have the lever turned on as soon as we get 3 more monkeys in here to balance on the wheeled office chair in an attempt to reach the lever.

    Of course, you understand since you are a top-notch affiliate, that we placed your lever at the very top. Understanding how this is the case, I'm sure you realize that this may take some time in order to gather a team to fix the problem. Please continue to promote us while we work on a solution. Thanks for your understanding.

    Mr. Monkey
    Monkey Management
    LOL!

  25. #25
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    It doesn't sound good to email the merchant and have LS reply. It sounds like nobody is at the helm there and LS's reply sounds like they either don't want to answer your questions or just don't understand and that's the best canned response they could find. It does seem to reinforce a decision that a replacement for this replacement is in order.
    YEP! I so agreed with that post when I saw it.

    Billy, interesting that you got that email. Are you going to wait around to see if the new AM will be on top of things? If not, I hope you can find a workable replacement. Good luck with it.

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