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  1. #1
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    Am I being petty..?
    OK, I know the answer is probably yes..

    In late 2006, I received one of those sweeping merchant invites through a network, and thought, hey, that's a good fit. I applied, and was rejected. For my site (and niche), it's usually a mistake - I contact the merchant, ask for reasons, they say oops, and I'm in.

    In this case, merchant (or network) didn't respond to my requests, they were ignored. Even after I explained the good fit.

    So fast forward 18 months.. today my sites are more established, and after (much!) blood sweat & tears, finally earn good commissions.

    What do I get in my inbox? A private offer from the same merchant.

    As an affiliate, there are so many things beyond my control that cost me both time & money (parasites, incentive programs, good or bad, scrapers, etc). This is the ONE thing I can control - do I give up possible commissions for the sake of my own ego..?? Frankly, I'm not even sure of their conversion rate.

    Feel free to say this is a chick thing - I know I take work way too personally sometimes

  2. #2
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    You aren't being petty.

    If you feel you NEED this merchant and they would convert well then go for it...if you trust them. Take pride in saying "oh now you want me to join"

    If you are established enough to where you don't need them ,then don't add them to your sites. There are plenty of merchants around. They ignored you before so ignore them now.

    I guess it all depends on your particular situation.

  3. #3
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    OK, I know the answer is probably yes..

    In late 2006, I received one of those sweeping merchant invites through a network, and thought, hey, that's a good fit. I applied, and was rejected. For my site (and niche), it's usually a mistake - I contact the merchant, ask for reasons, they say oops, and I'm in.

    In this case, merchant (or network) didn't respond to my requests, they were ignored. Even after I explained the good fit.

    So fast forward 18 months.. today my sites are more established, and after (much!) blood sweat & tears, finally earn good commissions.

    What do I get in my inbox? A private offer from the same merchant.

    As an affiliate, there are so many things beyond my control that cost me both time & money (parasites, incentive programs, good or bad, scrapers, etc). This is the ONE thing I can control - do I give up possible commissions for the sake of my own ego..?? Frankly, I'm not even sure of their conversion rate.

    Feel free to say this is a chick thing - I know I take work way too personally sometimes
    I take things personally too. It's not just you! Rejections really motivate me- to achieve fantastic results promoting the company's competitors, that is. Must be gratifying yet very frustrating for you to get an offer like this.

    As for accepting the private offer, I don't think there are any easy answers. Is the offer significantly better than the initial offer you wanted to promote? Would placing this company's links jeopardize anything else on your sites or detract from the merchants you're already promoting? Is this site still a good fit?

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the quick response!

    Sometimes I feel merchants have more power (accept, reject, change links, change datafeeds, etc) - to the point where it's easy to forget that there IS one person controlling what goes on my site. Me!

    I give preferential treatment to those merchants who accepted me from the beginning, so maybe I'll make this guy wait and decide later.

    Nice to be able to vent here, thanks..

  5. #5
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    If it was an offer from a merchant who gives ..umm...less than 4 return days (sic), they must be doing some kind of damage control.

  6. #6
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    As an affiliate, there are so many things beyond my control that cost me both time & money (parasites, incentive programs, good or bad, scrapers, etc). This is the ONE thing I can control - do I give up possible commissions for the sake of my own ego..?? Frankly, I'm not even sure of their conversion rate.

    Feel free to say this is a chick thing - I know I take work way too personally sometimes
    Are you being petty? I don't think so. I like to think that we all have a little alarm that goes off when things aren't quite the way they should be. Even if we don't realize that the alarm is sounding, it's still there and influences our decisions.

    In this case perhaps your alarm was alerting you to a merchant that invited you into their program and then rejected you. That was problem #1. They didn't do their homework and wasted your time.

    Problem #2. The merchant totally ignored your requests for reconsideration, AFTER THEY INITIALLY INVITED YOU TO APPLY!

    Problem #3. The merchant sent another "blanket invitation" to a site that they initially rejected and then ignored, my alarm is so loud now it deafening.

    Teezone, if a merchant is so bad at this aspect of their job, what are the chances that they are going to excel at supporting their affiliates? Probably slim to none. If you think you had problems getting a response the first time, just wait until you have an issue with commissions or tracking.

    Learn to listen to those little voices in your head (at least those that don't tell you to kill people, or is that just me?), they're there to protect you.

    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
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcia
    If it was an offer from a merchant who gives ..umm...less than 4 return days (sic), they must be doing some kind of damage control.
    Problem #4.

    -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

  8. #8
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    I try to put personal aside and always think if the shoppers to my site would like the merchant, because that's who I build sites for. I used to watch my future competitors when I still had a job and sometimes would see their personal feelings get in the way.

    Also, the merchant might have a new affiliate manager. It's one of the jobs where it seems there is some high rotation. So they might have a good one this time.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    If I believed joining would be profitable I'd just swallow my pride and go for it. It's doubtful that they'll be impacted by any decision you make either way, so rather than base your decision on emotions, base its on business sense.



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  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    I understand your frustration. We wanted to add a merchant to a very high producing site that focused on only one merchant however the new merchant paid 5 points less the current merchant so we said no.

    In hindsight we are now adding that merchant because their product line makes sense for the site.

    Don't blame you for taking it personally but make sound business decisions. Don't let a poor decision be the final determining factor is whether you promote a merchant. If adding the merchant makes sense you win.
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Learn to listen to those little voices in your head (at least those that don't tell you to kill people, or is that just me?), they're there to protect you.rematt
    My favorite line of the day

    You are all 100% right.. previous (lack of) communication counts for a lot, but it's worth a look-see if the AM is new. Personally I don't see a huge windfall looming from this merchant, but perhaps my readers will be the judge.

    Re: 4-day merchant, I don't believe this is the same, but for what it's worth, I recently had an invite to participate in a "LESS than one day" cookie... sure.

  12. #12
    Best New ABW Member 2007 sfcom's Avatar
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    The point here is to make money. If they are going to make you money and they fit your ethics and general visitor interests, then go for it.

    If you start getting some good sales for them, you can ask them for a "raise", either in % or return days. If they turn you down then you can use the history to leverage your situation. If they still decline you a raise, then you can hit them where it hurts and remove yourself from the program.

    Looks like we know who is really in charge here. Congratulations and good luck.

    -sfcom


  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
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    I wouldn't take it personally, it's business. Go for it.

  14. #14
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    I think you're right to have this reaction. They didn't want you before, now they want you. i'd use this to your advantage. they want to partner with you. fine...make them pay you more. it's only fair.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    Don't be petty - make a good business decision. Try to gauge if they are targeting you specifically, or targeting you just because you are an affiliate in their market space. If they are targeting you, they feel like your user base would benefit them. Try getting a commission increase or some other type of bonus.

  16. #16
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Teezone, good luck with whatever you decide to do. You saw a good fit, makes me wonder why they didn't. Usually I would trust an affiliates judgment about whether their site is a good fit for a particular merchant or not more than I would trust an AM's judgment. If for no other reason than you know your customer base and what's already converting on your site better than they do.

    You're also the one that has the most to lose by picking the wrong product or merchant (unless your site is totally offensive), your most valuable commodities are your time and your web real estate. I can't imagine that you're in this business to waste either. It also sounds like you made more than one attempt to contact the merchant to clear up any misconceptions about how you intend to promote them.

    Please let us know what happens if you decide to reapply. Hopefully there's a new AM that's better at follow-up.

    And remember, the voices are your friends.

    -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

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    And remember, the voices are your friends.
    -rematt
    I don't know.... kind of depends on which shoulder that voice is coming from...



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  18. #18
    Newbie fms's Avatar
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    I can understand how you feel. I actually had a similiar thing happen to me. I applied to a program that I thought would be a good fit for my website early in my building stages. My website could have been considered "technically" finished, nothing that said it was under construction or anything however it was still very "thin". They rejected me and I felt "rejected" but I let it go and realized that I was probably applying to merchants prematurely.

    Then, months later after I started doing sales I got a personal invite to join their program. I had a different reaction though, I felt proud of myself because it was like ok, I am finally succeeding and showing merchants that I can make sales, so they are interested in partnering with me now. It was more of an "accomplishment" type of feeling I guess, like I had shown them that I was actually a good potential partner.

    I see your point of view though and your situation is a little different so I think you should do whatever is right for you.

  19. #19
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Test Test Test.

    Like others have said, the point is to make money. If you think the conversion is worthy and your audience will buy, test the merchant on your site for a month. If it doesn't convert, then at least you tried.

  20. #20
    Full Member 212TomTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    OK, I know the answer is probably yes..

    In late 2006, I received one of those sweeping merchant invites through a network, and thought, hey, that's a good fit. I applied, and was rejected.
    At first glance, I would have (and have several times) taken this personally too and gotten upset, but in retrospect have realized that this invitation was a "very wide net" the AM was casting looking for affiliates that might be interested in a program and not specifically an invitation to me. Based on hind-site being 20/20 I'd say don't let it get you down, but having been there I know it's not that easy. Regarding their ignoring your emails, as the sender I'd be upset, but not knowing how many emails AMs get from folks that think their site should be accepted, can't say that I'll comment on their not replying to every email.

    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    What do I get in my inbox? A private offer from the same merchant.
    Now this is definitely a confidence booster, and also a sign that the AM, who may not be the same as the one that sent the broad invitation, has made the offer based on their assessment of your affiliate status, and your site. At this point you need to decide whether using this merchant on your site would benefit your users, and of course, your profitability. As serveral people have pointed out, you may even be able to leverage your "affiliate status" or metrics to ask for increased compensation or other factors that may help your bottom line.

  21. #21
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    If you managed a pro sports team would you recruite someone you've never seen play? Now you are a pro and they all want you.

  22. #22
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    So you now have the upper hand with the merchant, so use it. Ask them the tough questions and only commit if it benefits you. Make sure you get the right answers.

    Remember, AM's and OPM's have targets they have to hit and it they are contacting you they need results. They have to justify their time spent and you now control the conversation.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    So you now have the upper hand with the merchant, so use it. Ask them the tough questions and only commit if it benefits you. Make sure you get the right answers.

    Remember, AM's and OPM's have targets they have to hit and it they are contacting you they need results. They have to justify their time spent and you now control the conversation.

    So Chuck - would you agree that this merchant (or AM) lost out of 18 months of potential sales with teezone by pretending to be a fortune teller on whether teezone would succeed or not? Isn't more than obvious that the bad decision on rejection has caused resentment?


    (yeah .... I know I'm bringing up this "very important" thread by teezone because of the thread discussions located at http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=103208)

    As I have said - Affiliate Networks, Affiliate Programs & Affiliates Evolve - Let em' grow or regrow. Hopefully relationships can be created right from the start rather than ticking people off with rejection. The game of approval/disapproval of affiliates is a terrible joke - give affiliates a chance and let them grow their business and yours at the same time .... as teezone has done.
    Larry Wentz
    <a href="http://twitter.com/LarryWentz">Twitter.com/LarryWentz</a>

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heyder
    If you managed a pro sports team would you recruite someone you've never seen play? Now you are a pro and they all want you.
    They weren't pros at all by rejecting teezone from the start .... just created obvious bad feelings and a lack of sales for themselves. The "pros" aid people in growing each others business and by giving affiliates a chance.
    Larry Wentz
    <a href="http://twitter.com/LarryWentz">Twitter.com/LarryWentz</a>

  25. #25
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    Wow, I love discovering whole new discussions, just popped into the other thread

    As for my site, I had some big names on-board back then - it actually WAS short-sighted of the merchant to reject (they would have been in excellent company). I suspect they never even visited my site - is it possible to just see the applicant's network stats? Clicks were great, but conversions were not.

    My conversion rate is high NOW, but only because I added a layer (product "staging area", for lack of a better word). Commissions have increased too, so somewhere along the way, I did figure something out.

    For every merchant that rejects, I contact them to ask for reasons, and in the spirit of the other thread, ONLY apply to merchants that fit. Last year, I fought to maintain status in a major private program that was being paused for all but a select group of super-affiliates. Did the old-fashioned phone thing to explain why my site needed to stay.. sure enough, stayed in.

    Given what I consider to be professional communication, yes, I take it personally when those efforts are ignored (or fall on deaf ears). While I may be a pro now (yay ), it was those merchants who supported the site in the early days that will get preferential profiling.

    Maybe that's not the smartest business move - better performers get their space, but personal favs get theirs too.

    Perhaps the merchants do get jaded (unrelated applicants, parked sites, etc) and only want to deal with us when we're bigger... but by then, it may be too late. Not specific to my situation, just thinking out loud...

    Added: this dialogue has helped isolate the issue (for me) - it's not about the rejection, it was the lack of response to numerous communication attempts.

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