Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    eCampus.com DID NOT Track
    A few days ago, I clicked through my affiliate link and added a couple cheap items to my cart at eCampus.com. Their cheapest shipping option is essentially $3 per shipment + $1 per item. Although I selected the option to group shipments, it still tried to calculate my order as two shipments (and shipping was more than the books!), so I abandoned my cart.

    This morning, I had an email from eCampus offering me a $5 store credit if I completed a one-question survey (letting them know why I abandoned my cart). I took the survey and clicked the link in the email to use the in-store credit.

    The books were still in my cart, so I tried checking out. Same shipping issue. I really wanted one of the books and had just added the other (that I was marginally interested in) because the incremental shipping charge wasn't too bad. So I deleted the one and went back through checkout.

    When I got to the confirmation page, I checked the HTML source. No SAS tracking code, but there was MyAP tracking code. I looked at the link I had clicked in the newsletter, and it appears that it's an in-house MyAP link. I looked on SAS. No sale tracked.

    What good is a 60 day cookie if you're going to overwrite it in a day or two?

    To top things off, they're also promoting Reservation Rewards (with a popup) after checkout.

    I'm currently working on a site oriented around books, and this certainly makes me hesitant to include eCampus.com (or to feature them in any big way). These are some practices that are very unfriendly to customers (Reservation Rewards and high shipping charges) and affiliates (overwriting cookies).
    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

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,511
    These are very serious issues which I feel should also be posted in the eCampus forum.

    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=445

    I can't help but wonder if this was happening when Loxly managed eCampus that she didn't know about.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Matthew Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 8th, 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    93
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Allow me to address these issues in the order you have laid them out. What happened here is simple. The availability of the two items you added to cart was different. It is rare, but sometimes this happens. Consequently, even though you selected the option to group shipments, we were unable to accommodate the request due to the delayed availability of one of the books. Therefore the cost per shipment fee was applied. Due to the shipping variables in our industry with weight fluctuation, etc., this method has become the industry standard among books retailers. We try to offset these costs with special offers like: “Free USPS Shipping on all orders over $59”

    As for the cookie being overwritten. We are certainly not mischievously overwriting cookies. Are you saying your cookie was overwritten when going through the Shopping Cart abandonment survey? I have tried to recreate this and the SAS cookie was not overwritten.

    The Myap code was there and probably should’ve been deleted from an old program. It is now at any rate, but it was a java script code and would not have overwritten the cookie.

    Please email me and let me know so if there is a problem we can get it resolved. mtaylor@ecampus.com


    As for Reservation rewards, that pops up on order confirmation after the event code fires for an affiliate sale, so there will never be an overwriting issue here. I am well aware of the past issues surrounding Reservation rewards. We all are. But to my knowledge, and we have done extensive research on them, everything is legit and now Reservation rewards sends out an email to participants before billing. I think they have their bases covered. And to be honest the rewards are pretty sweet. They bill me personally every month and it is worth it and more in my opinion. I understand the concerns, believe me. That may be an entire other topic.


    Let me know about this cookie issue, I am curious to find out what happened

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    Matthew, thanks for responding. I didn't realize you were still with eCampus or I would have addressed this with you privately first.

    I hope that my experience wasn't typical, and would be happy to find out that this wasn't the intended result.

    Should there have been SAS tracking code on the confirmation page? I didnt' see any.

    The link in the email was like this: http:// www. ecampus.com/affiliatewiz/aw.asp?B=###&A=###&Task=Click&customerID=#######

    Are you saying that clicking that link won't disable the SAS tracking?

    Searching around, it sounds like the MyAP part was a red herring. I suspected them at first, because their SecondBite feature does exactly the same thing (emails customers and overwrites cookies).
    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

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Matthew Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 8th, 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    93
    Okay. Let me look at it. Ill get back in a few.

  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    I can't help but wonder if this was happening when Loxly managed eCampus that she didn't know about.
    Not sure why you would say that, but no, Reservation Rewards was not part of the program back then, and we did extensive test purchases, many made by various ABW affiliates through different scenarios to make sure the sales were tracking. They also worked hard on removing bad affiliates while I was consulting with them.

    This seems to be a fluke that of course they want to correct. Shareasale tracking was working very well when I was involved. We got them set up and running
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,511
    Not sure why you would say that...
    Why would I say that? I was wondering because it wouldn't be the first time that a program pulled shenanigans behind the back of an OPM. Again, I am not accusing, I was simply wondering.

    That said, it's the merchant who sent that followup email offer and the merchant should certainly know if a link he includes overwrites a ShareASale link.

    In the scenarios you oversaw, were any done using a link in a follow up from the merchant?

  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    In the scenarios you oversaw, were any done using a link in a follow up from the merchant?
    Actually yes, we had follow up emails that had coupons or discounts, and that offered alternate choices for books to purchase that were out of stock, if memory serves me. All tracked.
    Last edited by loxly; April 28th, 2008 at 04:19 PM. Reason: typo
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Matthew Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 8th, 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    93
    Okay. Looks like we were using and Affiliate ID to track click through for our internal metrics of that survey. That ID was indeed overwriting another affiliate link. The same way affiliate A would overwrite affiliate B depending on the time-stamp. I completely missed it. I stripped it out so it should not be an issue anymore. Again this is a very rare scenario and I cannot imagine it being one again.

    If you have anymore questions or concerns, give me a shout.

  10. #10
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    I have to say that I think eCampus is sincere in their desire to grow the affiliate program and not pull any "fast ones". They were not into the bait and switch that other programs try and pull with overwriting links. I know that Matthew would not allow that to happen, but there can always be tech guys that "make mistakes". Hopefully this is a simple miss of a code on an obscure confirmation page through a path that is not normally taken.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    Thanks Matthew! Glad to see such a quick resolution.
    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

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager Matthew Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 8th, 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    93
    For the record, there were no shenanigans here. Ive always been upfront about our practices. I have never tried to pull a fast one on anybody. For the record, Deb and her crew were very helpful in instilling the aspect of good practices and I do not believe we have strayed yet.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,511
    I also admire your quick investigation and resolution of this, Matthew. It does, however, really make me wonder how this could happen in the first place. It's obviously not in eCampus's best interests to be paying an affiliate commission to someone who had no part in the sale, especially since the majority of your sales are not through affiliate links. Have you determined how that actual affiliate link was included in the followup email rather than a direct link to your site and when this code change (in the email followup) was made? Was this also happening to eCampus's CJ affiliates.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 4th, 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,477
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    It does, however, really make me wonder how this could happen in the first place. It's obviously not in eCampus's best interests to be paying an affiliate commission to someone who had no part in the sale, especially since the majority of your sales are not through affiliate links. Have you determined how that actual affiliate link was included in the followup email rather than a direct link to your site and when this code change (in the email followup) was made? Was this also happening to eCampus's CJ affiliates.
    Good point. I would like to know the answer as well.

    It seems to me a very questionable practice. If Michael didn't do the test purchase, nobody(include the merchant) will ever find out this "mistake" . I think all eCampus affiliates deserve a better explanation.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,053
    Sounds similar to what was happening with the "Second Bite" follow-up system a while back.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,511
    Last evening, I clicked through an eCampus CJ affiliate link and added one item to the cart. I proceeded until I would have to enter credit card info. and then I closed the browser. Today I received the same followup email that Michael received yesterday. The link included is:
    http://www.ecampus.com/affiliatewiz/...stomerID=XXXXX

    It appears to be the same link that Michael received although it lands on a page that cannot be found within the eCampus site.

    Has this issue actually been corrected?

    Please also respond to Posts #13 and #14 above.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager Matthew Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 8th, 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    93
    http://www.ecampus.com/affiliatewiz/...stomerID=XXXXX

    THis is an unsubscribe link. The link that would direct a customer who left from a mid-checkout sale used to have an affiliate id in it so that we could track how many people clicked on that link. THat is the way we tracked that specific form. However, I am going to remove this tracking as well and the new link will just be a direct link.

    Here is the email in plain text:

    We were sad to notice you left our store.

    To show our appreciation for checking us out, eCampus has given you $5 in-store credit for answering one question on the following survey. We want to make your shopping experience easy and cheap when you visit eCampus. Just answer one question to help us serve you better.

    Answer the question at http://www.questionpro.com/akira/takesurvey?id=610539
    then visit eCampus at http://www.ecampus.com/ and checkout using the account you created to use your credit!

    You have received this email because you are a former eCampus.com customer. If you would prefer to not receive promotional emails from eCampus.com in the future, visit http://www.ecampus.com/affiliatewiz/...mp;customerID=.
    Or Contact us at 2415 Palumbo Drive, Lexington, Kentucky 40509.

    Note: Credit will apply within 24 hours and must be redeemed within 4 days of receipt of this email.

    Copyright © 1999-2008


    As you can clearly see, once reading the email, the link back to eCampus has no affiliate tracking that would overwrite affiliate cookies. Anyone clicking the unsubscribe is probably not going to be making a purchase from us anytime soon, but we needed to have that specific code there to track that action. I am removing it now to avoid another thread.



    As far as this issue:
    "It does, however, really make me wonder how this could happen in the first place. It's obviously not in eCampus's best interests to be paying an affiliate commission to someone who had no part in the sale, especially since the majority of your sales are not through affiliate links. Have you determined how that actual affiliate link was included in the followup email rather than a direct link to your site and when this code change (in the email followup) was made? Was this also happening to eCampus's CJ affiliates."


    I think you are misunderstanding the way this was working. We were not delegating an affiliate commission for this form. No one was receiving commission for a sale generated through that form. If an affiliate(publisher) sent that customer originally, then that should've warranted a commission but thats it. Affiliatewiz is the program we had in place to track click throughs, long before we ever had an affiliate program. And as I stated it was an oversight that we've rectified and are very thankful that Michael brought it to our attention.


    Later Gator,

  18. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. ecampus.com
    By bigchuck in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: December 17th, 2001, 02:55 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •