View Poll Results: What are your website reviewing habits for applications that list more than one site?

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  • I look at every website, including the whois information.

    7 33.33%
  • I look at every website to make sure it works.

    8 38.10%
  • I look at a few of the websites listed.

    4 19.05%
  • I look at one of the websites

    2 9.52%
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Monday Merchant Poll
    I'm curious about the habits of other AMs in reviewing affiliate applications, so if you'll indulge me I'd like to do a poll.

    Please answer truthfully and if you have anything noteworthy to add of course join in!

  2. #2
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    Trisha, a good AM will look at all of the above, check for downloads, iframes, cookie stuffing, adware associations, porn, gambling or anything they do not want their brand associated with, sometimes the way back machine if a site is dead, check links to make sure they are affiliate or cloaked and not just regular etc...All of the above or being able to select more than one may give you a better result.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  3. #3
    Sara - NetShops's Avatar
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    I'm glad you posted this TrishaLyn and I'm interested to see how others respond. Personally I used to be a lot more lax with how I accepted affiliates into my programs but I've really stepped up our evaluation process as of late. I used to briefly check out an applicant's website and do a quick scan of their info to make a decision. Now I look at each of the websites listed and check whois and search for duplicate affiliates by city. I stepped up our process about a month ago because we've been seeing a lot of duplicate applications from some less than ethical affiliates.

    While the process is time-consuming, I feel like we've benefited from the confidence that we're not letting anyone unethical slip through the cracks. It's also been a great way to start building a base of knowledge about new affiliates that are joining our program so that we can help steer them in the right direction. All in all, it's worth the extra effort .

  4. #4
    Sara - NetShops's Avatar
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    Trisha, a good AM will look at all of the above, check for downloads, iframes, cookie stuffing, adware associations, porn, gambling or anything they do not want their brand associated with, sometimes the way back machine if a site is dead, check links to make sure they are affiliate or cloaked and not just regular etc...All of the above or being able to select more than one may give you a better result.
    Agreed Rollerblader - beat me to it!

  5. #5
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    This is for network level applicants of AvantLink...

    To add to what Adam said above we check the site against siteadvisor.com, plus we'll search Ben Edelman's site, AFP and here at the ABW Parasite category for anything fishy associated with that Affiliate.

    Additionally, we authenticate every application (at the network level) for ownership. This is very important as many applicants with ill intentions will try to gain access to a network or merchant program using a site(s) in their application that don't belong to them. We authenticate ownership by requiring an email response from the domain of the default site on the application, the email on file for the domain record or even a response from an email we send through a form on their site(s).

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    You have to look and search for and at everything specially when they are new on the radar, such as the network or have a high affiliate number. Usually the old timers (ok, older affiliates that you recognize) are less to worry about if you recognize their real name, abw name or domain name or know popular site but for those that look suspicious right away, you can let them in because you can't really judge a book by it's cover (affiliate by his site) but flag them in your spreadsheet and check often his/her activities or any lack thereof.

    If they have porn, known unethical tool downloads types, or way too suspicious then hit decline button quick, it will save you headaches later.

  7. #7
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Not to blow any smoke or anything but I look at a few of the websites listed and bounce it off whois. Yeah, the downloads, banners farms are out.

    Honestly, if you get 300 new affiliates a day, realistically, you can afford to spend about < 20 seconds / per affiliate a day approving.

    If you spend 1 minute, you are looking at 300 x 1 minute = 300 minutes / 60 minutes = 5 hours our of a 8 working hrs?

    When I was working for Wyndham Vacation Resorts, there are other variables that comes into play. I learned from another high profile LS program manager and I got it down to a science.. (not really)

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    We 1st look at our "list" of scumbags that we have developed over time.

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollerblader
    Trisha, a good AM will look at all of the above, check for downloads, iframes, cookie stuffing, adware associations, porn, gambling or anything they do not want their brand associated with, sometimes the way back machine if a site is dead, check links to make sure they are affiliate or cloaked and not just regular etc...All of the above or being able to select more than one may give you a better result.
    How does one check for iframes & cookie stuffing? I've yet to figure that one out lol.

    Good responses so far, thanks! Keep 'em coming!

  10. #10
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    There really is no solid way to do this, but you can always open up your cookie window from your Tools>privacy>show cookies in firefox window as you are doing approvals and watch for it to go crazy, or cookies to be set when you get to a page on that affiliates site without clicking an affiliate link or clicking to go to the merchants site. You can also hire a service like Kellie Stevens at affiliate fair play to review your lists or programs and search these guys out etc...

    Unfortunately there is no exact science to it and you are bound to miss a few of them, but all you can do is try your best to weed them out and if someone sends you a PM, look in to what they are saying and see if you can get the same results as the person writing to you to help you find the bad guys within your program.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary-AvantLink
    Additionally, we authenticate every application (at the network level) for ownership. This is very important as many applicants with ill intentions will try to gain access to a network or merchant program using a site(s) in their application that don't belong to them. We authenticate ownership by requiring an email response from the domain of the default site on the application, the email on file for the domain record or even a response from an email we send through a form on their site(s).
    We started doing this very process over the weekend after getting feedback from affiliates and other abw'ers last week about authenticity of applications and sites. Makes good sense. If an email confirming validity of a new application is not replied to, it's flagged and we send a decline letter with option to provide valid site and contact information.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe

    If you spend 1 minute, you are looking at 300 x 1 minute = 300 minutes / 60 minutes = 5 hours our of a 8 working hrs?
    What kind of posh in house affiliate manager job only requires 8 hours a day?
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  13. #13
    Full Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollerblader
    check links to make sure they are affiliate or cloaked and not just regular etc...
    Does that mean you won't accept a site with regular links?

    For instance I run a UK stores directory which I have been doing for many years(before I even heard of affiliate links) with links directly to the stores' website (if they have one). The majority of the stores don't have affiliate plans therefore they are just "regular" links would a site like that be penalised?

    Bob

  14. #14
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    Not at all, some of the top affiliates I have worked with sell links and sometimes just give links away. However, there are a few site designs I have come across which list merchants and merchants deals but are direct links, not affiliate or cloaked, with the same designs, they breakdown around the same areas and as it turns out, they all use the same sets of email addresses etc... with usually the same name or base domain or both.

    Everyone of these is also being tied back to buying and using Zango and Kellie, if she didn't do this already, is doing a blog post about this.

    Also, after piecing it all together and getting a network involved, these jokers have been booted from multiple networks after they were caught buying zango ads and using false sites to get into the programs.

    If the site isn't legit or looks funny, you should write the affiliate, if they do not respond within what you would consider a reasonable amount of time and you have suspicions about them, then decline them. They can always write you back since you made the outreach initially to ask why they were declined and then you can approve them in if they meet your programs guidelines.

    I do check to see if there is at least a few different affiliate links or banners within the site though to help further justify it is a real affiliate site.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  15. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I do all of the above but also strip the .com off the end and Google it to see what jumps out. Example ShopatHomeSelect http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...ct&btnG=Search

    I will be outlining this in my upcoming book:
    How to catch all unethical affiliates all of the time in under 100 hours a week!

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I do all of the above but also strip the .com off the end and Google it to see what jumps out. Example ShopatHomeSelect http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...ct&btnG=Search

    I will be outlining this in my upcoming book:
    Good call....

    New question for those participating... how many applications do you go through like this per day? Personally I'm looking through about 100-130 per day...

  17. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    About the same even after filtering at the network level. I have an outsourced employee spending 2-3 hrs a day and then I review at the end of the week.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I spend about 5 hours a week reviewing sites and sending various inquiries or welcome notes to new partners. I outline my highly effective and yet stress - free methods for evaluating affiliate applications in my upcoming book:

    "Heads or Tails - The Art Of Simple Decision Making"
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  19. #19
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    I spend about 5 hours a week reviewing sites and sending various inquiries or welcome notes to new partners. I outline my highly effective and yet stress - free methods for evaluating affiliate applications in my upcoming book:
    Wow, you are taking it easy young chap for a top notch program.

    I think it is all over the board but what I can tell you is to run your program right and invest the right amount of time in it.

    Here are some helpful tips to filter out those "unwanted" affiliate/people:
    -If possible, use a dual screen system. It speeds up your time or things like that.
    -Dual browser does help too...
    -Find short cuts (not saying cut corners). From Whois to site advisor
    -A good application or network filter goes a long way.
    -Find a program manager that gets hundreds or thousands of applications and learn from them. If they are willing to share.

    All the best

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