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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    Getting Rid of Unethical Affiliates
    How do I convince the big bosses that getting rid of unethical affiliates doesn't mean we will lose the sales that they generate. Does that make sense? They don't seem to understand that these "big producers" are really stealing and won't let me cut them because they don't understand that the sales will still come, not through the affiliate, but as increase in our search results (as in the case of brand term bidders).
    Help! It's very frustrating because they are comparing apples to oranges and I don't know how to convince them!!!!!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    You can't. Some people just don't have a clue. Find a different merchant, one who will allow you to do your job.

  3. #3
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    I think a good place to start is with Donuts' classic, award winning thread: Understanding How Affiliates Use Adware (like Zango)

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    And just so I don't open a floodgate of responses about "getting rid of affiliates", I am referring the one that JRami has outed in the Unethical Affiliates forum, as well as others that have been proven to be doing things against my T&Cs.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager
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    Show them any of the video's on AffiliateFairPlay.com for starters. If that doesn't do it, I don't know what will.

    Bob

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    That's the thing Gary, they have the explanations in front of them, but are too afraid to lose the sales and not make the affiliate budget. It seems like they don't care where the sales are coming from, as long as they are coming...but they won't risk existing sales.
    UGH!!!!

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjshoppingnetwork
    You can't. Some people just don't have a clue. Find a different merchant, one who will allow you to do your job.
    I disagree...I think some people haven't seen the light and if you show them what's wrong, they'll be more than open to changing their behavior.

    I know a couple affiliates who made changes after I showed them how what they were doing was wrong. I don't work with merchants but I'm sure it's the same way.

    Bob

  8. #8
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    I am using this in a blog post shortly on the Downtown Ecommerce site, but it could work for your bosses. Ask them what they would do if they caught an employee stealing money or merchandise from them.

    Would they:

    A. Congratulate the employee
    B. Say good work and ask them to find more employees to steal
    C. Fire them

    Then show them Kellie's videos and explain to them what is happening. If they then decide it is ok to allow people to steal from them, then that is their choice.
    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

  9. #9
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    they have the explanations in front of them...
    are you referring to the owners of the company?

  10. #10
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong all, but upon termination, the sales should continue despite not having the adware middleman, right? There shouldn't be much of a lag?

    So ask your boss to turn off one person for a test for a very short period of time and if there's an offset through other affiliates or your organic traffic.
    Joseph Lilly
    PartnerWeekly, LLC 702.407.0707 joe.lilly at partnerweekly.com
    PartnerWeekly

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    I've been doing this for years with varying degrees of success trying different things. I've learned that your very best bet is to show them a video of their own PPC ads being overwritten, they get that (and feel it in their wallet hard) and can see that you are not making a point that can somehow be twisted into "that's just a whining affiliate who can't compete".

    Show them the theft of their own money, then point out that the BHO affiliates steal from your efforts as well.

    Keep it simple. Videos help. It is a complicated thing to folks that don't understand tracking well, and it is awfully technical in it's details - discuss money more and technology less - talk about who gets credit for the sale, not how cookies works.

    This video shows:
    1) a consumer clicking on your paid PPC ad
    2) then a new window automatically opens that sets an affiliate cookie
    3) you pay for the PPC, and the affiliate commission, and the affiliate network fee
    4) the guy/gal running the PPC made this sale, but does not get the credit for it - looks like an affiliate sale.
    5) Same thing happens with your email marketing, catalogs, direct mail, seo, and on and on.
    6) Same thing happens to your real affiliates sending you real traffic.

  12. #12
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    Donuts Is The Man ! ....
    Donuts

    You are a genius. If this does not get the boys attention, nothing will I'd say.

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

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Excellent advice / game plan Donuts. (a pat on the back for popeye)


    Guinness, I highly suspect that the merchant WILL move your way provided you educate and explain the problem as Nuts suggests here. In most cases, it's a matter of lack of knowledge that causes the merchant to hesitate. You have the opportunity to change things by helping them understand how these affiliates are hurting them, and hurting the rest of your affiliates too, which long term undermines the whole point to building a positive affiliate program.

    BTW, Joe's suggestion of a test using one of them is also good, once you FIRST educate them to the reality of what is happening and how it is hurting them.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinness618
    How do I convince the big bosses that getting rid of unethical affiliates doesn't mean we will lose the sales that they generate. Does that make sense? They don't seem to understand that these "big producers" are really stealing and won't let me cut them because they don't understand that the sales will still come, not through the affiliate, but as increase in our search results (as in the case of brand term bidders).Help! It's very frustrating because they are comparing apples to oranges and I don't know how to convince them!!!!!
    You are doing great in telling your merchant client the pros and cons of why letting an affiliate get credit for a sale that they were already going to get and voicing here is the best way.

    The only reason why you as the manager should agree to let your merchant partner with an affiliate that is doing ppc on the brand name is ONLY if they are very new to the internet and they need to have affiliates brand them and their tradename online for customers either looking for products or service that perhaps a competitor has and the affiliate knows how to capitalize on that and also if thy are NOT doing any of their own ppc search merchant either inhouse or a third party they hired. This is the only time it may be ok for when I would agree with a merchant to allow all affiliates to ppc and makes sales no matter where and when. It is great for them as they only pay per performance and ofcourse they spend no monies on ppc.

    I am no expert on ppc, I look for Donuts on that and a few other partners I know on that, but I am only an expert at preventing unethical affiliates from stealing otherwise good sales that were already intended for the merchant by policing daily and removing those from programs that will not even responds to three emails and perhaps as far as 7 days wait to comply with my TOS and our merchant clients TOS if the merchant is already doing some of their own ppc and also are well known online or even offline.

    If your merchant really wants to know why NOT removing these types of partners from their program have them contact me, I will then have them contact the CEO of everythingfurniture.com as an third party and merchant opinion. Perhaps maybe listening to another merchant will help them see a clearer picture how they are paying a commission even though they will STILL make the sale that was already intended for them.

    There are many others here who already replied as to the same reason and if they are not sure have them contact each other OPM on ABW individually for those reasons. If they want more, have them definitely call Donuts, one the top abw ppc experts here I would call if a merchant was looking for another third and fourth expert opinion.

    In a basic scenario for those merchant that do not really understanding or are new or perhaps want a quick simple answer let me explain: (I mention EF as an example only cause I do not want to know your merchant name, etc., but same applies to all ) A customer want to visit or shop at a store they heard of or shopped at before, so they go to Google (or any other) and they type in everythingfurniture.com. Then they get and see the first three results way at the top on the left and side ( also called sponsor link )

    1 - The first ad shows Everything Furniture Inc in the title and also EverythingFurniture.com in the green display url. It also says 'Official Site, Top Yahoo Rated Beware of the imposters, Come See'. (this one goes direct to the merchant store)

    2 - The second ads shows Everything Furniture Coupons in the title and EverythingFurniture.com in the green display url. It also says 'looking for EverythingFurniture coupons and save now'. (this one goes direct to the merchant store) (( the unethical affiliate )) (( and even more if he is hiding his ad via geo-targeting certain cities where the merchant is located, the manager and even the network ))

    3 - The third ad shows Everything Furniture Coupons in the title and FakeNameCoupons.com in the green display url. It also says 'we have thousands of furniture coupons from EverythingFurniture' (this one goes direct to the affiliate site first showcasing all of the coupons for Everything Furniture)

    Now, if your merchant removes the affiliate in question which has the second ad, usually the customer will click on the first ad because they see both names they recognize in the Title and Display url thereby going direct to
    his/her store and ofcourse No Sale Is Lost.

    Btw, was going to make a short reply but got carried away but hope it helps your merchant understand a little more.

  15. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Do all of these and stay patient too! It takes time and if you keep the faith they will come around. Meanwhile, kill off every other parasite you can find in the program.

    If the particular parasite is SAHS ask to account rep you work with to let you speak with their CTO. If you get to that level ask specific questions about whether they use any BHO's. If they say no then ask them to add that to their sites privacy policy.

    If is it SAHS contact me for a testimonial which I can't make public.

  16. #16
    Super Cool Affiliate Manager IanBookMan's Avatar
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    Since im going through this as well I'm sharing my experience so far.

    Do it one parasite at a time.
    If you drop off a list of affiliates that need to be removed it can be quite surprising.
    In the beginning i found with my "bosses" although supportive, it wasn't a good idea to lay this on them all at once.
    It was like discovering some kind of conspircy therory and was very hard to comprehend.
    If all of sudden you tell them all our affiliates are parasites (which most of mine were) it's seemed like it was almost a little insulting to whoever managed the program before and let them through and wasn't aware. And that could have been one of them.

    So I've taken a less shocking approach.
    If you need to explain why you're getting rid of them do what I am doing.
    What I've been doing is plucking one off at a time (every 2 weeks or so) making sure to give out fair warning and even give the parasite the ability to defend themselves. You never know if one of these affiliates might have developed a close relationship with someone at your company.

    I've come to believe that it's not something for me anyways that can be done overnight, it's taking some time and it will take time to rebuild as well and so far so good, no difference in sales or traffic.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    Hello All!
    Thank you so much for all of your advice.
    I am going to present everything that you've said to the big guys at the next affiliate meeting (next month). In the meantime, I stayed up all night putting together a primer on affiliate marketing because I honestly believe that the higher-ups don't really have a clue about the intricacies of this side of their business.
    Rollerblader: You will be pleased to know that your post is my first slide.
    Thanks again to all. It is such an honor that busy people like you would take the time to help a stranger.

  18. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for this thread! I think many times, affiliates wonder why AMs don't just drop all parasites immediately and suspect that there are insidious reasons. This certainly illustrates the challenges that AMs face in cleaning up their programs.
    Michael Coley
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     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

  19. #19
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    No sweat, that's why everyone is here. =0). Feel free to take them to the blog post as well when it goes live if you would like. I'll send you the details if you need them.
    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

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager sunnypi's Avatar
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    Guinness,

    It took me about 6 months of convincing, then we kicked out 4 of our top 10 affiliates and all the rest of the known parasites, and since then been breaking sales records in the channel...

    Get in touch with me if you need any more specifics.

    Nadia
    [B][COLOR=Navy]Nadia Levine (van Rooyen)[/COLOR][/B]
    Senior Manager, Affiliate Practice at Vantage Media
    nlevine(at)VantageMedia.com

  21. #21
    Super Cool Affiliate Manager IanBookMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnypi
    Guinness,

    It took me about 6 months of convincing, then we kicked out 4 of our top 10 affiliates and all the rest of the known parasites,

    Nadia
    Yes, it definately doesn't happen over night to clean up a program.

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