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  1. #1
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Where Are All the Linkshare Merchants?
    ...and why don't they have forums here? I remember a few years ago, there were manyyyyy LS merchants posting here. Or is that something I dreamed? Man, if I was a merchant I wouldn't miss the opportunity to reach out to affiliates here. Come on merchants! Don't be scared!
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    If I remember right, it was because of the people managing the programs were and are active participants. A lot of that has changed and the current AMs aren't as active.

  3. #3
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    lots of LS AM moved on..

  4. #4
    15 years and counting
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    Most of LinkShare merchants are managed by LinkShare. They don't even answer their emails. You don't want them to participate in forums. It would be too much for them.
    Many LinkShare merchants are working with parasites, scumware, and other thieves. From time to time a newbie AM may show up here. Usually, it don't last too long as soon as they discover what their employer is doing: ripping off their affiliates.
    Some merchants are working with reputable OPMs like AMWSO for programs like Denise Austin, Duke Diet, Forzieri, Gaiam, glenny's, Good Times Entertainment, Great Skin, Jillian Michaels, KegWorks, Sonoma Diet, South Beach Diet, Western Union... or AMs like for Mondera, Sierra Trading Post... I'm sure I'm forgetting some honest programs... Feel free to add them.

    Many merchants on Networks like LinkShare and CJ don't want to communicate in the open with their affiliates. Do you think they are afraid of something?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    "Some merchants are working with reputable OPMs like AMWSO for programs like Denise Austin, Duke Diet, Forzieri, Gaiam, glenny's, Good Times Entertainment, Great Skin, Jillian Michaels, KegWorks, Sonoma Diet, South Beach Diet, Western Union... or AMs like for Mondera, Sierra Trading Post... I'm sure I'm forgetting some honest programs... Feel free to add them."

    I know you hate ebates - http://www.ebates.com/all_stores.go

    Gaiam, Sierra Trading Post are on that list. I'm getting spam because Mondera lets affiliates like Second Bite into their program.

  6. #6
    15 years and counting
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    End of 2005, I had a call from their AM stating they were completely removing eBates. I should have been more cautious when I saw them winning the Golden Links award for Most Innovative Merchant in 2006.
    Thanks for the info. Yes, I check that link before adding a new merchant.
    Re: Gaiam, I'm not an affiliate. I assumed Chris had only clean merchants.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    Linkshare has a larger percentage of large merchants than the other networks. Those are the merchants who would be less likely to be recruiting new affiliates through a forum.

    ABW is an absolutely wonderful resource but we would be kidding ourselves if we didn't acknowledge that there is a hostile environment among some affiliates that totally discourages some merchants from posting. Don't let that make you think they aren't reading here. A lot of them are.

    As I've stated in the past, I don't think there is a current significant threat by Ebates, UPromise and others of their ilk. My conversion rates for my largest merchants prove that. For the most part, it's the smaller affiliates who use Ebates, et al as a scapegoat. Yes, they've shown their ugly side in the past, but when was the last time you saw proof? There are many merchants who've terminated Ebates et al in the past and then later reinstated them because they were no longer a threat. Why should a merchant come here and defend their practices only to be beaten up for their perceived threat? That's why Overstock left ABW. They told me that exactly. Joshua, an affiliate manager and regular poster here has repeatedly been attacked by one frequent ABW poster. Fortunately, Joshua has a thick skin because to me, he is in my top 10 list of the most valuable ABW members.

    So anyway, I certainly understand why there isn't a greater amount of merchant participation at ABW among Linkshare merchants specifically and known brand name merchants as a whole. The structure of my site calls for limited affiliate links. I can assure you that if I didn't feature the name brands in my niche that also affiliate with Ebates et al but rather prominently featured the smaller merchants who some here consider more affiliate friendly, I can assure you that I would go out of business.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann
    ...and why don't they have forums here?
    I'd put my money on the fact that it costs $2500/year to have a branded forum for an affiliate program.

    Is it worth $2500 (or is it just $1500 for a sub-forum?) a year to have a private forum here? I can't say, as I haven't tried it. Looking at the big names like TigerDirect (which promotes the forum via its TigerAffiliates.com domain) or NewEgg, there's not much traffic there. Not to knock the value of public relations, but with smaller merchants, $2500 can be hard to swallow. I'd gamble that a merchant just actively participating in the forums here, without a paid forum, could do just as well in terms of boosting their profile within the ABW community.

    As for why more merchant don't participate here (or disclose their identity, as I have not), I'd say it's because ABW isn't always the most merchant-friendly forum. Not to say that it's not always justified, but no merchant wants to risk getting their brand dragged through the mud in a tread where they are actively responding. Some companies have policies forbidding employees to speak publicly on behalf of the company, without proper authorization, and a forum is not a highly controllable environment.

    In the last business that I ran, a large part of my business and reputation was generated from my active participation in an industry forum, so forums can definitely do wonders for a business, but I picked the forum to participate in wisely.

    As for me, I also like to participate and add to the community without seeming as if I just do it for my company.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Big businesses are generally much less in tune with their affiliates. They're able to ride on the coat-tails of the corporation's brand and don't need to rely on active recruitment. (I've only known a few exceptions to this in the past.) They typically have a more marketing-oriented AM or rely on a third party (like the network) for management of the program, so they're just not as focused on the affiliate channel. Many also have in-house legal teams that recommend against public participation like message boards (especially if they're a publicly traded company).

    I think that a large company like the ones typically found at LinkShare could receive just as much (if not more) benefit than a smaller company by having a forum and participating here on ABW, if they did things right.
    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

  10. #10
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Snowman: Ebates, etc...
    An affiliate manager and regular poster here has repeatedly been attacked by one frequent ABW poster.
    Coley: Many also have in-house legal teams that recommend against public participation like message boards (especially if they're a publicly traded company).
    I think this holds very true. I was under lots of pressure to sign up uPromise but I did not. And if a company paid like X amount to sign up uPromise and they drove XX % of your sales, most senior manager will not understand the logic behind dropping a XX% of your sales. I think the worst came out of ABW when merchants from SAS called PetsMart AM "Flee infested" when she first came here to introduce herself...hats off to the SAS merchant for a warm welcome. That does not help our image at all. (Yeah, that SAS merchant had his own agenda and does not represent the majority but it was not pretty)

    It's a fine line to walk when you run a program and everything is put under a microscope by affiliates and especially your legal team. The worst thing is to have something picked up by the media and you get a call from your VP or CEO.

    That being said, I know that there are quite a few AM that scans ABW.

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Re: Gaiam,
    For Gaiam we are not presently the lead managers running this program, we are involved only in a support capacity. Gaiam have an inhouse Lead AM , Kristen Fox. You can contact Kristen at Kristen.Fox /at/ gaiam.com

    Cheers

    Chris
    Last edited by Chris - AMWSO; May 4th, 2008 at 10:44 PM.
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  12. #12
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    (lurking only)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager bblythe's Avatar
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    Arrow
    ImprovementDirect.com (and its network of stores) is here. I typically check the boards once a week and look for any shenanigans. We really try to put an emphasis on communication with our affiliates on a personal level, so don't post much onto the boards.

    We are here though, and will be happy to talk to anyone. I don't want to violate any TOS, so if you want our contact information just go ahead and shoot me a PM.

  14. #14
    15 years and counting
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    Hi and welcome bblythe!
    Nice product line. I did know you were on Linkshare. I'm sending you an email. You will not me able to send (or receive) a PM at the beginning.
    PS: can you add your email in your profile.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    Hi BBlythe,

    Thanks for letting us know that you're here and checking in on us.

    Lily

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager bblythe's Avatar
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    Thanks Lily, thanks Zeus,

    We are here...always watching...

    Seriously though, if you need anything just e-mail; you know where to find me :-).

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager harrymond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    "Some merchants are working with reputable OPMs like AMWSO for programs like Denise Austin, Duke Diet, Forzieri, Gaiam, glenny's, Good Times Entertainment, Great Skin, Jillian Michaels, KegWorks, Sonoma Diet, South Beach Diet, Western Union... or AMs like for Mondera, Sierra Trading Post... I'm sure I'm forgetting some honest programs... Feel free to add them."

    I know you hate ebates - http://www.ebates.com/all_stores.go

    Gaiam, Sierra Trading Post are on that list. I'm getting spam because Mondera lets affiliates like Second Bite into their program.

    Dear Trust,

    We no longer work with Second bite as we have booted them out from the program way back in Oct 2006 when I came to know they use some un ethical ways of marketing.
    Iím surprised with the Spam emails. Can you please forward it to me so it becomes easier for me to address the issue.

    Thanks for getting this issue to my notice
    Feel free to email me Harry [at] MONDERA DOT COM
    Cheers,

    Harry.
    Mondera Affiliate Manager
    http://www.mondera.com/affiliate_support/
    Winner of the LinkShare 2004 Golden Link Awards "Affiliate's Choice Award"
    Winner of the 2002 Abestweb.com "Best Affiliate Program Award"

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