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  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    I have shied away from pharmacy programs in the past, due to shady industry reputations and so much competition. But there is a new HIGH INTEGRITY program I am considering launching. Here are some basic details and then I have some questions for you.

    I year old REAL company – lots of corporate partners but just considering an affiliate program.

    Based in Canada full staff – own IT department, etc. Totally by the book, legal, ethical.

    Interested in regular customers who need ongoing-meds. (Not a get rich quick, diet pills and Viagra type of program)

    Prices 35 – 60% less.
    Avg order $200. Average re-order 3 times a year
    Commission 6 – 8%
    Reorders 4 – 6%
    Cookies?? TBD (long ones though)

    So here are my questions since I don’t know that much about the competition in this
    industry:

    1) 1st and foremost – My reputation. Providing this is a really good company and
    everything is high –integrity, do you think this would a good addition to my other merchant mix or do you think it look bad for me to add an RX client?

    2) Does the basic info and commission structure sound attractive and stand up to the competition?

    3) They are currently planning to use in-house tracking. How much more attractive would this program be to you if I could get them to launch on ShareaSale?

    4) Any other ideas or comments (I know I have given you very limited details)

    5) YOUR VOTE COUNTS! Yes pursue? or No Pass?

    Thanks in advance for any input. I work for YOU!

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Linda:

    Could you list their 5 top selling brands?

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Linda:

    If it fits your criteria (e.g. high integrity), it appears it would dovetail nicely with healthplans & dentalplans. Going through SaS would be a bit more comforting than going solo, IMPO. Given the graying nature of our area, we would strongly consider a legitimate Rx program that didn't focus on Xanax and Viagra.

    Karl Smith
    phillyBurbs - Your Internet Starts Here

  4. #4
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    Going with Shareasale would raise my confidence level, indeed.
    I agree with Karl, Viagra scams and spam got everyone shying away from Rx programs.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Adam,

    I would need to find out what their top 5 are for sure. But they sent me an extremely professional powerpoint presentation that outlines all of their capabilities, safety checks, etc.

    They gave a price comparison of 5 products so I assume these are some of their best sellers. They listed Lipitor, Prilosec, Celebrex, Zoloft and Prozac. They compared their prices against Wal-mart Pharmacy and Drugstore.com

    They show for instance Lipitor 278.46 at WM, 254.70 at DS and their price 163.64 but don't know how current that pricing is.

    What about the commissions? Are they competitive or even good? I would of course have some say in the commission structure but this is what they are proposing.

    I won't even touch any new programs at this point unless you guys tell me they are a strong winner. I intend to only allign with best of breed type programs.

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit ABW Forum
    <FONT COLOR=red size="1">EveryTicket Sports/Concert Tickets :: Irv's Luggage Warehouse :: Executive Essentials Office & Gifts:
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  6. #6
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    Linda,

    Of paramount concern is your reputation. Enough said.

    An additional thing you may want to throw into your decision making process is the rising sentiment in Congress to crack down on shoppers buying drugs outside the US.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob, that was one of my other concerns.

    Plus another one someone mentioned in a PM to me is all the Rx company spams that are sent by companies with very similar names. It's easy to conclude that most RX companies are spammers even if this one is not.

    I wanted to run it by you guys, but my gut keeps telling me that even if this company is as great as they sound the industry has too much of black eye for me to get involved with. That's why I have always passed on these before.

    I have learned to trust my gut - but will always run programs that sound good by you guys in case my gut ever steers me wrong.

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit ABW Forum
    <FONT COLOR=red size="1">EveryTicket Sports/Concert Tickets :: Irv's Luggage Warehouse :: Executive Essentials Office & Gifts:
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  8. #8
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    This is a really gray area of affiliate merketing! I avoid all except Drugstore.com. I chose Drugstore only because of their complementary offerings in body and bath and other similar departments.

  9. #9
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    Hey Linda,

    Yep, the spam is increadible. Also note that the competative edge is very steep. That being said there are plenty of good companies out there that do not:

    - spam
    - steam commisions
    - try to cheat affiliate's
    - or generally run shady business practices

    I have dabbled in affiliate marketing now since 97, about two years ago I made a decision to truely put some effort forward on the web and see if I could make it. At the time I felt I needed a flagship site to draw people and felt this was the way to start.

    I create a great content site which is now visited by 100's of thousands of poeple monthly. Once I reach this point I then start to develope what I call my "commercial" site.

    From that point it took me about 4 or 5 months to quite my day job and since that time (november 20th 2002) I have continued to focuses my efforts with affilaite marketing with most of my time being spent in the prescription drug field.

    This year I am on track to earn over $200,000

    I have never once sent a spam email or had a complaint from anyone. When done right these program can make smart online marketers some very large checks, my personal best for far is for nearly $5900 for a two week period!

    If I were in your shoes I would check out this company very well, and if they pass your test jump in.

    Note that the type of program your offering is on par for the "maintance type programs" make sure they offer your affiliates very long cookies and ultimately make sure they offer the consumer very good prices and you will have a winner.

    That being said this type of program can make good marketers good money but it is not like the viagra programs, I am guessing it also requires a prescription. If that is the case then note that this will cut deeply into sales. I am promoting several of these types of programs now and my conversions tell me that people are looking for quick, and easy. Having to have a perscription is neither.

    Good luck ;-)

    Brian

    Brian Johnson
    Seek and you shall find

  10. #10
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    I don't understand the ethics issue. People want to save money on drugs because their health depends on them and their wallets can't afford US prices. Since when does helping people with their health and quality of life become an ethics issue? Someone has been brainwashing someone.

  11. #11
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    Hey Wiznot,

    Yep, I am with you ;-)

    I have no problem marketing these products, they move and offer a nice mark up not to mention reorders if you promote the right company ;-)

    Ching Ching

    Brian

    Brian Johnson
    Seek and you shall find

  12. #12
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    If you look at the spam coming from these supposedly ethical companies, you'll see that 99% is from individuals trying to make a buck. Nothing wrong with that, but if what they are selling does not meet FDA guidelines, or what they are selling is pure hype, that's where they cross the line. Heard on the radio over the weekend that Univ of Berkley just finished a study of health related sites which offered something to buy. Every product they looked at was snake oil. Not one proven product was there. They also stated there were in excess of 200,000 of these sites on the Internet. While there are some ethical companies out there, and from what Linda is saying, this appears to be one, a whole lot of rotten apples are spoiling the reputations of the good apples.

  13. #13
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    bob, I think you're stirring up needless hysteria and showing your lack of knowledge of the online drug industry.

    Sure, there's lots of questionable health items being hyped, and we can start with vitamins and the like, but the pharmaceutical industry is in a different league.

    There are lots of ethical non-US pharmaceutical companies out there selling effective products all over the world. The US Pharmaceutical industry and the USFDA do not control the world's access to medications, though you can be sure they wish they could.

    And if you want to talk about lack of ethics take a look at an old woman that has to choose between food and her medicine because the exhorbitant cost of her USFDA and US Pharmaceutical industry controlled medications exceed her fixed income.

  14. #14
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    I'm not talking about old ladies choosing between eating and taking their medicine. Nor am I talking about the thousands of ethical drug companies out there---in the US or elsewhere. The discussion is based upon perception in dealing with the industry as a whole. And in most Internet users minds nowadays that perception is in the dumper because of the fraud and spam that is permeating everyone's mailbox for the past 2 years. The average user doesn't differntiate between good companies and bad companies. They differentiate between what industries and products are spamming them and which aren't.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
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    Linda - You might bear in mind that those commission levels are not going to attract the GRQ spammers who are pushing diet pills etc at 40/50% commissions.

    I would think it quite possible to position this quite professionally alongside your other health-related clients. It's a very different market (assuming their top5 bears this out) and should be promoted as such. I think many affiliates would welcome the ability to promote lower cost access to essential meds to their visitors without sending them to a diet pill/sexual disfunction site.

    It all comes down to being entirely sure that this company really does have a sufficiently different proposition and doesn't look, walk, or quack like ...


    --------------
    Are you Crazy?

  16. #16
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    Linda,
    The payouts for the program I currently promote are $20.00 plus 10% for every approved order placed. For a $300 order this equates to almost 17%. For a $200 order this equates to 20%.

    I don't put a whole lot of effort into pharmacy because of the legal landscape. I'm sure you would find a lot of affiliates who would though.

    From the consumer standpoint there is a need. Personally I have started to "shop around" for prescription drugs that aren't coverd by my insurance. The price differences are stunning.

    I also recently had a friend askimg me what I knew about buying drugs from Canada. Her parents could not afford the drugs they need and she was trying to help them find alternatives.

    More and more people are realizing that you don't have to get the drugs at your local pharmacy. And as long as you have a prescription you shouldn't have to.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    OK, you guys have given me sooooo many good pros and cons. I have a call with the company in 3 hours what should I do? Any last votes or comments?

    Do any of you who have experience or an interest in this program want to take a look at the site for me and tell me what you think?
    PM me and I'll send the URL and would really appreciate your opinion.

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit ABW Forum
    <FONT COLOR=red size="1">EveryTicket Sports/Concert Tickets :: Irv's Luggage Warehouse :: Executive Essentials Office & Gifts:
    DentalPlans :: HealthPlans :: Avid Hosting :: IntellicontactPro :: zZounds Music :: Roadloans :: MORE!
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  18. #18
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    Linda,

    How do you do a PM on this board. Can't seem to find it.

  19. #19
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    Hey Bob,

    Click on the name of the person you would like to pm, then click start a private thread.

    Brian

    Brian Johnson
    Seek and you shall find

  20. #20
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    Brian - thanks

  21. #21
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Thank you to those that PMed me and took the time to research the site and give me such in-depth, open and for the most part very positive feedback.

    I will keep you posted on whether I decide to move forward and really appreciate all the insight!!!

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit ABW Forum
    <FONT COLOR=red size="1">EveryTicket Sports/Concert Tickets :: Irv's Luggage Warehouse :: Executive Essentials Office & Gifts:
    DentalPlans :: HealthPlans :: Avid Hosting :: IntellicontactPro :: zZounds Music :: Roadloans :: MORE!
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  22. #22
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    Many of the online "Canadian pharmacies" seem to have Convoluted ordering processes where customers order by mail (or even by phone). Several I have looked into even require customers to send some sort of power of attorney form. Very Strange.

    That kind of ordering system seems like it would not be the greatest for making sure affiliates got credit for all sales. Seems like a typical shopping cart & instant purchase system followed up by mailing in any required medical forms would be better.

  23. #23
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    The Power of Attorney is for US & Canadian Customs. It simplifies things by allowing the broker to act on the customer's behalf rather than having the customer get involved in import/export regulations if there is a problem with the shipment. It will usually only be needed if the shipment is going collect.

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