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  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I have been working behind the scenes on solving the 800 phone # tracking issue for you all. I know this is a big area of affiliate commission leakage and am excited to announce that some of my merchants are implementing solutions as we speak.

    One of my existing merchants has made the bold move and phone orders are now being tracked. I couldn’t talk about it because they would not even give me the details until their patent was filed. I will be making the official announcement tomorrow morning with all the technical details and I think you will all be very pleased!

    The other major merchant I am working on, I want to develop a truly unique and awesome solution for! I have a meeting in the morning and would appreciate any feed back or examples you can give to help ME, help YOU!

    We are working on a variable header that will change when a click comes from an affiliate. I want to make it very compelling so that the customer will be sure to tell the phone rep the number. I want it to be more than a “phone extension” like some merchants use to track sales. And I want it to help increase YOUR conversions. "Priority code" is pretty good. What other phone sale tracking do your merchants use that is really good and will compel people if they call in to mention your ID?

    You can give general wording or ideas here.

    I would also really like examples to send my programmer so if you don’t want anyone to see your aff link or know who you are promoting – please PM me examples or email to ecatalyst AT excite DOT com. I will of course keep the info confidential and will just make a sceenshot to send the programmer, but want to get the best of the best ideas and communicate them to the programmer so we can develop the absolute best solution for you guys.

    Thanks in advance for any and all feedback or ideas.

    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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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    First, I have to say thank you. I hope this will serve as an example for others to follow. However, I also realize that this 1-800 number is the fringe benefits to affiliate marketing when it come to giving advertisers an edge. We (affiliates) lose on this issue, until someone, like you, and your company, comes along and says, "we care".

    For merchants who read this: this is how you get noticed, and get preferential treament when it comes to making a decision on what we promote, and what we don't promote.

    -----------------------------
    Big Chuck
    www.webproconnect.com

  3. #3
    Retired Member
    Guest
    We already do this. We have affiliates who don't even have a website. They market by using classified ads, flyers, and signs. They advertise an 800 number with their affiliate extension.

    Retired Member

  4. #4
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Big Chuck,

    Coming from you that is a HUGE compliment and a testimony to the fact that,
    as I always say - I don't work for any of these merchants, I work for YOU!

    Since I only represent High-integrity merchants – they ALL want to give credit where credit is due and their hearts are in the right place. What affiliates sometimes don’t realize is that phone tracking is a big step for merchants!

    Not only is it paying the extra commish, which most of mine are willing to pay but it is:

    Programming costs - including design, testing and tracking issues.

    There is an added training cost and policing in terms of re-training phone reps.

    Plus the additional labor cost of someone having to manually enter the phone sales,
    whic are otherwise automatically added by click-through sales.

    Kudos to you Steve, for being one of the very few merchants that offers phone sales tracking! May your pro-active, affiliate-centered stance rub off on other merchants!

    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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  5. #5
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    Catalyst,

    I know a lot of merchants that offer phone sales, Pets Warehouse for one. Henry is GREAT!

    Most companies that provide phone sales have it set up through a 3rd party and those individuals actually obtain a commission for closed sales.

    So to pay affiliates for phone sales and phone sales support commission for phone sales, how exactly does this all work?

    Or is this info private?

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    Linda..

    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=3546016804



    --
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own." – Benjamin Disraeli
    --
    Ford Fox-body Owners Club -- http://www.ford-fox.org

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador
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    What if the merchants use phoneselling only in their flyers or classifieds or TV spots? One of my merchants had a 800# on their entry site. I complained and now it is off.


    carneol

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    We switched to "discount code" last year and I've been happy with the results

    Jessica Hutson
    Senior Manager of Affiliate Relations/Development
    Interactive Affiliate Network
    http://affiliate.travelnow.com/affiliates/home.jsp

  9. #9
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    UrbanScooters put in a big effort to take care of this when they launced with us ... seems to work out very nicely for all, and similar methods are available to all Shareasale.com merchants if they want to track phone sales...

    i think the key to is in 3 parts...one the merchant has a dedication to it, so the make sure that any phone operators know that it is mandatory to request "promo code" information on every phone order / combined with the display of that number in close proximity to the number itself... even when orders are not coming from affiliates - the code should always be displayed using generic numbers for non-affiliate channels such as newspapers, search placement, etc...

    and 2... making the customer feel like that number is important. a lot of merchants offer "web only" deals because as we all know the cost of taking an order is lower on the internet. displaying the code as a way to get the "internet deal" gives those people the same feeling of getting the deal, while giving those that need it the comfort of a phone number... if they are writing down a number for later use - they need to feel that the "promo code" number is an important piece to write down...

    and 3... data storage... if the customer returns through non affiliate channels after first being referred by an affiliate - that info has to still be there so that the code is displayed... stops the leak of people writing down the number then calling later from a different locale ...

    ive seen a few different implementations of all of these, if you need ideas let me know...

    Thanks,

    -Brian Littleton
    -Owner/Operator Shareasale.com
    brian@shareasale.com

  10. #10
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Thanks All,

    Ok I still need to write a formal announcement with more details which will go up in my 5 Star Forum, but for all you Midnight Cafe participants - here is the PRE announcement.

    It's zZounds!

    "When a phone customer calls in, we try to get a unique ID from their web browser so that we can attribute their sales to our marketing efforts. These marketing efforts include you, our affiliates, as well as other paid advertising. This ID is displayed near the top of the browser and states "Mention priority code #XXXX when you call". Our Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are instructed and incented to collect this ID."

    Having an 800# is very important to online sales and legit businesses MUST have an 800# for questions or for people who are afraid to order online. However, some products tend to get more phone calls. For instance Mondera or other high cost products - many customers will want to call and talk to a real person.

    Also for zZounds it's important. Many times customers will have tech questions like "will this mixer work with my existing mic" or "which is the best turntable that has xyz features?" or "my speakers just blew - what brand to you think is the most reliable and the best price?"

    So for zZounds to now track and credit affiliates for phone sales I think is HUGE and shows how high integrity they are. They even patented the process they are using to do this.

    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!
    </font>

  11. #11
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Agreed. Having been an affiliate and still am myself , I made sure I implemented as many benefits from this standpoint as possible right from day 1. I wanted to develop a strong program here. Credit for toll free sale definitely being a major one.

    We just put "Reference #" below the TOLL FREE number and require all our operators ask for this number upon a live op order (asking end user to look on the screen if needed).

    We have seen very positive affiliate feedback for the above.

    Ian Lee, M.Sc.

    Internet Marketing Strategist / Affiliate Manager
    EYI, Inc.
    ilee_NO_SPAM@eyi.us
    http://www.eyiproducts.com
    604-596-9766

    Personal Sites: ADS-Links.com | HealthCastle.com

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Linda I applaud your dedication to stopping the 800# leakage on affiliate referral sales. Those merchants, like the 2 you mention, will get a huge upsurge in affiliate showcase promotions if we are assured we get credit for referral sales.

    I wish I knew of any of my merchants who actually display and track 800# orders to give your merchnat's programming team so help. I know even TigerDirect -Computer Geeks and even IBM do not this feature.

    If this one feature gets pushed by the networks as a must have feature then this industry gets a huge revenue boost. Example I use is Bonsai Boys of NY (CJ merchant). I did $180-250 a month in commissions with them on very targeted traffic. Once I posted this at ABW mysteriously the SEO expert spammers and the Dupers slammed this merchant forcing them to employ the vast array of diversion/leakage tools including HUGE 800# on every page to stem the bleed of commissions. When I say huge I mean a HUGE Banner on every product page top & bottom reading "To Order please CALL 1-800 ***-****)". My traffic to them has actually actually increased and my income dropped 90%.

    They then aligned themselves as the Bonsai Fulfillment center for PPmerchants GiftTree and other garden/flower merchants, infested with parasites, clueing them into how to keep normal affiliate commission exposure to a minimum in order to offset the theftware take.

    My proposal to the addendium for the Nov. 2002 CoC network meeting included requiring all merchants to be transparent about their diversion/leakage tools and BHO partnerships....in the merchant sign-up profiles!!!

    The fact is AM's like Linda are the exception. They actually look after developing long term relationships between active affiliates and trusted merchants. AM's running diversion centric programs are not interested in showing their merchant clients how to accurately report all referral sales. The BHO's know this and bypass, while double dipping, most of the normal tactics except the infamous 800# call center and live hlp button.

    ALL AM's who post here they have 800# order tracking solutions show the 10,000 members here more than just the solution. They show what's under the hood of the lean -mean -sales machine....an honest merchant, dedicated AM and a porogram that converts.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  13. #13
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Ok, I made the official announcement and will be posting some more details about how they are technically doing this in a little bit.

    It's in my 5 Star Forum here; http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...014#9306058014

    Mike, I did a lot of research and sent one of my OTHER merchants several affiliate comments to convince them it was worth the programming expense to track phone sales. I included your BonZai Boy comment you had made a while back.
    I'm happy to say that YOUR collective feedback helped them see the light and we are working on the programming for this other merchants 800# tracking right now. It will take some time because what we are doing is a little more involved.

    Thanks for the support you guys and realize it's YOUR feedback and comments here, that help me get things like this pushed through and approved by my merchants.


    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!
    </font>

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    Hey Linda, see if you can get through to Gift Services. All their pages seem to have that 1-800 number right in front of a visitors face in big bold font.

    -----------------------------
    Big Chuck
    www.webproconnect.com

  15. #15
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Chuck are you talking about Gift Tree on CJ?
    I can't find a company called gift services with an affiliate program and a big 800#.

    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!
    </font>

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Linda if the networks have any business sense they would fully support a 800#/affiliate code display application. Can you imagine the size of leakage by passing their network cut.

    I build and webmaster some ecommerce enabled web sites -Yahoo Stores and even some ebay power seller sites for clients. NONE ever convert at less then 1 sale per every 100 un-targeted visitors and prefer the order gets places on line. Imagine how upsetting it is to me to see major branded affiliate enabled merchants, who do sell within this conversion range, show steady network conversion ratios in the 1 sale per 700-1200 targeted visitor range on affiliate reports.

    Any product merchant who doesn't convert 1/150 on affiliate traffic had best change their site, pricing and displays or rid themselves of the poor converting traffic sources. I doubt we are stupid enough to believe these 800# and leakage merchants aren't booking sales at an ever increasing rate due to affiliate targeting.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  17. #17
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Ok finally got the pgoramming finished for merchant #2 so we can start paying you commission on phone sales. Pretty slick. You guys are going to LOVE this!

    Question? How many CJ merchants do you know that track and credit phone sales?

    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!
    </font>

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    yep. it is Gift Tree, but it falls under the momma; Gift Services. That would also include AAA Fruit Baskets, Aarons Baby Baskets, AAA Balloons, AllWineBaskets, 1StopFlorist, did I forget any of 'em? They all come under Gift Services, inc, and have the same affiliate manager. I think her name is Bonnie. She use to be quite active on this board, in the beginning, but has since disappeared. I think we ran her off. They use parasiteware affiliates, and I think some heated discussion got to her. I dunno, I could be wrong about that. My memory is not the greatest.

    -----------------------------
    Big Chuck
    Why do some affiliate networks continue to enable parasitic technology providers to STEAL my hard earned revenue?

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I'm sure the lack of any worthwhile comebacks to her being 100% reliant on BHO interloper traffic makes ABW a poor recruiting source. Maybe the BHO's all agreeded to buy their client Holiday giftbaskets to keep the EPC's from being under 1.00.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  20. #20
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    SAS signed up a new merchant account: MyButcher.com who offers:

    "So we are thinking that we would rather give you all a higher commission rate to make up for the toll free number rather than go to the trouble of redesigning the look and functionality of our site in order to provide tracking for phone orders."

    I suggested they make a little more effort.

    They're looking for comments in the SAS Forum; y'all might let them know how you feel and what has gone before . . .


    _____
    I earned something? Who screwed up?

  21. #21
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    Ok Just got my 4th merchant set up with 800# tracking - WHEW, this has been a lot of work but worth it, so we can pay partners for the sales they generate.

    #1 zZounds
    #2 Irvs Luggage
    #3 ChatDollars
    #4 Executive Essentials

    http://www.executiveessentials.com/ is in CJ under the Irvs Luggage account, but it's a seperate site. So 1st I had to sell management on doing Irvs. Then after they got over the programming cost and phone training issues, I hit them up to track phone sales for EE.

    Not only is it paying the extra commish, but it is programming costs - including design, testing and tracking issues, added cost and policing in terms of re-training phone reps,
    plus the additional labor cost of someone having to manually enter the phone sales,
    which are otherwise automatically added by click-through sales.

    If you have an EE affiliate account - click one of your own links to go to EE. You will see SOURCE ID XXXXXXXX under the phone number.
    That number is your CJ PID. We just finished the programming yesterday and the training for the phone reps will be next week. They will be asking for SOURCE ID on every call!

    Linda Buquet :: 714.754.1280 :: AM Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit 5 Star Forum
    <FONT size="1">4LowRates ::ChatDollars :: ConsciousOne :: EveryTicket :: Organize-Everything :: Irv's Luggage
    DentalPlans :: Executive Essentials :: IntelliContactPro :: zZounds :: Roadloans :: More Soon!
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