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  1. #1
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    Anti-Affiliate Merchants
    I have come across several/many merchants that have the audacity to ask us to place their ads on our site only to lead our customers to a page that asks them to " Sign up for Coupons - Get a 10% off coupon to use right now if you sign up". Is anyone paying attention here? I know it's time consuming when you have 280000 links on your site but I try my best to check them. Today's offender was Perfume.com. I sent them an email asking for a special landing page for affiliates. I'll let you know their reaction.

    Perhaps we need to join together and share these experiences in case some of these slip through the cracks? I don't know about you but I work hard to get customers and I don't like giving them away.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    Please Explain? NB needs answers
    ? Is that bad, wouldn't that be a extra incentive for customers to shop, they are cookied so if they made a purchase you are still getting a commission, and me when I get 10% off I usually buy more than what i came in for?

    Edit: I am also new here, so please if you could explain, I am not being sarcastic here, how are you giving your customers away if you have their products/banners/coupon codes on your page? Isn't that what we do, make our customers by giving them customers? OR My customer is their customer. I make money because my customer bought from them.
    Last edited by jodyq; September 18th, 2008 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Rewording that sounded horrible! Edit Edit Edit

  3. #3
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    Red face You Tell me!
    Yes, but cookies aren't forever. When the merchant emails them direct with special coupons doesn't that prevent them for going through our site for future purchases?

    Or am I having 'glass half empty' thoughts?

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    I don't think you are having glass half empty thoughts, but the majority of sites have email sign ups for special discounts, do you? I have one, a mailing list for those who wish to receive emailings of special offers, I am still working on it----> hasn't been used yet. In the one month of my site being up I have 319 people who have signed up for the emailings.

    Edit: The option is their for my customers to get special coupon codes, where they fill in their name and email address and opt in for the newsletter/mailing, once I find a nice way to do it I will utilize it, still researching though.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager parmstro's Avatar
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    Landing Pages
    Hello Kimmy,

    As I said in my email, I'm happy to provide you with whatever kind of landing page you'd like, however I do also agree with Jody in that it can be a good conversion booster and I don't think that it's "anti-affiliate" to encourage newsletter sign-ups. If you're providing good value for your customers, they're going to stay loyal.

    Just let me know exactly what you're looking for, and I'll get on it!

    Cheers,
    Patrick Armstrong
    Online Marketing Manager, ethicalDeal.com
    patrick@ethicaldeal.com

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    Also something to remember, when companies use coupons or have "sales" 30% or more of the merchandise that has the coupons is really not for sale, the word coupon rises peoples interest in a product or service that they may or may have not wanted.
    Like a shirt that has been sitting in the store for 2 weeks and sales on it are slow. The Price of the shirt is $19.95, after a couple of weeks management set the shirt on sale new tag saying $29.95 on sale with coupon for 21.95 more people look at it because they think they are getting a "great Deal on a high cost shirt" lol and purchase it. So stores having special sign ups or save 10% now when you sign up, may just be in your benefit. Who knows if after they sign up they go to a higher priced page and you get mo' money. I don't know if that made any sense to you but it did to me... lol

  7. #7
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimmyS
    Yes, but cookies aren't forever. When the merchant emails them direct with special coupons doesn't that prevent them for going through our site for future purchases?

    Or am I having 'glass half empty' thoughts?
    It is true that cookies are not forever but our company offers 180 days. In that time there are many opportunities for an affiliate to make money if our company turns a one time customer into a repeat customer. If our company does nothing to encourage the customer not only will we lose but so will the affiliate. No sale , no $$$$,

  8. #8
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    I'll just add as a merchant that some merchants (not speaking about perfume.com specifically) might really be unaware if they, technically, are doing something to deprive you of a commission. They may have so many things that they are focusing on that they don't realize one thing is undermining another. So at a minimum, I would suggest (especially if you have had success with them in the past) emailing them and giving them the benefit of the doubt initially. Just my .02 - as a new merchant, I still have LOTS to learn. If you ever have any problems with my affiliate program or my practices, I hope you'll email me first before you give up on me and especially before posting an alert about me here on such a trusted forum.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    99% of Stores and Products offer special mailings, that offer discount coupons via email. All of the Stores and Products that I work with offer such mailings, every once in a while it is in their best interest to have the sign up now offer pop up before they land. And maybe it is against the TOS with Perfume to own your own mailings like when companies offer a special coupon for 2 days only instead of posting it mail your customers who signed up and then post it. See I am in the beginning stages of my mailings. I already have a kick butt privacy policy, and a double opt in. And to date I have 354 people signed and opted 2x's...


    Maybe companies should offer something for you having people sign up. I work with a company who pays me .50 per sign up. They have yet to really promote it on their end, but I at any opportunity given will tell people to sign up for it. Hey if their not going to buy clothes now, might as well earn .50....

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parmstro
    Hello Kimmy,

    As I said in my email, I'm happy to provide you with whatever kind of landing page you'd like, however I do also agree with Jody in that it can be a good conversion booster and I don't think that it's "anti-affiliate" to encourage newsletter sign-ups. If you're providing good value for your customers, they're going to stay loyal.

    Just let me know exactly what you're looking for, and I'll get on it!

    Cheers,
    Parmstro will your newsletter overwrite the affiliates cookie if the visitor clicks on a link in the newsletter?? I have alot of merchants that over rights the affilites cookie when re-entering the site via merchants newsletters...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse
    Parmstro will your newsletter overwrite the affiliates cookie if the visitor clicks on a link in the newsletter?? I have alot of merchants that over rights the affilites cookie when re-entering the site via merchants newsletters...
    That is the only time it would be a problem. Otherwise, anything the merchant can do to convert the customer you sent is an advantage to both of you
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    That is the only time it would be a problem. Otherwise, anything the merchant can do to convert the customer you sent is an advantage to both of you
    Thank you for the reply loxly, but I guess once they signup for a newsletters they will not be my customer for very much longer no matter what the cookie length is.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse
    Thank you for the reply loxly, but I guess once they signup for a newsletters they will not be my customer for very much longer no matter what the cookie length is.
    That may or may not be true. People still will search for products and can find them on your sites and unless they are a one time action merchant, you can keep setting cookies as long as people keep finding your site. And if they make multiple purchases during the duration of your cookie (unless they delete their cookies of course) you would still get credit, whether they got a merchant newsletter or not.

    If you have repeat visitors to your site, you will get the sales. I'm not sure why you think you are going to lose?
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Every merchant has mailing lists. When you send shoppers to them, they are their shoppers, not yours. They have the right to market to their shoppers. I can't find an example of any merchant that doesn't have a mailing list that they don't market to, send special offers to etc. And many times we promote the "sign up for merchants mailing list for whatever coupon"
    If this were a problem, no one would be making any money, as all merchants market to their shoppers. Always have.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Yes I fully agree with both of you I just wanted to point out that newsletters in most cases will overwrite affilitiate cookies.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse
    Yes I fully agree with both of you I just wanted to point out that newsletters in most cases will overwrite affilitiate cookies.
    Not if they are smart. I think this is less prevalent than you think. Smart companies know that they want to work with their affiliates and not try and overwrite their cookies. None of my sites/merchants do or will. I left a company that disagreed with me on this policy and they knew exactly how I felt about it. I *think* they have since finally changed this policy.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse
    Yes I fully agree with both of you I just wanted to point out that newsletters in most cases will overwrite affilitiate cookies.
    kse it's my understanding that only an affiliate cookie should overwrite another affiliate cookie. In order for the merchant to overwrite an affiliate cookie with a link in their newsletter they would have to be an affiliate in their own program and therefore competing with their own affiliates. If that's the case then they are probably a good merchant to avoid as they fit the definition of an "Anti-Affiliate Merchant". Post your findings here so that we can all avoid them and collectively hope that they burn in hell.

    But don't make the assumption that because the merchant sends e-mails to traffic that you've sent them that they are overwriting your cookies. A simple test would be to enter the merchants site from one of your links and sign in to their mailing list, which usually is a good idea anyway, this way you know what promotions merchants are sending. When you receive the first mailing, go to their site again through one of your links (just in case your original cookie has been erased) and then click on one of the links in the e-mail and then check to make sure you still have your affiliate cookie.

    I think you'll find that while most merchants send mailings to prospects that are sent by affiliates they have no intention of overwriting affiliate cookies. As others have stated, a mailing sent by a merchant is another way to help you earn a commission.

    For example, just suppose that a visitor to your site clicks one of your links and goes to the merchant's site and get your affiliate cookie. On the initial visit they look around but aren't quite ready to buy yet, however they do opt in to the merchants mailing list to be kept abreast of new products, coupons and what have you. A few days after they initially visit the merchants site they receive their first mailing from the merchant that includes a 20% coupon. That's just enough incentive for the customer to buy, so they return to the site and complete their transaction. As long as the customer is using the same system that they used originally to get to the merchant's site and they are still within your return days, then you should receive credit for the sale.

    It is true that some merchants are utilizing the affiliate channel to fund non-affiliate marketing efforts. When you run across a merchant that you suspect of this, then you should first contact them for an explanation. Sometimes things aren't always as they seem. Sometimes the merchant doesn't realize that they are actually creating a conflict within their marketing channels and all they need is a heads up to make the necessary correction. If you don't receive a response from the merchant, then it's time to contact the network and file a complaint. At the same time it's probably a good idea to post information regarding the situation here at ABW to warn others and by all means, drop 'em like a snake.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Well I am glade you guys/gals think the problem may not be as widespread as I thought. I will also take rematt suggestion of contacting the merchants who i have found overwriting my cookie and see what they say.

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager parmstro's Avatar
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    Perfume.com Newsletters
    Hello All,

    Thanks for the discussion on this! Perfume.com newsletters do NOT overwrite affiliate cookies.

    That is all.
    Patrick Armstrong
    Online Marketing Manager, ethicalDeal.com
    patrick@ethicaldeal.com

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager HeatherB's Avatar
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    Talking AbeBooks.com newsletter cookies
    Hi everyone,

    This is an interesting discussion.

    Our newsletters don't overwrite affiliate cookies either. Only another affiliate cookie can overwrite an affiliate cookie with our program.
    Heather Boulding
    Affiliate Manager, AbeBooks.com
    hboulding{at} abebooks.com
    [t] 250.412.3247
    [URL=http://www.abebooks.com/docs/AffiliateProgram]AbeBooks Affiliate Program[/URL]

  21. #21
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse
    Yes I fully agree with both of you I just wanted to point out that newsletters in most cases will overwrite affilitiate cookies.
    I have been on the merchant side for many year...
    Worked for 4 ecommerce companies and in all of my positions, i have never deployed any newsletter that overwrite affiliate cookies. Nor does our PPC program.

    I would think that about 5-10% of newsletter receipients will also go on affiliate websites. - Don't quote me on this % as I do not have factual info to back it up.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse
    Well I am glade you guys/gals think the problem may not be as widespread as I thought. I will also take rematt suggestion of contacting the merchants who i have found overwriting my cookie and see what they say.
    That is a great idea. rematt made a great post about the what ifs Some merchants don't realize they are doing it actually, someone in the company says "hey can't we use the affiliate tracking to track newsletter clicks" and the internet manager (not a smart one) might say, sure that will work. And they don't know why the affiliate channel dropped and the email newsletter channel picked up. Many merchants, once alerted to the consquences, will change that practice. Others not so much. And yes, we need to know who the ones are that are overwriting.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  23. #23
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Our company doesn't overide affiliate cookies with our newsletter...it seems unethical to me. There are so many positive things that affiliates and merchants can do to promote sales. Why would anyone waste time on trying to cut out your partner in promotion?

  24. #24
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    I'm SOOOO new to this business and I'm glad to understand that Perfume.com and that - we're hoping - a good percentage of merchants newletters don't overwrite our cookies!! Sorry for mentioning the name of a merchant, I truly had no idea the attention it would get!

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager parmstro's Avatar
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    Hey KimmyS,

    No worries! Everyone has to learn at some point! And it's not so much mentioning the merchant... maybe just try to keep things a little less sensational next time. No affiliate manager likes their program to be the main subject in a thread titled "Anti-Affiliate Merchants."

    Cheers,
    Patrick Armstrong
    Online Marketing Manager, ethicalDeal.com
    patrick@ethicaldeal.com

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