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  1. #1
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    Here's a GREAT wait to alienate affiliates...
    As an Affiliate Manager, I have also signed up for other affiliate programs to see how they operate, what materials they offer their affiliates, etc, all in an effort to better my own program. I'd been a member of Walmart's affiliate program for no more than 2 months when I received this lovely e-mail today:

    Dear Jennifer:

    Walmart.com has decided to temporarily remove you from their Affiliate Program due to no click activity over an extended period of time from 10/1/07-10/1/08.

    If you are interested in re-applying to the Walmart.com program, you can do so after 14 business days.


    Best,
    The Walmart.com Affiliate Management Team
    http://www.linkshare.com
    How ridiculous! My response:

    That's a really poor business move. I manage an affiliate program and there's no way we would ever remove someone due to inactivity. At times people sign up for programs and plan to promote them at a later date down the road. Weeks, months, or even a year could pass. I have only been an affiliate of yours for a couple of months now. Your strategy is a great way to alienate people. What harm is it doing you to have inactive affiliates in your system? I would estimate that at least 90% of my affiliates are inactive, but there's potential there. Market to us. Why should we promote your product/brand? The size of your cooperation is a moot point. I hope you will take my feedback into account and consider a change in your policies.
    Does Walmart think that since they're such a large corporation, their affiliates are disposable? I would NEVER deactivate an inactive affiliate in my program.

    I'd be interested to read other people's thoughts on this.

  2. #2
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    This has been discussed so many times on here. Merchants are always removing inactive affiliates. It makes no sense, but it happens a lot.

  3. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    I do not recall reading that Walmart has this in the past, but it is now about a year since they drastically reduced their commission rates, so it may be that they are especially concerned with expiring affiliates who removed their links when commissions dropped.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club!

    Unfortunately many affiliate managers use this time-wasting and counterproductive practice. Some people never learn.

    If they think you're sending few to no clicks now, how many will you be sending in the future?

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager bs0101's Avatar
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    Don't worry too much about it, WalMart is satan's shopping destination of choice. Go absolutely destroy it for their competitor and wait for them to contact you with a "hey I see you promote Target and thought you may be interested in WalMart" type message. Then ***** slap them with this inactivation e-mail...

    Seriously though, WalMart is a festering herpes blister.

  6. #6
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Walmart has never been known for having a warm and fuzzy relationship with the business community. Ask any vendor who has been buried by them. I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting for them to woo you away from Tagrget or any other retailer. They don't need you and there a always other people who are only too happy to become an affiliate for them. Best to just move on and never give them a second glance nor waste one moment of your valuable time and energy on them.
    <a href="http://www.buzzymultimedia.com/afpr.html"><font color="#FF0000">Buzzy Multimedia Publishing Affiliate Program</font></a>--<a href="http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=13023"><font color="#FF0000">SAS Sign-Up</font></a>
    7-15% Commision, 180 Cookies, Bonuses
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  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I've always said you can Promote them from Nov 10th til Dec 15th and get some commissions. The rest of the year you'll find the sales reported for commissions don't equal the sales that exceed the limited cookie period.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  8. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    JMDub81 is that the first and only direct email you got from them? I think that merchants like this should boot all affiliates who are not making sales every month and force them to write an essay on why they want to become a Wal-Mart affiliate. Kidding, but it goes the same distance.

    I run a very large program in LinkShare that has a huge number of inactives. Thinking about running an activation campaign but also interested in finding affiliate who are actually no longer with the network or just out of business. One technique is to deactivate all that are inactive and ask them to resubmit. Don't think I will go that route but rather offer them a bonus to make a few sales over a several month period.

  9. #9
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I run a very large program in LinkShare that has a huge number of inactives. Thinking about running an activation campaign ....
    That's the way to do it. What's wrong with AMs that don't realize that inactive affiliates are assets? They're already familiar with your program (they applied didn't they), at some point in time they thought that you were a good fit for at least one of their sites (might still think that and just haven't had the time to get to you yet) and you have a legitimate means of contacting them without spamming. A good activation campaign is bound to get some active and it's easier than recruiting (plus some new recruits won't get active immediately either).

    -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

  10. #10
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    That's the way to do it. What's wrong with AMs that don't realize that inactive affiliates are assets? They're already familiar with your program (they applied didn't they), at some point in time they thought that you were a good fit for at least one of their sites (might still think that and just haven't had the time to get to you yet) and you have a legitimate means of contacting them without spamming. A good activation campaign is bound to get some active and it's easier than recruiting (plus some new recruits won't get active immediately either).

    -rematt
    Nothing works better than dangling a few ounces of silver in front of the inactive affiliates. I would estimate that the great percentage of merchants I've joined but never promoted are one that I joined because I needed a product(s) they had or I had a niche they filled AT THE TIME and they then took days, weeks, months, to send approval, and by then the ship had sailed, and has yet to circumnavigate the affiliate niche world. Offer me a reasonable incentive, and that ship might just pull into dock.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    That's the way to do it. What's wrong with AMs that don't realize that inactive affiliates are assets? They're already familiar with your program (they applied didn't they), at some point in time they thought that you were a good fit for at least one of their sites (might still think that and just haven't had the time to get to you yet) and you have a legitimate means of contacting them without spamming. A good activation campaign is bound to get some active and it's easier than recruiting (plus some new recruits won't get active immediately either).

    -rematt
    That was my thought exactly! I get roughly 30 new sign-ups to my program every week, and most will never make us a dime. I've been trying to combat this by sending e-mails at least twice monthly containing banner codes and links they can use to promote us. It seems like a lot of the time people sign up because they ARE interested, but they either forget they've signed up (which was the case for me with Walmart), they don't have the time to promote us just yet, or they're saving us for a rainy day.

    That's a great idea, promoting Target instead. I've always liked them better anyway!

    And yes, Chuck, this deactivation e-mail was the only one I received from Walmart, aside from my "welcome." It gives me such a warm, fuzzy feeling!

  12. #12
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    Seems to me there is also a problem of mixed messages here.

    I'm looking at it from the perspective of a newbie site-owner. The affiliate centres like CJ etc. advertise to us on the net with a message saying "Sign up now! It's easy: put relevant links on your site, make commissions!".

    They don't say "You must promise to act promptly with your plan to promote our product: perform or get lost."

    They COULD say "Don't bother signing up with us unless you are serious about advertising, know how to get traffic and can send us buyers."
    If that was their message I would stay away until I had more experience.

    As an affiliate I display ads for software on my site. Also, I write a few pragraphs or even an entire page about the software - as time permits.
    Now, even if I never make any sales at all, what about branding? - I would think the vendors would be happy enough that their banner, ad, logo or brand name was scattered throughout my site.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador affninja's Avatar
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    Is it possible that merchants are charged by the network for the number of affiliates in their program? Or that the AM is paid off of some avg-sales-per-affiliate metric or something? At least then they'd have a reason to clean house of the inactives... but if not, what a dumb move.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    WalMart is just trying to save "bits" - you know it is expensive to send emails to inactive affiliates, and all that paperwork.

  15. #15
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    hmm, i agree with friendlyplanettravel, maybe they are just trying to have cost cutting here so that they will not spend more time sending emails, notifications to inactive affiliates and instead focus their energy to those who are active.

  16. #16
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMDub81
    As an Affiliate Manager, I have also signed up for other affiliate programs to see how they operate, what materials they offer their affiliates, etc, all in an effort to better my own program. I'd been a member of Walmart's affiliate program for no more than 2 months when I received this lovely e-mail today:



    How ridiculous! My response:




    Does Walmart think that since they're such a large corporation, their affiliates are disposable? I would NEVER deactivate an inactive affiliate in my program.

    I'd be interested to read other people's thoughts on this.
    Yup, exactly. Pure arrogance.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    most annoying merchant's practice with inactive, less active affiliates

  18. #18
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by affninja
    Is it possible that merchants are charged by the network for the number of affiliates in their program?
    Not that I am aware of. CJ even removed their charge per newsletter from most if not all merchants. I am not familiar with how Linkshare charges to send affiliate newsletters.
    Or that the AM is paid off of some avg-sales-per-affiliate metric or something?
    That would be bizarre, but I guess it is possible.

    Some companies just like to see the "number of actives" vs the total number of affiliates to be a big percentage.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    The job of removal is done by the merchant or
    the affiliate network staff (out sourcing ?)

    if they have time to remove affiliates,
    they should take some time to clean up or updated all their outdated promotion/coupon links and banners first.

    They really not know what is important and useful in improving their program.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    As operation or administrative procedure,
    not sure who invent this step of "terminate" inactive /less active affiliate relationahip.

    As marketing point of view,
    affiliates are also the company's customers.
    Would you "terminate" inactive /less active customer relationship because they don't shop from you after a period of time, this mean block them buying from you completely even they suddenly has that buying mood/impulse?

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