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  1. #1
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Keep going guys. Keep going.

    H: I thought it was an interesting discussion you had with Mr. Jangro at his blog yesterday. As you'll see from my blog post up there, I was with him in saying that a simple solution was a split between the loyalty and affiliate channels.

    You're right though that it's not a great solution. For one, the networks who support this behavior in the first place would have no real motivation to split the channels.

    Second, as a matter of principle, it's only a moral victory for affiliates if it does happen. The other danger of BHO's would still exist, and merchants would have to start determining what their best avenue for advertising was, ROI wise.

    The problem with that is, we know how Fortune 500's tend to behave. They look at cash flow and revenue, and don't necessarily have the desire to manage it beyond that. You know, the same discussion we've had about parasites and the big merchants for years now. Loyalty looks bigger on paper, so loyalty is our best bet. (And a side note to good behaving loyalty sites... I'm not being critical of you, or the concept of loyalty marketing overall... this is specifically a discussion on two different marketing approaches).

    So a split isn't the ultimate solution, and I can plainly see why you consider it to be a non-solution. Wish I had a better answer than that, but it is what it is.

    (By the way, I wasn't sure if I should start this discussion here, or move it to a new thread. Feel free to split it if you see fit.)
    Kevin Webster
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  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Admin Note: Thread Split off from http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...&postcount=281

  3. #3
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Kevin, I agree 100% that toolbar affiliates (and I am talking specifically about sites that utilize a toolbar, not loyalty sites in general) do not belong in the affiliate channel. However, I don't really believe that a separate channel for them is the answer either. The problem is that toolbars don't generate traffic, period. The traffic will always originate somewhere else and the toolbar affiliate will always be compensated for sales that they had absolutely nothing to do with. Without PPC, type-in or affiliate traffic to poach, there is no reason for the toolbar affiliate to exist at all, thus no reason for a separate channel.

    Toolbars do not add value to the channel, and frankly the value they add to the consumer and to the charity that they claim to represent is minimal as compared to the commissions that they themselves earn. I'd be willing to take a 50% commission cut also if I could be paid on everyone else's hard work.

    Toolbar affiliates are not altruistic, they've just devised a different scheme to gain acceptance from consumers and line their own pockets.

    -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

  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I guess the question is, then, why have they successfully existed for 8 years or so? (Easily answered on some levels, not so much on others) And is the OneCause debacle the "armageddon scenario" for that medium?

    I would argue that if this wanton combination of highjacking and conflict of interest doesn't sink the ship, I'd move it to another channel in the river and get it out of your way....
    Kevin Webster
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  5. #5
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    I guess the question is, then, why have they successfully existed for 8 years or so? (Easily answered on some levels, not so much on others) And is the OneCause debacle the "armageddon scenario" for that medium?....
    It's been speculated for quite some time that some networks not only tolerated parasites but actually supported them. OneCause and Linkshare have not only proven those theories but have taken them several steps further. Hopefully there will be enough anger generated from this that affiliates and merchants alike will let the networks know that this type of practice will no longer be tolerated. It's also always a possibility that someone may decide that legal action is warranted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    I would argue that if this wanton combination of highjacking and conflict of interest doesn't sink the ship, I'd move it to another channel in the river and get it out of your way....
    I think you've already pointed out some of the major issues with a separate channel. It will continue to dilute sales that would and probably should be credited to other sources. Uninformed merchants will be convinced that toolbar affiliates are the way to go because they look good on paper because every visitor from a toolbar affiliate is targeted. Targeted by someone else, but none the less, targeted. They probably have the highest EPCs in the industry.

    I'm with you on this, I'm just hopeful that total elimination of the problem isn't out of the question.

    -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

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    A separate channel wouldn't help at all. Many merchants already supress commissions when another channel touches a customer after the affiliate did, so moving the parasites to a separate channel would have the same end result.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  7. #7
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    A separate channel wouldn't help at all. Many merchants already supress commissions when another channel touches a customer after the affiliate did, so moving the parasites to a separate channel would have the same end result.
    Completely suppress? Or reverse?

    If it's reverse, than I would argue that having a separate channel would serve a purpose. Imagine seeing your commissions, sales, and reversals all climbing based on it.

    It might actually infuriate more affiliates when they start to look at why those sales were reversed.

    If enough merchants have the wherewithal to totally suppress, then in fact, it wouldn't be noticed at all.
    Kevin Webster
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  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Most just don't report them.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  9. #9
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Oh, true. In the batch world, that's very easy to do. Good point.
    Kevin Webster
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  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Even with tracking pixels, many only show the tracking pixel if the most recent click comes from the affiliate pixel. Same logic as handling multi-networks -- only show the pixel from the network with the most recent click.
    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

  11. #11
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Have to admit I don't get that deep into the technology. That's why I ask these questions and put out these ponderings. Someone here will have the answer.

    On many levels, I think consumers would be amazed what happens when they click a link, or mouseover something, or perhaps, even stay somewhere long enough?
    Kevin Webster
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  12. #12
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    Have to admit I don't get that deep into the technology. That's why I ask these questions and put out these ponderings. Someone here will have the answer.
    Let's just let all the affiliates write their own toolbar, and then...

    Whomever has written the strongest electromagnetic cookie magnet code, should make the commission stick.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    But Mr. Sal, where would we get our links if all the affiliates have toolbars? Shoppers would search all over the place and only be able to click on PPC ads. No, wait. The PPC guys would have toolbars too. hmm. No clicks to steal if everybody's trying to steal everybody else's clicks. That won't work. The only links would be on the merchants' own sites then so why would they pay anybody a commission?

  14. #14
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    But Mr. Sal, where would we get our links if all the affiliates have toolbars? Shoppers would search all over the place and only be able to click on PPC ads. No, wait. The PPC guys would have toolbars too. hmm. No clicks to steal if everybody's trying to steal everybody else's clicks. That won't work. The only links would be on the merchants' own sites then so why would they pay anybody a commission?
    That's why it's a good idea, because maybe that would be the best way to let some merchants know, about all the extra money they're wasting when they work with those kind of affiliates.

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