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  1. #1
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    Seeking Specific Explanation of "Why not work with ebates/upromise" etc.?
    A former client has asked me for more specific feedback about CJ's involvement with parasites and unethical affiliates. The client is aware that I strongly recommend against working with CJ (for many reasons), but they are considering moving forward with a CJ affiliate program anyway.

    In response to the client's request, CJ sent the client a list of "example" affiliates whom they might expect to participate in their affiliate program if they offer a program through CJ.

    While I don't think it proper to share the complete list, I was shocked to see that the first few examples included ebates and upromise, along with coupon mountain.

    I obviously know ebates and upromise, and a quick search on ABW reminded me that Coupon Cabin is owned by CJ's parent company and is apparently involved with toolbar parasites. But when I search on ABW and elsewhere for some of the other example sites, I find only passing references that aren't very clear.

    Unfortunately, I can't find any clear, concise resource that describes the specific reasons why working with any of these particular "affiliates" (including those I've listed as well as others whom I haven't named here) might not be in the merchant's self-interest. I also can't seem to find a concise explanation of why merchants shouldn't work with toolbar parasites in general.

    I'd like to point the client to some useful links. While I might not be able to persuade the client not to offer an affiliate program through CJ, I am still hopeful that I can convince them not to rely on CJ's staff to administer and manage the program.

    Thanks for any feedback.

  2. #2
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Sorry for the duplicate content (I posted this twice in this thread: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...2&page=1&pp=40) but I think this bears repeating yet again:

    "This needs to be documented somewhere. It might already be - if so, a link would be perfect about now.

    When a merchant can see it in black & white (especially corporate merchants who tend to have poor decision makers in this field who usually have blinders on to avoid over mental stimulation ...) it will have an impact.

    Point blank information written by an authority (Kelly Stevens at AFP?, Haiko, Scott Jangro, any other blogger in the business, an ethical OPM, etc.) without all the drama surrounding it. Just:

    "Here's the evidence, read it ..."

    This will put it in a merchant perspective where they'll understand that it's their bottom line being spanked, too.

    Anybody care to jump all over this idea? It's a good marketing gem for the right person."
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  3. #3
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    show them one of Kellie's videos that shows how they "make" sales...

    the first 3 of the 4 fours here show how these partners will hurt the merchant directly:
    http://www.affiliatefairplay.com/adware_tutorial.html

    show them it's not in their interest to sabotage their own seo, ppc and brand building (in addition to how it hurts their ethical affiliate partners, video 4 of 4)

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Coupon Cabin is owned by CJ's parent company
    Do you Coupon Mountain?

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    While I don't think it proper to share the complete list, I was shocked to see that the first few examples included ebates and upromise, along with coupon mountain.
    No surprise, if you pay CJ their $5000 "finders fee" to get/find 50 top affiliates for your program, they are on that list too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    > "Do you [mean] Coupon Mountain?" <
    I did mean Coupon Mountain. I confused the name because while searching for threads about them, I found a discussion thread that also mentioned the other.

  7. #7
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I think one important thing to point out to any merchant considering CJ (and their list of top affiliates) is that they'll get essentially the same business they have now, only it will cost more.

    CJ isn't in the business of building successful affiliate programs and increasing profits for their clients. They're in the business of rerouting traffic so they can take a cut. Their top affiliates are those most aggressive about rerouting traffic, even going so far as to accost customers as they walk in the door...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  8. #8
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    Eathan -- I share your viewpoint, but unfortunately blanket statements like yours (and mine) aren't even remotely adequate "proof" to persuade someone to ignore the aggressive sales pitches from CJ and the "appearance of success" of other merchants' affiliate programs through CJ.

    Of course, I'm not going to find what I'm looking for.

    And my former client is almost certainly going to launch a new affiliate program through CJ, and within a few months, they might even see data that appears to demonstrate incredible success. (Ironically, of course, they'll also see data proving that the performance of their PPC efforts and even their organic traffic is dropping -- and thus they'll be incredibly thankful that they chose to add an affiliate program through CJ, which miraculously is generating almost exactly the same level of sales as what is being lost from the other channels.) In short, CJ's dishonesty and its alliances with unethical affiliates will "prove" to the merchant that CJ has saved the company from financial ruin (when in fact, CJ has mostly diverted revenue and collected extra fees from existing traffic).

  9. #9
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    We're all marketers here. Being marketers a simple solution is to identify the product. Compare it to the competition. Build a value proposition. And do some selling. That is to say whether merchant, network, affiliate, we have to do what we all do well. Market and Sell.

    Which to me means we leverage the Internet and everything we know well.

    The raw data is all in the various posts. There's even a TON of video. The only thing missing is a short one page compelling case and using our own abilities in guerilla/viral marketing. This seems so simple to me and I'm sure it does to others here as well. So why arn't we doing it?

    No coordination, fear of reprisal, and indecision. If everyone that has posted in the various threads just wrote a simple article, set the link keywords in ways that are "creative" and coordinated, and posted them not only on their own blogs but put them out to the article directories, squidoo lenses, myspace, facebook, etc. it would only get easier to make the case and even take it directly to our customers as to why they are being ripped off in the process.

  10. #10
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    Eathan -- I share your viewpoint, but unfortunately blanket statements like yours (and mine) aren't even remotely adequate "proof" to persuade someone to ignore the aggressive sales pitches from CJ and the "appearance of success" of other merchants' affiliate programs through CJ.
    Mark, I completely agree and have felt the same frustrations. Some clients just won't listen, even when they're paying for your advice. They hire you for your insight, years of experience and intimate knowledge of something vital to their business, but all of that gets trumped by the first sales pitch that comes along. Drives a person a little batty...

    I wish I had the link you're looking for. Unfortunately, I don't have much beyond opinion, anecdote and observation, but if your client has already been sold, none of that would make much difference. I wish you the best of luck, but it sounds like one of those lessons the client is insisting on learning the hard way.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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