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  1. #1
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Hey AM's define ACTIVE for me
    I get these emails from Affiliate Managers that usually go somethings like this...

    Please become an ACTIVE member of our program and send sales our way by January 31, 2009. Otherwise, we will be removing you from our program.

    ACTIVE to me, means that you are at least doing something. In this case, I am actually doing something. Every time this merchant publishes new coupons and promotions, I place them on the page. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like I am being ACTIVE.

    I think the AM's really need to use the word "PROFITABLE" instead of "ACTIVE". Isn't that really what your saying?

    So the above email statement should really read....

    Please become a PROFITABLE member of our program and send sales our way by January 31, 2009. Otherwise, we will be removing you from our program.

    So if your an AM and like to send out similar emails about in-ACTIVITY, consider calling it what your really thinking and use the word "PROFITABLE" instead.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    It is stupid to send out an e-mail asking for an affiliate to send sales by a certain date, or else they will be removed. Active should mean just that, active, actually doing something.

    This business is run by some good AMs and some very stupid ones, and lots in the middle who just don't have a clue.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Jason Rubacky's Avatar
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    I still don't understand why an AM would remove a partner from a program because they are not making any sales?!?!

    To me it seems like an easy out for an AM to make their conversions look better (less clicks = better conversion)

    Not taking the time to step in and help partners become more successful seems like an awful way to run a program and a bit lazy (in my opinion)
    Jason Rubacky - CEO/SEO Nerd at PassTheSEO
    jason at passtheseo dot com
    @jasonrubacky

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    I think it's because most merchants don't have a dedicted affiliate marketing team or person. It might be handled by one person who is also in charge of other marketing duties besides the affiliate channel.

    I think with any merchant out there, if they have somebody dedicated to the channel and understands how it works. I really don't see how you can lose since you only pay for actual performance and even when there is no conversion, you still got those eyeballs that might remember you in the future. Run right, it's one of the best systems out there.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager ReneeM's Avatar
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    This morning I got a 3k sale from an affiliate who has not sent a hit in over 60 days, and in the 10 months they have been in our program they have sent total of only 70 hits.

    Moral of the story you never know who will do what... any AM who removes affiliates from their program because they are "inactive" is making a mistake. All affiliates have the potential to be "profitable".

  6. #6
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    To me, when an affiliate is approved, they are "active" in my mind. They have elected to sign up to the program, which means they think that merchant might be worthy of their traffic.

    It's then up to the merchant/affiliate manager/person overseeing the program to then show the affiliate they are the real deal.

    It confuses me that merchants think affiliates should bend to their standards, when really, for the types of affiliates you should want to work with - the clean ones - merchants should be taking a closer look at being worthy of that targeted, quality traffic.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Jason Rubacky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimSalvino
    merchants should be taking a closer look at being worthy of that targeted, quality traffic.
    BINGO! we have a winna!
    Jason Rubacky - CEO/SEO Nerd at PassTheSEO
    jason at passtheseo dot com
    @jasonrubacky

  8. #8
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Instead of telling affiliates to get "active" when they already are "active" by adding links, banners, etc., Perhaps they should ask themselves why the merchant website isn't converting very well or requires very strong landing pages to convert. Perhaps the merchant landing page (product page) is less than convincing.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager HeatherB's Avatar
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    I usually consider an affiliate "active" when they have a click or an impression, but I don't kick affiliates out of the program if they're inactive or unproductive as I find sometimes it takes a while for affiliates to get around to promoting my 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]

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador affninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeatherB
    I usually consider an affiliate "active" when they have a click or an impression, but I don't kick affiliates out of the program if they're inactive or unproductive as I find sometimes it takes a while for affiliates to get around to promoting my program.
    Absolutely right. And since many people start their affiliate business on a part-time basis, it could be a very long time. I'm just getting around to certain projects I intended to start YEARS ago!

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    i think the exposure my brands get from being on a site means active.
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  12. #12
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Are these e-mails sent out meant to motivate you to start producing for their affiliate programs? [rhetoric question] Seems like these affiliate managers and merchants are not only stuck back in the managerial patterns of the 70s-80s, but also misunderstand the whole idea behind having an independent workforce work for you.

    I have just made this post in my blog: Motivating Affiliates by Threat: Dead-End Strategy. There is a crying need for AMs/merchants to understand that the only way of motivation that works in affiliate marketing is motivation by opportunity (coupled with a strong internal motivation of an affiliate, but that's a topic in itself).

    Geno

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    To us, active = at least 1 click. If an affiliate has no clicks we often send out emails asking if there's anything they need but we never removed anyone for inactivity or lack of sales, it just doesn't make sense. If all of our affiliates were as "inactive" as you SeymourButts we wouldn't have to send out these emails It's the merchant, not you.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Stephanie Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    We understand that our affiliates partners have other merchant accounts, families, some even have other full-time jobs; in other words keep in mind that affiliates have a life! We appreciate all the support from our affiliate partners and would not remove them from programs for inactivity.
    @MicroSteph | Stephanie Lichtenstein
    President of Micro Media Marketing
    Outsourced Social Media Management
    Get Connected: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | AIM: AffiliateLady | Skype: StephanieLichtenstein

  15. #15
    http and a telephoto
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    Active = has links up that send clicks
    Inactive = signed up but no links yet
    Profitable = sending sales

    Inactive does not equal "needs to be tossed aside".

    Pretty easy.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  16. #16
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Active = has links up that send clicks
    Inactive = signed up but no links yet
    Profitable = sending sales

    Inactive does not equal "needs to be tossed aside".

    Pretty easy.
    What mama said ...

    Listen, there should be no reason to remove any affiliates unless they are purposely sending in fraudelent traffic or breaking / ignoring your TOS for the program.
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    Where do they hire these clueless AMs?

    Don't they dish out common sense any more?

  18. #18
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Where do they hire these clueless AMs?

    Don't they dish out common sense any more?
    There are a lot of people that lack common sense anymore.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  19. #19
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    These are all really good points, but I think that it's worth mentioning the difference between campaigns that are managed in-house vs. on the networks. For a program in house, there is no (or very small) opportunity cost to leaving all affiliates "joined" to the campaign; if some of them never send one sale, there are very little expenses, so the chance that one day they will send a single sale would be enough to let them continue to be an affiliate.

    However, if the campaign is managed on a network, the opportunity cost of leaving all affiliates who are not "profitable" is higher for a couple of reasons. First, if a merchant campaign has a large number of affiliates who continually sent traffic that doesn't convert, it drives the merchant EPC down, category ranking down, conversion rate down, and other metrics that future prospective affiliates look at and evaluate when deciding which programs to promote. So for these merchants; if they continue to allow under-performing affiliates to participate in their campaign without eliminating them, they are losing out on potential sales that could have been theirs with a higher network ranking/better campaign metrics.

    I am not trying to validate a weak attempt by some AMs to increase sales with this old motivation trick, but I wanted to point out this scenario where a savvy AM might be smart to make some affiliate cuts.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GedgeMK
    These are all really good points, but I think that it's worth mentioning the difference between campaigns that are managed in-house vs. on the networks. For a program in house, there is no (or very small) opportunity cost to leaving all affiliates "joined" to the campaign; if some of them never send one sale, there are very little expenses, so the chance that one day they will send a single sale would be enough to let them continue to be an affiliate.

    However, if the campaign is managed on a network, the opportunity cost of leaving all affiliates who are not "profitable" is higher for a couple of reasons. First, if a merchant campaign has a large number of affiliates who continually sent traffic that doesn't convert, it drives the merchant EPC down, category ranking down, conversion rate down, and other metrics that future prospective affiliates look at and evaluate when deciding which programs to promote. So for these merchants; if they continue to allow under-performing affiliates to participate in their campaign without eliminating them, they are losing out on potential sales that could have been theirs with a higher network ranking/better campaign metrics.

    I am not trying to validate a weak attempt by some AMs to increase sales with this old motivation trick, but I wanted to point out this scenario where a savvy AM might be smart to make some affiliate cuts.
    Disagree completely.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by GedgeMK
    These are all really good points, but I think that it's worth mentioning the difference between campaigns that are managed in-house vs. on the networks. For a program in house, there is no (or very small) opportunity cost to leaving all affiliates "joined" to the campaign; if some of them never send one sale, there are very little expenses, so the chance that one day they will send a single sale would be enough to let them continue to be an affiliate.

    However, if the campaign is managed on a network, the opportunity cost of leaving all affiliates who are not "profitable" is higher for a couple of reasons. First, if a merchant campaign has a large number of affiliates who continually sent traffic that doesn't convert, it drives the merchant EPC down, category ranking down, conversion rate down, and other metrics that future prospective affiliates look at and evaluate when deciding which programs to promote. So for these merchants; if they continue to allow under-performing affiliates to participate in their campaign without eliminating them, they are losing out on potential sales that could have been theirs with a higher network ranking/better campaign metrics.

    I am not trying to validate a weak attempt by some AMs to increase sales with this old motivation trick, but I wanted to point out this scenario where a savvy AM might be smart to make some affiliate cuts.
    That is one of the stupidest things I have read for a while.

    Any decent affiliate knows that EPC is not a reliable metric to determine if a merchant is worth promoting

  22. #22
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Corporate management treat affiliates based on the numbers. There is so much crap in the general marketing press and few outside of the affiliate channel have a clue about it. Its akin to complaining that all the beans in the silo are just sitting there!

    Successful affiliates tell me that they may be joined to 1000 programs but only work with a few hundred. They intend to work with mine but haven't gotten to it. Also, affiliates showing impressions but no clicks is a problem of the program manager. We are going through a review of yearly stats to look for ways to increase sales from our side.

    My concern is that affiliates are not getting communication that we spend time and resources to produce. If they are no longer online then I want them out of the program but if they are online but dormant then it is my job to get them active. Need to make it worth their time. Affiliates aren't lazy if they are making money. Try offering them a $25 Amazon gift card to turn their first sale.

    There is too much focus on EPC and should be more on conversion. EPC hides chargebacks. I see programs like BlockBuster kicking out affiliates as Darwinism. Once they gut their programs of 99% of the affiliates they will start soliciting again. That is when affiliates have a bargaining position. Use it!!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Any decent affiliate knows that EPC is not a reliable metric to determine if a merchant is worth promoting
    So what metrics do you use when deciding between similar campaigns on a network?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GedgeMK
    So what metrics do you use when deciding between similar campaigns on a network?
    Reputation, manager, fit for site... EPC is not a gauge.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador
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    If it is on the Shareasale network, already a plus
    A good OPM, another plus
    An OPM with a forum on here, another HUGE plus
    Then just make sure the merchant fits in with your site.

    There are tons of merchants that you could promote, just ones that have an OPM with a forum on Abestweb

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