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  1. #1
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    Finally the truth surfaces ... affiliate managers want to paid for their services but it's perfectly fine for publishers to get paid only on commission. Guess we will find them all at the 7th level of Hell, joining the rest of the hypocrites that Dante said would reside there.

    Could be the real truth is that affiliate managers could never make any money as affiliates. But hey ... pay us upfront and we'll fake it with the best of them.

    On the other hand, being an outsourced AM is just the same as being an affiliate of the company paying you - only you get paid upfront and make a few schekels if you
    can smooze some one into playing in your park.

    All the money on the net lives in the second click, so paying an affiliate manager is in most cases just a waste of money ... except for Andy. If you listen to Andy you will save so much time and money, whatever you pay him is worth the cost.

    The FRAM boys were so right - pay me now or pay me later. Only history has shown,
    you are more likely not to get paid later if you work on commission in this game.

  2. #2
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Well!


  3. #3
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    I'm sure you're trying to make a point but WHAT?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    Finally the truth surfaces ... affiliate managers want to paid for their services but it's perfectly fine for publishers to get paid only on commission. Guess we will find them all at the 7th level of Hell, joining the rest of the hypocrites that Dante said would reside there.
    As a publisher are you under contract with a company to contact other affiliates and recruit them and train them and answer questions from them and get the creatives loaded, contract with people to get creatives made, and a million other things that a publisher doesn't do. Things that are not compensated for by sales.

    As a publisher do you review other affiliates websites, determine who should or shouldn't be in a program, police PPC bidding, write terms of service, create reports about affiliates activities and sales and clicks and traffic?
    Could be the real truth is that affiliate managers could never make any money as affiliates. But hey ... pay us upfront and we'll fake it with the best of them.
    I did quite well as an affiliate thank you. If I choose to be an affiliate for a company, and can make more as an affiliate, why would I choose to manage them?
    On the other hand, being an outsourced AM is just the same as being an affiliate of the company paying you - only you get paid upfront and make a few schekels if you can smooze some one into playing in your park.
    Really? You very much misunderstand what an Affiliate Manager actually does, or is supposed to do.
    All the money on the net lives in the second click, so paying an affiliate manager is in most cases just a waste of money ... except for Andy. If you listen to Andy you will save so much time and money, whatever you pay him is worth the cost.
    Everyone has the right to their own opinion. If I am doing a *job* under contract with a company, I expect to get paid for that job. Running an affiliate program involves a heck of a lot more than just recruiting. So maybe those jobs need to be separated and defined.
    The FRAM boys were so right - pay me now or pay me later. Only history has shown, you are more likely not to get paid later if you work on commission in this game.
    I don't know who the FRAM boys are/were.

    I don't know why you are such a negative person, but I really hope I don't run into next week while I am at Summit.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
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    Split from a thread that a merchant had in the jobs section, where net4biz posted the above after a post by me about managers being paid commission only.

    The OP of that thread didn't need this discussion in their thread, so I decided to make it a new topic all it's own.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've known several OPMs who have taken on clients on a commission-only basis, put tremendous amount of time and effort into the program, then got cut out of the loop once the results started to come in. Without charging for their time, there's nothing to prevent merchants from doing that.

    As affiliates, we similarly expend tremendous amounts of time and effort getting started with a merchant, but there's a big difference. If the merchant tries to cut us out, we stop sending traffic (and often send it to a competitor).

    I fully support OPMs getting paid a monthly fee plus commissions. I don't see any hypocrisy in that.
    Michael Coley
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  7. #7
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    I fully expect other managers and OPMs to be silent in this thread because of the fear of people thinking they are greedy. Getting paid for your experience, work and skills isn't being greedy, it's being smart. At some point it is ok to *switch* to a paid by commission model, but in some cases it is not. At start up, there is consulting prior to program launch and what *many* merchants fail to realize is that it takes 6 months to a year to get affiliates to *want* to be part of your program simply because your program is new and you are an unknown.
    Deborah Carney
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  8. #8
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    Not sure what your point was but it's time to put the in the microwave.

    If it was a ping for andy, i can give you the name of 5 people who does as good or better job than andy.

    I was an PT affiliate making a good living but went back to the corporate world. Some AM knew me even before i was on ABW. So there goes your theory or AM can never make a living being affiliates.

    I have to agree with m coley's views too.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    It can be a dicey procedure Net, but after reading the nature of your posts the past couple months, I would highly recommend you look into having a Cranialanal-ectomy. Once they get that thing dislodged from up there, maybe you will get a clearer look at how people succeed and what they have to do to get there. Good luck with the procedure
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    It can be a dicey procedure Net, but after reading the nature of your posts the past couple months, I would highly recommend you look into having a Cranialanal-ectomy. Once they get that thing dislodged from up there, maybe you will get a clearer look at how people succeed and what they have to do to get there. Good luck with the procedure
    HaHA! Alan, leave it to you to come up with the best solution...



    X

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    There is a lot of difference between signing up a sub affiliate and managing an affiliate program; even more difference when you add in setting up a new program for a new merchant. The OPMs and AMs are caught between educating the merchants, placating and supporting the affiliates and toeing the network line. I don't think I would trust the judgement of an OPM working strictly on commissions, they may be too quick to give a pass to the wrong players so they could 'earn' a few extra bucks.
    Sorry, but Alan is right.

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    Loxly, I have no problem popping on here to say as well that OPMs and AMs have so many things they do on a day to day basis that take skill and much effort. Affiliates do no NEED to communicate with anyone if they don't want to, AMs do. It's the job to keep everyone in the loop, motivated and performing. It's their job to improve the program and continuously create ways to keep affiliate interest. They monitor links, affiliate behavior, help with questions and inquiries, build new tools such as datafeeds or write new text to help affiliate sales. As a publisher, are you going to go out of your way to help the merchant recruit other affiliates to help grow their program rather than spending effort on your own sales and site? Likely not.

    Having an AM or OPM managing your program means you have a leader. Without them, there would be utter chaos out there in the affiliate world. Sales would likely not grow. You would not be getting the tools or support you need without us. Besides, who would be there making sure the affiliates were being paid on time if not for the AM and OPMs. We have a purpose and we are very much worth the investment to get results, grow sales, improve relationships and have order to a merchant's program.

  13. #13
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Valid point, some in this wave of so called OPMs are nothing but failed affiliates who think they can get some bucks for recruiting and getting two tier and performance bonus ... it actually amazes me that an unproven people can instantly be an "OPM" and before you know it they have multiple merchants.

    Sure they are all on performance basis and in theory it doesn't cost the merchant anything but ... lest we forget a) Time (lost opportunity) and b) Reputation. More often than not these merchants managed by the money for nothing / do anything to get business not only becomes "tainted goods" in the AM arena but is a completely obliterated brand to any real affiliate.

    So the free performance only OPM model can be much, much, much more expensive than most merchants could ever imagine.

    <Disclaimer>
    I'm not refering to any OPM that is active on ABW, and I'm not saying it because they aren't active on ABW, but because it's factual reality.
    </Disclaimer>
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
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  14. #14
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    except for Andy. If you listen to Andy you will save so much time and money, whatever you pay him is worth the cost.
    Fred, I have no idea why you got into this rant and much less why you dragged me in here but here goes, I'll bite. I have just got back from holiday and was checking my email and saw this, this will not be a long post and will be the only post in this thread.

    For history's sake and to educate the newer ABW members me and Fred Conquest have a long history on ABW, extending back to 2002 during the TigerDirect days on ABW. Do a search for Tiger and Fred Conquest and it will be revealed.

    Fred, buddy, i never did figure you out. I know you have been involved on the web for ever, your MLM, pay to read email models and your TONS of non targeted traffic. I do give you credit though for continuing to work at this and make it work. If you keep trying, you keep learning you may find out soon how to make money on the web, you may even be able to retire from your teaching position at the university in Nevada.

    Fred, I'm not sure why you dragged me in this thread but there are many good OPM's out there, some even that have gone through my 3 day training and I can assure you that they are solid and are worth every penny they get paid. As Haiko said though, there are many that are not qualified and should not call themselves OPM's but I wont go there.

    Since you made the comment about me, I will go on the record. I do get paid in advance from some merchants, I get paid as a hybrid model compensation with some merchants and with some merchnats I only get paid on pure performance. I also run some programs pro bono too, where I don't get paid by the merchant at all but get paid in much more valuable ways in His kingdom.

    The particluar compensation model is determined after several phone evaluations to determine where the merchant's program is at the moment. Based on those conversations, we mutually determine the compensation as well as many other factors that we wil use to manage the affiliate program.

    So, that is my post and answer to Fred's post for the record. I will not replying to any more posts from Fred, I have to finalize everything for affiliate summit next week and am way too busy ....

    Have a great evening everyone ...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  15. #15
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    I have NO PROBLEM with OPM getting paid up front and on a continual basis. If fact, as Michael pointed out ... there are serious risks to commission only for OPM. The tasks are time consuming and as the middle man between the merchant and the affiliate it is always a sort of balancing act. YOU SHOULD GET PAID UNFRONT.

    My complaint has always been: How is being an OPM any different from being an affiliate or publisher? Why should affiliates or publishers be treated any different than OPM? Of OPM should be paid up front for their services, why not affiliates?

    It costs time and money to be an OPM and it costs time and money to be an affiliate.
    Yet OPM's want the guaranteed money, while denying it for the people they are suppose to deal with.

    From the merchant perspective, they want the most revenue for the least cost. But,
    what separates a merchant from an affiliate or OPM? Aren't OPM's merchants. Are they not selling a service? Aren't affiliates not merchants of sorts, doing what they do to earn money.

    IF and it is a big one, you can get a top spot on a well searched Google keyword related page generically, you can make money on commission only - and depending
    on the price and profit margin, or commission percentage you can do REAL WELL.
    But there are risks ...Google can slap you at will. It's their page.

    On the other hand IF you pay Google say $1.00 click you can have a much better chance of staying on that page. Google does not care if you make a profit or not ... it's their service, they are the merchant. But so are you. As the merchant who is buying Google's service you care ... you can lose money very easily. But you can also make money. It's a trade off.

    Being an affiliate and making a profit is NOT EASY. The competition is everywhere. But what EVERYONE fails to realize is that since the internet is a NETWORK, everyone is interconnected to everyone else. The labels are irrelevant. From where ever you start on the net, the first click gets you to some other page. Some one is paying the freight for that first click ... and in the world of AM the money you make is in that second click. You to to page A, you see something you want, you make a click to check out.
    Second click set you up to make money, it set up the merchant to make money and it
    provided the OPM with some bonus money.

    There is NO right or wrong way to do AM ... you either make a profit or you do not.
    How you do it however does matter as long as it is legal and ethical. Whether I generate garbage traffic or highly targetted traffic with credit cards out and ready to be used, whether the vehicle for profit is MLM or one tier or two tier or direct, the revenue has to exceed the outgo. For you, me or anyone else if you plan to be in business for very long.

    Plus, no matter how you slice it, traffic costs you something ... divide your total traffic by your total costs - that is what each click, page view or whatever you want to call it costs you. If your average cost per unique visitor is 2 cents from ALL sources, then you need to make more than 2 cents per average visitor to make a profit. It's really that simple.

    Leader said it best i... what counts is CASH IN YOUR POCKET. If that number exceeds what you spend to get it - great. If not, not great.

  16. #16
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    If you are that good of an affiliate, request a slotting fee or just sell straight up ads. You aren't working with the merchant to build their affiliate program for their benefit, as an affiliate you are working with the merchant to build *your own* revenue stream and are free to take your links elsewhere. As I stated above *an affiliate is not under contract with a merchant*.

    There is a huge difference. The whole affiliate business model is based on pay per performance for the affiliate. The person that manages those affiliates is a company employee, the affiliates are not company employees.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I usually don't work with OPM's that work only on commission. To me it screams that the merchant is not serious about his affiliate program. If they are not serious then why should I take the time to put them up on my sites.

    You can easily identify these merchants as they go from OPM to OPM and then they disappear from ABW altogether.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  18. #18
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    "My complaint has always been: How is being an OPM any different from being an affiliate or publisher? Why should affiliates or publishers be treated any different than OPM? Of OPM should be paid up front for their services, why not affiliates?"

    It is called pay for performance. If merchants all did your method, pay upfront, most wouldn't have an affiliate program anymore and it would keep most from even getting into this business in the first place. It also opens to even more abuse.

    Now I have seen it with proven affiliates, where merchants pay slotting fees and such but they have a history of performance. But even some or even most of those happen to be parasites. I know there are some good clean affiliates that can get paid up front/plus commissions.

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyfalcon
    I usually don't work with OPM's that work only on commission. To me it screams that the merchant is not serious about his affiliate program. If they are not serious then why should I take the time to put them up on my sites.

    You can easily identify these merchants as they go from OPM to OPM and then they disappear from ABW altogether.
    NYF - valid point. BTW, good luck to Eli and the Giants. That aside, how do you know if an OPM is on "commission only" other than surmising it as is the case in the scenario above?

    I can see valid points in (both) a "base +" and a commission only OPM compensation model, depends on the project, the brand(s) involved, partnering opportunity etc. I believe that if it is an OPM's preferred model, a good OPM can justify an upfront fee based on set up work, initial recruitment, support and management etc. On the other hand, as a person who has earned his living exclusively on a performance basis for 35 years, I tend to gravitate toward performance based types when I am aligning business relationships. An OPM who is willing to work on a performance basis (excluding set up costs etc) and has a verifiable track record can do very well. Provided that the merchant has their head in the right place, milestones can be included in agreements that benefit both parties and in the long run, the OPM may well end up making more on performance than a base + or set monthly fee.

    Experienced / good businessmen/women, (which is part of being a good OPM) should certainly have the resources and be capable of identifying where the potential client is coming from, their credit history and track record, what the needs and goals are, and how their mutual interests / potential opportunities are best served before they join forces. Either way, I don't see a black and white model of one or the other as the best solution for either party.

    Over the years, (the majority of it in offline pursuits) when I have had an opportunity to gain ownership, or capture higher rewards in a project based on realistic performance milestones that are identified, discussed, agreed upon and incorporated into a binding enforceable agreement, I have taken the percentage in lieu of salary and it served me well. Online or offline, it works the same. On the other hand, in the case of a new merchant who has no brand recognition or market presence and due diligence leads an OPM to conclude that the merchant is not coming from a perspective of long term mutual gain, the base + model is always an option.
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  20. #20
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    My complaint has always been: How is being an OPM any different from being an affiliate or publisher? Why should affiliates or publishers be treated any different than OPM? Of OPM should be paid up front for their services, why not affiliates?
    I answered that in my post.
    Michael Coley
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  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    My complaint has always been: How is being an OPM any different from being an affiliate or publisher? Why should affiliates or publishers be treated any different than OPM? Of OPM should be paid up front for their services, why not affiliates?
    Whats great about working on the internet, net4biz, is the amount of choice you have.

    A publisher can choose from a variety of models to monetize a website. CPM, CPC, CPL, CPV and CPA are the common types of monetization structures. The affiliate industry is based around CPA. It provides a low barrier to entry for new merchants to work with publishers and conversely allows new publishers access to larger merchants where otherwise traditionally they would have to coordinate with some sort of ad agency. Being an affiliate is however, only one of many options. A publisher can indeed be paid upfront for their service just not under the CPA model.

    The day to day "business" of being an AM or OPM compared to that of being an affiliate is categorically different.

    As an OPM I have chosen to be compensated on a flat fee basis. In part it is because for my current clients I run all of their online initiatives not just their affiliate program. Often merchants seek out OPMs in lieu of hiring an internal employee or of adding additional responsibilities to a current employee.
    As NYFalcon pointed out companies that attempt to pay their AM or OPM on a commission basis only are often not serious about truly developing their programs.

    Haiko mentioned lost "time" and "reputation" on behalf of the merchant. As an OPM we represent the merchant to the affiliates. The best way for an OPM to lose both time and reputation is to represent a merchant who is not genuine or serious about their affiliate program.

    Quote Originally Posted by net4biz
    It costs time and money to be an OPM and it costs time and money to be an affiliate. Yet OPM's want the guaranteed money, while denying it for the people they are suppose to deal with.
    Actually that statement is not very accurate. A good AM or OPM spends a lot of time making sure that affiliates are receiving the commissions they are due from the merchant and the network. Happy affiliates make for a healthy affiliate program. Part of maintaining that health is making sure you get paid. Beyond that a good AM or OPM will seek out ways to enhance the relationship with the affiliate often through the means like contests, paid placements, etc.

    This is the other aspect of why I chose a flat fee basis. In my role I suggest certain placements to support certain campaigns for merchants. One of the most successful last year was the development of a contest with ICanHasCheezburger on behalf of Jones Soda. Now the ICanHasCheezburger placement was a success, but lets say for the sake of argument that it was a failure. No one at Jones Soda or in their PR team had ever heard of ICHC before I began advocating for the placement. If the campaign had been a failure they may have well asked themselves why I had pushed for it so hard. I never want to be in a situation where the merchant wonders if I suggested a certain placement solely to enhance my commission at the expense of their ROAS. Thats simply an argument I prefer to avoid. With a flat fee basis the merchant knows that when I advocate for or against certain placements I am advocating strictly with their best interest in mind.

    AMs and OPMs have certain additional tasks such that they fulfill for merchants beyond managing a program and recruiting such as: contract negotiations with the network, strategic planning sessions with the merchants marketing and PR teams in order to support their initiatives, and perhaps most importantly advocacy on behalf of affiliates with the merchant and the network.

    Funny net4biz that your plug for Andy is the only thing I agree with in you post, Andy is great.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    "Guess we will find them all at the 7th level of Hell, joining the rest of the hypocrites that Dante said would reside there.

    Could be the real truth is that affiliate managers could never make any money as affiliates. But hey ... pay us upfront and we'll fake it with the best of them."

    Awwh come on now. The affiliate managers are doin just fine with their posts and certainly don't need any of my thoughts in defending them but gonna say few words anyway. (Just cos I'm starting to get annoyed at people attacking others when they shouldn't be)

    Why on earth do ya make a post and just accuse or just say somethin so negative about all of em? Are there bad affiliate managers or opms? Yeap, just like there are bad in every profession. Are there good ones? Yeap...I think there are quite a few here and they are very good and decent people and don't deserve to have your words hurled at em the way you have.

    "Could be the real truth is that affiliate managers could never make any money as affiliates"

    Don't know why you'd wanna say that either. I'm sure any of the bad ones could probably do a really good job makin money as affiliates, probably if they're a bad am, they'd be doin the bad stuff as an affiliate, too. Some good affiliates make lottsa money, some of the bad ones or those doin stuff most would consider bad also make lottsa money.

    But.....am sure if a good am wanted to be an affiliate they could make lottsa money as an affiliate doin things the ethical way.

    Am not gonna go on and on on this but will just say. I'm guessing since you said the words ya did, your experience with ams must not be too good? Have had my own experiences that haven't been so good too but I don't just go lumpin them all as that way.

    I have some ams that I have a whole lotta respect for and they don't deserve havin to put up with you hurlin around what you're accusing them of. If you've got a complaint about one of em.....don't hold that against all of em. Will let them speak for themselves now.

  23. #23
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    I have some ams that I have a whole lotta respect for and they don't deserve havin to put up with you hurlin around what you're accusing them of. If you've got a complaint about one of em.....don't hold that against all of em. Will let them speak for themselves now.
    Too true PurpleBear. I respect and admire the work ethic, skill and abilities of some other really great AMs and OPMs out there. There are a lot of people who are good at what they do and are worth being recognized and credited for the results and effort they bring to being good leaders and creating programs that affiliates want to join and merchants would be proud of.

  24. #24
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    I have no problem with working on a commission only basis provided the merchant is ethical and pays up if you sell something. ... and as Trust pointed out there are things called slotting fees. Like I said, OPM should be paid . ... they get incoming shots from both sides ... Plus, Trust makes another good point - if merchants had to pay up, they would most likely not do the AM gig. However, another problem is most merchats look at advertising and AM as different channels.

    And I know it's pay for performance ... but the fraud factor needs to be served. It's a tough nut when the merchant engages in fraud. And of course the merchants will all scream fraud ... but is fraud ONLY an affiliate problem.

    Falcon makes a real big point ... If a company can't afford to pay the OPM, it probably does not have enough money to play in the game. But, suppose a company is paying
    $1 million per month in TV ads - do you really think some TV station is letting them run the ad on the come? But the AM channel is suppose to give them the same $1 million exposure for FREE. Now for sure, they would be upset if they didn't make at least the cost of the AM traffic if they had to pay upfront for it.

    One reason, I am so grumpy about this situation, is over the last 10 years we have been stiffed by merchants for over $250K ... and the majority of it was pay per performance.

    The other factor is as Haiko points out TIME WASTED. Merchants go out of their way to keep from paying legit sales commission or lead commissions. And they can get away with it. But most of that would not happen, if they had to pay the affiliates some type of slotting fee.

    There is choice, choice and more choice ... choose yours carefully. Because, as an affiliate you just might hear ... we have reversed all your sales, because we can get away with it. It's one thing to sue them. It's another to collect. And it all costs you
    is time and money.

  25. #25
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    2,973
    I think it's extremely important for merchants (and OPMs) to understand that there are a number of distinct activities and roles that not only overlap, but may actually conflict with each other. As mentioned often in these forums, an affiliate manager who aggressively enforces anti-parasite rules will reduce the reported sales; conversely, an AM who passively allows or even encourages parasitic activities will inflate the dollar amount tracked.

    Effective recruiting often takes many months and sometimes years to pay off -- yet I'd never advise any company to commit to paying a share-of-sales (or share-of-profit) for such a long period. And much of the work that a good affiliate manager does during the "early stages" is really general business consulting (recommending site design and content changes, including shopping-cart flows and enhancing credibility and reputation); even specific work like refining terms & conditions or setting up internal policies & procedures may benefit the merchant for many years after an AM or OPM is replaced.

    A bad OPM or AM can also ruin a program very quickly, by admitting parasites and trademark-poachers who end up driving away effective value-add affiliates. Reversal rates, tracking problems, payment disputes, and other issues can undermine a company for years; these may be the fault of the AM or OPM, but often are completely independent and yet impact the return which might be used to measure performance.

    Certainly, I recall that several years ago, a merchant asked me for advice, and with fewer than a dozen hours of work I proved that the merchant's number-one affiliate, claiming more than half of all affiliate commissions, was a crook who actually drove away more customers than they ended up being paid for (using fake coupon codes that generated huge customer dissatisfaction and abandonment rates). My advice saved the merchant thousands of dollars per month, but measured by "raw performance" the affiliate program's tracked activity dropped by more than 50% and the inflated EPC dropped significantly.

    I'm a strong advocate of performance-based compensation, but 95% to 98% of merchants who want to hire someone on a performance basis are simply not "ready."

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