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  1. #1
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    Why do programs DENY
    Besides the obvious spammers, blackhats etc. Why to programs deny applicants?

    It doesn't make sense. On one hand. You would think you would welcome all affiliates with open arms to generate as many sales as possible.

    On the other hand, you may want to get rid of the non performers. Is it to cumbersome to the back end? Is it a power thing?

    Am I way off course here? If so, please forgive me, if you read under my name it says Newbie. LOL

  2. #2
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    There are many discussion threads here on this subject. Many merchants prefer only to work with affiliates whose web sites are clearly identified, and where there is a clear connection between the merchant and affiliate. Many merchants allocate limited staff time for affiliate management (often this task is one of many for a single person, who is under-trained and over-taxed). Many merchants are paranoid. There are many reasons, both "good" and "bad" (and some neutral) for rejecting affiliates who are not obviously fraudulent or prohibited.

  3. #3
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    I'm sure you will get more feedback, but some merchants are quite brand-aware, meaning they only want specific types of sites to profile their merchandise.

    While it doesn't sound like it makes sense, it's not unlike where they choose to open a store - will it be on 5th Avenue, or at a discount mall? It's about controlling their own placement online.

    Also, there are some stores that don't accept coupon, discount or cashback sites - one reason (for example) would be a view that the merchant would have made the sale anyway (the consumer had decided to buy, then went looking for coupons). You will find lots of discussions here about the right/wrong of that argument, but I think some merchants find it easier to make sweeping decisions about the types of sites they accept.

    There is also some arguments here about accepting a new affiliate who doesn't appear valuable at first glance, but can turn into a real performer.

    Rule of thumb is that if you've been rejected, and think your site is a good fit, contact the merchant & ask for reconsideration. It's quite common to get accepted after that..

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Cher, valid question and its different with different affiliate managers. For me we usually deny new sites that show no traffic unless they are niche. To cover affiliates who really want to work with our programs we include the opportunity to ask for a second consideration. That way someone who really wants to work with us lets us know and we seldom decline. This has ask worked to help a new affiliate without a website to get something started. I have found that many new affiliates sign up for dozens of programs a day but never put up a link. Since we spend time trying to communicate with them it wastes resources if they are really not interested.

    Another point is that if you sign-up and get denied isn't that the perfect chance to establish a relationship with the AM? If they are jerks or don't respond why would you want to work with them?

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    I have found that many new affiliates sign up for dozens of programs a day but never put up a link. Since we spend time trying to communicate with them it wastes resources if they are really not interested.
    Interesting observation Chuck. Raises a question in my mind about why this would be also; i.e., why would an affiliate sign up for a program if they are not committed to moving forward with it? Makes no sense. I've seen comments on this many times over the years but it has never made sense to me that someone would sign up for a program if they were not planning to activate soon after.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    Interesting observation Chuck. Raises a question in my mind about why this would be also; i.e., why would an affiliate sign up for a program if they are not committed to moving forward with it? Makes no sense. I've seen comments on this many times over the years but it has never made sense to me that someone would sign up for a program if they were not planning to activate soon after.
    Affiliates join networks, browse the merchant list for things that look interesting, come across a site somewhere that looks interesting and sign up for the affiliate program, but not always with a specific plan. You are assuming that affiliates all have this grand plan when they click the join program button. They don't. They are curious about what the program has to offer, what creatives, do they have a datafeed (in the past it wasn't always obvious who did, so you needed to sign up first). They sign up for maybe 20-30 programs in one day. Then they get distracted by a current site that needs new links or something worked on. Then they go back in and see who they are signed up for a few days later. Then they decide what to work on today.

    Affiliates do not join programs and put up links right away 90% of the time. Yes, there are those that do. But others think "This looks interesting, I might do something with them someday, let me sign up now just in case." and move on. A good aff manager that sends intriguing emails can get their attention and get them motivated, but if a program never contacts them again after they sign up, is likely to not get promoted at all.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I also realize that affiliate don't always get approved and some times sit in queue for weeks on some programs. So they apply to several similar programs for the reasons Loxly stated to compare then work with one program. Recently I needed a toner refill for my LaserJet and looked at several networks. I joined three programs looking for the best commission, pricing and discount codes. After testing the best commission/pricing program I found that their discount codes were bogus. I quit the program and went with another.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I understand your comments Deb, they are similar to other comments that I have read in previous threads on the topic over the past three years. Still, as a business manager for many years, I do not take new projects on until I am ready to allocate time to implement. But certainly I understand that we each have our individual modes of operation.
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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Recently I needed a toner refill for my LaserJet and looked at several networks. I joined three programs looking for the best commission, pricing and discount codes. After testing the best commission/pricing program I found that their discount codes were bogus. I quit the program and went with another.
    Now, considering the amount of time you invested in locating the best deal on a toner refill, did the price savings for one refill actually justify the amount of time it took to research, analyze and test the best deal? This brings to mind a humorous real life story from three years ago. An acquaintance with whom I used to do team roping drove all the way from Colorado to Houston to pick up a new four horse trailer with tack room because a dealer there gave him a price that was $900.00 less than the best price he could get locally. To his way of thinking, he saved a lot of money. To my thinking, by the time he took 5 days away from his business to drive down, hotels, meals, and trailering it back, he would have been better off to save the time and pay the local price.

    OK, back on topic...
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  10. #10
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    I understand your comments Deb, they are similar to other comments that I have read in previous threads on the topic over the past three years. Still, as a business manager for many years, I do not take new projects on until I am ready to allocate time to implement. But certainly I understand that we each have our individual modes of operation.
    And I bet you don't have 100+ domains sitting around waiting to be developed either




    (no I don't have that many any more..... well.... not quite, lol)
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    Hi Cher,

    When I first got into affiliate management (many years ago) I was told conflicting stories about who to accept into the program and who to decline based on other people's advice. Some people told me to decline if they are in particular countries (due to fraudulent behavior), some told me that accepting affiliate sites that had poor natural search rankings bring down the merchant's ranking (especially if they are link farms), some told me to decline affiliate sites that are not visually pleasing as it diminishes the merchant brand. What I'm saying is there are many reasons individuals would deny an affiliate. The best thing to do if you would really like to be in the program is to reach out to them and tell them why you'd like to be in the program and ask them why they denied you. Then you can clarify for them if need be.

    As a side note, while you have them on the phone, you could also try and negotiate a higher commission if you can show them how valuable you are

    Hope that helps

  12. #12
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah - 49Above
    The best thing to do if you would really like to be in the program is to reach out to them and tell them why you'd like to be in the program and ask them why they denied you. Then you can clarify for them if need be.

    As a side note, while you have them on the phone ...
    Could the affiliate "reach out" via e-mail instead of a phone call?
    [As an aside, I doubt a recently denied affiliate would have much leverage in increasing his or her commission.]
    Last edited by Rhia7; January 5th, 2009 at 12:45 AM.
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  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    Absolutely!

  14. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Now, considering the amount of time you invested in locating the best deal on a toner refill, did the price savings for one refill actually justify the amount of time it took to research, analyze and test the best deal?
    Yes, I paid half the price of a Office Depot/OfficeMax and got an $8.50 commission on top of it.

    Alan, it never fails to amaze me how you equate affiliate with your business experience. From my perspective affiliates are independent entrepreneurs and the last thing they are going to do is worry about allocation of time for a project.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager
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    The main reason we deny affiliates is lack of communication.

    When we get an application, we always look to see if the site or sites listed make sense. In general, if we see how it's possible to promote us from their site, we will approve. If we don't see how, we ask. In those cases it's usually a matter of the affiliate using a different site than that which is listed in their profile.

    Sometimes the sites listed aren't up yet. If that's the case, we will ask the affiliate what the situation is. Usually, it just means the affiliate hasn't built the site yet, but will be doing so soon, was waiting for approval so they could get the datafeed to build the site around, etc. If there's a plausible explanation, usually a description of what the site will be like, timeframe, etc., in general, we will approve.

    In general, if we have any questions we ask. If we don't get a reply (we usually give the affiliate a week or two to respond), we will decline.

    Our decline email encourages affiliates to contact us if they want to discuss the decline, but none of them have done so yet.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Alan, it never fails to amaze me how you equate affiliate with your business experience. From my perspective affiliates are independent entrepreneurs and the last thing they are going to do is worry about allocation of time for a project.
    Must be my misinformed belief in the value of time management Chuck. I wasn't aware that if a person is an "independent entrepreneur" - allocation of time and resources to manage projects is unnecessary. I'll have to work on gaining a better understanding of that principle! LOL

    Deb, touché on the 100 domains in waiting. Made me chuckle
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  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verdant
    The main reason we deny affiliates is lack of communication.
    When we get an application, we always look to see if the site or sites listed make sense. In general, if we see how it's possible to promote us from their site, we will approve. If we don't see how, we ask. In those cases it's usually a matter of the affiliate using a different site than that which is listed in their profile.

    Sometimes the sites listed aren't up yet. If that's the case, we will ask the affiliate what the situation is. Usually, it just means the affiliate hasn't built the site yet, but will be doing so soon, was waiting for approval so they could get the datafeed to build the site around, etc. If there's a plausible explanation, usually a description of what the site will be like, timeframe, etc., in general, we will approve.

    In general, if we have any questions we ask. If we don't get a reply (we usually give the affiliate a week or two to respond), we decline.

    Our decline email encourages affiliates to contact us if they want to discuss the decline, but none of them have done so yet.
    Excellent - right on points Verdant. If we can't communicate (due to lack of applicant response or a fraudulent email address) a decline is in order.
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  18. #18
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    Thank you everyone. This forum is invaluable! I have already made my home here.

    After reading all of this I have a clearer understanding. I am mostly working with CJ as they accepted me right away. I have randomly applied for programs as I really didn't understand how it works. The ones that accepted me sent a mail to tell me so.

    In general, if we have any questions we ask. If we don't get a reply (we usually give the affiliate a week or two to respond), we decline.
    The ones denied me did not send and mail and I only knew I was denied because I saw 'declined' next to the program.

    For me to contact everyone I may consider using doesn't make much sense. Instead I think that I will look at their site first and browse the products before I apply. Going forward, I will only apply to and contact the ones I really want to have a relationship with and have researched.

    I do want to say that this method causes me to build my site much much slower than normal. I understand the reasons behind it but auto accept programs may have a slight edge because I will keep those pages I built for them of course. The ones that deny may never see me again, no offense to anyone.

    Thanks again!!

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
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    Question
    Oh noes ...
    "Vann's Affiliate Program Application DECLINED"
    and this is a featured Merchant on SaS ... ugh

    I'm really new on SaS .. im gonna assume thats why ..

    Does anyone know if SaS provides Merchants with any kind of stats on the affiliates that are signing up?

  20. #20
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    They deny for various reason although I have yet to have a AM like Verdant contact me before denying my application, I think that is a great idea :-)

    I suppose I'm different that other affiliates in that I only apply to programs I am planning right then and then to add links for. If I want to be in a program and I'm denies, sometimes I email them immediately. Sometimes I wait a while, get my site in better shape (if its a new site) and then email them and if its an SAS merchant, I emailed Carolyn and she helps me out. I think I have done it so much that Carolyn has a standard, Oranges has been with us for many years and has done very well email to send out. Carolyn in the greatest, I wish I had a person like Carolyn at all the networks :-)

    Anyway today at the linkshare forum I had this same prtoblem and got the standard linkshare rejection letter with a bunch of reasons I could possibly have been rejected. As my post suggested I hate emails like that, it always ends if you fix the problem you can reapply again in 15 days. Of course if you don't know what the problem is how can you fix it.

    Anyway, with any niche worth persuing there are always alternative merchants to apply to, try then and then if you like you can always try again.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

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  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by oranges
    They deny for various reason although I have yet to have a AM like Verdant contact me before denying my application, I think that is a great idea :-)
    I read on here about a lot of affiliates getting rejected because the site they had listed in their profile wasn't the one they were using for that merchant. Rather than assume, I make sure to ask.

    Chalk it up to reading the posts here at ABW.

  22. #22
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    In addition to some of the reasons mentioned, another reason I sometimes decline applications is simply to avoid the potential for future headaches.

    If the affiliate's profile, and the included links don't give me a clear picture of how the affiliate might market our products and company, I lean towards the decline button. I'll usually drop the affiliate an email first, asking if they have another site or marketing method in mind, but I won't approve an application without a certain comfort level.

    Every affiliate application has the potential to turn into a valuable relationship, but they also have the potential to turn into ongoing headaches.

    As an affiliate program owner/operator, and now brick-and-mortar retailer, I have to value my time. It's a matter of absolute necessity, so I spend a little time with each new application to try to approve the best ratio of value to headaches that I can manage.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  23. #23
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    Cher,

    Some affiliate programs are setting up tutorials to help people who are new to affiliate marketing this way they can learn the basics so they can get started.

    Hope this helps

  24. #24
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    Programs put time and resources into managing their affiliates and stake their reputation on them to some extent. In short, they will decline anyone who wastes the former or tarnishes the latter.

    However, if you contact them and show a large interest they might reconsider you.

  25. #25
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    Could the affiliate "reach out" via e-mail instead of a phone call?
    [As an aside, I doubt a recently denied affiliate would have much leverage in increasing his or her commission.]
    I'm a big believer that AMs should be available across a couple different channels, i.e. phone, email, IM, etc. and affiliates can contact them in whatever way they feel most comfortable. So email, call, whatever she's most comfortable with in approaching the affiliate manager should theoretically be acceptable.

    In terms of denial and contacting the denied person, I usually send them an email telling them why they were denied and asking them to rectify the problem and reapply or feel free to ask me for more details. So, for example if I deny an application because their website doesn't work (not just under construction, like, a 404 error or server error) then I'll let them know that was the reason. That way if it's down unexpectedly, they can fix the problem if it's a hosting thing or typo in the URL, and get back to me. That's most commonly when I actually receive someone reapplying and taking the time to communicate with me.

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