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  1. #1
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    Help me understand this affiliates logic.
    I recently launched my first affiliate program with Primary Ads. The product is a cellulite cream with a FREE Trial Offer (I posted the site for review on this forum).

    A couple weeks ago one of the affiliates did an email drop that generated 39 orders in less than 24 hours. Not using exact numbers lets say the offer paid $30 per order - thats $1170 in revenue. Of the 39 orders 6 of them had to be scrubbed because the credit cards either declined or were invalid.

    Since then there was no action by this affiliate so we questioned Primary Ads to find out what happened. We were told this affiliate said we were scrubbing too many orders and did not want to work the campaign anymore.

    I am simply dumb founded that this affiliate would just stop working a campaign that generated about $1,000 in 24 hours? Should I as a merchant just eat the invalid orders? Is $1,000 in 24 hours not considered a good return?

    When a merchant does a FREE Trial offer with a large payout we usually do not make money until the autoship program kicks in. So we are losing money on each order until that time.

    I am interested in hearing from some affiliates about how I should have handled this?

  2. #2
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    If the affiliate used a legitimate e-mail list, then it seems like 6 bad orders from 39 is very high. 15% were reversed.

    It doesn't make sense for the affiliate to cease promoting that offer unless those 6 reversals stopped them from making an overall profit.

    Even 33 orders at $30 would be well worth it (unless the actual amount is lower than $30)

  3. #3
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    I understand that 15% scrubbed is pretty high. But we have documented proof from the merchant system that the Credit Card numbers were either declined or invalid.

    I almost feel like the affiliate doesn't believe us that the cards were bad and that we are just trying to take orders away. Since we are working through a CPA Network we do not have direct contact with the affiliate or I would provide the evidence myself.

    How should a merchant in this situation handle the bad orders? Do affiliates feel that we should just take them as a loss?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidasHands

    How should a merchant in this situation handle the bad orders? Do affiliates feel that we should just take them as a loss?

    I don't think that any affiliate should expect a merchant to pay for bounced orders due to a bad credit card.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    don't feel bad.... there could be tons of reasons why this affiliate has stopped the campaign. Maybe he/she bought a emailing system and he/she thought they would make more money and ended up losing money... you never know unless you ask. did you email them? call them? anything?

    Bad orders are a way of life....the only reason I get angry when there are reversals is when 80% or more were reveresed, but as is right now I have a 8% reversal rate sometimes it will spike thats ok as things sometimes don't work out. I think you should talk to them if you feel that was good for your company.
    Wear Short Sleeves!!! Support the right to bare arms!

  6. #6
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    Hi Jody,

    Thanks for that reply. I really wish I could speak with them. But Primary Ads will not provide me with any other information. To me the affiliate is only a number and there is no way to contact them. I have requested more details about the email drop thinking it is possible that the drop was not profitable.

    But the response I got back said nothing about profitability only that they did not like the number of scrubbed orders.

    What does an affiliate see from a CPA network when they are told about a scrub. Does it give any reason?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador jodyq's Avatar
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    we see "invalid lead' and let me tell you something i would have been thrilled to make that much money in 24 hours. Yea so the rate of reversal was a bit high, look at the money it brought in. Imagine making that every day or more hmm. I don't email people yet as I have not found a way to do it that is not tacky. I do have a mailing list of over 46000 people from my websites but it just sits on my excel.....
    Wear Short Sleeves!!! Support the right to bare arms!

  8. #8
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    Surely Primary Ads can forward an email on your behalf and tell you the response without divulging their clients' personal information?

  9. #9
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    "And a merchant does not have a relationship with the sub-ID affiliate, but they do interact directly with the two-tier affiliate.

    This leads to one of the risks of CPA networks: you donít know who is promoting you, and the CPA network is not going to tell you, because youíd cut them out of the deal if they did."

    affiliatetip

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador VampireSkunk's Avatar
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    Possibly he mailed the offer to his entire list in one go, and has no-one else to promote to?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador affninja's Avatar
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    Also possible it cost the affiliate more than $1000 to generate those orders. If he was using PPC, that's not unheard of. Commission does not equal profit.

  12. #12
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    Only one network?
    MidasHands. We cna considered doing a campaign similar to this. Is Primary Ads the only network you have tried?

  13. #13
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    No, we have considered other CPA networks but between setup fees, and upfront deposit costs that are required by some of the larger firms we opted to go with Primary Ads.

    I would be interested in hearing more from you. I don't have enough posts yet to do PM's. So if you want to email me my direct email is mike@marenick.com.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by affninja
    Also possible it cost the affiliate more than $1000 to generate those orders. If he was using PPC, that's not unheard of. Commission does not equal profit.
    I asked this question through my account manager because I thought the exact same thing. If it was not profitable then I would completely understand. But the response that I got back said nothing about profitability just a concern about the scrubs.

    I also tried to find out if it was a targeted list, a list they bought or a personal list. I'm just not getting any information.

    I have had several expert emailers tell me that you need to send to a list at least 3 times to get results. As far as I know this list was only done once and then stopped.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidasHands

    I have had several expert emailers tell me that you need to send to a list at least 3 times to get results. As far as I know this list was only done once and then stopped.

    Wouldn't that be spamming though?

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Six out of 39 orders seems a bit high but how does it compare to your overall numbers for that same offer? Plus you don't know how big their list was. If that was out of 2 million recipients, then maybe they didn't promote the offer properly. If an affiliate got 39 orders, 6 of which were bad, and then just dropped you and moved on, I would be a little suspicious. If they have something to hide, what better way to cover it up than place the blame on you and say that's why they are leaving? IMO, their first move should have been to ask why the 6 orders were reversed.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Wouldn't that be spamming though?
    Not as long as we keep our UNSUBSCRIBE list updated and they are cleaning their list against it.

    Greg - I agree. I have to believe the problem is more with the manager that is handling our account then the affiliate. There is just no communication. I am going to go back to the manager and see if she will send a message to the affiliate for me with clarification.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidasHands
    I am going to go back to the manager and see if she will send a message to the affiliate for me with clarification.
    Or just ask they relay a message that you want to email or talk with that affiliate. If the network is involved, they may never pass on your request or answer it themselves and claim it's from the affiliate.

    I don't know this network at all so I'm not suggesting that doing anything wrong but just interjecting a "what if" for you. Good luck.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  19. #19
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    Hi Greg,

    Primary Ads is a part of Kowabunga. Not sure if you know them or not. But in any case as some one stated above, they will not let us communcate with the affiliates directly because they think we might steal them away and cut them out.

    I do believe they are responding to my emails and requests right now on their own with out talking to the affiliate. Especially since the responses are vague.

  20. #20
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidasHands
    I am simply dumb founded that this affiliate would just stop working a campaign that generated about $1,000 in 24 hours?
    Think like QVC -- they'll test some product at a time they know they historically have X conversion, if that offer carries it's own weight, they'll run it again at another time to confirm the viability, once it's proven not just with a test, but after multiple tests then they'll really promote the product and other lines (after testing).

    The same holds true for email marketers, they know at what percentage their list converts, they did a test and based on that test your conversion was either lacking or the reversal rate too high, possibly a healthy combo of both. But you can be darn well sure that that aff will not burn his list for a couple of thousands over night, that's nothing (in the grand scheme). The only way they maintain the list is to keep providing offers that A) convert and B) don't reverse and C) offers real value to the list, if there is any disengage in A, B or C, then the affilaite will immediately drop the merchant / offers.

    It doesn't matter if it was $1K overnight, it very well could have been $10K - it's all about the preset business rules that are their for longevity and viability of their business, not a quick buck or two.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  21. #21
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    The only really bad thing I see here is a failure to communicate. I see this as a problem that comes up over and over again with both affiliates and merchants not having a clue as to why the other party is not satisfied. At least in this instance the lack of communication is more understandable than usual because of the very nature of the relationship being filtered through a third party. Too bad.
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  22. #22
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    Haiko - thats the best explanation yet! I have done Home Shopping Network and we were required to move $3,000 per minute on air. So I understand completely about the testing.

    The interesting thing is that I have spoken to several/many CPA Networks and the sales managers all say we need to test and may have to fine tune the offer etc. But when it comes down to it there is no feedback, just either cut or dry it works or it doesn't.

    Yet I have been selling my products for over 10 years through various outlets. Almost every ad that I have taken out in magazines has turned a profit. The continuity life of each customer far exceeds the norm. I am still new to affiliate marketing but it is hard to tweek a program when you don't get any info and one shot at it.

  23. #23
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Midas,

    There ya go, I knew you'd get it.

    The lack of open communication just tells me your dealing with the wrong partners at this stage of your online efforts.

    I'm sure you've turned profits on the ads, and the LTV of the customer increases but when tweaking you also need to attack it negatively ... yes fix the good and optimize all the bad including buying experience, usability, imagery, wording, even colors and incorporate A/B even C testing --- All these efforts are more so needed with a "delicate" product like a cellulite cream.

    Once you have it all down to a T, they [marketers] will come to you, then you'll be testing their performance on the offer
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    As a merchant Iím seeing this from a different direction, since you are paying per sale, and the credit cards didnít clear/were invalid numbers, why were the sales even reported to the network? Normally the network notification is after the card authorization.

    Could it just be that the network notification is in the wrong part of the checkout process?

  25. #25
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidasHands

    Should I as a merchant just eat the invalid orders?
    No - anyone working on commission takes as much a chance of the order being valid as the merchant. If there is *no* sale, there should be no commission and any affiliate who expects commission on invalid sales is looking for a handout. Some merchants do pay on orders that fail. It's a sweet deal if they are out of stock on an item or if the merchant otherwise *lost* the sale but a sale is not a sale until it's paid for and you shouldn't worry about reversals if they're legit.

    I think your main problem is running your campaign through a CPA network. Sounds like you are a good honest merchant who wants to see this affiliate program succeed. You cannot do that effectively unless you can communicate with your affiliates and understand how they're promoting you.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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