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  1. #1
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Software Policy- 4Checks
    Can you please clarify your software policy, please and thank you.

  2. #2
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    I would also like to know their policy as I see 4checks on the merchant list for FatWallet.

  3. #3
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Hello?

    Can you please clarify or at the very least state that you are not at liberty to....?

  4. #4
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    4checks is currently in software affiliate programs - if they realize this or not is another issue.

  5. #5
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    I assume this question stems from the fact that FatWallet now has a toolbar application. 4Checks does not have any offers or give any cash back through this affiliate. Therefore at this time we do not anticipate that potential customers would suddenly opt to shop through this specific affiliate vs. any other affiliate.

    We try to make the best possible decisions in today’s economical climate. We are constantly trying to make changes that enhance the affiliate and customer experience. We are in the midst of some very exciting changes as we give the 4checks site a fresh, modernized look. These changes will make our site easier to navigate, thus giving customers an even better user experience. Unlike others in the industry we are also heavily investing in the offline print area since we have seen the benefit in proven, positive results in the correlation of print advertising and affiliate sales.

    With that said, with all the featured articles about FatWallet, one of our executive officers has specifically inquired about the possibility of adding this affiliate to our program as a potential new area of distribution. We are considering the prospect of a test period with them. If we see that there is no added benefit we will not pursue it further. This might not be a popular decision but we trust the SAS network (Brian and team) in their decision to add this affiliate to the network.

    Kathy-Ann Viau
    4checks Affiliate Manager

  6. #6
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy-Ann Viau
    4Checks does not have any offers or give any cash back through this affiliate. Therefore at this time we do not anticipate that potential customers would suddenly opt to shop through this specific affiliate vs. any other affiliate.

    *snip*

    With that said, with all the featured articles about FatWallet, one of our executive officers has specifically inquired about the possibility of adding this affiliate to our program as a potential new area of distribution. We are considering the prospect of a test period with them.
    Ok, from your comments you clearly don't understand affiliate marketing.

    Thanks for the response though. I appreciate the honesty.

  7. #7
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    Ok, from your comments you clearly don't understand affiliate marketing.

    Thanks for the response though. I appreciate the honesty.
    *Ouch
    Ma, where the beer? :escape:

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy-Ann Viau
    4Checks does not have any offers or give any cash back through this affiliate.
    Kathy - I'm sorry but that makes no sense, can you please clarify that comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy-Ann Viau
    adding this affiliate to our program
    4checks already appears on the FatWallet merchant list, so I assume they are already an affiliate to your program. Am I not understanding something?

    I'm just simply trying to understand all this FW/Toolbar stuff.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    From FW's cash-back-coupons page, they are the 6th merchant listed, but are apparently not offering any additional cash back. (whatever the significance of that is)

    & of course they are an affiliate, there are 4checks affiliate links and banners on the site.

  10. #10
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy-Ann Viau
    ......4Checks does not have any offers or give any cash back through this affiliate. Therefore at this time we do not anticipate that potential customers would suddenly opt to shop through this specific affiliate vs. any other affiliate.......
    That may be true but that's not what the "honorable" folks at FatWallet are saying. Here is a copy/paste quote (my bolding) from the 4Checks page on the F/W site:
    4checks.com - 4Checks.com has over 800 check designs to choose from, with coordinating checkbook covers, address labels, personal contact cards and more. Order personal checks online w/ fast & secure ordering. Earn cash back with 4checks.com purchases and save even more by taking advantage of any of their online coupon codes.
    And with their toolbar installed, whether activated or not, people who see that quote will certainly click through - meaning yet another source of poaching customers from ethical affiliate sites.

    Are you saying that is OK, and that your executives want it that way? Have either you or that "executive" read the various threads within the last few days about the FatWallet toolbar and it's implications?
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Executives are typically targeted by these loyalty toolbars. I have seen press releases where some CEO is publicly announcing their partnering with SchoolPop as though it were something they were proud of. What they don't know can hurt them.

  12. #12
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Kathy-Ann,

    I'd be happy to go over with you anytime the recent developments regarding toolbars and select affiliates.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    msladybug, sorry for any confusion. We are listed as a merchant with this affiliate and they do have the standard affiliate links that all of our other affiiates have, but we are not participating in the cash back program.

    Bill, I will clarify with FW that we are not giving cash back and they should not promote as such. Also we are clearly aware of this forum, the various threads and opinions as we discuss this matter.

  14. #14
    Plain Ol' Affiliate Rainmaker's Avatar
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    ...and another nail in the coffin of the 4checks affiliate program.

    At this rate, how long do we think this program will be around? 4 months? 6 months?

    It's soo sad. It used to be my favorite.

  15. #15
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy-Ann Viau
    msladybug, sorry for any confusion. We are listed as a merchant with this affiliate and they do have the standard affiliate links that all of our other affiiates have, but we are not participating in the cash back program.

    Bill, I will clarify with FW that we are not giving cash back and they should not promote as such. Also we are clearly aware of this forum, the various threads and opinions as we discuss this matter.
    Kathy, it's not necessary for 4-checks to participate in any way other than allowing toolbar affiliates to be in your program. The way most cash back and incentive sites work is that they split some portion of their commission with the customer. That in itself isn't bad, however when the customer utilizes their tool bar it is quite possible (probable) that the toolbar owner (FW) did not initiate the customer action. In other words I send a good deal of time and possibly money doing PPC to promote 4-checks. A prospect searches G and finds my site. They search the data feed, read a review and click through to your site. At the point they reach your site another affiliates toolbar alerts them that they can receive a cash back reward by clicking the toolbar. When they click the toolbar, your window is closed and reopened (sometimes transparently) with the toolbar affiliates cookie instead of mine.

    So what's wrong with this picture? I spent money to send you traffic. I built content to send you traffic. I loaded your datafeed to send you traffic. The toolbar affiliate simply waited for that traffic to take credit for it.

    Now insert 4-checks in the scenario above. YOU paid for the PPC ad that was clicked or one of your other marketing efforts drove that customer to your site. What happens in this scenario? Same thing. The toolbar affiliate alerts the customer and claims a commission where none is due.

    Hopefully you can see the immediate problems associated with toolbar affiliates. What many merchants seem to be missing though are the long term effects. Mainly, why should I promote your site if you allow toolbars to steal my commission? I'm better off promoting a competitor that runs a clean program. So before your executive officers make a really stupid error by teaming with them, direct them to this thread and other about toolbars here. Hopefully they'll get a real eye opener.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainmaker
    ...and another nail in the coffin of the 4checks affiliate program.

    At this rate, how long do we think this program will be around? 4 months? 6 months?

    It's soo sad. It used to be my favorite.
    I dont get why you are suggesting that 4checks will not be around. They are a solid program and so far I have not seen any underhanded business by them Kathy is doing a great job

  17. #17
    notary sojac Herb ΤΏΤ¬'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by easylife
    I dont get why you are suggesting that 4checks will not be around. They are a solid program and so far I have not seen any underhanded business by them Kathy is doing a great job
    Post #15 applies

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Kathy, it's not necessary for 4-checks to participate in any way other than allowing toolbar affiliates to be in your program. The way most cash back and incentive sites work is that they split some portion of their commission with the customer. That in itself isn't bad, however when the customer utilizes their tool bar it is quite possible (probable) that the toolbar owner (FW) did not initiate the customer action. In other words I send a good deal of time and possibly money doing PPC to promote 4-checks. A prospect searches G and finds my site. They search the data feed, read a review and click through to your site. At the point they reach your site another affiliates toolbar alerts them that they can receive a cash back reward by clicking the toolbar. When they click the toolbar, your window is closed and reopened (sometimes transparently) with the toolbar affiliates cookie instead of mine.

    So what's wrong with this picture? I spent money to send you traffic. I built content to send you traffic. I loaded your datafeed to send you traffic. The toolbar affiliate simply waited for that traffic to take credit for it.

    Now insert 4-checks in the scenario above. YOU paid for the PPC ad that was clicked or one of your other marketing efforts drove that customer to your site. What happens in this scenario? Same thing. The toolbar affiliate alerts the customer and claims a commission where none is due.

    Hopefully you can see the immediate problems associated with toolbar affiliates. What many merchants seem to be missing though are the long term effects. Mainly, why should I promote your site if you allow toolbars to steal my commission? I'm better off promoting a competitor that runs a clean program. So before your executive officers make a really stupid error by teaming with them, direct them to this thread and other about toolbars here. Hopefully they'll get a real eye opener.

    -rematt
    First off I dont work with toolbars, yet I understand what you are referring too and as of such I also dont install any tool bars from stores online, as I dont want there crap cluttering up my browser or desktop, if i want something I will search.

    Now.... Quite honestly I dont know what all the HOO Har is about here. Its apples and pears marketing.

    Think of it like in a shopping mall

    Person A goes looking for shoes

    Several stores have contracts with HUSHPUPPIES to sell their shoes at a set rate of $35 this might include after a coupon or before.

    Person A goes in SHOE GALORE sees hush puppy shoes $35

    Person A look out of shop across the way there is another SHOE SHOP called SHOES 4 U with sign out front that says HUSH PUPPY Shoes $35 and you get cash back from us if you buy through us.

    Of course the buyer is going to go across the way.. Has SHOES 4 U done anything bad?

    Well lets look at this..

    If they are told they must sell the shoes at $35 by hushpuppies and they make it clear that the cash back is coming from Themselves and not hushpuppies, they are being upfront and honest.

    So lets say both stores sell a pair of shoes on monday at $35, Shoes GALORE gets their cut of lets say $10

    Shoes 4 u gets there cut of $10

    But Shoes4u realizes.. hey maybe if i give $5 of my earnings to the customer I will gain more customers.

    If shoes galore doesnt want to do that and they want the full $10 thats there choice

    Ultimately..... as long as SHOES4 u is not telling people HUSHPUPPIES is given cash back and they make it clear that its something they themselves give.. its not harming anyone

    Its called being the smarter marketer.

    Its just a form of incentive marketing.

    People want discounts and any incentive I would imagine

    So as kathy has said.. They have made it clear.. they dont give cash backs... but if this fatwallet has made it clear that they are the ones given it and not 4checks i dont see there being a problem as they are not telling customers anything that 4checks has stipulated

    Now I might be completely wrong in my perspective of this person and the way they are doing it..

    But from what I can tell people are getting pissy because someone who is willing to take a lower commisison to gain a customer is gaining customers because anotehr affiliate wont do that with their share of commission.

    Also bear in mind im sure a very small percentage of people downlaod toolbars. I dont.. due to trojans and hijacking crap so your not really competing, its minor.

    Now do i like the idea of affilaites using toolbars no.. as i dont think it gives any value to the customer other than alerting them to new offers, but toolbars are the least of my concern as an affiliate, i just get on with building more websites and churning out more content online

    Now if fat wallet is telling peolpe that the cashback comes from 4checks then 4checks needs to chat to fatwallet as that is not being honest

  19. #19
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Sooo, easylife, let's suppose you are the owner of the first shoe store. The customer has browsed through your store, tried on several pair of shoes, asked you a lot of questions, and found something they really like. All of a sudden a clerk from across the mall walks INTO YOUR STORE and flashes a sign that says to the customer, "C'mon across the mall TO MY STORE and you may save some money." Whether or not there is cash back, your customer walks on over there to check it out. YOU JUST LOST YOUR CUSTOMER.

    That is exactly what the F/W toolbar does and that is what 4Checks is talking about allowing (see post #5). Would you be happy with that kind of blatant customer poaching?

    Now, I don't know if you do any PPC or not. As the shoe store owner, you may have spent a lot of advertising dollars to get that customer into your store. Would you like to see that go to waste?

    BTW - as of today the F/W site is showing 4Checks with 10% cash back.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  20. #20
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    Yes, Bill. That's exactly what's happening. Too many people like easylife don't understand toolbars and cashback activities. It's not "being the smarter marketer". It's being a THIEF.
    Madoff and Stanford were smart marketers, too...

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager
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    To reiterate 4checks is not participating in the FatWallet toolbar. They can choose to keep all the commissions or share that amount with their customers. The 10% cash back is the amount given back from the standard amount that FatWallet receives.

    Kathy

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy-Ann Viau
    To reiterate 4checks is not participating in the FatWallet toolbar. They can choose to keep all the commissions or share that amount with their customers. The 10% cash back is the amount given back from the standard amount that FatWallet receives.
    Kathy
    You're confused. It's not what we are talking about. Even if some merchants do it, you don't have to pay more to be part of the FatWallet toolbar.

  23. #23
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    I am not confused. I wanted to respond to Bill's post about the 10% CB. Just so we are clear we are not a part of the FatWallet toolbar.

  24. #24
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy-Ann Viau
    I am not confused. I wanted to respond to Bill's post about the 10% CB. Just so we are clear we are not a part of the FatWallet toolbar.
    Yes you are confused. You do not have to do anything other than allow a parasite in your program in order to be part of their toolbar. You do not have to take an active role, but by not taking appropriate action such as booting them from your program, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  25. #25
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy-Ann Viau
    I am not confused. I wanted to respond to Bill's post about the 10% CB. Just so we are clear we are not a part of the FatWallet toolbar.
    I understand that - they can split their commissions with whomever they like (I hope they provide 1099 forms).

    But, in addressing the other issue in this thread (as mentioned in rematt's response) - here's a screen shot on a computer with the F/W toolbar installed...


    Note that the BHO (Browser Helper Object) Toolbar is not glowing RED as it would for a fully involved merchant. However, even a non-participating merchant has this GRAY icon appear. And on Mouseover a caption pops up (almost as bad as the example above of carrying a sign into YOUR shoe store); look what it says: No cash back available for this site. Click here for help.

    See that? "Click here for help." That tells YOUR customer to go check out that other store - and telling them while they are INSIDE YOUR STORE. If that isn't poaching...

    Here's an idea. I've met your Internet Marketing Manger, Sharon, several times - in fact have had dinner with her twice at AffSum in Boston last August. She has always told me how much she is against parasitic types of activities. Please ask her to post a response. I know she occasionally posts here as 4ChecksIMM. I'm sure several affiliates would like to hear her take on this.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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