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  1. #1
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    Is it ok to ask an affiliate to leave the program?
    Hello everybody,

    We are currently working with two networks and we have several affiliates who are part of both. I was thinking if I could ask them to leave our program at one of the networks. Not only I would like to avoid paying double commission, but also to avoid the confusion, when it comes to promotions related to just one network (for example, first sale bonus, or double commission week).
    Dear affiliates, would you personally get offended if a merchant asked you to pick just one network to promote his products?
    Dear affiliate managers, how would you handle this situation?
    Thank you in advance!

    P.S. The commission level and the creatives are the same for both networks.

  2. #2
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    Ideally, the merchant should be a member of only 1 network.

    If you are a member of more than 1 network, then you shouldn't be allowing the same affiliate to join your program in more than 1 network

  3. #3
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    From an affiliate, I would wonder why you would be on two networks and offer different promotions for each.

  4. #4
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    You need to have tracking in place so that you don't pay anyone twice or that you don't pay 2 separate people for the same sale.

    If you choose to run on 2 networks you need to allow your affiliates to work on which ever one they choose. And yes, they may use some links from one network and some from another depending on their sites and their focus.

    If you ask an affiliate to choose one over the other, you should be prepared to lose that affiliate.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    Full Member snappy's Avatar
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    as a affiliate also, I would not be offended, I would just hope that you are equal in your commissions.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    Ideally, the merchant should be a member of only 1 network.

    If you are a member of more than 1 network, then you shouldn't be allowing the same affiliate to join your program in more than 1 network
    Affiliates often join on multiple networks depending on the tools and creatives available, and whether they are working with a particular network at the time. There is no reason to restrict an affiliate to only one network.

    And I totally agree that merchants should stay with one network, or they need to be equipped to deal with sorting out the double cookie issues.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    One more note, if you want an affiliate to be on only one network in your program, you need to add that to your Terms of Service. Then you have grounds to remove or ask them to switch. Otherwise you really have no grounds to make them choose.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Affiliates often join on multiple networks depending on the tools and creatives available, and whether they are working with a particular network at the time. There is no reason to restrict an affiliate to only one network.
    Excellent points
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  9. #9
    Member Independent's Avatar
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    Thank you for your replies! I agree, working with one network would have been easier and, eventually, we will probably choose to stay with only one. We just wanted to try another network to see which one works better for us.

  10. #10
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    I absolutely agree with freedom of choice for affiliates That is why I would never remove such affiliate from the program. I wanted to ask them if they could pick one of two network, which have the same conditions, except for promotions that are similar, but held at different periods of time (depending on the results I get from each).

  11. #11
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    You have 2 networks, with 2 different promotions, if you allow affiliates to be joined at both networks, you can't stop them from participating in both promotions (unless it is in your terms)

  12. #12
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    I don't think any affiliate will be offended if you advise them that you would prefer that they use one network over the other. I often join a merchant's program through multiple networks so that I'm prepared if the merchants chooses to close the program at "the other network."

    The "excluded" network, of course, would be upset to learn about your communications with affiliates, and might have contract provisions prohibiting you from doing so.

    Most important, you should absolutely NOT participate in one network just to recruit affiliates over to your in-house program or another network (as some merchants have done, thereby showing me that they are unethical and thus I should not work with them at all).

    On my "affiliate role" web page, I specifically state: "For merchants who offer affiliate programs through multiple networks: normally, I will use ShareASale links in preference over any other network -- but I will respect your preference (if stated) of which network I use for your links." In addition to simply liking ShareASale more than CJ or GAN, I'm also aware that ShareASale's standard fees are lower (but I know that merchants might have negotiated more favorable terms elsewhere).

    If an affiliate tells you that they prefer one network over the other, then let them continue in their preferred network (they might still be persuaded to switch if you sweeten the pot with a higher commission rate, longer cookie duration, etc.).

    I just had an exchange with PopShops about how to handle merchants who move from one network to another (or who close one program after running dual programs for some time). I'd be ecstatic if PopShops could automatically substitute links when this happens -- but it's a technical nightmare.

  13. #13
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I'm with some merchants in two different networks because the tool selection is different between each and I have less chance of causing duplicate content problems. There are also other reasons, mainly similar.

  14. #14
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    I second what Herb said.

    I am affiliate with a few merchants who have multiple affiliate programs.
    I never promote these programs on the same website together. As Herb said, the tools are different.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
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  15. #15
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    Wouldn't offend me in the least. Why? Because if you are running a program on two networks I wouldn't take the time to work with your program - in either place. Your "situation" is a good example of why I won't consider a program run in two places. Sorry, just my 2-cents...
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  16. #16
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    I wouldn't be offended, but it wouldn't look good at all. Would make me think the affiliate program was ill-conceived, and I'd wonder what else was wrong.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Agree with the others that as an affiliate we prefer a program to just be in one network and definitely one that is a clean or cleaner network and for that individual program to be a clean program.

    I'm in several programs that have multiple network programs tho for a couple of reasons. Most common reason probably is cos they started at one network which wasn't a clean network then they moved to the clean/cleaner network. I'll use the links of the clean/cleaner network in that case but guess just for "in case somethin happens" I still remain in the other. Other reason is one network may not be at GoldenCan for instance that has free of 4th click for the coupons so I definitely like to use that option.

    If for whatever reason tho if the affiliate manager really would prefer me to be in one program or the other.......all he or she has to do is just ask me nicely and I'll pick one and won't be mad at him or she. Nicely, tho

  18. #18
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    I'll follow up by agreeing that I prefer merchants who have only one affiliate program active (especially "ShareASale exclusive"). Merchants who use multiple affiliate networks are creating a set of extra costs and risks:

    • Depending on how the merchant implements its tracking technology, it might end up generating commissions on multiple networks for a single transaction. This either means paying multiple affiliates, or reversing one of the transactions (which will annoy and deter affiliates). To avoid this, the merchant must track which network was the "last referrer" (or whatever your policy is) and display only that network's conversion-tracking code on the order confirmation page(s); many merchants choose to use an affiliate network specifically to avoid such complex coding work. (In practice, a few merchants implement an "in-house" affiliate tracking solution, either custom or off-the-shelf, with affiliate-network sales tracked through the in-house solution in addition to the network[s].)
    • It's hard enough to monitor affiliates in one network for compliance, and to exclude any affiliates who engage in inappropriate activity (trademark bidding, cookie stuffing, toolbars, parasitic activity). If you have programs on multiple networks, then a rejected affiliate might re-apply in the other network (especially if you've set up auto-approval). While these same crooks may re-apply multiple times under different names on a single network, they will find it easier to squeak through if you have multiple networks, and especially of one of those networks doesn't work very hard to enforce its own rules.
    • It's hard enough to make sure that tracking doesn't "break" when you work with one network and can display that network's tracking cookie for every sale transaction. If you must instead create code to identify which network was the last referrer and display only that network's tracking code on your thank-you page, this is one more function (and more lines of code) that might "break" during future web-site updates.
    • Other issues include: maintaining minimum-deposit requirements on multiple networks; interacting with two sets of affiliates using two different platforms; mirroring program details (cookie duration, last-session-entry vs last-referrer, bonus plans, tiers, etc.); using two different systems to implement any extended-transactions, reversals, charge-backs, and bonuses; propegating text & image ads to two different systems; propegating datafeeds to two different systems with imperfectly-aligned data fields.


    I certainly recognize that different affiliate networks offer different "special functionality" that certain affiliates prefer. I also recognize that each affiliate network offers a different set of options for inclusion in a datafeed, and some affiliates may prefer one organization over another (assuming that the merchant actually populates valid data into the columns that matter to that affiliate).

    In addition, there are some affiliates who refuse to work with specific networks (I don't work with LinkShare, PepperJam, or Kowabunga), and other affiliates work only with one network or a few "preferred" networks (they aren't likely to join a third, fifth, or ninth affiliate network just to add your links, and even if they already participate in you chosen network, they might add new merchants from that network more reluctantly or less frequently than new merchants from their "favorite" networks). I know of at least one merchant who closed their affiliate program on one network and replaced it with programs with two affiliate networks that I refused to work with -- and then reluctantly added a third program through ShareASale because I'd previously generated significant revenue for them. (Alas, they acted much too late, and I've only recently begun adding their products to one of my sites).

    Merchants are also well-advised to monitor their competitors' choice of affiliate networks, because it might be slightly easier to recruit your competitors' existing affiliates (to add or substitute your links) if you are in the same affiliate network.

    Finally, I'll repeat my caution about respecting your relationship with each affiliate network. If you are opening a program on a second network just because of one or two affiliates who won't work with your chosen affiliate network, consider making the second program "private" or "invitation-only" program on that network, and make clear to the network that this is your intent. I don't think any network would allow you to offer a public program on their network if you will actively try to recruit those new affiliates to switch to a different network -- and be sure to read the "second" network's contract carefully.
    Last edited by markwelch; February 28th, 2009 at 01:39 PM.

  19. #19
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    Thank you all for your help. I will definitely consider your suggestions.

  20. #20
    Newbie steven_online's Avatar
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    as an affiliate i would be upset! thats the reason why eventually i want to become a merchant because merchants CAN do what your considering doing right now and personally if i had been promoting the hell out of a project and then I was asked to leave i would be peeved ut at the end of the day its your company i would just pa4y the person and tell him that as of such and such a date you can only promote one of my programs!

  21. #21
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    When you say you are in two networks, are you referring to traditional networks like Shareasale through a pay per sale deal? Or, are you referring to one traditional network and one perhaps "CPA" network?

    I know of a big merchant, a national company, that is housed in a traditional network and that network is advertised as their affiliate program host on their site. At the same time, they also broker out offers to CPA networks which sometimes are offers at a much higher rate than the main traditional network pays.

    I have always disliked this kind of thing, so I just wondered which kind of thing you were speaking about?

  22. #22
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to figure out how you could pay them twice for one sale... but no..it wouldn't offend me if it was my choice to decide which network to stick to.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  23. #23
    Member Independent's Avatar
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    Affiliateoldguy, we have two "traditional" networks.
    Thank you all for your replies. I think, the answer to my question is "it depends on the affiliate". I see some of you would be offended if a merchant asked you to leave one of the networks, but the others would be ok with that.

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