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  1. #1
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    Why some publishers don't update
    Hi guys,

    I have been confused by one thing recently. Why some publishers in our program don't regularly update. I have been working hard to create promotional materials which are supposed to be more convertible. but they just don't update. Would anyone please advise how I persuade them to update and let them know that I would like to do any customized backup for them? Thanks a lot in advance

    Naia

  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Just as you have many publishers, publishers often have many merchants. These days they have literally thousands of merchants to choose from. Each publisher only has so much time, just as we do as AMs. Even if they would like to update, it is unlikely that they could immediately update for every merchant they work with. You are doing the right thing. As long as you continue to work hard and update, and are responsive to them, you will continue to build your program, and it will continue to grow over time, IMHO.


    By the way, the moderator should probably combine these two duplicate threads that you have asked this question in. I do not know what the protocol is to ask for that to be done.
    Jack Kotowski • Certified Affiliate Manager • OPM/Agency - program details: ABestWeb Forum of JackMarketing
    Managing affiliate programs since 1997 | Google Profile - JackMarketing
    Built Zappos.com to #1!!JackMarketing on Twitter and other social media networks • Inquiries: www.JackMarketing.com

  3. #3
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    You also have to consider that just because you think that the new material is better at converting, it doesn't mean that your affiliates will think the same.
    If you give affiliates a choice in what they use to promote you, then you have to respect their decision to promote different material than you perhaps would want them to.
    If you don't want them to use the old material, then make it clear that the old material will be removed

    Also, some affiliates place a banner on a page, and then never go back to that page, even if the merchant goes out of business. Some affiliates either don't have the time, or don't care, or no longer even update their sites at all.

  4. #4
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    How do they know that you've updated your creatives? Like Jack said, I work with an awful lot of merchants and while I just love perusing the network interfaces to see who has new creatives, I just don't have time to do it everyday, especially when there are merchants that haven't updated their creatives in over a year (what's up with that?).

    The merchants on my sites that get updated first are the ones that send me an e-mail with their new links already encoded with my ID. GAN's link subscriptions are great too, anything that keeps me from wasting hours of time looking for those few new gems.

    So to me the key to getting your creatives updated regularly is to think push, not pull.

    -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

  5. #5
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Provide an api/interface that allows affiliates to setup a cron to pull updated content as it becomes available. As a coupon publisher, most of my updates come by way of automation from the GAN Link Subscriptions, CJ Promofeed, SAS Deals Database, Avantlink Coupon Feed, or the PJ Coupon Feed. I have crons that run each day that will automatically update my site based on content in the above listed feeds.

    As was said earlier, there are simply not enough hours in a day to manually read hundreds of emails each week to get updates.

    Provide something with the updated content that a publisher can automate.

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    I'll second what rematt said, too.

    Also, it is a good idea, IMHO, to communicate in multiple ways, like posting right here on ABW, whenever you update. I get over a thousand bounces every time I send a newsletter via the network systems. And those are only the ones that I know don't get through. I am sure there are more. This is because merchants have abused it over the years, or there are just too many in each network sending too many emails. Affiliates/publishers either ignore them, or change their email account after signing up, just so they can manage their time.

    I manage 7 programs, and I am launching at least 3 new large ventures. I believe they all benefit from each other. However, time management can be just a little tricky for everyone these days.
    Jack Kotowski • Certified Affiliate Manager • OPM/Agency - program details: ABestWeb Forum of JackMarketing
    Managing affiliate programs since 1997 | Google Profile - JackMarketing
    Built Zappos.com to #1!!JackMarketing on Twitter and other social media networks • Inquiries: www.JackMarketing.com

  7. #7
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    I agree that dynamic content is your friend.

    But I think it's important to understand why many affiliates don't bother to update links:
    • Once the affiliate has added a link (whether it's text, banner, button, widget, or whatever), if no earnings result, then the affiliate may see little incentive to allocate time to 'improving' the link. In fact, if you do manage to get the affiliate's attention and inspire action, the most likely action is simply removal of your link entirely, replaced by your competitor's link.
    • If you think that there is ANY possibility that a particular banner may need to be replaced, then identify it as "dynamic" and simply replace the banner image (and possibly the destination of the affiliate-link URL), without bothering the affiliate. (But you should never change a previously-static banner by replacing the image or destination URL, at least not without ample warning that the old ad is being disabled.)
    • Many affiliates have a very erratic update cycle. I have some sites that haven't been updated in several years, because traffic volumes are low and conversions are zero. My attention is drawn to the sites that already have traffic and conversions (how can I grow traffic further, or increase conversions). You just can't fix that.
    • Try to explain in very clear language why your new ad is better: "We've found that our old light-gold-on-dark-yellow banner wasn't very effective. With our new black-and-red banner, we're seeing huge improvements in clickthrough rates (from 2% to 6%) and our overall EPC has increased from $0.33 to $6.50."
    • For your "best prospect" affiliates, look at their sites and make very specific suggestions: "I've noticed that on your 'glibble' page, our standard banner doesn't stand out and doesn't even mention the word 'glibble.' If you could replace the existing banner with our new dynamic 'glibble banner,' you'll be assured that the most effective 'glibble' banner will be displayed on this page.
    • As suggested, you should make use of any dynanic-feed options (product datafeeds, deals database) whenever possible.


    Your affiliates are not your employees or agents; we are independent web publishers who are seeking to maximize our advertising revenues. When we act rationally, our focus is on site content and advertising opportunities that appear most likely to generate revenue, and we'll often ignore site content and advertising that isn't effective, rather than spend time trying to figure out whether performance might be improved. When we act irrationally (as we often do), you must be as tolerant as reasonably possible, and "accentuate the positive." After all, you're talking about the very small subset of your approved affiliates who have already posted your links.

    If it's really important to get links updated, consider offering an incentive: a cash bonus, increased commission rate, or free sample merchandise for affiliates who do so. (But don't expect too much: the vast majority of affiliates ignore these offers -- even in the unlikely event that you offered me $50 to replace a link, and in the even more unlikely event that I actually read that email, and even if I actually believed that promise, I probably still wouldn't respond or take any action.)
    Last edited by markwelch; April 17th, 2009 at 01:25 PM.

  8. #8
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    I agree that dynamic content is your friend.

    But I think it's important to understand why many affiliates don't bother to update links:
    • Once the affiliate has added a link (whether it's text, banner, button, widget, or whatever), if no earnings result, then the affiliate may see little incentive to allocate time to 'improving' the link. ......
    Good post, Mark!

  9. #9
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    Thanks a lot Julian and Jackmarketing. You know what is the frustrating part of my work? We outsourced our prgm to an agency, there is no way for us to communicate with the publishers directly. Hence, I have to create the promotional materials according to the promotion on our website and historical data. As a result, tho I work very hard here, it might not meet the publishers' need. n what is even worse, our agency rarely gives us any regular feedback from the publishers. So I really dun no any good solution for this. Any one has any good suggestion?
    Many thanks in advance.

  10. #10
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    If your agency is not responsive to you, imagine how your publishers must be being treated. I tried to send this to you via email or Private Message, but apparently you are not able to receive them yet. So this seems to be the only way to get this to you:

    There are some good program managers out there. I certainly try to be responsive to all of my clients and affiliates, and I run 7 programs (soon to be 9). Please feel free to contact me for some suggestions even if I am not what you are looking for.

    Regards,
    Jack Kotowski (http://www.linkedin.com/in/jackmarketing)
    Certified Affiliate Manager, also known as "JackMarketing" on:
    ABestWeb.com, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, LiveJournal, and Twitter
    Phone: (805) 426-9490 | Skype: JackMarketing
    email: jack { AT } jackmarketing.com | Website: www.jackmarketing.com
    Jack Kotowski • Certified Affiliate Manager • OPM/Agency - program details: ABestWeb Forum of JackMarketing
    Managing affiliate programs since 1997 | Google Profile - JackMarketing
    Built Zappos.com to #1!!JackMarketing on Twitter and other social media networks • Inquiries: www.JackMarketing.com

  11. #11
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    From an affiliate's perspective:
    Many times as mentioned above, we place a banner, text or product link on a page of our website or blog. The time to go back to a particular page can be very time consuming.
    Some of us have to be selective of the offers we place each week due to time constraints.
    I can tell you as an affiliate if I receive regular and sometimes personal updates from my AM, I will do my best to post material as soon as possible. If a merchant, contacts me to discuss my site, then they will receive immediate attention.

    The one thin I dislike is a program that is managed poorly with little or no feedback. Like affiliates, there are good merchant programs and poor ones.

    Unfortunately for merchants, many affiliates like me do belong to many programs and we have limited time when placing banners.
    In my case, I run a few sites that utilize Goldencan. So those sites are updated as regularly as the merchant updates there datafeeds.
    Since the sites are dynamic, the updates to those sites are less frequent.

    The final point has to deal with merchants who don't reply to emails. I really hate this. There are many merchants that won't even acknowledge my emails and the placements of their creatives receive very little consideration.

  12. #12
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naia
    Hi guys,

    I have been confused by one thing recently. Why some publishers in our program don't regularly update. I have been working hard to create promotional materials which are supposed to be more convertible. but they just don't update. Would anyone please advise how I persuade them to update and let them know that I would like to do any customized backup for them? Thanks a lot in advance

    Naia
    Hi Naia,

    I don't know what program you're running, but another reason some of your publishers may not be doing regular update of your promotional materials may be caused by the way you might be trying to comunicate with them...

    I don't how if you're sending them promotional emails or not, but if you do, make sure those email are not exact duplicates of previous emails, because they may just ignore any feature emails from your program...

    The reason I say that is because I just noticed that on April 17th, 2009, 03:11 AM and on April 17th, 2009, 03:12 AM, you opened two threads with the exact title and questions, on this same forum...

    It may not be a big deal here on the forum, but if you send the same promotional materials email to your affiliates a few minutes appart, then some of your affiliates may not read some of your future emails...

    Btw, have you read the replies on the other thread you opened, one minute after this one?

  13. #13
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    to Rematt, Jack, Seymourbutts, Mark, very many thanks for your brilliant replies. If I could have contacted our publishers directly like what we are doing now, things will be much much easier. However, we outsourced our prgm to an agency, hence, there is no way to contact our publishers. So I really want to make sure that publishers like to communicate instead of being unresponsive like what our agency said.
    P.S sorry for making a mistake by sending the same topic twice. I did it unconsciously.

    Naia

  14. #14
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    To Mr.Sal, thank you very much for your remind. I did it unconsciously. Sorry for the confusion.
    I am making some exclusive promotional emails to our publishers now instead of solely letting our agency work in whatever their way which I think is not helpful on this point.
    It is an issue that how merchants can work with publishers through agency effectively. I really would like to know more suggestions with you guys.
    Thanks in advance

    Naia

  15. #15
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naia
    However, we outsourced our prgm to an agency, hence, there is no way to contact our publishers.
    naia when you say "agency" are you referring to an affiliate network like Commission Junction or Shareasale, an Outsourced Program Manager, an advertising agency or some other entity that you can further define for us? Regardless of what type of organization is managing the relationship with your affiliates, you should have the final say as to how that relationship is managed. If you don't feel that you're getting the type of exposure with your affiliates that you think is required to have a successful program, then it's time to rethink your current "agency" relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by naia
    So I really want to make sure that publishers like to communicate instead of being unresponsive like what our agency said.
    There is some truth to this statement, we typically don't like to be inundated with useless communications "Hi, I'm so and so, and I'm here to help". That type of communication really isn't any help at all. "Hi, I'm so and so and here are our latest creatives with your affiliate ID embedded as well as our current coupons and deals" is a lot more useful and probably wouldn't be too upsetting to most of your affiliates. It's quite possible that your affiliates are unresponsive because your "agency" isn't doing a very good job.

    If you're paying for a service and you're not getting what you feel your program needs to succeed, then it sounds to me like it's time for you to have a discussion with your current "agency" and as I said previously, possibly reevaluate your relationship with them.

    -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
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    To get right to the point - you need to get rid of the agency you're using right now and get another one that knows what affiliates need, and want from a merchant, and knows how to communicate with affiliates.

    There are plenty of them that post here at ABW every day.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  17. #17
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    There are plenty of them that post here at ABW every day.
    Not so much on weekends. But you can learn more about a lot of them in the OPM Forum.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Hi Niya,
    Another thing to realize is that many affs are doing this part-time and still have a day job & family. I've had to let my site go for weeks at times and barely updated it before Golden Can and PopShops. Many are gravitating toward merchants who use either GC or PS, as it allows them to display datafeeds with little or no intervention. If merchants give me with coupons/sales that last only 1-2 weeks, I don't have the time to display and monitor short-term deals so I don't run them.

    Also, if you're one merchant among many and not a top performer for an affiliate, your promo materials may not get the attention you feel they deserve.

    I've noticed that aff managers will target their best performing affs and offer them special coupons, higher commissions or other incentives. So maybe targeting your best performers might be something to consider.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  19. #19
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd
    So maybe targeting your best performers might be something to consider.
    Hi Joy,

    I have to disagree with you on that one!

    Because if I was the merchant, I sure would not worry if my best performers don't update their sites...

    Why try to fix something that is working well as is?

  20. #20
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    If they're not updated,It pretty much speaks for its'self ....WOW!..thats a nice banner on this page.Makes-ya wanna click it...see? That banner speaks for its' self.
    I guess we should just invest/advertise in what is...excellence...DEWtheMATH?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------+x NICK xXXXXXXXX

  21. #21
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    To Joy, you are right, I highly understand that publishers are very busy.That is why I would like to offer any backup to make their work easier. Especially, when I see that some of the great sites brought a lot of traffic but the conversion rate is low, I really want to communicate with them and find out ways of improvement. Cuz I dun want to waste their valuable working time.
    However, if the OPM couldn't work well as the bridge, effective communication with publishers is almost impossible. I know that some publishers are unresponsive, but I assume that there must b some ways of reaching them.
    What are your guys' idea?

    To Frumosun, Yeah I agree with you, so we are optimizing our creatives all the time. But after optimization, we would like our publishers to try them again or at least tell us what they want. So far, we are lack of this.

    Naia

  22. #22
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    To rematt, burgerboy and affiliatehound, thanks a lot for your replies. you guys are right. Time to review performance.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    Hi Joy,

    I have to disagree with you on that one!

    Because if I was the merchant, I sure would not worry if my best performers don't update their sites...

    Why try to fix something that is working well as is?
    I guess I don't see this as a "fix" but as offering additional opportunities to earn more commissions by helping out with feedback. As she's seeking interaction with affs, I thought that perhaps top performers might be responsive with some type of "carrot offer." Getting feedback can be a tough one, from both perspectives. Having even a few conversations can shed a lot of light and perhaps help both merchant/affs profit more.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  24. #24
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    It sounds like your "agency" arrangement isn't working and should be ended.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  25. #25
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Can a mod merge these 2 threads:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=118447

    and

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=118448

    I'm starting to get confused (I know, it's not that difficult to confuse me).

    Thanks

    -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

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