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  1. #1
    Merchant advice....
    So, I am working for a merchant trying to set up affiliates and I just got us signed up with Share a Sale. Any other merchants want to give some advice about who to approve and not? Do you just approve everyone? Are there some red flags I should know about who to not approve? Just looking for some basic tips in the right direction. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    It totally depends on what you are "selling"

    Lead Gen?
    Retail?

    Definitely check out this forum here on ABW
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  3. #3
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    What type of affiliates are you looking for too?
    PPC, Data feed, SEO, email, etc?

  4. #4
    Pay Per Sale, it's a lactose intolerence product....I am on SAS, but am trying to target nutrition blogs as well.....I applaud all or your persistence - it's alot of work but I am hoping I start to see some results soon....

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager sunnypi's Avatar
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    Hi Kiki,

    One big thing to make sure is whether you will allow your affiliates to bid on trademarked terms if they do PPC, if you don't, make sure to mention it in your TOS. It'll save you a lot of headaches down the line.

    You'll find there will probably be affiliates in all the areas Eric mentioned above that will be a good fit, and also what won't be a good fit.

    At the end of the day you have to feel comfortable with the sites that you're banners / links will be on. If you're unsure about whether an affiliate will be a good fit, reach out to them via email to see what their response it, as some affiliates maybe isn't listing the site they want to promote you on. Unfortunately, you'll have to try and see what works best. Once you get a few months it it'll become more clear what to look for.

    Stay away from parasites though - they will kill your program (although the fact that you're in SAS is the first indicator that you'll probably be running a clean program).

    Hope this helps.
    [B][COLOR=Navy]Nadia Levine (van Rooyen)[/COLOR][/B]
    Senior Manager, Affiliate Practice at Vantage Media
    nlevine(at)VantageMedia.com

  6. #6
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    Good luck, let me know how it goes, I am going to launch with SAS in about 2 weeks with an awesome merchant site been developing for 6 months.

    Social Guy

  7. #7
    Newbie newbie8100's Avatar
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    I'm also struggling with this .. as a new merchant...
    I was told by someone also in my niche that he wish he had been picky when he first started the affiliate program he manages that way it's less work for him and he knows who is serious.

    I'm just wondering though because our EX manager told us not to do sales pages and that it would make us look cheap .. but then we had so many affiliates joining our program and posting our banners on coupon sites.... and our product is not something the customer would go and search for on a coupon site.... am I wrong to think that coupon sites are ok ?

    And then again, who is to say the affiliate is in the process of making a site that's not related to coupons.. so given Im new to the affiliate recruiting side of things.... I think for now we are giving everyone a shot...

  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie8100
    I was told by someone also in my niche that he wish he had been picky when he first started the affiliate program he manages that way it's less work for him and he knows who is serious.
    Being picky up front can save you a lot of time down the road. You want to know who's going to promote your program and how. It'll help keep out the spammers,scammers and parasites. You may not catch all of them initially, but being selective can help eliminate a good number of them.

    Make sure you have a clear vision of how you want your site promoted and include any special circumstances such as use of Trademark/Domain Name usage or PPC restrictions in your Terms of Service. AND THEN ENFORCE THEM.

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie8100
    I'm just wondering though because our EX manager told us not to do sales pages and that it would make us look cheap .. but then we had so many affiliates joining our program and posting our banners on coupon sites....
    I'm not sure what these 2 thoughts have to do with each other but, you should be selling on every page on your site. Perhaps you can expand on these 2 snippets a little.

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie8100
    ...and our product is not something the customer would go and search for on a coupon site.... am I wrong to think that coupon sites are ok ? And then again, who is to say the affiliate is in the process of making a site that's not related to coupons..
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with coupon sites as long as they're not promoting coupons that don't exist. I wouldn't count on high conversions this way but if a coupon site is showing a banner for your product, great, it's additional exposure and someone may spot your banner and click through.

    However, if any site (coupon or otherwise) is promoting a coupon that doesn't exist just to get their cookie set, that's a serious problem and should be dealt with immediately. They're not only making you pay a commission that isn't warranted while at the same time pissing off your potential customer, they're also possibly cheating another affiliate out of their legitimate commission.

    If you don't have coupons, make sure that there is no "Coupon Box" on your checkout page. Users see that box and leave your site to go searching for coupons and some won't return.

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie8100
    so given Im new to the affiliate recruiting side of things.... I think for now we are giving everyone a shot...
    newbie8100 I'm an affiliate, not a merchant or AM, so you may want to take my advice with a grain of salt. I would very highly recommend that you turn Auto-Approval off and manually review each and every affiliate application. Visit their sites to make sure that they can properly represent your program. If you're not sure of how they plan on promoting you (their site doesn't seem to be a good fit) send them an e-mail and request more information. It is possible that they intend to use direct to merchant PPC (if permitted), may have additional sites that aren't in the network interface (many have dozens, if not hundreds of sites) or they could be planning on building a new site around your offerings.

    Remember, it's up to you to know who's promoting your program and that they are doing it in an ethical and professional manner. And just because everything seems fine when you except a new affiliate, don't assume that everything will remain fine. Periodically check each and every affiliate site that's sending you traffic. Start with the high traffic sources and work your way down. Use the search engines to search for YOUR COMPANY NAME + COUPON. A few weeks ago we had a merchant here that was adamant that there were no affiliates promoting non-existent coupons for their site. A simple Google search revealed several dozen. My advise to him was "Inspect what you expect", it's the same to you.

    Good luck with your program. I would highly recommend you visit the Merchant Best Practices Forum if you haven't done so already.

    -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

  9. #9
    Newbie newbie8100's Avatar
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    ReMATT! Very helpful response there!
    thanks for the input... what you are suggesting makes complete sense...

  10. #10
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    If you have a "deal" then coupon sites can post that, you don't have to just have coupons to be on those types of sites. All the other advise here in this thread has been great!
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Bradley.Senkovich's Avatar
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    coupon sites will post almost anything you give them.

    If it's something you'd normally do like free shipping on X amount or greater or buy1get1 offers. I find a lot of the larger sites like vanity codes if your site does coupon codes. I am always willing to get my affiliates these custom codes if they ask.

    I am going to try out one of SAS's featured programs for a month to see how great the exposure is to all of SAS affiliates. They look like they are great placements.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager Bradley.Senkovich's Avatar
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    rematt. you are my hero. its true though, I've been told through various channels that autoapprove is "more appealing" to affiliates. But it does nothing to curl my toes as an affiliate manager. there are certain types I do not like letting in.

    there are too many other viable options to tickle potential affiliates interest. I've heard many things that I am not a fan of be a turn on. Auto deposit is one of them. I am still not sure what to make of it really. I like the idea that Affiliates have unlimited potential to bring in money. and that should be up to make sure the fuel doesn't run out. but then there is the factor that you just gave your affiliate program a credit creditcard with no limit. I dont know why but it bothers me...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley.Senkovich
    Auto deposit is one of them. I am still not sure what to make of it really. I like the idea that Affiliates have unlimited potential to bring in money. and that should be up to make sure the fuel doesn't run out. but then there is the factor that you just gave your affiliate program a credit creditcard with no limit. I dont know why but it bothers me...
    Are you going to make sure your account is always funded? At a level that if a big sale comes in it won't take you offline? Auto Deposit shows affiliates that you are serious about always staying online. If your account goes to zero, their links don't work. They don't like when that happens.

    Just sayin...
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Are you going to make sure your account is always funded? At a level that if a big sale comes in it won't take you offline? Auto Deposit shows affiliates that you are serious about always staying online. If your account goes to zero, their links don't work. They don't like when that happens.

    Just sayin...
    Exactly. Make sure to use a backup card too just in case. Also, make sure the limit at which SAS tries to bill you is at LEAST $1 higher than your highest priced commission.

    So if you offer a 20% commission and your most expensive item is $500, then make sure they bill you when you have $101 left (20% of $500 is $100). This way you always have enough to fund your biggest commission.
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Bradley.Senkovich's Avatar
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    i get email alerts when it goes to a certain level. and those alerts get fwd to my cellphone. i've never let it drop below that level (yet). loxly your right it would be more intelligent to have it on. that is the sort of good surprise to have when you wake up in the morning

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    Exactly. Make sure to use a backup card too just in case. Also, make sure the limit at which SAS tries to bill you is at LEAST $1 higher than your highest priced commission.

    So if you offer a 20% commission and your most expensive item is $500, then make sure they bill you when you have $101 left (20% of $500 is $100). This way you always have enough to fund your biggest commission.
    That's the best explanation I have seen! Perfect.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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