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  1. #1
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    What is "Activity"?
    I received an email from McAfee that said in part:
    "A recent review has determined that there has been no McAfee related activity reported on your account with the following site code, xxxxx since November 1st, 2008. We want to encourage you to get active in the McAfee Affiliate Program, ...

    "If there has been an oversight, and you would prefer to keep this account active, simply visit our Create Links section for the latest creative options and activate the account!"
    I don't do much in the computer and software areas, but I am developing a new site in this niche. I've been in the McAfee program for a couple of years, and have had their links on one site where there are a few computer products and elsewhere in proximity to products like laptop backpacks. Some of this was promoted a bit last year, and in 2008 I did have more than 250,000 impressions for McAfee links, but much less this year, including thousands of impressions, thought no sales, since Nov., 2008.

    I wrote them back telling them that they were wrong, and giving them stats re my impression and click "activity", telling them about future plans that hopefully would result in more "activity" and resumed sales. Their response:
    "The activity being referred to is sales activity, not impressions or clickthrough activity. As such, your reports do indicate that you have not generated any sales for McAfee since November 1st, 2008, as indicated earlier.

    "If you wish to resume your affiliate relationship with McAfee, please feel free to resubmit an application to the program after the 15-day period lapses."
    So not only another merchant that cleans house of affiliates that are not currently producing massive sales, but one that seems to have their own, unique, definition of "activity", which, in this context, I always thought meant having links up and receiving impressions and clicks, but not necessarily, resulting in sales.

    I haven't done it yet, but I will be responding to them questioning this definition, and giving them a nice good-bye, but I've been busy removing their links, which, once removed, will never darken the pages of my sites again.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Perhaps a response like this is warranted:

    Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. While I make every attempt to remove merchants that don't know how to convert sales, occasionally one slips through the cracks. I appreciate you bringing your ineptitude to my attention and if sometime in the future you do actually learn how to convert sales, please feel free to request that I rejoin your program. While that prospect seems unlikely, there is always a possibility.
    -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

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Perfect, rematt! They prolly wouldn't get it though.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    Rematt!

    thanks

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
    So not only another merchant that cleans house of affiliates that are not currently producing massive sales, but one that seems to have their own, unique, definition of "activity", which, in this context, I always thought meant having links up and receiving impressions and clicks, but not necessarily, resulting in sales.
    Your links were on computer related pages so it's not like you were sending them junk traffic. Ahh, the dud side of affiliate/vendor relationships. Sometimes you make lemonade, sometimes you have to pack up your stand and go somewhere else.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    ahhh that is the PERFECT response rematt Got that same email and put it in my "Don't join again" folder so I can remember in the future if they ever come up again.

    pssst...I copied what you sent and am gonna use it with your permission, please

    ps - thanks for the giggle this morning, too

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    but usually sending something back to the reply email address will never be read by a real person.

    - the email address is not correct
    - they are ignoring the inbox

  8. #8
    Full Member snappy's Avatar
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    thanks rematt you made me smile!!
    I attract success and abundance into my life because that is who I am.

  9. #9
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplebear
    pssst...I copied what you sent and am gonna use it with your permission, please

    ps - thanks for the giggle this morning, too
    By all means feel free to use it. It also may be a good idea to send them a link to one of the many threads here about "Get Active or GET OUT" emails. Sometimes a little education goes a long way. Perhaps they just don't understand that this isn't the best way to motivate affiliates. You would think that astute business people would understand that you can't threaten someone that has nothing to lose. What did they think, that you'd get the e-mail and go into a panic over losing the commission that you're not getting. Ooooh scary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrindavan
    but usually sending something back to the reply email address will never be read by a real person.

    - the email address is not correct
    - they are ignoring the inbox
    Perhaps, but they did respond to AffiliateHound's e-mail. Though sometimes just writing the e-mail is enough. I can't count the number of times I've written a nasty gram in response to something stupid someone's said or done. Often, by the time I've finished writing the message most of the venom is out of my system and I just hit the delete key.

    -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

  10. #10
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Thanks Rematt for the great response and to everyone else.

    But, does anyone have an opinion on what constitutes "activity"? Is it NOT putting up links and getting impressions and clicks, and to be "active" in a program, does it require actual sales? Was it thus misleading for McAfee to say to get active by putting up links and to not initially say anything about sales, but then use that criteria alone in removing affiliates?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  11. #11
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Probably the best answer I can give is (and I know you'll love this one) it depends. From a merchant point of view, active probably means sales. From an affiliate point of view, active could very well mean impressions and traffic. But targeted traffic should result in sales and if it doesn't then something isn't working right. Either the traffic isn't as targeted as we thought, which means that we need to "actively" promote the program via either stronger SEO or PPC. Or the merchant isn't converting that traffic for some reason, it could be leaks a poor product or a cart that has too many barriers.

    But when you think about it, a program that isn't converting is pretty useless and I don't honestly believe that just putting a banner up is "actively" promoting a program. I've received a couple of these e-mails for programs and it really wasn't a big deal, as I've said before if I'm not making money with the program, why would I care? If I am making money, then so is the merchant so there's really no need for them to send me such a stupid e-mail.

    But if a merchant really wants to get my attention, then an e-mail asking how they can help me promote them goes much further than a threat of removing me from their program. Some just don't understand that we're not their employees and we have other choices, piss me off and my choice could very well be to promote the hell out of their nearest competitor.

    -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

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager jclaydon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
    Thanks Rematt for the great response and to everyone else.

    But, does anyone have an opinion on what constitutes "activity"? Is it NOT putting up links and getting impressions and clicks, and to be "active" in a program, does it require actual sales? Was it thus misleading for McAfee to say to get active by putting up links and to not initially say anything about sales, but then use that criteria alone in removing affiliates?
    I've always defined active by impressions and clicks. Sales will hopefully come, but if a merchants brand is getting eyeballs online there is no reason to remove that free branding.

    For those of you that are frustrated with the McAfee program, I would like to point out that one of RealNetworks subscription offerings, Real BroadBand Essentials, gives users McAfee 2009 for free during a 14 day trial and we pay $15+ on the initial lead
    [FONT=Arial][B][COLOR=Navy]Jonathan Claydon | [email]jclaydon@real.com[/email][/COLOR] |[COLOR=Gray] Director - Affiliate and Partner Marketing[/COLOR] |[/B] [COLOR=Blue]Real[/COLOR]Networks, Inc.[/FONT]

  13. #13
    Member Anat's Avatar
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    I always figured activity means click. I hate it when networks or merchants end your account for lack of sales, or if you didn't log in often enough to suit their taste. With some merchants, it could take me a long while to come up to sales, or even to a substantial number of clicks. With hundreds of websites, some are bound to be slower than others.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    these merchants expect
    clicks and more clicks
    sales and more sales
    they like large volume only

    it is hard for affiliates devote their effort to only a few merchants.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Thanks rematt Am gonna use it cos think it's perfect. I definitely agree with ya about the education, too. Altho, to be honest, I think it's sad that it falls on us to have to do that in a lotta cases. Think that the basics at least should be taught to affiliate managers at the network level when they first become a program. It amazes me at times just how little some of em know in some cases.

    I'm a sucker for tryin to help people so in most cases if I join a program and like it if I spot somethin an affiliate manager might be missing I tell em. (ex: if they have no terms at all but say they don't want this or that bein done in email correspondence with me, I'll tell em they have to have terms and specifically spell out what they will and won't allow to be done. Stuff like they should have a datafeed, examples of popular banners that affiliates will want if they have none or maybe just one giant one, blah, blah) It takes time to write down those suggestions and email em. Personally, I feel good that I'm able to help somebody a teeny bit with something it just really shouldn't be somethin I should feel I have to do, tho. But, yeap...I'm always givin affiliate managers or sometimes the merchant themselves links here for them to try to learn or be aware about a problem that has come up regarding their program.

    As to what's considered active:
    I used to get reaaaaallly annoyed at those emails when I first started but have since learned that there are sooooo many merchants that a program can in most cases be replaced with another program very easily so I don't get annoyed. If it's a program I really liked tho, then it annoys me. lol In those cases, I'll email back the affiliate manager and just explain that I've had their links on my site (in some cases even give em the link to the page they're on) since I joined. Will tell em I'm just a teeny affiliate who's tryin as hard as I can and if they have any suggestions I'd be happy to hear em. Other than that, I can't force a visitor to buy somethin from my site so I don't really know what else they'd like me to do??

    I've found if they're a good affiliate manager or maybe one just starting out, they will offer to help, sometimes they'll say the email was just sent to try to get a reply from affiliates to see who was still interested in the program (they'll say how some joined but never put up any links)

    Least with my experience, the "activity" really does mean different things to different affiliate managers. To some as I said, is just a matter of do you have links for em on your site, others it is do ya have sales. In a really ridiculous example I got terminated from one site when I had a pretty good sale just a few months before then. Reason for it was that they had checked statistics for previous year and there hadn't been any sales. Uhhh, Duh?? Well, I just had a sale that was a pretty good one? You're welcome to join the program again. Needless to say, I haven't and won't. lol

    Most cases I think "active" does mean sales but to some it's just kinda a fishing type thing to see if ya show any interest in wanting to be in the program. I have been terminated sometimes, replied back and then reinstated back into the programs once they've found I do have links for em on my site.

    Like I said in beginning, tho.....unless I really want to be in the program, I only reply back to those emails now. The rest are put in a folder I have named "Don't join again"

    Also, have gotten to the point where I ask affiliate managers if they're gonna be a "trigger happy affiliate manager" one who terminates ya for no sales in a given amount of time, or maybe never any sales but still have links up for em. Explain to em, honestly how I just don't have the time to waste on those kinda programs when there are plenty of others who will appreciate me for what I am. I find out how they're gonna be and if they're gonna expect sales from me after I've placed their links on my site and given my efforts involved in the program......I won't be in that program. Not gonna waste my time anymore.

    Ok, guys, haven't even had my cup of tea or eaten anything yet, just babblin and makin this awfully long. So.. answer is that "activity" does mean different things to different affiliate managers. Least with me, if ya care bout bein in that program, email em back and be honest with em and find out what they mean and if they can help. If that doesn't mean anything to em, remove the links and find another merchant.

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