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  1. #1
    Member eSilverBullet's Avatar
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    Is there no way to equitably account for leads from multiple networks?
    I've been reading a lot about the possibility of single sales/leads being attributed to multiple publishers because of the campaigns running on more than one network. That's why the OPMs here discourage folks from working with multiple networks.

    Is there no technology out there that can effectively track a lead or sale coming from multiple publishers, then determine which publisher was ultimately responsible for it?

    It also seems like someone could make the case that, assuming the traffic coming through multiple publishers wasn't fraudulent, that all publishers pushing the users to the advertiser should share in the commission. Is there any technology that would help with that?

    Using a single network certainly alleviates this type of a problem, but unless an advertiser is convinced a single network has all the publishers they need, I can see where the impulse to join multiple networks is a strong, and valid, one.

  2. #2
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    The solution must be at the merchant's own server: the merchant must have an in-house tracking solution that implements the merchant's actual policy (whether that's "first referral" or "last referral" or whatever), and only fires the tracking pixel for the network that is eligible for payment. This isn't just a single script on the 'thank you' page -- it also requires tracking (and storing to a database) all inbound clicks to identify each trackable click from each affiliate source (and any other sources, such as PPC, if the merchant has a policy that allows such events to supersede affiliate referrals).

    Most merchants are likely to have implemented this very narrowly with a script that is specific to their chosen networks and shopping cart. I can conceptualize a more general solution (even a Software-as-a-Service solution) but I'm not sure this could be a viable business unit by itself. (It might make more sense as a service offered by an OPM service that works with multiple-network merchants.)

  3. #3
    Member eSilverBullet's Avatar
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    When you say "in-house" tracking solution, are you referring to a proprietary system the merchants build themselves, or do you mean commercial solutions like DirectTrack?

    It makes sense this would take place at the merchant's server level, but it seems like it could still get messy since the networks running the merchant's campaigns would all have to agree to be bound by the merchant-provided tracking numbers rather than the tracking numbers showing up in the network's tracking solution. I can't see networks eager to give up that control.

  4. #4
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    I think you need to evaluate why you need to be on multiple networks to begin with, and if you don't have the tech support to sort out the right pixel firing you really need to stick with one network.

    The truth of the matter is that almost all affiliates are on almost all networks and you would just use your network of choice to recruit and send affiliates to to join. Splitting your efforts among many networks will not be beneficial to you in the long or short run.
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  5. #5
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    ...

    The truth of the matter is that almost all affiliates are on almost all networks and you would just use your network of choice to recruit and send affiliates to to join. Splitting your efforts among many networks will not be beneficial to you in the long or short run.
    While I agree with Loxly, there are those affiliates that will only use certain networks. As another merchant recently announced their intention to add another network to their program in order to reach out to those affiliates, the ensuing thread outlines the reasons that some affiliates chose not to use certain networks.

    The question about using multiple networks boils down to this, Affiliate marketing is about affiliates and promoting programs, the networks are secondary. If you have a program they want to join, and they can add value to you by driving incremental sales, they will join it. Would you really want affiliates who will not/can not join the network you're using?
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  6. #6
    Member eSilverBullet's Avatar
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    Thanks knight01 for pointing out that thread. I hadn't seen it, but I found it most helpful.

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    SB, my top trademark is on three networks and an in-house. We use source referrers to only set the single network cookie and only the one pixel is fired if the sale is made. Mark is right that it has to be setup on the merchant server.

    Been running this for over three years and its flawless. http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...06&postcount=5

    Have several other brands that are run on dual networks Avantlink/ShareaSale, LinkShare/CJ.

  8. #8
    Newbie Medge's Avatar
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    Sorry to bring up a dead thread, but I met someone at ad:tech NYC that claims to be developing a third party solution for this exact issue. The way he explained it, it sounded like just some sort of third party code that could be placed on a site as easily as any other pixel, and would contain each pixel you need on that site to fire off the correct code at the correct time. I'll dig around through my cards to see if I can't find the company name, and post later.

  9. #9
    Member eSilverBullet's Avatar
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    Thanks Medge. I'd very much be interested in talking to that person you met.

    As I was rereading these posts, I thought of another question for Chuck.

    Chuck, for your brands that are on multiple networks, you wouldn't ever have the same affiliate running the same campaign on two networks would you? I can see where an unscrupulous affiliate might try to do that hoping to get double commissions, but an astute affiliate manager wouldn't allow it, I'm guessing. Is that right?

  10. #10
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    As has been pointed out, it shouldn't matter if the affiliate is running your offer on more than one network, the merchant should be sorting out the pixel to fire and be paid through.

    Affiliates might run multiple sites with different offers from different networks and not even think that they might get "paid twice" for one click.
    Deborah Carney
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  11. #11
    Member eSilverBullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    As has been pointed out, it shouldn't matter if the affiliate is running your offer on more than one network, the merchant should be sorting out the pixel to fire and be paid through.
    Yes, it shouldn't matter. I was just wondering whether it was common or not. Also, I still don't know how a merchant can sort it out if they have agreed to terms and conditions for networks that say you have to use their tracking numbers. If I understand the TandC at SAS right, you agree to pay per their tracking numbers. If each network makes you sign similar Tand Cs, how can a merchant legitimately pay for just whichever network was the last referrer?

    Thanks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Bullet
    Yes, it shouldn't matter. I was just wondering whether it was common or not. Also, I still don't know how a merchant can sort it out if they have agreed to terms and conditions for networks that say you have to use their tracking numbers. If I understand the TandC at SAS right, you agree to pay per their tracking numbers. If each network makes you sign similar Tand Cs, how can a merchant legitimately pay for just whichever network was the last referrer?

    Thanks.
    From Chuck:

    We use source referrers to only set the single network cookie and only the one pixel is fired if the sale is made. Mark is right that it has to be setup on the merchant server.
    If only one pixel is fired, only one network tracks.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
    Newbie Medge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Bullet
    Thanks Medge. I'd very much be interested in talking to that person you met.

    Sorry it took so long, finally had a chance to dig through my pile of cards from ad:tech. I haven't really given it a good look, but the company is Tag Man, www.tagman.com. Hope that helps!
    Last edited by BurgerBoy; December 18th, 2009 at 11:14 AM.

  14. #14
    Member eSilverBullet's Avatar
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    Thanks Medge. That's pretty interesting what TagMan is doing. Its CEO is advocating a best-click methodology as opposed to a last-click methodology. Whether its clients are actually adopting that, it doesn't say, but here's the TagMan blog post that shows how it would anticipate a best-click approach working.

  15. #15
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    *sigh* sounds like they are breaking some affiliate agreements and network TOS if they are not using last click.
    Deborah Carney
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  16. #16
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    TagMan is trying to build a market for their product through supposition. The words "feel" and "think" have no place in a contractual agreement (at least not the way that they propose). I wonder if they're planning to have an affiliate program.

    -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

  17. #17
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    Possible solution maybe
    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Bullet
    Is there no technology out there that can effectively track a lead or sale coming from multiple publishers, then determine which publisher was ultimately responsible for it?
    I am support agent from QualityUnit and one of our clients pointed us to this thread. I am not sure if you are looking for something like this:
    http://www.qualityunit.com/postaffil...t-commissions/

    If yes, we will be happy to answer your questions.

  18. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    That looks like a very flexible solution.

    I still think pure last click is by far the most equitable solution, but I can see some merit in alternatives.
    Michael Coley
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