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  1. #1
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    Question Worst Affiliate Manager & Newsletters Ever
    Ever since Ashford/The Watchery took their affiliate program in house, their newsletters have been a disaster. After today's mind-blowingly awful email, I had to post. I got this today (I've removed all promotional links and descriptions, leaving you with the meat of this man's terrible small talk):

    Good is how I feel
    For the weekend here's a deal

    My favorite color is teal
    In Sea World I saw a seal

    It's time to leave the office
    Until next week, I'll miss you

    Roses are Red
    And Violets are Blue

    Yahoo!

    Your Affiliate Manager
    Dr. Shmuess

    Got this on Friday:

    Dear Ashford.com Affiliates,

    Good Thursday. Will you be my Valentine?

    I wrote you all a poem:

    Roses are Red
    Violets Are Blue
    Here are a few Vday promotions
    I created just for you

    Just an FYI; I spent a good part of this week working on this poem. But all that hard work has paid off.

    Last Monday:

    Dear Ashford.com Affiliates,
    Nice seeing some of you at affiliate summit. Also nice not seeing the rest of you at summit. Kidding!

    Good news: Beyonce won a bunch of awards @ the Grammy's!

    Below are active coupon codes; valid from today through February 28th.

    ...

    I will also be sending out hot deals; in rapid succession. Until you beg me to stop!

    Cheers,
    Shmuly

    January 7:

    Dear Ashford.com Affiliates,
    Good Wednesday and a very happy new year.

    First off, I'd like to commend myself on a terrific December. Kudus to me for making this happen. Patting myself on the shoulder.

    KIDDING!

    I want to thank YOU all. For going with the flow and hustle. And with the hustle and flow. Our numbers were good. So good, my company may let me keep my day job! YAY!

    If you have any suggestions/ideas on how to improve the program (is that even possible?! hehehe), please shoot me an email.

    We have current coupons for January 2010. See below. Additionally, we have product specific offers. As always, we send out several hot deals each week. If you'd like to join the list, please mail $5 to PO Box.... it's free! Just drop me me an email. You can also shoot me an email if you prefer. Or just plain old sending me an email will work as well.

    Is anyone heading to affiliate summit west? I am going! If anyone would like to meet up in person, I'll be available to chat in between long intervals of glass-eyed gambling.

    Perhaps, if I'm losing too much money on slots, some of you can stage an intervention for your favorite affiliate manager.

    Now, for 2010; we plan on growing our program, through strong coupons and product offers. I will also try hard to give you as much information needed to help you increase your sales.

    ...

    And now; the value props of the ashford affiliate program:
    1. you got me as an affiliate manager (but wait; there's more!)
    2. monthly coupons to promote to your customers
    3. hot product specials every few days
    4. private commission offers for fabulous and fierce affiliates
    5. product catalog with deep linking capabilities
    6. frequent email updates with new promotions

    Need I say more? I even have a LinkedIn account!

    Rock on.

    Your BAM (balding affiliate manager),
    Shmuly Tenenhaus

    December 17:

    Hi All,
    Good Thursday. Breathe in. Breathe out. The week is coming to an end.

    ...

    Cheers,
    TheShmulster

    December 14:

    P.S. Here's a link to my new theme song! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7ZEVA5dy-Y

    December 9:

    Affiliate,

    Greetings from your unesteemed affiliate manager. Below are ashford.com coupon codes, valid through end of year. I'm also including the best converting product specials.

    Sales are rocking. Thank you.

    ...

    Btw, did anyone see the movie Blind Side? Awesome flick.

    November 12:

    Affiliate,
    This is your courageous affiliate manager Shmuel Tennenhaus. Thank you all for an amazing October. Affiliate sales and traffic were gang busters.

    I put together some great coupons for you all, with extended expiration dates! All coupons are valid for 30-days?to avoid tedious site updates. Why? Because I love you. We love you.

    ...

    Shmuel Tennenhaus
    Affiliate Manager
    212-308-5580 ext: 5577

    P.S. My wedding is this coming Tuesday, November 17th. And you?re all invited! Not kidding. The wedding is in Brooklyn, NY. If you?d like to attend, please email me so we can add you to the catering list.

    Anyone seen worse?
    Last edited by technologicize; February 8th, 2010 at 11:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    Anyone seen worse?
    Nope. You win.

  3. #3
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    Found one more from The Watchery newsletters:

    November 12:

    Dear Watchery Affiliate,

    Greetings from your humble and overweight affiliate manager.

    We're ramping up for the Holiday Season…and all that jazz.

    Below are ten stellar coupons/promotions available to you for the next month. They've been loaded to GAN. I'll also be loading creative. Promote them well. And may the favorable spirits of affiliate marketing be upon you.

  4. #4
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    He reminds me of the boss from The Office (either the Gervais or Carrell versions). He must thinks he's the world's greatest standup comedian.

  5. #5
    Moderator PDXreader's Avatar
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    Hahaha! Wow that was a nice start the the work week. lol.
    J. Duffield Affiliate Manager at Snow Consulting
    Let's Connect-PassTheSEO|#GSEG|Twitter|LinkedIn|Blog "Knowledge is Power."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDXreader
    Hahaha! Wow that was a nice start the the work week. lol.
    +1

    At least this AM provides some fun!.
    I met a crook of an AM who qualifies for the award of "Worst AM". He was out there operating a sleazy affiliate business of his own thru his wife with the sole purpose of stealing confidential info and helping his wife and him prosper!. I don't think anyone can beat him for the "WORST" award

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Shmuly actually is pretty funny. (For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT3jMhIV8-Q) He's also a very attentive affiliate manager who builds relationships with his affiliates.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  8. #8
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Shmuly actually is pretty funny. (For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT3jMhIV8-Q)
    He seems a little weird, but I confess he made me laugh.


  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    Dear Technologicize,
    Thanks for singing my praises.

    I admire your courage for remaining anonymous and creating an account on ABW just to slander me. Very brave.

    If you are going online to talk not nice things, the least you can do is not hide behind a fake email + without posting your name or your company name.

    A few things to clear up;

    1) if you do not like our newsletters, you are welcome to opt-out. Please PM me your email address and I will handle the rest.

    2) Ever since we brought our program in house in October 2009, our traffic and sales have been WAY up. So have our commissions. And publishers have been way happier. Except from one anonymous mudslinger

    3) It seems like you have an ax to grind with me. Not sure what that is. I keep getting these nasty emails from you. So, if you'd like to be an adult, please contact me directly so we can straighten things out.


    Cheers,
    Shmuly


    P.S. Thanks for the PR on our program

  10. #10
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDXreader
    Hahaha! Wow that was a nice start the the work week. lol.
    What is this 'work week' thing you speak of? I am no longer familiar with this term. Does it have anything to do with writing poetry?

  11. #11
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    Shmuly,

    I am glad that the program is doing well for you, but your newsletters are hilariously unprofessional. I don't get any other newsletters that even resemble yours on my other affiliate programs. Why can't you just say "Here are the latest deals" without your standup routine? I'd unsubscribe, but I still need the latest coupons. You really should tone it down. Unless you own the company, I can't imagine your bosses read this and think it represents any form of appropriate business communication.

    I have never sent you a nasty email. I created this account so I don't get kicked and lose my commissions. Believe me, if I could point out this without fear of retaliation that would be far worse for me, I would, but there's no getting around that these emails make you look terrible. I wanted to know if other affiliates feel the same way.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by technologicize
    Shmuly,

    I am glad that the program is doing well for you, but your newsletters are hilariously unprofessional. I don't get any other newsletters that even resemble yours on my other affiliate programs. Why can't you just say "Here are the latest deals" without your standup routine? I'd unsubscribe, but I still need the latest coupons. You really should tone it down. Unless you own the company, I can't imagine your bosses read this and think it represents any form of appropriate business communication.

    I have never sent you a nasty email. I created this account so I don't get kicked and lose my commissions. Believe me, if I could point out this without fear of retaliation that would be far worse for me, I would, but there's no getting around that these emails make you look terrible. I wanted to know if other affiliates feel the same way.

    If you don't like the e-mails, opt out.

    If you need to read them for the good bits, then do so, but stop complaining.

  13. #13
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Shmuly is a buddy of mine and the first Am to personally contact my in 2005 when I started as a full time affiliate manager. I consider him to be the Woody Allen of affiliate marketing. He has a great sense of humor and was rather popular on YouTube.

    This poster does look like he has an axe to grind and makes me wonder if its an affiliate or someone else. So Technologicize are you just upset with the nature of the emails or is there a hidden agenda here?

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager
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    So, I'm not going to kick you out of our program for feedback. If anything, I'd increase your commission for the participation and suggestions.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    On Friday, here's some of the responses I got from affiliates who chose not to be anonymous:

    1) Shmuel,

    I have to say you have the most entertaining affiliate emails. thank you.

    C.


    2) Best Mail ever ...I give it a 10!


    B.


    If you'd like, I am happy to create a toned-down, serious email. Containing nothing more than the coupon codes. My pleasure!


    Btw, lest it be forgotten, I did win the award of the funniest man in affiliate marketing. http://affiliate-blogs.5staraffiliateprograms.com/599/affiliate-marketing-humor-award.html

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian
    If you don't like the e-mails, opt out.

    If you need to read them for the good bits, then do so, but stop complaining.
    I don't like the emails, but how else am I supposed to get all the coupons? I'm not complaining, they're hilarious! They're just funny because they're not funny. I don't know why he keeps including these weird statements and bad joke poems, and I think he thinks the affiliate newsletter is his own personal blog.

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
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    Well, gotta say, he got your attention. It isn't my style but we all try to do things to make our newsletters "stand out" from the rest of the boring emails.

    Affiliate marketing is about being "professional" but having fun too. Most of us work from home and can appreciate a little levity. As much as you dislike his emails, I bet there are twice as many people that enjoy them.

    And I have to ask, you said you "created this account" - does that mean you have 2 accounts here at ABW? Because that would be breaking the rules... (which would be very unprofessional)
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Well, gotta say, he got your attention. It isn't my style but we all try to do things to make our newsletters "stand out" from the rest of the boring emails.

    Affiliate marketing is about being "professional" but having fun too. Most of us work from home and can appreciate a little levity. As much as you dislike his emails, I bet there are twice as many people that enjoy them.

    And I have to ask, you said you "created this account" - does that mean you have 2 accounts here at ABW? Because that would be breaking the rules... (which would be very unprofessional)
    Nope, first account, first post. Guess I created a stir with it, though.

    And he does get my attention with this stuff, I just don't understand it. Looks like some find it funnier than others. I think it's all a bit ridiculous.

    To be fair with Shmuly, his old mass emails were a LOT funnier. But still, it shocks me sometimes when I compare these to communications I get from other programs.

    Here's a much better old email he wrote from 3 1/2 years ago that I saw in the link Shmuly posted above:

    http://www.revenews.com/shmulytennen...aking-the-ice/

  18. #18
    Manager - Affiliate Marketing Patrick Vesperman's Avatar
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    As a fellow AM I have to say good for Shmuel for being himself. However, I don't think this is a matter where sides should be formed:

    1. The affiliate doesn't like it and should be treated as a valued member of the program AND
    2. Shmuel can solve this incident without changing how he operates.

    Both can win!

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    blog post versus email
    Actually, while I am glad you are coming around...your link below wasn't an email. It was a blog post. But thanks

    Anyways, let's focus on the issue on hand.

    You do not enjoy my style of email? But why not just send me an email first? Why the need to go on a public forum, anonymously, to bash me as "worst affiliate manager and newsletters ever?

    I'm guessing you didn't expect this sort of response....

    So, in the effort to solve your issue, pls PM your account ID and I'll be happy to 1) keep you in our program 2) raise your commissions for Feb 3) and only send you serious sounding promotions.

    I'll be updating this post later...to announce whether or not you took the leap of coming out of that closet and moving forward...


    Quote Originally Posted by technologicize
    Nope, first account, first post. Guess I created a stir with it, though.

    And he does get my attention with this stuff, I just don't understand it. Looks like some find it funnier than others. I think it's all a bit ridiculous.

    To be fair with Shmuly, his old mass emails were a LOT funnier. But still, it shocks me sometimes when I compare these to communications I get from other programs.

    Here's a much better old email he wrote from 3 1/2 years ago that I saw in the link Shmuly posted above:

    http://www.revenews.com/shmulytennen...aking-the-ice/

  20. #20
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Shmuly there is nothing slanderous about the e-mails that technologicize posted. Insulting, immature and childish, yes. Slanderous no.

    Technologicize if you really hate these newsletters so much then you really need to opt out. You can still get the coupons and deals by logging into the network interface and getting them manually. You can also sign up for subscribe to the GAN Link subscriptions. A little more work on your part, but that's the price you pay for being "more professional".

    Hell, my problem is with AMs that don't communicate at all.

    -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

  21. #21
    Member Mike Allen's Avatar
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    I think Shmuly is wise to differentiate himself and the companies he manages with these unusual emails. He is practicing what the industry preaches regarding marketing and truly being heard. I support his efforts and personally appreciate his attempts to create light-hearted moments throughout the week.

    Most of us probably receive hundreds of emails per day so getting them read is no easy task. Shmuly's humor does the trick -- way to go!
    Mike Allen | <a href="https://twitter.com/mta1">@mta1</a>
    <a href="http://www.businesswright.com">Businesswright Consulting</a> | <a href="http://www.shopping-bargains.com">Shopping-Bargains</a>

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    Shmuly at least puts some thought and effort into his emails. I actually look forward to getting them.

  23. #23
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    Shmuly, I can't imagine anyone who would PM you with their info, that their commissions rely on, after this thread. I admit that the title of this thread is a bit much, but at this point, who would actually give you their name and a nice big "Expire this publisher" opportunity?

    And while I'm glad that so many people like Shmuly, do you really find his humor funny? I find these newsletters so odd.

  24. #24
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by technologicize
    And while I'm glad that so many people like Shmuly, do you really find his humor funny? I find these newsletters so odd.
    I'm really not trying to be a jerk, but I find his e-mails less annoying than your post.

    -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

  25. #25
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    I'm an affiliate of his and I enjoy his newsletters. It's diiferent and sometimes whacky but at least it's original and he seems to care about the program and his affiliates.

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