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  1. #1
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    SAS Merchant Named 15 First Sale Affiliates
    I got an update email from a SAS merchant today with Congratulations to 15 affiliates listed that received 1st Sale bonuses for March. There were names and SAS ID numbers. Some were listed by personal name and others were listed by website name or business name.

    Could this have been authorized by the affiliates? It seems unlikely to me. Checking out the affiliates on the list really was an eyeopener with some of their practices very questionable.

    One looked like it had Visa, Master Card, and PayPal images to give a credibility feel when there was no sign of anything that could actually be bought on the sight. That's a side issue though.


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Sometimes scary to know who we have as partners.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Perhaps they hired a new intern that did not know that this was a faux pas.

    To me all I have to do is surf the net and see lots of unethical behavior out there so a list like that probably won't surprise me.

  4. #4
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    ooooooooooooooooooooooops!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager affiliateaholic's Avatar
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    It was not me!

    Perhaps the merchant was intended to make the bonus more transparent and real. No offense! But his behavior did reveal some unauthorized private information that affiliates don't want to make known.
    "[COLOR="Red"][I][B]Enthusiasm[/B][/I][/COLOR] is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence. It is no more or less than faith in action."

    [I][B]Henry Chester[/B][/I]

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I hope someone lets them know about their faux pas. Many merchants just don't know (about a lot of stuff). Education is the key.

    Consider yourself in their shoes. What if you were a newbie merchant (or a new AM at a company) and you didn't know about ABW? I bet we would all make tons of mistakes. Do them a favor and point them to ABW, this thread, and the Merchant Best Practices forum. We'll all benefit.
    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

  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    I hope someone lets them know about their faux pas. Many merchants just don't know (about a lot of stuff). Education is the key.

    Consider yourself in their shoes. What if you were a newbie merchant (or a new AM at a company) and you didn't know about ABW? I bet we would all make tons of mistakes. Do them a favor and point them to ABW, this thread, and the Merchant Best Practices forum. We'll all benefit.
    I should have done it sooner. I sent them a link just now.


  8. #8
    Moderator PDXreader's Avatar
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    Sounds like their hearts thoughts were in the right place but definitely a bad decision.
    J. Duffield Affiliate Manager at Snow Consulting
    Let's Connect-PassTheSEO|#GSEG|Twitter|LinkedIn|Blog "Knowledge is Power."

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell View Post
    Checking out the affiliates on the list really was an eyeopener with some of their practices very questionable.
    Sounds like the merchant needs educating on more than just giving out affiliate site info. I haven't seen any of those websites, but if they are doing questionable things, then the merchant needs to put a stop to that.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    Likely a new merchant or manager. It's an easy mistake to make, since they want to congratulate the affiliates and give them some promotion.

    In the future, they need to figure out if they have permission to reveal affiliate names or sites. When I was listing top 9 commissions for a month, I listed the state (or country) of the affiliate and the payment.

    New merchants don't understand that some affiliates don't want publicity or for others to know what they do and how well they do or don't do.
    Brad Waller | VP, Business and Affiliate Development
    EPage.com

  11. #11
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell View Post
    One looked like it had Visa, Master Card, and PayPal images to give a credibility feel when there was no sign of anything that could actually be bought on the sight. That's a side issue though.
    If it is the same affiliate that I have seen, it might be a PPC affiliate. They have a store front website but they do PPC on the back.
    I never approved that affiliate after asking for info and never got a reply. I have seen 2-3 sites like that with all the images of Mastercard, paypal, and scanalert but it is not clickable.

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe View Post
    If it is the same affiliate that I have seen, it might be a PPC affiliate. They have a store front website but they do PPC on the back.
    I never approved that affiliate after asking for info and never got a reply. I have seen 2-3 sites like that with all the images of Mastercard, paypal, and scanalert but it is not clickable.
    This sort of affiliate always makes me nervous. With all the nexus tax law nonsense already, I don't like the idea of affiliates giving the wrong impression they are actually taking money.

    Back on topic, that's a pretty big oops. Unless the affiliate agreement specifically states they can disclose affiliate information in press releases, marketing material, etc, nothing should ever be shared.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  13. #13
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eathan View Post
    Back on topic, that's a pretty big oops. Unless the affiliate agreement specifically states they can disclose affiliate information in press releases, marketing material, etc, nothing should ever be shared.
    I did get a response back when I emailed them with a link to this thread. The reply was surprisingly brief and consisted of only "noted, Thanks John".

    I really should not have mentioned the activities of the affiliates that I found as that is really a whole other issue.


  14. #14
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell View Post
    I really should not have mentioned the activities of the affiliates that I found as that is really a whole other issue.
    Had they protected the data like they should have, you wouldn't have had the option. No telling how others are using the information.

    -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

  15. #15
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that the merchant has been with SAS for 5 years and is Exclusive to SAS. They have real good numbers across the board. Probably someone is on the learning curve.


  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager jon.a's Avatar
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    Glad I read this thread as I'm a new AM. I won't be making this mistake.

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager Nathan Weinberg's Avatar
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    Would you say its appropriate to list the names of affiliates who have reached certain achievements if you don't reveal sales numbers, CIDs, and only name large corporate affiliates? As in, if I said "Congratulations to FatWallet, who doubled their sales last month", but didn't do the same thing if it's not a well-known public corporation?

  18. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon.a View Post
    Glad I read this thread as I'm a new AM. I won't be making this mistake.
    There's not enough time to make all of the mistakes yourself. Keep reading and learning! You'll find a ton of helpful things here on ABW. As a merchant, make sure to check out the Merchant Best Practices Forum and the Affiliate Friendly Policies thread.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Weinberg View Post
    Would you say its appropriate to list the names of affiliates who have reached certain achievements if you don't reveal sales numbers, CIDs, and only name large corporate affiliates? As in, if I said "Congratulations to FatWallet, who doubled their sales last month", but didn't do the same thing if it's not a well-known public corporation?
    Not unless you have permission from them, and even then it's probably not the best idea. (And in your example, FatWallet is a private company, not a public corporation.) I've seen several merchants post lists of their top "producers" where they were all well-known companies, but many were not known for good things (i.e. parasites and other unethical affiliates). That seriously degraded my confidence in those merchants.
    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

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I've seen several merchants post lists of their top "producers" where they were all well-known companies, but many were not known for good things (i.e. parasites and other unethical affiliates). That seriously degraded my confidence in those merchants.
    When AMs only look at the numbers they can seriously damage their programs. There is plenty of information available here at ABW for an AM to be able to really learn what to look for in those numbers to run a great program with great numbers instead of just the appearance nice numbers.

  21. #21
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Weinberg View Post
    Would you say its appropriate to list the names of affiliates who have reached certain achievements if you don't reveal sales numbers, CIDs, and only name large corporate affiliates? As in, if I said "Congratulations to FatWallet, who doubled their sales last month", but didn't do the same thing if it's not a well-known public corporation?
    Public company or not, you should still follow your own Privacy Policy with regards to your affiliate partners. Even public companies are afforded privacy rights for the operation of their businesses.

  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager Nathan Weinberg's Avatar
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    Thanks, just checking. I always ask affiliates who win prizes if they want it publicized, if there's even a reason to do so.

  23. #23
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Weinberg View Post
    Would you say its appropriate to list the names of affiliates who have reached certain achievements if you don't reveal sales numbers, CIDs, and only name large corporate affiliates? As in, if I said "Congratulations to FatWallet, who doubled their sales last month", but didn't do the same thing if it's not a well-known public corporation?
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    Not unless you have permission from them, and even then it's probably not the best idea. (And in your example, FatWallet is a private company, not a public corporation.) I've seen several merchants post lists of their top "producers" where they were all well-known companies, but many were not known for good things (i.e. parasites and other unethical affiliates). That seriously degraded my confidence in those merchants.
    Also, if you list a parasite (Because you didn't knew it was a parasite. ), as one of your top earning affiliates, there goes your clean reputation, etc, etc...

    And you should get ready to get bashed left and right, by your other clean, ethical, and hard working affiliates... (And also by Affiliates that may not join your program after that discrepancy.)

    Even if some of your top earning affiliates are an clean, ethical, and hard working affiliates, sometimes they don't want to be outed as a top earning affiliate on your program, to other affiliates on your email list...

    Once you mention that top earning affiliate on any list, there will be a lot of copycat affiliates wannabe, that are going to try imitate your top earning affiliate fast, in order to get to the top too, so your original top affiliate may get screwed at the end, and all for just the mistake of telling the competition that JoeShoWebSite, made a killing on sales last week...

    Think About It!

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager moviefan's Avatar
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    Just to clarify here - so the best thing to do here when congratulating first-sale affiliates or giving a bonus etc is to do it individually and not a bulk message? Thanks! I'm still learning

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moviefan View Post
    Just to clarify here - so the best thing to do here when congratulating first-sale affiliates or giving a bonus etc is to do it individually and not a bulk message? Thanks! I'm still learning
    In a word: yes.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

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