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  1. #1
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Checks Business NEWS: Deluxe Corp Acquires Custom Direct (4Checks)
    Interesting announcement today on the Deluxe Corp's Website:
    Deluxe Acquires Custom Direct, Inc.
    Acquisition Strengthens Deluxe's Direct to Consumer Segment


    ST. PAUL, Minn., April 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Deluxe Corporation (NYSE: DLX) announced today that it has acquired all the outstanding shares of Custom Direct, Inc. ("Custom Direct"), a Joppa, Maryland based leading provider of direct-to-consumer checks.

    Link to Press Release - CLICKY HERE -or- HERE.
    Deluxe Corporation, parent company of Checks Unlimited, is well known here at ABW. Our good friend, Andy Rodgriguez, manages both of these popular checks affiliate programs through the ShareASale Network. Custom Direct is also well known at ABW because they are the parent company of the 4Checks Affiliate Program, which used to be at ShareASale and moved to the Google Affiliate Network (which created a bit of a ruckus about a year ago).

    No ideas, yet, of the ramifications of, or impact on, checks affiliate programs because of the acquisition. While this news did not come as a big surprise, I have heard no rumors as to the direction of any of the companies involved.

    Any "speculation?"
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Any "speculation?"
    While I can't comment yet, just know that good stuff is coming.

    If "I" were an affiliate, I would want to be onboard and an active affiliate of the ChecksUnlimited and DeluxeForBusiness program on the SAS network very soon ...

    If you are already on both, no worries, you will recieve emails soon ...

    I can't comment further ...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  3. #3
    15 years and counting
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    When they left SAS, I knew it was a question of time. Congrats, Andy.

  4. #4
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez View Post
    While I can't comment yet, just know that good stuff is coming.

    If "I" were an affiliate, I would want to be onboard and an active affiliate of the ChecksUnlimited and DeluxeForBusiness program on the SAS network very soon ...

    If you are already on both, no worries, you will receive emails soon ...

    I can't comment further ...
    Yep, when I was strictly an affiliate I "was" on both of those programs; they were both solid programs and were beginning to show me some real potential. There is, indeed, good money to be made on nearly all the checks programs out there. The more variety (wider selection) that affiliates can offer their readers the more "value" they can provide to those readers.

    BTW, Andy, it's good to see you back.
    .
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  5. #5
    Plain Ol' Affiliate Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Wow! This is a big one for the checks biz.
    I need a SUPERsize one of these...

  6. #6
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
    ...
    Forget the . It's Tylenol time.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
    DESIGNER DOG CHECKS ~ We double-dog dare ya to write one!

  7. #7
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    When they left SAS, I knew it was a question of time. Congrats, Andy.
    I, too, believe that the 4Checks move to GAN hurt a lot of affiliates but this acquisition goes a lot deeper than that, Zeus. CDI (Custom Direct, Inc) is a $100+Million per year company but their Aff Program is only a (small) portion of that. On the other hand, Deluxe Corp is at least a dozen times larger and is involved in much more than just checks. One indicator of their size/scope might be the fact that they had 6089 employees at year-end 2009 (that's in-house, not affiliates or outside contractors). It looks like a little over 15% of Deluxe is in actual check production, making that part much larger than CDI.

    I'm sure Andy has access to more precise figures. I've just been gleaning some stock market figures for a while.

    It appears, on the surface (IMHO) that Deluxe is positioning itself to become the "800 pound gorilla" in direct-to-consumer checks production. But even within that scope, Affiliate Program sales is not the main revenue avenue (at least not in the CDI realm). They do their own PPC (massive amounts because they have the "margin" to support it) and a LOT of direct marketing - print, direct mail, call center, bank/business/credit union contracts, direct contracts with Fortune 500 companies, reseller agreements, etc.

    From the viewpoint of pure speculation I can foresee three different scenarios, bringing to mind the ol' movie title, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." For the sake of all affiliates, let's hope The Good prevails.

    OK, Rainmaker, where's that bag of ? and Tylenol...
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  8. #8
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    You're diggin' a mighty deep hole for yourself by asking this question ......

    Might want to get hold of MySprinklerGuy -

    I think that if an affiliate is in it for the long haul and will be around, still promoting biz checks this time next year, they will reap the rewards....

    Some folks like to see their cash NOW!

    I like fat checks... ( I'm the only one to vote for it so far ), 'cause there's no telling what I will be promoting in 365 long days from now....

    You raised the question so eloquently, that I know I wouldn't want to have to make that decision as a merchant...

    Good Luck!

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
    StartRemodeling.com .... MySprinklerGuy.com .... MyGarageGuy.com ....
    We're Bettering YOUR Life by Improving Where YOU Live It ...
    Do What You LOVE & LOVE What You Do! ....

  9. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Not quite sure what you mean by that, Jimmy.

    If whatever changes occur are done "right," this can be a win-win for everybody. That everybody includes all affiliates, Deluxe (which includes Checks Unlimited), 4Checks and, yes, even Jill and me.

    There really are very few actual checks manufacturing facilities in the USA - and people really do buy their personal checks based on the designs and pictures. Even an "800 pound gorilla" can't have "all" the designs. Right now, for example, 4Checks has over 800 designs and in another week (or so) we will be up to 400. Then Bradford, Checks in the Mail, and Checks Your Way add hundreds more. However those last three are not on (what I call) affiliate-friendly networks.

    Business Checks? Everybody that sells business checks sell (mostly) the same basic ones. There the sales are based on price. Competition drives prices down - a "win" for consumers. Affiliates who take care of cunsumers will come out ahead.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  10. #10
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    WTF?

    Was I that tired last nite?

    I was offering my opinion to the poll thread about recurring commissions vs. lump sum payments.......

    I think I had two windows open and answered the wrong one....

    I've been in the trenches, doing irrigation repair and getting sun burnt..

    Sun is prolly frying my brain a little..

    I'm liking the checks program, and am looking forward to seeing what you are going to do with the hotel vertical....

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
    StartRemodeling.com .... MySprinklerGuy.com .... MyGarageGuy.com ....
    We're Bettering YOUR Life by Improving Where YOU Live It ...
    Do What You LOVE & LOVE What You Do! ....

  11. #11
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    I had no idea 4Checks affiliate program was just a small part of Custom Direct, Inc business. The figures are impressive. I'm not an expert in the check business. I just know it sells well. (Even if myself I'm still getting free checks from my bank, Wachovia, ex FirstUnion).
    Thanks for sharing your information, Bill. It shows there's room for growth as a Shareasale affiliate.

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    "Deluxe paid $98 million in cash of which approximately $86 million was used to extinguish Custom Direct's outstanding debt."

    Wow!

  13. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Yeah, Wow!

    Heyyyy - Welcome back, Donuts. Been a while. Will you be at AffSum in August? I think I owe you a Mark & Coke.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  14. #14
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    God I hope they keep the 4 checks over in google affiliate network I dont want to have to go through changing over ever link back to shareasale that was a horrible nightmare last time and took forever

  15. #15
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    one thing is for sure checksunlimited better sort their site out if they are going to put them all on that site as that site is up and down like a you yo, at least 4 checks sites are up and dont run into those issues.

  16. #16
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by easylife View Post
    one thing is for sure checksunlimited better sort their site out if they are going to put them all on that site as that site is up and down like a you yo, at least 4 checks sites are up and dont run into those issues.
    You never can tell what corporate suits will decide. My guess (and that's all it is) is that there is too much individual brand recognition to merge the two companies for marketing purposes.

    Quote Originally Posted by easylife View Post
    God I hope they keep the 4 checks over in google affiliate network I dont want to have to go through changing over ever link back to shareasale that was a horrible nightmare last time and took forever
    That, indeed, would be a pain, but at least all the parasites would then be gone (so it's probably not going to happen). A worst case scenario would be to see a move happen in the opposite direction.

    I have no "inside" information - other than the general knowledge that the two "top dogs" at 4checks were immediately let loose. But both companies have been strangely quiet. I continue to receive marketing ads from all companies involved and not a word has been mentioned - not even anything about the acquisition. You would think they would care enough about their affiliates to provide some kind of heads-up - at least about current status, if not about basic plans for future changes (and you know there will be changes).
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    You never can tell what corporate suits will decide. My guess (and that's all it is) is that there is too much individual brand recognition to merge the two companies for marketing purposes.

    That, indeed, would be a pain, but at least all the parasites would then be gone (so it's probably not going to happen). A worst case scenario would be to see a move happen in the opposite direction.

    I have no "inside" information - other than the general knowledge that the two "top dogs" at 4checks were immediately let loose. But both companies have been strangely quiet. I continue to receive marketing ads from all companies involved and not a word has been mentioned - not even anything about the acquisition. You would think they would care enough about their affiliates to provide some kind of heads-up - at least about current status, if not about basic plans for future changes (and you know there will be changes).
    Yes i agree it would be nice to know what is taking place. To hear this news from someone other than the company themselves is very odd

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez View Post
    While I can't comment yet, just know that good stuff is coming.

    If "I" were an affiliate, I would want to be onboard and an active affiliate of the ChecksUnlimited and DeluxeForBusiness program on the SAS network very soon ...

    If you are already on both, no worries, you will recieve emails soon ...

    I can't comment further ...
    Andy can you comment on why when I go into shareasale and checksunlimited looking for an affiliate link to the product " Celebrate Earth " that there is no link for it found inside shareasale?

    Second, is there a way for me to create my own links similar to Google Affiliate Network where you can grab a page from 4checks, put it in google affiliate network, give it a name and within 5 mins its active and tracking

    As i have come across a number of times where I have found checks advertised on checksunlimited only to find they dont exist in the shareasale area for affiliates

  19. #19
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Andy can you comment on why when I go into shareasale and checksunlimited looking for an affiliate link to the product " Celebrate Earth " that there is no link for it found inside shareasale?
    Need to look into this and see why it wasn't in the latest feed upload.

    Second, is there a way for me to create my own links similar to Google Affiliate Network where you can grab a page from 4checks, put it in google affiliate network, give it a name and within 5 mins its active and tracking
    Yes, in SAS there is a "custom" link generator for affiliates. Log in and it should be in the middle section of the menus... here is the custom link for the CU home page, you can append any landing page to the end of that string, mke sure you use your affiliate ID in place of "USERID":

    Code:
    http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=USERID&b=166013&m=8684&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Echecksunlimited%2Ecom
    make sure to encode the link using something like: http://www.urlencoder.net/


    As i have come across a number of times where I have found checks advertised on checksunlimited only to find they dont exist in the shareasale area for affiliates
    We cant load individual links for all products, however they should be in the feed. I'll look into this asap. In the meantime, feel free to use the SAS custom link generator ...

    Thanks,
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  20. #20
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    So is there a date yet when 4checks will be going over to SAS or an estimate? I just started getting into checks again and don't want to make any new pages if I have to change them over shortly. Is this happening more this summer, later this year, next year? Closer to which one? Thanks.

  21. #21
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    So is there a date yet when 4checks will be going over to SAS or an estimate? I just started getting into checks again and don't want to make any new pages if I have to change them over shortly. Is this happening more this summer, later this year, next year? Closer to which one? Thanks.
    Since neither company has been sharing plans with their affiliates or customers I wouldn't hold my breath. Andy should have somewhat of an inside track - if they are even sharing with him. The wheels of BIG business turn slowly - and often erratically, in a direction no one expects.

    I have no inside knowledge and the only "breeze" I am feeling is because I live near the Custom Direct plant and (when there are as many local employees as they have) there are, naturally, a lot of rumors in the community. I do know they have laid of a few talented people (besides the top guns who left immediately after the acquisition). As far as I know they still have a person who was quite influential in moving the aff program from SAS to GAN. But, remember their aff program is only a small part of the overall business. Custom Direct (4Checks) is HUGE on call center sales and the C/D presence at DMA conferences is ongoing - while they had zero presence at the last AffSum. I have actually been inside the call center at CD - it is quite impressive in size, scope and activity. I'm wondering if that may be part of the reason for the acquisition. What would be a shame would be to see 4Checks stay where they are - and hopefully things not get worse.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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