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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Would this work?
    I have a model in mind that I'm not sure would work on SAS or not. I've emailed support or sales but they son't seem to be very quick with their responses.

    Now, I know that SAS will redirect links to a merchant and include the affiliate ID. I would like to restrict online payments and coupon codes to people coming from affiliates only.
    So here are my questions.
    Can I be 100% certain that if I turn on the corresponding option in the account, every single request that comes through SAS will include an AffiliateID and sas.com in the referer? That would be the information that I would base my decision on, and if the user has come through an affiliate, I would place my own cookie there (with the same expiration as my pay-per-sale campaign) so that I know, when/ if they get to the form I deal with them accordingly.
    When the user has cookies turned off, they won't be able to order online, but they wont be tracked either, so I don't think this is a problem.

    So, would this be something allowed/ posssible on SAS?
    Are there any technical or o/w issues that I am missing? Would affiliates avoid me if I went ahead with the program?


    Thank you,
    Silviu

  2. #2
    http and a telephoto
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    Are you a merchant or an affiliate? Your question is confusing. Your own cookie?

    If you are asking if you can show different content to affiliate traffic, the answer would be yes, many merchants do that so they can suppress things that affiliates are not keen on, like leaks (links to other sites).
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager
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    I am a merchant.
    Basically what I want to do is restrict coupons and online payment option to only those clients that reach my site through an affiliate.

    The reason I am thinking of using a cookie is because I don't just need to surpress content (coupon field and online payment) the first time they come, but for the whole length of the tracking cookie.


    Quote Originally Posted by loxly View Post
    Are you a merchant or an affiliate? Your question is confusing. Your own cookie?

    If you are asking if you can show different content to affiliate traffic, the answer would be yes, many merchants do that so they can suppress things that affiliates are not keen on, like leaks (links to other sites).

  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
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    You are a merchant that won't normally charge for your product, but will charge for it through the affiliate channel?

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly View Post
    You are a merchant that won't normally charge for your product, but will charge for it through the affiliate channel?
    No.
    Clients who come to my website through other channels will be able to submit our order form, and they will be contacted by us (as is the process now).

    However, if they come through an affiliate, I would like to give them the option to pay online. Of course, I need to keep this option open for the whole duration of the cookie.

  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
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    OK, that makes it clearer. You can use Shareasale phone tracking code also.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly View Post
    OK, that makes it clearer. You can use Shareasale phone tracking code also.
    Thanks for your reply


    My concern, however, is not tracking. It is hiding the online payment form from regular traffic.
    The way it would work is
    1)user clicks on affiliate link
    2)redirect to share a sale, set cookie
    3)redirect to my site with affiliate id, set a 2nd cookie
    ...
    4)go to order page, choose services
    5)if 2nd cookie is present, continue to checkout
    6)o/w they wait for our phone call

  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
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    The affiliate link is a "shareasale" link, it always is, so your site has to recognize that coming in and proceed from there.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly View Post
    The affiliate link is a "shareasale" link, it always is, so your site has to recognize that coming in and proceed from there.
    Right. That's not such a big deal.
    But what if they leave the site and come back? I need to know that to enable to form so that they can pay online, get to the TY page and get the affiliates their commission.

  10. #10
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Hey SilviuMM, I just spoke with Ashleigh (whom you spoke with this morning), and she said your query has been elevated...

    However, from what I'm reading, it sounds like you should be speaking with your developer. It would be possible for your site to recognize if inbound traffic was driven by an affiliate link, and to then send that traffic down a specific funnel, but it wouldn't be something you would integrate with ShareASale, it would have to be developed on your end...
    best,
    Carolyn
    ShareASale Client Services
    Y!: SAS_CTang
    e: ctang(at)shareasale.com

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn - ShareASale View Post
    Hey SilviuMM, I just spoke with Ashleigh (whom you spoke with this morning), and she said your query has been elevated...

    However, from what I'm reading, it sounds like you should be speaking with your developer. It would be possible for your site to recognize if inbound traffic was driven by an affiliate link, and to then send that traffic down a specific funnel, but it wouldn't be something you would integrate with ShareASale, it would have to be developed on your end...
    Yep. I know I can manage that, but I want to be sure that this is acceptable by the network. Since I am hiding the online payment form from non-affiliate traffic, I don't want affiliates thinking I am trying to steal their commissions.

    Also, I was told the feature that sends the affiliate ID over to the merchant is called SSAID. I assume this is done with a GET variable, right?

    Thanks for your help

  12. #12
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Only displaying the pixel to specific traffic is against network terms...yes. Even though your reason for doing so is to segregate checkout processes, the technology of it does go against our terms.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    I see.
    Then we would place the tracking pixel on a 'thank you' page that shows up to everybody, whether they just submitted the form and made the payment or just submitted the form and are waiting for contact (are not from affiliate, can't pay online). I suppose that if it were the case that an order goes through and our system denied access to the online payment form and it turned out that some affiliate is indeed eligible for commission, we would take the resposibility for it.

  14. #14
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    I'm going to let our tech team take that part over, they are better versed in finding the right solutions I do know that Ashleigh escalated your ticket, so you should hear from them soon!

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn - ShareASale View Post
    I'm going to let our tech team take that part over, they are better versed in finding the right solutions I do know that Ashleigh escalated your ticket, so you should hear from them soon!
    Ok
    Thank you for your help

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager
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    macias State
    FWIW, I did a similar implementation to what you are seeking this week. The Shareasale techs are aware of what I did, and why, and they didn't raise any red flags.

    The first thing: they did tell me to make sure to trigger the pixel only once per order, so I did actually include code that excludes the pixel in the case of someone hitting reload or viewing their receipt later or in printable form. I do ensure that the pixel is triggered once per sale, in network or not. Terms or not, I want to be able to tell my affiliates that my site is on the level.

    Second, I have a couple of payment options that are troublesome because the user gets a "thank you" even when they have not paid. This is when they mail in a payment or try to "phone in" their credit card. I do not want to offer those payment options to users coming from affiliates because 90% of the time we never receive the payment, and I don't want the admin overhead or the mistrust generated by a lot of reversals. So I want to restrict affiliate sales to credit/debit or paypal.

    This is what I did:

    - on my website, my normal product url is mysite.com/item/item-number instead of putting that in the data feed, i put mysite.com/landingpage/item/item-number

    - the script handler for /landing page on my site puts a cookie from mysite.com on the user, then redirects to mysite.com/item/item-number

    - in the checkout, if cookie, then custom checkout options

    Note that I always fire the pixel once per order on our thank you page, I simply limit the payment options when the customer came in via an affiliate. Also, we may look at an affiliate-friendly phone based option in the future. We're just trying to get going.

    edit: Note I don't worry about the Referer field. I only publish /landingpage in my data feed and use robots.txt to keep it from getting spidered

  17. #17
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It sounds like you're well on your way to a solution, but I have a question for you...

    Why wouldn't you want all of your customers to be able to use online checkout? I would think that your conversion ratio would be higher if people could checkout online.

    My suspicion is that there's a reason people would be calling in to place their order, and that even with affiliate traffic many would call in. If that's the case, phone tracking would be essential (and is easily implemented on SAS).
    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

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by OriginalGeek View Post
    FWIW... spidered
    Thanks for your reply. Using landing pages for affiliate traffic sounds like a good idea, I haven't fully decided where I would put this code. The reason I would like to check the referrer field is because anyone could just tag on the request variable to the URL. Of course, the referrer field can be faked as well but it's unlikely this could happen by mistake.
    But what happens if someone just goes to one of your landing pages? They'll be able to pay online?

    Also, just to make sure I understood it right, you include the pixel on every thank you page, even the ones where payment hasn't actually been made?

    LE:
    @MichaelColey
    Actually, it is our choice to do so, we don't sell products, we offer a service and although payment is required up front, we want to offer a customized service to our clients and normally we would like to interact with the customer to make sure they understand what they are getting before actually processing the payment and getting to work. However, we would like to get the affiliate program going and along with it we will see how online payments change the process. We do have a few ideas on how to keep our marketing strategy even with this model.
    We will indeed consider phone tracking once we see just how much traffic we are getting and how many people opt not to pay online (out of the affiliate traffic) but for now what we will do is remove 1800 numbers and just redesign our product pages a little bit to encourage affiliate traffic to go through the checkout.
    Last edited by SilviuMM; June 28th, 2010 at 09:58 AM.

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