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  1. #1
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    We recently had an individual join CJ and become a member of our affiliate program that very same day. That individual decided to grab one of our html creatives and send it out to their opt-in newsletter subscribers. The only problem we have with this situation is that he has generated over 50 spam complaints. Although we weren't responsible for the email, readers still email us their complaints. Does this sort of event tarnish OneShare's image in the affiliate world or in the eyes of your subscribers? How can we prevent this from happening again? Would it be better for us to have our html creatives in a secure area and provide them on per request basis or just to leave them open for affiliates to grab whenever they feel like it? Please give feedback.

  2. #2
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    Hi Randy...

    The first thing you need to do, if you haven't already, is to have a "no spamming" clause put into your TOS. If you do not have an agreement with your affiliates, that might be the first avenue to look at in order to keep these things from happening.

    I may catch a ration from my friends on here for that comment, but I happen to believe that an agreement between the affiliates and the merchants gives everyone all the information they need to proceed whereby there are no misunderstandings - something rife in our industry.

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  3. #3
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    SPAM! UGH! We all have to deal with it. If there were an easy way to keep it from happening it would have been gone a long time ago.

    Many affiliate agreements I have read specifically state that sending out email campaigns with creatives is strictly forbidden. If you have this in your agreement, then you have grounds to reprimand and/or terminate the offender.

    Don't let one bad apple spoil the bunch. I don't think making affiliates jump through hoops by having to make a special request to get your code will make your program very enticing. If somebody gets the urge to create a page at 3:00 a.m. in the morning who is going to be around to ask permission? If it were me, I'd probably just create a page for another program rather than be bothered with the extra work to get your code.

    ---
    Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health, and love.

  4. #4
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Yeah it does tarnish your image. There is no doubt about that.

    I would use a terms of service agreement and require affiliates from the start and have them agree to it before they can receive pay for linking to you.

    Throw in some legal threats for breaking of the spam agreement such as for ruining of reputation and tell them they will be held responsible for business losses from their actions.

  5. #5
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    Maybe I'm not following something here but many of the affiliate programs encourage promoting their company in affiliate opt-in newsletters. Was this a situation where an email was sent with only the Oneshare.com creative or as an advertisement contained in an actual newsletter which is what we do twice per month and have never had a complaint that I'm aware of.

  6. #6
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    quote:
    That individual decided to grab one of our html creatives and send it out to their opt-in newsletter subscribers. The only problem we have with this situation is that he has generated over 50 spam complaints.


    While the individual you are referring too "just recently joined", and I have been around for more then two years, I feel I might be the guilty party. I recently sent out one of your content links (html ad) to my opt in subscribers. I did get a couple of "remove me" requests. If you generated complaints because of me, I apologize. I wasn't trying to "spam" anyone. I don't see how it can be called "spam" if the email is not unsolicited?

    Any how, my email went out to over 600 subscribers, so you may have generated some compalints because of me. sorry. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif[/img]

    Big Chuck

  7. #7
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Randy- Oneshare.com:
    We recently had an individual join CJ and become a member of our affiliate program that very same day. That individual decided to grab one of our html creatives and send it out to their opt-in newsletter subscribers. The only problem we have with this situation is that he has generated over 50 spam complaints. Although we weren't responsible for the email, readers still email us their complaints. Does this sort of event tarnish OneShare's image in the affiliate world or in the eyes of your subscribers? How can we prevent this from happening again? Would it be better for us to have our html creatives in a secure area and provide them on per request basis or just to leave them open for affiliates to grab whenever they feel like it? Please give feedback.


    How is it SPAM if it is an optin list?

    If you do not want your affiliates to send you out in newsletters, you should make that clear.

    The "spam" thing is getting old. People use that word incorrectly WAY too frequently.

    It isn't spam so please don't call it that. In fact, I would consider myself lucky to be sent out to a list that large on a CPA basis, basically, you got a lot of free advertising.

    Please let us know, what was the conversion of that mailing?

    Thank you.

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    It is spam if the affiliate said it was an opt-in list and it really wasn't! How many times have you gotten spam from someone saying "you are receiving this email because you have requested to receive information for specials and promotions either through us or one of our partners." It's spam!

    For Randy to receive 50 spam complaints in reference to one mailing, the person who did this had a rather sizable mailing list.

    If you are running a legitimate opt-in email newsletter there shouldn't be a problem. People subscribe and unsubscribe to newsletters all the time, so a couple of unsubscribes shouldn't be a problem, as long as you unsubscribe them. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    But the people who do not use newsletters appropriately can cause a huge headache for merchants. I get tons of these "opt-in" emails everyday. Generally from companies/individuals I've never even heard of before.

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  9. #9
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    One danger with genuine opt-in lists is that people will sometimes forget that they've opted in.

    But *most* emails you get claiming that you're a member of an opt-in list are simply lying. I love the ones that get sent to things like postmaster@ because you KNOW you'd never sign up for anything useing that.

    ________
    Please leave my port 137 alone.

  10. #10
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    My favorite is abuse@

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  11. #11
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    quote:
    Originally posted by papasan:
    How is it SPAM if it is an optin list?



    When I opt-in to a list, I expect to get exactly what I opted in for and nothing more. If it's a newsletter, I want the newsletter. If it's news headlines, then I want news headlines. ... etc,

    If they stick an ad at the end of the newsletter or after the headlines, I won't object, as long as the ads aren't overtaking the content.

    But if they start sending me redistribution emails, or 100% canned ad-copy, that is SPAM, because it is unsolicited and I did not "opt-in" to it.

    If you want to argue about what SPAM is, that's fine, but remember that the customer is always right. And if the customer thinks its SPAM, then, well ...

    @ Randy - There are definitely a lot of advantages to making redistribution letters available. On the other hand, HTML emails that are prewritten by you will almost always look totally different than what someone's normal opt-in newsletters look like. That increases the risk of you looking like a SPAMmer. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? I don't know, but I'm actually surprised this hasn't been more of a problem for merchants.

    - Ed

    "It's my hope that you'll come to appreciate the past should not be forgotten. It should be cherished, and run late-night, in syndication, after the local news." (Orange County)

  12. #12
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    quote:
    Originally posted by abagoo:
    quote:
    Originally posted by papasan:
    How is it SPAM if it is an optin list?



    When I opt-in to a list, I expect to get exactly what I opted in for and nothing more. If it's a newsletter, I want the newsletter. If it's news headlines, then I want news headlines. ... etc,

    If they stick an ad at the end of the newsletter or after the headlines, I won't object, as long as the ads aren't overtaking the content.

    But if they start sending me redistribution emails, or 100% canned ad-copy, that is SPAM, because it is unsolicited and I did not "opt-in" to it.

    If you want to argue about what SPAM is, that's fine, but remember that the customer is always right. And if the customer thinks its SPAM, then, well ...

    @ Randy - There are definitely a lot of advantages to making redistribution letters available. On the other hand, HTML emails that are prewritten by you will almost always look totally different than what someone's normal opt-in newsletters look like. That increases the risk of you looking like a SPAMmer. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? I don't know, but I'm actually surprised this hasn't been more of a problem for merchants.

    - Ed

    "It's my hope that you'll come to appreciate the past should not be forgotten. It should be cherished, and run late-night, in syndication, after the local news." (Orange County)



    Without droning on about the exact definition of spam, I will say that optin is optin and is NOT spam. Having said that, if a subscriber does NOT like the CONTENT, then perhaps they should unsubscribe! I think filing a false spam complaint should be like filing a fake police report!

    Or, just for laughs, if you dont like the content and you decide to take the time and extra steps to make a spam complaint, maybe you should write that "im reporting this as spam, not because it IS spam, but because i dont like the content and i didnt want to unsubscribe!"

    Better yet, email the person responsible for the offending email and let them know!

    Honestly, I dont know why more people dont do that!

    I ocassionaly send out newsletters to small lists and I get my share of unsubs, but I encourage people to tell me what they think!

  13. #13
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    I dont sell or giveaway my subscribers email address. I send them a newsletter with discounts/bargains/coupons. This particular case, with OneShare.com, there was a $10.00 off offer. My subscribers come from my sites visitors entering their email address and name into a submission form on my site. I do not buy, or exchange lists with anyone. The only way they could have recieved my newsletter is if they (or someone) entered their emaill address and name into the submission form at my site. SO... my subscribers are true opt in subscribers.

    Of course, this may not have even been me, but I did send an html content link out for oneshare.com recently, and I did get a few requests to remove peoples email address from the list, which I did promptly.

    Big Chuck

  14. #14
    Member Chris Bailey's Avatar
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    A lot of people do have a tendency to sign up and forget. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] However, Big Chuck, I doubt that a mailing to only around 600 folks would generate 50 spam complaints even if they were spam.

    If you haven't done so already, you may want to make them double optin to help them remember you better and also help prevent fraudulent subscriptions.

    Chris B.

  15. #15
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Chris Bailey:
    A lot of people do have a tendency to sign up and forget. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] However, Big Chuck, I doubt that a mailing to only around 600 folks would generate 50 spam complaints even if they were spam.

    If you haven't done so already, you may want to make them double optin to help them remember you better and also help prevent fraudulent subscriptions.

    Chris B.


    Aside from double opting, you should have it towhere they receive a welcome email whrther or not you require a second confirmation.

    Also, most newsletters have an unsub button or link, why all the complaints?

  16. #16
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    I have a welcome email that is automatically sent, but I do not have a confirmation (double opt-in) set up. I figure isf they don't reply to the welcome, then they did indeed sign-up.

    Big Chuck

  17. #17
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    Thank you very much for everyone's feedback. You guys are great. I really do appreciate everyone's opinion. I want to say first off that, Big Chuck, we have absolutely no concerns about your newsletter. Keep up the great work!! This person was a brand new affiliate that generated over 50 "spam" complaints for us on nearly 50,000 impressions. Furthermore, we were the only merchant in the email to his subscribers. He grabbed our Harley html creative from CJ and decidedly sent it out that day. As well, we were the only merchant program that he had joined up until yesterday. Whether or not, it is deemed as spam mail is our eyes, it is in the eyes of those who complained. I just wanted to see what all of you thought about it. As far as our TOS is concerned, we do have details of it in our www.oneshare.com/affiliate_program.asp page. We have notified CJ about this affiliate and they are looking into this matter and will notify us if they find any information pertinent to this issue. Thanks again to everyone who provided their comments to this situation. If anybody has any feedback that they would like to give to me directly, please e-mail me at rnorton@oneshare.com.

  18. #18
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    whew! then it wasn't me afterall - lol! Great! I didnt make anything off of it, yet. I have made a couple of sales through OneShare.com, though. I promote ya'll on my sites, as well as the occasional newsletter.

    Big Chuck

  19. #19
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    Then who WAS the dude?

  20. #20
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Let me guess.. ToeBanjo.com?

    See this thread in news.admin.net-abuse.sightings.

    ________
    Please leave my port 137 alone.

  21. #21
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    Yes that is correct, it was Toebanjo.com that sent out one of our html creatives and generated nearly 60 spam complaints to us. Has anyone heard of this individual before? If so, what is the history? All of the feedback the better so maybe someway we can eliminate this from happening again.

  22. #22
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    I just looked in my trash, and there are 10 spams from him. From the past 4 or 5 days. Not for your stuff, though, I think.

    He claims I signed up to get his emails. I didn't, of course.

    I could forward them, if you like.

  23. #23
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    Randy;
    Looks like he is well known
    Google groups

  24. #24
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    I got an email today from an rsnow@oneshare.com.

    It came to an email address that could only have been procured by snagging it from the contact info on one of my sites; I do not use that address as a contact address for any programs that I sign up with.

    All around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel

  25. #25
    Schlaumeier cumbrowski's Avatar
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    May be 2 days to late, but nevertheless.

    I think the only way to reduce the SPAM complaints to virtually 0 is via double-opt-in.
    The laws should change to inforce that by the way.

    We did not got any Spam complaint whatsoever since we have it in place.

    Okay, the drawback was, that the number of successful opt-in's droped 30%.

    But the 30% are probably people who did not really wanted to sign up in the first place and more likely, somebody just keyed in somebody elses Email address. A good indicator for that assumption is, that our bounce rate decreased and conversion rate increased.

    We log subscriptions and confirmations in case somebody complains (date/time and ip).
    It happend once, that somebody contacted us, because he got our opt-in confirmation email to confirm his newsletter subscription.
    Somebody was subscribing with his email to newsletters all over the internet to terrorize him.

    We were able to tell him the IP and the Dtae/Time of the Subscriber (used no proxy, idiot hehe), because we send that Information to the Email address in question (and only to there), if there is an abuse.

    He was able to track the person down, based on the provided information. If he was able to take legal steps against that person is a different story.

    To Randy's question. Some Tips.

    Do not automatically accept all affiliates. You can set filters in CJ to auto accept USA affiliates (they have some more filters too) and others after review. You can take legal steps against US affiliates easier than against foreign ones.

    Create Links for the use in Affiliates Emails and enforce that. That will allow you to track Affiliates who send Email Newsletters, just to be prepared.

    You can never be 100% save. The only thing you can do is damage control.
    Punish violating affilates hard, reverse commission.
    Have a nice and friendly Email ready to respond to people, who have a spam complaint and explain the issue and MOST important, tell them, what you plan to do about it (termination affiliate releationship, reversing commission etc.).

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