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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    September 3rd, 2010
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    6
    Dormant Program
    Hi,

    I've just started managing a program which hasn't really been managed or touched in over 2 years. I've read over;
    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85372
    and it was quite the eye opener. Though there is only about 5% of the whole affiliate list (that's me being optimistic!) generating clicks at all, yet alone sales currently. While I'm going to refrain from removing these now - how do I go about making sure I serve all the 'real'/prospective affiliates and avoid receiving so many bounce emails each time I make contact (it's quite shocking how many I get from the 2 I've sent so far!). Many don't even have valid sites yet alone emails.

    I'm also curious to what everyones opinion is to get it started up again without aggrevating the affiliate base we have currently. It may appear less pro-active management and more spam like if after 2 years of hearing nothing from us they're suddenly receiving weekly updates and being offered incentives out of the blue. Perhaps this is partly how I believe I feel when it's happened to me as an affiliate in the past.

    - Rob

  2. #2
    Moderator PDXreader's Avatar
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    February 24th, 2009
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    MAKE CONTACT. Introduce yourself to the affiliates. Promotions and coupon emails are not going to scare them or upset them. If its something that helps with the sale why would that upset them. If you are hesitant to contact them then how will you make your program better than it was?
    Last edited by PDXreader; September 3rd, 2010 at 12:17 PM.
    J. Duffield Affiliate Manager at Snow Consulting
    Let's Connect-PassTheSEO|#GSEG|Twitter|LinkedIn|Blog "Knowledge is Power."

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    January 17th, 2005
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    I'm guessing that I'm one of your affiliates and I have received exactly one email in the past two years regarding the program. It was unsigned and impersonal, an update to the terms, sent out via SAS on August 25th.

    As you have learned, affiliate programs don't perform well on auto pilot. I have wondered sometimes whether that program was one of the "walking dead" programs, (abandoned or closed programs that still have their creatives up for people to sign up and promote) that we stumble across now and then.

    Sometimes, when you join a program and it doesn't change over a long period of time you just paste up a banner in the sidebar on related pages and hope for the best. No news, no new creatives, no promotions, it may get little attention. The programs that get more attention have live people at the other end who provide new information, maybe a deal or promotion and let their affiliates know they can be reached and counted on for a response if questions arise. Once you become known here and in your program you can likely count on more active affiliates. It looks like you're trying to do it right, so good luck!

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    2busy is spot on. Nobody has been at the helm for 2 years. If you were an affiliate what would you want to see? Will affiliates think you're going to disappear again or here to stay? You need to reintroduce yourself and basically start from scratch.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    2,420
    Hi Robert:

    I ran your program @ SAS in '07 & '08
    Chrissie the Sales & Marketing Manager ,in the UK, bought the program back in-house on 6/10/08

    A quote follows:
    "We have made the decision to build an in-house affiliate program to meet the requirements of our web marketing team. They have felt for some time now that an external program has too many restrictions, as well as limiting our potential page rank."

    It was a fine service and I wish you well with the program.
    Last edited by Merchant Consultant Team; September 3rd, 2010 at 01:36 PM.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    "Many don't even have valid sites yet alone emails."

    Networks should do something about that. Back in the day when Google Adsense would update their terms, you couldn't do anything in the interface until you clicked off you read the new stuff. Networks should have something like that where you enter or verify your email address before you can do anything in the interface, then you would have less of a bounce issue.

    And what everybody said to the other stuff. Just email your affiliates and tell them what's up. It's good to here from a merchant, so affiliates know the program isn't on autopilot and they have a point of contact.

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    If an affiliate has no valid sites AND the email bounces consistently, I don't have a problem removing them from the program. However all that is is a time sink and doesn't really have an impact on your day to day operations. What we did with a very active program recently (since it sounds like you are on Shareasale) is create a Group and put all affiliates that have never sent a click into that group and send a newsletter just to them - with a bonus for x number of sales. We got several responses and affiliates reconnected and got active or at least told us their future plans.

    Good luck with your program!
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
    Moderator PDXreader's Avatar
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    That's a great idea Loxly! Thanks for sharing.
    J. Duffield Affiliate Manager at Snow Consulting
    Let's Connect-PassTheSEO|#GSEG|Twitter|LinkedIn|Blog "Knowledge is Power."

  9. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I agree with Loxly, not only is it a waste of time having affiliate with defunct email addresses is dangerous. If you get a call that an affiliate has added offensive copy or has an expired coupon what do you do when you can't reach them. My point is that if they can be communicated to then they shouldn't be in the program.

    Affiliates with one website in their profile that doesn't resolve should be removed unless they send clicks. In that case reach out and find out what they are doing.

    You should take the affiliates that are sending clicks but no sale and do an activation campaign. Engage them as a group and offer to review their site(s) for best placement.

    For affiliates that are not active segment and try a sales contest.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    September 3rd, 2010
    Posts
    6
    Hi,

    2busy - You're right, we did update the terms recently, though unfortunately there is no way to personalise them from what I've seen on SaS. I did have a long talk with Sarah@SaS on Friday to get a better hold of the system as it's quite different than the others I've used in the past. I did state to her that I'd like to make sure as much contact is on a personal level generally (another reason why I'm here and have also created a group on the Aquarium to help and support).

    Greg - Starting from scratch is definitely where I'm at with it all. Though just to reinstate that I've only just started working here and so haven't just not bothered for 2 years My aim isn't to disappear in a few weeks and already in the process of updating all the creatives, adding other divisions and coming up with incentives for all of you to be able to benefit from and help revitalize it.

    Merchant Consultant Team - Is there anything I could do to persuade you back for '10 ? My main issues with internal systems are firstly while you may improve pagerank you then to to multiply work by going out and finding every affiliate in separate places losing the community feel, while then them also having to be persuaded that them directly linking to you is going to actually track clicks+sales.. which comes down to a trust factor. Where with large street brand names this isn't an issue, but with telecommunications it's not always our best known trait!

    Trust/Loxly - I'll definitely take your suggestion on board and try this out. I'd rather not turn anyone away from our program. I'm always of the mind 'the more the merrier'. I've even opened our program up to automatic acceptance now it's being monitored regularly and the approval process for SaS is already quite robust (I tried to apply for a test affiliate account and was rejected !)

    Chuck - I like the idea of contests, though think I'll be avoiding it based purely on sales as I've done in the past. The main problem being that the large affiliates who regularly do 100's of sales instantly make it impossible for the majority to compete. I was reading a review of Red Letter Days affiliate program the other day where they rewarded affiliates on achieving new levels of sales compared to their past performance than opposed to every other affiliates performance. I'll by all means announce that here.

    Anyway, thanks all for the feedback. Hope you'll see the improvement in our program over the coming weeks.

    - Rob

  11. #11
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertmobal View Post
    I'd rather not turn anyone away from our program. I'm always of the mind 'the more the merrier'. I've even opened our program up to automatic acceptance now it's being monitored regularly and the approval process for SaS is already quite robust (I tried to apply for a test affiliate account and was rejected !)
    In a perfect world...

    Unethical affiliates can hurt your program in many ways and I think most AMs and OPMs would agree that one of the toughest parts of affiliate management is keeping out the bad players. Manual approval is your first line of defense. Spend some time in the Unethical Affiliates forum to get a better idea of some of the issues that you may need to deal with.

    Good luck and welcome to ABW.

    -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

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    September 3rd, 2010
    Posts
    6
    Rematt,

    Thanks for the welcome, hoping it'll help me improve my affiliate management skills, and our affiliate program.

    I'll be sure to go over that forum in more detail tonight and the Haiko podcast, though I'm currently in a position to monitor each sale closely and will make it approval only once I feel we've reached a point where we have a sufficient level of active affiliates.

    Sadly the majority don't even have any activity - so how would you tell these inactive affiliates who may just be lurching in wait to cause havoc against ones who automatically join and do it this way? I have the time to review each site as they sign up, and the possibility that they'd be able to sign up, make a sale and be paid before I go to do this just isn't a possibility.

    Though as with life, I'd rather continue my life without fear and deal with events when they happen than hide in a dark room scared of the World. The same as treating everyone as innocent until they committ an offense

    Perhaps the podcasts and further reading will make me more wary.. and I'll be sure to let you know! But I'm always more than happy to explain my actions (unfortunately for you it takes me 1,000 words where 50 would suffice )

    - Rob

  13. #13
    http and a telephoto
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    One thing you can do as far as contests in Shareasale is create a group then limit a bonus just to that group. So create a group of affiliates that haven't had sales and give them a bonus for generating their first x number of sales. You can then track that group and see if the incentive helped. Also be sure in that email with the incentive that you give them some creatives or other information to help motivate them to get started. You can include banner code right in emails from Shareasale that have their code embedded that they can then copy and paste to their site.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

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