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  1. #1
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hi all

    Hope no one minds me posting in this section I'm new so if its the wrong place then let me know.

    I am interested in the US market for affiliate marketing and so have been furiously reading till my eyes hurt a lot of the threads in the various forums here and must admit I cant help but keep looking in the CJ one.

    In the UK we have been competing with CJ for some time now and as an affiliate I do use them myself where it is impossible to find the same program elsewhere.

    I had been very curious as to why the campaign to clean up the ethics of certain networks in the UK had seemed to be going along more rapidly than over in the US with even CJ announcing that they were to have more autonomy in dealing with certain issues such as the adware debate and then I logged into CJ last night and looked at the full program list which includes US programs.

    I was at the same time shocked and impressed I have to admit that there was over 1300 programs available and a large number of US ones which recieved the 5 bar rating for network earnings.

    1300 programs my god thats a lot of programs thought I :-) No wonder the adware issue is not moving along so swiftly as adware can pretty much be a top 3 earner on just about any program ( I know from personal experience ) then let loose on 1300 programs it would make so much money it would be unreal.

    I fear that your fight over here will be a much harder one that we are all going through in the UK but ultimately money talks and even though on the surface it may look like a lost cause on paper I think you guys can still do it.

    We have been lucky in the UK in that 8 or 9 fairly high earning normal affiliates rallied a large majority of the rest of the big earners into contacting all of their best merchants - videos , screen grabs and private education were hammered home until for most of the merchants the decision was easy to make - lose all of your best affiliates to other programs and networks or lose the adware or the adware supporting networks.

    Now dont get me wrong for every ten that did there was ten that didnt but the profit to be made from the adware in question is greatly reduced if half the companies dont want to know and the other half have big affiliates making a stand to leave the programs then what are you left with.

    Eventually there is no reason to defend the particular application as no one is using them and so whats the point.

    Surely there must be enough major earners who are members of this board who could initiate such a revolution?

    If the UK network I work for ever realises my dream of coming to America then Ill gladly help by taking on board some of those high earning merchants who you cant do without and woudlnt want to drop as the loss of earnings would be to hard to take :-)

    With opposing networks and top affiliates all working together its amazing how quickly things can change.

    Good luck guys

    Kind Regards


    Mal

  2. #2
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    The problem over here is that the parasites are the big earners. They used every trick imaginable to target kids to load the software, doing blind by installs to increase their chance of distribution and blatently overwrote affiliate ids to gain a huge share of the market almost instantly.

    During this time "and still today", the networks have pushed parasities to a large degree, told merchants they were in compliance and even when they were/are out of compliance, continue to work with them.

    Merchant education has yielded results but the results overall are still neglible in the grand scheme of things IMO. Out of thousands of merchants, there are only a few stepping up to the plate to become trusted merchants here (even with the broad based participation of affiliates at ABW). Of course, merchant education has extended into many areas that is not refelcted at ABW but, the overall lack of participation at a trusted level speaks volumes IMO about how far off we still are.

    The distrust between networks, parasites and merchants is no small issue and with good reason. While the big networks appear to be taking steps towards addressing the issues, it's long past time. For two years, I've complained "very vocally" about there is no common facility for reporting violations against a parasite across networks and the networks involved in the COC nor linkshare ever addressed the issue.

    Linkshare did recently post an email address where information could be sent to that wasn't set up LOL but despite numerous requests, the COC has been a silent organization with no public voice, no named representatives and no procedures to facilitate the enforcement of it's policies other than each network doing what they want to in regard to issues that come up. It remians that way too IMO.

    Until the networks provide information that shows they have meaningfull compliance departments, are detecting violations, taking steps to enforce them and have a reasonable means to collect data from affiliates, will fairly research issues presented, and can themselves do this on a common ground where affiliates don't have to lobby with the BIG 3 networks separately we have a way to go and yes, we still have a way to go...

  3. #3
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    Hi

    Cheers for the reply .

    Your comments describe a very bad and sad situation here.

    One of the big things that shifted merchants in the UK were the videos of the software in action - when your biggest affiliate turns out to be coining in commission that you needn't have paid then decisions seem so much easier - I dont know if that has been tried here in the general merchant education.

    There must be plenty of high earning affs who banded together could outwiegh or at least get near some of the spyware revenue.

    If there was a program available on a spyware free network instead I'm sure you guys would swap links accordingly from some of the other things i read here so maybe thats the key if a merchant realises they have two programs and only one has affiliates then all the other network becomes is the sypware network with its one or two spyware affiliates who give it and its shareholders a really bad name.

    From what i have seen earnings wise spyware can make a serious amount of cash but not as much as the rest of the affiliates in the program so a common front on switching links would most definately hit the radar.

    I remember a while back when on one of my own sites I took out some links that earn me about £3000 + a month to make a point - thats small to the network but for the merchant it was decent and they got in touch with the network as a result to lobby about the spyware.

    Now I know that everybody cant afford to do that and for some it will be $10000's and more to make a stand like that which is why there needs to be an alternative for link swapping purposes I reckon.

    It seems at the moment like the networks have you guys over a barrel - they know you wont leave fully and meanwhile they cream it in off their new friends

    The way I see it this is Affiliate marketing - networks are an easy route to market but they should add value and if they dont then why do they deserve an overide - seems to me like some of the networks over here have forgotten there place in the grand scheme of things.

    No network has ever made me money as an affiliate I owe that to a few good people and a lot of hard work - dont get me wrong I dont mind them earning the overide for the convenience of having all the programs i like to use in one place and the use of some reliable tracking etc and for some they give you a bit of time on the phone and help you out a bit but if that same company turns aorund and stamps all over my livelihood with short term greed philosophies then I'm sorry but I cant sit back and watch that happen.

    The sadder truth now is that if this stuff ever gets sorted I will never forget that it took all this agro and noise to sort it if you see what i mean.

  4. #4
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    There is a serious shortage of parasite free networks that serve the US market.

    If you could start your network for the US market and accept international affiliates as well, and keep the parasites out, you should eventually be able to attract more clean, producing affiliates than the parasite infested networks.

    You'll have a big edge over the competition in terms of attracting affiliates.

    Consolidated payments and datafeeds would be very attractive too.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Hi

    Thanks for the vote of confidence - interesting you mention consolidated payments as this to me is a given from a network but I saw from other posts and a conversation with a chap who called me yesterday that there are some that dont do this which must be a pain in the a..

    Datafeeds is an area we have been looking at for a while now and we just put a first phase of this live ( free of course ) I had to laugh when I found out you could be charged as a merchant or an affiliate some places for this - talk about trying to coin it in from anywhere possible.

    Thers to many short term views in this industry and to many " oh well as long as everyone else is in the same boat were ok comments " regarding norton et al . Stuff that for a game of soldiers we are here to stay and as long as we have our network up to scratch for affiliates then we will always earn money and change with the times as affiliates needs change.

    I'm sure it will be a struggle at first especially as our reputation is UK based and only a handful of people in the USA even know who we are , but actions speak louder than words so if we stay true to our core principals like payments on time and affiliates come first then like you say maybe we can have an impact.

    Your comments have fueled my dreams a little more so thank you for that and maybe one day who knows we may be putting some well earned money into your bank account :-)

    Kind Regards

    Mal

  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I won't say who at valueclick but I was told that the VC cpa program actually recruited 180 Solutions so if VC is doing it and has no problem with parasites why would CJ do anything about them.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Joey's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Perfiliate:
    Datafeeds is an area we have been looking at for a while now and we just put a first phase of this live ( free of course ) I had to laugh when I found out you could be charged as a merchant or an affiliate some places for this - talk about trying to coin it in from anywhere possible. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yeah free datafeeds are great if you want to fight with 500 other affiliates over the same content. Ever heard of a barrier to entry? Charging for datafeeds is a very good thing IMO.

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Nice to see the other side of the pond seeking to market USA merchants and networks if they could only find some not burdened by BHO Adwhore thieves. No since fighting the same battle over again as you too have seen the consortium of thieves has found their nature home in the mindset of the basic advertising industry. The only industry employing minds with lower ethics and morals then the typical lawyer.

    Tease your mind and open up some options there are only 2 alternatives presented at ABW. Search ABW for Safe Haven Network and True Tracker threads and digest them. SAS is the closest thing to a cleaned up version of the old model trying their best to hold off the entry of thieves and sleezeballs from both the merchant and affiliate side. Reality is every traffic/cookie trickster, cyber conman is seeking new victims via new network entries hoping to squeeze in and pilfer the till.

    Not a pretty picture but legit honest value-added resellers and merchants willing to payout on their actual sites conversion ratios is a rarity. Most just spend time just devising tricks with the other side trying to limit commission payouts. Eliminate the tricksters and more honest merchants will be willing to work with the group even if it means higher payouts.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  9. #9
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    I understand that in addition to ShareASale
    that 5 Star Programs is honest and parasite-free
    as well as Andy Rodrguez.

    Does anyone have any input on WebSudio-1?

    RadarCat
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

  10. #10
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I think most of the domestic UK networks are parasite-free, including Perfiliate/buy.at, Affiliate Window, Affiliate Future, DGM2 etc. The only networks I know of that operate to any significant extent in the UK with a parasite problem are CJ/Befree and Tradedoubler.

    And some of these networks are damned good from a technical point of view. So while people like CJ have been mucking around with endless stupid revisions to their interface, other networks have built themselves up and have grown *with* affiliates. Could be interesting when they decide to cross the the pond
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  11. #11
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    Web-studio is very clean. I'm a big fan of their programs.

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