Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2007
    Posts
    118
    The phone order dilema...
    Hi All,

    Just spent some time trying to search about affiliates and phone orders on the forums. I found some interesting information, but not quite what I'm questioning. I'm wondering what some of the signs are with merchants and "leaky" phone ordering - and an affiliate's best practices in dealing with this.

    I need to go back and re-evaluate many of my affiliate promotions, and I want to seriously look at each merchant I'm promoting in lots of ways. I also want to ensure I'm aware of any potential issues with phone ordering.

    Here's some questions I'd love some advice with:

    - If the top of the site has a big phone number, is that generally a red flag? (seems like it would be from other posts, but maybe not if they track?)

    - What if the phone number is in other locations, like below the fold, only on certain pages, etc.? Obviously you have customer service and contact pages, but the phone number really needs to be there - correct? Are there any places that generally are less likely to "leak" away from online ordering?

    - How can I tell if the merchant tracks phone orders? Obviously, contacting them is one way - but is there a clue on the site? I followed one of my affiliate links over to a merchant I promote, and the address bar completely changes to hide affiliate codes, etc. (I confirm I'm seeing the click be tracked). I also don't see anything anywhere to show an "affiliate code". Is this another clue that I probably won't get credit for phone orders?

    - Do merchants respond positively if you bring up phone order tracking and find solutions? Or is it kind of a "better move on" scenario?

    - Are there any other big clues I should be looking for on the merchant's site?

    - Are there any clues in the information on the merchants before I apply to the program? A big "we track phone orders" or "we don't track phone orders" would be nice - LOL. But seriously, when I read the terms and look at the merchant sites, what are some clues I should notice?


    I think I made a very rookie mistake in potentially having too many offers - and not focusing my efforts. I'm definitely sending traffic through, but I'm also diluting traffic across the multiple offers and I might have made some poor choices in merchants. So I'm going to look closely at every offer I'm providing, and make sure I'm getting the maximum effect for my efforts.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or insights you'd like to offer.

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 24th, 2005
    Posts
    6,918
    Many more merchants do NOT track phone orders than do. Those that do typically do make it a point to say they track phone orders.

    In all fairness to the merchant - Phone numbers are an important part of their business. As an affiliate, I understand that, but don't necessarily like it - especially if they have a call to action associated with their phone number like "receive x% off by calling today", etc. Those merchants I tend to steer away from.

    I think I made a very rookie mistake in potentially having too many offers - and not focusing my efforts.
    Easy to do that. But whatever you do, you have to review the results. If you feel a merchant's phone number is the cause of low conversions then act on that. If you feel low conversions are the result of having too many irons in the fire then act on that. Much of affiliate marketing IS trial and error. Better to go to bed with one merchant and make that relationship successful than throwing up dozens and hoping for the best...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2007
    Posts
    118
    Eep - maybe I have a commitment phobia :-)

    Seriously though, very good advice. I'm realizing that by having so many offers, it's making it harder to actually analyze and test tactics, which I know I need to do to be successful.

    The call to action one is a good one for sure - I'll look for that.

    I think it's also difficult as a relative newcomer (i.e. not much luck so far - lol) to really judge when I might have a problem. For instance, I get the concept of EPC - but how many clicks without a sale do I let go before thinking I have a problem? And I recently discovered that one of my affiliate links on a squidoo page, that is sending about 30 clicks a week, isn't resolving to the landing page it used to - which is blowing conversions. That means time contacting the merchant to resolve, which makes me question having too many merchant offers to do that sort of due diligence my business needs.

    "Get rich quick my butt" - this is lots and lots of work. But, I really wouldn't have it any other way :-)

  4. #4
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 4th, 2006
    Location
    Sunny SoCal
    Posts
    832
    I don't fault a merchant for having a phone # on their own web page. They need to focus on what is going to facilitate sales and happy customers.

    I also don't think too much about telephone tracking. It is great and all, but I think program features like this only happen if those rare cases when there is a very affiliate friendly and savvy & proactive person running the merchant's affiliate program. Ethics come into play as well -- I'm sure some managers would not add something that they realize they have been getting for free.

    But, as convergence notes, I definitely avoid merchants that do not have tele tracking AND have special offers associated with "Call Now"

    A lot of this is trial and error. The merchant who does tele tracking, has an eternal cookie, and best commission around may not convert (for whatever reason/s) and the merchant with a big phone # on top and a 1 day cookie and modest commission rate may convert all day long! So, test test test!!

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    July 25th, 2011
    Location
    Reversalville
    Posts
    57
    I don't mind a phone number, it's part of doing business and necessary for the business. I wouldn't order from anyone that didn't display a phone number myself so I can't expect my visitors that I send to them to do so either. I never actually called to place an order but it's just seeing that number there in case anything goes wrong.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2007
    Posts
    118
    Okay, right.... trial and error - no magic bullet :-) (I still love that thread!).

    So let me ask a different question. How many clicks should I wait in my testing before I think there's a problem and change something?

    For instance, should 100 clicks and no sale be a sign? More?

    I don't want to be paranoid and not give things a chance - but I also don't want to miss a sign saying "potential problem" and not address it.

    Is there an average like xx visitors to site, xx clicks to merchant = problem if no sales after xx?

    I know there can be so many factors, including my audience, where they are in the buying cycle, etc. So are there any baselines for knowing it's time to re-evaluate?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,889
    If the merchant is on ShareASale you can look on the page for your affiliate ID. When my merchants tracked phone orders we placed the SAS affiliate code on pages throughout the site, usually at the bottom, but often close to the phone number itself.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    July 25th, 2011
    Location
    Reversalville
    Posts
    57
    I don't think phone tracking is all what it's cracked up to be... I used to work at a place that had an affiliate program and tracked phone orders. I would listen to the customer service person ask for the "reference code" and it would just lead to all kinds of hassles.

    A conversation would go something like this:

    Customer Service: Do you have a reference code?

    Customer: Huh? What's that? Is that some kind of coupon code? Do I get a discount for having a reference code?

    Customer Service: No, it's just a tracking code so we know how you found our site.

    Customer: Oh, I found your site from looking for _____________ on the internet.

    Customer Service: Is there a reference code by our phone number on our website?

    Customer: No, I don't think I see one. What does it look like?

    Customer Service: It's a 4 to 9 digit under our phone number?

    Customer: Where is the phone number at?

    Customer Service: It's at the very top of our website, it's the same number you just dialed to call us.

    Customer: I can't find either one. Does this mean I can't get a discount now?

    Customer Service: Ok, never mind about t he reference code... what did you like to order?

    Customer: I don't remember now. I will call back later when I do.

    So I can see why a lot of merchants don't want to bother with it. It's not because they want to "scam" you out of commissions. I've even heard customers get very nasty with customer service because they gave a reference code and didn't get a discount. Even seen a lot of customers say "forget it then!" and hang up.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    January 13th, 2007
    Posts
    118
    Wow - I can totally see that phone call playing out :-( I can see why this could be a hassle for merchants...

    Which means I also need to think about my audience and whether they are more the "Phone Order" or "Website Order" type - as that will make a difference I think...

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    Phone numbers have never been an issue to me since it's very normal for a merchant to have one, I expect them to have one, I think it helps even with the perception to shoppers/conversions.

    Phone tracking, I never paid much attention too. If a merchant has it, great. But I know most people who shop online, shop online. Then you get the stuff Reversal Magnet is talking about.

    To me, it's only an issue if it's one of those call for a better deal type of situations or when it's clear the merchant is trying to get people to call with how they place those numbers.

    "Is there an average like xx visitors to site, xx clicks to merchant = problem if no sales after xx?"

    Like you mentioned, there are lots of variables that go into that, so it'll be different for everybody. But for myself, I expect something in 100 clicks, regardless of the merchant or product. If it starts getting in the range of a few hundred clicks without a sale, I'm getting ready to remove.

  11. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. $712.85 Phone Order
    By Eathan in forum ShareASale - SAS
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: May 9th, 2008, 11:59 PM
  2. First Order is a Phone Order!
    By Geno Prussakov in forum AM Navigator
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: April 14th, 2008, 12:39 PM
  3. Phone order tracking
    By Zach@AmeriTrustRx in forum ShareASale - SAS
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 24th, 2006, 11:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •