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  1. #1
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    Question How can I do Live Chat without leaks in PPL program
    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post, but I've been lurking the forum for a awhile. I'm a merchant working on developing an Affiliate Marketing program for my company. Online we collect leads through forms for follow-up sales. We also provide live chat(Live Person) for sales and customer service. So our Online Affiliate program will be pay-per-lead through our forms and live chat conversations

    To prevent any leaks in our affiliate program, we'd like to pay our affiliates for new qualified leads coming in through our live chat program.

    I've been struggling to find examples how to handle live chat leaks in Affiliate programs, especially in a PPL program.. but below is how I intend to handle the situation.

    1. Save the Affiliate ID for each conversation if it exists.

    2. Our conversations are categorized on a post-chat survey whether they result in a new lead or are customer service of an existing order. So just prior to the locking period we run a report targeting conversations that results in a new lead that also contain an Affiliate ID#. For each new lead we credit our affiliates their commissions appropriately.

    I apologize for the long post, but after all that.. Does my approach seem to be reasonable?

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    How is the lead processed when the consumer talks to live chat? Is it completed by the live chat bug? If its completed by the consumer through the lead form then it shouldn't effect the cookie. Here's a previous conversation on it: http://www.abestweb.com/forums/midni...ng-139847.html

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  4. #3
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    Hello Chuck,

    Thanks for your help! There is a simple form(Live Person Pre-Chat survey) when entering live chat that gathers basic contact details. Then in the live chat conversation if it they say they are interested in a product and provide enough information, they are given a price quote. So the live chat could be used entirely instead of any of our web forms.

    Since we categorize chat conversations(based on a post chat survey to the moderator, we also have an administrator review every conversation and make sure they are categorized correctly.. like service/sales, etc), in theory, we could then reward commissions in live chats that resulted in a new lead. We should be able to save the affiliate ID for each chat conversation if it exists, so we'll know who we'd need to pay.

    Since the way this would work would be based on our chat reporting, it'd probably be done on a bi-monthly, or monthly basis, so our affiliates wouldn't receive their commissions as quickly as leads generated from our web forms.

  5. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    That's a deal killer for me, has to be running through the same mechanism as the rest of the lead gen. And in real time. Affiliates hate even once a day batching. Makes testing a real pain in the ass. If you offered that to a career lead gen'er they would pass.

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  7. #5
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    I wasn't sure how much of an issue that be. That does seem like it'd be frustrating for our affiliates.

    What if we were to pay in real time then for Chats?(Just chats were they select Sales Inquiry as their chat type). My only concern with this is that we offer a really unique program, and have a number of chat sales inquiry that may be ineligible for our program. Our web quote forms are quite extensive and weed many of these people out.

    Would it be acceptable to pay a lesser commission amount per sales inquiry chats?

    I appreciate your assistance Chuck!

  8. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    How about you set your chat to not effect affiliate lead commissions. Use it as a conversion enhancer which will encourage affiliates to send more traffic.

    Affiliates are inherently paranoid of leaks on merchant sites that take away their commissions. If you view affiliates as partners then you would do everything to build their confidence. Many merchants threat affiliates almost as adversarial, like they are only there to scrape commissions. Those merchants don't understand affiliate marketing and should shut their programs down!

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  10. #7
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    Unfortunately I think that might be difficult. If we were a traditional e-commerce store, I could see that working where our live chat reps would drive them to purchase particular items.

    The thing is there is little incentive for a consumer to fill out a quote request form(which are quite lengthy) once their on live chat. Once their on chat, the sales rep will confirm their eligibility, provide quotes, and eventually close the sale. They may not close the sale on the initial chat, but later via e-mail.

    Our intention for the affiliate program is to drive them towards landing pages with the quote request forms, not towards live chat. But our main website has numerous call to actions to live chat and we do a moderate % of our business that way. We really want to do whatever we can to build our affiliates confidence, and reward their efforts that result in live chat sales.

  11. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Our intention for the affiliate program is to drive them towards landing pages with the quote request forms, not towards live chat.
    Then strike the live chat from the affiliate version of your site and there is no conflict.

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Then strike the live chat from the affiliate version of your site and there is no conflict.
    We could do that, and that would be a very simple solution. Only issue I can think of with that is they hit our affiliate landing page but do not submit the form.. then later they go directly our main site(with their cookie info saved) and engage in live chat, after never completing a quote request form.

    Of course our main site forms will have the affiliate code included, so we'd reward commission if they completed one of those forms after clicking the affiliate link.

  14. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    How about a separate domain for the affiliate program, no leakage.


  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    How about a separate domain for the affiliate program, no leakage.
    Would a sub-domain, like customers.mycompany.com be acceptable(can't think of a proper name at the moment)? This would be a stripped down version of our main site, providing basic program information and quote forms to convert.

    I could use a separate domain name entirely, problem is people would find our main site anyway when they search for our brand, and this might create confusion.
    Last edited by ShawnAukstak; September 16th, 2011 at 02:39 PM. Reason: changed calls to action to quote forms to convert to be more clear

  16. #12
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    Sounds like that would work to me. Just don't have any cross links between the sites at all for the customers to see.

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  17. #13
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Guess it might confuse some consumers but I would immediately go to the root. Of course a decade+ of online marketing including SEO makes me skeptical.

    Shawn I do have to admit that you ask for advice then come back with a 50% offer. I am not the expert so perhaps I should step away and see if others have a better compromise.

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  19. #14
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    I appreciate the help, and I realize there is probably going to have to be some compromise somewhere for this to work. I'm still a few months away from when we're planning on launching the program, so have time to weigh our options.

  20. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    How about a separate domain for the affiliate program, no leakage.
    It looks like we're going to go with this micro-site solution, as its just much more simple. Created as something like widgets.com/Quotes. The microsite used for the affiliate program will contain no leaks(Live Chat, Phone numbers, etc) or crosslinks back to the mainsite.

    I think the answer to this question is Yes, but should we still include the include the tracking codes and pay for commissions on a regular site as well?

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  22. #16
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Don't recommend it.

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  24. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Don't recommend it.
    You don't recommend the microsite to avoid leaks or including the affiliate tracking codes on our main website?

    If you were referring to the tracking codes, is it because it'd just make the program simpler?

  25. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    If you are making a microsite for the affiliate program I don't recommend adding the main site to the program.

  26. #19
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    Most Live Chat applications that I have used show the referring URL as well as being able to co-browse with the visitor.

    By installing a referrer (as simple as the affiliate code) near your phone number, live chat icon, etc, Your live chat operator will be able to take a peek by co-browsing and see the affiliate code.

    Can format the affiliate code like so:

    Your Priority Code: <affiliate_id>

    Just a thought...

    [Edit] You can also make the "Priority Code" part of your initial questionnaire.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnAukstak View Post
    There is a simple form(Live Person Pre-Chat survey) when entering live chat that gathers basic contact details. Then in the live chat conversation if it they say they are interested in a product and provide enough information, they are given a price quote. So the live chat could be used entirely instead of any of our web forms.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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