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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Culling The Herd - It works both ways
    It must be the time of year... I have spent most of my time today dealing with terminations "out of the blue" or ridiculously steep drops in commission rates. I know that both of these topics have been discussed at great length in many other threads but I just thought that I'd share the affiliate (my) side of the story so any program managers who don't already know can get a better idea of how employing either of these tactics will be viewed by your affiliates.

    1) You want to drop me from your program without warning? Fine. I am gone and probably better off without your program. Now what do you do? Push more offers to affiliates? Me, I am going to go talk to your competition and push their program instead.

    2) Drop my commission by 75%? Exact same as above - I am gone and probably better off without your program. And yes, I am definitely going to promote your competition's program.

    See where I am going with this? You are smarter and better off working with your affiliates because once you cut them loose (or make them cut you loose), you have just created more competition for yourself.
    When the only tool you have is a hammer - everything looks like a nail.


  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    One trend I've noticed lately - on CJ at least - is for a merchant to post an offer, and then terminate you a week or two after you've accepted it.

    To hell with them lol.
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  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    CanadianDave humor me here. Did you promote the merchants who dropped you or cut your commission 75%? As an affiliate manager I am constantly trying to motivate affiliates to promote my merchant and increase sales. We are still stuck with email as the primary form of communication and affiliates are blind to emails. So I am asking in earnest if you were working with these merchants or just in their program.

  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    We are still stuck with email as the primary form of communication and affiliates are blind to emails. So I am asking in earnest if you were working with these merchants or just in their program.
    He seems to not be blind to emails as he was aware of his termination(s) and his commission reduction...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    CanadianDave humor me here. Did you promote the merchants who dropped you or cut your commission 75%? As an affiliate manager I am constantly trying to motivate affiliates to promote my merchant and increase sales. We are still stuck with email as the primary form of communication and affiliates are blind to emails. So I am asking in earnest if you were working with these merchants or just in their program.
    Chuck, good question. Some were in my stable of sites, creatives visible, promting going on while some were waiting in the wings for the right time and site. Honestly, email is fine with me for commuincating - it's the message not the medium (reverse McLuhan-ism there). It seems that in the case of merchants dropping me - it is a stunt to get my attention. Like one merchant who recently wrote that although I had been dropped, she would be willing to hear if I had anything to offer and maybe she would reinstate me. In this case, there were no links up so maybe she should have tried to get me active BEFORE she expired me? I know that you get it - the point of the post is to help other programs managers see it our way.
    When the only tool you have is a hammer - everything looks like a nail.

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  7. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    There are a lot of lazy AM's and autocratic ones too. Thanks for the clarification and its important to realize that affiliates business people too. You join due to interest but can't get to it. Might join in Q4 and not get the site or the pages built. You wait six months since its a seasonal merchant then get dumped before you can build the site.

    I am thinking about offering a "Roll Yer Own" for my programs. You tell me what you need to make it worth adding a program to the top of the list. Then I have to negotiate with the merchant to get it for you.

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  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    I am thinking about offering a "Roll Yer Own" for my programs. You tell me what you need to make it worth adding a program to the top of the list. Then I have to negotiate with the merchant to get it for you.
    That's an interesting concept. It would take a fairly open-minded merchant and it sounds like a lot of extra work for you, the OPM.
    When the only tool you have is a hammer - everything looks like a nail.

  10. #8
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    You're right, this has been discussed numerous times before but that's because there is a good reason for that: Too many merchants still don't realize this. If nobody was doing this we wouldn't need to talk about it anymore.

    Unfortunately, too many managers think motivation means cracking a whip but that type of motivation seems to motivate affiliates to go elsewhere, as you well know.

    So, let's keep talking about it until the message is loud and clear and this behavior stops.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  12. #9
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    I joined a new party goods merchant on CJ back on July. Just got around to put up some links this weekend for the holiday season. Surprise, surprise, I received a canned termination email today from CJ client service(not even from the affiliate manager).

    It's only three month since I joined your program. Consider youself lucky that I have already put up your links. Another clueless merchant. What a waste of my weekend time

    I could email the affiliate manager and most likely will get me back to the program, but I decided not to bother. Merchants like this only make me appreciate more the patience of those who are still on my to-do list. You will see the result, someday.

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  14. #10
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    Mayfly brings up a good point... merchants (and affiliate managers) should be aware that for some affiliates, it takes time to add a merchant to a site.

    You don't just 'add a banner and hope for the best'. Writing content, familiarizing yourself with products, thinking of new promotional ideas, incorporating a new datafeed... this is not an overnight process.

    When a merchant asks what I can do for extra commission, I now have a standard offer (content-related), but I don't have time to chase them, follow-up or try to woo them... take it or leave it, as I have other merchants waiting in the wings.

    I like the title of this thread - affiliates have just as much control over the relationship.. if you don't like the compensation or terms, move on.. and don't look back!

  15. #11
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    I am thinking about offering a "Roll Yer Own" for my programs. You tell me what you need to make it worth adding a program to the top of the list. Then I have to negotiate with the merchant to get it for you.
    Chuck, drop me a note with your programs and I might be interested in taking you up on that offer. I have a side project going that has some rather special needs...
    Eathan Mertz

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