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  1. #1
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Memo to Merchants: Once I Send You Clicks, it's Your Job to Convert Them
    Maybe I have it all wrong and I'm sure someone soemone will correct me but with the rash of deactivations just in time for the 2011 holiday season, it's time affiliates stand up for themselves and tell merchants they need to do their jobs as well.

    CJ and I'm sure other networks advise their merchants to drop affiliates if the affiliate is causing the merchant's EPC to be skewed. tthis is complete bunk.

    Merchants will also drop affiliates for being inactive and not converting sales. This would be like affiliates emailing merchants and telling them "I'm dropping you because your piss poor banners aren't being clicked".

    The merchant doesn't control my site or placements. I don't control the design or SEO of their sites either. If I or another affiliate sends the merchant a click, it's their job to convert the click not mine.

    If they can't convert the click then they're letting me and other affiliates down and wasting our time as much as inactive affiliates are wasting their time.

    I will make a deal with merchants. You ensure that your banners are being clicked on my site and I will make sure the customer buys from you. Of course I'm kidding. This is insane and we now find ourselves in an environment of animosity with each other.

    This relationship should be one that is fostered by both sides. to blame affiliates because the merchant can't or has no idea how to optimize their site for sales is not the affiliate's fault.

    I had to get this off my chest!


  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    still, it is also our job to pre-sell the click. and I fully understand what you are saying.

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  4. #3
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ View Post
    still, it is also our job to pre-sell the click. and I fully understand what you are saying.
    True and a good point!

  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    I've had this discussion over the past couple of years with several merchants. I've sent them stats and showed poor conversions, not from banners but from highly targeted product pages, which as we know, are the best converting links.

    Without exception, for a few months after, I see substantially better sales, then they drop off again. Any ideas why?
    Rene
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    Without exception, for a few months after, I see substantially better sales, then they drop off again. Any ideas why?
    Could it be a seasonal product?

  7. #6
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    No, not seasonal products.
    Rene
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  8. #7
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    If they can't convert the click then they're letting me and other affiliates down and wasting our time as much as inactive affiliates are wasting their time.

    This relationship should be one that is fostered by both sides. to blame affiliates because the merchant can't or has no idea how to optimize their site for sales is not the affiliate's fault.

    I had to get this off my chest!
    Thanks for posting this as I've heard similar!

    This is one of the mysteries of aff marketing I've been attempting to address when I'm sending clicks from highly targeted pages in popular price points for that type of product (& not seasonal). IMHO, there are other things that are affecting conversions. Maybe coupons, web beacons, flash cookies, etc. All I know is that previously converting merchants are flopping like fish out of water & I can't figure out why.
    Rene
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  9. #8
    Member robbinsinteractive's Avatar
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    It is a challenge for merchant. I believe when CJ recommends dropping affiliates due to lowering EPC, they are referring to banner farms. I completely agree it is the merchant's job to convert and sell their program. I also know some merchants feel the only way to get the affiliates attention is to decline. Not a great process but I hope it provides some explanation for you.

  10. #9
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbinsinteractive View Post
    It is a challenge for merchant. I believe when CJ recommends dropping affiliates due to lowering EPC, they are referring to banner farms. I completely agree it is the merchant's job to convert and sell their program. I also know some merchants feel the only way to get the affiliates attention is to decline. Not a great process but I hope it provides some explanation for you.
    Maybe I'm Naive but I believe the affiliate relationship is a partnership that requires communication and trust in order for both parties to be successful. Threats by merchants lead to affiliates getting angry. I wish more merchants would focus on what counts and that's sales and revenue. Sure EPC is important, but both parties need to work together to figure how offers convert.

  11. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm Naive but I believe the affiliate relationship is a partnership that requires communication and trust in order for both parties to be successful.
    It is but some think its a privilege to work with their brand, that you would work for free! Those are the brands that need to be warned about and avoided.

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  13. #11
    Member robbinsinteractive's Avatar
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    I completely agree with you Chuck. I will work with any affiliate who wants to have a relationship with the me/the program. Wow that kinda makes me sound desperate....lol...but you know what I mean.

    Problem is some affiliates don't want to communicate with the merchant. It's tough when you know your EPC will impact your recruitment efforts and you can't get a returned email from the affiliate.

    You have affiliates who are not targeting or sending over based on old promos, etc. Just saying there are always two sides to every story just like any relationship

  14. #12
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by passionateguy View Post
    have to agree with robbinsinteractive...I'm having the same trouble. Been sending out regular emails to existing affiliates but getting 0 response. I want to help them, want to know what is missing, and want to find out what would make them send more traffic.

    So, why aren't you(affiliates) responding? There are some merchants and affiliate manager as well who would want to know how we can all work together.
    In my case, when a merchant asks what they can do, I respond and try to open-up communication but these are few and far between. In many, many cases, I receive a demand email or termination email.

    In the past couple of weeks I've received these types of demand emails and responded kindly anyway. For the time being it seems like the relationships has been mended.

    I do believe some affiliates believe that merchants have an adversarial relationship with them.

    I agree that communication by both sides is extremely important.

    This may be off topic but affiliates receive hundreds of emails a day and when emails with offers include no html links or links to grabbing the promotion, they tend to delete the email. Merchants should keep this in mind when updating affiliates with offers. Most merchants do a good job making it easy to post their offers.

    Another big no no in my mind are merchants who don't send emails or newsletters at all. I don't tend to promote a merchant who doesn't have the courtesy of sending updates. The reason is I'm too busy promoting the merchants who do.

  15. #13
    Manager - Affiliate Marketing Patrick Vesperman's Avatar
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    my 2 cents:
    Bibby, may I restate your initial vent with one edit:

    Merchants, once I send you QUALITY clicks, it's your job to convert them.

    I can agree 100% on that statement. Anyone can send clicks. It takes more work to send quality clicks. Even the savviest designer/marketer can't convert low-quality traffic.

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  17. #14
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Vesperman View Post
    my 2 cents:
    Bibby, may I restate your initial vent with one edit:

    Merchants, once I send you QUALITY clicks, it's your job to convert them.

    I can agree 100% on that statement. Anyone can send clicks. It takes more work to send quality clicks. Even the savviest designer/marketer can't convert low-quality traffic.
    That's a good point!

  18. #15
    Newbie Mauser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbinsinteractive View Post
    It is a challenge for merchant. I believe when CJ recommends dropping affiliates due to lowering EPC, they are referring to banner farms.
    most likely CJ just doesn't care. In real world merchants don't really care about conversion rate. They pay for sales anyway. CJ ranking system actually forces affiliate managers to terminate good affiliates sometimes.

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