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  1. #1
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    eBags Drops Me For Sending High Volume Traffic
    eBags dropped me yesterday. When I reached out and asked them why, this was their response.

    "You were dropped since you were sending us a high volume of traffic with no sales".

    This is another example where you need to be careful not to mess with a merchant's EPC, since the merchant will take no responsibility of converting your traffic.
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; March 1st, 2012 at 10:48 AM. Reason: link baiting

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    "You were dropped since you were sending us a high volume of traffic with no sales".
    Another lazy AM who's more concerned with EPC than actually closing business. It goes back to the old question, "would you rather look good or be good?"

    A competent AM may have handled the situation a little differently and actually taken a closer look at the traffic that you were sending and trying to determine why your traffic wasn't converting (assuming that he has the required skill set) and working with you to improve your conversions.

    Keep in mind that if they weren't converting they were just taking up valuable real estate on your site. Perhaps you'll have better luck with their replacement.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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  4. #3
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Thanks rematt!

  5. #4
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    I just don't get decisions like this.

    There is nothing special about eBags products.. you can find easy replacements, and promote the heck out of them!!

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  7. #5
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've already started looking for a replacement!

  8. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    bibby this certainly is a problem that AM/OPM's face but the answer is to work with the affiliate to find a resolution. Just like rematt said its a waste of your time and ad space if the clicks don't convert. If an AM/OPM works in earnest with you to try many things and it still fails then you are wasting opportunity.

    I have to ask if they bothered to reach out to discuss or just used the knife on you?

  9. #7
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    A least you received a response from the AM. When I am dropped, I also send out an email asking why and 9 times out of 10 NEVER receive a response.
    Danny W Bonin Jr
    Bonin Group, Inc.

  10. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    That's a shame. I never ever advocate a merchant drop an affiliate simply based on low conversions alone. There are so many other factors that need to be looked at. In fairness though I've heard of merchants in some verticals (those who use third party API's to access inventory in particular) being penalized for having high traffic/low conversion rate themselves - financially penalized in some cases. So that may be why some merchants are quick to pull the plug without asking too many questions. Depends on the vertical etc. and I don't think that is the case with eBags.

    Still, a solid AM would have at least communicated with you before doing so - and tried to work w/ you to improve conversions first. I don't know enough about ebags to comment on their site sales funnel/conversion rate.

    Sorry to hear it Bibby. Anne Fognano was managing the BagsInc.com program a while ago - see if that's a viable replacement.

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  12. #9
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Yep... BagInc rocks...
    They have mostly designer-inspired handbags, as opposed to luggage, but the sales are booming there

    They are on SAS and GAN and will be on CJ in the next month or two We have coupons all of the time and pay 10% commission

  13. #10
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Unbelievable, but I've seen things like that before. We all have - too many times.

    I don't deal with bags in general - but I do have a site focusing on Crystal Evening Bags (because I scored a perfect domain a couple years back). I have had success with "All Things Trendy" (on SAS) and also the crystal bags from Swarovski (buy.at). (In fact, there was a $700+ Swarovski sale through that site last night.)
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  14. #11
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post

    I have to ask if they bothered to reach out to discuss or just used the knife on you?
    I received an email in my CJ account. Then the AM sent me an update with new deals and I responded asking why he was sending me new deals if he was dropping me and why he was dropping me. That's when he responded with the quote that I displayed in my first post above.

    If I had never responded to his deals email, I would have just been dropped without any explanation.

  15. #12
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Bibby, there are cases where terminating a relationship based on high volumes of non converting traffic are justified - for instance if cookie stuffing is being done by the affiliate, etc.

    I'm sure this isn't happening in your case, but there is sometimes another side to the story.

    In cases where affiliates are driving a high volume of non converting traffic, I will always try to work with the affiliate to dial in the traffic first and get something out of it, and if it doesn't work, maybe we come to a mutual agreement that it's not working out.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
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  16. #13
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boningroup View Post
    A least you received a response from the AM. When I am dropped, I also send out an email asking why and 9 times out of 10 NEVER receive a response.
    I'm not usually too surprised when I get one of the "you've been dropped" emails. Typically, by the time I receive the email I've already stopped promoting the merchant. I actually appreciate it when merchants send me that message, it reminds me to make sure that I've removed all of their creatives.

    With the few available hours in a day, there's really no point in wasting time trying to communicate with merchants and AMs that don't have a clue. When you get that e-mail, thank them and move on.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

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  18. #14
    Affiliate Manager
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    eBags AM
    Hello, I am the eBags AM and would like to address the concerns that have been brought up here. We have THOUSANDS of affiliates, many of which send quality traffic and sales, and many more who do not. We recently decided that we want to clean up our program to improve overall CVR and efficiency by cutting out affiliates who have not brought us any sales over the past 12 months. I am currently in discussions with a variety of affiliates who are attempting to make changes to send us higher quality traffic. If you feel that you can make changes that will improve the traffic that you are sending to us, feel free to PM me through CJ and we can discuss. Thank you.


  19. #15
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibby View Post
    Yeah, I've already started looking for a replacement!
    I didn't even send them any traffic lately, and I got dropped on the 28 too...

    I still like Irvs Luggage at CJ...

  20. #16
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Thanks for responding and its nice to have a name to respond to. If I can speak for affiliates all they are asking for is some basic respect. I realize you have 1000's of joined affiliates but a blanket email goes a long way. It costs you nothing through CJ to send a direct email to your affiliates and you can segment the group so it only goes to those not producing.

    We have tons of conversation on ABW about how to motivate affiliates and what appeals to them.

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  22. #17
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    I used to send them traffic but had a very low conversion rate compared to other places, specifically, the same type of merchandise on Amazon.

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  24. #18
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Dropping small affiliates who drive low sales volume does nothing to improve a program's performance. A hundred affiliates who generate an occasional sale is as good as one affiliate who generates 100 sales. A hundred affiliates who produce no sales volume is no sweat off your back; you only pay commissions on sales, not on traffic. EPC is an artificial metric which means nothing, and artificially inflating EPC figures by dropping slow- or no-performance affiliates has absolutely no impact on the bottom line.... except for one thing: the small affiliate you drop today may very well be the future big affiliate who refuses to promote you because of the way you disrespected them.
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  25. #19
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himel412 View Post
    Hello, I am the eBags AM and would like to address the concerns that have been brought up here. We have THOUSANDS of affiliates, many of which send quality traffic and sales, and many more who do not. We recently decided that we want to clean up our program to improve overall CVR and efficiency by cutting out affiliates who have not brought us any sales over the past 12 months. I am currently in discussions with a variety of affiliates who are attempting to make changes to send us higher quality traffic. If you feel that you can make changes that will improve the traffic that you are sending to us, feel free to PM me through CJ and we can discuss. Thank you.

    you should understand that many of us have no control over our incoming traffic. we can build the best code for organic SEO, but the search engines could disrespect us for years.

    efficiency? no, you're apparently interested in your EPC.


  26. #20
    Affiliate Manager
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    Another note: we have had multiple activation campaigns, offering affiliates with 0 sales to send a sale our way for a cash bonus. After a year of not sending any sales with these incentives available, we felt it was time to let go of those who haven't sent us a sale. Also, I apologize for the blanket email. That should have been handled differently. I will be sending a follow-up email to all who were terminated to explain the reasons for termination.

  27. #21
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    Ask yourself the following: What is the likelihood that those folks that were driving traffic, but had little or no conversion, were losing the sale to another affiliate? How often are those folks losing the sale to a cash back affiliate? Think of how many (potential) future sales you've now lost because you don't have that blog/content/niche/review/etc site to drive awareness anymore. My point is, they're still very valuable. EPC is a worthless metric to merchants, in my opinion, and I will fight tooth and nail if my upper management were to ever want to make decisions based on that.
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  28. #22
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himel412 View Post
    Hello, I am the eBags AM and would like to address the concerns that have been brought up here. We have THOUSANDS of affiliates, many of which send quality traffic and sales, and many more who do not. We recently decided that we want to clean up our program to improve overall CVR and efficiency by cutting out affiliates who have not brought us any sales over the past 12 months. I am currently in discussions with a variety of affiliates who are attempting to make changes to send us higher quality traffic. If you feel that you can make changes that will improve the traffic that you are sending to us, feel free to PM me through CJ and we can discuss. Thank you.
    First off, I respect that you posted on ABW. I hope more merchants would do that!
    With that said, let me be clear. The only message you sent me was through CJ telling me I was dropped. I responded asking you why and you never rrspnded. Then you send me a deals email and I responded asking why you dropped me. You never engaged me further or asked to talk about my traffic. This is your full response to my email (My email is prior to his rersponse).

    My 2nd email:
    You're sending me offers, yet you dropped me from your program. Why did you drop me from your program?

    His response:
    Hi Anthony,

    You were dropped since you were sending us a high volume of traffic with no sales.

    Thank you
    Last edited by bibby; March 1st, 2012 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Added some text

  29. #23
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Featherstone View Post
    Ask yourself the following: What is the likelihood that those folks that were driving traffic, but had little or no conversion, were losing the sale to another affiliate? How often are those folks losing the sale to a cash back affiliate? Think of how many (potential) future sales you've now lost because you don't have that blog/content/niche/review/etc site to drive awareness anymore. My point is, they're still very valuable. EPC is a worthless metric to merchants, in my opinion, and I will fight tooth and nail if my upper management were to ever want to make decisions based on that.
    I've seen this approach mainly by CJ merchants. That's my personal experience. Is there something with the CJ folks that's driving this?

  30. #24
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    First will explain why I used the "thanks" for your post. Was actually going to take the time to send you an email explaining why I thought what you did was wrong. Am guessing another affiliate probably has done this. Don't agree with your thinking but you at least took the time to come here.

    A lot of times when an affiliate gets an email or notice in the network interface it's due to an affiliate manager being new and I guess maybe just hasn't thought things through or doesn't understand why affiliates feel pretty strongly about this. Am not saying that's the case with you but I've tried to assume that may be the case with others so that's why I've written them. With many that was the case and their thoughts changed after corresponding with them.

    Received evidently same message through CJ saying I had been removed that bibby received. Haven't checked since this morning to see if you had answered my reply back or not. Received same email sent to me as bibby did, figured maybe I stood a better chance of getting a reply so wrote back asking for an explanation then received it from you.

    You already apologized for the blanket email (assuming you mean message through CJ) so accept your apology.

    "I am currently in discussions with a variety of affiliates who are attempting to make changes to send us higher quality traffic."

    Not really sure what all that means. Have an awful lot of merchants on my site so I don't know the amount of traffic I've sent you unless I were to go into CJ and look through reports to find out. Have a fairly large site (where your links are) and some teeny sites and consider myself to be a teeny affiliate. Do know though that when I check reports on sales I have gotten the amount of traffic sent has been pretty low. So, I may not be sending as much traffic as the larger affiliates but those I have sent a good portion have resulted in sales.

    Don't mean to sound like a wiseguy but unless an affiliate is doing some type of bad behavior (and I definitely am not) if they are sending traffic that's not converting to sales the affiliate should not be the one blamed for that and then removed from the program.

    Not trying to lecture you or tell you how to do your job but really don't understand your thinking at all. There have been numerous threads on this subject so not going to repeat everything already said. Agree with what the others have already said.

    I was in the process of removing your links when I popped in here to look for something else and saw this thread.

    As to your remarks about the cash bonuses for sales. Don't understand that either. Unless you are saying you're going to give a nice chunk of money if I place you on the home page in hopes a sale will happen.....yeap I would do that but I can't guarantee when a sale is going to happen unless you want me to make a purchase myself.

    Imagine maybe that works for a larger affiliate who hasn't put your links on their site yet but smaller affiliates can't just wave a magic wand when they want a sale to happen because an affiliate manager offers them some sort of incentive.

    I have been in programs and gotten no sales from certain merchants. Have joined their programs in other networks then gotten sales. Sometimes have even been denied from being in a merchant's program at one network been approved at another then gotten sales. Also gotten sales with some merchants, done nothings to change things on my site but seen sales disappear.

    Anyway, got to go get some other stuff done. Just saying unless an affiliate is doing some sort of bad behavior can't for the life of me understand why any affiliate manager removes an affiliate who has links for them on their sites. If nothing else it's free exposure. That's your decision though and have learned in most cases there are other merchants who will appreciate their affiliates (big but especially the small) for what they are and I prefer to work with them. I try not too burn bridges but have learned to appreciate those who appreciate me and not spend as much time on those who don't.

    *Tom Featherstone
    Thank you for thinking the way you do. Pretty sure I'm in your programs so am going to look a bit more at them. Still can't guarantee what will happen but I appreciate your thoughts.
    Last edited by purplebear; March 1st, 2012 at 04:25 PM. Reason: just saw other post and wanted to comment


  31. #25
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    I couldn't have said it better purplebear!

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