Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30
  1. #1
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    Affiliate Managers need to learn how to communicate with their affiliates!
    A message from one of your merchants: The Crab Place
    Thank you for adding our products to your site!
    * Please remove our brand name from your page titles immediately!
    * Please remove our brand name from your page descriptions immediately!
    * Please remove our brand name from your page keywords immediately!
    Page name is fine...

    Failure to remove our brand name from all of your page titles, page descriptions and page keywords will lead to termination from our program.
    So after months of emails from The Crab Place about how to promote their products, site SEO, and examples of high converting pages, they were just about to be profiled on my gourmet site. And now this.. seriously..?

    My site meta tags are auto-generated.. if I write an article about their products, or mention them in the first few sentences.. well, I guess I won't be writing about them. And I'm leaving the program now.

    Will the big coupon sites be terminated..? I see they ALL have "The Crab Place" in the title, description & keywords...

  2. Thanks From:

  3. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    Ahh, I think this email was JUST for my site..

  4. #3
    Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 22nd, 2007
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    7,659
    Like I mentioned in another thread a few days ago, I am sick and tired of merchants treating their affiliates like they are their competitors.
    phil@abestweb.com | Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz

  5. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    As an update, I realize this email was just for me... and the fact that I added their datafeed to the (secondary) part of my site. It's a simple database of products used in my own product selection process. This is a new site with very little traffic.

    I checked a few other food sites, and found "The Crab Place" in titles and descriptions - will let the AM find them without my help.

    Perhaps there was a more pleasant way to reach out to one your new affiliates.

  6. #5
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    3,492
    They just want to protect their trademark. Affiliates who optimize to rank for the company name as a search keyword do nothing but erode the trademark holder's own marketing efforts and expenses.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
    DESIGNER DOG CHECKS ~ We double-dog dare ya to write one!

  7. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    Affiliates who optimize to rank for their company name as a search keyword
    You don't know anything about my intentions or my site. I have NO intention of optimizing their company name as a search keyword. Auto-generated meta tags provide brand clarity. This isn't scraping, black hat, grey hat, or sketchy tactics. I created a content site with a datafeed component that has standard tags & branding.

    My SEO efforts are via content.

    Kindly don't judge intent unless you are familiar with the situation.

  8. #7
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    3,492
    I'm not judging intent. There is nothing wrong with or unreasonable about a trademark holder wanting to prohibit affiliates from using their brand name as meta keyword data.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
    DESIGNER DOG CHECKS ~ We double-dog dare ya to write one!

  9. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    A merchant can do whatever they like - I agree there - except I found a number of other affiliate sites who do exactly what they asked me to stop "immediately". You can't have it both ways - it's either enforced or its not.

    On my non-gourmet site, I work with a number of merchants & brands who receive a positive endorsement from being aligned with my site's brand. This is a new site with no track record or industry reputation, but the developing content should have been clear.

    Enforce the rules for everyone.

    As an aside, I started this thread before I realized the email was just for my site.

  10. #9
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 6th, 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    2,315
    I think there was a better way for the Merchant to communicate their intentions. We're supposed to be their partners, not inmates!

  11. Thanks From:

  12. #10
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 13th, 2006
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Posts
    2,613
    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    As an aside, I started this thread before I realized the email was just for my site.
    Seriously? Just for your site? Why?
    Greg Hoffman
    Best OPM/Agency 2014 - Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb. Join My Programs. Forum. Facebook. Blog.

  13. #11
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    I thought the email was a program announcement (so I opened this thread) - and then realized it was a direct message from the merchant (lovely introduction).

    There appears to be restrictions to using the datafeed - I had just added the feed, and meta tags are auto-generated. I wasn't even finished...

    I don't think they even looked at my content.

  14. #12
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 13th, 2006
    Location
    Roswell, GA
    Posts
    2,613
    There are other programs to work with. Let's talk.
    Greg Hoffman
    Best OPM/Agency 2014 - Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb. Join My Programs. Forum. Facebook. Blog.

  15. Thanks From:

  16. #13
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    1,219
    I don't have a problem with affiliates using my brand in their page titles unless they are being deceptive - say using a title like "Fanatics.com Coupons and Deals" when I don't offer any deals through them. It's click baiting and it's bad customer experience. I actually parted ways with a pretty big affiliate on this issue.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics Retail Group
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|SportsMemorabilia.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

  17. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,281
    So let me get this right! You used their datafeed and your site automatically generates meta tags which included the merchants brand name? So they are saying that you are to kill their brand name from an affiliate site that sells their products?

  18. #15
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    Greg, I think you recently approved the datafeed request for Gourmetspotter - will be in touch if I have any questions, thanks

    Being a publisher isn't easy... we can easily spend 100 hours on a site, and get paid zero for our efforts. I always assumed merchants viewed affiliates as partners, but in this case, I was wrong. Instead of reaching out, they chased away a perfectly legitimate publisher whose only interest was promoting their products.

    I left the program yesterday.

  19. Thanks From:

  20. #16
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    You used their datafeed and your site automatically generates meta tags which included the merchants brand name? So they are saying that you are to kill their brand name from an affiliate site that sells their products?
    Exactly!

  21. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,281
    Being a publisher isn't easy... we can easily spend 100 hours on a site, and get paid zero for our efforts. I always assumed merchants viewed affiliates as partners, but in this case, I was wrong. Instead of reaching out, they chased away a perfectly legitimate publisher whose only interest was promoting their products.

    I left the program yesterday.
    Edit/Delete Message
    In a case like this and since its an isolated issue I would expect that they would ask for a phone call. I see so many AM's that are cowards!

  22. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,281
    I changed the title with teezone's permission as I want to feature this thread as an example of how not to communication with affiliates. Seems like this continues to be an issue in the industry. Yes affiliates are partners until you talk to them in a condescending attitude then they are adversaries.


  23. #19
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    June 30th, 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    677
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Yes affiliates are partners until you talk to them in a condescending attitude then they are adversaries.
    AM's need to figure this part out (not all AM's of course). I know of an affiliate who was trying to reach out to a company they were with, to drive further sales and make them both more money. Company seemed to give a run around, ignored emails, despite having what seemed like a pleasant conversation on the phone. After months of this, the affiliate had a lead get counted twice. Or the affiliate thought so.

    Was the AM informed? Of course not, after all the bs the company was giving the affiliate. AM never noticed. And this person would have pointed out the mistake, if they had been treated with some respect by the company.
    Purchase Targeted Website Traffic. Over 300 niches.
    Coupon: 30OFF for 30% off. EliteWebsiteTraffic.com

  24. #20
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    1,219
    I definitely think a call would have been in order to discuss any concerns. The only time I'd have an issue with something like this is if the page title being used was deceptive and creating a bad customer experience by promising something that wasn't there. If that was the case, I'd call the affiliate if I had that info, lay out my concerns and request a change be made. If the affiliate was open to working with me to resolve, there'd be no issue. If not, then we'd both have to look at whether the relationship made sense.

    Like I said, I have had this conversation before with a pretty big site that was populating their page titles with "Trademark + Coupons and Deals" knowing that we didn't offer any deals or coupons. They were link baiting and trying to force my hand on giving them a coupon. That relationship wasn't meant to be so we parted ways.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics Retail Group
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|SportsMemorabilia.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

  25. #21
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    March 29th, 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    8
    That was certainly a harsh message, whether it be generic or individual. I haven't encountered any problems with publishers yet (though our program is just entering its second quarter), but should something like this arise would it be fair to temporarily disable your program until we could both come to a conclusion about what is acceptable? To further clarify, our TOS does have a section specific to keyword restrictions. Teezone, would you feel this is too dramatic, or would you be understanding? AMs, have you ever taken this course of action?

    While it is important for you as the publisher to not be seen as a competitor, I can see why the merchant felt so strongly about the tags for traffic reasons. It's a very tough situation for me, because I also agree that you're trying to give the merchant a positive reputation. There's a 50/50 chance of working with very legitimate and considerate publishers, and tag-hungry affiliates.
    KidsExclusive.com Affiliate Manager
    affiliates@kids-exclusive.com

  26. #22
    Affiliate Manager affilorama's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 28th, 2008
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    549
    I'm sure the merchant could have phrased their request in a friendlier tone. One thing I learned from a customer service training I attended years ago is that we always have to work at keeping good relations with our customers and the people we work with in the business. In this case, merchants/affiliate managers need to communicate with their affiliates the same way they do with their customers.

    Have a good day!
    Michelle
    Affilorama Group Ltd
    Affiliate Marketing by Affilorama | Free SEO Software by Traffic Travis

  27. #23
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    3,492
    should something like this arise would it be fair to temporarily disable your program until we could both come to a conclusion about what is acceptable?
    If your published terms prohibit a certain practice to begin with, it's fair to terminate violators without notice and without ceremony; you have already "communicated" what is acceptable and what is not acceptable right up front. If somebody doesn't think your rules are fair, they should not sign up for your program.

    If terms are changed somewhere along the line to start prohibiting certain practices, then it's fair to give notice and to terminate violators if they're still doing what's not allowed after fair notice has been given.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
    DESIGNER DOG CHECKS ~ We double-dog dare ya to write one!

  28. #24
    Moderator
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2006
    Posts
    2,689
    but should something like this arise would it be fair to temporarily disable your program until we could both come to a conclusion about what is acceptable?
    That would be unacceptable.. merchants fail to realize the work involved in maintaining a publisher's site.. why not allow the links to stay while it's being resolved??

    As a further update, I just read the program terms - nowhere does it state the above tags are disallowed. It did state, however, that
    "NO COUPON SITES ALLOWED
    NO use of "Crab Place Coupons" as your sites page title."
    Yeah, I found plenty of those in google... wonder why they aren't told to remove the name "immediately"...

    The bottom line here is the merchant chose to communicate in a hasty and impersonal manner. My site is not some basic blog cobbled together overnight.. this project has been in development for a while, and original content is being added almost daily. It takes time to add merchants, and I would have expected more here. I might be new to this particular niche, but if someone had time to fire off a crappy note, they also had time to politely enquire how the store would be promoted on my site.

    And by the way, I also expect a level playing field. Merchants can't have two sets of rules..

  29. #25
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 20th, 2005
    Location
    At the Beach
    Posts
    8,060
    Merchants can't have two sets of rules..
    Unfortunately, they can and (many) do.
    Bill @ Bill Swartwout Photography - Online Gallery: US Pictures
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Why Affiliate Managers Should Become Affiliates
    By Chuck Hamrick in forum Newbie Affiliate FAQs & Helpful Articles
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: March 1st, 2014, 09:34 AM
  2. Assign affiliates to the affiliate managers
    By SoloNik in forum Merchant Best Practices Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: January 5th, 2012, 02:34 PM
  3. Affiliate Managers Competing with Affiliates
    By webworker in forum Business & Legal Issues
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: November 11th, 2007, 10:08 PM
  4. Do you think affiliate managers should be affiliates
    By nothere in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: May 16th, 2004, 01:01 AM

Posting Permissions

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