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  1. #1
    Member zawadi70's Avatar
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    Angry Affiliate Managers Snooping?
    I wanted to ask if anyone has ever been confronted by an Affiliate Manager, with a question like.
    " How will you be promoting this offer, Where are you making sales, Where is the traffic coming from, or The merchant wants to see the ads"

    If you have, how do you deal with it? Once I was asked this , because I was one of the top affiliates after only being in their program less than a month. I ignored my affiliate managers question " How are you making so many sales"

    Didn't think it was anyone's business.

    Yesterday I was reading this >Ryan Isabella: Why I’m Quitting Affiliate Marketing

    His situation was different from mine, because I wasn't making anywhere near enough to make a move like this. This is a huge issue and how do some of you get around it, or do you just give in.

    This is only an issue I have had with CPA Networks, not CJ, LS or Shareasale.

    The last time I was confronted was about 2 months ago and I decided to not promote the offer, because the Merchant was too nosy.

    All I wanted to do was use a banner coupon ad for a product he was promoting on a adspace on my website... not a PPC campaign. I decided to just not promote.

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  3. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zawadi70 View Post
    I wanted to ask if anyone has ever been confronted by an Affiliate Manager, with a question like.
    " How will you be promoting this offer, Where are you making sales, Where is the traffic coming from, or The merchant wants to see the ads"

    If you have, how do you deal with it? Once I was asked this , because I was one of the top affiliates after only being in their program less than a month. I ignored my affiliate managers question " How are you making so many sales"
    The question "How will you be promoting this offer/affiliate program" is different from "How are you Making sales?" or "Where is your traffic coming from?"
    I've been asked by various programs how will I market their products and I see this as a way to gain a foothold with the merchant/OPM and to be accepted into the program.

    I usually say that all my traffic will be organic.
    I rely on organic SEO and I do not participate in Pay per click etc...
    I'll say I have a combination of a static site and a blog.

    You can answer in general terms.
    The merchant might be interested in the "relevancy tree:" what other products are you selling? How would this merchant's products fit in with what you are already marketing?
    This could be a way to pitch your site in general terms if you hope to be accepted by a program.

    Quote Originally Posted by zawadi70 View Post
    All I wanted to do was use a banner coupon ad for a product he was promoting on a adspace on my website... not a PPC campaign. I decided to just not promote.
    Say "I'd like to promote your product(s) with banner coupons on my site(s)."
    ^^ That in itself is an answer.

    You could say:
    "I don't participate in PPC. My traffic is organic and comes mainly from search engines."

    If you participate in a social network you could say "I have a strong following on Twitter and at times I'll direct the traffic from Twitter (or other social media network) to my site."

    On the other hand, if you use PPC, state it and also assure the OPM/merchant that
    you won't bid on anything delineated against prohibited elements in the TOS.
    "I do PPC but I never bid on trademarked trade names" (for example).

    Read what they're looking for and work it into your pitch.

    See those questions not as managers snooping but as an opening to get your foot
    into the door.
    If you are already accepted into the program, ask for clarification if the manager's questions
    appear fishy.
    Last edited by Rhia7; June 19th, 2013 at 12:48 PM.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  4. #3
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    There are merchants who demand to know every site that their banners and products will be placed on. Many are concerned about making sure that their products are featured on high-quality sites. Others want to make sure that there are no coupons on the site. Some don't like to be featured with their competitors or with eBay listings.

    I don't have a problem with any of this. It does get hard some times to remember all of the stipulations for these merchants, but they convert and I put up with it.


  5. #4
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Some of us have licensing and trademark concerns and need to really understand how and where their brands will be promoted. If I can't get this information from an affiliate, I can't work with them. In my case, I will never share what you tell me or how you promote us with other affiliates, but I need to understand for my own reasons.

    If I ask this after you have driven business, it might be because you drove business in a way that was a bit of an anomaly and I need to make sure that you're operating within terms. This will happen a lot if someone is blocking passage of referring URL's so I don't have any visibility into what the source of the incoming sales is. Some merchants/OPM's don't care, but because of our licensing and trademark restrictions, we have a higher standard and really need to know it.

    Hope this helped.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com


  6. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Affiliate programs compete with stronger channels for a merchant and the bigger the merchant the more they are spending on those other channels. PPC is probably the strongest and a merchant can get a 10:1 return on their branded terms rather than pay an affiliate 1:1.

    Rhia7 is right, give them an honest answer but you don't have to give every bit of detail. Networks hide referring URLs and make it difficult for an affiliate manager to exactly see where all traffic is coming from. Help us do our job and give a reasonable amount of response otherwise we will be forced to remove you from a program.

    On the other hand, when I see an affiliate rise up suddenly and reach out to them, I often times develop a strong relationship that helps them sell more. Then I extend that relationship to other programs I manage. This is all about relationships otherwise we would be only pushing through CPA networks and taking sales anyway they were delivered.

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  8. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Networks hide referring URLs and make it difficult for an affiliate manager to exactly see where all traffic is coming from.
    Why in the world would they do that? That's not logical...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  9. #7
    Member zawadi70's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    Thanks for all of the responses. I can handle being honest about it. I just read too many horror stories. The very first time I was asked- I never responded.
    I did confide in a newbie affiliate marketer who I was helping get her "feet wet". That totally messed up my commissions and I said I would never speak about how I promote.

    I have 8 websites to setup and all will be organic traffic, so when I am questioned about it, I will just follow advice here.

    Another Scenario

    I could have made a lot of money for this new websites business if she had just let me promote and not try to get coupons online before the affiliates can do it. This is what it's like with some affiliate managers. They want the backlinks, but do not want you to make the sale ( commissions ). They will spam their coupons everywhere and ask you to write about them ... wth? no ty. oh and they wont give the affiliates the coupons to promote either. Same Affiliate Manager will come to my website looking everyday to see what I am doing.

    This is only one crazy experience... so I should not dwell on it. I just will not spend as much time and energy promoting that product. ( even thought I like it ) who doesn't like food? lol

    This is cut throat , but i'm still here

  10. #8
    Member zawadi70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Why in the world would they do that? That's not logical...
    Prevent Campaign Theft?
    I know we talk about rogue affiliates and cookie thieves here, but are AM Angels and wont give your info to another affiliate.?

  11. #9
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    Agree w/ Wade completely. Some of us look to have a healthy mix of affiliate partners while others do not work w/ certain types of affiliate sites. Combine that w/ empty profile information and no way of knowing how the affiliate partner would be promoting the program, we usually follow up with a simple email that reads something like this:

    "Thank you for applying to our program. When you get a chance, will you please let us know how you were planning on promoting our products? Is there a particular website/channel that we should be looking at?"

    Also, in the past we've had to deal w/ affiliates that promoted our goods against the TOS (hiding links while listing products on inappropriate sites, ppc trademark bidding etc) > hence the follow up questions.


  12. #10
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zawadi70 View Post
    Prevent Campaign Theft?
    I know we talk about rogue affiliates and cookie thieves here, but are AM Angels and wont give your info to another affiliate.?
    Still not logical.

    Any AM/OPM should already know what websites you have that are promoting their products. It's how they should vet their affiliates.

    If an AM/OPM is "rogue" there is not much you can do about that. Most AMs/OPMs are affiliates themselves. Just have to trust who you're going to bed with - if you suspect they are rogue, drop their program(s).

    I can't say I've ever had an AM/OPM ever divulge another affiliate's info to me.

    Now, I don't trust ANY CPA network, etc. - that's a different story...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  13. #11
    Member zawadi70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post

    Now, I don't trust ANY CPA network, etc. - that's a different story...

    The CPA networks are the issue. LS, Shareasale,CJ, and PepperJam are all great to work with. Never had any issues.

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  15. #12
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Prevent Campaign Theft?
    I know we talk about rogue affiliates and cookie thieves here, but are AM Angels and wont give your info to another affiliate.?
    That's taboo and will quickly get an AM a bad reputation. Anyone remember The Affiliate List? I posted a list of the Top 10 affiliates by name and amount sold for the previous month back in 2005 as a newbie AM. Got a tirade of nasty notes from affiliates and was pointed here.

  16. #13
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Networks hide referring URLs and make it difficult for an affiliate manager to exactly see where all traffic is coming from.
    Not all networks, Chuck. Affiliate Window shares that information with merchants.

    Quote Originally Posted by zawadi70 View Post
    Prevent Campaign Theft?
    I know we talk about rogue affiliates and cookie thieves here, but are AM Angels and wont give your info to another affiliate.?
    I can't swear for every single affiliate manager or account manager, but none that I know would even consider such an action. Our most valuable asset in this industry is our reputation, and doing something like that would destroy it instantly. I could discuss all the privacy items which are included in a network's terms & conditions that govern our actions, but the bottom line is it's just the wrong thing to do!
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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    US Programs | Canada Programs | UK Programs | Ireland Programs | Mainland Europe Programs

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  18. #14
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    I remember back around starting 5-6 years ago I was sending one company over a million in sales over a couple of years as they asked me to promote them using a tractable coupon after they seen I was sending quite a few sales though organic. They also had other affiliates using these coupons too. I said "sure and I would be happy to give it a go". little did I know how good it turned out to be and I ended up spending most of my time promoting them day and night.

    Unfortunately after a couple of years the original in house AM left the company and a new young guy who I nick named "His Name.com" as he had a personal website .com all about him and how great a marketer he was etc etc. When he arrived on the scene he started prying into my business, calling me and asking how I promote them etc. I said "just as I had always done through organic and the coupons I was provided". He started to expire my coupons so I would make less sales from the ones I have already promoted and had gone viral. He must have not realized that they were all tractable by the code, even the new ones he made for me that I requested. He continued to pry into my business etc.

    Then I suddenly started to see a huge decline in sales. I waited for a few weeks and I decided to contact the network. I had to explain everything to them and how I was given tractable coupons, the director contacted him and it actually got worse so I ended up dumping them and moved on. The network came back to me and said the AM was still considering options with me but I told them I was not interested anymore as the damage was done. I no longer was motivated to promote a company I did not believe in anyway as their services were not up to the standards of their competitors anymore and had many customers complaining.

    The company got into the top 5 in a very competitive industry due to mine and other affiliates promoting them. Now they are basically an unknown.....

    After that I will rarely want to communicate with AM's when they start snooping around, especially the new ones and network directors won't help you,, they only want to make sure the merchant is happy even if the AM is new, he gets priority over a long term affiliate which is also a major issue.

    I also think a lot of the smaller businesses that have programs are ones you have to be careful of as the AM's can often have a few affiliate websites themselves and the last thing you want to be doing is giving them access to how you succeed.

    Another thing that I should mention that affiliates need to be very careful of is letting AM's know too much about your business and the following example demonstrates this..... I received an email recently from a AM telling all their affiliates on how to promote their program like another affiliate was doing (not me), they even provided a video and instructions on how to duplicate the way their successful affiliate was promoting them.

    So yes, this is some reasons many of us prefer to not communicate with AM's or as little as possible....
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  19. #15
    Member zawadi70's Avatar
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    Glittered

    I started to get angry reading your past experience
    I have had an Affiliate Manager snoop and have heard stories of how they give campaign details away also.

    Maybe things in the CPA arena have changed some over the years. I think I will focus more on Large Networks and just "host and post" CPA Offers lol.

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  21. #16
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    It makes me mad too. Sadly, like any industry, there are scrupulous people and unscrupulous people.

    A lot of newbies read these posts, and I don't want them living in fear of responding to questions from an Affiliate Manager or Account Manager because of these experiences. As Wade and Kush mentioned, there are times when we need to know in general what you are doing and how you are doing it. Rarely does this involve extensive details!

    If you are concerned because someone has asked you these types of questions, turn to the experienced folk on ABW. If someone else has an issue with an AM, you know they'll let you know about it!

    Like I said earlier, for AM's, reputation is everything, and we do everything we can to protect it. If someone does something horrible, they deserve to be called out for doing so. It just needs to go both ways - if someone is good, say so too.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  23. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zawadi70 View Post

    Maybe things in the CPA arena have changed some over the years. I think I will focus more on Large Networks and just "host and post" CPA Offers lol.
    Yes I have also been thinking that the benefits of using a large network as opposed to a smaller one or even a large one that has low fees is more beneficial in privacy terms. There are some networks that do most things better than others but the problem is you must watch who you promote as some of the merchants are very small, one man shops on a budget and they could quite easily watch what you are doing and use it for their own benefit.

    But it's not the network, it's the merchant that you have to be wary of. I like Indy's too but you only find about 1 in 5 that are good but when you do they can be a huge asset. I'm glad I signed up for many merchants years ago so I just continue to improving my promotions and developing my websites around them each day and I have little need at this stage to look for others. I'm also able to look back at the stats and history of each merchant, some going back to the Befree days as everything is documented in my databases, even bad emails, times I was dumped etc,, it's important to document everything.

    Recently I started working on a new website and I hand picked all the best performing merchants over many years, ones that had AM's that were respectful and I could trust and I only had to look back at my records to know which ones I wanted to promote.

    But like Jcrooks says there are good and bad like anything in business.
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  24. #18
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Yeah, in our case, just having a "general idea what you are up to" is not enough. The big issue here is with trademarks and licensing. The pro leagues and teams are getting increasingly serious about protecting their trademarks, and unfortunately, not nearly enough affiliates take the time to do trademark searches when they register domains. I've also seen a lot of affiliates that use official logos of leagues or teams on their sites or social media properties, and throw around terms like "official fan site" ,etc.

    If you are anything to monetize a site, whether that be paid ads, Google Adsense or Affiliate Marketing, and the URL of your site infringes on another's trademark, includes logos or language that may "cause confusion" as to the official nature of the site, the owner of the trademark has every right to come after you for doing it. They can seize your site, and can take action against you to recover all profits of your violation.

    The issue for me comes in because as licensees, we need to protect those trademarks through our approval process. If we get affiliates who get approval for a site that is "clean" and then go out and freelance on other sites or social media properties that are offending, the wronged party tends to come back to us because we're the ones that monetized the violation.. (and because we probably have more money than the affiliate they are chasing) and this can affect our licensing as well.

    Our agreement contains language explaining this and detailing what we require, so affiliates interested in working with us need to understand this and realize that our program has a higher standard for this than others by necessity. If I ask for more info, I'm doing it to protect both of us. I give my word that I won't share your marketing techniques with others, but there are times when I need to know exactly what you're rolling out there to cover our collective butts.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com


  25. #19
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    I think how the merchant/AM/OPM words their request makes a big difference.

    "How are you driving traffic?" tends to be more of a put off than "Where are you placing our links".

    The latter answers both - without being so offensive or "nosey" sounding...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  27. #20
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post

    "How are you driving traffic?" tends to be more of a put off than "Where are you placing our links".
    True. However, "Where are you placing our links?" is not the same as
    "Are you driving traffic through PayPerClick?" Or PayPerVideo or whatever other types of non organic traffic means exist.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  29. #21
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7 View Post
    True. However, "Where are you placing our links?" is not the same as
    "Are you driving traffic through PayPerClick?" Or PayPerVideo or whatever other types of non organic traffic means exist.
    Sure it does. Think about it.

    I'm placing my links on Adwords.
    I'm placing my links on XYZ ad network.
    etc.

    Tells the merchant what I'm doing...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  30. #22
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Sure it does. Think about it.

    I'm placing my links on Adwords.
    I'm placing my links on XYZ ad network.
    etc.

    Tells the merchant what I'm doing...
    True and sometimes the merchant/OPM wants to know what pages
    of your site the links have been placed.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  31. #23
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7 View Post
    True and sometimes the merchant/OPM wants to know what pages
    of your site the links have been placed.
    Then they need to get off their lazy asses and go view my site...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  33. #24
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Then they need to get off their lazy asses and go view my site...
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  34. #25
    Member zawadi70's Avatar
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    These are a few things I get in a email

    CPA Network

    Please answer the following questions for the advertiser:

    1. How long have you been on our network?
    2. How do you plan on promoting the offer? If varied, please state the percentage of each type (eg. 50% pop unders, 50% social, etc)
    3. Do you have any experience promoting daily deal offers? If so, provide details.
    4. How much traffic do you estimate you can drive, over what time period?



    In House Affiliate Network

    "How are you making so many sales? "


    I should be OK, if I am confronted with questions again. I mean I not close to being some kind of super affiliate. Lot's of Merchants out there to work with lol
    :groovy:Woodstock was before my time, and I am forever angry I missed that concert.

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