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  1. #1
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Why merchants need a good AM/OPM
    This merchant is on PJ/Ebay EAN
    The "AM" is one of the owners

    Aug 7, 2013 I email them:

    Thank you for having us as your affiliate.

    Am looking at your data feed and noticed a few things.

    1) All your products are not in the feed
    2) You have no categories

    Will you be able to update your feed to include all your products and with categories?

    Also, we use 160x600 and 728x90 banners - will you be adding more 728x90 banners as well as 160x600?

    Thanks!
    Little over an hour later I get a reply:

    Wow I did not know that. Our representative at Pepperjam told us that our Product Feed was fine...

    I'll look into this right away. Yes I can get that all established today.


    Thanks for your email
    Spot checked the feed over the next two weeks and looked for new creatives.

    New email sent to merchant Aug 20, 2013:

    Feed is still incomplete.

    Let us know when it's fixed and we'll review.

    Thanks!
    Prompt response, again:

    What do you mean by incomplete because I confirmed with our Pepperjam associate and she said that our feed is in. Did you want to see our entire store in in the product feed? We've just been posting New Arrivals into the product feed.

    Thanks.
    My final attempt at helping this merchant:

    Yes. That's how data feeds work. You put your entire catalog in the feed so your affiliates can sell those products. If you only put in new arrivals then that's all the affiliate will have access to. If you update your feeds with new arrivals, that's great - but items no longer on your site need to be removed from the feed. Also, prices for each item need to match your website prices (including sale prices), this way when a visitor sees your product on an affiliate site and goes to your site to buy - everything matches.

    And they have to have categories or affiliates won't be able to properly sort/find products.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Painful to read. I started dropping merchants who don't update their datafeeds regularly.

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  4. #3
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Definitely agree. Have a lil bit different thinking though in regards to some small programs that don't think they can afford to have an am/opm. (could be a discussion on if they should have a program if they can't afford this but won't get into that now)

    I know there's some discussion on what an am/opm should do and what a network should do and not gonna get into that either.

    But.... do feel very strongly that in the case of these small programs at least without an am/opm (actually think should be for all programs but at the minimum at least the small programs) the affiliate networks should at least explain the very basic things to merchants when they sign up.

    Have had numerous correspondence with these small programs (yes I do always recommend an am/opm to them) and am stunned at the lack of knowledge they have about an affiliate program.

    I am not in any way being critical of these new programs, don't blame them at all for not realizing basic things that they should be doing. Realize not everybody agrees with me but think the networks should at least:

    Explain to new merchants what leaks are and why they shouldn't have them (none I've corresponded with realized it and when I told them they removed them)

    Tell them they should at very least have the most popular size banners available for affiliates

    Make sure they know they need both banners and text links available

    Datafeeds are a whole topic on their own. Should be explained to them the benefit of having one and what's needed to be included in them

    Not gonna bore everyone by going on and on but you get what I'm talking about.

    When I join a program I think has potential and realize nobody's told them anything I feel bad for them so I do so myself. That's my decision, I'm a big girl and nobody's forcing me to do it but ummm the point is I shouldn't have to. I'm not being paid to do so and really probably doesn't benefit me by doing so either other than I feel good that I've helped someone.

    Uhhhhh why aren't networks doing this??? (some I think do a lot in educating their merchants but definitely not all)

    Could say well they take their money when they sign up with them so why do they care but isn't it in an affiliate network's best interest to have their merchants have the best programs as well.?? Doesn't everyone profit that way?? If affiliates get frustrated with a program they'll stop working with them so uhhhh wouldn't that mean less sales for the merchant and the network as well??

    I am not an affiliate network so don't understand at all how they work so am I wrong?? The networks aren't making money from the merchants who have terrible programs with no sales are they ?? Can't understand why it's not in the best interest of a network to have good affiliate programs for the merchants that work with them.

    ooh boy, can tell I'm frustrated with things lol babbling waaaaay too much


  5. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Painful to read. I started dropping merchants who don't update their datafeeds regularly.
    Datafeed affiliates are dark horses in most networks, you can't identify them. Once you get them to take up your program they are a goldmine. You don't even see a promotional category for them, really shows how many networks don't have a clue about what they are doing!

  6. #5
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    First affiliate datafeed site we built was in 2005 using an ecom platform. Manually downloading and manipulating feeds in Excel <ugh>.

    Can't say anything has significantly changed with the networks / merchants, with regards to data feeds, since then. Most sucked eight years ago and most suck now...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  8. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Do we need to start a thread like the one that led to this: http://www.abestweb.com/forums/white...ss-159415.html

  9. #7
    Member robbinsinteractive's Avatar
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    I agree with Purplebear that networks should help the smaller programs. It would be to the benefit of the program and the affiliate. This should be especially true with the lower cots of entry programs.

    I would like to echo Chuck's response of identifying data feed affiliates. That would be dreamy!

  10. #8
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Do we need to start a thread like the one that led to this: http://www.abestweb.com/forums/white...ss-159415.html
    For what?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  11. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    To compare networks on their datafeeds? Could include score on their support.

  12. #10
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    To compare networks on their datafeeds? Could include score on their support.
    Could. Or could just add more datafeed info in the existing spreadsheet...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  13. #11
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Merchant replied after hours - how nice...

    Got it. I was informed incorrectly from our rep. Let me get this straightened away in the next couple days.


    Thanks
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  14. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    For merchants that need data feed help with setup and sending to network properly call our team friend Don at Your Store Wizards - Yahoo store add ons and RTML Enhancements We have been working with Don and team since 2003 and when it comes to data feeds they are the best at making sure products and feeds are properly set up and sent to the network and then onto affiliates. There are some merchants that do not add the proper categories and descriptions but all part or educating process.

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  16. #13
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    Purple Bear said it best, nobody's perfect and networks really need to be proactive in helping advertisers out. At least the AM seemed to make a solid effort to try and resolve it.

  17. #14
    Affiliate Manager p3steve's Avatar
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    There are also companies that may only have 4 or 5 products with larger price points. I am an AM for one and there is no real need to update the datafeed as often as other feeds.
    Steven Remington | P3 Pro Swing Affiliate Manager
    207-356-1294 | skype: p3.steve
    [URL="http://www.avantlink.com/affiliates/affiliate-application/?mi=12051"]Join Our Affiliate Program Today![/URL]

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