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  1. #1
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Another clueless "manager"...
    Thank you to everyone that has put in their hard work driving traffic and sales to PlumberSurplus.com. In attempts to make our group of affiliates stronger and to provide a better experience to our customers we are going to be making some changes to our program. The first change we are making is one that will create stronger relationships between PlumberSurplus and our affiliates. In order to do this we are going clear out all of our inactive affiliates that have grown to a large number through the years. This should make it so that we can keep a better eye on who is performing and be able to provide certain promotions and incentives to the ones that will benefit most. Please respond to ensure that you are kept along with the active affiliates during these changes. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask and I will get back to you to the best of my abilities.
    Response:

    Really?

    When's the last time you sent out an affiliate newsletter or reached out to your affiliates? You expect affiliates to market a program where it appears "no one is at home"?

    Our email records show the last email we received was 8/25/2010.

    So instead of dropping affiliates you consider "inactive" - why don't you learn how to manage a program and ENGAGE your affiliates, you may be surprised at the results...


    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/commi...es-168301.html
    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/share...es-168413.html
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...


  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
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    I'm starting to look forward to Convergence posts.

  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Agreed. He tells is like it is. I, too, saw the same email from PlumberSurplus.com. Such a shame.

    Reminds me of an old John Wayne adage: Life is hard. It is even harder if you are stupid.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    Reminds me of an old John Wayne adage: Life is hard. It is even harder if you are stupid.
    ha ha... This is one affiliate program that I've never understood. Abnormally high reversal rates, rampant trademark bidding by affiliates. Search for "plumbersurplus" in bing and watch were the "official" PPC ad routes. Its straight through a shareasale affiliate account.


  6. #5
    Newbie BlvdJeremy's Avatar
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    Ouch! True words though. Around 3 years and no type of newsletter or update for Affiliates... seems like they may be the inactive ones.

    Good read!

  7. #6
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    I'm happy to see I wasn't the only one who thought they were total boneheads when I received and read that same email earlier today.

    Some so-called affiliate managers/affiliate programs just make your head hurt, don't they??
    *sigh*

    Gary
    Generate more fake news.

  8. #7
    Affiliate Manager
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    This reminds me of something rewardStyle just did to me. Deactivated my account for "low activity" (didn't even have the courtesy to notify me, just locked me out), told me to try again in a few months, and kept all the remaining commission in my account.

    And in past newsletters they've revealed and promoted their top 10 affiliates to all of the others in the network.

    They have a great reputation online, but honestly after working with them... questionable.

  9. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    alexshook, are you an affiliate manager or an affiliate?

  10. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    Both, although here I'm mostly in capacity as affiliate manager. I've been doing affiliate marketing on my own sites since about... 2010? But recently took over the program at my current employer.

    I was with rewardStyle for one of my own sites.

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  12. #10
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Received the following email today:

    Subject: Thank you

    Hello,

    I was very excited to see all the responses after sending out the
    last letter. I'm glad to see that so many of you want to engage and
    make our affiliate program better. That was the point of the last
    email. I wanted to see which affiliates are playing an active roll
    in the affiliate side of e-commerce. In an effort to also become
    more active I wanted to get a read from you on the state of how
    things are going.

    There was an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from
    everyone that it makes me motivated to keep moving forward
    and provide a program that affiliates are pleased to advertise.
    I know that most of you know much more than I do about the
    troubles affiliates have been facing in the past and that is where
    constructive feedback will help the most.

    Please join in helping me make the PlumberSurplus affiliate
    program what it should be and more. If you have not responded
    back to me yet, please do because I would love to hear from you
    and listen to any ideas you have on what you need to be successful.

    Thanks again to everyone that has written back to me about certain
    areas that should be focused on. I look forward to hearing more
    from all of you more.
    "...overwhelming amount of positive feedback from
    everyone..."

    Really?

    Good luck with the program...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  13. #11
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    ...If you have not responded back to me yet, please do because I would love to hear from you...
    Obvious form letter - to everyone. I'm sure he didn't get many meaningful responses other than a few - including that "this is how it is" response you sent and the one pointing out this thread that I sent.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  15. #12
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    All too believable. Chances are this person has probably just started working for them, not being told much of the history and tasked with raising the average performance of affiliates.

    There's a programme I work with and do fine on my own that gets a new affiliate manager every 6 months of average. They write a new "Hi, anything we can do for you?!" happy clappy email when they arrive, maybe a follow up and then nothing until the next one arrives and takes over - back to square one.

    Last year I responded about this time of year, maybe a little later in September, with a request for something I thought would help for Christmas. After prodding them a couple of times, it was ready to go about the start of December.

    I learned a long time ago that AM's are of little or no use to me, as a one-man-band I'm not big enough for them to bother doing anything much for me. The only useful thing that's ever happened is they sometimes update their datafeeds when I tell them how old it is and how many wrong prices and out of stock items are in it.

  16. #13
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Ward View Post
    I learned a long time ago that AM's are of little or no use to me, as a one-man-band I'm not big enough for them to bother doing anything much for me.
    Sorry to hear you've had less than stellar experiences w/ AMs, some of us are more useful than others

    Our affiliate partners range from making 0 sales to multiple Ks. Both are treated with equal amounts of respect & understanding.

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  18. #14
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kush@VMInnovations View Post
    Our affiliate partners range from making 0 sales to multiple Ks. Both are treated with equal amounts of respect & understanding.
    It's not really about respect or understanding. I've had AM's ask me if they could do anything to help, I don't need a custom banner, I can make those myself easily enough. I asked for the top 10 selling products in as many categories as possible, that's what I referred to in my post above, after 2-3 months I was told the top 10 selling products overall.

    I've asked for information to help me describe/sell things - nothing. I'd like a javascript banner that the merchant updates with latest offers and the rest of the time is a generic banner so it never expires - too much trouble it seems. This is across a number of programmes over more than 10 years.

    So what I want from an AM is a nice neat datafeed with no mistakes, mIstakes, Mis-Takes, misT-akEs (get the idea) that is regularly updated, where images show as they should, has a logical structure that isn't changed for no reason and at no notice and where keywords, descriptions etc. are all of value and accurate. I've had loads of these "reaching-out" "building a relationship" type emails, though little or nothing has come of them and to be honest I don't want a relationship with an AM, I just want a good clean datafeed and tools that work.

    I'm also not entirely sure what it is that I can gain from regular contact with an AM, other than them trying to start managing ME and imagining I am their employee I haven't seen them do much with regular contact. Perhaps you can give me examples of what AM's can do for affiliates?

    *Sorry Kush, this sounds a bit ranty, it's not aimed at you


  19. #15
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    Completely understand, I should have clarified that each affiliate partner is treated as if they are (or will be) a top producer thus getting the information they need quickly!

    Also, regarding that last question. Here is what an AM can do for you:

    1. Learn how you promote (things you excel at - e.g. data feeds) and develop a plan of actions accordingly
    2. Prior to sales of seasonal items or Q4 - send you the list of top SKU's that will perform well (if you requested in each category - you'll get that too)
    3. Track/analyze performance and suggest improvements (perhaps a special offer just for you to display on your site(s))
    4. Keep you up to date on new incoming hot products via a newsletter
    5. Suggest opportunities that will help you grow (thereby help us grow) - like software/tools/educational seminars paid by merchant
    6. Keep up to date w/ industry trends and notify you in case it will affect your biz (e.g. MO Nexus issue of this week)
    7. I'll be happy to share more...


    Will forward you a few of our own examples via pm

    Cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Ward View Post
    It's not really about respect or understanding. I've had AM's ask me if they could do anything to help, I don't need a custom banner, I can make those myself easily enough. I asked for the top 10 selling products in as many categories as possible, that's what I referred to in my post above, after 2-3 months I was told the top 10 selling products overall.

    I've asked for information to help me describe/sell things - nothing. I'd like a javascript banner that the merchant updates with latest offers and the rest of the time is a generic banner so it never expires - too much trouble it seems. This is across a number of programmes over more than 10 years.

    So what I want from an AM is a nice neat datafeed with no mistakes, mIstakes, Mis-Takes, misT-akEs (get the idea) that is regularly updated, where images show as they should, has a logical structure that isn't changed for no reason and at no notice and where keywords, descriptions etc. are all of value and accurate. I've had loads of these "reaching-out" "building a relationship" type emails, though little or nothing has come of them and to be honest I don't want a relationship with an AM, I just want a good clean datafeed and tools that work.

    I'm also not entirely sure what it is that I can gain from regular contact with an AM, other than them trying to start managing ME and imagining I am their employee I haven't seen them do much with regular contact. Perhaps you can give me examples of what AM's can do for affiliates?

    *Sorry Kush, this sounds a bit ranty, it's not aimed at you
    Last edited by Kush@VMInnovations; August 30th, 2013 at 04:13 PM. Reason: formatting...

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  21. #16
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    We removed them from our system months ago because of their insane reversal rate. It was probably the highest we have seen with any of the merchants we have worked with. So high that I had a very hard time believing that it was legitimate reversals. I don't know if others have seen the same, but I won't work with them.

  22. #17
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prosperent View Post
    We removed them from our system months ago because of their insane reversal rate. It was probably the highest we have seen with any of the merchants we have worked with. So high that I had a very hard time believing that it was legitimate reversals. I don't know if others have seen the same, but I won't work with them.
    Been discussed on ABW a few times - tried looking for the thread but couldn't find it.

    EDIT: found them this time:

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/commi...ns-147394.html

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/share...html?highlight
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  23. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Had a merchant with 25% reversals every month and figured they had dealers fulfill rather than ship across country. Could never prove it and was not allowed to confront them. Ironically when competition started eating their market share they dropped the returns.

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