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  1. #1
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    NY Times: Surviving the Dark Side of Affiliate Marketing
    Mention of a few ABWers /Co on ABW - Adam, SAS, LS, Decorative Ceiling Tiles

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/bu...ing.html?_r=3&

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    Just a heads up @akagorilla also posted it here

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/greg-...ng-171148.html

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  4. #3
    Affiliate Manager martydickinson's Avatar
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    One of the companies they showcase in the article is decorativeceilingtiles and I just thought I'd highlight that because their affiliate sign-up page has a ton of great things we should all have on our affiliate sign-up pages. Worth a look. Thanks for sharing the nyt article.
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; December 7th, 2013 at 12:39 AM. Reason: removed link

  5. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    It's unfortunate that the actions of some people can reflect negatively on affiliate marketing. Do you think that if there were a delay of several months for getting commission payout it would discourage fraud, or do you think it would just discourage new people signing up for the affiliate program?

  6. #5
    Affiliate Manager martydickinson's Avatar
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    Really can't go more than one full month after the sale is made before payouts. Personally, I like to not get immediate payment for referrals because there are too many opportunities for refund requests. Just messes with your accounting to have daily payments and weekly returns. It's much easier to manage month-to-month. But, going longer than that for payouts just discourages 'anyone' from signing up as an affiliate....unless the product sales cycle has an extended sales cycle. If that's the case, everything I just said goes out the window.

  7. #6
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    That makes sense. It seems reasonable to go on a monthly basis, and just practical not to go on a case-by-case payment b/c of refunds like you said. I guess the best policy is to treat your affiliates like you would want to be treated. I know that I wouldn't want to wait a few months to get paid.

  8. #7
    Member gibson's Avatar
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    I like the part where the guy was surprised that an affiliate would make a new website just to promote his products.

    I wonder if it occurred to him that his company could make additional websites without involving an affiliate.
    The internet is a fad.

  9. #8
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Delaying payment can help within reason - for example I recommend that merchants wait until after the return period has expired before paying affiliate commissions. I would never ask affiliates to wait months for payment, but 30-45 days isn't unreasonable based on how long the consumer has to return the item.

    But the most important tool is careful screening of affiliates prior to accepting them into the network and the merchant program, then employing on-going monitoring to ensure that the reasons for initial approval do not change.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  10. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Kush thanks for the reference:
    First, retailers need to do their homework. Kush Abdulloev runs the affiliate marketing program for VMInnovations, a retailer of home products and outdoor equipment based in Lincoln, Neb., that logged $2 million in affiliate-generated sales last year — roughly 20 percent of the company’s online revenue. When it introduced the program two-and-a-half years ago, Mr. Abdulloev said, no one at VM Innovations knew the first thing about affiliate marketing. He started by reading a book, “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day.”

    Shortly thereafter, Mr. Abdulloev joined the affiliate marketing forum on a site called ABestWeb. In addition to serving as a kind of industry police blotter on the latest frauds, the forum is a good way for merchants to stay abreast of important developments, like the shifting local sales tax landscape. (Thirteen states have laws that require merchants working with affiliates in those states to charge sales tax, but the issue is constantly being litigated.)

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  12. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks for the great advice JCrooks, I'll keep that in mind.

  13. #11
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    The NY Times article has it wrong. It is not the affiliate program that makes customers leave a website in search of coupons; It is the "Promo Code" box in the checkout process that makes people leave the site in search of promo codes.

    The affiliate program simply unmasked a problem the site had before the addition of the affiliate program.

    This is not the "dark side of affiliate marketing." It is the dark side of coupon marketing.

    Even without the affiliate program, customers leave in the middle of a sale when they see a promo code box.

    There are coupon sites that simply join the word "coupon" or "promo code" with every known internet merchant. It is an easy thing to do.

    If the merchant has an affiliate program, they stuff the cookie and get the sale. If the merchant doesn't have an affiliate program, the coupon site presents coupons for merchants that have coupon programs.

    In this case, the "promo code" box costs the merchant sales.

    A merchant who puts a big "promo code" box in the checkout process either loses sales or has to pay commissions to the affiliates who optimize on keywords "merchant+coupon."

    This is the way life is.

    If I were a merchant, I would not put a promo code box in the checkout line. If I was a merchant that did not offer promotions, I would advertise that fact.

    Regardless, I would not blame "affiliate marketing" for the stupid idea of putting a promo code box in a checkout process.

    If you have a "promo code" box in the check out, people will want to fill it in. This is the way people are.

    PS: If you are an online merchant who likes to steal sales from ignorant merchants. Simply find competing merchants who have promo code boxes in their checkout process. Then team up with a coupon affiliate. The affiliate will some SEO optimization on the keyword "Stupid Merchant + Promo Code," Because stupid merchants put promo code boxes in their checkout line, they've given you the opportunity to steal their sales. Any merchant who is foolish enough to have a blank promo code box on a check out page deserves to lose sales.

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  15. #12
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    yintercept, I 100% agree with your post. Well said!!!
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

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  17. #13
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Maybe the answer is to get the merchant to auto add the coupon code only from a coded link that is only available to specific affiliates. No coupon codes period.

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  19. #14
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    IMHO, If the goal of a merchant is to use coupons to attract customers, then the merchant should eliminate promo codes and use only coupon links or landing pages that load coupons.

    For example, if the merchant "example.com" had a free shipping promo, they could create a landing page example.com/freeshipping. The only way to get free shipping is to go through the landing page.

    Everybody over the age of 4 and under the age of 74 knows how to type a URL in a browser. Telling someone that the promo is on the page example.com/freeshipping is as easy as telling them store is example.com and the coupon code is "freeshipping".

    Loading a coupon in a landing page is probably the most effective way to create campaigns where coupons are used exclusively for drawing in traffic.

    A merchant that uses landing page links exclusively could eliminate the need for a promo code in the checkout line and rid themselves of a notorious sales leak. Again, your newspaper or YouTube ad would say go to "example.com/freeshipping" to get free shipping on your next example.

    Best of all. affiliates like me who dislike coupons, would get more commissions.

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  21. #15
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Maybe the answer is to get the merchant to auto add the coupon code only from a coded link that is only available to specific affiliates. No coupon codes period.
    Maybe if they do not show the coupon box on all other visits
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

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  23. #16
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Agree and I am recommending that it be eliminated completely.

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  25. #17
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    its too bad coupon sites always get bashed, maybe the antii-coupon brigade should go after the cookie stuffers who come in many shapes and forms but are not as easy to categorize as coupon sites
    Hosting Discounts from Professional Rates Hosts - Deals and Coupons on Domain Names from GoDadday, Namecheap, Domain.com and more top registers.

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  27. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Need to clarify:
    Unlike pay-per-click advertising, which charges merchants every time someone clicks on a link to their site, affiliate marketing costs nothing unless there is a sale — at which point a commission, typically between 4 and 20 percent, is paid.
    There are upfront costs whether you choose an in-house solution, low cost network like Shareasale or big network like Commission Junction or LinkShare.

    In-house may only cost $200 for the license but you still need to do the technical integration (several $100) and the banner design ($100 to $500) and the time to fill out the program information, recruit and manage (unless you do-it-yourself and consider your time for free).

    Big networks can cost upwards of $10,000 to launch including an escrow. There are also $500/monthly minimums to consider.

    Make sure to talk with the network or software vendor to make sure you fully understand all of their costs. If you choose to go with an OPM then talk to several as well. Some charge a flat monthly rate, some a setup fee for 90 days and then a rev share.

  28. #19
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Hey Chuck, not every network has a $500 monthly minimum!

    Or a huge upfront fee!
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  29. #20
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    That's why one needs to talk with the network as there are setup fees with networks and OPMs.


  30. #21
    Member gibson's Avatar
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    The internet is a fad.

  31. #22
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibson View Post
    Rollerblader for the win!!!!!
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  33. #23
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibson View Post

    Even worse, your affiliate managers may be turning a blind eye because their compensation is based on the results of the affiliate program; success of these programs is often measured in revenue generated from online sales by the affiliates.
    I agree that some AM's turn a blind eye but even worse are the networks that promote these tool bars and/or allow then in their networks in the first place.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!


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