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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager melissamcd's Avatar
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    Unhappy Removing Toolbars & Unethical Coupon Sites
    So I just took the plunge and removed a couple of our bigger affiliates that I suspected were claiming sales in a less than legitimate way. I'm terrified that this is going to dramatically reduce the number of sales that we're seeing in our network reports, even it's saving us money in the long run.

    Does anyone have any tips for explaining this issue to upper management? Or just words of consolation? I really want to improve my relationships with affiliates that are actively promoting our products and not waste time with those that aren't.


  2. #2
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    I don't know you, but I'm so proud. We should talk. I've got tips.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager melissamcd's Avatar
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    Haha, thanks Greg! That is very much appreciated. I already read your blog, so...

    I'm probably just overreacting. We still have lots of great affiliates in our program that I can work with. It's just surprisingly hard to let go. Even when the unethical affiliates in question haven't answered my emails for months.

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  5. #4
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Smart move in the long run, thank you for making a difference! Take Greg's advice, Melissa, he has gone through this before. As for upper management, the question is whether they want affiliates to promote new business or just pay them for sales they would get anyway while cutting out the affiliate that brought them in. The toolbars won't suffer, they will find new victims to replace your commissions.

    I signed up recently with a new merchant and some technical issues delayed my adding this merchant to my shops (I was offline quite a while ) So when I received a newsletter from this merchant that outlined some commission changes, specifying that their Toolbar and Software affiliates would not see any reduction, it was like my ISP's problems had intervened to save me a lot of unnecessary work with this merchant. To clarify, I did email the merchant, never received a response. OK, let their toolbars skim off someone else's work, I am happy that merchant is not on my sites, or I would have had to go through undoing all the work done to get them seen.


  6. #5
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Find content affiliates, tell them you are cleaning up the program to help their conversions increase. When you do that, they will test it. You will be able to backfill the gap quickly. But you also have to step up recruiting of new quality content affiliates.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  8. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Find content affiliates, tell them you are cleaning up the program to help their conversions increase. When you do that, they will test it. You will be able to backfill the gap quickly. But you also have to step up recruiting of new quality content affiliates.
    But, expand your definition of "content" affiliates - some affiliates provide a service, ie: shopping comparison. Not all "content" is created on a blog or with articles.

    Value is determined by the visitor...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  10. #7
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    But, expand your definition of "content" affiliates - some affiliates provide a service, ie: shopping comparison. Not all "content" is created on a blog or with articles.

    Value is determined by the visitor...
    Bloggers, datafeeders, review sites - not coupon, paid search or loyalty.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  12. #8
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Remove your coupon box from your checkout will help or even place a coupon directly on your site so they will not have to go looking. As far a toolbars goes you will just have to remove them from your program one by one but they should be easy to find. Just tell management that they are talking a cut on all sales from toolbar users even if it is from free traffic from Google & Bing, your company emails and even from your own PPC. Also I say in a few months they will see a overall decrease in affiliate payout if sales stay the same and may in fact see increase in sales.

    Bottom line is that toolbars do not bring you sale (real affiliates do that) they just take a cut in your sales.
    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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  14. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I first removed toolbars in 2005 after being introduced to ABW. Scared me good but I also launched and aggressive recruiting an activation campaign. Tripled the program in six months.

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  16. #10
    Affiliate Manager melissamcd's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for this advice! I'll make sure I have cleared them all out and then contact our content affiliates to let them know about the change.

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  18. #11
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    I wanted to add for the record: there ARE coupon sites that provide an honest, valuable service, including at least 2 mods here, who run such sites. And I'm sure they're sick and tired of defending themselves ad nauseum. Just my 2¢ worth. :-)
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz


  19. #12
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    The topic is 'Removing Toolbars & Unethical Coupon Sites' so what your point?
    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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  21. #13
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    It's mostly a heads up for any newbies who may happen to read this thread & might conclude that coupon sites are bad (thinking of other threads about coupon sites). I should have posted "OT" before my post. Sorry I didn't & if I only added confusion.
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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  23. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    I wanted to add for the record: there ARE coupon sites that provide an honest, valuable service, including at least 2 mods here, who run such sites. And I'm sure they're sick and tired of defending themselves ad nauseum. Just my 2¢ worth. :-)
    True, although I suspect that the unethical coupon sites probably outnumber the good ones, and either number is DWARFED by the number of useless coupon sites with no traffic.

    Quote Originally Posted by kse View Post
    The topic is 'Removing Toolbars & Unethical Coupon Sites' so what your point?
    I think the comment was probably made in reply to this one:
    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Bloggers, datafeeders, review sites - not coupon, paid search or loyalty.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela


  24. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I wanted to add for the record: there ARE coupon sites that provide an honest, valuable service, including at least 2 mods here, who run such sites. And I'm sure they're sick and tired of defending themselves ad nauseum. Just my 2¢ worth. :-)
    Yes there are and I for one am happy to work with them no matter how much traffic.

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  26. #16
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melissamcd View Post
    I suspected were claiming sales in a less than legitimate way.
    Suspected or do you have proof? Proof always helps when talking to the "upstairs." Suspicion - not so much.
    Last edited by leeann; July 2nd, 2014 at 04:57 AM.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

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  28. #17
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Coupon sites help close the sale. But I only work with a handful of them. You have to investigate every one of them to determine which ones you like. If they don't respond or they are promoting you with bad/fake coupons, stop working with them.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  30. #18
    Affiliate Manager melissamcd's Avatar
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    We only work with a few coupon sites. We keep some of the larger ones just to have the placement but we only give them a small commission rate. There are also a few good smaller coupon sites that we've offered exclusive coupons to. However, we don't typically do "sales" because we're a daily deal site (so all of our items are very cheap) so it doesn't make much sense to work with them in general...

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  32. #19
    Affiliate Manager melissamcd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann View Post
    Suspected or do you have proof? Proof always helps when talking to the "upstairs." Suspicion - not so much.
    So true. I have to collect the evidence! It's easier for the bigger sites like ShopAtHome. But there are a lot of smaller ones to go through...

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  34. #20
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Don't know you either and will sound a lil silly but am proud of you, too. Think you'll definitely get the respect from your ethical affiliates. Good luck to both you and your program

  35. #21
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melissamcd View Post
    However, we don't typically do "sales" because we're a daily deal site (so all of our items are very cheap) so it doesn't make much sense to work with them in general...
    I would totally disagree with this mindset. Daily deals should do VERY well on good coupon sites. They have members clamoring for great deals.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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