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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Thumbs down How to unmotivate your affiliates...
    I signed up at a merchant's program at SAS in late March because they had products I'd be happy to buy myself. These kinds of things are easiest to promote for me anyway. I downloaded and sorted through their datafeed and pulled out all the lines that contained products I wanted to add to one of my shops. I spent, I don't know, maybe 4 or 5 hours total to set up the datafeed and made sure it had clear categories to sort the products. It was only 48 products, but I really like some of the products and would feel good telling others why they are so great.

    OK, some of my friends know that I was offline with ISP issues since Feb. 8th this year. The ISP provided me with a mobile wifi modem which usually was good enough for email and surfing, but the drop off was horrible because of my location. I bought an external antenna to make it work and it did improve, but I could not log in and start changing settings and configurations online because my connection would disappear mid-save and screw up what was already set up. I did a LOT of very late work trying to keep things up to date.

    This merchant that I added had some kind of issue with their datafeed so that although I could see the categories in the text datafeed file, they did not show up in my script. Long story shorter, I spent more time trying to make it work, but I have lots of other programs to try to keep up with, so this datafeed stayed online and configured as far as I could get it to go, but did not show up in the main categories or search because of the category issue. I did keep it updated, but none of the changes I tried made it do what it should. Products showed up if you search by name or brand, but not by department.

    Unfortunately for me, existing issues had priority and today after the interminable wait of about 3 months without any sales from me, I received an email telling me I was Declined from their affiliate program because:
    Your Naturals Inc. affiliate program application has been declined. This could be due to several factors including:
    * No established web site at the URL provided
    * Under Construction or Parked Domain
    * Thin/No Content, banner farms, websites hosted on "free" platforms
    * Site Content is not a good match for the Naturals brand
    * Website includes adult content
    Since none of those apply to the site where I have their products, it could only be some other deciding factor. Now I see - They forgot the real factor: a merchant expecting someone to manage an affiliate program who had no knowledge of how this business works, how to talk to affiliates or common sense enough to at least ask a question first. I responded that their datafeed will be removed this evening at my earliest convenience. I can't work with people I don't have any trust or confidence in. Total lose/lose imho.

    This is exactly the reason I always recommend that a new merchant talk to an OPM and buy some experience when they clearly don't have any rather than learning at the expense of others. I will never promote their products and probably won't buy them either after this.

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  3. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    One of the reasons we have a 90 day "sandbag" period for most merchants. Gives us time to see how they interact with affiliates, how often they update their feed, update creatives, etc...
    Last edited by Convergence; July 3rd, 2014 at 07:08 PM.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  5. #3
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    They probably would have passed that sandbag period, newsletters were decently useful. But right after the 90 days you would've been sent the note. On the plus side, it saves me the trouble of trying to find the problem in their feed.

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