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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Merchants That Auto Deny
    Is anyone else seeing more of these responses to applications these days?
    Thanks for applying for the example.com affiliate program. Unfortunately, you have been set to a declined status. If you believe this was in error or have questions, please reach out to us.
    In this case I can see that no one has visited the pages mentioned in the application. No reason was given and as soon as I wrote back with "Yes, I think an error has been made" I received an Approval email. They still have not visited the site or pages where I said I wanted their products to be - and the vertical of their products is part of the site name of this nearly 10 year old site - it is a very reasonable fit.

    Come on, doesn't anyone read the stuff we take time to submit on an application? This is a SAS merchant...and I am in other programs run by their OPM firm. Since they turn around and Auto-Approve without any more information than they already had, why the game? Why do I fear that the FTP request I submitted will be ignored?
    I know they visit here, and I'm hoping they can see how offensive this is.


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Bob Lawrence's Avatar
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    I got cha a dollar... Oh! you almost had it.

    They love to ignore the FTP, must cost them a buck.
    Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?


  3. #3
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I wonder if this applies to some of these merchants: poorly trained, underpaid staff being frustrated in the cube-farm working to attain Friday afternoon - and little else.

    There might also be a jealousy factor in a few cases. I'm sure some affiliates make more than managers and their "helpers." Remember back when CSN was an affiliate-friendly merchant? I was astounded to learn how much their first two affiliate managers were paid. Actually I should say how "little" they were paid.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bill, I realize that sometimes overworked and under-trained employees get stuck doing work they don't understand, I have seen plenty of that, too. But how can this kind of thing be helping the merchant? In this case anyway, these are not employees of the merchant who sent out the email, but hired professionals being paid to get appropriate affiliates signed up and promoting products. Are they just too lazy to go and look at a site or totally unqualified to figure out what they want an affiliate to do so just block everyone at the door if they don't knock again? Does this mean that everyone who objects to auto decline gets in? Why not just Auto-Approve then?

    I generally prefer to work with a program that has an OPM that isn't letting anything and everyone into the program. That tells me someone is watching out for the interests of affiliates and merchants as they should. But it is one thing to check out applicants and another to hobble them with silly games. It just does not feel like very professional management.

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  6. #5
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    Oh it happens! I know a merchant who used to give 10% but after a couple of years decided to work only with a few bloggers. So now they reduced their rating to 0.05% !!!! No one really wants to apply to that plus they auto decline everyone if they do apply. They stay at the network (SAS has only $25 monthly fee I believe). They have private rates only for the affiliates they selected (between 10%-15%).
    Oh and the best part? They are ranked top 100!

  7. #6
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    It is up to the merchant and their manager what affiliates or what sites they want to work with, I don't argue about that. What I question is what is the point of filling out an application when it is clear no one reads the application, they just automatically send out a generic "APPLICATION DENIED" without any reasons given, then as soon as you respond, they approve. I am just trying to understand how this helps the OPM or the merchant in any way? Do they think SAS has robots filling out their forms? I would feel completely different if they had asked a question about where or how (that was not already covered in the application) I plan to promote their products before they approved it, but all I had to do to get approved was to respond to their DENIED email. That is the dumb part. I am curious what they do if people leave the application blank?

  8. #7
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Maybe this is just some weird psychological ploy to see which affs really want to be in their program (those who respond to the auto denial).
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

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  10. #8
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    Maybe this is just some weird psychological ploy to see which affs really want to be in their program (those who respond to the auto denial).
    I was just thinking that.
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  12. #9
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    OK, but it is weird. With less effort they could have visited the page in my application and decided whether I was pulling their leg or not. LOL.. sorry, it just makes ya wonder if popeye is drivin' their boat.

  13. #10
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    They probably have an auto-responder set up for both: denial and approval. Yeah, weird & lazy. What a combo!
    Renée
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  14. #11
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    We have auto-decline rules for some good reasons - like affiliate is in a Nexus State... however, our decline email actually mentions that "If you're in the states of: ..... we're currently not accepting affiliates because of Affiliate Nexus Tax Laws"
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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  16. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If you've ever seen the flood of low-quality applications that a merchant gets, you would understand the desire to automate some of that process. If 95% of the applications from affiliates outside of the US end up being declined with a manual review, it's very tempting to set things up to auto-decline all non-US affiliates, then try to catch a few of those good ones manually and/or if they respond to the decline email. I'm not convinced that's the right way to do things, but I do understand the thinking.

    It's kind of like spam filtering on your email. None of us like to manually trudge through spam. On the flip side, we don't want the filtering to be so aggressive that good emails get sent to the spam folder. Yet it happens. It's a delicate balance.

    I usually try to give merchants the benefit of the doubt, at least the first time or two. When you reach out to them, they're usually very accommodating.
    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


  17. #13
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Agreed on the probable need for some automation, but I'm non-nexus/USA. My point was that no reason was given for the Decline. No one had looked at the place, and no questions were asked before approving. That implies that no checks are done on anyone else either. I might know I'm OK, but if all it takes is a response to the decline, that tells me that there is no restrictions on who or what else is in this program. It removes a layer of confidence in the management. I realize it is not a dozen a day who sign up, but a minimal read of the application included should kick in somewhere.

    I received the approval email telling me to contact them for a discussion, the email was from a guy who introduced himself but signed by another person, a woman so I wasn't sure who I contacted. I responded right away and haven't heard back since Aug. 4th.

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  19. #14
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Would say that a good solid 75% of merchants do NOT reply to ANY emails, much less a decline notice.

    Least that's our experience...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  21. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy View Post
    Do they think SAS has robots filling out their forms?
    I honestly think some people do have bots that auto apply to programs. I'm fairly new to ShareASale (and this forum) but my offer went live less than 24 hours ago. In my description I clearly state that I will not approve coupon sites. Yet in under 24 hours I've had 12 coupon affiliate sites apply, with nothing written to me.

    No idea why a merchant would want to auto deny everyone though, but you did mention that you're not in the US; maybe they auto-deny all non US affiliates.

  22. #16
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    In my description I clearly state that I will not approve coupon sites. Yet in under 24 hours I've had 12 coupon affiliate sites apply, with nothing written to me.
    They have staff that applied to every program regardless of category or network.

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  24. #17
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Sorry for the confusion apptaidRyan, I am not non USA, just non-Nexus. I guess I should have said "non-nexus and in the USA" If a program denies based on country, that is shown before affiliates fill out the application at SAS anyway.

    Chuck, I think you hit that nail on the head - the same people don't read the Terms, either..

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