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  1. #1
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    [Split] Should Affiliate Networks Charge A Signup Fee?
    Moderator Note: Please note that this discussion was split out from the following thread:

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/commi...ml#post1190739


    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Seriously, nothing will change. They can't get much worse.
    They might start charging affiliates a joining fee and fines for not meeting daily quotas. I hope they're not reading this.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; September 23rd, 2014 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Noted the Split from the CJ/Conversant Sold Thread

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  3. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by login View Post
    They might start charging affiliates a joining fee and fines for not meeting daily quotas.
    I'd actually love to see U.S. affiliate networks start charging (like some Europe-based networks) affiliates to join (crediting the $1, $5, $10 "sing-up fee" back to them with their first payment) - to prevent/avoid (for the larger part, at least) junk/questionable affiliate applications.

    Geno


  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov View Post
    I'd actually love to see U.S. affiliate networks start charging (like some Europe-based networks) affiliates to join (crediting the $1, $5, $10 "sing-up fee" back to them with their first payment) - to prevent/avoid (for the larger part, at least) junk/questionable affiliate applications.

    Geno
    Geno, could you give an example of such an application?

    But in the case of CJ they welcomed/promoted the biggest junk/questionable affiliate application of the century:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  6. #4
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by login View Post
    Geno, could you give an example of such an application?

    But in the case of CJ they welcomed/promoted the biggest junk/questionable affiliate application of the century:
    Affiliate Window does this as standard for all new affiliates. It's a good idea to help sort the wheat from the chafe.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

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  8. #5
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    I think the idea of an affiliate network charging affiliates to join is absurd and an insult to affiliates.

    I would tell them just where they can shove their little network, which would probably be a pile of shit not worth a 5¢ application fee.

    And Affiliate Window certainly did not charge any fee when I joined.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  9. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Getting Started is a token £5 credited back to your account after verification.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  10. #7
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    But what is the purpose of such verification? What's the worst that could happen? Nothing, otherwise CJ, LS and others would be all over the idea a long time ago, esp CJ before the sell-out for some additional cashflow potential.

  11. #8
    AM Marshall360training's Avatar
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    As a program manager who recieves dozens and dozens of applications from "affilaites" in Pakistan and India who list "Twitter.com" as their website and who show a 3-month EPC of zero, I would love to see them pay a nomical fee to apply. Reimbursed on their first payout, of course.

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall360training View Post
    As a program manager who recieves dozens and dozens of applications from "affilaites" in Pakistan and India who list "Twitter.com" as their website and who show a 3-month EPC of zero, I would love to see them pay a nomical fee to apply. Reimbursed on their first payout, of course.
    Are you saying pay to join CJ first, then pay to apply to each vendor. That will force a new serious affiliate start off being in the hole. And some of the money paid to join vendors will never be recouped.

    I will give this idea a

  14. #10
    AM Marshall360training's Avatar
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    no, no, no ... Pay to join network. Exactly what Geno said:

    I'd actually love to see U.S. affiliate networks start charging (like some Europe-based networks) affiliates to join (crediting the $1, $5, $10 "sing-up fee" back to them with their first payment) - to prevent/avoid (for the larger part, at least) junk/questionable affiliate applications.

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  16. #11
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    I see this from both sides: I am an affiliate manager but I also am an affiliate for a different industry in my spare time.

    As an AM, I do spend a lot of time sifting through junk applications to my program to find the real affiliates, but it doesn't take that long to recognize them and decline them. I have found and cultivated some really good relationships with affiliates who were just starting out, and some have grown to be some of my top performers.

    As an affiliate, if I had to pay a fee, even a "refundable" one to a network to join, I would not do it. For one it seems kind of shady, and what if my affiliate business fails...now I'm out that money and can't get it back. If the whole idea is to weed out the "real" affiliates from the "junk", then it's insulting to the affiliate who wants to join the network; you're just assuming that most affiliates are "junk" and not serious, as opposed to the other way around. It's assuming the worst right out of the gate, which is just bad business.

    CJ makes its money from transactions; they don't need a fee on top of that. I imagine it like handing a $20 over to your car salesman that he will hold onto in the event that you aren't a "real" lead and he doesn't end up making a sale.


  17. #12
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall360training View Post
    no, no, no ... Pay to join network. Exactly what Geno said:

    I'd actually love to see U.S. affiliate networks start charging (like some Europe-based networks) affiliates to join (crediting the $1, $5, $10 "sing-up fee" back to them with their first payment) - to prevent/avoid (for the larger part, at least) junk/questionable affiliate applications.
    That's just insane. They would pay and we'd still have to deal with them! It's easier just to decline and ignore.
    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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  19. #13
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Networks need to decline junk applications.

    If the applicants website says Twitter, the Google, or Facebook, etc, well...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  20. #14
    AM Marshall360training's Avatar
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    you're just assuming that most affiliates are "junk" and not serious, as opposed to the other way around.

    That's exactly what I'm assuming, because it's true.
    In both CJ and Shareasale, for every real partner we have, we have another 200-400 who are inactive or who never were active, then we have another 400-700 rejected applications.

    I'd love for them to jump through some hoops before wasting my time.

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  22. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall360training View Post
    In both CJ and Shareasale, for every real partner we have, we have another 200-400 who are inactive or who never were active..

    I'd love for them to jump through some hoops before wasting my time.
    So you are equating inactive affiliates to junk affiliates. That's a novel approach, kind of offending also.


  23. #16
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Jumping in here to explain how we do things at Affiliate Window.

    Yes, we have a $5 fee (or Euros or Pounds depending on your location) when joining our network. This requires an affiliate to enter a card which further verifies their identity when joining our network. The money is instantly deposited into the affiliate's account upon approval and is included with their first commission payment, or sooner if requested. Affiliates who are not approved also get their money back. Affiliate Window doesn't make a penny off of this.

    When I first heard about it, I was skeptical too, but then I saw the results in action and I became a convert. The black-hatters who try to join the network don't want to be identified in this way, so they refuse or don't even bother trying to get into Affiliate Window. (Boy, could I tell you some stories!) The guys who try signing up a bunch of accounts to bounce traffic from one site to another won't risk the money and they don't want to be verified either. Good affiliates understand that its just part of our screening process and have no issues with it.

    This step is protecting both our merchants and our affiliates, as it's one more level of quality verification. Honestly, I love it!
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  24. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    In the last year CJ has allowed affiliates with no website to create profiles, FAIL. I agree that if they are going to list a social site it needs to be their Facebook page, etc. When they list Google as their site I take it they mean they are using G for traffic i.e PPC.

    Marshall you can set filters by country, network ranking, etc in CJ. Then once a month review all rejected apps to see who has risen up. Problem is a newbie with a pure niche site will get rejected and you can't customize the reject template. Just insure you have your name and email address in your merchant profile.

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  26. #18
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    After reading Jeannine's post, I understand more why a fee to join a network may be a good thing. As there aren't that many networks (maybe a dozen or so, but less worth joining), it wouldn't add up to all that much.

    But a fee to join every merchant's program? No can do.

    CJ doesn't delete "pending" merchants unless they quit CJ: who would want their $$$ indefinitely tied up? Some merchants never convert: affs don't really know that until they attempt to promote them.
    Renée
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  27. #19
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    That initial $5 is the only time Affiliate Window ever "charges" for anything, and we return it right away. Joining merchants is, of course, free!
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  28. #20
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCrooks - AffiliateWindow View Post
    Yes, we have a $5 fee (or Euros or Pounds depending on your location) when joining our network. This requires an affiliate to enter a card which further verifies their identity when joining our network. The money is instantly deposited into the affiliate's account upon approval and is included with their first commission payment, or sooner if requested. Affiliates who are not approved also get their money back. Affiliate Window doesn't make a penny off of this.

    When I first heard about it, I was skeptical too, but then I saw the results in action and I became a convert...
    Precisely my story.

    I've been a longstanding fan of Affiliate Window for quite some time... On various reasons, and due to various things this network has been doing (on both sides of the Pond). This particular effort (to sift out affiliates who have reasons to hide their identity... and doing it on the network application phase) is one of them. Hence, the original comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyUnltd View Post
    ...I understand more why a fee to join a network may be a good thing. As there aren't that many networks (maybe a dozen or so, but less worth joining), it wouldn't add up to all that much.

    But a fee to join every merchant's program? No can do.
    I agree 100%.


  29. #21
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall360training View Post
    you're just assuming that most affiliates are "junk" and not serious, as opposed to the other way around.

    That's exactly what I'm assuming, because it's true.
    In both CJ and Shareasale, for every real partner we have, we have another 200-400 who are inactive or who never were active, then we have another 400-700 rejected applications.

    I'd love for them to jump through some hoops before wasting my time.
    Let me explain what's wrong with your assumptions... I run a fairly high volume affiliate website with pretty strong sales. And I've got 100's of merchants who would consider me an inactive affiliate. You know why? Their datafeeds are horrible. If they put together a decent datafeed with all the data from Google Shopping then their traffic would spike instantly. Not saying their sales will spike, but at least they would get some visitors from my site.

    So I'm at least one inactive affiliate that would become a "super affiliate" in the eyes of some merchants if they just would get their act together. You know what? I've tried to tell merchants what's wrong before. They don't listen or respond.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!


  30. #22
    Affiliate Manager Kush@VMInnovations's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff View Post
    They don't listen or respond.
    Not all of us don't listen or respond


  31. #23
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    Let me explain what's wrong with your assumptions... I run a fairly high volume affiliate website with pretty strong sales. And I've got 100's of merchants who would consider me an inactive affiliate. You know why? Their datafeeds are horrible. If they put together a decent datafeed with all the data from Google Shopping then their traffic would spike instantly. Not saying their sales will spike, but at least they would get some visitors from my site.

    So I'm at least one inactive affiliate that would become a "super affiliate" in the eyes of some merchants if they just would get their act together. You know what? I've tried to tell merchants what's wrong before. They don't listen or respond.
    Let me explain what's wrong with your assumptions... I have a data feed with 6,000+ products that is updated daily. I push new banners out weekly. I push new coupon codes out monthly. I write at least two newsletters a month.

    You know what? I've tried to tell deadbeat affiliates what's wrong before. They don't listen or respond.

  32. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall360training View Post
    You know what? I've tried to tell deadbeat affiliates what's wrong before. They don't listen or respond.
    Wow, deadbeat affiliates

    I think you are in the wrong profession Marshall. Is that harsh, not if you consider what you have been calling inactive affiliates lately.

    Inactive affiliates are not junk affiliates, nor deadbeat. They are inactive for 100 different reasons, not all of them professional. Most affiliates are in it part time to supplement their main income. It's not a full time job for them like yours. So priorities are different. And they are not in it for you. They are in it for themselves. So have patience.

    Also there is this issue of time for all part time affiliates like me, which is still 24 hrs a day and doesn't seem to increase in tandem with inflation.

    One of those deadbeat affiliates of yours may turn around to become your top earning affiliate some day. Don't be in a haste to call them deadbeat.
    Last edited by sam_park; September 17th, 2014 at 11:09 AM.


  33. #25
    AM Marshall360training's Avatar
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    Okay.

    We're talking about deadbeats and how to weed them out of programs up front instead of dealing with them later. This includes scammers. Not the same as inactive affiliates (once engaged, currently not engaged).

    We have a strong program that has grown considerably in recent months. And the people paying my salary feel strongly that I'm in the right profession, but thanks for your advice Sam. I'll be sure and file it away where it belongs.

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