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  1. #1
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    February 2nd, 2014
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    Application Declined for New App, Affiliate Mgr Wants High Traffic First?
    How do, ABWland,

    We applied to two affiliate programs, one with the merchant, the other with the affiliate management company. The first one, the merchant, was just an effort to test the waters, since we weren't very interested in this company due to its very low commission rates. Nevertheless, they declined our application within just hours.

    The second, was an attempt to apply with an Affiliate Management company, whose name I would prefer not to mention here. They declined us as well, stating that they'd like to see high traffic numbers first before accepting our application. So we didn't even get to apply to the company in their portfolio that we were actually really interested in.

    I don't understand - we're working on a new app. How can we prove high traffic numbers if we don't have product in the first place to feature? Are we expected to first list product for free, without being an affiliate, and then, upon receiving high traffic, then apply as an affiliate? This is a sincere question, I'm confused by the logic in the second company's response.

    It feels like a chicken and egg situation. Am I to assume that most companies would respond the same? We're trying to prepare for that possibility by simply bringing affiliate sales in-house using our own software.

    I'd like to know if anyone here can please shed light on this. We won't have high traffic numbers without the product to attract the user in the first place. And I'm wary of the idea of advertising product for free, without being an affiliate. I'm uncertain of what's expected of us here.

    Any feedback would be very appreciated. I thank you in advance for your help and insight.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    March 7th, 2007
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    Denver, CO
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    4,988
    Each merchant / OPM / network has different ways of working with new publishers. Some require traffic as a criteria, while others are willing to take a chance on a newbie. Do you have some sort of a presentation deck you can share with the OPMs? List your credentials, share any wireframes you may have so far, etc. Be as thorough as possible about your plans, so that they can see you are a serious company, not just someone with an idea that may or may not come to fruition.

    Most places let you apply again, or respond to a rejection with additional information. Try that first, and if they still won't work with you, there are very few verticals with only one merchant. Move on to the next, rock it, and make the first guy regret rejecting you!
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
    Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Affiliate Window
    US Programs | Canada Programs | UK Programs | Ireland Programs | Mainland Europe Programs

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  4. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    January 22nd, 2007
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    West Covina, CA
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    I have two suggestions:

    1. Build your site with lots of great original content, and build up a following, and good SERP rankings. Get the traffic, and then merchants, and those nasty OPMS, will want you.*

    2. Look for merchants that have Auto Approve (that is clearly marked in Shareasale, not so in some other networks) and all you have to do is apply and you're automatically in the program.
    ___
    *I really don't understand your applying to an OPM and not a to merchant program, I've never heard of that - nor would I ever do it - in my dozen-plus years as an affiliate.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  6. #4
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    July 13th, 2006
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    Those nasty OPMs... Yes, we want proven, relevant traffic before we approve affiliates.

    Follow Phil's advice. Unfortunately, programs that are on auto approve are not managed properly. Therefore, you can test whatever promotions you want. If someone notices, they might send the swift hand of justice to void everything you did, but that's because they either don't understand or weren't paying attention at the start.
    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

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Those nasty OPMs... Yes, we want proven, relevant traffic before we approve affiliates.

    Follow Phil's advice. Unfortunately, programs that are on auto approve are not managed properly. Therefore, you can test whatever promotions you want. If someone notices, they might send the swift hand of justice to void everything you did, but that's because they either don't understand or weren't paying attention at the start.
    An app like Polyvore's doesn't rely on original content, but on data feeds (merchandise) generated by affiliate programs. The same for ASAP, another app that relies on such data feeds.

    No traffic can be generated or proven if there is no merchandise to begin with because PMs won't approve new apps because they want something with proven traffic - except for new apps which can't show proven traffic because the app doesn't don't have the merchandise/data feeds to generate and prove traffic - because the PMs won't approve apps without proven traffic, which....

    This is a circle. I sincerely would like for someone to address the logic in that and please explain it to me, and how to proceed in such a situation. So far, JCrooks' feedback seems the most applicable, as again, our app is not a blog, it's not a site, and it's not meant to have original content, outside of anything produced by the users themselves.

    It seems like the best method so far is to simply implement in-house affiliate mgmt instead of relying on the OPMs.

  8. #6
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Whether its an in-house manager or an OPM, if the program is well managed, then the person in charge will most likely not want to risk working with an affiliate with unproven traffic.

    Managers talk and if your methods are giving good results, you would be in a good position to negotiate with other managers. But I'm happy to let others be the guinea pigs.
    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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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Whether its an in-house manager or an OPM, if the program is well managed, then the person in charge will most likely not want to risk working with a an affiliate with unproven traffic.

    Managers talk and if your methods are giving good results, you would be in a good position to negotiate with other managers. But I'm happy to let others be the guinea pigs.
    What is it that they are at risk of losing by doing so?

    Also, as far as the two earlier cases I mentioned (Polyvore and ASAP), how then does all of this apply to them? In both cases, they needed datafeeds and did not have "proven traffic". Traffic came with the datafeeds. How are they expected to show traffic with no datafeeds to bring in the traffic.....especially since neither of them produce original content without the datafeeds?

  11. #8
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Fraud, over writing other affiliate's commissions, taking credit for existing sales from other channels, the reasons are endless.

    I want proof that your promotions will bring my clients new customers and not negatively impact the health of my programs. If you give me a compelling reason, I would be willing to give you a shot. One good test from me gives you access to 20 more of my programs and a recommendation to 50 other managers.

    Don't give up because you were declined by one OPM and one merchant. There are thousands of programs.
    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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  13. #9
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    If a new affiliate is applying that is going to a non-traditional traffic driver (app vs blog or social media or something where we can easily see what they are up to) I'm likely not going to be the first one to try them out. I'm going to want to see what the install base of their app is, how they work with some other large merchants, what the behavior of their app is in terms of the linking process (are they forcing clicks, etc) before I take them on. As Greg mentioned, there are some inherent risks with working with any kind of software based affiliate, so I'm going to be cautious with my brand and do some homework before I take on a new partner like this. Once approved, I am likely to watch the numbers pretty closely for any patterns that suggest that anything funny is going on.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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