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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Merchant Gets Last Cookie
    I have been promoting a popular product via ShareASale for a while. It operates on a 60 day cookie last cookie principal - so if a person clicks on 10 affiliate links the last one, if the product is bought within 60 days, gets the sale.

    Many people get persuaded to buy something by a good quality affiliate article but go away to think about it. A day later, they visit the merchant site with the intention to buy. But they often don't get to the merchant site by the exact URL say, www.mercantsite.com into Google, some just type "merchant" and wait for Google to deliver the listing - this is known as a navigational search. I know I do this all the time.

    But if they click on the merchant site link that comes up at the top, the first one in the case of my merchant, is an Adwords link containing the merchant's own affiliate link to himself so any cookie an affiliate may have laid down is overwritten.

    There is no reason I can think of that a merchant would need his own affiliate link other than to erase his own affiliate's cookies. What do you think of the merchant who tries to take the last cookie for himself? Do you think this underhand or is it just to be expected?

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Is it the merchant's affiliate link or another affiliate using PPC to link DTM?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  3. #3
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    It appears to be the merchant's link as the TOS says you cannot bid on any of the merchant's terms. If this were an affiliate they would not be allowed to use this term.

  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scented View Post
    It appears to be the merchant's link as the TOS says you cannot bid on any of the merchant's terms. If this were an affiliate they would not be allowed to use this term.
    That has never stopped PPC violators before.

    Could also be a retargeting affiliate / campaign. Not sure without more info...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  5. #5
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Can you get the publisher / affiliate ID from the clicked URL?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  6. #6
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    Yes - here it is : shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=241709&m=28169&u=221207

    The whole URL is like this: (URL removed at author's request)
    Last edited by JCrooks - AffiliateWindow; April 13th, 2015 at 08:39 AM.

  7. #7
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Now all we need to do is get an affiliate manager on SAS to see who the affiliate actually is...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  8. #8
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    But would they give out that sort of information?

  9. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scented View Post
    But would they give out that sort of information?
    Most are ethical and would not divulge proprietary information. But there are some who would.

    There are even some that will use sales information to do PPC bidding on the actual sites domain names of their successful affiliates. So, ya never know what some affiliate managers/merchants will do.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  11. #10
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    If it is an affiliate then I have to assume they will stop one day when they are caught out. But if it is the merchant - that is much more worrying.

    My question is - if you saw this on a product you were promoting what would you do? I guess I have to just ask them. Or am I being naive - in other words - is this just expected merchant behaviour (if it turns out to be the merchant).

  12. #11
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    I would ask the merchant. I didn't look at their terms if they normally allow DTM or not.

    I did not see any out of the ordinary reversals for the merchant. One would think if they were their own affiliate that the reversals would be much, much higher if they were doing PPC using their affiliate link.

    Even if their terms do not allow PPC DTM, doesn't mean they haven't partnered with a PPC affiliate behind the scenes - that practice is not uncommon...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  13. #12
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scented View Post
    But would they give out that sort of information?
    An affiliate manager for another program on a network? Sure, happens all the time. Just have to know the 'right' person, lol...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  15. #13
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Have you bothered to contacted the merchant/AM about this??
    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!!

  16. #14
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    No - I bothered to check here first. Thanks to the people who have responded to my question I am now much less likely to word my question to the AM badly.

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  18. #15
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    I have now contacted the AM and they have explained what is happening. @Convergence was right. There are a small number of affiliates that have permission to bid on the merchant's product keywords. I am just not very experienced and am now realising that merchants will do special deals with some affiliates. I guess the trick is to become one of those special affiliates and accept that it's never going to be a level playing field. Bit like life! Thanks for your help with this. I was really nervous about approaching the AM.

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  20. #16
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Glad that you got your answer. You've got the right attitude. Playing field starts out level, then it's up to you where you take that. Land of opportunity!
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  22. #17
    Newbie Michel Cervantes's Avatar
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    A Google AdWords campaign should not erase the affiliate cookie, so the sale should be marked as an accomplished goal in both channels (Google PPC and affiliate marketing).

    You should ask this merchant for feedback and this specific information, maybe the tracking is not working or any other affiliate was attributed with the last click. You need to know how your website fits in what Google calls the assisted conversion because you may never get the last click.

  23. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scented View Post
    I guess the trick is to become one of those special affiliates and accept that it's never going to be a level playing field. Bit like life!
    So very true. Nothing in life is ever a level playing field. But we can work to make sure that we're the ones with the "unfair" advantage.
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  25. #19
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    But we can work to make sure that we're the ones with the "unfair" advantage.
    This is a good quote Michael. I feel the same way!
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  26. #20
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    @MichelCervantes - The affiliate with the Google Adwords campaign is using their affiliate link so they will overwrite any prior cookie. The affiliate system for this merchant is last cookie. I did ask the AM and they confirmed that this is the case, although they also said only a few cookies were over-written by the PPC affiliate.

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