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  1. #1
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I think the biggest bump in the process of selling online as an affiliate is the transition from my site to the merchants site the time when the customer clicks your affilaite link and ends up at the merchants site. Especially when using product links.

    To me this is a fragile and vulnerable time and I'm thinking it requires some smoothing over before it happens. I'd be curious to know how some of you handle this issue. I've seen some of your sites and have noticed some are upfront about it and others don't seem to mention it at all.

    Is it a big deal and is it more effective to warn your customers that you are not going to be filling their order? Who is having luck with either plan? What is a good way to put it if you are going to fore-warn your customers?

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Oh I forgot to add this

    Is it better to blend your site to look like the merchant's landing page and kind of hide the whole idea in the first place?

    [ 05-01-2002: Message edited by: Heyder ]

  3. #3
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    I am straight up about it. I plaster it all over my sites saying if they click on the link they are going to the named merchants site.

  4. #4
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Thank you Maccas

    Do you think this has an effect on your actual closing ratio?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    I am still perfecting the art of ad copy. I usually mention the merchant's site for one big reason: secure transactions. As someone who has had my CC # ripped on the net once, those are two very important words in my shopping experience.


    That aside, it would be hard for me to compare pages where I specifically mention that clicking will take the visitor to the merchant site (who is always the internet's best, most trusted, secure merchant in whatever field it is) and those that I don't.

    I don't blend my sites in. It has happened that some of my sales pages blend with the merchant color theme, but it was not usually on purpose.

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I always make it really obvious that I'm not the merchant.

    It's kind of ironic, but then-GoTo got me started on doing that in such an obvious way. I never tried to hide my affiliate status, but I didn't used to make a point of it, either.

    But one day I got a rejection from GoTo with the reason that it wasn't obvious enough. So I made it super-clear. I also added the line, "this site is an affiliate of Merchant.com"! (At that time, GoTo only rejected for real issues which is why I bothered changing it.)

    The Conversion Ratio improved, overnight!! All I can guess is that the viewers hadn't felt safe ordering from what they had been thinking was my site. It could be the secure transactions issue that Webmistress mentioned, the site design, or both.

    (Actually, before their mass-ingestion of stupid pills, GoTo had quite a few decent sales ideas... too bad they would always deliver them with a spoonful of battery acid!)

    After GoTo became OverSure and I ditched them, I did stop using the "this site is an affiliate of" line on new pages--I had always thought that was too much--but I still make it plain enough that anyone with a modicum of sense can see that I'm not the merchant.

  7. #7
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    "Do you think this has an effect on your actual closing ratio?" I think so, it may have a negative effect on click throughs though. Some people may have the felling they were sucked in if they didnt know.

  8. #8
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    I try to echo the look and feel of the merchant, but I refer to them as the 'supplier', if I refer to them at all.

    'Merchant' suggests someone trying to sell something to you and Us Englishers hate that.

    'Supplier' suggests someone poviding what you already decided you wanted, and suggests you will not be subjected to any kind of 'sell'.


    I

  9. #9
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    I make it plain as day that I am not the merchant -- they don't buy from me, I just tell them where to buy.

    I haven't run affiliate marketing tests by doing it otherwise, but I have run (in a previous life) general web HCI tests that show that the MORE a surfer knows about where they're going to end up when they click, the more likely they are to click and to stay clicked.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Rick McGrath's Avatar
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    For what-it's-worth from this side...

    I've observed that there are some partners who specifically want to be the value added expert, problem solver, product recommendor etc. The trade off though is that you are then the one getting the calls, emails, service questions. Sometimes this can be confusing to the end consumer and can only delay delivering them their answer or resolving their service issue. If it's all the same to you we'd rather the customer just contact us directly with their questions and issues so we can solve it quicker. Anything you do that might confuse the customer that they're buying from your "supplier" I like that [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]... probably works against you and the best interests of the consumer.

    Rick

  11. #11
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    Some of my sites that aren't obvious "shopping" sites have something similar to this hanging out near the bottom of each page:

    >www.yoursitehere.com< offers information about >product name< and pricing.
    >www.yoursitehere.com< is designed to provide visitors with valuable information to assist them in ordering >product name or type< online. We do not sell any >product name or type< directly from this site.

  12. #12
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    Marlon Sanders makes over $1 MILLION in profit per year selling stuff online.

    Plus he gets paid BIG bucks to write sales letters for some HUGE direct mail people.

    And this is no joke. I have seen proof.

    So I am changing everything I sell to conform to his Amazing Formula - why because I don't have time to dick around with CJ and Snare and all their brand ead merchants.

    So go read this letter and go do whatever it is you think you need to do.

    In a week or so when I get finished with all the letters I am writing I will be coining money.
    http://www.amazingformula.com/cgi-bin/t.cgi/193349

  13. #13
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Marlin know's his stuff that's for sure. He signed up and bought one of my lists a while back and I checked into some of his plans. I found that his marketing style is very persistant. That's something most of us don't have the guts to do.

    While I'm on the subject of persistant people another one that comes to mind is Paul Burke.

    I find him annoying but very persistant and probably makes a lot more money than I do just because of it.

    [ 05-01-2002: Message edited by: Heyder ]

  14. #14
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    Heyder,

    And his plan works. I have seen it used to pull in over 1500 people who paid $10k for a two day seminar.

    Practically all the so-called young guru's have basically paraphrased his formula.

    Jay Abraham, Gary Halbert and Marlon basically stumbled on all the key components thru trial and error about 20 years ago. And they got the basics from reading Claude Hopkins book 'Scientific Advertising.'

    It's utterly amazing how many more sales you get when you use these guys ideas than when you do not.

    The other guy with the money making how to that really works is Mark Nolan's book on how to use Press Releases to get sales.

    What really frosts me about it though is CJ has been using DeClann Dunn as a consultant
    and his stuff is straight out of Marlon's and THEY DON'T make it available to CJ merchants.

    Just think how many Ebay leads we could get if eBay wrote up the idea for joining as a sales letter and lead people on a path to sign up instead of having the signup link as simply signup here.

    It would really be cool if they had WHY you should sign up then have the link at the end of the letter.

    I bet Crucial and Andy could double their sales if they used Marlon's ideas.

    But you can't tell those guys anything, because if it wasn't invented by them it's bogus.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    Hmmm, could be that "merchant" could be replaced with a more shopper friendly word. "Store"? "e-commerce super star"?

    I can buy at Amazon for $21.47 Hopkins' book (actually it is two of his publications together) PLUS Bayan's book "Words that sell". Why should someone pay $69 for re-worked stuff? If every guru learned it from Hopkins, why shouldn't I just pay the $10 for the book myself?

  16. #16
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    quote:
    If every guru learned it from Hopkins, why shouldn't I just pay the $10 for the book myself?


    Heck - the eBook is floating around as a freebie. I've got it around here somewhere...

    (eaglefire - who fell for the "Right-to-Sell" eBook)

  17. #17
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    Heyder -

    >I find him annoying but very persistant and probably makes a lot more money than I do just because of it.

    Yeah, but think of it this way - how much money would adequately compensate you for waking up as Paul Burke every morning?


    I

  18. #18
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    You absolutely should read the Hopkins book whether you can get it for free or for $20.

    It's worth a ton of money...the formula is how to structure a sales letter...Hoppy just says to use them.

    If you have the rights to sell a book...post a page and sell it for $5 and use PayPal to collect.

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