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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    BuyTelco.com, a dsl comparison service was a LS merchant for while and about 2 months ago, they terminated their partnership and joined another CPA network to promote their website. They sent one e-mail to affiliates to inform of the termination.

    BUT,

    Linkshare still shows them as an active merchant and you can still apply to their program, join their program, creater links to them, wait for the results???

    And yes, you can view their "reports", as well.

    I talked to BuyTelco's affiliate manager and he said he had written to LS to to let them know of the termination. They still show them active.

    I think this is a big irresponsibility on behalf of LS. One-two weeks of delaying may be understandable, but over 60 days, (and BuyTelco is still active). That's waste of our time. That also begs the question, how many dead merchants are we generating traffic for?

    Maybe they're afraid to send to many " Check Linkshare Merchant Status" e-mails but, that's better than wasting time.

    Sincerely,

  2. #2
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    They are not the only company to have this problem with a network. Cannot remember whether it was BeFree or Linkshare, and I cannot remember the merchant - Overstock? I am sure someone here can remind us all. I had links up for a while before someone on this board pointed it out that the links did not track.

    Andy Williams

    Keyword DARTs - New search engine optimization software
    http://www.affiliate-masters.co.uk/k...timization.htm

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    Inexcusable really when you think about it.

    How is this possible in a organization of this size? If I'm the boss at LS, heads are rolling when an oversight like this happens. Unbelievable to me that this can happen. I wish I could perform this way in my full-time job and get away with it.

  4. #4
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    I don't think that either BeFree or LinkShare built their programs with an off switch. Since CJ was catering to subprime merchants, they realized the need for a clean program termination before the others.

    Still, none of the merchants are clean enough. Realy, there should be a mechanism where the affiliate network could switch the links of dead merchants to something that pays the affiliate.

    Protophoto - Short Stories

  5. #5
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    What if I were OPPOSED to the merchant they selected to substitute a dead relationship?

    What if that site was competitive.

    While it sounds nice in theory, networks have no right to force or choose for an affiliate partner who will be on the end of a link.

    That decision has come from the affiliate partner.

    I do agree that 3rd party networks have an obligation to verify (to the best of their ability) that tracking is intact and functioning. If a merchant is no supporting the relationship I think both the merchant and the network have an obligation to contact affected partners. It is not only the courteous thing to do but good business.

    -wayne

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wayne Porter- AffTrack:

    I do agree that 3rd party networks have an obligation to verify (to the best of their ability) that tracking is intact and functioning. If a merchant is no supporting the relationship I think both the merchant and the network have an obligation to contact affected partners. It is not only the courteous thing to do but good business.

    -wayne<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    60 days is inexcusable if that is the best of their ability. No buts about it. There is obviously a crack in the process, which to me, is not good business.

    Especially when their primary business function is to maintain the relationship between merchants and affiliates. That's what they are getting paid for...their cut for the "handshake" between the two partners that they facilitated and maintain.

    It's like saying I have a dating service. And I introduce two people as my main business function/mission. But then one of my clients gets married and is off of the market, yet his/her dating profile is still on my network, functioning fully.

    I don't think this issue can be clouded one bit. You either do your job, without oversight, or you don't.

    The affiliate was notified, yes, so they did their job there. However, any new affiliate could waste hours, and lots of money building a custom website based upon that merchants availability and program, only to find out that the program no longer exists.

    The fault lies SOLELY on the network. There's simply no other way around that fact.

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The Befree reports show the test purchase on 4/29/2002 wouldn't report sales because both LS and BF tags were active.

    EcomCity -worlds most complete shopping community
    From 04/22/2002 To 10/26/2002
    Affiliate Site Transaction Day Transaction Date Shipments Shipped Sales Returns Returned Sales Net Sales Site Revenue
    EcomCity -worlds most complete shopping community Monday 04/29/2002 1 $0.00 0 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
    Subtotal 1 $0.00 0 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
    Total 1 $0.00 0 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

    Traffic to the merchant site still shows activity and all existing banners -text links display and track...they just won't report sales. Still can't find all those pesky pages to pull the links.

    EcomCity -worlds most complete shopping community
    From 04/22/2002 To 10/26/2002
    Affiliate Site Transaction Day Transaction Date Impressions Click Throughs Click to Impression %
    EcomCity -worlds most complete shopping community Monday 04/22/2002 2,619 34 1.30%
    Tuesday 04/23/2002 2,405 33 1.37%
    Wednesday 04/24/2002 2,335 32 1.37%
    Thursday 04/25/2002 2,238 33 1.47%
    Friday 04/26/2002 2,367 37 1.56%
    Saturday 04/27/2002 1,680 31 1.85%
    Sunday 04/28/2002 2,113 34 1.61%
    Monday 04/29/2002 2,488 33 1.33%
    Tuesday 04/30/2002 2,693 29 1.08%
    Wednesday 05/01/2002 2,486 25 1.01%
    Thursday 05/02/2002 2,461 34 1.38%
    Friday 05/03/2002 2,216 17 .77%
    Saturday 05/04/2002 1,852 23 1.24%
    Sunday 05/05/2002 1,750 20 1.14%
    Monday 05/06/2002 2,162 22 1.02%
    Tuesday 05/07/2002 2,336 31 1.33%
    Wednesday 05/08/2002 2,593 36 1.39%
    Thursday 05/09/2002 2,393 39 1.63%
    Friday 05/10/2002 2,145 24 1.12%
    Saturday 05/11/2002 1,527 14 .92%
    Sunday 05/12/2002 1,793 28 1.56%
    Monday 05/13/2002 2,370 35 1.48%
    Tuesday 05/14/2002 2,298 27 1.17%
    Wednesday 05/15/2002 2,600 44 1.69%
    Thursday 05/16/2002 2,372 32 1.35%
    Friday 05/17/2002 1,841 27 1.47%
    Saturday 05/18/2002 1,767 17 .96%
    Sunday 05/19/2002 1,548 26 1.68%
    Monday 05/20/2002 2,341 31 1.32%
    Tuesday 05/21/2002 2,046 31 1.52%
    Wednesday 05/22/2002 1,981 24 1.21%
    Thursday 05/23/2002 1,977 31 1.57%
    Friday 05/24/2002 1,788 34 1.90%
    Saturday 05/25/2002 1,247 15 1.20%
    Sunday 05/26/2002 1,085 18 1.66%
    Monday 05/27/2002 1,508 26 1.72%
    Tuesday 05/28/2002 1,461 21 1.44%
    Wednesday 05/29/2002 1,447 20 1.38%
    Thursday 05/30/2002 1,174 14 1.19%
    Friday 05/31/2002 826 11 1.33%
    Saturday 06/01/2002 539 8 1.48%
    Sunday 06/02/2002 646 4 .62%
    Monday 06/03/2002 1,040 26 2.50%
    Tuesday 06/04/2002 1,061 14 1.32%
    Wednesday 06/05/2002 928 9 .97%
    Thursday 06/06/2002 1,017 8 .79%
    Friday 06/07/2002 763 12 1.57%
    Saturday 06/08/2002 581 7 1.20%
    Sunday 06/09/2002 711 8 1.13%
    Monday 06/10/2002 1,007 10 .99%
    Tuesday 06/11/2002 1,151 11 .96%
    Wednesday 06/12/2002 967 7 .72%
    Thursday 06/13/2002 1,031 11 1.07%
    Friday 06/14/2002 700 3 .43%
    Saturday 06/15/2002 595 6 1.01%
    Sunday 06/16/2002 667 4 .60%
    Monday 06/17/2002 837 4 .48%
    Tuesday 06/18/2002 938 16 1.71%
    Wednesday 06/19/2002 796 7 .88%
    Thursday 06/20/2002 711 5 .70%
    Friday 06/21/2002 557 3 .54%
    Saturday 06/22/2002 418 6 1.44%
    Sunday 06/23/2002 496 7 1.41%
    Monday 06/24/2002 781 11 1.41%
    Tuesday 06/25/2002 694 4 .58%
    Wednesday 06/26/2002 726 3 .41%
    Thursday 06/27/2002 616 4 .65%
    Friday 06/28/2002 581 7 1.20%
    Saturday 06/29/2002 404 2 .50%
    Sunday 06/30/2002 418 1 .24%
    Monday 07/01/2002 686 7 1.02%
    Tuesday 07/02/2002 660 2 .30%
    Wednesday 07/03/2002 583 4 .69%
    Thursday 07/04/2002 434 7 1.61%
    Friday 07/05/2002 551 2 .36%
    Saturday 07/06/2002 445 4 .90%
    Sunday 07/07/2002 540 11 2.04%
    Monday 07/08/2002 634 7 1.10%
    Tuesday 07/09/2002 735 2 .27%
    Wednesday 07/10/2002 686 8 1.17%
    Thursday 07/11/2002 606 1 .17%
    Friday 07/12/2002 430 5 1.16%
    Saturday 07/13/2002 452 3 .66%
    Sunday 07/14/2002 496 7 1.41%
    Monday 07/15/2002 684 11 1.61%
    Tuesday 07/16/2002 699 5 .72%
    Wednesday 07/17/2002 705 8 1.13%
    Thursday 07/18/2002 682 5 .73%
    Friday 07/19/2002 556 1 .18%
    Saturday 07/20/2002 548 4 .73%
    Sunday 07/21/2002 561 3 .53%
    Monday 07/22/2002 822 5 .61%
    Tuesday 07/23/2002 686 4 .58%
    Wednesday 07/24/2002 577 3 .52%
    Thursday 07/25/2002 729 6 .82%
    Friday 07/26/2002 734 8 1.09%
    Saturday 07/27/2002 575 5 .87%
    Sunday 07/28/2002 605 6 .99%
    Monday 07/29/2002 937 3 .32%
    Tuesday 07/30/2002 843 14 1.66%
    Wednesday 07/31/2002 740 5 .68%
    Thursday 08/01/2002 854 4 .47%
    Friday 08/02/2002 676 5 .74%
    Saturday 08/03/2002 423 4 .95%
    Sunday 08/04/2002 548 5 .91%
    Monday 08/05/2002 792 13 1.64%
    Tuesday 08/06/2002 840 5 .60%
    Wednesday 08/07/2002 799 6 .75%
    Thursday 08/08/2002 693 4 .58%
    Friday 08/09/2002 566 5 .88%
    Saturday 08/10/2002 535 6 1.12%
    Sunday 08/11/2002 563 5 .89%
    Monday 08/12/2002 738 3 .41%
    Tuesday 08/13/2002 1,401 5 .36%
    Wednesday 08/14/2002 867 6 .69%
    Thursday 08/15/2002 919 9 .98%
    Friday 08/16/2002 763 3 .39%
    Saturday 08/17/2002 589 10 1.70%
    Sunday 08/18/2002 693 5 .72%
    Monday 08/19/2002 691 4 .58%
    Tuesday 08/20/2002 623 1 .16%
    Wednesday 08/21/2002 634 2 .32%
    Thursday 08/22/2002 709 3 .42%
    Friday 08/23/2002 515 3 .58%
    Saturday 08/24/2002 471 4 .85%
    Sunday 08/25/2002 355 4 1.13%
    Monday 08/26/2002 641 7 1.09%
    Tuesday 08/27/2002 484 5 1.03%
    Wednesday 08/28/2002 584 4 .68%
    Thursday 08/29/2002 549 13 2.37%
    Friday 08/30/2002 511 2 .39%
    Saturday 08/31/2002 370 1 .27%
    Sunday 09/01/2002 366 4 1.09%
    Monday 09/02/2002 407 3 .74%
    Tuesday 09/03/2002 708 4 .56%
    Wednesday 09/04/2002 455 3 .66%
    Thursday 09/05/2002 420 6 1.43%
    Friday 09/06/2002 483 6 1.24%
    Saturday 09/07/2002 434 3 .69%
    Sunday 09/08/2002 470 6 1.28%
    Monday 09/09/2002 616 5 .81%
    Tuesday 09/10/2002 424 2 .47%
    Wednesday 09/11/2002 532 10 1.88%
    Thursday 09/12/2002 470 5 1.06%
    Friday 09/13/2002 398 6 1.51%
    Saturday 09/14/2002 335 1 .30%
    Sunday 09/15/2002 359 4 1.11%
    Monday 09/16/2002 393 6 1.53%
    Tuesday 09/17/2002 395 3 .76%
    Wednesday 09/18/2002 475 3 .63%
    Thursday 09/19/2002 413 4 .97%
    Friday 09/20/2002 352 2 .57%
    Saturday 09/21/2002 205 2 .98%
    Sunday 09/22/2002 299 4 1.34%
    Monday 09/23/2002 626 10 1.60%
    Tuesday 09/24/2002 370 5 1.35%
    Wednesday 09/25/2002 385 5 1.30%
    Thursday 09/26/2002 441 1 .23%
    Friday 09/27/2002 390 8 2.05%
    Saturday 09/28/2002 246 2 .81%
    Sunday 09/29/2002 265 4 1.51%
    Monday 09/30/2002 336 1 .30%
    Tuesday 10/01/2002 373 2 .54%
    Wednesday 10/02/2002 425 8 1.88%
    Thursday 10/03/2002 276 0 .00%
    Friday 10/04/2002 457 5 1.09%
    Saturday 10/05/2002 262 1 .38%
    Sunday 10/06/2002 344 3 .87%
    Monday 10/07/2002 324 1 .31%
    Tuesday 10/08/2002 309 35 11.33%
    Wednesday 10/09/2002 326 3 .92%
    Thursday 10/10/2002 241 1 .41%
    Friday 10/11/2002 213 2 .94%
    Saturday 10/12/2002 131 0 .00%
    Sunday 10/13/2002 265 2 .75%
    Monday 10/14/2002 259 1 .39%
    Tuesday 10/15/2002 280 5 1.79%
    Wednesday 10/16/2002 228 4 1.75%
    Thursday 10/17/2002 311 0 .00%
    Friday 10/18/2002 254 6 2.36%
    Saturday 10/19/2002 175 2 1.14%
    Sunday 10/20/2002 226 0 .00%
    Monday 10/21/2002 422 1 .24%
    Tuesday 10/22/2002 298 5 1.68%
    Wednesday 10/23/2002 251 1 .40%
    Thursday 10/24/2002 190 0 .00%
    Friday 10/25/2002 273 1 .37%
    Saturday 10/26/2002 165 1 .61%
    Subtotal 162,469 1,861 1.15%
    Total 162,469 1,861 1.15%


    Conversion ratio ZERO on 1861 clicks.

    WebMaster Mike

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    Commissions / Clicks = EPC


    0.00 / 1861c= 0


    Meaning for every click you send you are generating $0.00.

    I don't know how to make it more simplier for you Mike. 0 keeps on equally 0. When you see 0 long enough just get rid of them for pete's sake.

    That is what SMART affiliates do.

    -wayne

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    AffiliateMakever,

    OK we have identified a process change that LInkshare should probably put into motion.

    Can folks here design a more workable system for Linkshare in terms of what you need and then ask them implement this in their next release?

    It is a problem- we all agree- I feel they will take action if given some alternative solutions to work on.

    -wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Your wrong wayne about my motives.

    "Meaning for every click you send you are generating $0.00. I don't know how to make it more simplier for you Mike. 0 keeps on equally 0. When you see 0 long enough just get rid of them for pete's sake.

    That is what SMART affiliates do."

    I want BeFree to come out of their staunch position that they are just a software provider and assume a responsible affiliate network position. I want BeFree to get at the root of why some of their merchants show very poor sales results on targeted traffic. This particular merchant has tried for 6 months to get BF to drop them. They have done very well for me on another network only after removing the BF sales reporting tags from their shopping cart. If BeFree staff can see the merchant sales reporting drop down to a trickle and do nothing about it then there will never be any trust in their merchant's reporting. The new interface means nothing without addressing this trust issue.

    I want to promote BF merchants, because if they follow the rules and verfiy weekly their reporting they can make fine sales partners, since most are major etailers. Why should we ever be forced to dump CJ -BF or LS unless they are doing something that negates our ability to earn money. If they choose to ignor the issues of this meeting, like you do Wayne, then the darkside wins and all of them can signup up for your software. None of the smaller affiliates will make enough to afford it.

    WebMaster Mike

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If they choose to ignor the issues of this meeting, like you do Wayne, then the darkside wins and all of them can signup up for your software. None of the smaller affiliates will make enough to afford it.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again Mike, refrain from putting your views into my mouth or my stance. I certainly take this meeting very seriously or I would not waste my time participating.

    The networks have to speak for themselves, as I am not their spokesperson nor do I dictate their business policy.

    thanks,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wayne Porter- AffTrack:
    AffiliateMakever,

    OK we have identified a process change that LInkshare should probably put into motion.

    Can folks here design a more workable system for Linkshare in terms of what you need and then ask them implement this in their next release?

    It is a problem- we all agree- I feel they will take action if given some alternative solutions to work on.

    -wayne<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Wayne, we've spoken off ABW, and I respect you from the little that I know of you, so don't take this the wrong way.

    Why does it seem that you always put 99% of the responsibility on affiliates instead of the networks, merchants, etc...?

    Why should an affiliate such as myself need to instruct a network how to run their business (ie...fix a hole in the backbone of their entire operation like expired merchant links)? Shouldn't the network have their own house in order? Why do they get a cut then?

    I can't imagine a client of mine being too happy about me not being able to perform my primary business function to the best of my ability. Should I be able to say, "Dear client, it appears that you've found a hole in our trusted and proven business model, would you please present to us what we are doing wrong, and how you would like to see it fixed. I know we are the experts, and we should have gotten it right, but we didn't, please forgive us." /end sarcasim

    What we "need" is for our partners to start acting like partners. What we "need" is some respect as affiliates from our partners, even if we earn 25 bucks a month, we're still clients.

    I think you'll do a great job on Nov. 7. In fact, I'm counting on it. Thank you for all of your hard work.

    Just please, a little small affiliate love every now and then? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] We may not be the driving force in terms of revenue, but that does not mean we should be ignored, or blamed, or asked to resolve issues for anyone else. We make hardly anything as it is. Is it too much to ask our partners to simply do their part, so we can do ours?

  13. #13
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    Jim,

    I was not offended at all.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Why does it seem that you always put 99% of the responsibility on affiliates instead of the networks, merchants, etc...? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Because 99% of the time is the affiliate's choice- from choosing partners, to terminating partners, to ensuring they have the right code, etc. It is a tough job and much of the responsability falls on the affiliate partner.

    Of course I agree it is the networks job to handle terminations and shifting relationships, but since they haven't done as of yet- the affiliates are going to have to take the lead and guide the creation of what they need or they may never get what they want.

    Sort of like a pothole in the road the state highway said they would fix. You wait two years, you complain, no fix. I would get my own gravel and go fill it up rather then suffer the damages of potholes on my automobiles.

    Affiliates and merchants are the #1 feedback loop when it comes to dealing with networks. They make changes based on the majority of partner needs. This is a change that needs to be made for whatever reason- oversight, laziness, just didn't realize it was a problem- who knows. The reason doesn't really matter- fixing the problem is more important.

    Also affiliate marketers (good ones) tend to be creative thinkers and often they can come up with a better system to make their work easier. They know what they do best.

    But it is easy to sit in a message board and complain "we are the down trodden little affiliate". It is a bit harder, but more constructive and brings about faster change, to complain and then offer solutions. Of course, affiliate don't have to offer solutions, they can still complain and if history is correct, the problem should remain.

    The problem you describe is not limited to small partners either, it should impact big partners as well. So in short if it isn't fixed, then you move them toward helping fix it, or move on to a system that lives up to your standards better. There are choices!

    regards,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  14. #14
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    @ Wayne Porter

    This is exactly the kind of post that make me wonder. Try to look at it from the affiliates point of view instead of the parasites.<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Because 99% of the time is the affiliate's choice- from choosing partners, to terminating partners, to ensuring they have the right code, etc. It is a tough job and much of the responsability falls on the affiliate partner.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Some of us affiliates have worked with these companies from well before the parasites came on the scene. Now if you look closely at your reply you are insinuating that all we have to do is drop the merchant that we have been working with for years and all will be well. All doing that will accomplish is the parasites will have carte-blanche to do whatever they wish be it legal or illegal and the affiliates would be out of work. Is this really what you think we should do?

    Travel safe
    Gordon
    YouTrek

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Because 99% of the time is the affiliate's choice- from choosing partners, to terminating partners, to ensuring they have the right code, etc. It is a tough job and much of the responsability falls on the affiliate partner.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Wayne,

    This is exactly what I'm talking about. Again with making it the affiliate responsibility for making the entire community a better place.

    I keep hearing, "like it, or lump it" from you. Small affiliates, not "good ones" only, count just as much in the grand scheme of things. And frankly, budding affiliates could count more in the long run as we look at the growth of the industry.

    As new affiliates get burned, they may decide that the business isn't right for them, and in turn create a negative experience, which is what is currently brewing in our community.

    A new affiliate that gets burned by a merchant or network up front, cannot be blamed for a blatent merchant or network oversight. A seasoned affiliate, well, maybe. I guess they should have known better. Ignorance is rampant in this business, from affiliate to merchant. I get emails all the time from both, and even some merchants who are clueless about their own programs, or features from their network that they were participating in. (ex. keep=no)

    When does the day finally come that affiliates are not required to play watchdog to our own partners? There must be an end, and a point of accountability from merchants and networks.

    The big money in this business exchanges at merchant/network level. Affiliates are the red-headed step child, as much as you think they aren't.

    I do my part to try and help fix the problems as other do. I educate as much as I can through my columns, send notes to networks and merchants, etc... So I agree that affiliates need to step it up.

    When are the networks/merchants going to step it up? Or will it always be the affiliates responsibility, forever?

    My house is in order. Are you saying that I also have to help clean my partner's houses, and if I don't think I have to or want to, I should just get out of the business? That's what I'm feeling from you.

  16. #16
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    Gordon,

    This has nothing to do with the view of client-side application so I am not sure why you interjected that? This has everything to do with the network experience and the timely reporting of an inactive relationship.

    It is the network's responsability, but I have been at this long enough to know that if something doesn't suit your needs or needs improvement you are better off offering a good solution then a general complaint.

    A good solution is enacted faster then a few complaints. Does that make sense?


    Jim Said,
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> When does the day finally come that affiliates are not required to play watchdog to our own partners? There must be an end, and a point of accountability from merchants and networks. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>



    The same as how vendors must have QA on the product the buy and then sell. The same as a company must do due diligence on every relationship. That day never comes. Affiliates will always have to be vigilant about their partner choices. When does any business simply get to go on autopilot?

    Jim said

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The big money in this business exchanges at merchant/network level. Affiliates are the red-headed step child, as much as you think they aren't.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Without affiliates no money gets exchanged. There are many highly productive affiliates from all shapes and sizes.



    Jim said,
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> When are the networks/merchants going to step it up? Or will it always be the affiliates responsibility, forever? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You talk as if affiliate marketing has always been a wholly negative experience. I don't find this to be so. In the last two years merchants and networks have taken great strides in the parterning process. The tools and levels of sophistication have risen and continue to do so in a steady fashion. There will always need to be improvement, it is a continual process.

    My point is this- rather then just complain, match a solution or suggestion with your complaint. It cuts through the din and enacts change much faster.


    regards,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
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  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Some of us affiliates have worked with these companies from well before the parasites came on the scene. Now if you look closely at your reply you are insinuating that all we have to do is drop the merchant that we have been working with for years and all will be well. All doing that will accomplish is the parasites will have carte-blanche to do whatever they wish be it legal or illegal and the affiliates would be out of work. Is this really what you think we should do? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you understand the economics behind the situation you understand that if every affiliate aside from client-side applications, decided to drop these relationships then it becomes hard for networks. Networks have to have balanced partners.

    What I a suggesting is that if people feel networks or merchants are being unethical then they should drop the relationships or wait for a solution that is satisfactory.

    It will probably not be good for the affiliate, especially if there are relationships they want, but I feel it is better for businesses take a stand their own ethical beliefs. Does that make sense?

    -wayne

    -wayne

  18. #18
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Yes it makes sense and I also agree with you Wayne, but, <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I feel it is better for businesses take a stand their own ethical beliefs <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> in most cases it is not about a businesses personal stance in the ethics of this as quite a lot of them do not know what these programs are doing. I agree some merchants are aware of this and have no problem using these tactics but I have a feeling the majority do not as the workings of these programs are very conveniently kept quiet. Hell! some of them even say they have stopped the shady activities then two weeks down the road they very quietly resort back to the thievery or whatever you want to call it as they did with TigerDirect and as far as I know still do with Overstock.

    What I am saying is, this is not so cut and dried as you make it out to be and the real anwer does not lie with either the affiliates or the merchants. As we have seen on ABW some of these merchants had no idea whatsoever of how the parasites programs worked, they were not given this information by the networks and as soon as they found out what was happening they themselves knew (I'm going to be kind here) it was a very unethical way of doing business so they dropped them.
    The real answer lies with the networks, the parasites themselves changing their methods or the Law courts.

    As you will be well aware one of the networks, Linkshare has already stopped them from overwriting their links, do you think Linkshare would have done this if their methods were not to say the least shady?

    Travel safe
    Gordon
    YouTrek

  19. #19
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    Hello Gordon....

    I just want to try to lay to rest this continuing rumor that a preponderance of the merchants have no clue what is going on. Although I have also spoken to a number of merchants (as I do on a daily basis), most of them do indeed know exactly what is happening, and that is a fact. Whether they care to share this information or not is purely up to them, but most do know.

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>What I am saying is, this is not so cut and dried as you make it out to be and the real anwer does not lie with either the affiliates or the merchants. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Gordon,

    I don't feel the issue is cut and dried at all, at least the issue of client side applications. But I think the issue around who we work with is quite cut and dried. No one can force anyone to work with anyone. Period. There is no argument to this. We are at the helm of our own ship.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> As we have seen on ABW some of these merchants had no idea whatsoever of how the parasites programs worked, they were not given this information by the networks and as soon as they found out what was happening they themselves <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    ABW is a small slice of the affiliate world. Many merchants DO know the issues, and they are very aware Gordon. None of them want to stick their heads into the firing line.

    Merchants are responsible with whom they let in their programs. If I had a partner generating tens of thousands of dollars a month in new business I would be checking out that partner completely. That is called due diligence something that seems to be lacking lately.

    Everyone wants to blame "the networks" when in reality they have limited control over who they may partner with. The only exception being Performics because they have more of an agency model, but still the merchant has the final say.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The real answer lies with the networks, the parasites themselves changing their methods or the Law courts. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    To me the real answer lies with merchants and affiliate partners. This may indeed end up in the courts. But the issue has been around since 1999 (Dash shopping technology) and still hasn't wound up there three years later. Who knows...

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>As you will be well aware one of the networks, Linkshare has already stopped them from overwriting their links, do you think Linkshare would have done this if their methods were not to say the least shady? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Good question, but I can't speak on behalf of Linkshare.

    Ultimately, and I really feel this is the where it lies- merchants and affiliates have complete and total control over what they do and who they partner with. Networks have some influence.

    I am just curious Gordon, how much to predict you have lost in terms of sales to client-side applications? How big of an issue is this to your business?


    regards,
    -wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    Wayne,

    It's apparent our views our the same, but different [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]. As a whole, I don't think you answered my specific questions with specific answers, so I'll leave it alone. I think we're both on the same wavelength, with the major difference being our disagreement of perception and fault between affiliates, networks and merchants.

    I'm doing my part to help merchants get thier house in order. When can I expect them to reciprocate and "design a more workable system for my website in terms of what I need and then ask me to implement this in my next release?"

    If you say this is a partnership, and affiliates must constantly work to improve our partners processes, shouldn't the merchants and networks work constantly on an individual basis to help improve affiliates individual business processes so we can do better? Or is it only a one-sided equation?

    I want a Linkshare, CJ or Befree person to call me and analyze my sites, then work with their partners/competitors on the merchant/network side to come up with a better way for me to run my business. That would only be fair in your explanation and basic arguement.

  22. #22
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    Hello Affiliatemakeover....

    Ahh, Utopia... Unfortunately, wasn't Marx a bit off the mark concerning capitalism?

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  23. #23
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    Jim,

    First of all the reason a Linkshare merchant might still appear to be active in the LS system is that their program is on hold, for whatever reason. This means not terminated, but not active.

    I think they send out a notice that there has been a status change, and I don't think you can get links for them.

    Why they do this I am not sure, but my point is if you feel this isn't the best way to notify you then you should be proactive and make a suggestion. Sometimes companies see things from "inside the bubble" that it can be hard to see any other way.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If you say this is a partnership, and affiliates must constantly work to improve our partners processes, shouldn't the merchants and networks work constantly on an individual basis to help improve affiliates individual business processes so we can do better? Or is it only a one-sided equation? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What makes you think they don't? They do.

    They do, but usually with emerging and highly productive properties.

    Why not everyone? There are not enough resources to work with everyone on a network, so you must work with the ones that show the most potential.

    This is a business and resources are allocated to where they make the most sense.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I want a Linkshare, CJ or Befree person to call me and analyze my sites, then work with their partners/competitors on the merchant/network side to come up with a better way for me to run my business. That would only be fair in your explanation and basic arguement. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Don't you think this is your job?

    No large scale network has that kind of human resources. That isn't feasible or even possible. Smaller networks might be able to do it, and merchants may often do this. Again if sites get on a network's "radar" as a higher performance partner they will probably get calls or specific e-mails.

    I admit I would like to see more in the terms of proactive education from networks. Also keep in mind that many high-performance partners don't always want to hear from networks or merchants daily with deals, offers, etc. Actually many of them cite information and contact overload as a real problem.

    regards,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    That's the crux of the arguement Wayne. It's not my job to make sure they run their business perfectly, as much as it isn't their job to make sure I run mine perfectly.

    Either it goes both ways, for every affiliate, small and large, or it doesn't hold water to me. An affiliate who earns the minimum every month should be considered the same.

    Yeah, I understand the reality that businesses need to pay more attention to the performing/money generators, however, in an industry that is still in its infancy, that kind of attitude can perpetuate slow growth and negative perception.

    Ahh well, I'm dreaming here. I know better than to believe that business is fair. Let's end this discussion, it's silly and pointless.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Hi All -

    Buytelco has now been placed on hold. LinkShare takes its contracts with its parties very seriously and it is LinkShare's position that Buytelco remains under contract with LinkShare under a renewal which we had negotiated with them just earlier this year. LinkShare is currently engaged in discussions with Buytelco and considering what actions LinkShare may take in respect of their recent communications and actions, some of which have been referenced in this message board thread. We appreciate the vigilance of the affiliates on this and other matters.

    Sarah

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