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  1. #1
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    Hi All,

    I am preparing to launch a program at cj in next 30-60 days for a client. I would like AFFILIATE feedback as to what turns you on/off about a program. Being an affiliate myself I have my pet peeves and would like this program to be as affiliate friendly , honest and fair as possible. So far I need help in some areas to accomplish this and whatever ideas others come up with.

    1. 800 phone numbers are unfortunately a must because a lot of customers don't trust their credit card info over the internet. I would like to have the affiliate id number display right next to the phone number as a "phone extension" so the sale can be credited properly. Anyone know how to accomplish this ?

    2. I hate reversals , like everyone else , but since we will be using real time credit card processing and the items are high tickets and of a nature that will create a lot of fraud orders that will be declined once manually looked over , I would like any ideas on how to handle this situation.

    3. PayPal sales - CJ links don't follow these sales. Does anyone know how to pass the affiliate pid to the order so they can be tracked and credited?

    4. terms and conditions : of course no spam and NO parasite programs will be tolerated from affiliates. Any other ideas?

    What else can anyone suggest?

    Thanks

    MYSTICAL CARIBBEAN LOVELEAF - It's Brought Good Health, Good Luck - and LOVE - to Caribbean People For Years!
    http://www.loveleaf.net

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    There was another thread asking these same questions just a few weeks ago. I can't find it, can anyone else? Lots of good suggestions there I recall.

    Ron - 7 Days A Week Marketing

  3. #3
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    Speaking from years of marketing and sales experience, I can say that you're taking the right first step, i.e., talk to the customers first and see what they really want. I see so many sites launch programs at CJ, LS, BF, etc and it's quite apparent that they think that's all they have to do. It's amazing to see the number of sites (both large and small) that neglect to include a simple link to their home page among their links.

    First thing I'd do is to focus on letting the affiliates determine what they want to link to and, if using text links, what they want the link to say. Best text link I've seen along these lines is at Catalog City allowing you to link to any page with the link saying "Change Me".

    If you allow access to products, make sure you have a datafeed in various reporting formats as well as individual product links. A separate datafeed from the site (as well as CJ) is desirable also.

    You may want to think about a separate "hidden" page somewhere on the site where you list the affiliates that you do business with. That allows search engines such as Google to up the ranking of the affiliate with whom you do business. Not a biggy, but it shows that you are "affiliate pro-active".

    Hope this helped a little. Time to go back to the wine and TV.

    Bob

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador FFoc's Avatar
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    For #1, you set a cookie with CJ referral info as a customer enters the site anyway, just read the cookie on each page and apply as appropriate.

    For #3, Paypal orders, you should use Paypal IPN -- there is a field specific to IPN that allows you to pass data through that the customer doesn't see -- the field name is "custom"..

    If you need any technical assistance with it, send me a PM - I'm not just a car freak, I'm also a consultant..

    --
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own." – Benjamin Disraeli
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    Ford Fox-body Owners Club -- http://www.ford-fox.org

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Make your TOS clear to affiliate.

    I seen many post here about Merchants having an issue of how the affiliate promoting the merchants.

    IE: Using the word "Cheap, Discount",
    if it's okay to frame, Buy from their own affiliate links and so on (can't think of others).

    My 2cents!

    ------------------------------
    What does the COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commissions.
    Don't worry! Tracking is infected!
    ------------------------------
    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  6. #6
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    Hi bob95603,

    Thanks for the feedback. I would like to discuss some of your ideas and get some feedback.

    1. will do simple link to home page - absolutely, as well as links to each category page. I think affiliates also have to know they can change the text in those links. Some affiliates do not know this - so I am thinking of the text links saying "click here for homepage - customize the text with your own words" hopefully the affiliates will change and use their own words rather than post as is.

    2. product links - I am a big fan of these , so yes I will have them. Question: should it link to a seperate page with ONLY that product on it , or to the category page that has similar products to choose from as well ? As an affiliate I prefer the later because I think it increases my chance of a sale. What is the concensus out there on this point?

    3. datafeed - I am not that savy but I can do an excel spreadsheet with the information and have it available for download from the site. ( I think I can figure out how to allow that )As for the datafeed coming from cj - I will have to see how they handle it, but I believe cj charges the affiliates for this service , or only allows a couple free downloads and charge for additional requests. So on site I think can handle this. As for formats , if needed , just tell me how to do what you need and I will do it.

    4.As for a page on site that has links to the affiliates to help their s.e. ranking , absolutely. But it has to be "hidden" like you say to a degree so that sales are not diverted. It wouldn't be fair for affiliate "joe" to send traffic that winds up at affiliate "sam's" site and joe loses commissions. ( as well my losing sales ) I think a small link on the affiliate page can handle this. I have seen other merchants offer this , but they also wanted a link back to increase THEIR ranking. So they would get non-commissionable s.e. traffic. That didn't seem fair to me that I should help a merchant gain ranking and free traffic at my expense. In a merchant/affiliate partnership it is the merchant's job to provide the product and service and it is the affiliates job to pre sell that product and get compensated for that effort when it translates into a bona fide sale. If I as a merchant can help that affiliate with helping raise their s.e. ranking , why not ? Anything a company can do to help their sales force ( which is what affiliates are ) sell the company product only makes sense.

    Again thanks for the feedback. Go back to the wine and TV , maybe I'll get to the beach today.

    MYSTICAL CARIBBEAN LOVELEAF - It's Brought Good Health, Good Luck - and LOVE - to Caribbean People For Years!
    http://www.loveleaf.net

  7. #7
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    Cinst,

    Your site...among other things... caused a full screen pop-up of inappropriate advertisements. If I was a new surfer in town I wouldn't have a clue how to close the damn thing out.

    You're totally joking about starting up at CJ, right?

  8. #8
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    800 numbers are not a must! Any thing that does not use the affiliate id such as an 800 number, popups, and catalogs

    I could type much better if I had knuckles

  9. #9
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    quote:
    You're totally joking about starting up at CJ, right?


    Am not sure that's the website she'll be promoting through cj.... tho I have been known to be wrong

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Nature Boy's Avatar
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    I like the way IAN handles phone orders.

    They put the phone number up there with a note saying "use code 123456789 (affiliate ID) when calling in to receive this offer."

    Make sure that the call center has to ask for the code for transaction completion. And if it's not an affiliate creating the sale, use a generic code that credits the site, that way, customer think that they will always have to use a code to make a phone order.

    Should be real simple to cross reference phone orders with CJ affiliate numbers then.

    ------------------------------
    Scott
    TravelDepot.Net

  11. #11
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    quote:
    800 phone numbers are unfortunately a must because a lot of customers don't trust their credit card info over the internet. I would like to have the affiliate id number display right next to the phone number as a "phone extension" so the sale can be credited properly. Anyone know how to accomplish this?
    One thing, please... do not place the 1-800 number right in the middle of the ordering process. I found a merchant who did this. They placed their 1-800 number near the submit button. Let's see... ah ha! Homevisions.com, I believe. No wonder my conversions with them are poor!

    Rversals. yeah. Have a gateway (or whatever you call it) that checks with the bank first! I have been rejected at the time of purchase before due to not enough funds. I am surprised at the number of reversals. Doesnt the bank reject, automatically?

    -----------------------------
    Big Chuck
    Famous Last Words
    "Hold my beer, and watch this"
    "What does this do?"
    "You're married?!"
    "I think I made a wrong turn"
    "Say! This stuff tastes nasty!"
    "No. I am not from around here. Why do you ask?"

  12. #12
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    quote:
    Originally posted by kelly626:
    Cinst,

    Your site...among other things... caused a full screen pop-up of inappropriate advertisements. If I was a new surfer in town I wouldn't have a clue how to close the damn thing out.

    You're totally joking about starting up at CJ, right?


    Agreed. This site is pop-up hell. Asking a vistor to close window by pressing ALT+F4 will send back the vistor right away.

  13. #13
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    Hi Nova - Mrs. Happypoon,

    Re: TOS - I have no problems with the "normal" cj TOS - I just will NOT tolerate spam or parasite affiliates. Spam hurts everyone's image , thus sales , and parasites are just that. Contrary to what some merchants believe parasites actually will LOWER the companies sales in the long run and create only a small increase in the short run. Cheaters NEVER prosper ( remember that saying - it is very true ) As for what "words" to use , whatever it takes to do the job , as long as they do not misrepresent , lie , etc. Honesty and truth always wins out. Most cj merchants allow frames and redirects if you ask them. I would have no problem if that is what works for you. I use to frame my merchants but I found a target_blank was more productive. Consumers really hate frames. Redirects , and redirect pop unders/overs I have found work the best , especially when promoting via the ppc as you can use the sid tag to know what ppc works. As for affiliates purchasing through their own links , I have no problem. Better though , since I believe affiliates can promote what they have seen first hand and use , I would rather see them purchase directly from us at a bigger discount of lets say 20-30%. Then as they make sales , I would credit them back to a level where the actual price paid was 50% off. I am not looking to profit from my salesperson ( affiliate ) who uses the purchase to further sales , but at the same time I am not looking to give large discounts to someone who becomes an affiliate just to make a discounted purchase with no intentions of promoting the product.

    Basicly I am looking to have win/win merchant/affiliate partnerships where everyone prospers. I will support and do whatever is reasonable , and what I am capable of doing to this end. Unfortunately there are some technical things I do not know how to do , so I will try and learn - that's what these forums are about.


    If you can think of others things , let me know. Thanks for your input.

    MYSTICAL CARIBBEAN LOVELEAF - It's Brought Good Health, Good Luck - and LOVE - to Caribbean People For Years!
    http://www.loveleaf.net

  14. #14
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    Hi FFoc,

    I appreciate the help. I think I sent you a PM , used the invite to private topic option , hope that is how to send a pm.

    MYSTICAL CARIBBEAN LOVELEAF - It's Brought Good Health, Good Luck - and LOVE - to Caribbean People For Years!
    http://www.loveleaf.net

  15. #15
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    Hi kelly626,

    NO it will NOT be the loveleaf site ! That is a feel good site where I have shared over 20,000 loveleafs and earn some commissions from links and contributions for charity.

    I don't want to say what the site or product line is as that is self promotion. But it will be a clean crisp site , no pop ups , just pure selling of an in demand high end product line that is not on ANY major affiliate network. Suffice it to say , it is a european manufactured product that has a track record and has been sold under a different domain. ( for profit - loveleaf is for charity and making people feel good ) Sale tickets will be high and plentiful , epc will be high and profitable , unfortunately there will be reversals as the products have high fraudulent sale attempts. Also kids try and purchase these products and I will not ship to people under 19 years of age. ( no it is not sex oriented , but adult responsible oriented as if abused can cause harm )
    I will have a company thread at ABW , once we go online at cj - so you can rip me apart.

    This thread is to try and debut as affiliate friendly and fair as possible. Then make it even more fair and friendly as I learn more. Most merchants do not realize that it is their sales force that makes them money. If you treat them like gold , you will get gold in return. If you treat your sales force ( which affiliates are ) like sh*t , you will get sh*t in return.

    MYSTICAL CARIBBEAN LOVELEAF - It's Brought Good Health, Good Luck - and LOVE - to Caribbean People For Years!
    http://www.loveleaf.net

  16. #16
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    800 numbers:

    Yes they ARE needed. Even more so since this will be a high end purchase with questions.

    I will make every attempt to have the affiliate number coded to post right next to the 800 number. And it WILL be asked for ! ( I like the idea of a site affiliate number too so some number will ALWAYS have to be inputted by the operator )

    Placement will NOT be prominent. Probably on contact pages only. I would like to keep the phone calls to a minimum.

    MYSTICAL CARIBBEAN LOVELEAF - It's Brought Good Health, Good Luck - and LOVE - to Caribbean People For Years!
    http://www.loveleaf.net

  17. #17
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    Big Chuck,

    I have been selling the product line online for a while now. No gateway catches all potential fraud. Yes they can verify whether the credit card has enough funds , check to see if reported stolen , check the address but that is about all. About 1/2 the sales I presently get "authorized" I now reject for numerous reasons ( that is I reverse 1/2 my OWN sales now ). I will not ship to those under 19 years of age ( too dangerous for non adult supervised use ) Items are high ticket , up to $4,000 , average $150- $200 , so prime for internet fraud sales. I verify the phone numbers , call the card holder to verify the purchase etc. If I still don't "feel" right I ask for a photo copy of their drivers license. International sales require a bank transfer , or their credit cards bank phone number which I will call and verify. It is time consuming and I might have lost some legitimate sales , but I also have had no fraud sales. All I will say is that the product is in demand , exclusive , priced right for the value and I feel any legitimate buyer has no problem with the order screening I do. I have NEVER had a complaint yet from a turned down order.

    MYSTICAL CARIBBEAN LOVELEAF - It's Brought Good Health, Good Luck - and LOVE - to Caribbean People For Years!
    http://www.loveleaf.net

  18. #18
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    quote:
    Originally posted by kelly626:
    Cinst,

    Your site...among other things... caused a full screen pop-up of inappropriate advertisements. If I was a new surfer in town I wouldn't have a clue how to close the damn thing out.

    You're totally joking about starting up at CJ, right?




    New Site is up at CJ - Toledo Swords - no pop-ups

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  19. #19
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    Hi,

    Just joined your program, it's a pleasure for me to promote Spanish products in USA :-)

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager emphimy's Avatar
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    sorry but your page design seems like very amateur. You need to redesign of your ecomm site... I just saw your site links in cj / new advertisers... and i said hmm a diffrent merchant... selling sword.. should be interesting... i clicked your url and after see your design i totally changed my mind... Because i looked up your site as a customer and though that "hmm seems like unsafe, unusable (not user friendly), unreadable. i cant use my credit card on this site"

    Its my idea.. and should be completly wrong!...

    UtOpiA StiLL uNBorN

  21. #21
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    Why OH Why do you need to have other affilaite links on the site to take away a visitor?

    ...............
    WW

    Make a difference! Support your local Cancer Care providers.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!

    GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!

    GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!

    GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!

    GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!

    No one likes them, especially the ones that cover the entire screen! Do you really want to sell through your site? If you do, the pop ups need to go away FAST! I would never buy anything from your site the way it is right now.

    Andy

    _______________
    "If you were born to be shot, you'll never be hung." -Unknown

  23. #23
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Andy:
    _GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!_

    _GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!_

    _GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!_

    _GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!_

    _GET RID OF THE POP UPS!!!_

    No one likes them, especially the ones that cover the entire screen! Do you really want to sell through your site? If you do, the pop ups need to go away FAST! I would never buy anything from your site the way it is right now.

    Andy

    _______________
    _"If you were born to be shot, you'll never be hung." -Unknown_




    Hi Andy ,

    THERE ARE NO POP-UPS
    THERE ARE NO POP-UPS
    THERE ARE NO POP-UPS

    the site at cj is www.toledoswords.com

    NOT www.loveleaf.net


    All the Best,

    Cliff

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  24. #24
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    quote:
    Originally posted by emphimy:
    sorry but your page design seems like very amateur. You need to redesign of your ecomm site... I just saw your site links in cj / new advertisers... and i said hmm a diffrent merchant... selling sword.. should be interesting... i clicked your url and after see your design i totally changed my mind... Because i looked up your site as a customer and though that "hmm seems like unsafe, unusable (not user friendly), unreadable. i cant use my credit card on this site"

    Its my idea.. and should be completly wrong!...

    UtOpiA StiLL uNBorN



    I agree it is amateurish design , I am an amateur at web design , ( but NOT business developement ) but it DOES convert. Safe ? We use Americart shopping cart , and process with Verisign - how much safer can we be ?
    Maybe it converts because we have no competition and the values are there. Maybe our layaway plan helps out. Maybe the plain simplicity works. I really don't know as I am concentrating more on trying to keep production up with orders ( products are hand made by skilled craftsman and take time to produce and skilled swordsmiths are in short supply these days ) Also we will be introducing more ideas such as engraving , display plaques etc to bring the products more in line as gifts. In the past Toledo Swords only sold wholesale to dealers who targeted the collector market. As for the site I am more interested in developing scripts to insure ALL sales are credited to the proper affiliate. Bells and whistles will come later.

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

  25. #25
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    quote:
    Originally posted by walleye warrior:
    Why OH Why do you need to have other affilaite links on the site to take away a visitor?



    Hi WW ,

    I understand and agree. I just answered this via email from a new affiliate who is also ABestWeb member so if you allow I will post my reply to him below. If my thinking is wrong , TELL ME.

    Hi Tom,

    First , I like to thank you for joining the program. I PROMISE it will not only meet , but exceed everyone’s expectations. I am not
    a "geek" so don't know all the tech stuff yet , but I will learn. What I am is an affiliate also of many programs , so I am very in tune to all the concerns and will address them all.

    Second , let me give an abbreviated history. I "found" Toledo Swords last December. I started out with them as a dealer where they drop shipped orders and did very well with them. All they were doing was wholesaling and concentrating on the collector market. Before I retired a few years back , and started "playing" on the internet , I
    was a very successful business strategy consultant as well as manufacturing , wholesaling and operating a number of factories in Italy and retail stores in the states.

    As my sales grew with Toledo Swords I noticed the majority of sales were from the general population and that nobody was promoting to
    them. So I bought into the company and convinced them to market direct to the general population via cj. Affiliate marketing
    is "foreign" to them so they are in a wait and see mode , while I have to handle all the aspects. This will quickly turn as they see
    results.


    Third , what is different than the "average" program so far.

    a: A layaway program on site to stimulate sales.

    b: Affiliates can purchase at 50% off products so they can give first hand testimonials.

    c: All affiliates are welcomed to send me THEIR site link info and a link page will be created to help boost affiliate positions in the search engines.

    d: Me , I will attempt to become personally involved with all affiliates. ( planning to get a thread at A Best Web Forum for this
    purpose ,( asked Haiko before will ask again but I have been at ABestWeb almost from the beginning ) or affiliates can email , call
    or IM me ( clgiss on the aol IM network )


    Fourth: In the planning stages to come.

    a: Trying to find a script so that affiliate id number ( pid ) is displayed next to the 800 phone number on contact page to ASSURE
    affiliate credit. I would also like the script to incorporate the pid into the cj sid number on the links on the left hand side of
    page. That way I will be able to split any commissions those links generate with the affiliate directly responsible for that surfer's traffic. The one non-cj link ( for the family history papers - a linkshare link - will be replaced - plans are that if there are
    sales from that link we will purchase the needed programs and do it in house thus turning it into a Toledo Swords commissionable sale)

    As for the magazines , they are part of my site - RealCoolSavings.com. RCS , will be incorporated into toledo swords soon , so the "leakage" will actually leak to more commissionable sales. Also RCS will be greatly expanded in time with more niche sites. Some of the niches will be separated into new cj programs , but the idea eventually is to send traffic to one site , if sales are not made there , the traffic will be sent to other sites where all sales will still be tracked and commissions will be paid. As for
    the magazines , though the "initial" commissions will be low 10% vs the 20-30% of other magazine sites , the idea is to give the
    magazine purchasers gift certificates to the other sites to create more sales (commissions ).

    I am always looking for more ideas to create an affiliate friendly program that will become a model for other merchants. My drawbacks
    so far are a lack of tech experience and partners who want to see results before committing dollars. But it will evolve. A Best Web in the early days was nothing , look how that evolved. This too will evolve. In the meantime I am trying to get an ok from my partners and see how to implement at cj , a way to allow certain affiliates to be paid a higher commission during the transition period. In the meantime , affiliates will be pleasantly surprised at the results they will achieve promoting Toledo Swords. ( I sure as heck was )

    All the Best,

    Cliff

    ( cinst at ABestWeb)


    PS: Product links WILL be forthcoming. My cheapskate O partners don't want to spend the extra dollars yet. Also will have more
    banners to choose from , but cj limits the amount so will probably put them on site for affiliates to pick up.

    Toledo Swords - Collectible Heirloom Armory
    http://www.toledoswords.com

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