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  1. #1
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Hey guys, can you please explain me a few things from the affiliate perpective ?

    1) Toll-free numbers.
    Many affiliates think of it as something really bad. But think about it. If out of 10 orders, one was taken over the phone - that's 9 sales for an affiliate. But if there were no phone number listed on the site - there would only be 5 orders total, because the conversion rate would be much lower.
    I'm testing my site right now. I had an 800 number published in bold red on every page of the site, and now I removed it and it's only listed on the contact page. The sales have droppped with the same amount of traffic. The number of calls is pretty much the same. Which basically means, people who wanted to call - would always find a way or would not order at all.

    2) Affiliate networks.
    Many affiliates seem to trust affiliate networks more than in-house programs. Why?
    If I wanted to cheat affiliates, I would simply hide the tracker pixel on the thank you page half of the time. How does being a member of anetwork make a merchant more trustworthy?

    3) Reversals.
    Why are reverals always associated with dishonest merchants?
    Seriously, especially in the USA, consumers are taught to feel like they aer in charge and they own the world. So it's not uncommon for a customer to simply change his mind about the order because some new widget he ordered does not look as good as he expected with his dining room lights. Also, most of the customers feel it's their right to call the CC company and request a charge-back, just because they don't feel 100% satisfied for some silly reason.
    On top of that, wharehouses get out of stock and packages get lost.

    Those are just simple facts of life in the retail. So why do affiliates seem to take any reversal as a sign of a scamming on the merchant's part ?


  2. #2
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    The Swamp

    Toll Free #'s: For me, I look at the toll free # from both a merchant and aff perspective. Yes, it does instill confidence in the buyer to place the order online. I think for many affs, it's how the # is displayed and how it is pushed. I've seen merchant's who had it tied to every product and all through the shopping cart, the customer is pushed to place the order by phone instead of online. That is not good for an affiliate's point. There are some merchants however who have put in place methods for tracking affiliate's referral to phone order. That is the best of both worlds. A customer code is generated which can be tied to the affiliate who sent the click and it is asked for when a customer calls in to place an order. I have a toll free # available for my customers, but I personally prefer them to place the order online than call. Less work for me.

    Networks: I have nothing against independents. In fact, I think many affiliates are seeking them out more and more. I think one thing aff's do look at with indies is the payout threshold and frequency of payment. If you have a $75 min paid quaterly, that is not going to be attractive when they can go network and get consolidated checks. The bottom line is affiliates want the money that they have legitmately earned and don't want to wait months for it. In my mind, networks not equate to trustworthiness by a long shot.

    Reversals: Yes reversals can happen. Part is psychological. You see you've earned money and then it's taken away from you. What many affs look at is the % of reversals and the reasons given. When they see just any reason given for the reversal and 45% or more of their sales are reversed all for the same lame reason, that is a red flag. It leads to suspicion. It's about being honest with your affiliates. Even a a high % with truthful reasons such as credit card fraud, cancelled orders, OOS items, etc may make an affiliate look for a merchant with similiar products who doesn't have that issue. Those things indicate a merchant may not have all their ducks in a row and unhappy customers. The merchants an affiliate promotes is a reflection on the affiliate and their visitor loyality base. Some merchants will drop the aff a personal note explaining the reason when a reversal happens, especially a big sale. That goes a long way.

    It's all about honest communication with your affiliates and whether the merchant has their own business running efficiently, which gives the affiliate confidence the merchant will be around down the road.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

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