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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    I was just looking at my acount and went into a page I hadn't looked at before, Merchant Program Status, and it listed 5 of them offline. First off, do you not notify when aprogram goes offline? Second, for what reasons do they go offline? Do they still track, or is all of the traffic I send while they are offline just lost? How can I tell how long they have been offline, and how many times they have gone offline? Do the hits still count up when they are offline?
    Added:
    And I just noticed that Access the Net was one of them, and they just started on the 6th of this month, maybe I should try that, start a program, say I'll give 4 cents a hit and then go offline and see what kind of traffic I get. Atleast, I haven't started using them yet, if at all now.

    [ 07-30-2002: Message edited by: qball0213 ]

  2. #2
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Personally, I've never gotten any notice of merchants who are "temporarily offline." You'll see a rash of these towards the last and first week of the month. I'm assuming that mean people aren't keeping money in their accounts.

    I have some merchants that are offline when I apply and am accepted by them. Be sure to check their status before you put a link up! There are a handful of merchants who have never been live since I joined SAS in May (I think). And there seems to be no way to drop them so they don't clutter up your merchant list.

    I've tested a couple of links when someone has been offline, and the traffic still goes through to them. One time I did get a SAS unavailable screen. I have one merchant that is consistently down 2 weeks out of the month, but the 2 weeks they are up they convert.

    Hopefully SAS will continue to expand their reporting and notification systems.

  3. #3
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Here is the skinny on the "Temporarily Offline" thing...

    When merchants are active (i.e., they have completed integration, compliance tests, and payment) ... and their current balance is above $0...they are "Online"

    The most common cause of "Offline" is when a merchant has their balance go below $0 due to leads generated, sales, etc...

    The process is there to protect both the affiliates, and ourselves...from the case of leads not being able to be paid to affiliates, due to a non-payment from merchants....in other words, all payment from merchants is up front so that we can always pay all of the hard working affiliates....

    We have provided a lot of tools to the merchants to assure that their balances do not go below $0; Auto-Deposit, Low Balance Notifications,etc.... but ultimately, the responsibility of that balance lies in the hands of the merchants...

    However, to let you know.... if a banner that you are using clicks to its correct home, and does not get the "Link Not Active" page from shareasale.com, that means that the link is working, counting, and tracking OK. For some merchants we have implemented a bit of a credit line so taht even if their balance is below $0, the links will still work. For most merchants however, $0 is it.

    Hopefully this clears things up a little. We are working on a notification system for affiliates and merchants alike in terms of when a program goes offline...but at this time the notifications are all online in terms of the "Status" that you see for the program.

    If you have any more questions about this, or if I need to clarify anything...just post something here, or a question, and Ill be happy to answer. I don't pretend to have the best solution to this problem, so any suggestions in terms of what you would like to see...are helpful.


    By the way, I really don't want to discuss specific programs in a public forum, but I will say this....Sometimes merchants who start out with PPC programs, decide to change to a Lead or Sale program, and thus may be offline for integration, compliance testing, etc...

    Also, (sorry one more thing) ... if you do have trouble with a specific merchant, make sure to let them know...sometimes a simple email (polite please!) letting them know your frustration or problem, will give the results that you need...some merchants may just not be aware how irritating it is to have a program go offline...this may sound strange if you are coming from the affiliate side of the world...but some merchants simply aren't experienced at all with the other side of the plate, and only think about it from their own perspective...this is not a "knock" on anyone, just that sometimes a little communication is all it takes to give everyone the experience they need to run and manage sucessfull programs and relationships with their affiliates...

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Thanks for the explaination Brian. The one that goes on/off for me I think is a very active program, so I can see how the balance may reach zero quickly for the merchant. They are also one that the link still works for. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Which I think is great, since it is one I make a bit of money off of.

    It's also good the way the status is right there where you get your links. That's helpful, you don't have to go around looking for it. A suggestion. It would be nice to have the sort feature for the status column also. It would save some time when getting links to not have the temporarily offline ones scattered throughout. Just a thought.

  5. #5
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    Brian

    "We are working on a notification system for affiliates and merchants alike in terms of when a program goes offline..."

    Suggest also notify affiliates when the merchant comes back online.

    I do not have time available to check my account every day.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    hi Brian. Just to keep question simple, is there any particular reason you have seen as to why all the cell phone merchants on your program go offline. I have tried a few but they havent seemed to stick around for too long.

  7. #7
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    i thought i had replied to this, but in reading all the posts tonight, i don't see what i thought i wrote. no problem, i will try to summarize again. in short, i really don't have an idea why cell phone merchants tend to operate this way, ... it may be the reason that many affiliates stay away from them in general, i don't know. they tend to offer very high commissions with also very high void ratios, so this probably doesn't help in terms of consitantly staying above a $0 balance. also, i can put the pieces in place , i.e., auto-deposits, notifications, etc..., but we don't like to force people to use them.

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