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  1. #1
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    OK, I am hoping this helps...

    Regarding temporarily offline merchants...i.e., those who let their balances slip below the minimum....( $0 )

    Instead of receiving the standard "Link is Not Active" page from shareasale.com, we have allowed you the opportunity to tell us where you would like that link to go. We have called it the "Custom Error" page, because you can send it back to your own site, and display a branded error page, etc...or you can redirect it to ... well, you'll have to use your creativity on that one...but it will be coming back to you anyhow. And included in that URL will be a tag MerchantID=xxx so that you can run your own stats if you wan't on the temp offline merchants, etc...

    This is an advanced feature, and as such is only available to those members who have FULL status on shareasale.com. Also, please do not abuse the system. I.e., shareasale.com links within the error redirect are not allowed. If you want to use another shareasale.com link AFTER the visitor has come back to your site, that is fine...using a CGI script, etc... just don't abuse this, because it can be revoked... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] anyhow, hope this helps for now.

    Oh yeah, one more thing...the domain that you redirect to must be the one listed in your account as your main URL. sorry, some security here is required even though I know you are all honest people. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    All of this can be changed, edited, etc. in your Account Page, which is www.shareasale.com/a-account.cfm after you login.

  2. #2
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    Wow! That's a great improvement! Thank you!
    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    And what's even better is that merchantID=xxx parameter. So with a script we can redirect the visitor to another targeted link. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    All the best,
    Karl

  3. #3
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Anybody have any success with this, or suggested improvements....I haven't seen too many people take too it, but I want to see how it is working if possible...

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    Anybody have any success with this, or suggested improvements....I haven't seen too many people take too it, but I want to see how it is working if possible...
    I haven't reached FULL status yet, it will take some time before it happens since my site is new.

    Would you consider trimming down the default message we get to something smaller and less revealing? Something like "This link is broken, please contact the website admin" (would be most preferable)

    I'm adding 100s and 1000s of links, before anyone even comes to my site, just thinking of the possibility that someone will see this message below gives me goose bumps:

    There are a number of reasons that you may have received this message. The most common is that the merchant who was advertising is temporarily not-actively promoting that program. If, however, you feel you have reached this page in error, please let us know. Shareasale.com does not tolerate or send any SPAM mail to anyone. If you feel you have been targeted by a SPAM message, we would appreciate if you could forward the message to us at abuse at shareasale.com.

    Shareasale.com manages the relationships between advertisers and affiliates, which is why you were directed to our site. Since the link that you clicked is not currently active, you were not redirected to the site.

    If you are a new affiliate, your links will not be active until Shareasale.com gets a chance to review your account - you will receive an email when your account is approved and links are activated. This process generally takes around 24 business hours.

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Very cool Brian! Hope now one ever have to use it for our clients
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
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  6. #6
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    best123,

    What do you feel is wrong with the message?

    Chris - by the way... check the date on this thread.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Here's what *I* see wrong with the message as quoted:

    First of all, it brings up all kinds of stuff that is none of the customer's business, and things that are just irrelevant to the situation (spam isn't the issue with a dead link!). And it's way too long. It's just a dead link (in the viewer's opinion)--no need for an essay! A simple, "This link is currently inactive. Try again later, or go back and try another link" is all that's needed!

    Here's a line-by-line of what else I see wrong with the current message:
    (The message has the >> in front, my responses don't.)

    >>There are a number of reasons that you may have received this message.

    You start off trying to explain a message--but you haven't given them any message before this line! That's confusing. Your explanation doesn't even get to the point and say that it's not the intended destination page until the second paragraph. You should give the people a message BEFORE trying to explain the message!

    >>The most common is that the merchant who was advertising is temporarily not-actively promoting that program.

    Clunky grammar. "not-actively." Surely there's a way to say that which reads better. "The merchant is currently not active in promoting their program," maybe. And, customers do not need to be told that the merchant has a financial interest!!

    >>If, however, you feel you have reached this page in error, please let us know. Shareasale.com does not tolerate or send any SPAM mail to anyone. If you feel you have been targeted by a SPAM message, we would appreciate if you could forward the message to us at abuse at shareasale.com.

    This is awful! It brings the idea of SPAM to the viewer's mind even if the link was clicked from a web site. I know *I* don't want to have the word SPAM (or anything else negative) being shoved into my viewers' consciousness if they click a dead link!!! People will mentally associate email spamming with whatever site the link was on as soon as they see it mentioned as a possibility, regardless of the facts!

    >>Shareasale.com manages the relationships between advertisers and affiliates, which is why you were directed to our site. Since the link that you clicked is not currently active, you were not redirected to the site.

    Too much information, and wrong kind of information for retail customers to be seeing. At best it'll raise even more questions; at worst they'll freak at the whole concept. Even physical retail stores don't mention how their backend works in front of the customers - there's got to be a good reason for this.

    >>If you are a new affiliate, your links will not be active until Shareasale.com gets a chance to review your account - you will receive an email when your account is approved and links are activated. This process generally takes around 24 business hours.

    Again, too much information for retail customers to see. We don't want the nuts and bolts of our relationship plastered out there to Jane Doe Shopper in such a way. Plus--many customers would just see "account" and "review" and assume we were under investigation for wrongdoing! What's really going on only makes clear sense to someone in the business. Everyone else will make a guess. And people tend to guess negatively.

    A standard 404 page would be better than the current message.

    Yeah I know CJ has some kind of explanation on their dead-link page, too (although I think it does at least start with some sort of dead-link message). Overall it's another thing of theirs to NOT emulate.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian - ShareASale
    best123,

    What do you feel is wrong with the message?

    Chris - by the way... check the date on this thread.
    Thank you Brian for reaching out.

    I agree with what Leader has said in his nice elaborate post above.

    The big message - for all the reasons that Leader has mentioned - will just spoil the reputation of a nicely built site IMO.

    The only reason I'm asking for a simpler message or a standard 404 is that, it gives a chance for *new* affiliate sites that are *good* in their appearance and in the value they provide to the buyer.


    I have been adding numerous links about 100s , but there hasn't been any traffic to my site since it's only up for about 3 months.

    I have begun to see small amounts of traffic already, but no sales yet.

    But, when the traffic does start to come in abundance, plenty of SAS links will be on the site, and before I reach the FULL status (which will permit me to customize the message) , there might be many links on my site that are broken, due to merchant's funds being low or other reasons.

    At that time, the nice affiliate site won't count when the buyer sees that entire message. It will make a buyer suspecious about my affiliate site and they will just leave and not return.

    Id rather give the merchant free traffic than have buyers see the big message.
    Last edited by best123; July 25th, 2006 at 02:34 PM.

  9. #9
    Internet Cowboy
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    Brian,
    Why not stay $200 ahead of every merchant on billing. When they join the network, take a stab at their credit card for $200 and hold on to it. When they get below $50, take another $200.

    Sure, some merchants will complain because you are holding $200 of their money. Big frigin' deal. I am certainly not interested in working with a merchant who won't escrow $200 to assure that I get paid. I have said this before and will again, if $200 is a deal breaker, they can't afford an affiliate program.

    I was looking throough SAS this morning at merchants whom I am joined with but inactive. I was feeling bad about that and was going to put a few of them in the cue to get worked on. Then I saw three in a row with low funds or offline. I moved on.


  10. #10
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    Forget about too much information and bad grammer

    Why are you putting the burden on us to redirect pages due to a merchants lack of responsibility to maintain funds in their account? Wouldn't you rather us spend our time putting up new links and bringing in new customers for you rather than babysit the merchants.

    Dead links makes my site look bad PERIOD
    Dead links means no business for the merchant
    Dead links means no money for ShareAsale

    Simple solution: MANDATORY AUTO DEPOSIT This will end all this mess.
    It they don't agree to it too bad so sad. Affiliates is what makes it all work so I think SAS needs to finally listen to their requests. This is such an old issue on this forum and yet nothing is done to correct it. The holidays are coming up and I am building new sites and looking for new merchants. I will not go back and start redirecting any page. I am going to start dropping merchants and will consider promoting more of my Commission Junction and Linkshare merchants which I don't have to babysit and see if they are still online.

    And to add to offline merchants....when you get time...please go through your merchants. While searching for new ones I can't tell you how many I have come across that have been offline a very long time. Get rid of these merchants and purge your system.

    Thank you....I vote for mandatory auto deposit

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    It's not just auto deposit.

    When the merchant discontinues their program, and if the affiliate hasn't updated their links, even in this case we should not get the big message.

    Just a simple 404 will suffice.

    It should appear to the buyer that the broken link is on the affiliate site and not the affiliate network.

    If you send us an HTTP 404 Response Code http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/404_error
    , then we will read that response and display our own custom message, this way everything will appear consistant on an affiliate site.

  12. #12
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    What Scooter, Porkchop and I've said for awhile now. Maybe make AutoDeposit a requirement or something. All those merchants that go offline doesn't make SAS look good, they're just a drag on the network. I've always said just shuffle them on over to Fineclicks which you own. Make Fineclicks a rookie network. And when those merchants ever decide to get serious about their business, then let them on the SAS network. Set the bar higher.

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Chris - by the way... check the date on this thread.
    Oh boy, I'm just so late as usual... looks like I wasn't the only one though
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