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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager Paul Schroader's Avatar
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    Since their "major redesign" on 1/22, they have nearly fallen off the charts.

    I've corresponded with a few people at BMG and they seem to think everything is back to normal. They've been very friendly in their responses, but have seriously downplayed the issue.

    With no decrease in the amount of traffic we send or change in the way we promote them, I showed them the following trend:

    Aug - $145
    Sep - $80
    Oct - $97
    Nov - $107
    Dec - $150
    Jan - $163 - thru the 22nd - $0 after
    Feb - $47
    Mar - $24
    Apr - $10 so far

    Ups and downs are just part of the nature of affiliate marketing, but this is ridiculous!

  2. #2
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    Contrary to what they are all saying. BeScrewed reporting, sales and such have all gone to hell in a handbasket since
    word leaked about ValueClick going to buy them out.

    Even those who actually were a blip on the honesty charts have gone bye-bye. My guess is alot of people have turned off the tracking of orders part of their links because they could get away with it in the mass confusion of the buyout.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    IMHO, BeFree has not gone to hell in a handbasket. And we have not turned off any sales switch.

    Think about this: I make a salary. But i also make commissions on the total sales on the affiliate channel. Why in the world wouldn't I want to have the maximum sales filtering on the affiliate channel?

    I am one of the few affiliate managers that has a "financial" interest in having all of you make tons of money as Tiger affiliates.

    It's so simple, I'll say it again: The more sales that are driven on this channel for Tiger, the more money i take home!

    Not to difficult to understand. I work for Tiger, but i also work for you. People that are pessimistic, negative and can't or won't do anything to change that are giving a bad rap to this business.

    Start looking at the glass as half full, not half empty.

    Just my 2 cents

    P.S> Look for a announcement in the Tiger section on something many have been asking for later today.

    Make it a great day, and have a wonderful weekend !!

  4. #4
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    Hey Andy,

    That may be true...but beScrewed dosen't care one bit about how much you make or how you make it.

    You have so many links and ways to access your site, they probably lose half the traffic you should be getting.

    Keep putting your faith in known crooks.

  5. #5
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    quote:
    IMHO, BeFree has not gone to hell in a handbasket. And we have not turned off any sales switch.


    Yes, they have.

    I won't sign up for any more of their programs. Before long, the ones I am already in will have closed their programs or moved elsewhere.

    Befree and Linkshare took the short-term approach. They struck it rich early on at the expense of long-term viability.

    What they did was to focus exclusively on how many merchants they could sign up as quickly as possible. That way they got the sign-up fees, and they got off to a good start.

    But in the meantime they ignored the affiliates. While this initially had no impact, it assured long-term damages. What is happening is that thousands of affiliates who got screwed just keep telling everyone else about it. This has been going on for years now - slowly, but constantly eroding not only their reputations but their profitability.

    And the short term mentality still pervades at Befree as evidenced by them apparently embracing the scumlord parasiteware peddlers.

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    An honest merchant can overcome the original deferred payment tricks and speel of the BeFree merchant salesman by monitoring his programs conversion rate from day one ( CyberGeeks). Many do this or can fired their branding advertising affiliate manager and TURN their program around like TigerDirect did when hiring Andy Rodregez. Those merchants making up their minds that a "sucker is born every minute" and appreciate the fact that BeFree doesn't publish conversion ratios or rate merchants on a performance basis stick with generating FREE traffic, high minimums, quarterly payouts and diversion tactics. Those leaving BeFree upon contract renewal dates just purge sales from reports and pitch the new network program.

    [ 04-13-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  7. #7
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    My sales at BeFree have always been about 1/2 as effective as at CJ.
    At CJ I am getting about 1 sale per 150 click throughs. At BeFree this increases to 1 in over 300.
    I do not think that my BeFree merchants are any less able to close the sale. It has to be in the reporting/tracking.
    As for merchant accountability, the Acclaim Program is a joke!

  8. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager Paul Schroader's Avatar
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    First, on the original topic of BMG, I’ve seen similar obvious tracking issues arise with other programs. I think one example, in particular, is worth mentioning.

    It was a CJ merchant and the numbers looked similar to the BMG numbers. As an affiliate, these things are usually picked up on quickly so I contacted the merchant and was told that it was a CJ problem. When I contacted CJ, they said that no affiliates were being credited with transactions and that the merchant had implemented a change that had affected tracking. When I took this information back to the merchant, they looked a little more closely and eventually fixed the problem.

    The really interesting thing was that there had been a 3 week period where affiliates had not been compensated. CJ stepped up as the affiliate advocate they claim to be and threatened to pull the merchant off the network unless they compensated affiliates for their losses during the down time. Needless to say, we were compensated for those lost commissions and it left us with a good impression of CJ as an affiliate-friendly company. Had this been a BeFree merchant, we likely would have not seen a dime.

    Now, my take on the networks (sorry for the long post).

    I've actually been on the merchant side of the affiliate world a number of times. I managed a very successful affiliate program for a .com paying $100k/mo. to affiliates and I've been asked to recommend an affiliate solution to a number of companies.

    My experience has led me to believe that:

    Linkshare thinks they were first; therefore they're the best. They've never even bothered to pitch me. They seem to think that they're above scrutiny from both merchants and affiliates.

    BeFree bought in to the idea of allowing merchants to “run” their affiliate programs under they’re own brands. They don’t seem to have given a lot of thought to the affiliates’ experience.

    CJ has always been focused on the affiliate first. They’ve found it necessary to make certain accommodations to merchants, but they never seem to forget the importance of affiliates.

    When building a competitive matrix and really looking at the cost/benefit equation, CJ is a no-brainer.

    As an affiliate, CJ makes up 75%+ of our monthly revenue and we’re very happy with their open approach to affiliate marketing.

  9. #9
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    Good Post Been There,

    CJ has some problems, but most are just from there not thinking thru the solutions.

    But in the four years we have been with them, they eventually get around to doing what's right.

    Anyone with a merchant program on Snare & beScrewed is dumber than rock salt, for the simple reason hundreds of thousands of affiliates have been screwed by merchants on these program and it will be a cold day in hell before most ever deal with them again.

    There have been some bad deals on CJ but they
    at least try to fix the problems.

    For example: We switched from a lead program which didn't work well because of the cost per lead we had to pay CJ to a per sale program. It's tkaqen longer to get it all working right and is frustrating in dealing with the delays, but CJ people DO make an effort to help. And their fraud people are first rate at stopping affiliate fraud.

    Snare & BeScrewed care not one whit for affiliates. CJ at least tries to balance the two competing sides in a fair manner...they succeed more often than they fail.

  10. #10
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    BeenThere, That is very interesting. Your experience with advertisers shutting off trcking is different from my own. For example, zaptel on CJ shut off tracking for almost three weeks earlier this year. We have not received a dime, but zaptel is still an active affiliate.

    It is also interesting in your case that CJ knew tracking was not working, but they never told the affiliates until you asked.

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager Paul Schroader's Avatar
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    Jimbo,

    The optimist in me likes to think that CJ was trying to work out the problems with the merchant before I contacted them. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] The rep said he was surprised he hadn't heard from more affiliates and was very professional in how he approached the problem.

    I can't speak to ZapTel, as I'm unfamiliar with them, but I think what made CJ react so efficiently in our case was that:

    a) It was one of their Top advertisers and affected a ton of affiliates

    b) The problem was very obvious

    It seems that part of being a successful affiliate is keeping on your toes and watching for falling money. It's amazing how much money you can catch when you're paying attention. It's kinda like calling the banks and credit card companies on all their bogus fees/fines.

    I estimate that by simply paying attention, I add $1,000+/year to our bottom line.

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