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  1. #1
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    Things I would like see done at Befree. (I'm not including Gator just because there's already a seperate discussion, and I think they know we would like something done.)



    1. Being able to delete merchants from account.
    2. Be able to add more than one website per account, rather than having to deal with each merchant seperately.
    3. IT would be nice to see consolidated checks.( if not try to persuade merchants to go $25.00.
    4. The icons for merchant friendly merchants, Can't you come up with a better system?

    5. Make it manitory to announce cookie duration.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

    ------------------------------------------------------------Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open. Thomas Dewar

  2. #2
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    I would add direct deposit to the list. ACH saves trees...saves postage...and gets money to affiliates faster. Switching to direct deposit would probably save enough on mailing expenses to put the company in the Black.

    BTW moving to consolidated payments with no minimum would be in BeFree's favor. Let's say company x is running a program, and builds up a $100,000 in payments that are under their minimum. The company has to carry this figure forward quarter after quarter.

    A clever accountant would realize that they get to wipe the unpaid balance from their expense sheet when they drop BeFree. If merchant x has built up $100,000 in unpaid balances in three or four years with beFree...well, that is a mighty big incentive to drop the program.

    In the long run, it is better for beFree to attract merchants on the merits of affiliate marketing, and not on the cheap thrill of free branding.

    Missoula - Short Stories

  3. #3
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    (not just BeFree)

    Require that all affiliate sales originate from said affiliate's website(s)

    AS SEEN ON SE!!!

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Canfree hit all the major points.

    Relying on merchants headed to/or in the dead pool to drop us upon request is a waste of time. Many no longer even have an active domain. Others never read emails unless from the DuperAffiliates, since they don't interact with small time affiliates.

    Acclaim status is worthless unless it means that merchant devulges network wide conversion stats and cookie durations and pays within 20 days of vouchers. Sure hate to look and see 10 Acclaim merchants on reports only or active advisory status. Those 2 status fields means they no longer track sales and certainly will never pay for commissions under the minimum.

    Consolidate commissions would eliminate the "Float" risk we have to incure, often requiring affiluates to get above 1000.00 in earned commission to start seeing regular Befree checks.

    Take the "join date" field on the reprting.net summary page and make it into something meaningful. Post there a field like "135/1", or in Dells case 1214/1, which is that merchants network average last month for networkwide clicks to produce one sale. This would force the merchants to improve their conversion ratios and verify tracking issues...and affiliates to improve their pre-sell copy for better targeting shoppers.

    WebMaster Mike

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    Redesign! Cleaner interfaces and easier to use menus and information! Wipe it, start over.

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Uncle_Deelz:
    (not just BeFree)

    Require that all affiliate sales originate from said affiliate's website(s)



    So no newsletter creatives [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  7. #7
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    quote:
    So no newsletter creatives


    Of course, I was thinking more in terms of "See you later, Gator"

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    AS SEEN ON SE!!!

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Thanks Canfree for kicking this off.

    1. Being able to delete merchants from account.

    Check. We're working on this.

    2. Be able to add more than one website per account, rather than having to deal with each merchant seperately.

    Check. We're working on this too.

    3. IT would be nice to see consolidated checks.( if not try to persuade merchants to go $25.00.

    BluesX, feel free to jump in before me anytime. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] But I could do without the jab. We could certainly could make the payments -- we've got the payment process down to a science once we've got the money in hand. Contrary to those who think our business model is to make money off the float by holding onto your payments for several weeks, the money is never in our hands for more than two or three days. We make zero interest on that.

    But I digress. It is true that consolidated payment is a difficult thing for us to do. Some of our merchants do their own payment processing and the payments never touch us. But sure, arguably we could do something for the merchants for whom we do payment processing...

    There are a lot of technical things that have prevented us from doing that. For example, some of you who have been around a while might know that each of our merchants that you belong to used to have a different snapshot of your contact information. Some of the changes we've been making lately (the weekend maintenance windows which are done, by the way) have been to consolidate this information. All those maintenance windows for what? Was it a sexy change? no. But it was a dramatic infrastructure change that sets us up for more improvements. Things like this will make it easier for us to treat you as a single entity across all of your merchant relationships -- for example, a prerequisite to consolidating payments.

    So while we could have a lengthy discussion on this, believe me that we know that (a) consolidated payment, and (b) EFT is important to many of you.

    4. The icons for merchant friendly merchants, Can't you come up with a better system?

    Sure. Did you see the post where Andy scooped us [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]? He posted our merchant communication on a redesigned Acclaim program. We dumped the things you don't care about. Read that here:

    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=2986097211

    We're getting rid of all but the one icon. Much simpler.

    We are working on the affiliate communciation, but gave merchants an early heads up since they need to start thinking about the new Acclaim criteria.

    5. Make it manitory to announce cookie duration.

    Right, the cookie duration topic. I'll respond to this separately -- this is already too long.


    Before you ask me when you're going to see these things that I say we're working on, all I can say is that some of them are soon some of them are not so soon. Please understand that this is a very public forum in a very competitive space. I can't disclose any specific timeframes on any specific features that aren't otherwise announced publicly -- those are the rules I have to work under. I'll tell you as much as I can without getting fired.

    And I don't expect you to necessarily believe me until you start to see some of these things happen. But you will.

    --scott

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    Scott Jangro
    sjangro@befree.com

  9. #9
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    Very Good Response Scott.
    Is there going to be any incentives to try to get merchants to go to $25 minimum?


    Looking at Andy's response about icons. Great, but would like to see $25 monthly minimums included.

    ------------------------------------------------------------Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open. Thomas Dewar

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The "float" I was referencing was the amount of commissions a affiliate accumulates that is below the merchant minimums. The merchant never even has to voucher this amount til 60 days after the end of the period the minimum was reached.


    You said: "We certainly could make the payments -- we've got the payment process down to a science once we've got the money in hand. Contrary to those who think our business model is to make money off the float by holding onto your payments for several weeks, the money is never in our hands for more than two or three days. We make zero interest on that."

    You correct in your semantics.."money in hand". This makes our group think you initiate the2-3 day payment cycle from the time you receive the merchants voucher payment. In reality, with TigerDirect as an obvious example, you hold their payment for 12-15 days to make doubly sure it clears the bank before commencing the check cutting process. I had to counsel Andy to pay BeFree by wiretransfer, like Computer Geeks does, to eliminate the 15 day float on their commission payments.

    At least you get the checks out quicker than Linkshare once the "we don't trust our merchants" period ends. Might be something to do with not having a thirsty Gerbil running your mailing machine.

    I must have the patience of a saint since these upgrade issues were in the mill as per the Cashpile network CEO discussions in April of Y-2001. My points there were acknowledged by BeFree and Linkshare as needing priority implementation. CJ got off the hook as they did act on my phone calls and e-mails to jump Ls and BF by instituting EPC and kicking out all PPC merchants ridding themselves of a bunch of abusive affiliates in the move.

    WebMaster Mike

  11. #11
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    Affiliate marketing is supposed to be new economy. It seems so old economy to depend on checks, and having to wait for checks to clear. Doing things with Electronic Funds Transfers speeds things up and reduces risks. The only disadvantage is that you don't get the float, but the float is often less than what you save on check processing.

    Missoula - Short Stories

  12. #12
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Uncle_Deelz:

    Of course, I was thinking more in terms of "See you later, Gator"




    So how many minutes will it take for Gator to realize all they have to do is spoof the referrer in the HTTP header to make it look like the stolen link came from their site? Meanwhile, the poor beanie baby trader will lose commissions because sometimes people access their site as www.beanieBonanza.com instead of beanieBonanza.com.

    Missoula - Short Stories

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    quote:
    You correct in your semantics.."money in hand". This makes our group think you initiate the2-3 day payment cycle from the time you receive the merchants voucher payment. In reality, with TigerDirect as an obvious example, you hold their payment for 12-15 days to make doubly sure it clears the bank before commencing the check cutting process. I had to counsel Andy to pay BeFree by wiretransfer, like Computer Geeks does, to eliminate the 15 day float on their commission payments.

    I don't mean to deceive. Yes, if the merchant sends us a check instead of a wire transfer, it can take 7-days (business days, I think) for that check to clear. So sure, that plus the few days to process the checks the moment the money is in our hands can starts approach 12 days.

    I don't know how many merchants send checks vs. wire the funds. I think I'll go ask.

    quote:
    At least you get the checks out quicker than Linkshare once the "we don't trust our merchants" period ends. Might be something to do with not having a thirsty Gerbil running your mailing machine.


    It's amazing what 500 thirsty Gerbils can accomplish. But the secret is the cat. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

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    sjangro@befree.com

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    quote:
    Redesign! Cleaner interfaces and easier to use menus and information! Wipe it, start over.

    Yes, great idea.

  15. #15
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    Hi Scott
    There certainly appears to be some changes being suggested for your programs by others here.
    I have mentioned this here to others, might as well re-iterate to you from what my biggest issue is.(outside of scumware controversies) I have given up on BF and joining anymore programs except Tiger. Tiger has taken some pro-active steps in here that has made me stick with them at this present time. All my merchants links from BF have been weaned off my site. There is still the odd one showing up from cached pages. I have given up having to apply to a merchant, e mail them to tell them I want to put there links on another site, and then see if they ever get back to approve me. Most if not all the other programs I promote allow an easier way to add a new site and put links up. Same with a new e mail and URL address because of @home going belly up. Had to e mail all the merchants. There are certain times throuh the year where I don't have the time to devote to menial tasks that should be automatic through a profile page.
    Make an account page we can use that will cover us for all our sites, profiles etc etc and give us a reason to want to do more with BF. In the past six months I added a couple larger sites and needed I would estimate 30 more merchants. None of these were from BF. There are some good merchants and programs by the looks of things at BF, and will certainly re consider doing more with them if the changes are EVER done. Until such time as this may or may not happen I will continue to focus on other networks.

    WW

    It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
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    @#$%^

    [This message was edited by walleye warrior on September 06, 2002 at 01:47 PM.]

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    grr

    [This message was edited by walleye warrior on September 06, 2002 at 01:48 PM.]

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    problems
    ignore

    [This message was edited by walleye warrior on September 06, 2002 at 01:47 PM.]

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    quote:
    might as well re-iterate to you from what my biggest issue is.

    Thank you, please do.
    quote:
    Tiger has taken some pro-active steps in here that has made me stick with them at this present time.

    Kudos to Andy for making the effort to reach out to you guys.
    quote:

    Most if not all the other programs I promote allow an easier way to add a new site

    I know. Canfree mentioned this as well. We're working on this.
    quote:
    Same with a new e mail and URL address because of @home going belly up. Had to e mail all the merchants.

    We enabled you to change the URL earlier this year (Feb, if memory serves me correctly). I don't recall that the email address was impossible to change -- anyway, that you can change as well.
    quote:
    There are some good merchants and programs by the looks of things at BF, and will certainly re consider doing more with them if the changes are EVER done. Until such time as this may or may not happen I will continue to focus on other networks.

    Changes are and will happen and I hope you do reconsider.

    --scott

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    sjangro@befree.com

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    quote:
    might as well re-iterate to you from what my biggest issue is.

    Thank you, please do.
    quote:
    Tiger has taken some pro-active steps in here that has made me stick with them at this present time.

    Kudos to Andy for making the effort to reach out to you guys.
    quote:

    Most if not all the other programs I promote allow an easier way to add a new site

    I know. Canfree mentioned this as well. We're working on this.
    quote:
    Same with a new e mail and URL address because of @home going belly up. Had to e mail all the merchants.

    We enabled you to change the URL earlier this year (Feb, if memory serves me correctly). I don't recall that the email address was impossible to change -- anyway, that you can change as well.
    quote:
    There are some good merchants and programs by the looks of things at BF, and will certainly re consider doing more with them if the changes are EVER done. Until such time as this may or may not happen I will continue to focus on other networks.

    Changes will happen and I hope you do reconsider.

    --scott

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    sjangro@befree.com

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador
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    editing again,
    Having problems posting this sorry for duplicates, maybe a mod can wipe them out

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    LOL -nice come back: "It's amazing what 500 thirsty Gerbils can accomplish. But the secret is the cat." Linkshare has a dog ..no cats and their one Gerbil has been eaten by neither species.

    One thing BeFree could do to inform their merchants about bettering their programs and enhancing conversions to drive sales would be to feature an article there on TigerDirect. Also onvite one here a month Linklinkshare is doing to see about recruiting active affiliates.

    WebMaster Mike

    [Removed Image]

    [This message was edited by Haiko on September 06, 2002 at 09:31 PM.]

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    quote:
    Very Good Response Scott.
    Is there going to be any incentives to try to get merchants to go to $25 minimum?

    Canfree, honestly we focused strongly on getting timely payment out of our merchants when we rolled out acclaim. It did have a big impact and we got a lot of merchants to change to monthly payments from quarterly. And the raised awareness to the whole payment process went a long way. (though the work's not done.)

    I agree that completely that a lower payment threshold is generally better -- I see that it minimizes your risk of working with a new merchant.

    Can we impose a fixed minimum on all? I'm not sure about that. Though I'll be shopping the importance of a lower threshold around the company and let's see what we can do.

    --scott

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  24. #24
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Scott you need to follow up on your words with action...
    TigerDirect said they wired their August voucher payment on the 4th. BeFree said they want to act on all the suggestions Andy put forth along with Haiko on a conference call, including fast payment processing. The Befree reports on Saturday showed BeFree was in the payment processing mode...approved voucher..etc etc

    Now it's back to step one "awaiting payment" ..What's up with this?

    WebMaster Mike

  25. #25
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Ok,

    I did some checking and the wire didn't leave Tiger till Monday.....

    Our bad....I processed on Thursday, the accounting dept placed it in the "to do" list and it got overlooked until Monday.

    It was not on BF's court till they recieved it on Tuesday morning.

    I am changing the system here, I will personally walk it over to accounting starting this month going forward.

    You will still get it before the 15th.

    Andy Rodriguez,
    Online Advertising / Affiliate Marketing Manager

    TigerDirect.com
    P: (305) 415-2313
    E: andy.rodriguez@tigerdirect.com
    ICQ: 175010
    AIM: miamitigercub

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