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  1. #1
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    In an email I sent to a merchant, I copied that merchant's point person at BeFree. Among several items I want answers to due to a very low conversion, I asked this merchant why they have zero return days and pointed out that a primary competitor of theirs (a Linkshare merchant) has a 30 day cookie. I have not received a response from the merchant, but I did receive a response from BeFree, as follows:
    quote:
    In regards to return days, we realize that it is an important feature for partners, however at this time we are unable to support it through the [REMOVED] associate program. We will let all of our affiliates know if our status changes on this issue.
    This is a real eye opener for me. BeFree is saying they cannot support standard affiliate technology for certain merchants. Why is this? And the bigger issue to me is that affiliates are made to assume that cookie decisions belong to the merchant. This is the first I've heard that it is a BeFree issue. What gives here?

    This is an issue that all affiliates should have a full understanding of. That's why I'm posting it here for discussion.

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Very strange as cookies turned on is required by all shopping cart programs so setting a cookie is very simple. Does this ZERO cookie day merchant just offer lead signup fees?

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Mike, is it a personal goal to post in EVERY thread? Haiko should start charging you hosting fees.

    Of course we support standard affiliate technology as return days and repeat orders.

    We also support advanced features such as order and shipment tracking and crediting only qualified leads so merchants like eBay in our program don't have to reverse out the majority of their registrations.

    Be Free has a variety of sales tracking options for merchants. Some do their own tracking and report sales to us in batch while others use conversion tag technology and sales get reported to us during checkout time.

    In the latter case, we're doing all the tracking with a Be Free cookie. Here, the return day tracking is done by Be Free.

    In the former case, tracking, including return days, is done by the merchant with their own cookie.

    In any case, and with all providers, number of return days supported is in the control of the merchant.

    Some merchants who do their own tracking don't have a cookie available to them to track return days without doing some significant work. It looks like they may be considering it.

    We always push return days on merchants. We default to 60 days for new merchants whe we're doing the tracking and they have to request that be changed against our advisement (but the decision is theirs).

    I hope that explains it. The return-day sky is not falling!

    --scott

    --
    scott@befree.com

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Now see Scott how there's a method to my madness. You took the time to completely address the cookie setting issue. The part you didn't answer is this merchant the EXCEPTION to the rule because they are a lead paying merchant. Some middlemen posing as merchants just throw up a HTML form and have NO SHOPPING CART on their sites and use affiliates as dupes for traffic, spamm, and privacy information gathering resources.

    Is this the type of BeFree merchant who would have only credit given during a click session. I'd think BF would require this type merchant to use the BF cookie setting routine to eliminate them from cheating affiliates.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  5. #5
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    I did not say that this merchant doesn't have a cookie. I said they offer no return days. They only have a session cookie.

    Scott, my understanding from your post is that this was a merchant decision. The information I received from BeFree and quoted above suggests that BeFree cannot support a return cookie for this merchant.

    This needs to be clarified.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    >> Now see Scott how there's a method to my madness. <<

    That's what all "mad" people say.

    Mike, sorry, I didn't realize I wasn't answering you. There's really no exception here.

    There's not a shopping cart in all cases, but there is a conversion event. Lead based customers can use the conversion tag method if the conversion event is real time. We'd prefer that they do that.

    Others must use the batch model since some qualification has to happen on the back end with no end-user browser interaction (required to trigger a conversion tag), like a loan approval.

    --scott

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    scott@befree.com

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Yes, the number of return days is a decision that the merchant must make. There are no cases where "Be Free cannot support return days". It's a matter of implementing them into the tracking solution that best suits the merchant.

    If a merchant is doing their own tracking and doesn't have the resources on their end to implement return days tracking, that's the same as a decision to offer zero return days.

    I appreciate that you're not disclosing specifics about a merchant, but without more context, I cannot explain the quoted text. Though it sounds like the merchant does their own tracking and for whatever reason can't or won't implement a return-day-tracking cookie on their site.

    --
    scott@befree.com

  8. #8
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    you must be talking about staples (0) return day and office depot (30) return days.

  9. #9
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    Nope

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