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  1. #1
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I have several hundreds of nice postcards with reproductions of famous artworks. They are in sets of 4. On the back there is a little reminder of my site with the slogan. These are premium postcards that can be mailed or framed.
    Here's the question:
    What if I put up an offer to my visitors to entice them to buy something, anything, say at least $10 worth of stuff and I send them a set of these postcards as a thank you gift?

    Is it kosher to ask them to send me a copy of their confirmation order from the merchant as proof (no credit card info of course) of purchase?
    I could post a privacy note about the offer.
    Is this a violation of affiliate agreements? Do merchants (Amazon, Art.com, various CJ, Linkshare, etc.) allow this kind of promotion? Any suggestion?

    I think that this would increase sales.

    Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Ercole

  2. #2
    Full Member
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    I'm not answering anything you asked because I don't know. Just suggesting you avoid the phrase "gift" - especially "free gift". I get a dozen spams a day telling me I've been selected for a "free gift" which turns out to be a "$39.95 camera" ($2.95 at Walmart) for only $9.95 shipping. I think you'll be associating yourself at least subconsciously with sleaze if you go that route.
    A better idea (okay, my idea so probably not better) would be to tell customers you'd like to acknowledge their order - then when they get the pack of four postcards it's a total surprise, and a pleasant one. Your cards become an "extra touch" instead of something they were expecting all along ("where the hell are my postcards?").
    Much more subtle, much more effective - you become an afterthought as well as a purchase point.
    As for the privacy statement, feel free to put up a link for that giving 65 pages of lawyerese if you want, not many will read it tho. I'd think a simple common sense statement like "Your address will be used ONLY for a one-time acknowledgement of your order, then deleted" would be a lot more effective.
    Bottom line, assuming you can get permission from your merchants to do it, don't even mention the cards - surprise the customers with them.
    Then again, anybody who takes advice from an idiot . . .

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    I think jaybat has it dead-on. Make it a suprise, and make sure you have your site prominently displayed on what the customer gets in the mail.

    I will give you my personal opinion about asking for info too. Simply don't do it. I just think it realy sounds fishy asking for that, when consumers already are holding their nose a little at buying online. Make it easy and comfortable for them. Even worse, the merchants may not like it, even if the say they do to begin with!

    Building loyalty is a challenge. Don't ever stop the fresh ideas, that will carry you just a little further than the next guy (gal).

    BTW - Welcome to ABW!

    Fred

  4. #4
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    I am confused about your replies.
    The surprise is a great idea but I don't think it is possible.
    Here's the problem: I need to get the snail mailing addresses of customers who have purchased items through my site from the merchants with which my site is affiliated.
    How do I know if they actually made a purchase unless I can get them to send me a proof of purchase (from the merchants)?
    The postcards are an incentive to make a purchase. They need to know about the offer in advance. Where's the surprise in that?
    The offer is literally free. I will pay for the postage.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Alright if your gonna do it....

    Tell the visitor you want to thank them for thier purchase, and that you will send them the cards as a thank you, and all they have to do is return to your site and provide the address info, and the order confirmation number from the merchant.

    You could make the link to the merchant open in a new window, at the same time changing your site's page (with the link on it) to an "address grabber" page with a form.

    By the way, I hate SPAM, so I would be very dissapointed if my advice (as miserable as it is) is used to somehow capture the visitor's address for later SPAM use. It would be a nifty way to get opt-in e-mail addresses.

    My two-cents here.......

    Fred

  6. #6
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    I don't know about the other networks but I believe CJ has a system in place that allows you to do this using Smart Rewards. CJU seems down right now so I couldn't find the info for you. Just do a search for SID in CJ University.

    {

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>from CJ SmartRewards FAQ:
    The SmartRewards program allows you to receive transaction reports with SID data. You can use this data to identify and reward or target individual users of the links on your site. Publishers may use SID tracking, for example, to provide their users with loyalty points, cash back incentives, charity donations or to track newsletter campaigns.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    {

  8. #8
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    Hi

    I don’t claim to know anything (disclaimer), but I have been told by someone trying to sell me software (disclaimer again) that if you use a form on your site and capture the visitor's IP address when they fill out the form that clickxchange shares the IPs with affiliates. Then you can go back to your records and match the IP of the client you are receiving commission on and the IP of your visitors who filled out forms on your site. (Which if you use MSAccess and sort by IP wouldn’t be too hard). I think in theory this would make a nice targeted mailing list of customers.

    Although from the research I did after being told this, you can use PHP to capture the IP on a UNIX server--I saw the code online somewhere (gratis), so no reason to buy software...if you want it let me know. (Not that I know much about PHP--disclaimer again)

    Again I don’t know from experience. If anyone knows if this is true...(clickxchange or other programs) I would love to know more.

    Good Luck

  9. #9
    Member Webperson's Avatar
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    I have a similar offer on my forum site with a $25 gift (these are cephalon sauce pans) for any order this month placed through my link for TigerDirect or Overstock.

    I purchased them at a steal and they only cost me pennies BUT, no takers....sigh.

  10. #10
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Hi all,
    thanks for your suggestions.
    However, I have read several "Affiliate Agreements" on Art.com, AllPosters.com, Amazon.com and Calendars.com and I found out that some of these may allow some kind of "reward/promotion".
    I sent an email for permission to them (except Amazon.com which clearly states it's a violation of contract, oh well!) and if they request it I will send them a copy of the page with such promotion, the rules and the privacy note which says that the information sent to me by the customer will be used solely for verification of the purchase and not for Spam or unsolicited mail of any kind. On that same page there will also be a note saying that the purchase must be made through a link from my site because of a special tracking code and cookies durations (many customers don't know anything about this stuff, so I think they should somehow know about it) and a way to support the site.

    I will keep you informed about their responses to my requests.

    Ciao.

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Hard to see where a gift reward can be introduced into an affiliate site. Merchants have no problem. I do have one merchant www.suspenders.com that sends a free no-slip clip and color brochure with each new account order. That so called gift has a residual. They get 1 sale per every 4 brochures sent out...not bad. They did make me change the FREE Clip and brochure text on several pages, since the SE's pick up on it, and the FREEBEE BBS forum posters start sending in junk traffic to their site.

    Your better off using those postcards to entice visitors to get a newsletter or e-mail spcials flyer with a form that includes their address info if they are interested. Show some photos of the cards on the page.

    [ 08-19-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  12. #12
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    Hi there ...Semi NewBie to ABW Signing On,

    From what I can tell, when you offer a product or service in exchange for your users to commit an action (ie, buy, sign up, etc..etc) on the merchant’s website it would be considered "incentive based marketing". The ultimate head honcho that uses this type of method is NetFlip I believe. Although, even they don’t allow you to use this type of marketing unless you get written permission from them ahead of time. I also believe about 90% percent of all merchants have policies against this type of marketing. The reason you might ask? Well, because it does not generate genuine, high quality customers. Simple as that.

    Hope this helps,
    Iskandar A
    QuestCommerce.com

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