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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Identifying true incentive sites vs parasites
    Any pointers on identifying what appears to be an incentive/loyalty site versus a parasite? I have been through the numerous threads reagading parasites which was truly helpful. I was able to identify some of the software applications used by parasites, and was able to reject a company whom I beleived to be using questionable practices. Is it as simple as going to the site and going through the process of signing up and testing it out? Though I suppose that is not really so simple.

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The word "incentive" from either BHO's or domains affiliates is an automatic red flag. Anything bad that can happen to a program comes from the "incentive" affilate base. You may quote me in any media on this observation.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager
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    And you are referring to sites who offer rebates to their customers, offer a way to receive cash for their charity, points for responding to offers, to name a few?

  4. #4
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    That's complete and total rubbish Mike.

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Can we argue the point here in public Ms. B? For starters: Once CJ required, in writing, permission from any merchant allowing any and all incent sites into their programs. Why?
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    Gee-I didn't mean to start this! Let me ask another way. I understand how the software downloads dupe the user-they don't know they are being redirected so to speak. Then, how does x company, for example, offer affiliate shopping to thier customer base, provide a portion of that $$$ to a school or charity, while not installing any software to change the links and steal the business from other affiliates via search or any other channel. Are there ways that these companies provide that sharing of commissions without the software that redirects? If so, then it is not parasitic?

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It's not easy to tell the difference. There are some red flags that might indicate that an affiliate is using BHO methods, but they won't catch everything. Ask in the Affiliate Manager's Forum. It's best that detection tips not be posted publicly.

    Have you really considered the results generated from loyalty sites? Although they typically demand higher commissions, there are several things that make them less desirable than normal affiliates:

    1) They bring a lot of repeat customers. Most merchants value new customers more.
    2) Even if they don't use BHO methods, you'll still have some of the same results. You might pay for a PPC click, then the customer will remember that they get cash back and will go through the loyalty site. You're doing the marketing. The loyalty site is getting the benefit.
    3) As a result of #2, other affiliates (and all your other marketing channels) will see worse results. This will make your program less desireable for other affiliates.
    4) Some affiliates (like Mike above) are far more sensitive to these types of relationships and will probably never promote your program if you work with loyalty sites.
    5) The loyalty you're building isn't to your site, but to the loyalty site.
    6) Many of the orders generated by loyalty sites would have been yours anyway.

    That's my take on it. Some may disagree (especially the loyalty sites).
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  8. #8
    Full Member David_NLC's Avatar
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    Hi Nancy and welcome

    PM Haiko to set you up with affiliate manager forum access and why not set up your sig so others can reach out to you...see who you represent.

    Incentive sites are required to "declare" they are Incentive Sites in their CJ applications. Then, you must determine if they utilize software or not. The bigger one's will list this, yet others will try to sneak through.

    You can work with some incentive sites on just a coupon basis, not software, yet I don't know of any merchant who will state this works well.

    You'll see Haiko's list on this site of the main players, but other's pop up all the time. That's why you should discuss with Haiko access to the public forum.

    Bottom line, there are lots of honest hardworking affiliates here. I suggest reaching out to them and enlisting their support while providing them with a fair and "clean program."
    Best,

    David Rogers
    Sr. Manager, E-Commerce
    New Line Cinema
    212 649-4900
    NewLineShop.com
    WBShop.com
    TheOCInsiderShop.com

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    Great feedback from you all. I will share it with our team and move forward!!

  10. #10
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    You can work with some incentive sites on just a coupon basis, not software, yet I don't know of any merchant who will state this works well.
    And don't forget very often these scumbags who say they will allow you to be coupon only will turn around and all of a sudden you are on their full program. Thus allowing them to steal from your regular affiliates. This has been done by the biggest so don't for one minute think it cannot happen.

    I've said before I'll say it again, once a thief always a thief.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager ProHealth's Avatar
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    I've gotten a number of folks that don't check the appropriate boxes when they registered so they don't come up as an incentive site. In the end, it's research -- spend an appropriate amount of time at an applicant's site and do your best to understand how that affiliate is going to make money... most the folks who apply to your program will barely generate an impression let alone a sale...
    Last edited by ProHealth; March 3rd, 2005 at 02:18 PM. Reason: edited for clarity...

  12. #12
    Full Member David_NLC's Avatar
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    Prohealth,

    If you come across that situation, report that in the account manager interface. CJ does not look favorably on those situations where the account "forgot" to check the "boxes."
    Best,

    David Rogers
    Sr. Manager, E-Commerce
    New Line Cinema
    212 649-4900
    NewLineShop.com
    WBShop.com
    TheOCInsiderShop.com

  13. #13
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Nancy,

    There are instances where you must register on a site to see any indication that a parasite is involved. There are also cases where the parasite associated is not seen at all on the web site and is distributed through other mechanisms. I've seen this one more than once. In some instances these have been connected with loyalty sites. In other cases, they were nonloyalty affiliate sites. The detection of parasites (or affiliates paying parasites to 'advertise' their link) definitely becomes more difficult when someone is taking measures to hide the fact they are using a parasite in their business. As Michael and David pointed out quite rightly, the detection methods in those instances is best discussed in the AM Only Forum. You can never be 100% sure someone hasn't slipped under the radar, but there are things you can do to actively protect your program.

    One thing to keep in mind is that while many of the parasites discussed here are loyalty based, there are many parasites out there which do not operate under loyalty model. And while there can be a debate regarding a 'pure' loyalty site as to what the true benefits to a Merchants overall business may be, loyalty/incent sites in and of themselves are not necessarily parasitic. The value debate of those sites does not involve parasitic behaviors. There are legitimate affiliate loyalty sites out there that can bring possible value to a Merchant....say FatWallet for example.

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