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  1. #1
    Member
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    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    69
    Angry AMs, Coupon Site Fed Up! Seeking Better Merchants.
    I opened a non-parasitic coupon site in November 2004. Profits weren't that important to me, but I wanted to get the best offers out there for my friends and family as well as the general public.

    I just received another GREAT offer in an e-mail newsletter, $15 OFF a purchase of $75, expiring 3/17/05. Rushed over to Linkshare to get the creative. NO CREATIVE.

    By the time I write to the AM, wait for a response (up to two weeks typically, if any response at all), the offer will be expired.

    I'm FED UP with terms that state "Your relationship with us will be terminated if you post any coupons or offers not available through our affiliate program." What coupons? What offers? Bottom of the barrel offers that don't hold a candle to your e-mail offers?

    For example.

    Unnamed Gift Store - Offered FREE SHIPPING no minimum throughout the holidays last year - if the consumer clicked on their e-mail. Did not offer equal creatives for the Affiliate. (Except one so brief and with such messed up creatives that it was impossible to run the campaign.)

    Unnamed Bargain Store - not so smart. Offers FREE SHIPPING, no minimum all the time in their Bargain e-mails - but never a creative like this for the affiliate. The topper is the maddening pop-up practically demanding visitors register for their newsletter. Yes, you must click their newsletter for the free shipping.

    This is just a teeny, tiny sampling. Almost all of the Merchants are switching to terms that make it IMPOSSIBLE to get a good, EXISTING public offer out to the consumer.

    If you are an AM that thinks that's the WRONG way to go, please let me know who you represent. I want to deal with companies that HELP not HINDER my ability to sell.

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Mansfield, TX
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    16,232
    This will open up a hornet's nest, but...

    As a coupon site, I would rather work with a parasite-infested merchant who makes great coupons and promotions available to me than with a parasite-free merchant who restricts me from promoting any of their best offers. (Of course a parasite-free merchant who makes great coupons and promotions available is even better!)

    Years ago, I had one merchant that was even more outlandish. They gave me a $10 off $25 coupon, and that coupon was how they tracked sales. I would get credit for any sale with that coupon. I did great with them. Until they put a $15 off $20 coupon on their home page.

    The affiliate channel is by far the most cost-effective channel for most companies. It's ridiculous when they don't allow affiliates access to comparable coupons and promotions as they use in other channels.

    I can understand if they want to restrict access to coupon VISA10 so they can track the effectiveness of their advertising through Visa, but if they do that they should make AFF10 available to affiliates. I can understand if they want to restrict access to CUSTSERV50 or other special use coupons. But to give affiliates nothing to work with and a piddly commission, they're not going to see results.
    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

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Nunya, Business
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    23,684
    A good program should realize that there are segments of shoppers out there that will only shop thru a coupon site or deal site, only shop clearance sections, only shop when there is a sale etc. And if a merchant offers coupons elsewhere, they should hook up their affiliates with something.

    shelbyprincess, a lot of merchants will let you use coupons you get in newsletters, just email them and ask if it's allowed. I also look to see if a merchant has a coupon box at checkout and email them if they don't have any coupons available in the creative. You'll be amazed at how many will get you one. It's another way to separate from the competition since most won't take the time to fire off an email and just ask.

  4. #4
    Full Member amanda_mytights's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    London/LA
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    247
    Thumbs up Coupons - No Expiry!
    Shelbyprincess,

    We would love for your to promote our special offers and coupons.

    We offer a huge range of discounts and coupons-
    (All Creative and Text Links linking customers to all our specialty landing pages is available for you to upload on CJ)

    -SPECIAL MONTHLY 10% DISCOUNT ITEM - Exclusive to Affiliates -
    A different hot item is discounted every month -
    (Even better for you the creative is all updated by myself each month so once you put up one creative I will update it on the first of every month with the new creative for the hot product of that month, so less work for you!)

    -FREE SHIPPING
    -$5 Coupon
    -$10 Coupon
    -$15 Coupon
    -$20 Coupon
    (minimum order value)

    Once you take a look at the sizes of creative I have available for all of the above coupons, please let me know if you need any other sizes or layout. I will be happy to work on specifics for you!

    Amanda Hayes
    www.MyTights.com
    Amanda@MyTights.com

    Dress your customers’ legs at MyTights.com and begin earning:10-15% Commission, 60-Day Cookie, coupons, promotions, free datafeeds, and much more with MyTights.com!
    Last edited by amanda_mytights; March 16th, 2005 at 05:59 AM. Reason: Adding Signature

  5. #5
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    9,944
    SAS has a link where you can download all the current coupons from all their merchants as often as you want or need.

    You probably knew that, but just in case you didn't, thought I would mention it.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    69
    Thank you!
    Quote Originally Posted by amanda_mytights
    Shelbyprincess,

    We would love for your to promote our special offers and coupons.

    We offer a huge range of discounts and coupons-
    (All Creative and Text Links linking customers to all our specialty landing pages is available for you to upload on CJ)

    -SPECIAL MONTHLY 10% DISCOUNT ITEM - Exclusive to Affiliates -
    A different hot item is discounted every month -
    (Even better for you the creative is all updated by myself each month so once you put up one creative I will update it on the first of every month with the new creative for the hot product of that month, so less work for you!)

    -FREE SHIPPING
    -$5 Coupon
    -$10 Coupon
    -$15 Coupon
    -$20 Coupon
    (minimum order value)

    Once you take a look at the sizes of creative I have available for all of the above coupons, please let me know if you need any other sizes or layout. I will be happy to work on specifics for you!

    Amanda Hayes
    www.MyTights.com
    Amanda@MyTights.com

    Dress your customers’ legs at MyTights.com and begin earning:10-15% Commission, 60-Day Cookie, coupons, promotions, free datafeeds, and much more with MyTights.com!
    Joining MyTights.com is now on my To Do List.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    69
    Cool Thank you for the response
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    This will open up a hornet's nest, but...

    As a coupon site, I would rather work with a parasite-infested merchant who makes great coupons and promotions available to me than with a parasite-free merchant who restricts me from promoting any of their best offers. (Of course a parasite-free merchant who makes great coupons and promotions available is even better!)

    Years ago, I had one merchant that was even more outlandish. They gave me a $10 off $25 coupon, and that coupon was how they tracked sales. I would get credit for any sale with that coupon. I did great with them. Until they put a $15 off $20 coupon on their home page.

    The affiliate channel is by far the most cost-effective channel for most companies. It's ridiculous when they don't allow affiliates access to comparable coupons and promotions as they use in other channels.

    I can understand if they want to restrict access to coupon VISA10 so they can track the effectiveness of their advertising through Visa, but if they do that they should make AFF10 available to affiliates. I can understand if they want to restrict access to CUSTSERV50 or other special use coupons. But to give affiliates nothing to work with and a piddly commission, they're not going to see results.
    When I said parasite-free, unfortunately, I did not mean that I am so wonderful as to not accept partnership with those Merchants on eBates, Upromise, etc., but - I did completely stop promoting eBates, etc. - and do not use any sort of parasitic methods on my site.

    However, I was so hot under the collar that I started completely re-thinking my approach. If those particular Merchants don't want to give affiliates the same pull as their newsletters, public coupons, etc., to heck with them.

    I'm coming up with a new business outline that won't be dependent on them. I can't share the details here, but I predict a big change for my site in April.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    69
    Red face
    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    A good program should realize that there are segments of shoppers out there that will only shop thru a coupon site or deal site, only shop clearance sections, only shop when there is a sale etc. And if a merchant offers coupons elsewhere, they should hook up their affiliates with something.

    shelbyprincess, a lot of merchants will let you use coupons you get in newsletters, just email them and ask if it's allowed. I also look to see if a merchant has a coupon box at checkout and email them if they don't have any coupons available in the creative. You'll be amazed at how many will get you one. It's another way to separate from the competition since most won't take the time to fire off an email and just ask.
    You know, it's funny you should say that. The AM I wrote about in my Original Post responded PROMPTLY with the exact same code PLUS a personalized creative for me! I was so suprised - as in general I have not been getting prompt, positive responses from AMs. I sent her a thank you e-mail.

    Thank you for the great tip. The particular merchants that get under my skin are those who specifically state in their terms - "you may not use any offers outside the creatives we give you." And, unfortunately, more and more Merchants are sending me notices with changes to terms -- not only about Keyword Bidding (no biggie) -- but also that the use of codes that they do not give us will result in my termination.

    However, I will try your tips. Maybe I'll be pleasantly suprised again! I never thought of contacting a company for a creative just for me.

  9. #9
    Full Member amanda_mytights's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    London/LA
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    Shelbyprincess -

    I have to admit that when someone contacts me directly it is a highlight in my day and I personally really like communication from my affiliates. I'm sure there are tons of Affiliate Managers that feel the same way.

    So if you even have any problems always go to them first and see if they are willing to do what you want, I think more than likely if they have an affiliate that is motivated to promote them they will do whatever it takes to help them do that!

    All the best,
    Amanda

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    11,273
    SAS has a link where you can download all the current coupons from all their merchants as often as you want or need.
    Yup SAS system is very cool and not getting a enough use from what I can see!!!!

  11. #11
    Newbie
    Join Date
    March 30th, 2005
    Posts
    16
    can someone explain what SAS is?
    Thanks!

  12. #12
    15 years and counting
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    6,121

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager Oasis's Avatar
    Join Date
    February 17th, 2005
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    133
    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyprincess
    I opened a non-parasitic coupon site in November 2004. Profits weren't that important to me, but I wanted to get the best offers out there for my friends and family as well as the general public.

    I just received another GREAT offer in an e-mail newsletter, $15 OFF a purchase of $75, expiring 3/17/05. Rushed over to Linkshare to get the creative. NO CREATIVE.

    By the time I write to the AM, wait for a response (up to two weeks typically, if any response at all), the offer will be expired.

    I'm FED UP with terms that state "Your relationship with us will be terminated if you post any coupons or offers not available through our affiliate program." What coupons? What offers? Bottom of the barrel offers that don't hold a candle to your e-mail offers?

    For example.

    Unnamed Gift Store - Offered FREE SHIPPING no minimum throughout the holidays last year - if the consumer clicked on their e-mail. Did not offer equal creatives for the Affiliate. (Except one so brief and with such messed up creatives that it was impossible to run the campaign.)

    Unnamed Bargain Store - not so smart. Offers FREE SHIPPING, no minimum all the time in their Bargain e-mails - but never a creative like this for the affiliate. The topper is the maddening pop-up practically demanding visitors register for their newsletter. Yes, you must click their newsletter for the free shipping.

    This is just a teeny, tiny sampling. Almost all of the Merchants are switching to terms that make it IMPOSSIBLE to get a good, EXISTING public offer out to the consumer.

    If you are an AM that thinks that's the WRONG way to go, please let me know who you represent. I want to deal with companies that HELP not HINDER my ability to sell.
    Amanda,
    Please check out KidStuffInABox affiliate program. We carry a large selection of kid recliners, cubby storage, indoor playhouses and kid kitchen products.

    We recently started promoting our products through discount coupons and we currently have two active promotions available to our affiliates. The coupons can be downloaded from SAS interface. Let me know if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to walk you through our program.

    Thanks.

  14. #14
    Full Member amanda_mytights's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    London/LA
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    247
    Oasis,

    Thanks, but I am an Affiliate Manager. I'm sure that the others will be able to take part in your program.

    All the best,
    Amanda
    MyTights.com

  15. #15
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    April 19th, 2005
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    546
    What kind of merchants does share a sale represent...and how much money can you make promoting their merchants?

    And do you get paid promptly?

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