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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Linkshare Problems, it's all worth it
    Hello all,

    I know that Linkshare has had their problems, but I went to the Synergy Analytics training yesterday, and came out blown away at what was presented. Steve Messer conducted the training, and also addressed many other issues that I brought up to him, and gave valid reasons why those decisions were made. He spent a lot of time going over how Linkshare protects Merchants in their network, and i can't tell you how many times he said "We are going to help affiliates by doing this" (It was at least 15 times).

    A good example of this is the affiliates that don't play by ethical rules. Linkshare has had their flubs with this (titanium comes to mind), but instead of trying to do a band aid job and sort through their millions of affiliate relationships, they are going to the root of the problem and preventing these shady affiliates from being able to redirect links in the first place.

    I know that part of the training yesterday was a "re" sales pitch, making sure we knew we were in the best network. But I think I am intelligent enough to sort through the BS and realize that there are a lot of good things happening. And I thought it appropriate to inform y'all of it.

  2. #2
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Michael
    Coming from you that means something thanks for sharing the info, It makes me feel better.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Thanks Vinny,

    I appreciate the support . I know that my above post is going to invite criticism, but I am willing to take it so that people know that LS isn't evil, and in fact, are doing things to help all affiliates. I say "all" because that issue was brought up a lot. There is a perception that LS only helps the big players. That's not what was said yesterday. There was a lot of discussion on how we can help the smaller affiliates grow.

  4. #4
    15 years and counting
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    Steve Messer conducted the training
    He should be the one attending some kind of training to learn how to run a network and communicate with affiliates.
    I'm sorry but all these years, and I'm talking 8 or 9 years, I've never seen anything done to help the affiliates.
    Each time they are doing something like direct deposit, we have to wait 6 years and give up major fonctionnalities
    They know how to organize great parties, it's a fact, they work hard to manipulate the medias, OK, but to run a network, no, sorry.

  5. #5
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    Ask some Overstock.com affiliates if it's all worth it. They might have a different opinion. :-)
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  6. #6
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    Well, it took them awhile to catch up with the other networks but consolidated payments, direct deposit, booting the likes of 180, WhenU, they're going in the right direction. Will have to wait and see how smoothly this goes. I know the consolidating the accounts part doesn't work.

  7. #7
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    Yes, I appreciate Messer coming up with the analytics to protect us humble affiliates from getting screwed....But is all this in our best interest or Linkshare's...maybe to protect themselves?

    Regardless Linkshare has been extremely good to me, but at the same time, I have been very good to linkshare.

    You are right about the smaller affiliates....LinkShare needs them, they all add up baby
    !

    I still like the individual checks...getting lots of them makes me feel important

    Whatever its all the same

    M

  8. #8
    15 years and counting
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    I had a new look at Synergy Analytics. I spent a few hours to check my data. Did I learn something new? no. Does it solve my problems? no. Is it a pain in the butt to use? yes. Are the graphics pretty? yes. Do I need it? no.
    By the way, did you learn how I can check my March earning? How do I know which merchants are late paying? How much I'm owned? Why is the Payment Report gone?

    Regarding parasites and ethical rules, don't forget S. Messer was one of these greedy people to introduce scumware in affiliate marketing. Don't you remember how proud he was of his "technology affiliates", how much he pushed them to the merchants and what he did to reward them?

    I had a talk today with one of my merchants at LinkShare. They were badly hurt during Christmas time by bad affiliates. Do you think they appreciate LS "sale pitches"?

    LS is changing because we, affiliates and merchants, I mean the honest ones, are keeping the pressure on them. Did they anticipate anything? no.

    They may be on the right track. "Will have to wait and see how smoothly this goes." as Trust said.

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Hey Zeus,

    I agree that Synergy Analytics is very clunky. It takes a lot of screens to get to a report. But remember that this is the first version. There second and third versions will be much easier to navigate, and will have all the reporting you need.

    I agree that a lot of these changes (kicking out 180 and such) is due to pressure coming from this board, but don't you think that if he wanted to keep them in, he would just continue the status quo and try to police affiliates one by one? Instead, linkshare is implementing technology and laws to prevent them from doing the things we hate, which is much more effective.

    This will almost definitely not go smoothly. Progress usually doesn't. I am just looking past the temporary bumps in the road and looking at what this will bring to us as merchants and affiliates.

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The slowness of re-structuring Linkshare, from being a clone of Double-Click with a sales reporting hook into a Clone of the 2nd birth of CJ will come up short of expectations. Their Network/merchant relationships, developed and honed over the years, is premised upon the Advertising mindset rules of engagement. Mass traffic, with NO control over the mass traffic generators or quality of that traffic. The LS major merchant game was to develop diversion tactics and ignor the importance or hide their piss poor conversion ratios. Simple way to do this was to hire experts sympathetic with the game ...the LS professional AM firm... to manage their programs. For years the merchants, with notible exceptions, have lived large on un-reported sales and delayed payments.

    Thus the snail pace move to actually move into a consolidated payments and the spin for hiding real conversion ratios of the domain bound legit affiliate verses the BHO and cookie stuffing and "incent" commission sharks. Amazing that the PR move to consolidate payments comes when the earnings level of legit value-add affiliates is at a all time low. Their no longer is any incentive to put up real shopper friendly sites by those not able to budget/staff a site like Bizrate, Nextag, or pay for PPCSE to compete with the SE spammers using Coupon+Keyword.

    Hope it all goes well as combining all the commission crumbs makes sense if the contextual BHO's and coupon attact dogs will have a motivated shopper base to hijack at the point of sale. As S Messer, Paul Nichols and the Top Moxie elite light up a Cuban Cigar and toast with a expensive wine, this move to appease the worker bees, I'm looking at the PR move even Fidel Castro made today.....


    HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Fidel Castro announced on Thursday the minimum wage would be more than doubled to 225 pesos ($10) a month from 100 pesos ($4.50), effective on May 1. The raise will benefit 1.6 million Cubans who earn the lowest salaries in Communist Cuba, including farm laborers, plumbers, carpenters, bakers and undertakers.

    Castro made the announcement in the latest of his three-hour speeches addressing economic problems endured by Cubans since the collapse of the Soviet Union plunged Cuba into deep crisis. It was the eighth speech in 10 days broadcast live to the nation.

    "The increase will raise the minimum salary from 100 pesos to 225 pesos," the Cuban leader said. Castro said this would raise the average monthly wage in Cuba to 312 pesos ($14.20) from 282 pesos ($12.80) at a cost to the government of $48.4 million.

    When the consolidate LS check finally comes in the mail the appearance of new found wealth will sooth the masses. Problem still remains, that after removing the top 100 LS earning affiliates, the real merchant promo worker bees will be left with Cuban wages.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  11. #11
    15 years and counting
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    LS started a thread on Synergy Analytics.
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...ergy+Analytics

    Overall, it was well accepted and the comments on the positive side. Are they answering the questions? no. Are they keeping us updated? no. So, it was just another spin like we're used to get from M. Messer.

    To perform in a competitive environment we need the right tools. Synergy Analytics is just in beta and need a lot of work. As this point, it can't replace the few reports we have.

    I'm glad they are working on positive changes and I appreciate your feedback. I'll be happy the day I'll be able to forget my past experience with them.

  12. #12
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    Maybe I can sell cohiba's on the side?

  13. #13
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    I must be in the minority here, but I'm not getting all stressed over this. Granted, I have only been an affiliate with Linkshare for a year and a half or so, but I have never had any lengthy problems with them. When an 'oopsy' has happened, they fixed it right away. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones, I don't know. I just really can't relate to all this negative trash talk about the network. Sorry.

    As for Analytics, I find it annoying, but know it will work out in the end. My husband creates these types of applications for an international investment bank, and they always have tons of bugs and breakdowns for quite a few months before everything falls into place and works smoothly. We're talking about something that has been in beta, so of course it's screwy. If you want to help fix it, then tell LS what problems you see in the thread mentioned above, and stop complaining to anyone who'll listen. You can't effect change by complaining to someone who has nothing to do with the problem in the first place.

    That's just my two cents.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    M_Diddy Said:

    "Yes, I appreciate Messer coming up with the analytics to protect us humble affiliates from getting screwed....But is all this in our best interest or Linkshare's...maybe to protect themselves?"

    My reply: I think a lot of what linkshare does is to protect themselves.

    M_Diddy said: "Maybe I can sell cohiba's on the side?"

    My reply: I didn't know what a cohiba was, after I googled it, I couldn't stop laughing. Thanks for the morning chuckle .

    Zeus said: "Are they answering the questions? no. Are they keeping us updated? no."

    My reply: I agree 100%. One of my biggest complaints with them is their lack of communication.

    Ecomcity said:

    "When the consolidate LS check finally comes in the mail the appearance of new found wealth will sooth the masses. Problem still remains, that after removing the top 100 LS earning affiliates, the real merchant promo worker bees will be left with Cuban wages."

    My Reply: Mike, first, I have to say. I am always a big fan of your posts, and they almost always leave me speechless. I can't wait until you can see the changes in effect (and working), you might even have to say they've done well .

    lstolze: A lot of us have been around linkshare for a long time. I personally have been an affiliate or an AM for I think 7 years now. LS has made some mistakes, and I think our biggest gripe is when they don't own up to them and just say "sorry, we screwed up, we'll fix it". Hence the word "spin" is forever synonymous with Linkshare. Which is sad really, because I personally believe they have the best tracking solution, and that is the foundation of this industry.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    I will reserve my comments for a future time....

    "when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade"
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I will reserve my comments for a future time....
    Not me... I'll say 'em now:

    Regardless of what Mr. Messer thinks his company will be like in the future, RIGHT NOW

    1. Can't log in to make links which means Linkshare can't do their job

    2. Unless Linkshare can tell me how much I'll be paid for March - which they can't - they are not doing their job.

    3. Unless Linkshare can tell me WHEN I'm getting paid - other then "our target date is somewhere in May" - then they are not doing their job.

    The above 3 things are the basic, bare bones minimum requirements for an affiliate network - and Linkshare can't do any of them.

  17. #17
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I'm pretty skeptical, too.

    At one time, Linkshare was the best. Over the years, other networks have seen tremendous improvements and Linkshare's "improvements" have almost all been setbacks. Those who run Linkshare have a tremendous grasp of marketing, but a fundamental lack of understanding of affiliates. There's a major disconnect with their affiliates and a lack of credibility. They're an albatross of a company--big, awkward, and slow to adapt to change.

    There are signs that things may be starting to change, but many of us will need to see the actual change before we are convinced. Can Linkshare become a phoenix and rise from the ashes? I sure hope so. I have several good merchants there.
    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

  18. #18
    Newbie at tooting my own horn M_Diddy's Avatar
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    Ok I am going to Universal Studio's to the back to the future ride.....

    I am gonna go back in time 3 weeks before any of this analytic's crap was the norm so I can see my friggin March payment report.

    Then I am gonna go to the ground hog day ride so every morning when I wake up, nothing has changed.....

    I can log into linkshare
    I dont have to press 100's of click throughs to see what is going on
    I get my fat stacks of checks
    and best of all...It all stays the same

    I hate change

    Diddy

  19. #19
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    The crux of LS's communication problem is that there doesn't seem to be any communication between the people who answer the phone (affiliate support) and those who take the decision. For example I called affiliate support two days ago inquiring as to when we would be able to see ou March payment reports and whether we needed to do sign up for consolidated payment or whether all affiliates are signed up automatically. All I got as a response was a load of nothing simply indicating that the person who answered the phone did not have any useful info. Conclusion: LS affiliate support is redundant; one can get better answers on this board from the LS staff members who post here.

    As for synergy analytics I think that it is really slow and hard to use, but I can get used to it provided I can find all the info that I'm looking for. At this time I am really stressed out about the fact that LS might screw up the March 05 payment as a result of all the changes.

    As for all the theoretical improvements that LS is talking about, I suppose we will have to wait and see, but I sure hope that they continue to use the word "affiliate" and not replace it by a stupid word like "publisher"


    marcelle

  20. #20
    Member SALocalcom's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=EasyClickTravel]Hello all,

    I know that Linkshare has had their problems, but I went to the Synergy Analytics training yesterday, and came out blown away at what was presented. Steve Messer conducted the training, and also addressed many other issues that I brought up to him, and gave valid reasons why those decisions were made. He spent a lot of time going over how Linkshare protects Merchants in their network,QUOTE]


    I don't think LS is evil, but I do think Steve Messer is a good salesman and it sounds like he sold his bill of goods to you quite well (no offense), but actions speek louder than words, and I'm looking at what's been going on over the last year or more.

  21. #21
    Member SALocalcom's Avatar
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    Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by lstolze
    If you want to help fix it, then tell LS what problems you see in the thread mentioned above, and stop complaining to anyone who'll listen. You can't effect change by complaining to someone who has nothing to do with the problem in the first place.

    That's just my two cents.
    Well you're posting here...see, everybody needs an outlet, but apparently LS isn't listening too closely, or at the very least, they are very slow to respond.

  22. #22
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    My reason for posting was that I was interested in what Michael had to say, and it seems everyone then took the opportunity to tell him (although 'nicely') that he was being gullible and 'sold' on LS's BS. Anyone here that doesn't realize corporate America, and especially any segment of sales, is 70% BS and 30% truth shouldn't be an affiliate. Our job is to sift through the BS, complain to those in charge, and boycott the Network if it's really that painful for us to deal with.

    I'm sure everyone here has good reason to be ticked at LS. All I'm saying is you don't have to create 10 new threads a day on how crappy LS is, and you don't have to ***** at everyone that tries to see the situation in a positive light.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  23. #23
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    Thanks lstolze,

    I do know that some of it could have been propoganda, that's why I said in my original post:

    "I know that part of the training yesterday was a "re" sales pitch"

    And I have been mistaken as naive for my positive attitude, but I understand what I have to understand very well.

    I don't mind the negative replies, that's the best thing about this board, the honesty (there I go being positive again). Some posters don't mean to, but they cross the line from "realist" to "negative". Negative, to me, doesn't get you anywhere (some would argue neither does postive, but I like being happy )

    Thanks for being "half glass full" with me .

  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by SALocalcom
    I don't think LS is evil, but I do think Steve Messer is a good salesman and it sounds like he sold his bill of goods to you quite well (no offense), but actions speek louder than words, and I'm looking at what's been going on over the last year or more.
    Hey Salocalcom,

    Thanks for posting.

    Mr. Messer was a very good salesperson. I took everything he said with a grain a salt, but he "sold" me on logic. Things they do have a reason, they just do a piss poor job of letting everyone else know what those reasons are.

    I wish some of the other companies that attended the training were active on this board so that they could share their take, maybe it was different then mine.
    Last edited by Michael Nunez; April 22nd, 2005 at 03:04 PM. Reason: grammatical error

  25. #25
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Linkshare Problems, it's all worth it


    No

    Not, yet.

    Maybe in the future but, for now...... NFW

    Even when I use to work for a boss....... long time ago...... and I was making $20.00 an hr.

    There was the time when I had to say to my ex-boss......

    Take this job and shove it, I ain't workin' here no more.

    So here I am now, no boss, no bs and no more waiting for false promises from no one, it's true what some say........ money talks and BS walks......

    If today I was forced to chose only one Network, I will chose Shareasale, as the only one Network that I can trust... (as of today)

    Sal.

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