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  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Top Ten Ways to Make Life Harder for Affiliates
    It seems like every single "enhancement" that Linkshare makes is a major setback for affiliate usability. The login security made it impossible to download our stats with a script. The consolidated payments caused six weeks or more of delays in getting paid. The verification system caused endless frustration, incorrect Paytos, incorrect addresses, and further delays. The datafeed upgrades made it more difficult to get to the datafeeds. The "beta" Synergy Analytics reporting (you have to worry about any project with that many buzzwords!) makes it take several times as long to get reports and shows less information than before. The list could go on.

    In light of Linkshare's history with "enhancements", I thought we should put together a list of other "enhancements" that Linkshare could make that would make our lives even harder.

    1) When creating links, force us to activate them individually like Performics.

    2) Modify the Member Id tracking so that it requires us to enter every single "Member Id" that we'll be using.

    3) Require all links to be Javascript includes so merchants can change the text and pages can load slower.

    4) Change the reporting to just show summary information.

    5) Automatically sign up affiliates to every new merchant.

    6) Charge affiliates a fee to get paid, like ClixGalore.com.

    7) Deduct money from inactive affiliate accounts, then deactivate them if they go negative, like CJ.

    8) Offer a bonus program where you reward people for the most creative deceptive practices.

    9) Work out a deal with parasites where you'll give them half of our commissions if they agree not to intercept our links.

    10) Modify the login security to require people to change their passwords daily, with a 12 character minimum, a log of their last 100 passwords (which can't be reused), and require at least three special characters and five numbers.

    Any other ideas? The Linkshare developers will be drooling when they see these ideas!
    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

  2. #2
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    11. Make us pay for datafeeds.

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    Ooh, I thought of one...

    Designate the CEO as the go-to-guy for affiliate problems!

    No wait, they already did that.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Yeah, I kept thinking of ones they already do, too. They must be running out of ideas. That's why we need this thread!
    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

  5. #5
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    Rule #0 is of course while doing all of the other things, provide NO added value to make jumping through all the hoops worthwhile.
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    Rule 1002: Update thier links without telling affiliates!

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    8) Offer a bonus program where you reward people for the most creative deceptive practices.
    They already did that! The Titanic Award. No wait. That was called the *Titanium* Award. Sorry...

    Others:

    11) Show commissions randomly. Pick one from a database covering the last month, then change the readout with every refresh.

    12) Make it so that any link that doesn't have its & nbsp's left in it will not track.

    13) Come up with a BETA AdSense-like algo for showing ads. Force everyone to use it. Always show irrelevant ads.

    14) Get bought out completely by some parasite company. Keep on running the old network, too. Then come on ABW and whine about the reception being "unprofessional."
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Don't forget Noxid's first response at ABW:

    Program your corporate email program so that when an affiliate emails you, it sends you an autoresponder with instructions on how to drop Linkshare

  9. #9
    http and a telephoto
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    Hey Billy, I think I sill set up an email address and change my linkshare mail to go to it, with an autoreponder telling all the merchants that are emailing, why I will be dropping them and Linkshare as soon as I track down all the links and remove them. That will be easier than trying to email them all individually, and will hit the ones that spam me the most first!
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    - Sign the affiliate agreement in person

    And then everything else i thought of - they have done. From hiring family, to making affiliates jump through a hoop, throw out that info, and make them jump again...

  11. #11
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    I think they need to force us to order some crazy expensive retina scanning hardware that we have to hookup to our computers to verify our idenities so we no longer have to login to their website. May be this is in the works?! Definately wouldn't surprise me. Of course we can't forget to launch it live to the masses in beta knowing that it doesn't work and the scanner makes you go blind.

  12. #12
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    Don't give them more ideas. They might just implement the new ones listed on this thread.

  13. #13
    Member jrb16915's Avatar
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    Hello,

    #11. Withhold payment from affiliates arbitrarily. Then tell them its for thier own good as it will help them become more resourceful in figuring out ways to pay thier bills.

    #12. Do "check runs". Inform the affiliates the checks have been run and let the affiliates assume they have also been mailed. Lurk on ABW to see how many days have passed before the affiliates realize "run" dates have no correlation to actually mailing the check. Run office pool to see who can guess how many days it will take before realization sets in.

    #13. Outsource your customer support department to an abestweb forum. Rely on affiliates who are totally guessing about what is going on to help each other. Occasionally inform the affiliates that thier rantings are wrong. Provide a different answer (not the correct one, just different) as a substitute for their rantings.

  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    See, it's harder than you think to come up with "enhancements" that they haven't already done. Linkshare is the most "enhanced" network out 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

  15. #15
    Member jrb16915's Avatar
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    Hello,

    I did miss out on the originality point. Another try.

    #11. Move link generation tool offline for security purposes. Require affiliates to us regular mail services to request links. Then use regular mail to send the html code for the link back to the affilate. Require the affiliates to provide a postage paid return envelope to get thier link code. Allow only one link per request.

    #12. Make all payments in the form of gift certificates to linkshare merchants. Require each affiliate to set up an ebates account in order to recieve the certificates. Tell the affiliates when they spend the gift certificates they will recieve 2% of the value of them in cash via the ebates moe money program.

    #13. Don't send the affiliates the gift certificates until the ebates account has been registered, verified and validated.

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    15. Institute a Charitable Donation program for all affiliates that forces every 5th merchant banner or DRM displayed to link to a TopMoxie BHO application.
    16. Level the playing field by making all LS merchants individual product links perform at the same time restraint level of Overstock and WalMart.
    17. Require all affiliate e-mail promotions be sent by an LS approved 3rd party to conform to the Can-Spam act. No one would fall for a LS e-mailing service, but any of the IAB/DMA list brokers and mailing services would suffice to assure delivery.
    18. Deduct 10.00 from every consolidated check as a garbage collection fee and Network PR spin campaign.
    19. Buy the Safe Haven Network model and then sit on it for 2 years to protect merchants from exposure to their sites actual conversion ratio and negating of all sales reporting problems.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  17. #17
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    MC...

    How long has your name been "Green"?... and congrats!!

    jrb...

    Outsource your customer support department to an abestweb forum. Rely on affiliates who are totally guessing about what is going on to help each other. Occasionally inform the affiliates that thier rantings are wrong. Provide a different answer (not the correct one, just different) as a substitute for their rantings.
    The most succinct, insightful synopsis I've read!

  18. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Those are some great ones!

    Billy: I've been green for a couple days.
    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

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    How does one become "green"? I'd like to be something other than pink once in a while.

    I used to be the ABW Official Bartender, but got let go, I guess.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Smile
    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    How does one become "green". I'd like to be something other than pink once in a while.
    Sounds like you have a Charlie complex.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  21. #21
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    How about requiring all affiliates to drive to the LS offices and pick up their commission checks in person - whenever you have a check coming.

    That wouldn't be to bad though.

    You would only have to go to the LS office only once or twice a year.

    Also - when we go to the office to pick up our check they should require us to have 20 different picture ID's to prove who we are and all of the IDs have to be notrized by three different lawers.

    Of course we will have to wait at their office until they can verify that they are really lawers before we can get the check.

  22. #22
    Member jrb16915's Avatar
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    Hello,

    If you set the threshold level high enough, you would never have to even go to the office at all.

    Regards,

  23. #23
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrb16915
    Hello,

    If you set the threshold level high enough, you would never have to even go to the office at all.

    Regards,
    With the luck I have had with LS merchants I could set my level and $2.00 and I would probably never have to go.

    You think there might be a tracking problem somewhere?

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    #36 - Tell affiliates you will gladly communicate updates with them via a moderated thread here at ABW then go out of town for two weeks.

    Oh, wait, that sounds somewhat familiar.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  25. #25
    Sinclair Oil Lurker Jones's Avatar
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    they could enhance their search function - remove the useless search form altogether. "search for a merchant"?

    Either there has been a high turnover in the IT department at Snare, or they have no IT department at all. Sounds like they should invest some money into qualified techies. It appears they have had some hasty planning sessions with a vision that was not thought out completely. In connecting the ankle bone they went pass all the bones inbetween and tried connecting to the collar bone. "The ankle bone to the collar bone" - nope. doesn't work.
    [B][COLOR=Red]I look forward to Google's demise[/COLOR][/B]
    Look who is suing Google - [URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google+gets+sued]click here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=google+gets+sued&FORM=MSNH&srch_type=0]here[/URL] and [URL=http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=google+gets+sued&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8]here[/URL]

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