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  1. #1
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    Do any AM's ever tell you why you're declined?
    Since I'm new at this, it would be nice to know the reason for being declined.

    It would help me determine what I need to change if they didn't like something about my site.

    Maybe I just didn't fit their "model Affiliate", wrong type of visitors, ect. Knowing that might help me determine which programs to stay away from. I don't want to waste their time anymore than I want to waste my time.

    Maybe I'm just too new and they don't think I have enough traffic. Who knows, little things like this drive me crazy.

    Do any of them even send an email telling you that you've been declined? Do any of you ever send an email to ask why if they don't tell you?

    Thanks,
    Suzie
    (Who's wanting to think about more important stuff but just can't get my mind off of this!)

  2. #2
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    which network was it ?
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  3. #3
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    This time it was a magazine program at Shareasale. Had a couple of other programs awhile back.
    Last edited by suzie250; July 17th, 2005 at 11:14 AM. Reason: added more info

  4. #4
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    are you registered at shareasale ?.
    were you declined by the program or shareasale .
    if it was shareasale then send brian an email, he will tell you.
    if it was the merchant, then i dont know. sorry.
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  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager PaulS's Avatar
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    If it's a program you really want to be part of, then it's worth dropping a line to the merchant to ask why.

    I recently declined someone because it looked like they were a BHO, but it turns out I might have been wrong.

    They could have misread something (and therefore it would be helpful to make the adjustment) or they could simply be keeping a very narrow focus regarding the types of sites they allow.

    HTH

    Paul

  6. #6
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm registered at Shareasale.

    This last decline - they only had one single product that I was after so it's not really that big of a deal.

    Is it standard practice for the merchant to not send an email explaining why? (Is this what I should expect for the majority?)

  7. #7
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    Is it standard practice for the merchant to not send an email explaining why? (Is this what I should expect for the majority?)
    i dont know. someone will come along and answer soon though.
    as paul says, if you want it that bad contact the merchant.
    if its no big deal, just move onto the next one.
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  8. #8
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    I decline about 10 applications per day at CJ for the following reason or
    reasons.

    No domain shown
    No category shown
    No Email address to use to try to guess the domain
    In short, there is nothing for me to go on.

    Some do give their site info and it just amazes me how many banner farms are
    out there.
    Kayak / lingerie sites also...

    I get about one internal mail a month from an applicant asking why.
    I immediately reply and never hear back from him/her.

    That being said, let's not forget the many hundreds of professional partners
    there are and thank them for the courtesy of supplying us AM's with the
    information we need.

  9. #9
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    Being rejected
    LinkShare merchants, especially, seem to use a generic message that doesn't help me understand why I'm being rejected, but in fairness any time I am rejected I am confused.

    When there is something that looks like a clear reason, it usually is something like, "Your site content does not match our affiliation objectives." That's a fair response -- though I assume they don't realize that I am developing sites for specific merchant categories, but I won't develop a site or even an incubator until I am actually in a merchant program.

    Thus, when I first applied to a series of affiliate programs related to scrapbooking, I had no sites that seemed related, but after some testing, I have concluded that there is an opportunity and I have created a separate scrapbooking domain and am creating original content at that site aimed at drawing interested consumers so I can then begin driving traffic to merchants.

    Of course, my situation is somewhat unusual, and I don't blame merchants for rejecting my site when they don't know if I'll follow through. Indeed, I usually don't know if I'll follow through, since I generally start by testing a collection of links with some nominal content, and then follow through with the work to create a genuine separate content site only if I perceive that there is an opportunity worth the effort.

    This is one of those "chicken and egg" problems -- I won't create the related-content site without being accepted into the merchant program, and the merchants often won't accept me as an affiliate unless I have already created the related-content site.

    Life is interesting.

  10. #10
    Marketing Mistress Lectrickitty's Avatar
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    I've never been told why I was denied. If I don't get approved the first time, I usually go on to the next merchant on my list. If it's a merchant I really need, I have reapplied and been approved the second time. I don't know why and didn't ask.

    I'm also guilty of applying to a program, getting excepted, then forgetting to go back and get their links. I apply when I need to use one of their links. If I don't get approved quick, I will use a second choice link. Sometimes I forget to go back and change it later.

  11. #11
    Full Member suzie250's Avatar
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    In short, there is nothing for me to go on.
    That's very understandable. Many times I wish could send a short note with the application -- Let them know of my plans for their products or whatever.

    but in fairness any time I am rejected I am confused.
    Sure am glad I'm not the only one. At least you're getting emails. All I have gotten so far is the ugly "declined" word.

    I wonder too, if rejections might be based on the affiliates CTR. If that is so, telling me that would make me feel that I might try to reapply at a later date. When I become a major contender, (and I will!) I probably won't apply to a particular program because of that first time rejection with no explanation.

  12. #12
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Suzie,

    I've been declined by merchants I knew would be a fit for one of my sites. If I want the merchant's products on my pages and feel I can sell them, I send an email asking why I've been declined and offering information about my site and giving specific pages I would promote them on. This has turned many merchants around.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It's common practice to decline with no explanation. I've never received an explanation from any of the merchants that declined me. When/If I ask why I was declined, perhaps as many as half of them respond and explain (and often change their mind).

    Update: I've always received a notification that I've been declined, but it's always a generic notification ("The reason for this decision may be as follows: * inability to access Web site * Web site not yet live * traffic levels too low * inappropriate material on site", etc.) and usually none of the reasons listed apply to me.
    Michael Coley
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  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Hello suzie250,

    No, this is not the norm for most (I hope not).

    There is a place in SAS called "Edit Program Information". Here merchants will see: a field and text/html box called "Reply Email Text: Sent to your Affiliates when they are DECLINED for your program". I would hope that merchants enter something here, a brief general explaination as to why an affiliate was declined. If a merchant does not want to enter something here, which is Automaticly sent when they decline, then they should at least send you something specific to you as to why you were declined.

    My criteria:

    If you made it to SAS network then basically you passed the first screening test, SAS screens all affiliates, they do not let in any technology affiliates (BHO, parasites, etc), and NO fraudsters.

    All affiliates, 99.9% of the time when they sign up to any of my past, present or future programs will get approved. The first pre-screen from SAS is one reason, second reason is, I have seen some affiliates that have only one site listed and sometimes even a basic website, but after a few weeks they have put up banners, links, even a datafeed and when they have clicked-through I have seen their site where the actual products are being promoted and "what a difference". Never judge a book by it's cover theory.

    The only way to really judge a, perhaps "questionable" affiliate is to keep an eye on that particular affiliate for next few months and where they add your banners and products, if they have just a banner farm, or too many spyware downloads on their site or if they commit fraud, etc. then hit the Decline, I agree.

    I have declined very few affiliates in the past and it has always been after about a week of sending emails and no response from affiliate to explain something I thoogh "questionable" on their site like spyware, or seen an error (blank) page on their site for more than 2 weeks, etc.

    I suggest you send this merchant an email asking for at least some explaination, but if they don't reply go on to the next one, I would not worry too much about being rejected, just keep learning.


  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Some do give their site info and it just amazes me how many banner farms are
    out there.
    That and link farms that just list the MerchantName--without saying a thing about the merchant, their products, or anything else.

    But rather than just decline them, I figure I'll send 'em a link to ABW, along with providing some basic hints. If they want more hints they can email or read the board.

    I figure, it's not costing me anything to keep them, and if they board the clue train they just may be the next person at the top of the engines! And even if they don't board it, maybe a fluke will happen or a relative will buy something off their sites.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager dculpepper's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be the norm... I always try to let the affiliate know why I have made the decision to decline them. And if the affiliate can provide an explanation that addresses my concerns then I will certainly reconsider.

    As jrami says above, I also very rarely decline a affiliate on ShareASale because of the initial SAS screening... I can be reasonably sure that we will not be adding any BHO, parasites, or fraudsters through SAS. And I don't worry about the traffic level of the affiliate, it doesn't cost me anything to keep them around and who knows they may figure out what they are doing somewhere along the way and become very productive.

    We do however decline quite a few affiliates that apply to our in house program. It amazes me what some people will try to get away with.
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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    And I don't worry about the traffic level of the affiliate, it doesn't cost me anything to keep them around and who knows they may figure out what they are doing somewhere along the way and become very productive.
    Ya, they may have a site just for your stuff in the planning or construction stage that'll produce steadily for you once they get done. Which may be on the priority list AFTER their updates and maintenance on sites that are already producing for them, to keep them continuing to produce.

    The part that interests me is that it doesn't cost anything to keep them around. So why do some folks get bounced out of some programs if they don't "activate" quickly enough to suit the AM?

    Another thing - what does *overall* traffic level tell about individual site levels, for the sites that may pertain to a particular merchant? Six in the collection may be bombs and the other 4 rocking but the average might not be too impressive.

  18. #18
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    Why reject or expel small or inactive affiliates?
    webworker wrote: So why do some folks get bounced out of some programs if they don't "activate" quickly enough to suit the AM?

    At one time, at least one of the affiliate network providers charged a fee based on the number of affiliates. In addition, some affiliate managers may prefer to work only with a small group of "strong" sites, and not spend time monitoring or assisting small sites.

    Of course, I think that's ill-advised; I recall one "tiny" affiliate for a program I once administered, which had a really ugly little site with pretty thin content and low traffic, and did not "activate" until MONTHS after applying and being accepted -- but it turned out that once he added links, something like 10% of all his visitors clicked through to the merchant site, and 20-30% of those actually bought stuff. That tiny site wasn't quite the #1 affiliate for that merchant, but it outperformed sites with 100x the traffic.

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager dculpepper's Avatar
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    I do not know why some AMs do that. Maybe on some networks there is a charge based on the number of affiliates or maybe there is a charge for sending email to your affiliates through some networks. I guess that could make it difficult to justify keeping inactive affiliates around. We currently only use MyAP and ShareASale so I don't know how the other networks operate.

    There was a discussion about this recently here at ABestWeb and one AM just felt that if an affiliate hadn't become active within 3 months then they were probably not ever going to become active. So at that point he would drop them because it was a waste of his time to try to motivate those affiliates.

    I just believe that this kind of thinking is counter productive. If I'm the affiliate and you drop me, you've lost the chance to ever get me to promote your program. I'll just find another program out of spite.
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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador danay's Avatar
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    I must say that I agree with you David. I find that doing some hand holding with newbie affiliates is very productive, not to mention just nice. They may not make you tons of sales or bring anywhere near the number of leads our big ones do, but they add up.
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  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    It's common practice to decline with no explanation. I've never received an explanation from any of the merchants that declined me. When/If I ask why I was declined, perhaps as many as half of them respond and explain (and often change their mind).

    Update: I've always received a notification that I've been declined, but it's always a generic notification ("The reason for this decision may be as follows: * inability to access Web site * Web site not yet live * traffic levels too low * inappropriate material on site", etc.) and usually none of the reasons listed apply to me.
    Michael:

    Ditto here. Though in several instances, I've pushed a little bit and gotten a further explanation.

    A few examples:

    * You have classified ads on your site and they could have offensive or inappropriate language. (my personal favorite)
    * Your site is too big and too broad; we want our affiliate program to target smaller niche sites.
    * You have a lot of ads from companies we consider competitors.

    Bottom line - ask, ask, ask. What do you have to lose?

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