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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager chucktool's Avatar
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    Listing Top 10 Affiliates in Monthly Newsletter
    Hello LinkShare Affiliates,

    What do you think about a LinkShare merchant listing the top 10 affiliates in their program on their monthly newsletter. I have been doing this for a few months and use the greatest growth as a percentage rather than just the highest sales. This gives new affiliates a chance to shine. I have also been contacted via this forum about affiliates sites that were suspected parasites and have removed approximately a dozen after doing my own research.

    Your opinion is welcome, positive or negative.

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Chuck,

    General rule, NEVER post, here or on a newsletter an affiliate's url. Why? There are many site copiers. However, If you do get approval from your top affiliates (prerequisite for publishing URL) then go ahead.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Agreed. Always ask. You're trying to reward affiliates with this, make sure they see it that way. Plenty do like it, but many don't want it.

    Also, make sure you're not promoting public enemies #1-5 on your list. The big giant affiliates don't care so much anyway.

    % growth is a good way to avoid this.

  4. #4
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    I agree too. If the affiliate agrees to be listed that's one thing, otherwise you are providing competitive information to the affiliate's competitors without the affiliate's consent.

    Unless the affiliate agrees I wouldn't list any of the affiliate's information at all. Even if an AM doesn't list an affiliate's url and just lists the affiliate's company name, most of the time it's pretty easy to figure out the affiliate's url from that.

    I like it when AM's show the top 10 affiliate earnings for the month like this:

    #1 $10,800
    #2 $ 7,895
    #3 $6,509
    and so forth.

    That way I can see what others are making. Most of the time it's encouraging just seeing how much others are making with a program. Of course, if the numbers are all really small that isn't very encouraging.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It's definitely a no no to reveal your top affiliates without their permission.

    It can be motivating to see the NUMBERS. That way you know what's possible. For instance, the top ten total earnings, the top conversion ratio (with some minimum number of orders), the average conversion ratio of all affiliates who had sales, the number of affiliates earning checks, etc. Whatever makes sense for your program.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  6. #6
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    I would not be able to fathom a logical reason to let competitors know who is outdoing them, though I do agree it is good to see NUMBERS.

  7. #7
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    You could just list how much $ the top ten made through your program, without giving URLs or site information but that wouldn't be in any way an accolade for your top ten affils. Ho about giving them a bonus instead? ;-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  8. #8
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kip

    I like it when AM's show the top 10 affiliate earnings for the month like this:

    #1 $10,800
    #2 $ 7,895
    #3 $6,509
    and so forth.

    That way I can see what others are making. Most of the time it's encouraging just seeing how much others are making with a program. Of course, if the numbers are all really small that isn't very encouraging.

    When I see these figures, I mostly just get pissed off and start moaning to the AM about MY lack of numbers and always question how others are making this much when I'm sending thousands of visitors without ANY sales. Duh ... must be those pesky blood suckers. ;-) Then I find out what the CTS ratio is for average affils in the program. Pisses me off even more then. LOL - But I do agree that listing the top ten check amounts is encouraging IF someone's actually making sales through the merchant's program. Also, it alerts other affils to what is possible, then, if you're sending thousands of clicks but seeing no sales, you can figure "something's" very wrong.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager chucktool's Avatar
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    Thanks All: I am going to let this run a few more days then make a composite of the comments to use on my next monthly newsletter.

  10. #10
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    the answer is NO. if you insist, i'll dump your site, period.

  11. #11
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Also, "percent growth" is meaningless as a stand-alone statistic. An 1831% growth could mean someone that went from a single $19.99 sale in one month to a single $385.99 sale the following month.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haiko de Poel, Jr.
    Chuck,

    General rule, NEVER post, here or on a newsletter an affiliate's url. Why? There are many site copiers. However, If you do get approval from your top affiliates (prerequisite for publishing URL) then go ahead.

    I totally agree!

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Also, "percent growth" is meaningless as a stand-alone statistic. An 1831% growth could mean someone that went from a single $19.99 sale in one month to a single $385.99 sale the following month.
    right!

    dollar amounts would be best.
    unless they're low and you don't want people to see them.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Also, "percent growth" is meaningless as a stand-alone statistic. An 1831% growth could mean someone that went from a single $19.99 sale in one month to a single $385.99 sale the following month.
    Sure, meaningless if you're trying to incent other affiliates by parading successful affiliates in newsletters.

    But it's not a bad stat if you're looking to incent and reward affiliates for picking up the pace and give everyone a shot at it. (Start with a minimum of reasonable $ amount as the base point to avoid Michael's crazy numbers).

    By the way, for those of us who shy away from public praise, being mentioned in a newsletter isn't always bad. Sometimes, newsletters end up on the merchant's website and you get you a nice link.

  15. #15
    Newbie
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    Security and Privacy
    ONCE I allowed my url to be published on this forum. The following week ALL of my sales and traffic dropped 80% and they did not recover for over 6 months. There are link farms, copy cats (dynamically driven) and yes even terrorists making money by using fraud on the web. And if you dont believe there is fraud on the web ask Bank of America. We do not need to put ourselves at risk for the sake of kudos. Once a link farm gets your url, google can and does ban your site and potentially destroy your sales or even your website as well. As I am writing this email there are morons monitoring this and many other forums.
    Publishing numbers might be OK to impress newbies--but they should know it is also years of work that gets the results!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjangro
    By the way, for those of us who shy away from public praise, being mentioned in a newsletter isn't always bad. Sometimes, newsletters end up on the merchant's website and you get you a nice link.
    the benefits are greatly outweighed by the harm it can do to your website.

    what good is one inbound link if you're already out of business?

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by waytogo
    the answer is NO. if you insist, i'll dump your site, period.
    actually this decision is a no-brainer.

    i would rather lose your commission than lose everything.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    >>what good is one inbound link if you're already out of business?

    If you're successful, I don't need a merchant to tell me what your site is. A newsletter is not a kiss of death.

    One good inbound link from a merchant-type site can do a lot of good. Probably the some of best links that some affiliates are able to get for free as far as relevance, link pop, etc.

    That's not to say there's no decision to be made, but it's a benefit that may tip the scales in favor of the NL mention.

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Scott, you can do very well and stay under the radar of other affiliates. There's a huge difference between having your site known inside of your niche (without any specifics on profit) and having hundreds of potential competitors learn that you're making $10,000 per month from a single merchant. In the first case, you're just one of many competitors. In the later case, you're a success that scores of people will try to copy.

    A single link won't make a big impact. Most good sites have thousands of links.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Scott, you can do very well and stay under the radar of other affiliates. There's a huge difference between having your site known inside of your niche (without any specifics on profit) and having hundreds of potential competitors learn that you're making $10,000 per month from a single merchant. In the first case, you're just one of many competitors. In the later case, you're a success that scores of people will try to copy.
    This discussion has morphed a bit, to me anyway and perhaps the source of some disagreement. Yes, I think it's always bad idea for any merchant to parade the top x affiliates to their competitors, especially attaching that to $ figures.

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    A single link won't make a big impact. Most good sites have thousands of links.
    I'm going to disagree with this one. Unless you're buying sitewide textlinks or have a big established network of your own, most affiliate sites have only tens of inbound links.

    Of course you qualified that with "good" sites. Not sure how you're defining "good". The toughest thing in this line of work is getting natural inbound links. Affiliate sites, tenfold.

    One or two good links, especially early on, can do a lot of good.
    Maybe you've forgotten how that is. Lucky you

  21. #21
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjangro
    Unless you're buying sitewide textlinks or have a big established network of your own, most affiliate sites have only tens of inbound links. ... Of course you qualified that with "good" sites. Not sure how you're defining "good".
    I think we've already defined "good" sites in this discussion. We're talking about affiliates that do good enough to be listed in the top 5 or 10. Those affiliates typically have tons of links and traffic. One more link to them isn't going to make a difference

    Nobody is going to care about an average affiliate who has 10 inbound links and is making $25/month. This discussion has never been about average affiliates.
    Michael Coley
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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I think we've already defined "good" sites in this discussion. We're talking about affiliates that do good enough to be listed in the top 5 or 10. Those affiliates typically have tons of links and traffic. One more link to them isn't going to make a difference
    I don't think so. With a good PPC strategy, you can be a top-ten affiliate without any inbound links (or even a site, for that matter.) Some use PPC as the only strategy. Others use it as a percentage of traffic, 100% at first, while they build up natural rankings -- by getting inbound links.

    Any "good site" that thinks they have all the links they ever need won't be good for long. There's always room for one more. And if you are somehow flying under the radar from your competition and cannot afford some recognition, hopefully the merchant will ask before posting your url.

    yes, the subject of this thread is "top ten affiliates in newsletters", and we established in record time that it's bad to name them. Should we close the thread at that? Some different approaches to rewards and recognition are interesting. Here's what I get out of this thread...

    - Posting your affiliates sites (top ten or not) in an email without asking is pretty much always a bad idea.
    - Posting your list of top-ten affiliates is just bad for lots of reasons.
    - Posting the top earnings anonymously can be very motivational, unless it's embarrassingly low.
    - Recognition of affiliates in a newsletter is not always a bad idea. Some affiliates like it, even some top ten affiliates who have nothing to hide nor are trying to fly under the radar. If you have a contest that picks some stat (like % increase), that levels the playing field and doesn't risk putting a big spotlight/target in the top ten, that can work well.
    - Be careful about alienating affiliates with recognizing the perceived "bad guys". A few years ago, these top-affiliate emails were a who's-who in adware. AMs have smartened up to that it seems.

    BTW, Linkshare has given us a case study in this publicly recognizing affiliates. They have no shortage of affiliates who, for a $50 prize, will be listed on Linkshare and even provide a nice quote. They have also stepped in it many times when it comes to giving prizes to "top" affiliates.

    Moral of the story: Recognition can be motivational, and isn't always bad, but think before you blast out the "great news".

  23. #23
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    let's boil this thing down to only one word: copycatters


    and even if linkshare gives me a $10,000 prize, i will turn it down.

    tell me, would anybody be interested in posting my other sites that don't earn a single cent?

    if i see a merchant posting urls, i can just imagine him saying: "hey everyone! this guy's successful. go copy his site, quick!"

  24. #24
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    The affiliate manager should have some way to let the other affiliates what works.

    Maybe posting urls is not acceptable (I don't know, I am not a good affiliate according the definition in this thread).

    I fnd it hard to believe that somebody is going to just copy Michael Coley's site and put him out of business. It looks like a lot of ongoing work goes into that site (not to mention all the years worth of inbound links and publicity).

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador
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    What it comes down to is don't put affiliate sites in your newsletter unless you have their permission first, simple.

    Personally it's not so much someone will copy my site but will copy the successful way i've learned to promote them. I could go and find thousands of sites with Toolking links but i have no idea who's making money and what methods work. Unless you show me in your newsletter. I'll give an example. There is one CJ merchant that has a lifelong EPC around $2. I've seen posts before of people having problems with them. I have a steady EPC of almost $30 with them. Maybe I found a working way to promote them or a particular section of their site that works. Maybe i'm the only one that has a page with nice rankings and not too much competition, an angle that works. I don't want that AM telling everybody else about it.

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