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  1. #1
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    Angry Are all networks inept??
    I belong to all of them, and promote most merchants on offer. A year ago everything was working smoothly, and I had no quibbles. There was no need for any network to change/upgrade/improve anything, as far as I was concerned.

    Now:

    CJ - approaching two months of screwy reporting and glitches a high-school programming student could fix

    Linkshare - many many months after their new reporting was implemented, I still can't find basic data, and I can't get my business address verified

    DGM - at a snails pace they are transferring merchants from the old system to the new one. Several months of visiting two different sites to get all the reports - if I can log in

    Affiliate Window - lots of hoopla about a cosmetic change

    Commission Monster (Australia) - months of reports not working, only just come right, no discernable improvement

    Max Bounty 2.0 - all works fine, but didn't improve my experience one iota

    TradeDoubler - lots of hoopla about a cosmetic change

    7 interface changes that started with lots of fanfare, and not one has made any difference for me, and in general they have only proved that they have no understanding of what the word usability means....

    ... any new network with vision and some cash could dominate this affiliate network business!

    Rob
    [URL=http://ProxyGrader.com]ProxyGrader.com[/URL]
    How anonymous is your proxy?

  2. #2
    CPA Network Rep JP Sauve's Avatar
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    >>Max Bounty 2.0 - all works fine, but didn't improve my experience one iota

    Well Rob, I feel your pain (particularly with the inexcusable problems at CJ, I can't believe anyone still uses them), but I've got to say I do feel a little crushed. MB 2.0 is my baby.

    The idea of MaxBounty 2.0 wasn't to make the interface pretty, but to enable affiliates to establish direct relationships with merchants in a network environment. It's much bigger task than it might appear, which is probably why there are only handful of networks that offer it. If you're looking to build long term relationships with merchants instead of just running one-time campaigns, it should improve your experience. So far results have been pretty good, and most feedback positive.

    It is new though, and I'll fully admit it's not perfect. Only a fool thinks there's no room for improvement. If you have any specific suggestions on what you'd like to see, by all means let me know either in the forum or privately. And if you'd like some recommendations on programs/campaigns that might do you well (and hopefully improve your experience), by all means contact me and I'll work with you myself.
    [font=verdana][b][size=3][color=red]Are you familiar with [URL]MaxBounty.com[/URL] yet?[/color][/b][/size][/font][font=verdana][b][size=1][color=black]
    • Over 120 merchants with CPA/CPS programs seeking affiliates
    • Over 4500 network publishers seeking programs to advertise
    • Earn $100 per merchant and 5% per affiliate on the second tier [/b][/color][/size][/font]

  3. #3
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Did anyone notice that there was no mention of SAS?

    SAS ain't inept!

    Leaving them out spoke volumes, didn't it?

    So, since they ain't inept, why ain't they dominating this business?
    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!

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Smile
    All advertising networks are hamstrung by the advertising mindset of both merchant advertisers... and the pool of sleazy click/cookie cheating affiliates. When amount of traffic ( more sh*t on the wall) is the differenciator, rather then quality of traffic (via pre-sale creative spin) 90% of the affiliate force becomes cookie setting tricksters. This advertising network model guarantees the 10%, doing real on page targeting, get their cookies washed by the unethical tricksters resulting in starving them out of the mix.

    Not even Doubling the commission rate of proven value-add domain bound affiliates will help merchants get more commissions flowing to those who buildout shopper friendly targeting pages in an advertising network model. Their traffic runs head on into the cookie washing of both other mass traffic affiliates and the merchants in house cookie sets.

    Only break from this advertising rat race game, given the misleading moniker "pay per performance" network, would be to remove the incentives that favor the mass advertising "sh*t on the Wall" tricksters. Eliminate the browser -SERP -PPCSE and e-mail spammers. Eliminate house cookie washing campaigns. Eliminate direct to merchant PPCSE advertising. Eliminate deceptive coupon/incentive advertising by making this an automatic shopping cart merchant only function, they can advertise on all their landing pages. Promotions like Free Freight days or 10% off special category orders should benefit the merchants conversion ratio from targeted traffic from ALL affiliates ... not just the incenters. Cookie washing by incentive affiliates makes them into POS attack dogs just like their BHO and e-mail spamming breathern.

    Only way to make this type value-add sales network model work is to publish the merchant's networkwide conversion ratio and eliminate any ability for the merchant to NOT REPORT sales. My Safe Haven Network model is the only new "pay per performance" network model that rewards value-add affiliates at the expense to the sleazebags garnering in the majority of commissions with current advertising network models. Those network's premise and promise just rewards the mass cookie setters as none have the ability to keep the blackhat affiliate commission gamers in check with their feeble fraud detection systems.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    So, since they ain't inept, why ain't they dominating this business?
    They need to get more merchants. I don't see that many there that I can promote in the fields I'm in. A wider variety of merchants to choose from would help SAS as much as anything.

    Andy

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    SSANF - "So, since they ain't inept, why ain't they dominating this business?"

    1. Their site looks VERY bad and is hard to find anything...
    2. There are not a whole lot of merchants there that most of the people that are heavily involved with CJ or LS can incorporate into their existing sites..

    ANDY - "They need to get more merchants. I don't see that many there that I can promote in the fields I'm in. A wider variety of merchants to choose from would help SAS as much as anything."

    Exactly... to bad they can't at least make their site look professional enough to get more merchants.. I know the PRICES for a merchant program are way below that of any of the other networks... as far as I can tell the LOOK and FEEL of their site plus the VERY BAD navigation is the ONLY thing holding them BACK..

    They are mentioned enough on the boards so it's not that no one KNOWS about them.. so that is the only thing I can think of...

    I would LOVE to see SAS GROW...!!!!!!!

    REDESIGN THAT THING... Make it EASY to Navigate And Make It Look Professional... Instead of someones third grade class project...



    ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY IDEA's - WHY SAS can't seem to attract NEW MERCHANTS???



  7. #7
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Here's something I take into consideration.

    With CJ inactive links are reported to me so I don't have to spend hours and hours hunting them down. As much as people complain, this feature means a LOT to me. The other way of finding dead links is to note when conversions get really bad (and you have lost a lot of return visitors) and then ferret them out.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

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

    Only way to make this type value-add sales network model work is to publish the merchant's networkwide conversion ratio and eliminate any ability for the merchant to NOT REPORT sales. My Safe Haven Network model is the only new "pay per performance" network model that rewards value-add affiliates at the expense to the sleazebags garnering in the majority of commissions with current advertising network models. Those network's premise and promise just rewards the mass cookie setters as none have the ability to keep the blackhat affiliate commission gamers in check with their feeble fraud detection systems.
    OK, I'm nominating Mike as the new network maven. His "safe haven" network makes lots of sense. You should all read it. Mike, if you post it again, everyone'll understand what you're talking about.

    So Mike ... Is it going to be called Safe Haven? :-) I'm SO in!
    Last edited by Rexanne; September 26th, 2005 at 10:13 PM. Reason: typo
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  9. #9
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Hard to navigate? I think it is very straightforward and easy. Maybe, it is just because I am so used to it. But, I can't fathom what you are talking about.
    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!

  10. #10
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    "OK, I'm nominating Mike as the new network maven. His "safe haven" network makes lots of sense. You should all read it."

    It was read when he first posted about it. BLFH called it parasitic.

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...blfh+parasitic

  11. #11
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "OK, I'm nominating Mike as the new network maven. His "safe haven" network makes lots of sense. You should all read it."

    It was read when he first posted about it. BLFH called it parasitic.

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...blfh+parasitic
    Missed it - I just started hanging out at the boards the past few months. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, though.

    A few things:

    1) There is already a network that drops a cookie for all merchants within that network: Red Galoshes - They have some good merchants but mostly bridal stuff so it's hard to get to the "anything non-wedding related" merchants for all the wedding fanfare but that is their concept. Did I miss somwthing about them before I hopped in here "full time?" Are they parasitic? I don't hear anyone talking about RG in here so maybe I did miss a vital stat.

    2) Who is BLFH?

    A parting thought: I still think a safe haven network along Mike's idea lines could work. It would be a beautiful thing. Otherwise Brian's head will get swelled knowing that SAS is the ONLY decent network around. LOL
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  12. #12
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    BLFH = Ms. B/Kellie

    SAS is as clean as they come, Buy.at is looking good, coming to America soon so i here. They actually have experience in running networks and have been successful at it.

  13. #13
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    BLFH = Ms. B/Kellie
    Thank you! I thought so but the LFH had me baffled. :-)



    SAS is as clean as they come, Buy.at is looking good, coming to America soon so i here. They actually have experience in running networks and have been successful at it.[/QUOTE]

    Saw that post earlier this week. Cool. Now if they can just get some of he big name merchants over there and at SAS, we all won't have to strike.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    SSANF - maybe navigate was the wrong word... GET LINKS.. would be a better term..

    Getting links and finding merchants is cumbersome at best..

    The MERCHANTS page.. where you have to scroll down through every single merchant they have is a pain in the butt...

    Don't get me wrong.. I REALLY WISH SAS would take off like gangbusters and leave all the other networks in the parasitic dust.. BUT.. It is hard to take seriously with such a badly designed site... I am sure that some merchants feel the same..

    I mean if that is what the FRONT END looks like.. how is the BACKEND going to be different?? If the FRONTEND looks like that is the BACKEND Going to be just as cumbersome for the merchants..?

    That is what we need is some merchants that are NOT with SAS Now - to give some reasons why?? So we could help SAS Correct anything that may be hendering merchants from converting to SAS...

    Because SAS has good terms and a good reputation here.. there has got to be a REASON... and THAT is what we need to figure out..

    They Have Good Terms and Cost Less..
    They have a Good Reputation..

    SO what else is there??

    IMHO - in order to have a site for MERCHANTS/AFFILIATES to utilize it really needs to look and feel like a million dollars... It really needs to give you confidence when you walk through the front door.. and right now I don't think SAS does that.

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The problem with the concept of one cookie/one network, is that all it'd take to overwrite the cookies for ALL the merchants in it--regardless of whether you did jack schitt to promote them or not--is for a site to get ONE click in.

    Far from being a deterrant to shenanigans, such a setup is a spammer's delight! Heck, even *without* spamming, a person could just make a page for whatever merchant was most likely to get clicks, and anyone who made a page for a harder-to-convert merchant (ie, one where the customers don't typically buy right away) is screwed!

    Would you want any part of a network where your customer--who you sent to a merchant with, for instance, a $50 commission--got his cookie overwritten because while he was considering whether to gut-up and buy that $500(+) item, he clicked someone else's, totally unrelated, link? The unrelated link person wouldn't even have to have a link to your merchant, much less be promoting it, for him/her to wipe out your cookie with the network's blessing.

    MS. B IS RIGHT, it's parasitic. 100% leech city. An aff can make no promotion for Merchant B, send no traffic to Merchant B--wring a commish from Merchant B anyway. And in the process, screw anyone who DID promote Merchant B and didn't get an *immediate* sale.
    Last edited by Leader; September 27th, 2005 at 04:54 AM.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    AddHandler--I'm with you on the whole look-and-feel of SAS.

    If they want Macy's level merchants, they have to get rid of the Salvation Army Thrift Store look.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Thumbs down
    Just don't trade in the thrift store look for some flashier looking site where you can't log in a 1/4 of the time, have to click 5 times to get where you're going, or else you're SOL using the 'wrong kind' of browser. Like some other networks I know of.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Leader - LOL.. concise and to the point..

    Wish I could do that..

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    OK, I'm nominating Mike as the new network maven. His "safe haven" network makes lots of sense. You should all read it. Mike, if you post it again, everyone'll understand what you're talking about.

    So Mike ... Is it going to be called Safe Haven? :-) I'm SO in!
    I'm looking at licencing the Safe Haven Network model as a parallel network to the existing networks, focusing their value-add affiliate traffic to merchants willing to compete on conversion ratio. Basically a clean sales network within the existing networks to tap merchants and quality affiliates... or a stand alone network. No spin -no spam -no reporting problems. www.ecomcity.com/safehaven-network.htm frees up everyone to concentrate on sales. The startup costs aren't excessive, but I'm not going to run something like this by myself. I'd have to find a like minded affiliate savvy group to impliment things like choices in a scaleable Multi-Merchant shopping cart, clickstream fraud prevention, SHN tracking cookie setting within the secure cart to avoid link blocking, quick start feed upload and HTML "look/feel" customization of each SHN Mall storefront. Pay-per-performance without all the advertising white noise where each shopper finds a Safe Haven for their credit cards and privacy from small and large trusted merchants.

    I have ecommerce clients who have looked at the plan that average 1/20 to 1/50 sales conversion ratios who'd love to compete in a SHN model. Add in a creative group of sub-contract banner artists and store designers, PSC and GoldenCan on page showcases and affiliates openly choose who gets 1st choice in landing pages + session only credit for impulse sales from other SHN merchants.

    Leader said..."Far from being a deterrant to shenanigans, such a setup is a spammer's delight! Heck, even *without* spamming, a person could just make a page for whatever merchant was most likely to get clicks, and anyone who made a page for a harder-to-convert merchant (ie, one where the customers don't typically buy right away) is screwed!"

    Wrong. Each approved SHN affiliate can set only one merchant's return day cookie from a physical click. Affiliate cookie stuffing and direct to merchant PPCSE is against the TOS. Outers, proving affiliate abuse, like Ben -Ms.B or ABWers, get a portion of forfeited commissions from those playing their typical network spam games.

    Merchants and AM's do not have to worry or waiste time on trust issues or non value-add affiliate tricksters. Those not liking a level playing field can use the existing networks where their spam skills are embraced to the detriment of the merchants.
    Last edited by ecomcity; September 27th, 2005 at 09:46 AM.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  20. #20
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    SAS Look and Feel
    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    AddHandler--I'm with you on the whole look-and-feel of SAS.

    If they want Macy's level merchants, they have to get rid of the Salvation Army Thrift Store look.
    (from a PM's perspective)
    funny you should mention this.... I met Brian (SAS) a few months ago at the AMC seminar. I mentioned to him that one of the hardest things to do was present the SAS network to a merchant and try to explain the benefits of running a program there. The current SAS look (IMO) deters alot of potential business and derails merchants in pursuit of quality affiliates.


    *personal note* they do very good quality control

  21. #21
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    I don't believe SAS is meant to be a big brand network ala Performics, LS, CJ, i 've always looked at it a network more for medium to small size merchants while the others cater more to the big brands and bigger sized mediums and some in between Brian would know more what the goal is for SAS. I think it works the way it is, great for medium sized and small merchants. The other stuff could always be worked on, cosmetic etc.

    I hope everyone reads Mike ideas of a Safe Haven Network he linked too. Read it and you'll see why it won't ever work.

  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Sales drives everything. To get sales, you do need affiliates (contrary to indications from CJ). Pretend you're a newbie, go to ShareASale with a mission to find a merchant you're looking for... there's no search feature there. You have to wade through the categories to try to find merchants. I think that's a real impediment to their progress in generating more momentum.

    I would like to add that in my testing for parasites, no place I've found is cleaner than SAS. Their cookies provide more data (and none is encrypted) than the other networks and they make it the easiest place to hunt down the spect-turd-ular affiliates who need a toliet swirly - bar none - not even close! Take a look at the cookie data in a ShareASale transaction - no secret decoder ring needed!

    Ask yourself why the others encrypt their cookies... to prevent tampering? Yeah, that's been working well for them... if work means making it difficult for their affiliates to see how CJ is allowing cheating.

    Brian / SAS went to Andy's gig in Miami... guess what Brian's presentation was about...

    ETHICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wish CJ was there, they might have learned something... yeah, I'm an optimist!

  23. #23
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    SaS definitely seems to be the most trustworthy of the three, but they do need to work on the presentation / usability of their site. I also always have nagging worries that clicks aren't always tracked, just based on the number of times I get odd little errors trying to use their site, like "document contains no data".
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  24. #24
    Full Member bwc's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    Quote Originally Posted by infoTim
    SaS definitely seems to be the most trustworthy of the three, but they do need to work on the presentation / usability of their site. I also always have nagging worries that clicks aren't always tracked, just based on the number of times I get odd little errors trying to use their site, like "document contains no data".
    I think you mentioned the basic fact in your first sentence by SAS being the most trustworthy . . . and WHY? . . . in answer to your clicks being tracked . . . SAS, if nothing else, is A#1 when it comes to being right on the money and in real time.

    Cut SAS some slack . . . it works where most others are WAY behind .

    >>> Are all networks inept??

    I'd say the only one that isn't is SAS . . . . then when you add merchants from SAS to the GoldenCAN solution . . . that just makes my knees weak . . . the best combination to hit the web since before the turn of the new millenium~!

  25. #25
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwc
    in answer to your clicks being tracked . . . SAS, if nothing else, is A#1 when it comes to being right on the money and in real time.
    How do you know this for sure? If I get "document contains no data" errors at the SaS web site, how do I know that this doesn't happen when someone hot to buy something clicks on my affiliate links?
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

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