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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Rakuten - Welcome to Affiliate Marketing
    I am hoping the new owners are serious about affiliate marketing and I am starting this thread to give them a list of direct, actionable things they need to fix. Rather than each of us emailing them with lots of the same concerns, I suggest we start a list and once it is fairly complete, I will email the Rakuten CEO's and provide them with a link to this forum where they can view our concerns and suggestions.

    Let's keep it clean and precise here. We know very little about Rakuten and maybe, just maybe they really do care about running this company in a serious, legitimate fashion and they really do want to hear our voices. I suggest if you have a complaint or concern you wish to air, that you also provide a suggestion for fixing or improving whatever it is you are addressing.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  2. #2
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    I would sugest Ron that you also include a link to the latest Donuts thread. As we all know the Japanese hate to lose face and I think if they knew about these tricksters and thieves in their programs they would soon boot them out.

    S.Messer would not boot them because he put a bigger value on cash in his pocket over his personal integrity and honesty I doubt very much the new Japanese owners would.
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Rakuten should impliment a full disclosure of the types of affiliates allowed into each merchants program right in the merchant profile. Normal domain bound affiliate. BHO. Incentive affiliate. E-mailer and domainless PPCSE player.

    It sure would be nice to see the new owner protect the LS merchnat by requiring a physical click to set any network tracking cookie.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Rakuten's going to have a huge culture-shock when faced with the bluntness of affiliates LOL!!

    My suggestion is simple: PAY! Without delay! Consolidated, direct deposits was a step, but it doesn't go far enough. I still see toooo many instances of delayed payment. It doesn't matter who's delaying it (I've seen both the merchant and LS blamed)--the delays must stop.

    Let's keep it clean
    Oh c'mon, don't be such a spoilsport, I have some Outrageous Japanese memorized, at least 2 phrases of which would make great suggestions for what LS can do...
    (I used to know some "regular" Japanese too, but of course, the outrageous is what sticks in the mind even after years of disuse )
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb
    well, I guess we'd better get to work . . .



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  6. #6
    Not Verif-Lidated infoTim's Avatar
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    What makes you think they give a rats patootie? Linkshare is done, the horse has expired and been whipped repeatedly anyway. Nothing to see here...move along...
    Tim
    consultant by day, affiliate by night

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Tim,

    I understand your frustration, believe me. It amazes me LinkShare made it through this year with some of the things that occured. However, I would like to give Rakuten the benifit of the doubt that they just may be serious about this. Just because their name is now linked with LinkShare does not make them bad.

    Heck, maybe Rakuten is not even aware of many of the problems that need fixed. We have no idea how deep they delved when they investigated the company. And we certainly know how good Mr. Messer is at putting out the positive PR. He probably covered much up with layers of PR icing.

    Let's give them a chance to address our concerns and if we find they don't care, then we will know for sure and address that when the time comes.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  8. #8
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    Amazing memory
    Leader, I checked the link to the book. Amazing. Jack Seward was my japanese teacher in graduate school a long time ago. I spent ten years working in Japan, and I can tell you it is a totally different world. They have well developed ethics, but the rules are not even close to the ones we observe in the west. You can't assume that integrity means the same thing on both sides of the ocean.

    They now own an American company. so they'll want to play by our rules to an extent. But they will also inject some of their own ideas. I'm a new LS affiliate. Don't have much experience with them. I hope some of the problems discussed on this forum are addressed by the new owners.

    The one thing about their approach to business that can help us is their intense focus on the desires of customers.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raywood1
    The one thing about their approach to business that can help us is their intense focus on the desires of customers.
    And we have to see who they determine the customers to be, the merchants, the affiliates, the customers or all of us.

    We've seen some pretty ignorant AM's come in here and think that we (affiliates) work for them. We need to make sure Ratuken realizes that is certainly no the case. The only people here who work for anyone is the LS employees who work for Ratuken.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  10. #10
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    Who is the Customer
    Well, I had a few comments about that in my post, but since this thread was started as a welcome to Rakuten, I decided to be polite.

    In my experience the manufacturers in Japan use very strong-arm techniques to control the distributors and retailers who sell their products inside Japan. Out in the rest of the world they can't get away with quite the level of squeezing and jerking that they can at home.

    They are very concerned about end buyers' opinions, but they really romp on the sales channels. I don't have direct experience with service companies, but I would guess they use a similar approach.

    I guess we'll be finding out soon.

  11. #11
    Internet Cowboy
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    I would like to know if an amount of revenue was disclosed during this transaction as being questionable, illegal, unethical or a potential to create legal problems with the state and/or federal government.

    Think about it, Rakuten pays top dollar for a company that makes a large percentage of its profits from parasitic activity. Did they dosclose the fact that this revenue might dry up overnight some time soon? Does Rakuten know that parasites run amuck on the network? Does Rakuten know of their possible legal exposure?

    Certainly the fact that this network promotes and profits from players who are proven to force BHO's and other nasty programs via non-consentual installations on to the computer of the end users that Rakuten so highly honors, must create some kind of internal problem.


  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Well, this post is not headed wher I intended (but that is the nature of a forum like ABW). If I don't see some real actionable suggestions for change here I guess I'll just drop this idea and simply wish Ratuken a warm welcome (and good luck).
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  13. #13
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    OK - Ron, here are a some 'reasonably small' suggestions I have.

    I'd like to see a summary of changes to my account show up as a small box on the screen just after I signed on to LinkShare so I could see how I did yesterday without having to scroll and click and clack.

    I'd like for the new owners to revisit the 'need' for the challenge picture/text part of the sign-in. My guess is it has solved a problem that didn't exist.

    I'd like to see an introduction letter from 'the person now in charge' laying out what things are going to change - when and why and what things (and people) are not going to change. This letter should run both here and off the sign-in page of LinkShare (for the three people who don't watch this forum).

    Charles

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Thanks, Charles. We'll keep this open and see if more come in. I hope so. Otherwise Ratuken will have free reign to run their program just as LS has without knowing what all is wrong.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  15. #15
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    >>>My guess is it has solved a problem that didn't exist.<<<

    the problem may have been that someone else was selling data instead of them. or something very much like that.

  16. #16
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    If I had to guess I'd guess that the challenge text was instituted to block the automatic performance scrapers who check every few minutes automatically to see if you have a sale. LS's problem with those programs is that the LS server resources will bog with too many of those programs. A better solution is to monitor the IP of the requestors and once a given IP has asked more than say 13 times in a day, they still get a response but it is very s.l.o.w and gets slower as the requests continue.

    Charles

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I started this thread as an opportunity to let the new owners of LS hear our concerns and suggestions about LinkShare. Well, they seem to be pretty silent owners so I thought the announcement of Mr. Denton as the new CEO might be a good opportunity to resurrect this thread as there were some good ideas presented.

    Does anyone have any additional comments and/or concerns they would like to add for Mr. Denton? If he does not respond here personally, I will make sure this is snail mailed to him in person.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
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  18. #18
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    It has been posted in several threads but - LS needs a formal, ticket number/email acknowledgement help desk system so that we know that our problem was received and when it will be addressed. We all have developed 'back door' folks who address our problems and get them resolved but it would be nice if there was a formal system all of us could rely on that would resolve the problems.

    The link generation/merchant selection portion of the LS interface is poor - I'm not the one to suggest improvements - I leave that to others more experienced.

    On some positive notes: I make a lot more money with LS than CJ or some others - I find that their datafeeds give me less trouble by being very consistant and going through my contacts at LS I get my small problems resolved rapidly.

    Charles

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    A Coupon/Offer Database, similar to the ones available at SAS or BeFree would be an awesome enhancement, if designed and implemented right.
    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

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