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Thread: BettyMills Extreme Makeover!

  1. #1
    Chief Betty Victor Hanna's Avatar
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    BettyMills Extreme Makeover!
    Yesterday in the early morning, the New Look of BettyMills was rolled out live.

    It's still being tweaked here and there, but you'll see most of it.

    Take a look and let us know what you think.

    http://www.bettymills.com

    Regards,
    Victor Hanna, The BettyMills Company
    Home of Snack Rewards and the Double Markdown!
    Affiliate Login: http://www.GetBetty.com
    Signup Page: https://getbetty.com/affiliate_signup.aspx
    Home Page BettyMills.com

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    Nice Job on the Extreme Makeover, but Betty still looks a little worn out

    Allen
    Signup Now for our KiteandWind affiliate program exclusivly at Shareasale.
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  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Looks great! Not sure where the toll freen number was on old version but it sure is right up there on top for the new version. Some affiliates won't like that, I'm sure, unless you are tracking calls somehow for affiliates.

    But it really looks great.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  4. #4
    Internet Cowboy
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    That was going to be my comment. The 800 number seems more prominent than ever.


  5. #5
    Chief Betty Victor Hanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    Looks great! Not sure where the toll freen number was on old version but it sure is right up there on top for the new version. Some affiliates won't like that, I'm sure, unless you are tracking calls somehow for affiliates.

    But it really looks great.

    Thanks - the 800 number from what I see is no more prominent than the old site. Here is a link to a cached page of the old site.

    Regards,
    Victor Hanna, The BettyMills Company
    Home of Snack Rewards and the Double Markdown!
    Affiliate Login: http://www.GetBetty.com
    Signup Page: https://getbetty.com/affiliate_signup.aspx
    Home Page BettyMills.com

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Victor,

    I'm not an affiliate and had not seen your previous site, but was just commenting on it's promenence on the page, regardless of size, which has been an issue here at ABW with other merchants. It's a fine line trying to make the site user friendly for non-affiliate visitors and for affiliate visitors. The best compromise I have seen is where an an affiliate ID number resides beside the phone number and the order takers ask for that ID number when calls come in to insure the affiliate gets their commission.

    Just trying to be helpful.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  7. #7
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    is it that difficult to post an affil number by the 800#? I thought that would be fixed by now . . .

    maybe when she grows her eyebrow back.

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    Allowing affiliates credit for phone sales is very simple. It is a two line script that displays the affiliate code next to the phone number.
    It is a matter of the merchant wanting to or not. Some merchants are glad to pay affiliates for phone sales, others are not.

    I wish Betty Mills did. I suspect that most customers purchasing office furniture call with questions and buy over the phone. I have chased HON furniture customers for well over a year through Betty and others and have <1% CR. The only thing I can figure is that the 800 kills me so I quit chasing this customer.

    Other office furniture through a SAS merchant who uses phone tracking has a CR of three times this.


  9. #9
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    I like the new site...

    I also have the same concerns as other about the 800# ...
    I lost a couple of sales because of the 800#...

    I know this because they were family sales...

    One more thing... the popup is gone... yepee...

    Joe
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  10. #10
    Chief Betty Victor Hanna's Avatar
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    Yes - popup is gone. Good eye.

    The phone issue comes up often. Somewhere I have a long post on this ABW forum where I have addressed it before. Let me address it again as best as possible without dragging on and on. I am by no means attempting to minimize the importance of this issue, so don't take this the wrong way.

    1 - A 'very' significant percentage of our business is purely web based. We would be thrilled if this were at 100%. Most calls we get are customer service calls for order status, and other pre-sales questions.

    2 - Many times when customers call they ask a question, hang up, and buy a few days later once they have their boss's approval or the like. It doesn't mean when a customer calls with a need, that they place the order on the spot.

    3 - We have a significant amount of our business roll in before and after normal business hours, meaning live staff are not even available to answer the phones.

    4 - We have a thriving weekend business- we have no staff here on weekends answering phones.

    5 - Some of our top affiliates make a hefty portion of their number from the furniture category. I see it everyday with my own eyes. These orders just roll in, unattended, and they can be several thousands of dollars at a clip.

    6 - Lastly, and a point that I don't think I've discussed here before - when we sit around and calculate what we want to pay our affiliates, the conversation does not lean in the direction of "What's the least amount we can pay our affiliates" - or "how low can we go"

    Rather, when we have that conversation, it's more like, 'What's the most we can pay our affiliates and still afford to accept orders without losing our shirt'. When we have that conversation, we factor in a lot of issues. We do recognize that we can not maintain 100% pure web ordering. Some orders are going to come in by phone, and we estimate that amount as best we can, and we factor that into our affiliate commission rate. You might think this is total B.S. but It's not. All things are considered when we calculate the rate. If we don't have a program that can put money in our affiliates pockets, then myself and the two others that are involved in this program are all wasting our time and yours, and eventually, the program would die of natural causes.

    Regards,
    Victor Hanna, The BettyMills Company
    Home of Snack Rewards and the Double Markdown!
    Affiliate Login: http://www.GetBetty.com
    Signup Page: https://getbetty.com/affiliate_signup.aspx
    Home Page BettyMills.com

  11. #11
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    I'm a new Betty Mills affiliate. I don't depend on affiliate sales for my living (thank goodness!), however I do have a service company that is my families bread and butter.

    It's a small company but we have 24 hour order taking. How? We pay a call center to take weekend and after hour calls. It's rather simple to set up and very inexpensive. If it wasn't, we couldn't afford it for our Ma and Pa service company. You could probably even work with a call center and have a few of the order takers trained for customer service.

    If a company wants to take calls 24/7/365 it's no big deal in this age.

    Donald

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Victor,

    The decision is yours regarding the 800 number and I was only bringing it to your attention and had not realized it had been discussed before. Sorry to have you rehash it again, but it is good for affiliates to know your reasoning just the same, so I'm glad you provided that information again.

    For me, I rarely sign up with a merchant that has holes in their program and I would consider that a hole. It's an opening where customers fall through and I lose the sale. Granted, it is not a big hole and you probably know your percentage of sales better than I do, but as I am usually ignorant of the stats when I make my decisions. It's a very easy hole to fixe and I guess I don't understand why it was not included in the recent upgrade?

    By the way, what does happen when customers call on the weekends? Do they get a recording of some kind? Just curious.

    Hey, everyone, I'm not knocking Betty Mills here. I think they are doing a fine job from what I have read and heard. I encourage folks to join and see for yourself what works and what does not. I may give Betty Mills a whirl on the affiliate dance floor myself one day.

    I certainly did not mean to derail your improvements. The site really looks great and I'd give it a 8 out of 10 rating. Always nice to see a merchant making positive changes and publicly asking for suggestions. Good work, Victor.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  13. #13
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Cool
    I can't see where offering a "priority code" near the 800#, that tracks to an affiliate would upset the applecart.

    It might improve the confidence on the part of the average affiliate.

  14. #14
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    He means that they don't do it because they do not want to pay affiliate commissions on phone in orders and that they take that into account when they figure out the commission rate for the program over all.

    Personally, I think probably the vast majority of sales durring buisiness hours that originate on the net end up being phone in orders, especially larger orders. I know that as a customer, I sure would call that number for a large order and maybe for an order of any size. Why not? The call is free. And, if they were closed, I would wait until the next day and call when they are open.

    So, my guess is that if they add affiliate IDs to the number, they would need to cut the commission rate so low that no one would want to use the program at all.

    It will be hard to make sales with that number there. But, the feed is easy to work with so you may as well add them to your sites. Not much to lose but your time. I wouldn't buy ads to send anyone there, though.
    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!

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager
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    Very clean and usable, Victor. Good job.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Nice!
    Akiva Bergstrom | akiva@affsolutions.com | 718-871-8286

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  17. #17
    Chief Betty Victor Hanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    Personally, I think probably the vast majority of sales durring buisiness hours that originate on the net end up being phone in orders, especially larger orders. I know that as a customer, I sure would call that number for a large order and maybe for an order of any size. Why not? The call is free. And, if they were closed, I would wait until the next day and call when they are open.
    Not to drag out this issue, but that's not the case with BettyMills. The vast majority of our orders are unassisted.

    Keep in mind, with the commission rate we have in place, if we manage to lose the customer after the first order, generally speaking, our affiliates gain more profit than we do on that customer. The numbers work out for us if we keep the customer after the cookie runs out in 60 days- that's how we make it back. While our margins are probably higher than your local grocery store, office supplies is not considered a very high margin business. The profits are in the customer retention.

    Also, many pre-existing regular BettyMills customers, when attempting to go to our website, don't put our BettyMills.com URL in the address bar, and instead do a search on google or another SE (I've witnessed this myself with less web seasoned surfers). Using that method, often these customer will click through an affiliate link during the process of finding us. This creates an instance of a pre-existing customer, with a new 60 day affiliate commission attached to each order. I hardly think this is isolated to just our business, but nonetheless, it's an additional cost embedded in the program. We look at it as a cost-to-play in the affiliate space. Naturally, there are ways to engineer this out of the system, but we don't. We like to sign big affiliate checks.

    Lastly, and candidly, as far as putting the affiliate ID near the 800#, I'm not going to say that we will never consider this option- but here is one issue that I see as a sticky one.

    BettyMills has a business sales team in place that makes outbound calls to our best corporate customers- standard industry practice. This team gets paid a commission on each order they generate.

    There is not enough margin per order to pay both a rep and an affiliate on the order, thus if we engineered in the ID near the 800#, we would need to eliminate or reduce the commission to the sales reps on those orders.

    If a business account calls in, and gets transferred to a rep, and that rep knows that the call came in via an affiliate, and that their commission is at stake, how eager will the reps be to associate the order with the affiliate? I'm not bashing sales reps, heck, I've been selling all my life, but human nature being what it is..., this would be a heck of a process to police on a regular basis.

    So anyway, for sticky/tricky reasons like this, we put all the issues in the hopper, and push out the best possible rate that we can, so in the end, it's as fair and rewarding as it possibly can be.

    Regards,
    Victor Hanna, The BettyMills Company
    Home of Snack Rewards and the Double Markdown!
    Affiliate Login: http://www.GetBetty.com
    Signup Page: https://getbetty.com/affiliate_signup.aspx
    Home Page BettyMills.com

  18. #18
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    He means that they don't do it because they do not want to pay affiliate commissions on phone in orders and that they take that into account when they figure out the commission rate for the program over all.
    That's not how I read what Victor said...

    Personally, I think probably the vast majority of sales durring buisiness hours that originate on the net end up being phone in orders, especially larger orders. I know that as a customer, I sure would call that number for a large order and maybe for an order of any size. Why not? The call is free. And, if they were closed, I would wait until the next day and call when they are open.
    I dont think so... your lack of business experience is showing....

    It will be hard to make sales with that number there. But, the feed is easy to work with so you may as well add them to your sites. Not much to lose but your time. I wouldn't buy ads to send anyone there, though.
    I dont think Betty is a hard sell if you can drive the right kind of traffic to the site... My problems with Betty were just that... Once Victor pointed me in the right direction to sell (the mark of a good AM) Betty's products.. I've done fine.. infact my shed pages convert at above average rates... inspite ofthe 800# ...

    Yes, there are lazy people and idiots around us and visiting our sites... who couldn't get a date with a $50 taped to their forehead... but that isn't cause for us to dump on Victor..

    I appreciate that he took the time to answer our concern about the 800# I dont see him hiding like some others...

    Lets give him the benefit of doubt here.. even of us are making $$ with this program to know what the truth is...

    As far as I'm concerned... it's a closed issue!!

    now, if I could just nail down some really big Betty sales...life would be great

    JOe
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  19. #19
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Well, I could be wrong. I was once. That was back in '82, I believe.

    I am just going by the way I would shop. And, I sure would phone in the order given the option.

    But, then, I don't like to shop on line at all. (Although, I will if I want something badly enough like rare seeds.) So, there you have it.
    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!

  20. #20
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    [2004]
    Clicks : 6,572
    Sales : 24 (big and small sales)
    Commission : 244.17

    [2005]
    Clicks : 28,623
    Sales : 9 (only small sales)
    Commission : 56.57

    I use datafeed. All my pages are static html.

    I've just give up.
    It worked well for me when Andy Rodriguez was the affiliate manager

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Well, Victor, that was the wrong response. Granted, you are doing a good job and I like your program (but have not joined yet), but your thinking is all wrong and if you were an avid readier of ABW you'd probably have seen this.

    Here's the reason. Although I am not a paid employee of your company, I am a business person. I put in over 40 hours a week building my sites and creating links to merchants with the end goal of making a commission for my sales. Now, I create a killer site, work hours and hours to build it, am able to get a customer to find it (sometimes by pay for clicks, etc) and I lose the sale because they call the number on the screen and you don't want to take the commission away from your reps. A cookie was set, I did the work, the sale should be mine.

    I think you seriously need to read some previous posts on this issue and reconsider your thinking. Your current mind set will not get affiliates to sign up, it will instead steer them away.

    I felt bad by bringing up this 800 number issue because your intent was for us to critique your new site. Well, in the end, this 800 issue is a big concern in that redesign and you don't seem to be able to see it from the affiliates perspective. If you are not looking out for us, we will not be looking out for you. Your sales reps will make money from their business contacts over and over, but we should rightfully get any sale from our links, even if (especially if) the customer does a search in google to find you. We work very hard to get our links high in google and you are simply taking the wind out of our sail by brushing us off so your reps get the commission instead of us.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  22. #22
    Chief Betty Victor Hanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    ...and I lose the sale because they call the number on the screen and you don't want to take the commission away from your reps.
    Re-read my post- that's not what was stated. My point was that there is a likely conflict of interest between a sales rep entering the affiliate ID on the order vs their financial interest to do so.

    Regards,
    Victor Hanna, The BettyMills Company
    Home of Snack Rewards and the Double Markdown!
    Affiliate Login: http://www.GetBetty.com
    Signup Page: https://getbetty.com/affiliate_signup.aspx
    Home Page BettyMills.com

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I've reread your post several times. I understand what you are saying, but by saying it, you risk turning away affiliates because your message is clear, any link that generates a call to your sales rep staff from one of your clients, no matter how hard we worked to create that link or paid money to get it noticed, is not as important as your sales reps getting the commission. It's not so much the mechanics that bothers me, it's your intentions. Good intentions, but they are flawed from my affiliate perspective.

    Can we, at the very least, look into some kind of compromise? Is there an alternative way of making this work? Any other merchants or affiliates have any ideas that can help make this work for Victor and us?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  24. #24
    Internet Cowboy
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    It is always the same story. The merchant says 99.9% of their sales come from online. Many other merchants say that parasites only generate 1% or less of their sales. Fortunately we don't have to worry about parasites with Betty Mills.

    If most sales come from online, then why not add a script to track phone sales for affiliates and get affiliates that much more interested in promoting you? That is the question I have asked over and over again and have never gotten a very good answer. Certainly the gain of many new affiliates would outweigh the commission paid on that extra 1% of volume.

    Victor, I have made an honest attempt to sell your products and have had a small degree of success with you. We have talked several times over the past year, but the phone number is a deal killer when trying to sell the big ticket furniture items. I bought a chair from you and love it. It was a wonderful transaction, but so many people who buy this big dollar furniture are not comfortable doing so online. I was told to expect a delivery time of 4 to 5 days and that I would get a phone call. Well, two days later, while I am not home, my chair arrives in an 18 wheeler. It's a good thing my neighbor was there to sign for it. There are so many variables that customers need to solve which is why they call. For every sale that happens online, I bet there are 10 that happen over the phone and that is not in the best interest of this affiliate.

    Nevermind. I just read the post about how we compete (or would) with an ih-house sales rep. We are already competing with in-house affiliate sites. No wonder it is so hard to make this program work.
    I can honestly say I tried.


  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    First, the site is a vast improvement over the last version, although I wouldn't call it "Extreme." Thank you. When we send new customers to the site, perhaps we will covert a few more than before.

    Concerning the 800 number issue. I am not going to jump into this one just yet. I will say that there are a couple of things that simply do not add up.

    Much success in 2006 !

    Fred

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