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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    AM's Who Don't Get It...
    Some Affiliate Managers just DO NOT get it...

    Reason I am Posting This:::

    I Signed up for a program and contacted the AM for a datafeed.
    I asked a few questions and asked about an inhouse datafeed.

    The response I got::
    Just the in house datafeed..
    Not one word typed in the e-mail...
    NO:
    Thanks For Signing Up!
    Good Luck With Our Program!
    Contact Me If You Need Anything Else!
    Kiss My Butt.. or anything...
    Not Even A NAME or SIGNATURE....

    On The Other Hand - Another Program I just Signed Up With.. Almost as soon as I clicked the button to submit the application.. I got a phone call from the AM.. We talked for almost an hour about my business model.. the other sites they offered.. how they could help me get started with their program and so on.. it was great for a new affiliate to have that much feedback and help.. (Even though I don't need help)

    -----------
    I just wanted to say one thing regarding the AM that sent me the feed and not one word typed in the e-mail..

    We are not just an invisible "Marketing Tool" we are business people who have decided to affiliate ourselves with you to sell your products... and we deserve respect and common courtesies... We work hard to sell your products and we are not banner farm creators...
    ----------

    SO Who's links do you think actually went up on my sites?
    Yep the AM that gave me the courtesy of a phone call and a little bit of his time to welcome me into the program and offer me as much help as needed...

    Some AM's Just DO NOT GET IT at all...
    The Personal Touch always works best...!
    Build a relationship with your affiliates and you will always do well... treat us like an invisible "Marketing Tool" and you'll be sitting back and wondering why your Program is not taking off like gangbusters...!

    IMHO...

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I wouldn't want the "courteous telephone call" -- no thanks.

    I would value a nice polite e-mail that was obviously written to me and not something shot out to millions of others.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    The first sounds verging on rude (though I don't really think so), but you got exactly what you wanted. How long did it take?

    The second sounds more charming - but will they convert? Do they have a feed?

    I'd still take a chance on the first - in fact it may be such a busy and happening programme that that's all the AM had time for, the second may be so slow that the AM has nothing else to do.

    This is about the bottom line, first and foremost - "fast and effective but abrupt" may not be the most polite approach, but it does work. Don't dismiss the first because the "personal" aspect was missing.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Network Rep Annabelle's Avatar
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    I really think the personalized touch is the way to go - and that a fast reply can still contain some element of recognition and personality, that allows the receiver to feel as though they have really been listened to and attended to - not "just another number".

    I have had such bad experience lately with delivery services, cable guys, phone technicians, internet service providers, oil providers for home heating etc. with customer service people who simply don't listen or communicate with others they work with to get problems resolved. It is increasingly frustrating. Yes, it proves the company is popular and busy, but it also proves that they are understaffed, not well trained and ill-equipped to provide a service they boast in having.

    So as an AM... I think a little bit of personality goes a long way.
    [FONT=Verdana]Annabelle
    [B]Affiliate Marketing Coordinator
    Share Results Affiliate Network[/B]

    Join the [URL=http://www.shareresults.com/index.php]Share Results Affiliate Network[/URL] today!
    [URL=http://blog.shareresults.com/]http://blog.shareresults.com/[/URL]
    e. annabelle at shareresults.com
    t. (514) 849-8595[/FONT]

    [I]Milk was a bad choice.[/I] Ron Burgundy

  5. #5
    Canadienne extraordinaire Susan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    I wouldn't want the "courteous telephone call" -- no thanks.

    I would value a nice polite e-mail that was obviously written to me and not something shot out to millions of others.
    Rhia...thanks for letting us know :-)

    Susan Arts
    Senior Vice President, Marketing
    Moxy Media

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annabelle
    So as an AM... I think a little bit of personality goes a long way.
    I agree entirely - but don't judge the value of a merchant programme solely from the personality of the AM.

  7. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annabelle
    So as an AM... I think a little bit of personality goes a long way.
    It sure does
    Through the CJ e-mail interface I got in touch with the XYZ merchant.
    I check that mail interface every day and would like personal contact through that with my CJ merchants. I received a personal (not complicated to write) message from the affiliate merchant in response to my query:

    Thanks for the message as it is always nice to hear from affiliates.

    To introduce myself I am the new affiliate manager for XYZ and am here to make sure that we both succeed in this partnership.

    I was actually going to contact you after coming across your blog, which I enjoyed! blah...blah...blah
    Ooh, look at that: the affiliate manager from XYZ company noticed that I have a blog. Not only that, but the merchant said she enjoyed reading it -- there was just the touch of the personal -- as opposed to the merchants who don't even realize I have 2 blogs in addition to my sites ... this creates an instant connection.
    Whose products do you think I will give more effort to in promoting?

  8. #8
    Affiliate Network Rep Annabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ward
    I agree entirely - but don't judge the value of a merchant programme solely from the personality of the AM.
    I agree!
    [FONT=Verdana]Annabelle
    [B]Affiliate Marketing Coordinator
    Share Results Affiliate Network[/B]

    Join the [URL=http://www.shareresults.com/index.php]Share Results Affiliate Network[/URL] today!
    [URL=http://blog.shareresults.com/]http://blog.shareresults.com/[/URL]
    e. annabelle at shareresults.com
    t. (514) 849-8595[/FONT]

    [I]Milk was a bad choice.[/I] Ron Burgundy

  9. #9
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Please don't phone me. Not even if I email you with a question.
    Affiliate Marketing - The hardest easy money I ever made.

  10. #10
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ward
    I agree entirely - but don't judge the value of a merchant programme solely from the personality of the AM.
    There are many considerations to think of when joining a program ... but let's say you have 3 merchants all specializing in widgets.

    The widgets they sell are comparable in inventory and price with slight variations and then you can look at program statistics:

    EPC and Network Earnings -- EPC confuses me sometimes

    I like the SAS warning of low funds (I stay away from low funds merchants)

    Assuming programs look relatively similar, the merchant who actually responds to me in an e-mail (that is not shot out to everyone) will get in the short run my enthusiasm and perhaps in the long run my loyalty.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Rhia7 - "I wouldn't want the "courteous telephone call" -- no thanks. "

    I love the phone call.. This is a business.. I love putting at the very least a voice and personality with the AM's name.. not just type in an e-mail.. it makes for a much better relationship in the long run.. and I am in business for the long run and want to build relationships with AM's.. The more AM's that know me by name or have actually talked to or met me - the better... That is the way I have always done business in the real world or online.. "Networking" has it's perks believe me.. and the more perks you get.. the better you will do.. For instance.. Lots of Info sent to you that other affiliates do not get.. Simply because the AM likes me over the phone..! It pays to network with those you are doing business with..


    Paul Ward - "you got exactly what you wanted. How long did it take? "
    It took less than 24 hours.. (I sent the e-mail late last night)

    "The second sounds more charming - but will they convert? Do they have a feed? "

    I don't know if they will convert or not.. but their site is pretty nice (as nice as the other merchant) and yes they have a feed.. we discussed the layout of the feed and he liked my suggestions and my reasoning behind them.. They are a pretty new merchant and the AM appreciated my feedback...

    "I'd still take a chance on the first - in fact it may be such a busy and happening programme that that's all the AM had time for "

    Equals WAY more competition from other affiliates..
    (Still Considering Putting Up Links Anyway..)

    I agree I shouldn't judge the merchant on the personality of the AM...
    BUT A SIMPLE : Welcome to our program.. and a NAME.. would have been nice... LOL

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Thanks AddHandler and everyone. This is something every AM needs to know. As in all things, communication is key.

    In defense of AMs though, we have 200-300 new applications per week and we're just a small merchant. So the second AMs personal response is above and beyond. Either that or he/she has nothing else to do.

    At minimum, if anyone goes to the trouble of contacting me for anything, a check of their program is called for including; looking at their site, checking their offer, a review of past communications and suggestions on how to improve. A personal email is always the only response. It does take a sale or an email to get an affiliate to come up on our radar though.

    Believe me, a good affiliate wants to communicate. I send out anywhere from 20-30 personalized emails per week and that's just to existing affiliates. However, I'm lucky if 10%-20% respond. I was getting ready to get on the phone, but as missdonna and Rhia7 suggest that's not always best. I would love to hear about the best ways to communicate from your point of view.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    GigaGolf - "So the second AMs personal response is above and beyond. Either that or he/she has nothing else to do. "

    He said he saw my AREA CODE and he has relatives about an hour away from me that he visits often.. so he wanted to see who I was.. We have planned to meet when he comes down this way again... (in March)

    BUT at least it showed that he actually LOOKED at my info..


    As far as the best way to communicate with your affiliates...

    Your Top 5 - 10 Affiliates should get an e-mail and tell them you are going to call them to discuss your relationship further.. give them a time and date that you will call... Wait for a response telling you it's OK to call.. (Some people are picky about phone calls..)

    When you call - tell them the reason you are calling is because they are a Top Affiliate and you just wanted to discuss any idea's they may have to improve the program and see if there is anything that you can do to help further their sales through your program... This Opens the doors for a better relationship..

    Any of your other affiliates... a personalized e-mail.. letting them know that you are there if they need any advice or help in making more sales...

    Any affiliate that doesn't want a phone call or to discuss anything via e-mail.. will probably never be one of your Top 5 - 10 Affiliates..

  14. #14
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Perhaps the standard for the affiliate application should include a Please Call/Don't Call checkbox.

    I'll bet some AM's want to call others and haven't, because they're afraid there will be backlash. And I'm NOT talking about telemarketing here, I'm talking about calling affiliates who want to be called AFTER joining the program.

    While I don't disrespect affiliates who don't want to be called, I personally don't see an issue with it. As AddHandler said, this is a business. And the way this business is trending, don't be surprised if more AM's want to talk to you in the future.

    Merchants are getting tired of being misrepresented by the unsavory affiliates amongst us. And as this incredibly powerful, incredibly effective marketing channel grows, merchanst will start to look at us as independant contracors, especially if you wish to work out special arrangements.

    In the industry I work in during the day, we interview our independant contractors VERY thoroughly. And they are pay for performance as well, to a degree. We're not contractually obligated to pay them unless they complete work for us.

    What makes affiliate marketing so special that the same conditions shouldn't apply?

    I'm also not saying that there WILL or SHOULD be a rigorous interview process. I'm just saying that as time passes, things will change.

    Don't they always?
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
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  15. #15
    Internet Cowboy
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  16. #16
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GigaGolf
    Believe me, a good affiliate wants to communicate. I send out anywhere from 20-30 personalized emails per week and that's just to existing affiliates. However, I'm lucky if 10%-20% respond. I was getting ready to get on the phone, but as missdonna and Rhia7 suggest that's not always best. I would love to hear about the best ways to communicate from your point of view.
    Affiliates can be from any geographic location -- so if you call every affiliate at the default sign-up that will be a whopping phone bill.

    I like to contact people via e-mail.
    If an affiliate e-mails you, write a personal response to that e-mail -- that's it

    The person who loves to be called, what phone # does he give out? His home? His business? What if the website is on the side and not a part of the affiliate's full time job?

    Internet business is different from regular business at least in terms of the affiliate - merchant affiliate and this is what you are talking about in this thread, right?

    We're not talking about wholesale suppliers who supply the merchant affiliates with the products to sell.

    We're talking about Joe Webmaster who is able to create websites that can gather an audience -- "Wow, I get 700 visitors a day, I bet I could sell things."

    So Joe Webmaster signs up with Amazon, CJ, LS & others to put links up on his sites.

    Joe Webmaster is not the one personally soliciting people to come to his site. Visitors come for the content and from word of mouth etc...
    Do you really want to be on personal terms with a person who puts the equivalent of an Amazon banner on his webpage to market your goods/services?

    How personal would you like to get with the affiliate?

    There is a CEO I "personally like" from "knowing" this CEO over time -- basically I was able to sell a product he didn't think in the beginning would be a big seller. I followed this CEO from Yahoo Small Business [back] to CJ and now there's a different deal.
    One time I read his FAQs of his site which were supposed to discourage people from wanting to physically visit his warehouse -- the way he had writtten it made me want to visit
    So I told him He said if I am ever in the area he would be interested in meeting me. I said "thanks" & that's that. I don't plan on meeting anyone.

  17. #17
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Internet business is different from regular business at least in terms of the affiliate
    Rhia: Your point is valid, but you're describing only one type of affiliate. And you're describing the type that does arguably the least amount of business for the merchants.
    Kevin Webster
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  18. #18
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    Rhia: Your point is valid, but you're describing only one type of affiliate. And you're describing the type that does arguably the least amount of business for the merchants.
    Am I supposed to cover every base?

    You can describe the other scenerios. I'd like to read about them

    If an affiliate starts to sell $20,000.00 worth of widgets I am sure the desire to call will be stronger.

    I get a lot of e-mails from merchants that I just consider "spam" really -- I sure as heck don't have anything to say to them over the telephone.

    If an affiliate's e-mail is bouncing because it's not the correct e-mail address, I doubt that affiliate wants a phone call "Hey, where can we send you our new newsletter?"

  19. #19
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    AddHandler and all, thanks for the great points. I'd like to treat all affiliates the same, if possible, because small affiliates can become big affiliates, but I guess that's not always possible. Do you think a website dedicated to affiliates with all tools and marketing suggestions, etc. would be a good idea. What about AIM and the like? Would affiliates communicate that way?

  20. #20
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by GigaGolf
    AddHandler and all, thanks for the great points. I'd like to treat all affiliates the same, if possible, because small affiliates can become big affiliates, but I guess that's not always possible. Do you think a website dedicated to affiliates with all tools and marketing suggestions, etc. would be a good idea. What about AIM and the like? Would affiliates communicate that way?
    Get an AIM account and put your handle in your sig. I for one love when I can get an AM instantly. It makes a huge difference.


  21. #21
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GigaGolf
    What about AIM and the like? Would affiliates communicate that way?
    I use Miranda -- it's a free download that can handle a bunch of IM systems.

    I have MSN, AIM, & ICQ. I don't use them very often.

    In an e-mail you could ask your affiliate: "Do you use AIM instant messaging?"

  22. #22
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Get Trillian and have accounts with all of these (MSN, ICQ, AIM and YIM) under "one roof". Then your affiliate will not have to open an account with AIM to reach you at your AIM, but will contact you the way that is convenient for HIM/HER.

    Geno

  23. #23
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Trillian & Miranda are comparable programs

  24. #24
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    Trillian & Miranda are comparable programs
    Does Miranda have Yahoo on it too?

  25. #25
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno - RussianLegacy
    Does Miranda have Yahoo on it too?

    From http://www.miranda-im.org/
    Only the most basic features are built in, but there are currently more than 350 plugins available for download that allows users to extend the functionality in Miranda IM. Plugins can be installed to add support for ICQ, AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, Gadu-Gadu, Tlen, Netsend and other protocols.

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