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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Dear CJ Merchant
    [copy of email soon to be sent to my merchants]

    Dear CJ Merchants,

    As you are aware, Commission Junction recently switched from the old reliable legacy links (that my company has been using to make sales for you for years) to the new JavaScript links. There are several problems with this approach by CJ, mainly being that they are requiring affiliates (publishers) to remove profit making links for ones that have not been tested in real affiliate marketing by them on a global scale (one merchant informed me that CJ admitted they only tested these in-house over the last several months).

    First, this is not a proven system and it seems suicide for CJ to consider this kind of approach without proper beta testing. I, and many other affiliates who are upset by this approach, refuse to change our links without more field testing and are trying to do what we can to get CJ to leave the old legacy links in place forever and making both legacy links and JavaScript links both optional, giving the affiliates two options and let them decide which works best in their business model. Another suggestion is let the merchant decide if they want one link type or the other or both. (That way it is the merchant, not CJ, who decides the benefits and if they want to drive affiliates away or retain them.)

    Many affiliates are deciding to move their links to other merchants at other networks because of this change. A simple move by CJ to retain legacy links would have prevented this and itís not too late to stop the flow. As an affiliate, we have little say over what CJ does. However, when CJ hears the same complaints and requests from dozens of their merchants, they seem to be more receptive (and it appears ebay has spoke up already, saying that they are not going to participate in the new LMI). If you are not aware of all the problems JS links create or the problems currently being encountered by affiliates, please contact me and I will send you a summarized list of what I know so far.

    This is just Phase I of the Link Management Initiative and we have little information as to what future phases will require affiliates to do in regards to global site changes. Has CJ informed you of what the future phases include? If not, you should be asking now. You are paying for their service and you need to be informed.

    Thank you for your time and interest in helping all of us. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    eBay and Buy.com have both said they weren't interested in javascript links.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    Thanks for posting this 7-days. I will be e-mailing my CJ merchants regarding this and it helped to remind me of some major points I need to include.

    I have been waiting to see what Phase I looked like - well it wasn't pretty. I feel when CJ starts changing out the product links in Phase II, things will really get ugly.

  4. #4
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Why not just forget about CJ?

    Hell, if we're going to worry so much about the goose that cooked itself, we may as well allot some of our time and energy to chasing after top rankings on Altavista while we're at it.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    NoWires,

    Up until this mindless move to JS (without doing proper testing), CJ has always been a good network for me and I have one of my top merchants there. Just because they made one top-down, ill conceived change, does not mean I want to leave them. I would, instead, hope enough merchants and affiliates change CJ's thinking. Change is inevitable and we must change to keep ahead. But this is just not good business, what CJ is asking everyone to do.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  6. #6
    Member SaltyFrog75's Avatar
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    I just got done e-mailing my most profitable merchants asking them if they had in-house affiliate programs or had affiliate programs on a differrent affiliate network.

    I kept my letters a bit more concise 7-Days did (I want to make sure they actually read it) and included my sales records for the last year and the year-to-date.

    I heard back from one merchant right away. They said:

    "Thanks for your message, we appreciate you taking the time to give us some
    feedback.

    At the moment, CJ will continue to allow use of the old html links.
    Actually, that will be the case for the foreseeable future. They may
    change at some time in the future, but have promised that they will give
    at least 6 months notice. Certainly, they will not be changing this year.

    However they choose to handle it, I am confident we will find a way to
    continue working with those who wish to use html links."

    I encourage everyone to contact all their merchants (or at least their primary ones). They need to hear our feedback, because it is probably the only way CJ will ever listen (indirectly through the merchant) to our concerns about mandatory JS links.

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

    From what that merchant told you, it sounds just like the brainwashing bull CJ is trying to pull on us. First they told us we had to change, then, WAIT, we will give you six months warning. But still, the change will come. I don't think this merchant fully understands that.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  8. #8
    Member SaltyFrog75's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was kind of under that impression, too, but at least they are aware that some affiliates (me) are unhappy with the change. Whether they comply with my wishes or not, at least I'll know I didn't sit by and do nothing to try to change the situation. If the merchants get enough letter from affiliates, then perhaps they will wake up to the problems CJ's LMI is causing. I can only hope.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Good point and sorry if I missed the intent of your email. I hope others are as proactive as you and I and write to their merchants. I know I have 91 merchants at CJ, but looking at the list today I see 16 I plan to drop tomorrow (simply because they have not converted or really don't work for my sites).
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    Not really worried about it NoWires, just want to be clear to the merchants why I'm moving to other networks and merchants, no harm in that. I believe the merchants are the only ones that can sway CJ at this point. If the merchants speak up and CJ ends up keeping the legacy links (okay I'm dreaming), then the e-mails were worth the effort. But if the legacy links are phased out then at least I know I did what I could in the best interest of my business. I do have some good long time merchants with CJ that I would like to continue with. Sitting by the oven waiting for the goose to cook and doing nothing isn't going to make that happen.

  11. #11
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Up until this mindless move to JS (without doing proper testing), CJ has always been a good network for me and I have one of my top merchants there.
    Same here.

    I also used to rock out listening to 8-track tapes.

    The world changes. The seasons come and go. It's time to stick a fork in CJ and toss it to the compost heap on top of Altavista and Flooz.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
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  12. #12
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I kept my letters a bit more concise 7-Days did (I want to make sure they actually read it) and included my sales records for the last year and the year-to-date.
    I agree Ron - get it down to 2 paragraphs - and I'll use it too

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Good points about keeping it shorter. Actually, it is about half of what I orginally wrote. (sense my frustration?)

    Well, I thought I would first send an email to Frank Gerstenberger, the person who I believe is heading this all up. Yeah, even kept it to two short paragraphs. Guess what response I got back?

    I will be out of the office until July 7 and will not have access to email.

    Thanks
    Frank
    Now tell me, what exucitive of a company leaves the office for two weeks during the implmentation of some of the bigest changes in the company's history without access to email?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  14. #14
    Member SaltyFrog75's Avatar
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    Just more great planning on CJ's part, I'd guess.

  15. #15
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    I wrote to my top CJ merchants and got back answers. One is staying, convinced and pursueded by CJ that JS links are a slice of heaven, the other offered me an alternate network and a higher commission so all's good there. :-) Just switched out all my links from the merchant staying at CJ to a SAS merchant who offers the same products. Such a shame, I did very well with this merchant ...

    CJ is really ramming a load of down merchant's throats about how great JS links will be. The merchant who is staying told me they'll be much better able to "identify publishers that truly pay attention to their various campaigns" and that, most importantly, "CJ wanted to react to current algorithm changes among search engines and decided for the benefit of their publishers and advertisers alike, that JavaScript would "weed" out the non-attentive publishers."

    OK fine ... I just made 3 (off season) sales for this company the past two days but it was the last their links will be on my site. Pisses me off big time. Also saddens me to know the merchants are bending over for CJ's BS.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
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    "The merchant who is staying told me they'll be much better able to "identify publishers that truly pay attention to their various campaigns" and that, most importantly, "CJ wanted to react to current algorithm changes among search engines and decided for the benefit of their publishers and advertisers alike, that JavaScript would "weed" out the non-attentive publishers."

    If there was a way, I would kick those type of merchants out of affiliate marketing.

  17. #17
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "The merchant who is staying told me they'll be much better able to "identify publishers that truly pay attention to their various campaigns" and that, most importantly, "CJ wanted to react to current algorithm changes among search engines and decided for the benefit of their publishers and advertisers alike, that JavaScript would "weed" out the non-attentive publishers."

    If there was a way, I would kick those type of merchants out of affiliate marketing.
    Unfortunately, this is a merchant that converts well for a lot of us. It's making me so sad.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  18. #18
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    I think you should stop registering new nicks to post here.

    Merchants, very simple. Take your own javascript links you now have available in the creative and throw em up on a page. Case closed.

    Or just read the petition:
    http://jangro.com/cj-petition.php
    Last edited by Trust; June 27th, 2006 at 03:08 AM.

  19. #19
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I think you should stop registering new nicks to post here.
    Out of curiosity, how can you tell who the poster is?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  20. #20
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    My guess is that she changed her name but not her IP address.

  21. #21
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    If there was a way, I would kick those type of merchants out of affiliate marketing.
    There is. Just let them stay at CJ.
    Michael Coley
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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Sheri's Avatar
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    Ok, so I don't know the story about who "cassandra" really is, but he/she/it made one very valid point.

    Don't talk technical to marketing people. Talk money. You can state a few points about how the tech aspect of the links is part of the problem, but mainly stay with the fact money will be lost. Either because the links themselves are causing the problem or because you will be leaving and you typically make them $xxxx.00 a month.

    If you can make the money talk, then maybe the merchant will make the CJ LMI BullS#*t walk.

    Sheri

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I bet some merchants are already feeling the sting from the new LMI. Affiliates are posting notes about links not working, 404 pages, etc. Enough of this goes on, they will see a trend. Plus, top affiliates are going to explore other options before trying CJ's untried JS links. This will have a slow domino effect and it will only be a matter of time before merchants discover the tide has been going out and not coming back in.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  24. #24
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    just read the petition:
    http://jangro.com/cj-petition.php
    Quote Originally Posted by Cassandra
    Scott Jangro outlined the tech case -- http://www.jangro.com/a/2006/06/25/a...l-look-at-lmi/
    Tha Jangro dude is smart. He's able to delve into and thoroughly chat techno-speak and to back off and talk practicalities. He makes excellent points that all merchants, of all levels of understanding, should devote some brainpower and time to digesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    If there was a way, I would kick those type of merchants out of affiliate marketing.
    There is. Just let them stay at CJ.
    Or, if digesting it's depth ain't working for you, listen to two power CJ affiliates discuss how they'll view your program. That sarcasm - joking that staying at CJ and forcing JS links could spell doom for a merchant - is funny, but dead serious as well. Jangor's covered the details. Power affiliates are laughing at what's going to happen. Should be of interest to merchants everywhere.

  25. #25
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    There is. Just let them stay at CJ.


    I heard back from one CJ merchant I've sent 7000 clicks to in 2006 resulting in 2 sales. 1 was a test purchase and the other a cheapo sale someone let slide through. They said the LMI java links would improve my targeted traffic conversion ratio. Idiots. I sent the shoppers to specific product pages where I hand write pre-sell content and place individual CJ product links to their site. I also use "Make a page" SAS links, text and banner links, which also don't convert after 200 clicks for them. So not all the problems are CJ related as I suspect an insider (merchant or CJ) is kiting sales before they get posted from the batch reports.

    I let a few of my ecommerce clients look at my stats for them and they were appalled knowing they never do worse then 1 sale per 25 click from any traffic source. All too often the affiliate industry is so entrenched in the advertising mindset they forget we get paid NOTHING for advertising these merchants. They therefore do everything in their power to push us into paying for their targeted traffic Advertising bills, while poo pooing their sole responsibility to convert that traffic. CJ new ownership supports this mindset as they push their BHO's, network SEM campaigns and shove datamining java script onto the affiliate cannon fodder.
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