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  1. #1
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    Why not heap on the affiliates?
    I keep hearing people talk about how such-and-such a company dumps them because they aren't showing any sales. But doesn't more affiliates = more chances to make $$$? Even if its only that one lonely random sale that the affiliate makes...thats still money in the bank isn't it?

    Also, lets say an affiliate wants to sign on with someone like Wal-Mart or Bloomingdale's...I can understand why they would reject you if you had pictures of (or something like that...) but beyond inappropriate content why wouldn't they sign you on?

  2. #2
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    Yeah Bloomies or Bloomys. What's up? Approve me damnit.

  3. #3
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    You mentioned that about Bloomingdale's earlier I saw TrustNo1...do they have a good program or something?

    ...on second thought, I suppose a merchant would want to be more careful if they were pay-per-click versus pay-per-sale...

  4. #4
    Member ABCMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronChef253
    I keep hearing people talk about how such-and-such a company dumps them because they aren't showing any sales. But doesn't more affiliates = more chances to make $$$? Even if its only that one lonely random sale that the affiliate makes...thats still money in the bank isn't it?
    I've read this too, and it seemed like, in some cases, there is a fee placed upon the affiliate if their traffic grows stale (wasn't this CJ who does this?).

    I know with the affiliate program we had, we never really dumped anyone. We just placed anyone who did not send traffic or conversions into a separate tier. Sort of like a black hole where we notified them of which tier they were placed in hopes they would get stimulated into a more aggressive marketing plan.

    However, after a while, and just speaking for myself, the database became so huge and overwhelming, that our database would need to field the every affiliate record before outputting a simple report.

    Our tech people said our report efficiency would increase if we place the dormant affiliates in a separate database. It worked. Reports came out a lot quicker, and it was faster to find those affiliates who were performing. Although our criteria was not as strict as some merchant sites I have found.

    But, yes, even an affiliate that sends only one conversion a year is an important one. That's why we never deleted affiliates from our database. I also had programmed that an affiliate that was placed in the separate 'black hole' database could always be placed back into the main database should certain levels be reached. I had our database run maintenance during off hours to do this, just to be fair.

    Certainly, I'm minimizing everything we actually did in just a few sentences, but I don't know if all merchants are doing this sort of process. It appears that once you're dumped, you must re-sign up. I dunno. I just started from this side of the fence now.

    Again, I agree that even a slow performing or dormant account can be ressurected. And even one sale is important. I'm sure there are a lot of merchants that can comment on their experiences here as well and outline the logic much better in a global sort of way.

  5. #5
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    "You mentioned that about Bloomingdale's earlier I saw TrustNo1...do they have a good program or something?"

    Just a big merchant I want on my site. The commission isn't very high but I think conversions would be since I do real good with department store type merchants. Some merchants are more private program or very selective. I still need to send an email to them asking to get in.

  6. #6
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    Verrrry interesting. I'm up to something like 12,000 affiliates and the accursed reports have become rather laggy.

    I have the low-performers grouped into one group and my LinkShare rep wants me to do this thing called an "Activation Campaign" where I start poking the lazy ones with a stick to try and get them going...first by sending them specialized letters etc and then threatening temporary suspension etc. But I love them all...equally even the ones with no sales.

    Is 20-30% considered a good commission? I guess I haven't really gotten a handle on what an affiliate would look at and say: "hey, this is a program I need to be in."

    ...I approve of you No1...even if Bloomingdale's won't

  7. #7
    Member ABCMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronChef253
    Verrrry interesting. I'm up to something like 12,000 affiliates and the accursed reports have become rather laggy.

    I have the low-performers grouped into one group and my LinkShare rep wants me to do this thing called an "Activation Campaign" where I start poking the lazy ones with a stick to try and get them going...first by sending them specialized letters etc and then threatening temporary suspension etc. But I love them all...equally even the ones with no sales.
    I know what you mean, Chef! In my opinion, each and every affiliate was attracted to our site for a reason, even if the motivation was simply to collect as many merchants as possible.

    But it's easy to figure out who is taking it more seriously than others if you have a handle on database queries. We had several non converting affiliates who did send us 'some' traffic. It was amazing how a little attention can make a world of difference. Our company owner really only wanted to focus on the big boys, and we did, but investing time to figure out WHY the other low performing affiliates are not converting is worth it. Sometimes, it took just a simple tweak of their marketing efforts just to get their traffic up. You gotta be patient and be able to juggle a lot of questions, but even the little guys can be motivated with some attention. I hope all goes well.

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Sounded pretty typical until I read this:

    and then threatening
    LS's PR department must have a shortage of oxygen going on.

    You won't have to worry about dropping affs if you threaten.
    They'll drop YOU. Putting up with threats is directly counter to the main point of this business (making money with NO BOSS)! Threats cause tremendous ill will, especially among the entrepreneurailly-minded.

    A friendly reminder that you exist can work with some, though. Although personally I hate to be bugged at all, a friendly reminder goes over a whole world better than a threat would!

  9. #9
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    Yeah...we have a few "big boys" and I wish I could find more of them...the kind that like to get Medieval on their Overture and Google search words.

    I've been trying to do more business with them...offering incentives etc for signing on and staying signed on and I would do more of it if I could find some more of them (hinty hint hint).

    For the most part though we get the vast majority of $$$ from our top 200 or fewer. The other 95+% just...hang out I guess.

    ABCMonkey: Do you directly communicate with a lot of your affiliates, know them by name etc? To what degree do you befriend them and make them feel loved?

    As for threatening I honestly never intend on going that far because I doubtit would work / be a practice I would want associated with the firm etc.

  10. #10
    Member ABCMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    ...a friendly reminder goes over a whole world better than a threat would!
    Here, here! Unless your goal is to create an enemy. The positive approach is always the better one.

  11. #11
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    Treat all your affiliates nice. Today's small affiliate can be tomorrow's powerhouse. And they usually have good memory.

  12. #12
    Member ABCMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronChef253
    For the most part though we get the vast majority of $$$ from our top 200 or fewer. The other 95+% just...hang out I guess.

    ABCMonkey: Do you directly communicate with a lot of your affiliates, know them by name etc? To what degree do you befriend them and make them feel loved?
    I actually resigned that position a short while ago after a successful run. Just FYI. However, the degree of 'befriending' was certainly not on the same level of relationship I maintain with my 'buds'. It's business, so I walked the fine line since I wanted to make certain that we not only like them as business people, but we encouraged (and idealy hoped for) supporting results. Becoming TOO friendly sometimes creates conflict. As long as you don't lose sight of your business goals, and theirs, there isn't really a limit on how friendly you can be with them (again, be reasonable, you're not sleeping with them).

    The majority of our program (and the other company's programs I worked for) were supported by the top 10 percent. Give or take. You can't ignore them, and it pays to be friendly. The only issue I encountered early on with the lesser productive affiliates that once I became to chummy with them, I would spend a great deal of time with them. Not so much on issues relating to directly marketing our sites, but with the whole affiliate process completely. That's why I would refer them to places like this or other resources after a while. My job was to help them promote our business, and to express to them how we would ideally like our brand represented and marketed on their site. Becoming too chummy resulted in too many phone calls. It wasn't as if I disliked chatting with them. But when you're managing 40,000 plus affiliates, it's difficult to spend too much time with someone just starting out in the field of merchant marketing.

    So, use your own judgement and keep your goals in check and don't lose sight of your objectives. Yes, I befriended a number of affiliates for various reasons and remain in contact with a few to this day. Certainly, the top tiered affiliates received a lot of attention. We had a mutually profitable relationship, and in the process of offering that attention, some personal information will eventually be exchanged as in any business relationship. But that comes in time with trust, and performance.

    The other tiers would receive attention through regular emails and contacts. And if an affiliate contacted me, I would immediately respond since if they are coming to me with enthusiasm, then they are a prime candidate for performance excellence. I've seen diamond in the roughs blow the lid off with their enthusiasm and focus.

    A little attention does go a long, long way. And who doesn't like a pat on the back now and again?

  13. #13
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    True or False: A good affiliate is one who will select a specific demographic / niche interest / a small select group of companies who that niche / demographic typifies - then concentrate on purchasing search terms (through Google or whatever) or publishing content which will appeal to that demographic.

  14. #14
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    For a merchant I would guess any affiliate that drives traffic and sales. And this is a roller coaster business so that could change by the month. Depends on how they get traffic. Google or any other SE could shift and an affiliate could lose spots in the SERPS. Google killed a lot of my ads with making my keywords $10. So some merchants are going to see less sales from me. Depends on lots of things and what's a "good affiliate" can vary between the merchants. Depends on what your definition of a good affiliate is.

  15. #15
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Let us not forget that the majority of us are losing the SE battle over the past few years. Come up with some way to improve that and you're gold.



    Meanwhile, back at amazon.com, the dud affiliates are usually left alone. I wonder why?

  16. #16
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    Those dud affiliates have Amazon banners on their site. So Amazon banners everywhere. Good for Amazon. Some merchants like to clean house of inactive affiliates or ones that don't produce. I disagree with it. Do what Amazon does, just let it ride. There's no chance of getting a sale from an affiliate if they don't have links up to a merchant. There's always a chance if they do. So I would go with the odds.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Yeah Bloomies or Bloomys. What's up? Approve me damnit.
    lol
    Trust: You may have missed her post:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=75241

    hope that shows it since haven't done it here before.
    It's invitation only but the Linshare moderator said you could email them. They probably would accept you if you if you do that especially if you tell them your nickname for them

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Treat all your affiliates nice. Today's small affiliate can be tomorrow's powerhouse. And they usually have good memory.
    That's my philosophy. I am nice to everyone that contacts me. If they reached out to *me* there is an interest there. If they start driving sales because of something I said, that says I did my job.

    My job is to help people make money. You have to communicate with them, if they want you to, and leave them alone if they want to be left alone.

    I've been told I spend too much time with new affiliates, well, if once in a while I get one that has the "ah ha!" moment and that makes it so s/he can suddenly understand how to promote my products, we all win. I am not going to try and guess who the next power affiliate is.... it could be some one reading this thread, it could be someone that calls me or im's me tonight, it could be someone I never actually talk to but that reads something I wrote here, or in an email, or over at the CafePress message boards....

    Treat everyone nice.... the person asking "stupid questions" today could be tomorrow's powerhouse.... (btw... there are no stupid questions )

    Trust, from your posts in this thread, you and I think scarily alike
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager David Carter's Avatar
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    The key to any successful merchant site is to have a huge affiliate base. You have to do this knowing in advance that 95% of those affiliates will never send a sale. Some affiliates can sell magazines, some can't its just that simple. Some affilates have a hard time selling anything at all. As merchants we have to work with all affiliates and understand that it is in OUR best interest to teach the affiliate the best way to market our product, or ensure that the affilate has all of the tools for success at hand. I personally think that virtually any site can market magazines since every site has some topic of interest that is played to, but the affiliate must want to send a sale or the sale will not happen.

    We appreciate every affiliate who has signed on to our program and want each one to succeed so we would never consider dumping anyone.
    David Carter
    MagazinesQuick.com

  20. #20
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Always treat affiliates with respect they are working for tips! There are a couple of reasons to clean up a program. If you send emails once or twice a month to communicate about your program that can exceed your free email limit through the network. I have a program with 22k affiliates and can only send 10k emails a month. I over sent once and the merchant got billed an extra $3,000.

    There is also a habit for new affiliates to sign-up for every program that will accept them to see all the offers. If an affiliate joins but never puts up a link then what value are they to the program. Also, many newbies give affiliate marketing a try but shut down their site after the first year so you have an affiliate account that points to nothing. Some times you need to verify that there is someone on the other end of the email.

    I am all for giving newbies a try and giving a new site some thing to offer but if after a year they send no clicks then it is difficult to keep them in the program. Its not a 80/20 rule it is a 99/1 rule. 200 monthly producing affiliates in a program are a powerhouse, IMHO.

  21. #21
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Rather than "cleaning up" inactive affiliates or threatening to remove them, I always recommend segmenting the inactive affiliates out. They've expressed some interest by signing up, so they're probably the most targeted group of potential affiliates you'll ever find. Activation campaigns can be wonderful. Rather than spending thousands on useless emails, spend $1099 for Andy's next Affiliate Manager Certification Seminar and learn from the master of activation campaigns.

    You might also consider switching to a network that doesn't charge outrageous fees for sending emails/newsletters.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  22. #22
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    I completely agree with you, Chuck. It was also suggested to me to entice my inactive affiliates with an activation campaign. The results were fantastic! I started in October of last year. The majority have become active. With the remainder, I sent emails and newsletters offering tips, ideas and suggestions to increase conversions. A very few took me up on the suggestions and are now converting. The rest...well, sorry to say I did opt to Temp Remove them. My biggest reason was their links were dead. The 2nd was the valid sites, for whatever reason, refused to update creative. Our brand changed a year ago and they were still using the old brand. I contacted them numerous times requesting they update (We don't have DRM....yet). I never heard from them. Remember, I've been hounding this consistently since Oct 2005. Also keep in mind, those affiliates were not converting anything...no registered clicks or impressions. Once I temp removed 11k affiliates....I received a few emails asking why they were removed...out of 11,000 I received 18 emails. Eighteen. They have since been opted back in and communication between us has opened. Lastly, they were removed to speed up reporting which was, I must say, impossibly slow. If all this makes me a bad or poor affiliate manager, then I accept the title. I think it makes complete sense to clean house and shake things up a little now and then.
    --Willow

  23. #23
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    General Survey: Of all the affiliate managers in here, how many use multiple affiliate programs?

    At the moment we're just on LinkShare but I am curious about how common it is to run several program. I reason that more programs = more affiliate exposure (not to mention more work).

    in addition, for those of you who do run multiple programs:
    1.) Has your experience generally been positive?
    2.) Is it worth the investment of funds?

  24. #24
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    "At the moment we're just on LinkShare"

    You can't be anyplace else right? They don't allow you to open up elsewhere.

  25. #25
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    Is that true? What are they going to do? Give back the thousands of dollars we are paying them? Somehow I doubt that...

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