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  1. #1
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Does AutoDelivery Steal Commissions?
    I'm giving all my pages a new look and I'm testing links.

    If the link (that has made sales in the past) works there's a good chance I'll feature it on a newly designed page.

    I just tested a Linkshare link and I noticed a big:
    Want to Set up regular shipments at a discount?

    Use our Auto Delivery service to have this sent to you as often as you like. You'll get discounted shipping and never worry about running out! (learn more)
    There's a big "Setup Auto delivery" button.

    How do other affiliates feel about that?

    Now that the customer likes the product, the customer can bypass my pages and get auto delivery
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  2. #2
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    How do other affiliates feel about that?

    Now that the customer likes the product, the customer can bypass my pages and get auto delivery
    Once the customer likes the product, if they want to order again they'll go right back to the merchant site anyway - not us. They won't be going back to the affiliate site when they want to order in the future so they can click on a link to the merchant's site, they probably won't even remember which site sent them to that merchant in the first place.

    Part of the deal with the affiliate relationship is that the initial commission paid is not only for that order, it's part of the cost of new customer acquisition, and hopefully the customer will be a long term steady for the merchant. If they're offering auto delivery for re-orders, it's good sense and good marketing on their part, for long term customer retention.

  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I'm used to getting repeat traffic for certain items and I noticed that this merchant didn't have Auto Delivery in the past.

    Where are and ? I'd like to read Mike's take.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  4. #4
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    Part of the deal with the affiliate relationship is that the initial commission paid is not only for that order, it's part of the cost of new customer acquisition
    So this is the modern equivalent of Serfdom?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom

    Should I take it lying down with my legs spread out?
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  5. #5
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    I think webworker is right on the mark. As much as we affiliates would like our site visitors to always purchase through our links, the reality is that we are sending a customer to the merchant and that customer becomes the merchant's customer.

  6. #6
    Member ABCMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    There's a big "Setup Auto delivery" button. How do other affiliates feel about that? Now that the customer likes the product, the customer can bypass my pages and get auto delivery
    I tend to agree with webworker on this. Many merchants spend a lot of money to acquire new customers through affiliates in the form of large commissions (not all, but many). Ultimately, that was our goal with our affiliate program. We would pay out a large sum of money over and above the price of the product/service the customer purchased in hopes of retaining that customer over the long term. If we continued to payout that high commission on every product/service, we would have been required to lower the commission to survive -- and that probably would not have attracted affiliates.

    Auto Delivery is a slick sales approach for the merchant. We actually have a few consumables we have auto-delivered. If we didn't, we would obviously purchase less often. But it is convenient for us in only a few instances.

    I don't hold it against the merchants if the customer I will send continues to purchase directly with the merchant either via direct visitation or auto delivery. I did my job to provide them with a new customer. Although I would hope the customer would continue to visit the site, it's my job to make sure there is enough on my site to retain them, too, as a customer.

    However, one last note, if you have a good relationship with the merchant, you can always contact them directly and ask them if there is any way they can incentivize you to promote the new 'auto delivery' feature. For every customer you send that signs up for auto delivery, then you get a better commission cut. Might be worth a try.

  7. #7
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    So this is the modern equivalent of Serfdom?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom
    That is a perfect analogy - beautiful!

    A serf is a laborer who is bound to the land. Serfs formed the lowest social class of the feudal society. Serfs differed from slaves in that serfs were allowed property for themselves and could not be sold apart from the land which they worked.
    That's us, domain bound affiliates who get to own our own domain names (lease, actually), but can't operate apart from the landowner - the merchants. And Karl Marx was right on the money about the class struggle between labor and capital, too.

    Should I take it lying down with my legs spread out?
    'Fraid so. Right up the anal orifice without the KY. That's life.

  8. #8
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    What is a very legitimate concern is whether, when customers sign up for Auto-delivery, is there a cookie set that over-rides our affiliate cookie.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I'll think about this thread the next time I 'serf' the net.

  10. #10
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    I'll think about this thread the next time I 'serf' the net.
    You wanna smack in da head, huh?

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    "RED" alert!

    That's us, domain bound affiliates who get to own our own domain names (lease, actually), but can't operate apart from the landowner - the merchants. And Karl Marx was right on the money about the class struggle between labor and capital, too.
    It is not like serfdom at all.

    Serfs are bound to land which they don't own (it belongs to the lord of the manor), they have to stay working that land, and they have to grow what the landlord wants.

    The term "domain-bound" is malarkey, and we CAN operate independently of the merchants--we are *not* bound to any particular domain. We can sell the domain whenever we want, and put whatever we want on it.

    We can fire merchants at will. We can even decide to say to heck with the merchants and go for traditional advertisers, or even run a not-for-profit c*ntent site with no advertisers or merchants at all.

    That is nothing at all like serfdom as described in that wiki article.

    As for Marxism/communism, IMO communists are nothing but a bunch of jealous people who would rather bring everyone down to serf level than bring themselves up.

    The bit about not the people owning the means of production under capitalism is a red herring: Under communism, the government owns everything. It makes no true difference if the government calls itself "the people" or not. It's still the government. So instead of some people owning companies, NO individuals own them. That's a repackaging of serfdom: The communist government just takes the place of the feudal lord.

    With Capitalism, if you don't like your level, you can level up. There's no special Party membership, or kissing up to the Party to do in order to become a merchant! And, your stuff is your stuff. Not the government's. Not the merchant's. YOURS. And if you don't like what a merchant is doing, you are entirely free to tell them to lump it.

  12. #12
    Member ABCMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    It is not like serfdom at all.
    See, this is what I love about reading posts in various communities. ADDED VALUE. I come here for one thing, and I get additional bennies like political history. Cool beans! Thx.

  13. #13
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    See, this is what I love about reading posts in various communities. ADDED VALUE. I come here for one thing, and I get additional bennies like political history.
    Yah, check out our resident russkie and see how far they ever got with extinguishing entrepreneurial initiative.

    The class division and consequent struggle, however, can't be denied in the reality of attitudes. To wit, if CJ doesn't treat affiliates like worthless, powerless serfs with their LMI horsehockey, then I take it all back.

  14. #14
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    Give them coupons so they always come back to your affiliate site first and pick up nice fresh cookies Make them your customers.

    Sometimes merchants fall into that trap that they've "acquired" a customer. You have to constantly win them. They could easily shop with your competition next time they shop online. Merchants don't own or possess customers.

  15. #15
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    Give them coupons so they always come back to your affiliate site first and pick up nice fresh cookies
    Then I guess we may not want Mike and Charlie chiming in after all.

    Make them your customers.
    Almost makes me a fan of Snib's. Not all sites can create "buzz," but how about making our sites sticky enough for them to come back for more?

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    Then I guess we may not want Mike and Charlie chiming in after all.

    Almost makes me a fan of Snib's. Not all sites can create "buzz," but how about making our sites sticky enough for them to come back for more?
    I've always said the true measure of a websites quality and consumer acceptance level is the # of bookmarks it generates. Buzz=bookmarks.

    It's pretty narrow sighted to think the merchant wants to remunerate the affiliate, even on the one time only "new customer" acquisition model. More effort goes into creating diversion schemes at the point of sale, from both the merchant side and affiliate side of the equation, then spent on real customer facing value-add creatives. In some cases the commission diversion plans are run by Super Affiliates, who also employ all the other commission stealing and POS influencers to up their odds of wiping out the little guys.

    Merchants employ these diversions to decrease affiliate commission exposure:
    1. huge 800#s to in-house or hired gun telemarketing outfits.
    2. employ Supers, like MetaRewards, to sell off their customers privacy info for a post transaction fee and get reduced rates on other Post-Sales direct marketing plans not involving paying affiliate commissions.
    3. Employ LiveHelp applications run by commissionable sales outfits that negate affiliate referral commissions.
    4. Use In-store pickup options negating commissions.
    5. Use 3rd party "easy payment" options to negate affiliate sales commissions
    6. Employ BHO popups directly or through sleazebag affiliates so they can advertise on competitors sites during the checkout/shopping process.

    Normal domainbound Affiliates counter with their own diversion schemes to thwart these merchant/AM & Super affiliate schemes.... thus making sure commissions go to the Grey area marketers.

    They use 3rd world PPCSE campaigns run through BHO's. They develop thousands if coupon and incentive type sites and spam the SERPs hoping to set the last cookie. Some add cookie stuffing scripts and build useless "made of Adsense" sites using trademark violations. Some operate click slave boiler rooms and Get Paid to ??? type sites while trying to set up Zombie ClickBot networks.

    Only those merchants who refuse to deal with Adwhores of all stripes just continue on ignoring the affiliate industry white noise and generating increased sales every year. How? By making customer service, not advertising, as goal #1. Those repeat customers never get irritated by this type merchant, who never pounds them with their constant begging for more sales, and never shares their customer list with any outsiders.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  17. #17
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    What is a very legitimate concern is whether, when customers sign up for Auto-delivery, is there a cookie set that over-rides our affiliate cookie.
    Exactly
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  18. #18
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    Most likely auto delivery will not credit the affiliate.

    Cos it would be done by the fulfillment dept and that is usually the back end system of a etailer. In most cases, they will not tie it back to the marketing dept.

    I would think that 98% of etailers will not credit affiliates for auto fuifilment unless they have it build into thier system..

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