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  1. #1
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    Data Feeds: Are they worth it?
    I have gotten a couple of requests for data feeds lately and from what I've read they sound like they might be a bit of a pain in the ass to make and maintain.

    Are they "difficult" to create? Should I even bother if I'm running a an affiliate program with around 13,000 members?

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    They are incredibly worthwhile. Many power affiliates use them.

    If they sound like a pain to make and maintain, you don't have a good tech person. They should be virtually automated.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    I am a newbie, and have found a good use for them.

    I especially like 4th click feeds, they are providing me with service, updating and hosting the data that's a lot of work for just 1 person to accomplish in a month.

    Especially considering the fact that there are 100s of merchants.

  4. #4
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    Agree with Michael. Unless you just have a few items and only take orders via email with "Hey, I'd like one of those 12 inch knives with black plastic handles for $8" ... you have a feed available somewhere.

  5. #5
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Yes. Do it. You need one.
    Kevin Webster
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I suggest you create a feed that will work on all the major price comparison engines. Be sure to include as much information as you can in order to have your products easily findable in these engines. Once you've had some success with that you can open it up to some of your more advanced affiliates and work from there. I can't stress how important some information is like UPC codes, model numbers, full categories, manufacturers, thumbnails, etc. The more information you include the more can be done with it.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  7. #7
    Animal Lover
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    Yes - many affiliates like feeds.

    Oscar
    My DataFeed Scripts - php datafeed scripts for your site
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    Linkshare datafeed scripts - for multiple Linkshare merchants

  8. #8
    Newbie Kimb's Avatar
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    Off topic

    Oscar, I got a private message for a member named Oscar but the board will not allow me to get private messages and I just wanted you to know (if it is you who sent me the message) that I can't get it.

    Sorry
    Kimber

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I agree with snib, noth, mike and the rest Iron. We have data feed for our program and the better affiliates all request it. It makes solid sense.

    Best to ya
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  10. #10
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    but some of the better affiliates don't have access to the LS feeds because they flat can't afford it or just don't have enough orders to earn it.

    that's a Catch-22, by the way . . .

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Herb
    I understand what you are saying Herb. We offer data feed on SaS and we pay for the set up also. Good affiliates are welcomed to join us and try it out.

    Cheers
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think he was just asking about datafeeds in general, not in-house or network or whatever.

    I disagree with the assertion that "some of the better affiliates don't have access to the LS feeds because they flat can't afford it or just don't have enough orders to earn it". The better ones do have the sales and/or are willing to put a little money into their business. Some affiliates with potential might not have access, but they can always build up their sales through merchants who have free feeds outside of the network.

    It's good to have both an in-house and network datafeed (and GoldenCAN), because different affiliates have different preferences.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  13. #13
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Lightbulb
    Herb, this is the advise i have for affiliates:

    Here is a trick, go look for merchants that have data feeds for free.
    Build up your stats, once you have some traffic and sales, you should be able to approach Linkshare and ask t

    1) Sierra Trading (Justin something, he has a forum here)
    2) Golfballs.com (Brandon, check their website)
    3) Gigagolf.com (Rick Hart, nice guy)
    4) FairfieldGetaway.com.. self promotion

  14. #14
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    I talked to my LinkShare affiliate person and they told me I needed to buy something called "Merchandiser" in order to engage in datafeed-type activity. This seems to involve some increased spending on our part:

    A 5,000 one-time investment plus 500-3,000 extra dollars a month. That seems like quite a buy-in!

    I don't know why, but for some reason I thought putting a data-feed file together wouldn't cost that much. Meh! I've only had two affiliates actually ask for datafeed this far.

  15. #15
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    offer your feed outside of linkshare and save the money

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronChef253
    I talked to my LinkShare affiliate person and they told me I needed to buy something called "Merchandiser" in order to engage in datafeed-type activity. This seems to involve some increased spending on our part:

    A 5,000 one-time investment plus 500-3,000 extra dollars a month. That seems like quite a buy-in!

    I don't know why, but for some reason I thought putting a data-feed file together wouldn't cost that much. Meh! I've only had two affiliates actually ask for datafeed this far.
    I suggest providing a datafeed via your own servers. You don't have to use Linkshare's merchandiser program. Have one of your developers create a script that draws up the datafeed on the fly. Then refer your affiliates to the URL.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  17. #17
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    Note to self...dont trust LinkShare contact.

  18. #18
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronChef253
    I talked to my LinkShare affiliate person and they told me I needed to buy something called "Merchandiser" in order to engage in datafeed-type activity. This seems to involve some increased spending on our part:

    A 5,000 one-time investment plus 500-3,000 extra dollars a month. That seems like quite a buy-in!

    I don't know why, but for some reason I thought putting a data-feed file together wouldn't cost that much. Meh! I've only had two affiliates actually ask for datafeed this far.
    If you have a widely used product and you are able to amortize that over 5 years, then that is a good investment. If Merchandizer is able to create 3-4 times more sales that without it, then you will make the money back in no time.

    It all depends if you are able to justify it.

    A little bird told me that if you sign a multiyear deal with them, they might be able to work on pricing or waive it. Do not quote me on this though cos a little bird told me this...

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador best123's Avatar
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    I LOVE DATAFEEDS - if you got them send them my way.

  20. #20
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    another little bird is saying don't sign a multiyear deal with them.
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  21. #21
    Member IronChef253's Avatar
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    Okay so I'm hearing two responses here:

    1. If your business is large enough that you know what the word "amortized" means, then you should probably go with LinkShare's Merchandiser. We get several million hits to our website a month (I'm not sure how many product downloads we get but I imagine its relatively 'large').

    I think I misread what they were telling me...it seems that your monthly fee depends on how many clicks you get - Therefore we are only looking at a $500 monthly fee initially...and then we only have to pay if we get more traffic.



    2. Screw LinkShare - why not make your own datafeeds and then include links to them in my affiliate newsletters / on my website. This would require the use of a "technical resource" aka "code slave." Hmmm...I forsee further complications in doing this because it would raise other issues...

    Would the links to the datafeeds bounce through LinkShare's conversion tracking system? I feel like if I did this outside of LinkShare I would lose the ability to easily track and manage sales / conversions through datafeed orders.

  22. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Yes, you can build links that go through LinkShare's conversion tracking system.
    Michael Coley
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  23. #23
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronChef253
    Okay so I'm hearing two responses here:

    1. If your business is large enough that you know what the word "amortized" means, then you should probably go with LinkShare's Merchandiser. We get several million hits to our website a month (I'm not sure how many product downloads we get but I imagine its relatively 'large').

    I think I misread what they were telling me...it seems that your monthly fee depends on how many clicks you get - Therefore we are only looking at a $500 monthly fee initially...and then we only have to pay if we get more traffic.

    Well.. i am saying that if you can justify it, then go ahead. I know guys like overstock and sierra trading opt for it. Seeing the volume that they sell via their merchandizer, it is worth for them as it might double their sales.


    Quote Originally Posted by IronChef253
    2. Screw LinkShare - why not make your own datafeeds and then include links to them in my affiliate newsletters / on my website. This would require the use of a "technical resource" aka "code slave." Hmmm...I forsee further complications in doing this because it would raise other issues...

    Would the links to the datafeeds bounce through LinkShare's conversion tracking system? I feel like if I did this outside of LinkShare I would lose the ability to easily track and manage sales / conversions through datafeed orders.
    it will bounce off linkshare. as long as you keep it fresh or automate it, you can do it.

    what industry are you in?

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Good Point Michael
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I think he was just asking about datafeeds in general, not in-house or network or whatever.

    I disagree with the assertion that "some of the better affiliates don't have access to the LS feeds because they flat can't afford it or just don't have enough orders to earn it". The better ones do have the sales and/or are willing to put a little money into their business. Some affiliates with potential might not have access, but they can always build up their sales through merchants who have free feeds outside of the network.

    It's good to have both an in-house and network datafeed (and GoldenCAN), because different affiliates have different preferences.
    I would think that better affiliates (high volume sales producers) have the resources also. Then too - there are always the affiliates that are almost there and in time will be in the upper echelon of AM's. Thanks too for clarifying the intent of the post.

    Best Regards
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  25. #25
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I think he was just asking about datafeeds in general, not in-house or network or whatever.

    I disagree with the assertion that "some of the better affiliates don't have access to the LS feeds because they flat can't afford it or just don't have enough orders to earn it". The better ones do have the sales and/or are willing to put a little money into their business. Some affiliates with potential might not have access, but they can always build up their sales through merchants who have free feeds outside of the network.

    It's good to have both an in-house and network datafeed (and GoldenCAN), because different affiliates have different preferences.
    perhaps we are using two different meanings of "better"

    too bad potential doesn't pay the bills

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