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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    All,

    I need some feedback on a new software program that I am developing (before I spend more $ on it).

    It will parse all SEs and PPCs to get listings/bids/link popularity and email addresses and allow the merchant to mail a recruiting message to an affiliate from the software after reviewing their site also. I will sell this software to merchants so that they may get targeted and real affiliates.

    My question is ...

    Would you be offended by it / the recruiting mailing?

    Haiko
    PS. Please be honest!

  2. #2
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    Offended? No. Suspicious ... in all honesty, yeah. I think it's an interesting (and good) idea but if I understand correctly you will have to do some finessing so the email is taken seriously and doesn't come off sounding like one of the dozens of get-rich-on-the-net or MLM schemes out there that anyone with a registered TLD gets on a daily basis.

    [ 04-22-2002: Message edited by: eaglefire ]

  3. #3
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    Hmmm ... this sounds like a cross between Zeus and Neil Shearing's Internet Success Spider. What would be different/better about your program?

    As for receiving a letter, if it makes me feel like just one more prospect being trolled, forget it. It would need to be clearly personal, proving that the writer had done his/her homework, and showing -- individually -- how the proposal would benefit me.

  4. #4
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    eaglefire,

    The merchants would specify the text of the mail and my marketing wise would be to all the merchants in the top three ad networks, there really wouldn't be any need to market to MLM scammers after that, money wise (it isn't cheap!).

    --------

    Elisabeth,

    Dr. Neil's program isn't all that it should be, my software will blow it away, in a second! The merchant has the option to send over 30 different emails or a custom one, how ever they see fit.

    Haiko

  5. #5
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Am I understanding this correctly Haiko?
    Is it a program that will enable people to spam us?

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Gordon,

    Yes, in a way :eek: The software will allow a merchant to pull all the affiliates who are listed in the SEs to recruit them to their program, I will limit my marketing to only the merchants the merchants in the real networks, so clickbank 'merchants' wouldn't email you.

    Haiko

  7. #7
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    What the hey?Has Clickbank been paying me with monopoly money?

  8. #8
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    smont,

    No, but there are many UNRELIABLE merchants there.

    I have NEVER made a bloody penny from the hoplinks (after over 5K clicks) but, I, sure would love to recruit them into a real tracking network like truetracker [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Haiko

  9. #9
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    I know what you mean,there's a lot of get rich quick type of info for sale thru clickbank.I just promote my own service and other sports info service and do okay.I like the 30 to 50 % and you get a lot of repeat
    customers since the service changes daily.
    I did promote one gambling type info book last fall,sold about 3 in a week and the customers reversed every sale so I dropped that one quick.

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The merchants would specify the text of the mail and my marketing wise would be to all the merchants in the top three ad networks, there really wouldn't be any need to market to MLM scammers after that, money wise (it isn't cheap!).

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No that isn't what I was saying - I know you wouldn't get into selling to MLMers. It was unclear from your first post that you would be marketing to the "top three". I thought maybe it would be used as a tool by merchants that want to manage in-house.

    What I was trying to say is that unless their is some way to differentiate the recruitment email from the sea of SPAM and biz-ops we all get it will either go right into the recycle bin or be viewed with some degree of suspicion.

  11. #11
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    Not to mention Clickbank merchants are SPAM peddlers. I made the mistake of buying an e-book once and the rest was history. It totally trashed an email account I've had since 1995 with affiliate email. What makes it doubly annoying is that the headers are spoofed so I can't always tell until i open the message whether it is a legitimate email from one of my merchants, or SPAM from an affiliate of a merchant whose program I am in. It is totally out of control.

  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    eaglefire,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>What I was trying to say is that unless their is some way to differentiate the recruitment email from the sea of SPAM and biz-ops we all get it will either go right into the recycle bin or be viewed with some degree of suspicion.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It is up to them to be creative, I can only supply a REAL tool to effectively recruit (They can have ABW to endorse them if they are real and active posting merchants on ABW).

    Haiko

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It is up to them to be creative, I can only supply a REAL tool to effectively recruit (They can have ABW to endorse them if they are real and active posting merchants on ABW). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The problem is - sorry to be blunt but you did ask for our honest feedback - it will still be unsolicited email and that very fact will limit its effectiveness.

  14. #14
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    eaglefire,

    I agree, but if it was a quality program who wrote you a personal and real email, you would consider it no? ... that is the crux of the question.

    Haiko

  15. #15
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    I have gotten letters from merchants asking what I thought of their product. They were small and not doing any affiliate marketing. Since I had something on my site that actually pertained to what they were selling, they wrote and asked. I could tell by the email that they had actually looked at my site (not just a quick search for sites about squirrels, etc) and the subject line was intelligent. So, I did answer.

    I have also gotten those letters where I KNOW they just pulled me from a search engine or guestbook, they had never looked at my site and it was obvious spam. I deleted and never read all the way through. (the ones that are especially irritating are coming from a guy who is selling something to get RID of squirrels in your yard, when I have a pro squirrel site-lol)

    I guess what I would do if I were you is to include some letter writing tips/do's and dont's for those affiliate managers without a clue-lol. Maybe a kind of section from an affiliate point of view.

    Good luck with your venture!!
    Vicki [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  16. #16
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd rather instigate the contact - I mean, I really don't want to be inundated with merchants thinking it's okay to send unrequested e-mails.

  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    elbowcreek,

    Wouldn't you want a merchant who would be targeted to your traffic to contact you?

    It may be an 'unrequested e-mail' but it might very well be the best merchant you ever had / will ever have, Targeting is the key in affiliate marketing not only for affiliates, but, also merchant relationships!

    I just want to supply a real tool to allow that.

    Haiko

  18. #18
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    I personally don't think you should do it. I already have merchants looking up my sites on search engines and contacting me for partnerships. Usually they are the competition of who I am currently advertising and usually they click on one of my PPC links to try to find my freaking email address, costing me money. They usually don't pay nearly as much as my current partnerships. Some have gone so far as to do a whois on my domain and email me that way, which I thought was not allowed.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Core

  19. #19
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Core,

    The whois information is 'public' so anyone who can access/harness that info, can email you.

    Your objection is noted and respected.

    Haiko

  20. #20
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I have to agree it's most likely going to be seen as more spam by the majority of people.

    On the other hand if it's done right it could be effective.

  21. #21
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    Haiko,

    Just beware. Some people may used it for other purpose that what it's developed for.
    I have lots of people SPAMMED me with my snapshot of my websites (may be I got around 5-10 emails per site). Since I got lots of sites, I got tons of the emails.

    I don't really favor email harvesting software since it will create a "spammy" world, whether it's not your original purpose of writing the software.

    For me, I would be really really offended. Also, if a merchant SPAM me, how can I be sure that the merchant will not SCAM me?

    It's just my opinion.

  22. #22
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I agree with Haiko that the small merchant wanting into the reach of the hundreds of thousands of affiliate/publishers would be willing to pay for his service. The value to me of receiving hyped up mass e-mailings pleading for frontpage exposure on my sites is questionable. The value further deminishes when the merchant neither looks over my site ( due to your program spoon feeding him the fact I'm an active affiliate) and has a desperate need to recruit affiliates, just prior to bailing out of the so called trusted network, with an EPC of $0.12 and run an in-house program with a EPC of $0.06 to save 50%.

    Recruiting quality affiliates at CJ is a nightmare for new merchants buried under 1400 other choices for web ink. The merchants squawked and now CJ charges fees to those who wish "top of category" listings to be seen. I see NO VALUE for choosing merchants from the affiliate rating sites ( half the listings are for deactivated merchants and no viable conversion ratings) . Conversely the small startup merchant sees no value ( and a huge startup fee) in the recruiting structure of the Big 3 since - BeFree is rightfully loosing affiliates and merchants like crazy -Linkshare suffers from trust and consolidation payment issues - and CJ is just a test bed for cheaply jump starting the affiliate advertising vehicle VS. conventional online campaigns.

    The efforts/time/money you'd spend to automate recruiting for affiliate enabled merchants would be better spent to kill two birds with one stone. Filtering out the crapolla merchants and the part timer affiliates and matching up the real producers is the priority in the long run. Eliminate even a hint of spam by putting all the recognizable pieces together. Those paying for your program need to agree to a hybred deal. Combine the recruiting program with a good affiliate program management script that allows for both CPC and CPA ( those seeking your program are migrating to an in-house solution). ***Require merchants to guarantee monthly payments on sales PLUS a fee for every 100 clicks to entice targeted producing affiliates into reading the offers. This will assure your success since the networks can't or won't duplicate this effort and crappy merchants who can't convert 1 sale per every 100 clicks have to pay something for the affiliates efforts.

    The ELITE network matching converting merchants with producing affiliates would seem more like an invite e-mail than a spam.

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>mass e-mailings pleading for frontpage exposure on my sites<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Any merchant pleading for front page space hasn't investigated my site very well. My home page gets way less than 5% of my total page views.

    Elisabeth Archambault

  24. #24
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    Haiko,

    I think what woould work better is for you to make a site where AFFILIATES could have a listing of the type of merchants they are looking for.

    Sort of an affiliates directory for merchants.

    For example a email linked listing.

    Astrolgoy By Moonlight is looking for merchant with astrology and new age related products and services. We get 30,000 visitor a month and have been online since 1995.

    You charge merchants to view your list and limit the email they can send.

    Just a thought.

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