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  1. #1
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Applied, accepted, 12 days go by and I'm ready to build pages, I'm terminated...
    Just under 2 weeks ago, I applied for and was accepted for a new merchant. Today, I went to build pages... so I went to grab links... but the merchant terminated me late last night. Why do AMs feel the need to do this?

    If I have no clicks yet, I'm not harming their EPC or anything esle I can figure out. I'd hope the space I'm taking up in their database isn't a nuisance. I've asked for no support at all, so I'm not a time load or resource load either.

    Don't they understand that I don't want to build content until I know that I'm approved and that once approved, I need just a little time. Apparently not...

    It wasn't one of those provisional approvals either, it said I was in. Now, I'm out.

    Anyhow, I'm not naming the merchant, but it chaps my ass and I'm not going to bother emailing her - I sell truckloads and she booted me for what? What a waste of time.

    If you're an AM or OPM and want to teach me why this behavior is needed, feel free - that's the only reason I posted this here, to figure out if there's any logic in her pea-sized brain regarding this hassle. I feel it's completely retarded. Anyone feel otherwise?

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Btw, the term notice gave no reason, just said we've decided to terminate you. Didn't list any reason or event or even invite me to reapply. And I had sent no clicks yet. So I am assuming it's term for inactivity or non-production or whatever - but hey, can I have a little time to start producing? As a ppc guy, I can get it cranked early and fast, what do seo affiliates (that may take even longer to get indexed and traffic flow) do with situations like this?

  3. #3
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    They must have not been to our seminar ...
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  4. #4
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    While I would disagree with your use of the word retarded (sorry, I'm not usually PC), , I would agree entirely with your contention.

    SEO affiliates would need longer than that (some can do it faster) to get their pages perfected for good traffic.

    Beats me Donuts. Maybe she's never read these forums, hit Andy's seminar, or figured out how to use her email yet.
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  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Don't they understand that I don't want to build content until I know that I'm approved and that once approved, I need just a little time. Apparently not...
    I am glad you are raising this issue.
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  6. #6
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
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    I've seen a few merchants do this along the way - always boggled my mind too.
    Heidi
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Cool Logic?
    Hey Donuts - sorry to hear about that. Can't think of a logical reason why you would get the "size 8 in the deriere pink slip" after only two weeks.

    If that merchant is a member here - I'd think that she could have read enough of the comments and information you have shared here that she would have felt very fortunate to have you on board. I know I would (provided it didn't take you more than two hours to build your pages!!)

    You asked for merchant input. Don't know if this applies to that merchant or not - but for whatever it may be worth...

    From a merchant perspective I suppose I sometimes wonder "why" an affiliate would sign up and then never activate. Seems pointless. I would'nt buy a car and then leave it at the dealership. Maybe this merchant had a lot of inactives and so in a moment of frustration - she erroneously categorized you with others who have been long time inactives. People DO tend to categorize, and that's never a wise thing.

    Perhaps the merchant in question was frustrated that "x" number of affiliates signed up, and then didn't activate, so she worried about the effect they were having on her epc or maybe she just wanted to clear her book of inactives.

    But in your case, when you are only talking about two or three weeks, and considering the wealth of obvious information you have accummulated in the industry - I'd say that the merchant made an unfortunate judgment error. Personal feelings should NEVER guide business decisions - but most people fail at separating personal and business. Maybe that's what happened with this merchant - or maybe it's just a shared thought.....

    I'm sure you'll do fine with or without a given merchant, but sorry to hear that neither of you will ever know how you may have benefitted each other. Oh - if it makes you feel any better, I remember that I owe you a C note when we meet this week - so there's a bright side for ya!
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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    It could have been an error.
    She may have checked the wrong box or something.
    Otherwise it does not make any sense at all.

  9. #9
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    I hear ya Donuts,

    I just applied to a merchant that provides online printing for photographs and was told that my Photography site had no relevance...

    wtf people pull your heads out of your......do you even look at what your doing?

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador
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    The effort you made by typing up this post would have been better channeled by contacting the merchant and asking why. It seems that you like to complain just for the sake of complaining.

  11. #11
    .
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    Terminating too quickly
    I've also had this happen with a number of different merchants. I'll apply to the program, be accepted (sometimes immediate, sometimes a few days later), and then 7-10 days later, I get notified that I am being terminated due to non-activity.

    When I am in "affiliate experimenting mode," I will often create a number of new web sites, to exploit a variety of affiliate programs. It takes time, and often I am called away for consulting work, and so it sometimes takes several weeks (occasionally several months) before I post any active links.

    I certainly understand the concept of culling out inactive affiliates at some point, if the affiliate-solution grows more complex or cumbersome with large numbers of affiliates (and certainly if there is a fee based on number of affiliates, independent of activity, though I don't know of any firms that still charge that way). However, I think the absolute minimum grace period should be 4 weeks, and 90 days is more reasonable.

    If the merchant will impose a very short "activation period," they should disclose this up front, thus providing affiliates with the option of either not applying, or posting an active link quickly before doing the planned larger project work.

    I will confess to being a "very inactive" affiliate for hundreds of programs. I've done experiments with dozens of merchants (one with about 100 merchants and millions of web pages), but I joined about 300 programs that I later chose not to include in projects. This week, I have been culling out my inactive relationships, expiring or quitting those programs at CJ and SAS.

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Alan, c-note.... Thanks! Made me smile, had forgotten that I won.

    AdamW, knowing how hard AMs work to recruit, it's still a little weird to me why purging inactives would get any kind of priority. Who knows, perhaps an assistant got itchy finger as well. Maybe once some time passes, I'll try again - but deal is that I don't "build then apply" cuz that can be SUCH a waste of time - so nothing's changed on my end and getting burned/insulted/disregarded twice normally isn't in my playbook.

    Noth, you're right about my poor choice of words. Anyone who took offense, I apologize and admit I was wrong. Heidi got it right with mind boggling.

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman
    The effort you made by typing up this post would have been better channeled by contacting the merchant and asking why. It seems that you like to complain just for the sake of complaining.
    This merchant's not important to me and I said why I posted here - to see if there was something I was missing in their thinking. Except for pure oversight, I have yet to see anything remotely worthwhile.

    And another point that you're post brings to mind... the merchant didn't take the time to explain why, so why is the burden automatically mine to ask for a reason.

    My intent was two-fold: see if somebody could explain a good reason why this happens (so I could understand why the burden may be mine) -and- if no good reasons surface, to give AMs reason to consider their current practices and how they affect us all, even you when you (and others) apply.

    But you are free to view it as just complaining if you wish. I rarely do anything without some productive reason behind my actions - always trying to drive my business and my community forward.

  14. #14
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    If the merchant will impose a very short "activation period," they should disclose this up front, thus providing affiliates with the option of either not applying, or posting an active link quickly before doing the planned larger project work.
    Now there's a good idea - a productive one that would also show affiliates who just joined that the merchant understands affiliate work. It might also be a good motivator in reminding the affiliate to get their links up within a certain time - it might be a mental motivator similar in results to an activation bonus.

    (your 6th post! content of your post tells me you're no newbie! welcome aboard!)

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Can't help you understand this because I don't understand it myself. There's no maintenance or overhead so what's the motivation?
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  16. #16
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    When I am in "affiliate experimenting mode," I will often create a number of new web sites, to exploit a variety of affiliate programs. It takes time, and often I am called away for consulting work, and so it sometimes takes several weeks (occasionally several months) before I post any active links.
    I'm often in "experimentation mode" and there's lots of other stuff happening in my life so I don't always put up the affiliate sites as quickly as perhaps the merchants would like, but I join programs in good faith so I wish AM behavior would not be so abrupt at times.
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  17. #17
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    i am not sure why you want to boot somebody off your program. I would lean towards an error on her side cos it is very unlikely that the person will generate a sale in the 1st month. I know that there are some affiliates making 1-2 sale the first week or so but those aff are doing PPC.

    Natural search takes time.
    email or contact her if you have the site up cos that would benefit you more as opposed to cutting ur losses

  18. #18
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    2 other possibilities

    they could also be closing the program on the given platform.

    If new terms with specified terms and conditions were offered on CJ and not accept termination would be automatic.

  19. #19
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbshouse
    they could also be closing the program on the given platform.
    Hey, good input! I will watch for this to possibly be the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbshouse
    If new terms with specified terms and conditions were offered on CJ and not accept termination would be automatic.
    Another good possibility, but not the particular case here.

  20. #20
    Newbie Spookshop's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about you getting the boot!

    We are still in learning mode and it is amazing to watch affiliate programs.

    My boss has looked over the affiliate lists and has asked the same thing, why are some of these people in our program and have not done anything.

    I have used some of the same example as above, that affiliates need time.
    We are primarily a seasonal shop, but do very good all year round.

    I am hoping that affiliates will realize this and help us through the off season.

    Good luck with your programs.
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  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Good input to have.
    To those who've offered feedback on Donut's post - "Thank You" for the input. As a new AM it is very useful to read the thoughts of affiliates on such issues.

    I know that early on, one of the first things I asked Zach & Jeremy was whether we should keep new affiliate partners (who had not activated after one month) on board. I did not really understand the epc thing at the time - so thought having inactives would adversely impact it.

    Of course, as a merchant we want to attract and keep good affiliates - so the higher the percentage of producing affiliates we have, the better our opportunities to attract more productive affiliates.

    If an affiliates inactivity does not affect my epc, then the costs involved in having the affiliate aboard are minimal. However, on the other hand, if an affiliate signs up and then never downloads data feed or activates links, then it wouldn't matter whether s/he was on the roster.

    As the AM, I want our affiliates to be productive. I want affiliates to make as much as possible from our partnership. Obiously, the more commissions we pay affiliates, the more we make too.

    But I also understand very well that it takes time for many affiliates to properly tune. If the affiliate is not doing ppc, that may be months. Immediate gratification would be a utopian dream come true, but good things take time. If an affiliate is willing to give the time and effort, then certainly we want to do the same.

    The important thing to me (personally) is that the affiliate at least gets the links up in a reasonable time frame - which indicates to us that the affiliate is pursuing activity and not just downloading to add another program to a stable full of other inactive programs.

    Thanks again for all the thoughts on this gang. All coins have two sides so as a new AM - it is good to see things from your eyes as I learn more about this whacky industry. One thing that I do know for sure. Knew it long before I ever got involved in internet marketing: Merchants (providers) need affiliates (sales force) and affiliates need merchants. One is only as effective as the other & both have valued points of view that each should welcome.

    For instance, my initial reaction to an earlier post: I like the idea that if a merchant limits the time for going active, they could state it in the bio so the affiliate can weigh options. But I recall reading posts on that a few weeks back in which a few affiliates commented that "if the merchant requires a "go live" deadline that they do not bother with that merchant.

    In reality, if the affiliate isn't going to activate the program, I guess the merchant didn't have anything to lose by posting a go live time limit. But on the other hand, if it is a big hitter affiliate and the only issue is a matter of time, I would not want to create an obstacle when I am trying to encourage a relationship. It would be good to hear affiliates thoughts on the idea of the bio notice.

    How would you react to a reasonable "go live" time frame if it is posted in the merchants bio? Would it stop you from joining, or would you appreciate the heads up?

    At this point, perhaps I naively assume that an affiliate would not sign up for a program if they did not intend to proceed with it - so what is a mutually reasonable time frame for activation?

    Thanks for any feedback you care to offer.
    Last edited by ALH - AmeritrustRx; August 17th, 2006 at 02:19 PM. Reason: correction to a word
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  22. #22
    CPA Network Rep Jon@Fluxads's Avatar
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    12 days seems to be a rather short window to expect promotion to begin. If your termination was intentional, then I would have to say that is terrible guidelines and practices on their part. If accidental, an explanation from the actual merchant would go a long way in getting you back on board. I have seen some merchants implement terms where the affiliate must log into their account at least once a week for the first 30 days or their account will be terminated for inactivity. But 12 days?!? That's clearly unreasonable.
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  23. #23
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Communication is the answer. If you have affiliates that aren't active why not find out why from them with a concerned email. If you dump somebody like donuts, do it with class by giving an explination. Communicate your expectations in the welcome email.

    When I see an AM that dosen't answer email or some form of messaging I loose interest. How many inactive affiliates are so because they couldn't get an answer to a simple question.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Communications
    I agree Bumpaw. Our problem has been that we send an email to every new signup to welcome them - but they rarely reply. I've sent some affiliates messages asking about activation or other important matters, ask for a reply and never hear back.

    Just assumed that they either signed up and aren't motivated to move ahead, or they procrastinate. Of over 50 affiliates who signed up for our program last month, less than ten percent have downloaded and gotten it active. Most of the others - I have not heard from, and so of course I wonder why they signed up in the first place.

    Someone last month made a comment that only 1 - 2% of programs signed up for by affiliates are activated? If that is true, I can understand the concern by merchants, or perhaps that kind of experience is leading merchants to terminate accounts that are not active and have not responded to merchant communications. This is helping me understand a little more about the problem, hope it is helpful to others as well.
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  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALH - AmeritrustRx

    How would you react to a reasonable "go live" time frame if it is posted in the merchants bio? Would it stop you from joining, or would you appreciate the heads up?
    My question is "Why would you set such a time frame?" To me, as an ex-affiliate and an affiliate manager, it sounds like "You need to put our links up in x days or we're going to kick you out of our program. If you need more time, join someone else's program."

    Granted, all of your affiliates won't put up a link. In fact, most will never put a link up or get a click. You also never know what they will do in say 3 or 6 months. How do you know they aren't halfway done with a dedicated site for you when you gave them the boot? Work with them, not against them. The affiliate in me says "Don't give me deadlines, I work for myself."

    If an AM boots an affiliate for not putting up a link in 12 days, they must have been on a break when the clue train came and totally missed it.
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