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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    New Trend - Merchants Playing Favorites
    Got an email - ususal program "updates" about what words we can no longer use - from merchant "A" - with a paragraph saying "except for the chosen few":

    After careful consideration and with the people that drive our business in mind – both our consumers and affiliates -, we have decided to limit the number of affiliates who can use our display URL, "xxxxx.com" or any derivation/variation thereof...
    Effective Tuesday, October 10th 2006, none of our affiliates will be allowed to use our display URL “xxxxx.com or any variation” in 'any' paid search campaign, unless given explicit permission to do so.
    'bout an hour later, I get an email from Merchant "B", saying the same thing. Noboby can use these words except for the chosen few:

    Note: We run a very small separate search program in which a select few affiliates are approved for special terms including permission to bid on our trademarks. If you have a proven track record of PPC success and think you could add value to the program, you may apply for consideration by emailing us at xxx
    How can we compete if there's no level playing field??

  2. #2
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    Billy, I'm unsure of who or what you promote, but to be honest with you, I'd find another program who isn't too good for your sales and hard work in PPC.

    You're the affiliate with the ability to jump rapidly from merchant to merchant, exploit your advantage and let them lose sales.

  3. #3
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    Sounds like an opportunity to contact the merchant to show that you can be one of the chosen few. If I were a merchant I would not want every yahoo either running crappy ads with my trademark or filling up my mail box with "look what they are doing"

    Contact them tell them why you can be trusted to run with the golden terms.

  4. #4
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    You're one of my favorites, billy kay...but I ain't givin' you jack!!

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Now you see just the beginning of the fallout of such a policy.

    May those merchants learn their lessons hard, in the fires of ABW!

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    You're one of my favorites, billy kay...but I ain't givin' you jack!!

    Geez - did Jack hire a publicist?

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...77&postcount=4

    He sure gets a lot of free publicity

  7. #7
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Seriously...

    If an affiliate performs well... fine... give 'em a commission boost

    But don't give them the exclusive rights

  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    You're one of my favorites, billy kay...but I ain't givin' you jack!!

    Geez - did Jack hire a publicist?

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showpost.p...77&postcount=4

    He sure gets a lot of free publicity
    LOL, I just did a search and it shows the last few searches.... I wondered who the heck searched for THAT!!!!
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  9. #9
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    (amazed I found it)

  10. #10
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    haha everyone wants to be associated with me

  11. #11
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I battle the opposite, merchants that allow no one to direct link. Then I have to turn away good search affiliates who I know. So, when I get a program that allows direct linking I proclaim it loud and clear. Then I tell the other merchants how the program grew through search affiliates.

    Nothing sickens me more than companies who say that affiliates used to be 40% then they got big and restrict affiliates so they can control the marketing. Most of the time the search cost twice that of affiliates. It will all come out in the wash one day.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson992
    haha everyone wants to be associated with me
    You'd think you'd end up with a better PR, eh?

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

  13. #13
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Nothing sickens me more than companies who say that affiliates used to be 40% then they got big and restrict affiliates so they can control the marketing. Most of the time the search cost twice that of affiliates. It will all come out in the wash one day.
    Yup....
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I like being a chosen few. Sometimes in life you have to compete and compete hard and if you come out well you get contacts and advantages your competitors lack.

    nothing wrong with that. If you want to play fair all the time you'll end up last. Playing hardball is the best way to go at it so you can earn that advantage those special few may have.

  15. #15
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    This is nothing new. It happen in offline industries as well.

    It's only smart business to cater to your best customers. The little guys might cry about it, but it makes sense for their business.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Got an email - ususal program "updates" about what words we can no longer use - from merchant "A" - with a paragraph saying "except for the chosen few":



    'bout an hour later, I get an email from Merchant "B", saying the same thing. Noboby can use these words except for the chosen few:



    How can we compete if there's no level playing field??
    Billy this is becoming more common

    1. Because once they have branding they no longer need to pay you
    2. Beacuse they dont understand
    3. Becuase they have a bad experience

    all you can do is move on or find another way for traffic

  17. #17
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClickChick
    It's only smart business to cater to your best customers. The little guys might cry about it, but it makes sense for their business.
    I am sure you have heard about, don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    I always told my Linkshare manager, give me 10 affiliates as opposed to one super affiliate. If that super affiliate decided to not promote you or promote your competitor and you have nothing to fall back on..

    It doesn't hurt to have a super affiliate and if you want to give him some $$ at the end of the day, that is fine but have a level playing field!

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The talk here about a level playing field is a little over the top to me. The only affiliates this affects are those doing direct-to-merchant ppc. This policy, before and now, has zero affect on all the other types of affs. The main problem with direct-to-merchant (DTM) affs is that the majority of them of nothing but trademark and domain name bidders. Merchants get sick of policing it constantly. So they decide to approve each DTM PPC affiliate on a case-by-case basis. Affs are to blame here. If you ask this merchant (and many others) why they limit DTM PPC it's always because of the policing difficulties they have with trademark and domain name bidders. I see it happening all of the time. If you want to do some real promotion, chat with the AM and tell them your intentions and they'll approve you.

    The level playing field you all are asking for is one where you're not realizing that these domain name poachers are also taking repeat and return day sales from you as an ethical affiliate.

    The only people this policy affects is those who plan to do DTM PPC that the merchant finds undesireable. It's not some kind of special treatment for anyone.

  19. #19
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FairFieldGetaway-EricEwe
    I always told my Linkshare manager, give me 10 affiliates as opposed to one super affiliate. If that super affiliate decided to not promote you or promote your competitor and you have nothing to fall back on..
    This, to me, is also backwards thinking. Concentrate on making an environment where that one super affiliate has no reason to decide to not promote you and you'll not only have him/her, but those 10 other affiliates and many more as well.

    I agree you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket, but it seems like you're saying a giant egg isn't of interest in any of your many baskets - that's backwards thinking to me.

  20. #20
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    This, to me, is also backwards thinking. Concentrate on making an environment where that one super affiliate has no reason to decide to not promote you and you'll not only have him/her, but those 10 other affiliates and many more as well.

    I agree you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket, but it seems like you're saying a giant egg isn't of interest in any of your many baskets - that's backwards thinking to me.
    I had a shift in a major affiliate and trust me, i treat all my affiliates with respect (& rewarded handsomely if you peroform) and the giant egg decided to take a roll down to our competitor's avenue.

    It was not something we did or did not do but rather something out of our control. We saw a slight effect but it was not something we could not weather or impacted our results.

    Don't get me wrong, i did mention
    It doesn't hurt to have a super affiliate and
    I do not want to be put in the case of the wal-mart and the pickle supplier scenario. Good reading article...

    Edit: I was talking to a toy merchant at the Linkshare symposium, and that merchant did like 40-60% of their biz with 2 affiliates (i.e primary: Upromise, secondary: eBates). Imagine if uPromise woke up one day and decided, I think I am going to promote XYZ toys as opposed to your toys and you are not able to get them back (in terms of commission, etc). The merchant will never make it up in sales.

  21. #21
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    The main problem with direct-to-merchant (DTM) affs is that the majority of them of nothing but trademark and domain name bidders. Merchants get sick of policing it constantly. So they decide to approve each DTM PPC affiliate on a case-by-case basis. Affs are to blame here. If you ask this merchant (and many others) why they limit DTM PPC it's always because of the policing difficulties they have with trademark and domain name bidders.[/QUOTE]

    Donuts, this is a big part of the problem but it is not always the affiliate making low quality ad copy. Another part of this is merchants who want to control the PPC sales and do not want affiliates competing against them or driving up the bids. What do you think of a merchant who wants to force an affiliate to pause his ads for month so the merchant can evaluate if it will increase the merchants sales. The affiliate channel has grown sales to 50% and now the merchant wants to cut the channel back so it looks like the company is making more of the sales. That's assbackwards to me and sounds like ego which is a big factor at times.

    What would you say if you were asked to pause your ads for a month??

  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Donuts, this is a big part of the problem but it is not always the affiliate making low quality ad copy. Another part of this is merchants who want to control the PPC sales and do not want affiliates competing against them or driving up the bids. What do you think of a merchant who wants to force an affiliate to pause his ads for month so the merchant can evaluate if it will increase the merchants sales. The affiliate channel has grown sales to 50% and now the merchant wants to cut the channel back so it looks like the company is making more of the sales. That's assbackwards to me and sounds like ego which is a big factor at times.
    Yes, I've often seen a merchant's ego get in the way of maximum selling and even their profit. I once trounced a merchant's very poor ppc and emptied his warehouse of goods. He felt injured because he had worked on his ppc for so many months. We discussed his order acquisition costs and even though they were substantially lower (and had much higher volume) through my ppc, he wanted me to stop so his ppc would be restored. He felt ownership of his ppc and that is his right to do so. As an aff, I move on without injury (a little time wasted, but no tradegy). You're an AM - if a merchant puts you in this situation, it's no small thing. If you're supposed to grow the program, but the owner wants you to do it with the emergency brake set, the wheels chocked and trailing a two-ton anchor, you're going to look like you couldn't get the job done...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    What would you say if you were asked to pause your ads for a month??
    Goodbye.

    If I spend the time to research and build a money making machine, I feel entitled to keep it running. The merchant has rights as well, but if they don't understand their numbers and, as a result, waste gobs of my time, I say goodbye and good riddance. I've mentioned before that stability, like risk, are important factors to me. If the merchant is changing the rules all the time, it causes me excessive work and reduces my money+time ROI.

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