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  1. #1
    Full Member deepestblue's Avatar
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    Daily Contact w/ Your AM?
    In the recent Revenue Magazine a merchant claims to work personally w/ a select group of affiliates every day. They also hold monthly group meetings. Ugh.

    I'm sure there are some affs who appreciate the constant contact. I also know there are many who wouldn't: With so many programs out there it is simply not feasible to take daily briefings with any one of them imo.
    Last edited by deepestblue; October 8th, 2006 at 07:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Everyday might be a bit too much.

    Either Donuts or TrustNo1 posted a good article a month or two ago on ABW about the opimum duration to contact affiliates.
    It mentioned that "Affiliates are too busy trying to make money and they do not have time to sweet talk to a merchant everyday". If you have nothing to say to the affiliate, don't call them

    Daily is really too much..

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    This person did say it was a SELECT group (most likely meaning those who want daily contact)

    I have affiliates that I talk to just about daily...at least 4 times a week, including many weekends. It is worth it to both parties and I enjoy our talks very much.

    Sometimes they call to share a success story, to give me some news, to ask a question, or to complain about a reporting error or something like that.

    My average contact frequency is about every 3 weeks, but I have bigger and smaller affiliates that I talk to less and more.
    Matt McWilliams
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  4. #4
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    Matt and Eric, I wouldn't mind contact like that once I start making sales.(provided i was making enough to warrant it).

    I'm kinda worried about being treated like a throw away affiliate judging by what alot of people here are saying, and that worries me the most; developing a relationship with an AM after working hard to make sales and then....BAM, being told to go jump in a lake. I want to be partners in more than just word.

    Am I asking too much? or is that the exeption to the rule with affiliates ?

    I'm not asking to have a red carpet rolled out if I'm making 2 sales a week, I'm saying that if I'm brining mid 4 to 5 figures a month for the bottom line will I be treated like a legitimate partner?

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    In the past I have used a conference call type format with various affiliate groups in which we would hook up every two weeks or so. In between, there have been affiliates with whom I had weekly contact, and in a few isolated cases a couple weekly conversations. I believe in communications, but not in over communicating. Everyone is busy - and so I respect their time by communicating when it is a benefit to my affiliate or to us both.

    As for the concern about doing a good job and then being told to jump in the lake, this fear is not exclusive to online marketing. Heck, that same reality applies to every aspect of life - be it marriage, friendships, employment, employing others, and every other interaction between people.

    My simple STRAIGHT ahead solution to that pre-signup concern is this: Pick up the phone and call the merchant or AM!!! Talk to them.....

    I know, I just used the "C" word!! eeewww..... But by communicating with a person, you gain a better understanding about who they are, their character, personality, belief in their product, "the human quality factor" - gain a better understanding of their marketplace and their market plan, how they view affiliates (their sales partners) and many other "values" that you would not see through typed words or a bio on a network.

    If you are going to put a lot of effort into marketing someones goods, it is a wise business practice to communicate with your potential partner first to determine if your goals are in line and that you will be a good fit. Remember always that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line!! So don't over - complicate matters my friends. Good partnerships are about communications, and both affiliates and merchants benefit from the effort.

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  6. #6
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    As opposed to calling, i think email is ideal if you do not have a set schedule to talk or anything important to say.

    Most of my affiliates that I contact with work from home and have kids / other duties. I can never know when are they in the toilet or when are they trying to recover data from a crashed server. And who wants to be called at home as you get too many telemarketers already. At times, I get response in 1 day, at times a couple of days. No reply to email in one week, be polite and give a courtesy call unless it is critical or if you have a set conference call schedule.

    I would like to hear what guys like UncleScooter, TrustNo1, Rhia, Heidi, Donuts have to say.

  7. #7
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    I think this might be the thread Eric was talking about, where we recently discussed it:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...highlight=call

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    My reference to calling is actually intended for Karo who stated a concern about working hard and then being dumped by a merchant. A call (by an affiliate) to a merchant whose program the affiliate may be interested in can go a long way toward getting an initial "feel" for the merchant.

    The conference call format I used to use for distributors and affiliates was THEM calling me. I used to set up conference on important updates etc for those who wanted to call and login to the call.

    As for calling affiliates, I generally do not call unannounced unless it is an affiliate with whom I alread have a relationship with and s/he and I exchange calls both business and just "howdy" chats.

    But for the affiliate who may want to do a little bit more on the due diligence side before signing up or working on a merchants program, a call to the merchant not only impresses the merchant, but benefits both.
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  9. #9
    Member karomesis's Avatar
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    My reference to calling is actually intended for Karo who stated a concern about working hard and then being dumped by a merchant. A call (by an affiliate) to a merchant whose program the affiliate may be interested in can go a long way toward getting an initial "feel" for the merchant.
    advice taken, thanks Alan.

    I guess I have ALOT of calling to do then.

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepestblue
    In the recent Revenue Magazine a merchant claims to work personally w/ a select group of affiliates every day. They also hold monthly group meetings. Ugh.

    I'm sure there are some affs who appreciate the constant contact. I also know there are many who wouldn't: With so many programs out there it is simply not feasible to take daily briefings with any one of them imo.
    Ecchhhhh!!!

    Daily contact, and monthly meetings?? What does that merchant think we are, corporate drones?!

    Really, that sounds like the BS some boss would come up with. If some merchant suggested that I partake in any of that, I'd tell him no, I don't do empl*yment.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    What can they possibly talk about every day?

  12. #12
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Probably boring rah-rah corporatish bull

    Or even worse, maybe he just drones on and on about nothing without even being rah-rah about it!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  13. #13
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    It's a good idea to remember some affiliates may also have hearing problems that make phone calls less effective. If you like to speak with your affiliates ( or if you're an affiliate who wants to talk with the am) important to take this into consideration.

    I am losing my hearing and talking on phone is okay but there are certain things to make it better. Send out a short list ahead of time what will be covered. The other party also needs to talk a little louder and clearer. Realize conference calls are more difficult because the sound is diluted and quite often there is a lot of background noise. Also, if a lot of people are cutting in it's sometimes hard to decipher who is saying what. Offer a recording, like what SAS does. I was in on one of those phone conferences (the webmerge one) and it was good but I needed the recording as a followup.

    I've also had 1 to 1 calls with some merchants. In general beneficial to both of us. Planned calls are best, surprise calls usually have awful timing.

    This affiliate's point of view.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karomesis
    I'm not asking to have a red carpet rolled out if I'm making 2 sales a week, I'm saying that if I'm brining mid 4 to 5 figures a month for the bottom line will I be treated like a legitimate partner?
    While I agree with you in theory, I think it's the new affiliates who ARE just starting out that SHOULD get the red carpet. How are they expected to learn the ins and outs of out specific industry (insurance) unless we educate them.

    I do have a group of 5 affiliates that I call on once a week at a minimum and they love it. We go over changes to the sign-up process, new features, and I learn what they want. I would estimate that no less than 50% of our best ideas have come out of those 5 affiliates...and we have a lot of smart people here....they are just more in tune sometimes.
    Matt McWilliams
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  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Matt, if I were one of your affiliates I would want to speak with you at least twice a week just for the inspiration it would give me to speak with a positive, fresh thinking, creative, strong, compassionate, supportive, (did Imention handsome?) committed, loyal, can do type AM!!
    Last edited by ALH - AmeritrustRx; October 9th, 2006 at 08:22 PM. Reason: typo
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  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALH - AmeritrustRx
    Matt, if I were one of your affiliates I would want to speak with you at least twice a week just for the inspiration it would give me to speak with a positive, fresh thinking, creative, strong, compassionate, supportive, (did Imention handsome?) committed, loyal, can do type AM!!
    If you were an affiliate looking for a payout increase I would say...SUCKUP!

    But since you are not and are the coolest [45] year old I know...thanks!

    I gotta admit, I love talking to our affiliates. Sure I have occasional day where I wish the phone did not ring or that my IM would stop beeping, but 99% of the time I love it.

    Heck just tonight my cell rang and it was an affiliate who literally in 2 minutes made me want to overhaul our entire system, but we settled for some additional tracking stuff. In 2 years I had never thought of such a simple idea and he tells it to me in 2 minutes...
    Matt McWilliams
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  17. #17
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I'm kinda worried about being treated like a throw away affiliate judging by what alot of people here are saying
    Karo,

    In this business, you're basically as good as your last sales reports.

    I have AMs who are currently my "best friends", but that's only because I produce for them

    I have thousands more who regard me as a "throw away affiliate" (so develop a thick skin and accept it)

    But, your sales change over time, and your best friend AM today is tomorrow's throw away, and vice-a-versa

  18. #18
    Millionaire on training wheels Justdoit's Avatar
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    I have enough things to look after every day, without having to tak to an affiliate manager. If I have a problem or question, I will email or call and ask them to call me back at a mutually designated time.
    One of the main reasons I work from home is the freedom factor, no boss, no distractions, and I can work on any site which features many merchants, not just one specific one.. Daily?? Never....

  19. #19
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    Justdoit can help me

    my msn :lnust@hotmail.com

  20. #20
    Millionaire on training wheels Justdoit's Avatar
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    Umm, how can I help you? Everything you need to run an successful affiliate business can be found on this board. Just use the search button. If you have specific questions post away and someone here will answer your questions.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    I do have a group of 5 affiliates that I call on once a week at a minimum and they love it. We go over changes to the sign-up process, new features, and I learn what they want. I would estimate that no less than 50% of our best ideas have come out of those 5 affiliates...and we have a lot of smart people here....they are just more in tune sometimes.
    I can believe that.

    I also have to add that ALL the ideas I've ever had that worked for me came from other affiliates. AM's tend not to understand the affiliate mindset or simple facts such as "I feature X because they pay 15% - You pay 10% and convert less well".

    I understand why AM's are like this and I would probably be the same if I was an AM - but AM input just isn't as valuable as other affilaites input - sorry, but it's the way I see it and always have.

    AM's however helpful and pleasant are like Billy Kay said - they can be the fairest of fair weather friends.

  22. #22
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    any am with half a brain cell would want to use that time to find ways of better supporting their partners...once a week should be more then enough.

    day one am asks how can i help day 8 or sooner the am provides the requested info or support...shake, stir and check back a week later.

    The only exception i can see is if the partner is sending out email daily.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ward

    AM's however helpful and pleasant are like Billy Kay said - they can be the fairest of fair weather friends.
    All players in a business relationship can be the fairest of fair weather friends, be they merchants, AM's, or affiliates. That's the real world nature of business.

    Every affiliate and AM naturally gravitates toward and places priority on their better merchant programs or better producing affiliates.

    Good business people are in business to create business relationships that provide mutual benefit. If a friendship evolves on the side, that's great too.
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