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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Response to been Threatened by Merchant
    Today I got an email from Hilo Hatte

    Chanel wrote:
    > Last Call at Hilo Hattie!
    >
    >
    > As you know you are currently an affiliate of Hilo Hattie. Unfortunately your site has not generated sales sufficient to be maintained as an affiliate.
    >
    > However, Hilo Hattie would like to provide you with an opportunity to continue as an affiliate. Therefore beginning November 15, 2006 Hilo Hattie is offering you an increased commission of 10%, the current commission level you are receiving is 7%. The offer is valid for 90 days, provided you generate $250 in sales.
    >
    > If at the end of the 90 days, you have $250 in sales you will earn 10% commissions. If you have not been able to meet the sales objective we will have no choice but to terminate your affiliation with Hilo Hattie.
    >

    > Thank you.
    >
    > Hilo Hattie Affiliate Network Team
    >
    > email us with your questions or comments
    >

    My response:


    Hello,

    I'm now going to press the delete button for your program as you can't provide promotional links and proper tools for me to promote your program so it would be easier for me to delete you and I can then concentrate my efforts on merchants that do provide the correct tools and links to help me bring in sales. I get the following message on most of the pages on your affiliate website:

    More Category Banners Coming Soon! Be sure to check back frequently!

    I wish you the best of luck but threatening your affiliates is not the answer to a successful affiliate program but proving the best possible links and tools is.
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  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
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    That is no doubt the most foolish email a merchant can send. I belonged to a particular program for nearly a year with no sales and now I am a top producer of their's.
    This merchant clearly needs to attend one of Andy's Affiliate Manager Certification seminars.

    Meet a sales objective or get terminated!?!?!?
    Complete idiocy! They need employees to boss around. Affiliates have far too many options to put up with that kind of crap.


  3. #3
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    Response to been Threatened by Merchant

    DELETE them. Don't even bother to response their emails.

  4. #4
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    Amen
    I say Amen, I just got one last week from Paul Frederick saying it's been more than 60+ days and if I don't generate some sales by end of November I will be terminated.

    I was so furious I had to wait before I responded to her e-mail. My banner get plenty of impressions but no click thru's. The promotion material is crappy and on top of that I never get any newsletters, update or promotions from them.

    I don't know if she is new or what, but I wrote that I was affended by her e-mail
    and perhaps they need to do something about their creatives. I have too many merchants to worry about that one.

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Meet a sales objective or get terminated!?!?!?
    Complete idiocy! They need employees to boss around. Affiliates have far too many options to put up with that kind of crap.
    Exactly!

    This is a prime example of an AM who deludes that they're some kind of empl*yer.
    May the huge shrinkage of their affiliate program serve as a call from reality!

  6. #6
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Hilo Hatte
    Unfortunately your site has not generated sales sufficient to be maintained as an affiliate.
    Paul Frederick saying it's been more than 60+ days and if I don't generate some sales by end of November I will be terminated.
    The same way that we have a sticky thread about Auto Deposit Merchants, it would be nice to to have one about these other kind of merchants too.

    Maybe it's not the merchant fault, maybe it's just a greedy (space cadet) affiliate manager sending those threatening emails, but either way, it would be good to know in advance how they operate the program before we waste our time promoting the wrong merchants.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Employee versus Partner
    It's an eye opener to see the number of comments that have been made on numerous threads about this kind of AM interaction. Indeed, this person should consider attending Andy's certification workshop. There was some good discussion on this topic in Chicago. Of course, what's convered and discussed versus how a person uses the education is a toss up.

    As for the comment that perhaps it is not the merchants fault.... If a merchant has an affiliate manager, I would assume the AM is carrying out the policies of the merchant. Either way, the merchant is the bottom line and should therefore certainly be aware of what the AM is doing. An AM can greatly benefit a merchant, or with this kind of action they can do extensive damage to the merchant.

    I understand that some merchants or AM's may have a policy on activity by affiliates, but if that is the case, there would be nothing wrong with stating such policies (or sales minimums etc) upfront so affiliates can decide from there.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  8. #8
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    I understand that some merchants or AM's may have a policy on activity by affiliates, but if that is the case, there would be nothing wrong with stating such policies (or sales minimums etc) upfront so affiliates can decide from there.

  9. #9
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    Other than the complete stupidity of this type of email, the biggest problem that I think of with having minimums is that often newbies sign up for programs before generating traffic. They may take months to start generating good traffic and not drive any/many sales, but all of us were newbies at one time and some of them become super affiliates. Would be a shame to kick one out of your program just before everything fell into place for them.

    And what does it cost a program to have an affiliate that isn't doing anything? Can't cost too much.

  10. #10
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    I belonged to a particular program for nearly a year with no sales and now I am a top producer of their's......They need employees to boss around
    &
    This is a prime example of an AM who deludes that they're some kind of empl*yer
    That is a good point, I think they forget we have options and most of us left our normal job because of bums like them and moved on to better things where we make our own choices and have no arrogant boss watching over our shoulders. I have also had merchants that I have had no sales for for over a year or more and then suddenly I start seeing sales regularly, maybe the search engines picked them up etc but this happens often plus the page matures in the search engines ranking and suddenly merchants I never had any sales for become big earners. Plus we are constantly improving our sites or working on new promotional methods so merchants need to understand that often it doesn't happen overnight and they need to have some patience. I have only just started with adwords and I'm always working on ways to promote, they will be the ones who will be begging us to add their links to our sites when we become top affiliates but I won't want to know them then.

    DELETE them. Don't even bother to response their emails
    Your right, I was even willing to go and update the links I have and try my best to get some sales but how can I do that when they don't provide any or few text links which is what I use? Next time I will just delete them.

    I also have often sat on new merchants for 3 months or more before I even use their links because many of these programs are just fly-by-nighters looking for some quick sales and there is no way am I going to spend time adding their details & links to my sites to find a few weeks later they have left the network. I joined nearly every single merchant I could on CJ back just before the LMI thing, I'm still adding these merchants to my sites now and it's amazing how many of them don't exist anymore. In saying that though most often I do use a merchant right away I join these days as I look for signs and can recognize stable ones now.If I need a certain type of merchant for a particular category then I will seek them out and get the links up right away, the problem with this merchant in this case is they have an extremely difficult way to grab the links, first you have to get through the Linkshare login then you have to also login to this merchants website to grab the links as they have it like this. Then you have to search out each link individually on each page which is several pages deep just to get the code for one link and as I posted in first thread many of the link sections like "Promotions" were completely empty.

    Paul Frederick saying it's been more than 60+ days
    same here too, another merchant who has pretty crappy links and they expect us to work with them and bring in many sales.

    a sticky thread about Auto Deposit Merchants, it would be nice to to have one about these other kind of merchants too.
    I think that is a great idea

    Indeed, this person should consider attending Andy's certification workshop.
    I honestly think that many of the merchants management team would be horrified by what some of these AM's get up to. I have often spoke to managers higher up the chain to let them know about horrific AM's and most often they are surprised and get rid of the AM or give them a good rev-up/spanking.
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  11. #11
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Question
    I answered with "you don't want to know what I'm thinking right now . . . "

    I thought some of their graphic ads were well done, especially a very large DRM.

    maybe they have a new AM with an EPC fetish?

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    I received similar "motivational" emails from HiloHattie last year. I was sending them plenty of targeted, pre-sold shoppers but sales were dismal. I suspected that their parasitic affiliates were pilfering my sales. Upon emailing them about the parasite situation I got no response, started to pull links and delete their emails, unread.

    I think merchants (or AMs) like this forget that they are the other half of the equation. They have to close the sale on their site.
    ~Ernie

  13. #13
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erninator
    I suspected that their parasitic affiliates were pilfering my sales. Upon emailing them about the parasite situation I got no response, started to pull links and delete their emails, unread.
    Some merchants have no clue how parasitic relationships deeply affect not only the revenue but the depth, growth and the stability of their affiliate programs. Merchants with parasitic relationships limit by default growth of their programs. Affiliate adoption rates are the lowest among parasitic merchants. Most have no clue as to the dynamics of this simple but very powerful law in affiliate marketing.
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    You know it's one thing to terminate an affiliate.

    I kind of like the fact that they offered the enhanced commissions. I would even be cool with only getting them if you reached $250 in sales.

    But pardon me, but these guys are just a**h***s.

    Scooter is sort of right. They obviously never attended Andy's seminar or read anything about Affiliate Marketing. I would suggest they just get out of it altogether though!

    They also need to learn simple English and grammar
    Matt McWilliams
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  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    There is absolutely no reason for this. With linkshare, there is no extra charge for having inactive affiliates in your program. So why not try to activate them instead of threatening to remove them? EPC is not a factor since Linkshare does not report these stats.

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Anybody send them a link to this thread yet? If not, I'll reach out. Sometimes we have to educate.

  17. #17
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Here was my response to the PaulFredrick.com affiliate manager on Tuesday:

    I think this is a very misguided strategy, but it's your decision to make. I actually did have a sale last month, but it was reversed for some reason. Still, I'm sure I'll have periods of time where I go 90 days or longer with no sales activity, so it's just a matter of time before you zap me.

    Slow-producing affiliates don't cost you anything. (Or at least it shouldn't. If it does, you're at the wrong network.) You get exposure, and you only have to pay when a sale is generated. If you have 1000 affiliates that only produce a few sales each per year, that's still thousands of sales per year. With an average over size of over $100, that could be almost a million in sales that you're losing out on.

    I work with hundreds of merchants. For some, I generate over 100 sales a day. For others, I generate only a few sales a year. I never know whether a merchant will be a big producer or a small one, but I'm willing to continue to work with any merchant who is willing to continue to work with me. The ones who do the best get the best exposure and the most attention, but all are welcome.

    Customers on my site will occasionally look for men's dress clothes. Are you sure you would rather them find your competitors rather than you?
    I haven't received a response yet.
    Michael Coley
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  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    I just noticed that this was an EcomWorks run program. www . ecomworks .com

  19. #19
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Here was my response to the PaulFredrick.com affiliate manager on Tuesday:

    I haven't received a response yet.
    Michael- Can't speak about glinted, but from your activity over the years and involvement with affiliate marketing, I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind sending you a letter like that. That's just cluelessly absurd.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, are there any networks that DO charge by number of affiliates?

    I would think this would be painfully absurd of course.

    I just now realized that 2 of our top 20 affiliates were inactive for almost a full YEAR! (9 months and 11 months)

    I finally got them to come around by raising our payouts and improving conversions. Imagine that!
    Matt McWilliams
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  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    Out of curiosity, are there any networks that DO charge by number of affiliates?

    I would think this would be painfully absurd of course.

    I just now realized that 2 of our top 20 affiliates were inactive for almost a full YEAR! (9 months and 11 months)

    I finally got them to come around by raising our payouts and improving conversions. Imagine that!
    I've never heard of any that charge to have affiliates, but some do charge for communications with affiliates. For example, with Linkshare you get x amount of monthly external emails, anything above that, and there is a fee. I've heard (but not confirmed) that cj charges per external email as well. Linkshare's number is high enough that I don't have to worry about it, but I can imagine that large programs who send out daily emails to their entire list could run up a bill.

  22. #22
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    I've noticed a big difference in commission payout among affiliate programs, while Linkshare is pretty standard unless you get private deals, but some other networks offer 2%, 3% 5% etc. who determines what the commissions are - merchant or affiliate manager? I thought it was the merchants, but I read that Matt raised payouts. How does that work?

  23. #23
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    I think it depends on the program. I think with some programs, Affiliate Managers have total control over the affiliate program. At other places maybe the Affiliate Manager is micro managed or given a set of guidelines for payouts and such.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    I think it depends on the program. I think with some programs, Affiliate Managers have total control over the affiliate program. At other places maybe the Affiliate Manager is micro managed or given a set of guidelines for payouts and such.
    Bingo...sometimes we have a scale we can go by, set tiers etc. Sometimes we are told a certain number, sometimes we get a certain number and we split it from there, depends. All possible scenarios and it's all based on margins and volume....
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  25. #25
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    Out of curiosity, are there any networks that DO charge by number of affiliates?

    I would think this would be painfully absurd of course.
    I think Mike hit on it. Some of the networks charge for communication. I don't think any charge directly for number of affiliates. Also, I've heard that LinkShare reports can be (or were) slow if you had "too many" affiliates.

    Whether it's low-performing affiliates or totally inactive affiliates, I think it's absurd to terminate either group.

    The low-performing affiliates add up (1000 that generate a few sales per year with an average order size of $100 is $300,000 in annual sales), and you have no idea when/if they're going to become moderate or high-performing affiliates.

    The inactive affiliates are a tremendous recruiting pool. You won't find a more qualified group of affiliates anywhere. They showed enough interest to sign up.
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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