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  1. #1
    Member
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    Phone number on site
    We are considering becoming an affiliate merchant and SAS looks like the best bet for us right now.

    A question - we currently have our 1-800 number in the header on our site, and we currently receive perhaps 15-20% of our online-based sales via the phone. We definitely don't want to change this just because we're adding an affiliate program. How do you deal with this aspect which might be frowned upon by affiliates? Do you intentionally bump up the commission and mention this as the reason for it?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    I think there is a way to enable affiliate tracking via phone or something where the phone person can ask the customer for the code. I know some other SAS merchants have done this. They probably could explain it better.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    As Trust pointed it, it would be even better would to add phone tracking. ShareASale.com makes it fairly easy. Just ask them about it and they'll turn on the feature for you and give you documentation of how to do it on your end.

    Basically, you:

    1) Have ShareASale.com pass the affiliate ID to you.
    2) Capture the affiliate ID in a cookie.
    3) Display the affiliate ID (or a default code that means "in house") as a "Priority Code" near the phone number.
    4) Train your customer service reps to ask for the "Priority Code" when they take orders over the phone.
    5) Manually enter those commissions when you enter the order.

    Affiliates have a HUGE amount of respect for merchants who are willing to go to this extent to ensure that affiliate orders are properly tracked.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    What Michael said.

    As long as you are transparent in front of your affiliates regarding phone orders (remember, that they will make test orders themselves from time to time; so you definitely want your phone people to know the seriousness of tracking every affiliate order, asking for that "promo code"), they will promote you willingly.

    If you want to see an example of how it works/looks go to www.privatemdlabs.com and see what is mentioned after the phone number and also bolded on the "Contact Us" page (also after the phone numbers). If you see "Promo Code: 22" - it means that you were not referred by any affiliates. Every time a customer is referred by an affiliate, that particular affiliate's numerical ID will appear as the promo code to be used during the phone checkout. The phone people will need to commucate that to the affiliate manager for the proper affiliate to be credited for the phone sale.

    Geno

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Phone Tracking A Big Plus
    Hello Arcadius,

    It's no problem to add phone tracking to your header and for sure it shows affiliates that you are giving your best effort to capture and track sales they generate for you.

    You already have the capability to handle incoming calls, so the first half is a done deal. The next thing you want to do is add an easily visible "promotion code" or "customer code" directly under your toll free number. Because you obviously care about tracking for your affiliates (a plus) you want affiliates and prospective affiliates to SEE this code to instill trust.

    You can do what Michael said, or if you program or have a programmer, it is a pretty simple operation to add code that ID's the affiliate. Of course the MOST important part of the formula is to impress upon your phone rep(s) the importance of ALWAYS asking the caller: "Directly under our toll free telephone number there is a "Customer Code" can you read that to me please?"

    We have this feature on our pharmacy web site and it has been worth its weight in gold in seeing the affiliate is credited. In our case, our programmer wrote the code to enable the order to be attached to the affiliate ID at the time of the order. This also insures that reorders are credited to the affiliate, which I assume you also want to do to maximize your affiliates rewards.

    If you have any questions about this, feel free to email me at the address below. Good luck with your merchant program. It is always great to see merchants become affiliates, and it's also good to see an affiliate becoming a merchant. Best Wishes.

    Alan
    Last edited by ALH - AmeritrustRx; November 25th, 2006 at 06:27 PM. Reason: typo
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    The other way to do it (the way I do it...) is to just not take the orders over the phone. Instead, help your customers order for themselves. Might require a slight change in business plan, but 99% of customers will be in front of the computer when they call (they got your phone # from your website so....), your agents just help them fill out the form themselves. That way, affiliates get paid and everyone is happy. And there is no code to add to your site.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  7. #7
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MINDsprinter
    The other way to do it (the way I do it...) is to just not take the orders over the phone. Instead, help your customers order for themselves. Might require a slight change in business plan, but 99% of customers will be in front of the computer when they call (they got your phone # from your website so....), your agents just help them fill out the form themselves. That way, affiliates get paid and everyone is happy. And there is no code to add to your site.
    Why not do both?

    A code by the phone number and help customers place their order.

    You would get a lot of brownie points from both your customers and your affiliates.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

  8. #8
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    > "Train your customer service reps to ask for the "Priority Code" when they take orders over the phone. Manually enter those commissions when you enter the order. Affiliates have a HUGE amount of respect for merchants who are willing to go to this extent to ensure that affiliate orders are properly tracked." <

    The next step (the best strategy) is to offer some kind of benefit to the consumer for using the priority code, such as a discount (e.g. $1 off the order). That provides an extra incentive for the consumer to use the code on phone orders.

    Note that the "priority code" isn't just for affiliates - you can also use it to track your PPC and print advertising.

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