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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Is there any chance of getting some sober, sensible discussion on an issue that some folks have concerns about? I mentioned it once already and it got lost in an off-topic shouting match. Here's another try ...

    Some merchants occasionally publish lists of their top-performing affiliates.

    Is that a good idea? Bad idea? Why? Why not??

  2. #2
    Crazy Cat Lady Heidi's Avatar
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    Well it seems to me that on the few occassions that it has happened on this board, the top affiliate sites got ripped off by others. So to me that says its a very bad idea for merchants to do this.

    Even when partial domain name is listed, with the right amount of hunting/searching you can figure out what the site is. So that also is not a good idea. Perhaps they should list just first name and initial if they want to showcase top sellers.

    Just a thought anyway.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    One of my merchants last year sent out a newsletter that named the complete site names of the top producers in the program.

    I'd just joined, and didn't realize there was anything wrong with this at first. I took a look at all three sites, and frankly, I don't see how in the world they could make the money they did! One of them (the top performer, the "numero uno" site) was AWFUL!

    I don't know if they're still a top performer or not, but I never see the site listed in search engines when I'm checking my keywords, so I have no idea where the traffic would come from.

    All of the newsletters since that one have not listed the site names, so I think it was just an oversight. Now when I get stumped on a page, I ask myself why I'm worrying about it so much, since the top performer site looked like it was thrown together!

    I have no idea if that site is represented here at ABW or not, if so no offense - it's just not my style, but it just goes to show you that you really never can tell what is going to make people click the buy button.

    I can see where the top performing associates would be a motivating factor to others, in that respect it's a good idea. As far as publishing the site names, I'm going to stay out of that one! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Andy

  4. #4
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    It's a bad idea to publish *any* information about an affiliate, unless the affiliate was consulted beforehand and agreed to it.

    A more acceptable format might be to say something like "we paid $X to the number 1 affiliate", but even then the affiliate should be consulted beforehand.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Elisabeth, IMO all the merchant is doing is saying hey, these are our top affiliates. Go see what ideas you can get from their site. I don't like the idea at all. It's something to help the merchant out and to hurt the affiliate. There is no way in the world it could help that individual out. IMO they are out to help themselves when they do that. <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon9.gif>

  6. #6
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    Note: The ideas presented here are my own. This post is not intended to state any facts or be an advice to any person.

    I have no problem with my top merchants publishing my informationin their affiliate newsletters and stating that I am one of their top performers. I personally do not see what there is to agree. According merchants' TOAs, we have no say in what they do anyways.

    If I am a top performer, I'd be more than happy with the publicity that merchant's newsletter generates.

    I also think that merchants saying "Our top affiliates earn $$$$$$ is lame.

    - BluesX

  7. #7
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I think it is okay only if the affiliates gave permission.

  8. #8
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    Here's my little tale.

    email from merchants to affiliates..

    Affiliates, earn $$$'s promoting xxx.com.
    Out top affiliate is earning $$$'s per month through pay per click search engines.
    Bids are currently at $0.05 at overture.
    Terms to bid on are "xxx xxx", "xxxx," etc.

    happy $$$'s
    Merchant X

    Guess who the top affiliate was.
    Guess who also hasn't had a sale in months from this merchant.
    The bids are now around the $0.80 mark, with the merchant themselves also bidding.

    grrr

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    [QUOTE
    Is there any chance of getting some sober, sensible discussion on an issue ...
    QUOTE]

    I am neither sober or sensible but I would take great offense to anyone naming me or my site in conjunction with affiliate revenues.

    I would say more but I have to mix another drink.

    Doc


    [edited by Mrs Farnsworth to add spaces for legibility]

    [ 07-28-2002: Message edited by: Doc Sawyer ]

  10. #10
    Chick with Brains Tracy's Avatar
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    I've seen programs post the top amounts earned without actually posting the names of the sites that earned them. If the program's purpose is to show how much can be earned through ingenuity and hard work, then posting the amounts should accomplish that purpose without disclosing the names of the sites.

    This way they can encourage their affiliates to work harder without opening the door for parasites to be able to steal from successful sites. What's that old saying? They put locks on doors to keep honest people honest. (Or something like that.)

  11. #11
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    Elizabeth

    I have once received several emails from a big name merchant saying that they want to feature my website on their affiliate newsletter.

    I did not answer them back.

    I was new to this affiliate thing then, and now in retrospect, I'm happy that I did that.

  12. #12
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    I think posting numbers is good because it tells you something about the program (which may include that all the current affiliates don't know what they're doing and there's room for a lot of growth [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]).

    But posting affiliate names without the affiliate's permission? BAD PLAN, IMO. What purpose is there in posting an affiliate's site to a list of affiliates? One merchant told me I'd get some good traffic from it... lol... like any other affiliate is going to buy something via my site...

    If they have the affiliate's permission, then fine. I wouldn't do it, but I know there are others who are not bothered by it.

    And merchants should get themselves educated on this topic -- if you're ticking off affiliates, you really don't want to be ticking off your best ones. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  13. #13
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    I like seeing numbers.. not names.. Having a list of the top 5 affiliate commissions being paid out a month is good value, and can give you some motivation with a merchant.. I dislike names and sites being mentioned however..

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    I can also see posting numbers, lame as it may be, it might motivate the newer not yet higher earners with the potential of the program.

    Personally I wouldn't want my name or site named since I have yet to put PlanB or PlanC into action. However, I can see BluesX point.

    Looking back at this thread I could have just said my usual chorus. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I like to see the numbers, too--but think it's absolutely terrible when the URLs or names are published without permission.

    First, the "extra traffic" from THAT kind of a mention is precisely the kind traffic that should be blocked--competitors, who would never buy anything. If they like something else on your site, they would only be looking to sign up for *that* affiliate program, too--not buy anything. Not to mention the fact that out of a decent-sized newsletter mailing, to competitors--it's almost a *guarantee* that those top sites are going to be stolen.

    Second, whether a person wants their financial information out there (and associated with them in an identifiable way) or not should be up to them. It's not a matter of what the merchant CAN do (according to the Terms), but what they SHOULD do. Financial info is considered very private by some and publicizing who goes with the numbers without permission is a serious breach of trust. The terms are something which have to be agreed to, for there to be a deal. If I know in advance that a merchant is one who would out my information--and I believe I have a serious chance of being in the range that would be outed, I don't sign up for their program and there is no deal. Competitors which are more thougtful about sensitive information get the promotion instead.

    Speaking of the Terms, though--I believe that at CJ, that type of info (namely, financial performance of specific sites) would be considered Proprietary Information and its disclosure would in fact be prohibited.

    (HMMM, I just went to pull it up and quote from the part I'm thinking of, but it came up 404! Darnit... I wonder if CJ just moved it from the address I have bookmarked, or is there some change afoot? Oh well, I'm too tired to hound it out now.)

    Personally I like the way Rick/JC Whitney does it. He just puts the first letter of the site along with the $ amount in the newsletter. Even if you're on the list, it usually takes comparing the figures on the list to those in the stats, just to determine if you're on it that month (unless your site starts with some really weird letter, but mine doesn't)!

    Yet the figures are showing, to inspire others as to what can be done with the program.

  16. #16
    Millionaire on training wheels Justdoit's Avatar
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    Some people like the publicity and recognition and some don't. Posting the numbers of top sellers can be motivational for those still trying to attain that level, however names and sites should not be published without the person's permission.
    Just my opinion.

  17. #17
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    I would like to see the numbers posted - no names or initials or urls.

    Vicki [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  18. #18
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    I like seeing the top performers lists.. I think JC Whitney get it right in their mails, they publish a list of top performers by various criteria but only include the first letter of the site name.. it still motivates people to make sales and gives you a buzz when you're mentioned

  19. #19
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    All,

    Based on the current feedback, I will not be posting any site or name information going forward. I will only be posting earning info starting this month.

    Thanks for the feedback...

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The only truthful and meaningful stat that a merchant should post regarding affiliate performance is the average number of clicks to generate a sale from his pool of affiliates. The job of an affiliate manager is to reduce that number monthly by fine tuning landing pages and creatives.

  21. #21
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    My opinion is that a Merchant might want to display numbers or might not, but should never display names. Some things in business, as in war, are best left not said.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The location where we will engage the enemy must not become known to them. If it is not known, then the positions they must prepare to defend will be numerous. If the positions the enemy prepares to defend are numerous, then the forces we will engage will be few.
    - Sun-tzu, "The Art of War"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Quite simply put, telling the world who your largest revenue generators are leaves your competition with information they can use against you. This negative impact should be compared against the potential gains. WhatÂ’s the positive impact? Could one achieve the same positive impact without the associated negative impact?

    If the positive impact is to let people know the potential they have in your program, then you could achieve this goal by simply displaying the numbers without the names. This releases less information to be used against you, and still achieves the positive goal youÂ’re shooting for.

    Just my two centsÂ…

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>telling the world who your largest revenue generators are leaves your competition with information they can use against you. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Now that's an angle I hadn't thought of!

  23. #23
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    Well said Shawn.

    I do think it's important to see what the top earnings are so that affiliates have some criteria with which to set goals and gauge their own performance, but it can be done without having to know who the top earners are.

    It hurts the merchant as much as the affiliate partner when sites are revealed. There's quite a bit of trawling and recruiting going on, and a merchant who lists the names/url's of top affiliates may soon end up losing them to a deal with another merchant.

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