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  1. #1
    Internet Cowboy
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    Merchant newsletter containing an ad for another merchant...
    I just got a newsletter from a merchant that had an ad for another merchant (totally unrelated, same network) in the newsletter. Not surprisingly, it is from a merchant who had affiliate links all over their checkout confirmation page when I last purchased from them.
    There is nothing wrong with one merchant using their affiliate newsletter to recruit for another program I suppose, but is this the best use of newsletter space? It looks to me like the merchant is working too many ways to monetize their affiliate program instead of concentrating on conversions and making their site the best it can be. The link is clearly structured in such a way that it is tracked through the network as a referral.
    Has anyone else seen this? It seems marginally spammy to me. I hoped to find a coupon in the newsletter, but found an ad for another merchant instead. Opinions?
    Last edited by UncleScooter; December 5th, 2006 at 10:06 AM. Reason: This was post #3500.....WoooHoooo


  2. #2
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Shoebuy Spamming Affiliates
    Just got an email from Teresa Tao at shoebuy....

    Guess she had nothing important to say about her actual SHOE affiliate program!

    She pitched Lending Tree!!!!!!!

    Yea! That's related to my shoe site!

    Featured Partner: LendingTree

    LendingTree is the leading online lending and realty services exchange that empowers consumers – When Banks Compete, You Win. LendingTree is the best place to capture all of a consumer’s loan and real estate needs whether it is a mortgage, Refinance, Home Equity, or Real Estate Services. If you are looking for more income as a publisher, join the LendingTree Affiliate Program today:

    Payout: $20 - $55 USD CPA

    https://signup.cj.com/member/branded...hantid=1189455



    Hopefully, Shoebuy affiliates will contact her and tell her in no uncertain terms that we do NOT want to be spammed by our partners

    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; December 5th, 2006 at 11:21 AM. Reason: removed Lending Tree logo image from emizza.com

  3. #3
    Internet Cowboy
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    I beat you by a minute Billy...LOL

    [Merged threads]
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; December 5th, 2006 at 10:14 AM.


  4. #4
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I emailed her asking the name of her immediate superviser so I can file a formal complaint.

    If she doesn't reply - I'll write the CEO. I will NOT accept being spammed by a merchant partner.

  5. #5
    Internet Cowboy
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    I'm sure it came from the top down.

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Scoot

    Your post lacks the appropriate venom that her decision to treat us like children deserves.

  7. #7
    15 years and counting
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    UncleScooter - Has anyone else seen this? It seems marginally spammy to me. I hoped to find a coupon in the newsletter, but found an ad for another merchant instead. Opinions?
    It's quite common, LinkShare merchants are doing it all the time. It's plain stupid. They are wasting their time and it makes me wonder about them.
    This week I got a newsletter from a KowaBunga merchant with a nice promotion (Free Shipping) and ready to use code. I put it on my sites and had second thoughts, sure enough the affiliate code was not mine. For who is that nice Christmas bonus?

  8. #8
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I certainly don't have an issue with a merchant leveraging synergystic relationships, but I would hope there wasn't a monetary gain in it. If they want to track simply to measure the success of the co-advertising, that's fine. I've toyed with that idea in the past myself.

    At the same time, any communication with an affiliate is too valuable to miss an opportunity to fully promote your own program. I'd hate to have someone not take advantage of an offer I'm proposing because they became interested in another program. That would be especially denegrating, considering I'm an OPM. My mission is to promote the merchant I'm communicating on behalf of.

    Third, if it coincides with a program that is known for leaks, I guess it's just another nail in the coffin.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
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  9. #9
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noth
    ...but I would hope there wasn't a monetary gain in it.
    Their checkout is full of affiliate links. I doubt this is the case.

  10. #10
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Merged threads

  11. #11
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    It appears complaining will do no good. Just went to their site to get their CEOs address and they have this on their About Us page:

    http://i.shoebuy.com/images/confidence.gif

    What company controls all these merchants?

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Usually, this is done for co-promotion. Two complementary, but non-competing merchants agree to run a similar plug for the other in their newsletters. As long as it's part of a regular newsletter and not a solo email, I have no problem with it.
    Michael Coley
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     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

  13. #13
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    It appears complaining will do no good. Just went to their site to get their CEOs address and they have this on their About Us page:

    http://i.shoebuy.com/images/confidence.gif

    What company controls all these merchants?
    IAC/InterActiveCorp and they control also a truck load of adware and spyware companies

    More Info about IAC
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=77783
    Last edited by Zeus; December 5th, 2006 at 10:38 AM.

  14. #14
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Z

    I didn't even wait for a response from Ms Tao - too many shoe merchants to choose from - I removed all their links and dropped 'em.

  15. #15
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    By opening this thread, I just got a cookie from emizza.com.

    I guess it comes from the LendingTree PNG image on Billy's qoute.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    IAC owns LendingTree also so I'm not surprised by the email sent out by Shoebuy. http://www.iac.com/businesses.html for ALL their properties.

    And yes, IAC does have adware. For both affiliates and merchants, the one that should of the most concern is probably Pronto. Pronto information here http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...highlight=iwon

    As far as Shoebuy themselves.....well they now have the BagsBuy.com website linked from every page of Shoebuy, their new sister bag/luggage site. BagsBuy also has an aff program on CJ, but it's a separate program. Wanna lay odds on cross site traffic happening?

    And then there is Shoebuy's fondness for running ad campaigns through Zango themselves targeting other shoe merchants. Long standing issue of that one. I've even seen them targeting their own site and popping themselves on Shoebuy. Hmmm....wonder why they do that? Hard for me to think of Shoebuy as a real affiliate friendly program, although I'm sure affs do make some money with them.

  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Sal,

    Yep, it's gone now. TY!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Thanks for the info Z

    I didn't even wait for a response from Ms Tao - too many shoe merchants to choose from - I removed all their links and dropped 'em.
    Is she just another Pimp for her Adwhore masters, as not one of her masters ship any products? To call them merchants is a sacriledge on what real merchants do... They are just Mass advertising EyeBall perveyors with the ethics of the normal greed driven Ad industry. Sounds like she wouldn't break a nail digging into lost or hijacked commissions on behalf of any legit Showbuy affiliate. Unfortunately she's just an indicator of AM's running typical network programs.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    And then there is Shoebuy's fondness for running ad campaigns through Zango themselves targeting other shoe merchants. Long standing issue of that one. I've even seen them targeting their own site and popping themselves on Shoebuy. Hmmm....wonder why they do that? Hard for me to think of Shoebuy as a real affiliate friendly program, although I'm sure affs do make some money with them.
    Iac deny being an adware company "IAC Search & Media's products are not adware or spyware."
    http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/d...ines_iac.shtml
    Their people went to the same school than Keith Smith where you can learn how to lie and believe your own lies.
    Somebody was asking what is parasiteware, read their about page, IAC can teach you all the tricks.

    "I've even seen them targeting their own site and popping themselves on Shoebuy. " That's funny.

  20. #20
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Usually when I remove a merchant... I feel bad.

    Bad because of all the work that went into putting up the links

    Bad that the merchant did something counter-productive to affiliate marketing, and I was unable to get them to understand what they did was wrong

    Bad because of all the possible income I'll loose by not having the links up

    Bad because I know someone else will jump in and take over where my links left off

    ...

    This is the first time I feel GOOD about removing links!

    It's a really cool feeling

  21. #21
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Usually when I remove a merchant... I feel bad.

    Bad because of all the work that went into putting up the links

    Bad that the merchant did something counter-productive to affiliate marketing, and I was unable to get them to understand what they did was wrong

    Bad because of all the possible income I'll loose by not having the links up

    Bad because I know someone else will jump in and take over where my links left off

    ...

    This is the first time I feel GOOD about removing links!

    It's a really cool feeling
    Don't feel bad! To have unethical merchants on a website is a dead end. To give you my own example, my first 5 years in affiliate marketing were great, then I lost ground (-20% each year) the next 5 years not because I lost traffic, but because my conversion was going down. It took me time to research why and to kick out of my websites all the merchants with poor conversion. One way or another, these merchants were associated with unethical marketing strategies. It hurts to remove them because we're still making money.
    Well, I don't have one merchant with Google checkout, not because I knew about the lost of affiliate tracking but because I had problems with some of these merchants before. It takes time to research what's going on but it pays at the end. This year my affiliate income is increasing, November was great, December is going to be spectacular, all that with a few merchants not playing any tricks. Just to give you hope, you did the right choice.

  22. #22
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    ok.. this is eye opening.

    I for one have done email swaps with other linkshare merchants but my limit is either a 468*60 banner or no more than 2-3 lines of text.

    That being said, my focus is on communications (when necessary only) and the selection process is what Michael Coley outlines
    -"Two complementary mechants"
    -"Non-competing merchants"
    plus
    -"Clean and well managed program"
    -"Responsive and responsible AM"

    My goal is to gain exposure for my program in other merchant's program and hoping that other affiliates that are not in my program will join. I do not have affiliate links on my website or on the newsletter or any other hanky-panky stuff.

    I do not see this as a problem (not the stand alone emails) and this will bring some value to the affiliates also. I helped a few new Linkshare merchants by giving them exposure to affiliates and I noticed that some of my affiliates have joined their program. My goal is to help my program grow in the long run and also help aff in general, if not, i would not be on ABW

  23. #23
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Eric (take this with a grain of salt)...

    I helped a few new Linkshare merchants by giving them exposure to affiliates
    Your job title is AFFILIATE manager, not HELP OUT OTHER MERCHANTS manager

    and I noticed that some of my affiliates have joined their program
    And you lost some potential Fairfield affiliates by doing so

    We all like Chris S. Yet I dropped every single AMSWO merchant, as each decided it was in my best interest to get me to promote 1800Flowers.

    Hec! WesternUnion actually had a page on the WU site with instructions on how to promote 1800F

    It's the NEWTORKS job to promote their merchants... not affiliate managers

    Again, grain of salt... not directed at you

  24. #24
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay

    And you lost some potential Fairfield affiliates by doing so

    It's the NEWTORKS job to promote their merchants... not affiliate managers

    Again, grain of salt... not directed at you
    Billy, No hard feeling caused and point well taken. Constructive criticism is always good.

    When you say lost potential Fairfield affiliates, I do not see it that way.

    -If an aff is active and earning something from me, I am just giving the aff an oppotrunity to promote another merchant, thus giving him the opportunity to earn more money. I have even recommended one of my super affiliate to look at another program to expand his income.

    -If an aff is not active plus not promoting my program, and he/she gets my email but joins ther another aff prog. Maybe my program is not ideal for his/her site. Either way, the aff is still in my program as I am not a "Firing General" and give them the pink slip for not performing.

    Networks do promote merchants but if you are not companies like Sears or Ford, you do not get much air time. Trust me, I have kissed the ring to get some special treatment but it's like moving mountains. Can't move a mountain. Maybe it's just the bureaucracy but I am not big enought to make an impact.

    As I told somebody recently, what goes around comes around. If I help a new merchant or affilaite, I may never know that they will help me in the future.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FairFieldGetaway-EricEwe
    it's like moving mountains. Can't move a mountain. Maybe it's just the bureaucracy but I am not big enought to make an impact.
    Ahhhhhhh GrassHopper - please allow me to enlighten ...

    You move around it, climb over it and tunnel right through it ...

    While im all for helping others become successful, you won't find me promoting another program I don't work with. Simple reason IMO -

    Merchants are not only competing within their own category of products for the affiliates limited and very valuable time and attention but today due to how the industry has evolved merchants compete with every other merchant for the affiliates time. Affiliates have limited time to spend promoting a program, any program. There are just so many hours in the day and affiliates look for a positive ROI as with their work as well.

    I would hate to have an affiliate decide it was a better ROI to use his limited time and resources to promote some other merchant I referred him to ... my job is promote the merchants that hire me to promote them.... just my 2 cents and totally my opinion...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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