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  1. #1
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Getting active with Shareasale today
    I've been using LinkShare and Commission Junction for a few months now, but am starting to have concerns about some of the merchants who are allowed into their program.

    You might have seen my recent post on how my friend got completely screwed by a certain merchant when he tried to order a free cell phone using one of my links! (how they called back after the sale to tell him the free phones were really $40...) Not cool at all.

    In any case, based on recommendations from many other ABWers, I put up a couple SAS links this morning and will apply to a few other merchants. I'm hopeful for better results

  2. #2
    Full Member Crocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    In any case, based on recommendations from many other ABWers, I put up a couple SAS links this morning and will apply to a few other merchants. I'm hopeful for better results
    You'll thank yourself for doing that in the very near future
    [URL=http://www.cafepress.com/rowdyjrt]Rowdy Jack Russell Terrier[/URL]

  3. #3
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    That's a wise choice IMO. I myself was able to dump the other major programs and use SAS exclusively. A word of advice...select your SAS merchants wisely. IMO there are many that don't cut the mustard (I'm trying to be nice).

    Good luck!
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Good move Rick. SaS is a good bunch of folks - so well worth your attention. Best of luck to you with your merchant alliances!

    Alan
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  5. #5
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    The main problem I have found with a LOT of SAS merchants is the leakage...google right on front page, ad links, other merchant banners...just be sure you check out their actual sites before hand not just look at their stats.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Yeah, as you'll see all over ABW, it's almost unanimous agreement about SAS.

    I can say that they are extremely responsive, knowledgeable and great people to deal with. You'll see Brian, et. al. around here all the time as well, which should be additional assurance.

    On the merchant side of things, I had looked at CJ and Linkshare when first exploring an affiliate program, but after talking with them I was basically soured as they just had a 'we don't care' tone about them.

  7. #7
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr

    In any case, based on recommendations from many other ABWers, I put up a couple SAS links this morning and will apply to a few other merchants. I'm hopeful for better results
    You're gonna be very pleasantly surprised Rick. The affiliate tools SAS offers are wonderful and make our jobs so much easier. Have fun!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  8. #8
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    SAS has real-time stats!
    Now I'm in real trouble - being the stats junkie that I am!

    I've found several merchants who are closely related to my website's content, so the ads are providing exactly the kind of value to my visitors that I want them to get from my site.

    I also love how the SAS stats show the referrering url. This gives me immediate confirmation of where the link came from. Awesome feature!

    I also am seeing some absolutely incredible tracking cookie durations on many merchants, which should maximize my chances of getting credited for a sale even if a customer doesn't order for a few months after clicking one of my links.

    Has anyone had good results with KoolPhone? They sound like a good replacement for Linkshare's Wirefly, with free phone offers, but I'm not going down that road unless I hear some positive feedback from someone who's making money from them instead of having their orders stolen like I did from Wirefly.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    Looking at their stats: $50 payout, 30 day EPC of $3.36. So unless my math is off that's almost 1500 clicks for a sale. And the one thing you really need to look at with merchants at SAS is Auto Deposit. They're not on it. Personally I don't even consider those merchants. If you gamble with such merchants, you'll eventually get burned. So that's up to you. The site is also powered by Inphonic, a Linkshare merchant. So is Wirefly, the one you were having a problem with.

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    And the one thing you really need to look at with merchants at SAS is Auto Deposit. They're not on it. Personally I don't even consider those merchants. If you gamble with such merchants, you'll eventually get burned.
    Great advice here. You are taking a completely unnecessary risk by using merchants that are not on auto-deposit. If paying essentially escrowed commissions for them is too scary for them to set up on the super easy system created by the trusted folks at SAS, RUN!

  11. #11
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    One thing I really like about the SAS toolset is the "Last page clicked" statistic for each click you get. That way you know exactly where the click came from.

    Combined with using a src (short for source) url parameter on my google adwords and microsoft adcenter ad links, I can tell which PPC campaigns are paying off the best.

    For example, I set up my google adword links to be http://www.mydomain.com/index.php?src=google or http://www.mydomain.com/index.php?src=microsoft

    These are the urls that show up in the SAS "today's stats" when an SAS ad is clicked. Nice eh?

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Rick, you can also add your own custom variables to your links. Look for the "&afftrack=" variable. That's set up for you to track campaigns, keywords, pages, sites, newsletter issue numbers, etc, etc. Pretty handy.

    I totally agree on looking for autodeposit merchants as well. EPC isn't always so reliable, but autodeposit is a must. Nothing worse than running ads for merchants that are temporarily shut off for lack of funds.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  13. #13
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    One thing I really like about the SAS toolset is the "Last page clicked" statistic for each click you get. That way you know exactly where the click came from.
    You'll also know where each sale came from with this method.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  14. #14
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Welcome to ShareASale, Rick! Pleasure to have you on board.
    best,
    Carolyn
    ShareASale Client Services
    Y!: SAS_CTang
    e: ctang(at)shareasale.com

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    i love that last page clicked feature - it's amazing the things you can learn from looking at it...

    i find it's a good way to uncover negative keywords and to expand your current list of ppc keywords (if you're doing direct-to-merchant ppc and have tracking urls enabled, you can see what people searched for when they saw and clicked on your ad).

    good for finding adsense sites where your text, banner or video ads are showing (if you're doing dtm ppc). at times, i've seen lots of clicks coming from some bogus site and blocked it in my ppc. Other times i've seen GREAT sites and I experiment withn them via site-targeted campaigns (versus keyword targeted).

    good for testing your dynamic variables in your site (you can append data pairs to your dynamic pages on your site and see the data that's passed - good for a/b testing conversion pages and such). i've played with php scripts to store the source of my traffic in the pages url as they land on my site so that later i can do an ROI study and go back and see which traffic source i had landing at my site went on to convert best at the merchants site - this feature let's me test that system and to watch it live as traffic is passed so i can see what traffic sources are clicking through to my merchants and which are not. i've used this for roi metrics and feedback control as well as detecting click fraud and other things as well.

    if you keep odd hours, you can watch the weird stuff (dtm ppc traffic sources or if you dynamically encode it into your pages urls) that often shows up then and use that information to set any ppc dayparting settings you may have.

    that same info, the page clicked info, is also available in the download csv reports so you can see it live in the last page clicked area AND see it tagged to every sale in the csv reports. that info, both with and without afftrack parameters you can add to the aff link itself, can be VERY useful.

  16. #16
    Dream Cruise megatonloh's Avatar
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    OMG, Donuts you are way ahead and too fast for me to catch up. Hope to catch up once I can understand and do what you have posted in this forum.

    Thanks for all the great infos you are providing us.



    Thanks
    Richard

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Shareasale is fabulous - on every network you get good and bad, but of all the networks SAS has the best reputation for keeping things as clean as possible and I sincerely hope you won't let one bad experience ruin SAS's rep for you... I've been working w/ them a few years now and have nothing but good tihngs to say. Mind you I am an OPM/AM and not an affiliate per se but I run programs on more than one network and all my SAS affiliates have nothing but rave reviews about SAS - part of the reason I launched my current merchant onto SAS in the first place. Affiliates who use them and know them, really like working w/ them and the programs available thru them.

    Hope all your future SAS merchant experiences are 100x better than that first one... I suspect they will be.

  18. #18
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    I've just been with SAS since October but I'll echo e-Gazer's sentiment from an affiliate's perspective. SAS is not perfect and certainly can benefit from improvements as all affiliate networks can, but I see that they are systematically addressing our issues and listening to us carefully. And you can't beat the reliability of their monthly payments to affiliates and real-time reporting of commissions.

    Some of the most responsive AMs (who actually care!) can be found working with merchant programs on SAS, like e-Gazer, Andy Rodriguez and Geno, plus others I haven't yet established a relationship with from ABW but hope to soon!

  19. #19
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    I do wish there were more "name brand" merchants on SAS... that's one thing that still is a draw for me with CJ and LS. I mean, I don't see TurboTax on SAS, or Sony, or Dell, Target, Comcast, etc. But then again, I'm too new at this business to know if that's really such a bad thing. I'm just hesitant to dominate an ad position with ads that are not easily recognizable retailers. Does anyone have any comments on that, or advice?

    It's also not like the money is rolling in now that I've switched. I've made only one single dollar since switching, so the hard work factor still applies (no surprise).

    Now if I could just figure out where best to apply all the hard work, I think I'd be set I wake up every morning at 4:30 - 5:00 to work on this stuff before heading off to my day job - I guess I'm just completely obsessed.

  20. #20
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    size doesn't always matter, but i agree it would be great if there were major brands galore there. i will say that my top converting merchant of all time is at SAS and it's not a small amount of traffic either - i average close to 50 orders a day.

    like other networks, there are many duds there for sure too - wading through them to find the good ones is hard work and takes patience, time, experiments and more. looking through all 2000+ is too much forrest to hunt in. a good way to search through fewer of them is to start with only those on auto-deposit that are managed by ABW-known AMs/OPMs or managed by SAS themselves. SAS also has their "premier" merchants.

    auto-deposit, to me, is much more than safety and security for us regarding payments - it also says to me 'this merchant has automated their payments to SAS' and in many cases that's a result of need... meaning they have volume. TrustNo1 started a great thread here asking SAS merchants to chime in if they're on auto-deposit, i would advise that these are the ONLY sas merchants you need comb through.

    TN1's thread is yellow stickied at the top of the SAS forums - so it's easy to find. here's a link to it anyhow:
    "Auto Deposit Merchants - Where You At"
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=48659

  21. #21
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Rick,

    Welcome to the SAS world, the clean affiliate marketing method of earning money. You are welcomed to join any of our managed SAS programs and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

    Some of our SAS programs convert better than others as with any other network. Dependig on your traffic, I can steer you in the right direction and save you time and landmines along the way.....

    Thank you in advance for your time dedicated to our programs, we will do our best to maximize your ROI.

    Have an amazing day !!!
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Adding my two bits, as an affiliate I never did as well with the "Name Brand" companies as I did with the others. Frankly, I think there is too much competition between affiliates for some of those. Find a merchant at SAS that you can promote and work it and I mean really work it. I think you will be amazed at the outcome. Also, not true for all, but I find the commission rates at SAS are somewhat better, probably because they don't charge the merchants an arm and a leg. Sooooo, that savings to the merchant often gets passed on to the affiliate in higher commissions.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  23. #23
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for taking time to chime in - much appreciated.

    I went live with a new site last weekend and plan to use SAS ads on it exclusively. I'm admitedly a little concerned that December didn't turn up any orders, but I'll take the advice of some well-respected members who posted on this thread and stick with it a while longer.

    I certainly would rather work hard for someone who actually returns my emails... and on the same day too!

  24. #24
    Full Member clyderose's Avatar
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    All the best Rick! The people at Sas are a very helpful and dedicated bunch!

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