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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Question From New ShareASale Merchant
    We are a new merchant to the shareasale network. We have been working hard on recruiting new affiliates. We had an affiliate sale today by a new affiliate named Fat Squirrel Marketing. I have seen complaints about these guys before regarding this affiliate using spyware so I checked the sales record and the purchase was actually by a repeat customer. Obviously a repeat customer could be driven through an affiliate link but is there any way to see what page on the affiliates website they went through to get to our site and result in the affiliate sale? If its legit then thats great but i would like to make sure. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Nature Boy's Avatar
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    The referral URL SHOULD be in your merchant reports, if I'm not mistaken. On the affiliate side, I know there is a "Page Banner was Clicked From" section, so this and the referrer should be in your reports as well.
    Scott
    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bulls#!t
    Don't tell me that you'll do it... SHOW ME.
    Just because everyone else is drinking it is no reason for me to drink the KOOL-AID.

  3. #3
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    I see what happened. The affiliate bid on our company name even though we expressly ban bidding on our company name. I am going to reverse this transaction.

  4. #4
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    We're a new merchant as well and so far have had more affiliates bid on our name than on product related keywords. I think it's a symptom of being new. Without established EPC numbers, it's tough to attract affiliates willing to make an effort, so you get those who only go after the low hanging fruit targeting existing customers, people who know the brand, etc. If you do have an established brand, I almost wonder if it wouldn't be worth letting sales like this one go through for a while just to establish EPC numbers...

    Our brand is new, so for us, it's the product related keywords that generate the sales. Those words however, take an effort to develop and make payoff. Starting off with no established EPC to speak off, it's not been easy to convince affiliates to make that effort.

    I've even considered switching my own PPC advertising over to point to my SaS affiliate account just to build our EPC. It'd be more expensive with the network fees, and I'd likely be accused of trying to overwrite affiliate cookies, but it would show that it's a profitable market. Seems like EPC is the critical piece on Shareasale to get the snowball rolling, so even though the sale was generated against your TOS, it might be worth paying out on it...

    In any case, best of luck!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Exclamation
    >>>I've even considered switching my own PPC advertising over to point to my SaS affiliate account just to build our EPC. <<<

    doing that which would artificially inflate your EPC might be considered unethical in some circles.

  6. #6
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ
    >>>I've even considered switching my own PPC advertising over to point to my SaS affiliate account just to build our EPC. <<<

    doing that which would artificially inflate your EPC might be considered unethical in some circles.
    Herb, I've also considered writing content for affiliates, developing keyword lists for affiliates, have purchased domains with the idea of offering them to affiliates, am working on a marketing guide explaining the products and their uses for affiliates and many other ideas. Considering is part of the job. I'd be neglecting the program if I didn't consider, investigate, noodle and ponder every idea I can come up with...

    My comment was meant to illustrate and emphasize the point that EPC was important to recruiting on SaS (so important that I would consider something so outlandish), and that sthbodyjewelry might not want to reverse the sale in question.

    You're probably right though. Even if I followed my own affiliate agreement and PPC policy, my margins would allow for higher bids which might help conversion and skew the EPC numbers. Plus the idea of setting up an affiliate program, creating a datafeed, adding links for all the sections of the site, etc, just to end up paying network fees to be my own affiliate tastes wrong on so many levels!

    Brian, if you read this, you can ignore my email asking about the idea. Chalk it up to fatigue.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador thecool's Avatar
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    sthbodyjewelry,

    What you should probably concern yourself with in order to get affiliates into your program is getting on auto deposit and get rid of your ebay affiliate link.

    You need to provide more and better linking tools. (Creatives) (Data Feed)

    Will look at your program again when these are in place. Good luck and welcome aboard.

    Gene
    TCS

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sthbodyjewelry
    The affiliate bid on our company name even though we expressly ban bidding on our company name.
    I've had some affiliates bidding on my company name, although I also ban bids on my trademarks. After I ran into this, I simply dropped them an email and asked them to stop. Out of 7 affiliates doing this, 6 of them wrote back within 2 days and discontinued the practice. Yet, certainly don't start out with, "You are forbidden to bid...I will cancel your account..." Just remember, these affiliates may still turn out to be your top producers, you never really know.

    And for what it's worth, Google has a Trademark Complaint Procedure that allows you to 'report' this activity. I went though the process and it took a few weeks for them to get back, but in the end it's now impossible for anyone except me (my AdWords account, that is) to bid on my company name.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Townsend's Avatar
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    but in the end it's now impossible for anyone except me (my AdWords account, that is) to bid on my company name.
    Hi Adam,

    Google's policy only forbids advertisers from using trademarked terms in their ad copy. However, Google allows anyone and everyone to bid on trademarked terms. There's a very important distinction between the two.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecool
    sthbodyjewelry,

    What you should probably concern yourself with in order to get affiliates into your program is getting on auto deposit and get rid of your ebay affiliate link.

    You need to provide more and better linking tools. (Creatives) (Data Feed)

    Will look at your program again when these are in place. Good luck and welcome aboard.

    Gene
    TCS
    Gene, that was actually a very helpful post.

    1) We will get rid of the ebay affiliate link. Almost none of our customers go into ebay from our site so its not even worth having it there. Just one of those things that have been there and was sort of forgotten about.

    2) As far as a data feed, we have one created and sent to ShareaSale but they have not yet responded to us or put the feed up, its been a couple of days.

    3) More Creatives are in the works.

    4) Thanks again for your helpfulness

    Brandon

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Townsend


    Hi Adam,

    Google's policy only forbids advertisers from using trademarked terms in their ad copy. However, Google allows anyone and everyone to bid on trademarked terms. There's a very important distinction between the two.
    Very good point.

    Although most of the time you can bid on any trademarked term as long as its not in the creative of the ad, you are slightly incorrect on this. Their are certain terms that Google will De-Activate due to trademark infrigement. For instance many auto manufacturers will have your ad pulled if you use their terms and do not have a written agreement with them or a licensed franchise selling their vehicles. I am sure their are other industries as well that are blocked.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager Alan Townsend's Avatar
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    Hi Adam,

    It's a not a debate, it's a fact that Google allows bidding on trademarks 100% of the time. Here's what Google says about it:

    We do not take action on objections to the use of trademarks in sites that appear in our search results, i.e., the left-side of a results page. For any such objections, please contact the site owner directly.
    You can find the details by clicking here They will not prevent anyone from bidding on trademarks Adam.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    And, Google allows trademarks in the ad copy if you are competing in some way. For example, I regularly run ads for my product that say "Cheaper than product x" or something like that. As long as you back up your claim on the landing page this is fine too.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Townsend
    Hi Adam,

    It's a not a debate, it's a fact that Google allows bidding on trademarks 100% of the time. Here's what Google says about it:



    You can find the details by clicking here They will not prevent anyone from bidding on trademarks Adam.
    I'm not looking to argue and I do know about their TOS. I have a heavy background in marketing for auto dealers and have had numerous (and i mean MANY) ads pulled for bidding on trademarked terms (and no they didnt even have the name in the ad). To reactivate the ad we had to have the legal department of the franchise of that term write a certified and notarized letter to Google to reactivate our ads. Google's TOS may say one thing but they definetly enforce it another. Either way best of luck with your affiliate programs and thanks for responding to this thread.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Alan Townsend's Avatar
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    Hi Adam,

    We agree to disagree. Just trying to help. My experience with Google personally has been 100% in line with their TOS.

    Best to you also Adam.

  16. #16
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    Hmm. I know they don't allow some TMs in ad copy. I've had some ads like that where you could request an exception and most of the time that didn't work. This was even for some merchants where they allowed certain TM's.

    As far as TM just as keywords to bid on. There have been some cases where Google won't allow it. Amazon.com comes to mind. Nobody is bidding on Kohls (except themselves):

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...D%3Aen&q=kohls

    Zales:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...D%3Aen&q=zales

    edited to add - I see a couple people bidding on Zales but that most likely will get zapped soon. Normally don't see anythings.

    etc.

    I think there are some things merchants can do where nobody bids on their TM except the merchant/TM holder themselves like what was posted above:

    "And for what it's worth, Google has a Trademark Complaint Procedure that allows you to 'report' this activity. I went though the process and it took a few weeks for them to get back, but in the end it's now impossible for anyone except me (my AdWords account, that is) to bid on my company name."
    Last edited by Trust; January 22nd, 2007 at 12:05 PM.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Hmm. I know they don't allow some TMs in ad copy. I've had some ads like that where you could request an exception and most of the time that didn't work. This was even for some merchants where they allowed certain TM's.

    As far as TM just as keywords to bid on. There have been some cases where Google won't allow it. Amazon.com comes to mind. Nobody is bidding on Kohls (except themselves):

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...D%3Aen&q=kohls

    Zales:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...D%3Aen&q=zales

    edited to add - I see a couple people bidding on Zales but that most likely will get zapped soon. Normally don't see anythings.

    etc.

    I think there are some things merchants can do where nobody bids on their TM.
    I definetly agree with you that there are exceptions to Googles TOS. Thanks

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
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    From a few days ago:

    http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3624599

    This is one of those issues that goes back and forth. One month some judge will rule one way, another month, some other way. And then never really clear cut it seems like.

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecool
    sthbodyjewelry,

    What you should probably concern yourself with in order to get affiliates into your program is getting on auto deposit and get rid of your ebay affiliate link.

    You need to provide more and better linking tools. (Creatives) (Data Feed)

    Will look at your program again when these are in place. Good luck and welcome aboard.

    Gene
    TCS
    UPDATE: Our Auto Deposit has been activated.

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Townsend
    Hi Adam
    Hehe, I'm not sure if sthbodyjewelry's name is also Adam, but you were replying to his/her posts as such.

    No big deal though Alan, you made some great points. Thanks for the clarifications.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Alan Townsend's Avatar
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    Doh! You're right Adam. My apologies all the way around for the oversight. Guess I got in a rhythm.

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by adambha
    Hehe, I'm not sure if sthbodyjewelry's name is also Adam, but you were replying to his/her posts as such.

    No big deal though Alan, you made some great points. Thanks for the clarifications.
    I'm Brandon Nice to meet ya'll

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