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  1. #1
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Why not let affiliates into program?
    I know this has been talked about much before but I wanted to get it all in one place.

    What are the reasons not to let an affiliate into a program?

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    1. known fraudulent activity

  3. #3
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    1. known fraudulent activity
    a. parasiteware
    b. fake-order (or fake-lead) history

    2. Suspicious promises
    a. Rebate promises to consumers

    3. Absolutely horrible web site.

    4. Non-English-language site (usually)

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    3. Absolutely horrible web site.
    a. Anything generated in FrontPage or MS Word (semi kidding...) or is otherwise horrendous
    b. Web site does not meet your terms and conditions (e.g., adult content site when such is against your policy)
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    5. Coupon sites if you don't offer coupons or promotions. (But check first. Many coupon sites run other sites or have sections where they promote full price products.)

    6. Cookie stuffers.

    7. Coupon sites that spam search engines, list expired coupons, and trick customers into clicking through their link.

    8. Affiliates who are spammers.
    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

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    9. Most templete sites if the affiliate has not customized or populated the templete at all.

    10. Unfinished or coming soon sites that have absolutely no information about what the site will be once it's done. If the affiliate gives a bit of info about how the site will build out and it looks nice, then I might approve though.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    11. Oh, and one more. Affiliate with no website! Or an unworking website! You'd be surprised how many people list google.com as their website in LinkShare. Ugh!
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Just to point out, for newbies who don't think they have a chance, I've seen several income earning FrontPage sites and even an merchant at SAS that uses FrontPage and does well (not ours). Poor looking sites I agree are a sign of concern, no site or a parked site will get an email from me asking for more information. In 90% of the cases I never hear back from the affiliate and eventually deny their application.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Be careful with some of these. Rather than just rejecting, I would suggest contacting the affiliate and finding out what they have in mind for promoting you. At the very least, I would recommend adding a paragraph to your "rejected" email that says something like:

    "We had very limited information available when reviewing your site, and we could be wrong in our decision to reject you. Obviously, you had something in mind or you wouldn't have applied. Feel free to contact us directly to fill in the details, and we woudl be more than happy to reevaluate your application." (and include your full name, phone number, email address, IM, etc.)
    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

  10. #10
    Member Connie's Avatar
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    Oh dear! I just got turned down and I am really hoping your list isn't complete.

    I don't do any of those things. No spamming. No society impoliteness. Totally clean. Our motto includes sharing and giving back to the community!

    And I hope my website doesn't totally suck. (I've had compliments by visitors (but not by merchants.) Maybe from a merchant's viewpoint it does?? (btw, I posted my URL on the proper thread here and got some great advice. But nothing that said delete and start over!)

    The merchant who turned me down sent a standard reply. The email included some other points, too, like traffic too low. Before I got into affiliation, I was content to let my site exist for those in my small group.

    I'm rethinking bigger audience now, of course. Since my site is just now doing some things to generate more traffic, I don't have any historical data to provide yet. Heck, I wasn't even monitoring how many visits, etc. until lately.

    Another reason on the list was the merchant thought the site wasn't appropriate for their merchandise. Maybe that was it?

    If so, the merchant, who sells cute trinkets in bulk, may not realize that my visitors use their products since they have never marketed to us before. Some of my visitors are in a niche market where the merchant's products are quite a fad. Now, I'll need to find another less-well-known source for the trinkets.

    I'm sure the merchant has more to do than give me specifics about my rejection, but I wish I could know the 'real' reason. I would greatly value their feedback. I want to make $$ as badly as they want me to make $$.

    Connie--who learned something new today and is expecting to learn something new tomorrow, too

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I usually don't reject if I can't find a way to sell my product. Who's to say others can't? Same with traffic levels. You never know who will get big in the future, and traffic levels really aren't all that count, its conversion rate. The big ones for me are bad content (gambling, porn, etc...), fishy sites (adware, never ending pop ups, etc...), unfinished sites with no lead about what they will eventually be (I always temporarily reject these so they can re-apply, and my rejection letters gives contact info and requests they talk to me if they want to explain their site or get a rejection explanation), and people with no websites (this can fall under the fishy category...spammers?).

    Anyway, I rarely if ever permanantly reject someone. They can always re-apply in two weeks I believe.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    Just to point out, for newbies who don't think they have a chance, I've seen several income earning FrontPage sites and even an merchant at SAS that uses FrontPage and does well (not ours).
    My dig at FrontPage comes from a web developer's view point. Personally, I can't stand a program that "fixes" my code for me (FrontPage, DreamWeaver, etc.). But that's not say that people without programming experience can't benefit from those type of applications.

    As far me, I'll be fine using Notepad++. All I need is syntax coloring, auto indent and line numbers and I'm set. But again, content matters more than the editor used to create it. My FrontPage dig was more of a bad joke. I'm pretty well-known for those (you know, the kind people don't laugh at...).
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Connie
    I'm sure the merchant has more to do than give me specifics about my rejection, but I wish I could know the 'real' reason. I would greatly value their feedback. I want to make $$ as badly as they want me to make $$.
    Don't let your merchant not give you an explanation either. We AMs should be more than willing to explain why an application is rejected when someone asks us. Besides being common courtesy, we could both benefit from an information exchange.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    Connie,

    I encourage you to ask the merchant about the 'real' reason. I would explain it to the AM the same as you explained it here - that your visitors like the products and you would like to refer sales to them. As an AM, I wouldn't turn you down, especially if I knew you had a plan to promote my products. It's a shame that you have to do the extra legwork to convince them, but give it a shot.

    Best of luck to you.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I agree with all that! AM's love to hear from affiliates. It's probably the one thing I wish happened more often. If you've got even half a plan we'll approve you!
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Great points everyone...but Connie brings up some good points. Rejecting someone before you know anything about them really doesn't make much sense. I bet we throw a lot of "babies out with the bath water" when we just reject based on preliminary and superficial information.

    So should we let everyone in and give them a chance?

    I think a big part of the job of an AM takes place after affiliates come up on the radar...once clicks and sales start coming in. That's the time when you can investigate where clicks are coming from and look at presentation and really get an idea of an affiliates value and what kind of help they might need. I think 99.5 of new affiliates have the best intentions but just need help and encouragement to get over the early humps.

    How many good affiliates do we lose because they never get a chance?

  17. #17
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    AM's love to hear from affiliates.
    Huh?

    I think as a general rule, this is not really correct. While this is true for a substantial number of AMs, especially the many, many who are active here, I think for the majority of AMs, they can't be bothered.

    For instance, about 10 days ago, I sent emails to a group of AMs, all of whose programs I have worked with for up to five years, on a very important issue. I have received responses from exactly 1/3 of them.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, theres no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    AffiliateHound:

    Of course, I only speak for myself here. I love to hear from affiliates. And I think lots of other AM's here would agree. The good ones at least...

    Rick:

    I'm pretty wary of letting in affiliates without sites or with templetes or parked pages, and I think for good reason. I feel I have a responsibility to make sure my affiliates don't engage in shady business practices like spamming, PPC trademark bidding, BHO's, etc... If someone has signed up with LinkShare, filled out their applications, found my program and applied, but doesn't yet have a website that smells funny to me. Certainly the majority of these people may have not gotten around to it, or may not be ready to launch, which is why I only temporarily reject them and ask for communicatiion in my rejection letter. However, I'm not sure approving everyone is a good way to go. For me, I at least need to see a germ of an idea in place.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    So far I haven't had to reject any, but I'd un-approve:

    1) If they're up to some crooked thing. Cookie stuffing, fake coupons, etc.

    2) If the site has porn, or other content that I don't want GB to be associated with.

    I NEVER EVER reject a site just for being butt-ugly or unranked/unrankable (no traffic and no hope of getting any). If they can con their friends or even their momma into buying from it to "support their efforts," those are still sales I wouldn't have had. Same if they buy from it themselves.

    As for the brand-image thing, the truly awful sites I see probably aren't going to get enough hits to affect it. I'm gambling that by the time they get any SEO skills, they'll also have improved their web design abilities!
    Quote Originally Posted by Connie
    I'm rethinking bigger audience now, of course. Since my site is just now doing some things to generate more traffic, I don't have any historical data to provide yet. Heck, I wasn't even monitoring how many visits, etc. until lately.
    Don't worry about it. That merchant is a putz.

    The affiliate doesn't have to provide data...that AM probably just looked at your Alexa.com rank and took their word for it.

    If any ask you for statistics, don't give 'em any meaningful ones. Use the figure that includes all the SE robotic clicks (effectively making the figure worthless), if you respond at all.

    Personally, after having gained experience at idiot-merchant-detection, I just wouldn't respond. Merchants with silliness in one area usually have silliness in others--enough that it ends up causing them to nuke their own programs (and cause you a lot of headache along the way). I'd elaborate more on that, but I don't want to derail this thread.

    In any case, it's rare nowadays to have merchants asking affs about traffic or being so fixated on it--either that, or I've gotten better at avoiding those types. Traffic-fixation was the idiocy-du-jour about 4 years ago. The current idiocy-du-jour is stupidly dumping all but the top 50 affiliates (seeing them do this is like watching someone run towards an oncoming train). If you play it right, you won't even be IN such programs to begin with, and won't have to worry about these downsizer types.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  20. #20
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    11. Sexual content. Common, I know sex sells but if I am trying to sell a family vacation, it's tough to work with sex sites.

    12. Questionable content. Religious content that is preaching something extreme. I stay objective and don't want to have my legal team breathing down my neck. If it is for site for a church, mosque, temple, I am good with that. Nothing extreme and if I can't read what you have on your site, it get's rejected.

    13. Cookie cutter sites. Creates no value. I see 3-5 cookie cutter sites with lots of impression.
    Last edited by FairFieldGetaway-EricEwe; February 20th, 2007 at 12:54 PM. Reason: can't spell..lol

  21. #21
    http and a telephoto
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    AffiliateHound, yes, good affiliate managers DO want to hear from their affiliates. If they don't, they aren't doing their jobs correctly.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  22. #22
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    AffiliateHound...sounds like some of those programs need new management. Or at least they need to hear from the Affiliate Police Swat Team.

  23. #23
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    yes, good affiliate managers DO want to hear from their affiliates. If they don't, they aren't doing their jobs correctly.
    Exactly!

    Unfortunately, the "good ones", most of whom are regulars here, comprise a minority number of all of the AMs out there.

    In part, thats why the boiler-plate rejection emails.

    sounds like some of those programs need new management. Or at least they need to hear from the Affiliate Police Swat Team.
    Is there any way I could make that happen?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, theres no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  24. #24
    Member geoffmarcy's Avatar
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    Applications from INDIA
    I run a merchant program on CJ and I have yet to approve one application from INDIA. I have recieved over 400 applications from INDIA. I haven't rejected a lot of them either, I just can't seem seem to find enough reasons to "let them in". Have any merchants out there had any success with publishers from INDIA?

    Geoff Marcy
    www.dna11.com
    [B]geofferson marcy[/B]
    [I]affiliate manager[/I]
    [URL=http://www.advaliant.com]www.advaliant.com[/URL]
    [URL=http://www.dna11.com]www.dna11.com[/URL]

  25. #25
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    1. known fraudulent activity
    a. parasiteware
    b. fake-order (or fake-lead) history

    2. Suspicious promises
    a. Rebate promises to consumers

    3. Absolutely horrible web site.

    4. Non-English-language site (usually)
    Becareful with number 4, there are alllot of affiliates building spanish websites and they should be considered.

    Thanks
    Emilio Yepez
    Affiliate Program Manager
    www.lighthouseinternetmedia.com
    PH: 305 389 8955
    AIM: affiliateagle
    Email: emilio@lighthouseinternetmedia.com
    Follow Me On My Twitter


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