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  1. #1
    Internet Cowboy
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    New Linkshare Merchant Incentivizing Customer to Call Them
    LightingbyGregory.com was on SAS, now Linkshare. I got an email from them today to update my links, so I took a look at their site.
    Here are the URLs to 5 of 9 individual product pages I visited on their web site:

    http://www.lightingbygregory.com/sto...c-13t5-02.html

    http://www.lightingbygregory.com/sto...5187-615b.html

    http://www.lightingbygregory.com/store/dvi-oca8500.html

    http://www.lightingbygregory.com/sto...94506-965.html

    http://www.lightingbygregory.com/sto...06125frsc.html

    a central theme is to have the customer call them.

    I spoke with them and was told nicely that this is how they have to do certain brands due to manufacturer's pricing policies and I understand that, but is it right to ask affiliates to drive traffic to your site then funnel the sales through the phone...non-commissionable.

    They said they have plans to track the phone sales then have LinkShare post the sales for them. Is anyone comfortable with that?

    In the end, their director's attitude was that I don't have to be their affiliate. He is correct!

    I am rather amazed that LinkShare allows this.


  2. #2
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    I wouldn't do anything with them. That "call for the best prices" appears to be in the header of the entire website. Send the traffic to Bellacor, HomeClick, AbsHome or some other site that doesn't hint at better prices if you call them directly.

  3. #3
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    this is nothing new, i believe that they even have some items in thier datafeed that have no price and require a person to call.

  4. #4
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    I have information that Linkshare plans to offer some type of solution for the merchants that accept orders by phone, so that the affiliate doesn't loose the commission (phone tracking).

  5. #5
    15 years and counting
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    Quote Originally Posted by pexcornel
    I have information that Linkshare plans to offer some type of solution for the merchants that accept orders by phone, so that the affiliate doesn't loose the commission (phone tracking).
    Don't make me laugh! 1997-2007. 10 years to come up with a phone tracking solution? No, it must be a joke.
    They just don't care, they make enough money charging their merchants every month.
    They don't check for leaks and they don't mind.
    They even promote thieves overwritting our links.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    I signed up with them, but glad I never went any further than that. Time is valuable, and there's no need to waste it developing sites for merchants that are clueless or greedy.

  7. #7
    15 years and counting
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    Linkshare tracking works, but you have to be very, very careful with their merchants. They have some outstanding merchants mixed with a bunch a deadbeats. And you have no tool to help you sort the goods from the bads. Just your own experience. You can be dead before knowing which one to work with.

  8. #8
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    I had good results with LbG, it's very rare that they moved from SAS to LS, Usually it's the other way around.

  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    How long until the usual suspects are inserted into their program? Not long.

    And LBG will conclude that LinkShare is "helping" them grow.

    What a shame, another merchant hoodwinked.

  10. #10
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    Zeus, it's the merchant that requested the phonetracking because the product it's such that almost for sure the user calls for more information (very expensive items and expensive to ship).
    And I know that as an affiliate too, I have a BUY button that I track, and it gets pressed but I have no sales, like 1 sale in 100 "BUY".
    Where there is a phone number, we always loose almost everything.

  11. #11
    Internet Cowboy
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    Well, they are counting on Linkshare to step up and set phone tracking up for them. That alone tells me that they are not living in the real world.
    For their director to take such a non-chalant attitude about this and then to act as if I were out of line in asking about this says it all. This affiliate manager has an uphill battle ahead of her. Best of luck to them.


  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    I was not a SAS affiliate, I received an email to check them out at LS.

    When I saw the numerous requests to call them, I decided immediately that I did not want anything to do with them. There's way too many other merchants carrying similar products without that leak.

  13. #13
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    pexcornel, I'm not picking on you. I know you're just the messenger. As UncleScooter, I'm thinking lbg is naive. They are misleading affiliates. SaS can implement software modifications fast, not LinkShare.

  14. #14
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    I know you're not picking at me I just wish they do the damn tracking soon...

  15. #15
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    Name me one network that DOES have phone tracking? A network can't track your phone orders for you and someone should tell these guys that. They have to come up with a way to associate a session/customer ID with the affilaite cookie, and that falls entirely on the shoulders of the merchant. I would fault LS for not strongly recomending to them that they get rid of that. But, if the merchant says "No, it stays", then that's that.

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BG4512
    Name me one network that DOES have phone tracking?
    ShareASale.com

    It still has to be implemented by the merchant, but they make it easy.
    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

  17. #17
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    Heh. Teed that one up for ya, didn't I.

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    BG4512]Name me one network that DOES have phone tracking?
    ShareASale. I know you know, but incase others do not.


  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    I'm curious about how the phone tracking would work too -- Since a few Cruise orders come via phone I'm torn between getting a mirror site up for our Cruise product for Affiliates MINUS all phone numbers vs. trying to track phone sales correctly.

    I hear it can be done, but which would be more of an incentive to drive Cruise?

  20. #20
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Javascript code reads the affiliate cookie and displays it or some code as an extension number or other code on the site next to the phone number it's really quite simple. Some companies have bought up a bank of 800#s and dynamically displayed each individual # (based on the affiliate) and track it that way.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager
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    Hmm another good option. Is it just a wrapper that goes into the code around where the number is displayed?

  22. #22
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    Sometimes affiliate IDs are long, case sensitive, alpha numeric strings, though, which could be murderous for a customer to read off to an operator: "uhh, one, two, uhh, capital H, lower case t... is that an O or a 0?"

    I guess the block of 800 numbers would be pretty slick. I believe there are a few call tracking firms that can set that up, though I gather it may be kind of a beta thing. And from an overhead perspective you're letting another hand in the cookie jar. Also, do you open yourself up to buying numbers for affiliates that end up never sending you a sale/lead?

    I was thinking about this the other day: would it be more elligant to assign something like an affiliate session ID, such that you could generate a shorter case-non-sensitive alpha/# string that could be associated with the web session and thus the affiliate ID? How would you handle return days through phone tracking?

    Maybe someday, when we're all on VoIP and boradband, you will be able to click on that 800 number that is so vilified and have the computer conect the call and track back to the reffering affiliate.

    Seriously, though, this does pose some interesting challenges.

  23. #23
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BG4512
    Sometimes affiliate IDs are long, case sensitive, alpha numeric strings, though, which could be murderous for a customer to read off to an operator: "uhh, one, two, uhh, capital H, lower case t... is that an O or a 0?"
    Ummm, your kidding right?

    Obviously the merchant would have to have a script that translated the LS id into a three or four digit ID and then display that.

    Seriously, though, this does pose some interesting challenges.
    Once again, your kidding right? The only challenge here is not to over think it!

    You have to remember the end user is already at the merchant site so now the merchant can set it's own cookies and include referral and other valuable information to do just about anything including the display of telephone tracking or a myriad of other info / options.

    Edited to add: I looked you up and now understand the attitude and the wall. Ah, c'est la vie.
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    They may be new to LS, but they aren't new to stiffing affiliates

    Call for better pricing

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Phone tracking is a very simple thing to set up using an AFID code right under the toll free number. IMO this issue comes down to a simple question of whether the merchant is out to share, or out to skim.


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

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