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March 14th, 2007, 09:19 AM #1
[edited out] no names please.
- Join Date
- March 8th, 2007
- CT - USA
We just received our first sale via an affiliate. Interestingly, this particular customer had recently ordered from us 3 times in the month prior to our joining shareasale. I am wondering how this new partner of ours “edit” was able to get credit for this sale. I can’t find a link to our site on any of their pages?? Anybody have similiar issues?
[This is an issue for SAS shareasale AT shareasale.com]
Last edited by Adam Ward; March 14th, 2007 at 09:24 AM. Reason: NO NAMES PLEASE
March 14th, 2007, 09:24 AM #2
I decide when the pigs fly!
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
- New York, USA
March 14th, 2007, 12:08 PM #3Originally Posted by briangreenho
March 14th, 2007, 12:27 PM #4
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
Your trademark has no doubt been poached. Some affiliates will only bid your trademarks in the PPC search engines in an effort to do what has just happened, monetizing your own customers. Some merchants are OK with this, others are not, most are clueless that it happens.
You have to ask yourself if you are happy paying a commission to an affiliate who has not brought you a new customer.
Before you overreact and forbid PPC or something like that, please know that This is not what a good PPC affiliate does. Good PPC affiliates bid on terms relating to your products or services, therefore adding value to you and bringing you true incremental sales. The underbelly of the PPC game is those who bid on your trademarks trying to make easy money at your expense.
March 14th, 2007, 04:10 PM #5
- Join Date
- February 8th, 2007
I actually noticed the same thing today in my program with [edited out] no names please., I was going to come on and ask the same question
Last edited by Brian - ShareASale; March 14th, 2007 at 04:23 PM.
March 14th, 2007, 04:26 PM #6
Creating, managing, and policing a PPC policy is one of the most important tasks that an Affiliate Manager has. This is to the benefit not only of the merchant, but to the affiliates who are participating in PPC and obeying the rules.
The worst mistake you can make with this issue is to not have a policy at all... affiliates will see this as a lack of understanding for some of the core issues in affiliate marketing.Thanks,
President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.
March 14th, 2007, 05:54 PM #7affiliates will see this as a lack of understanding for some of the core issues in affiliate marketing.
I only think they lack understanding if I see ignorant things emanating from them and/or their staff. For example, if I get a merchant begging me to put their link on "my home page" it tattoos the word "clueless" on their forehead. And that's just one of the more minor things that let me know that the merchant really has NO idea how things really work.
March 14th, 2007, 06:26 PM #8
I know its off-point, but worth a few lines:
...if I get a merchant begging me to put their link on "my home page" it tattoos the word "clueless" on their forehead.
...I can’t find a link to our site on any of their pages??
I tried for quite awhile to figure out something to do with this merchant, and finally was able to add a few of their links to one site, but that was not a good fit, and has generated zip.
Now, several months later, I have build a new site around one of this merchant's product lines, and have hopes of doing really well with them, quite a while after that first sale with no site links.
March 14th, 2007, 07:20 PM #9
You should be able to get the referring URL via the transaction details report. This will tell you if they are simply poaching your brands via PPC advertising.
I have an affiliate bidding on our name (in violation of our PPC policy) and just made a second attempt to contact them. If this one bounces, they're out.
It wouldn't be so bad if they bid on any other words, but they only seem interested in our brand.
March 14th, 2007, 07:26 PM #10
I disagree; most of my merchants don't have any PPC policy. That alone isn't really a signal in either direction. A bad PPC policy, on the other hand, can scream of cluelessness or worse.
The merchants that ask us about PPC policies tend to be the ones that are earnest about driving NEW sales through affiliate marketing. And that's what this business is about.
I will, however, agree with you that is by no means the only benchmark by which to judge a program.
March 14th, 2007, 08:36 PM #11Originally Posted by briangreenho
As for not finding a link, sometimes I'll slap up a page with a tracking code on it in response to a particular query--and then take it back down once the order is complete. If someone from ABW asks for a tracking link, for instance, and I don't want to show my "real" sites, I'll just put a one-pager on a backwater site as I just described.
As for the reason for taking such pages down, they usually only say CLICK HERE or something like that, with no pitch (the person's really ready, and has usually said something like "first one to PM me the link wins")...which is not something that'd get sales from the general public.
On the merchant side,
Last year I got a repeat sale from a guy who'd ordered the year before, both times credited to an affiliate.
I figure the customer is the aff's friend, and he reminded him to reactivate his cookie (or the customer did so on his own, knowing that it'd pass a commish if he did). He's in another state, but in this business, distance doesn't necessarily mean anything.
I figure, it's still a sale I wouldn't have had. Plus I know the aff from prior dealings.
Originally Posted by Noth
As a merchant, if I had a nationwide TV ad or something going that brought searches to MyName, my opinion MAY change. Or not: if some customer's a putz and doesn't click free-listing #1 (where a famous brand usually is, when searched for by name), I still want that order. Some people just WILL NOT click/buy from #1...it's for the psychologists to care why, I just know that it happens.
Plus, people are weird and some seem to prefer to go through some other site rather than directly; perhaps they want to feel that someone "agrees" with their idea of buying from that merchant before they'll get out their credit card...even if that "agreement" is coming from a blatant sales site.
Now if all the affiliate is doing is a direct-to-merchant PPC link, then yeah, that's not adding much value (if any), and I may consider a ban. But the final determinant would be: Is the affiliate bringing more sales with the bid, or just poaching from the ones I really would have gotten already? I think it would be dangerous to just assume one way or the other.
Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
And usually the way they go about it, it shows double-cluelessness: They don't specify which of my sites they're talking about! I almost gave one a link on the front page of my personal site just to make a point.
March 14th, 2007, 10:54 PM #12
Could be that the person saw your affiliate link and decided to join so they could earn on their own purchases.
March 15th, 2007, 12:37 PM #13
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
One other possibility - they could be advertising through Zango or Vomba.
March 15th, 2007, 03:01 PM #14
He's a pro TM poacher, it's all he does. Signs up with every program, in every network and bangs away until you fire him. He obfuscates his urls via redirection to make it confusing to snooping affs, AMs and others, as well aspreventing TM protection tools, like SAS's ppc policing tool, from catchign him in the act. It's disgusting because he knows that no policy or a bad policy or even rock solid policy, along with great numbers he can post, means merchants are reluctant to fire him and deny payment. And he hides behind a domain name where most people would guess he's some kind of ppc tracking tool or a third party agency. From the number of times I see his TM ads, I'd bet he's one of the highest paid individual affiliates anywhere. Remarkable for him since he's not introducing any new customers at all. He gives affiliates a bad name. He's one of the primary reasons why a sound policy and vigilant policing efforts are required to protect your trademark and domain name this type of activity, where merchants have decided against it or haven't thought it out (and many time, where it's forbidden).
March 15th, 2007, 04:22 PM #15Originally Posted by Donuts
Really, I wish more merchants would take legal action against the parasites and scumbags, but at the very minimum, I wish more merchants would monitor their affiliates and report any bad behavior to the networks. The only reason they keep getting away with this stuff is because we let them...
March 15th, 2007, 06:14 PM #16
It can be a legitimate case where a merchant allows TM bidding, so SAS isn't to say that it's right or wrong. A merchant should decide. Many either haven't decided or don't have the time or know-how to police things. To SAS's credit, they built a tool to make it very easy for merchants to enforce their ppc policies. Sneaky affs can get around the SAS tool (as with most technology barriers), but to me, all that means is that it's more obvious when they get caught, that they were being deceitful. Either find merchants that specifically allow TM/domain name bidding or ask first. It is my opinion that doing neither is taking advantage of the lesser informed merchants (by the way, SAS does lots to educate merchants and participate in education type events). So the affiliate is intentionally ignoring the concept of partnership and is gouging the less-than-informed merchants. He makes a ton, I assure you - but he's not building a sustainable business model with his actions. Once merchants realize what he's doing, those that oppose it, boot him quickly. Even those that may decide later to allow TM bidding wonder why he has the chutzpah to bang on their site's trademarks and domain name without asking.
By the way, this is reason #3,217 why companies are foolish for not considering an OPM to manage their programs. Every OPM at ABW knows who this guy is - he's everywhere. They also know exactly how to consult with their merchant clients to make an informed decision about their own ppc policies and how to enforce them whatever they are.
There's so much behind the scenes work that an OPM does and so much synergistic power they have because they manage multiple programs and also network with their peers. They aren't chiming in here because the policy choices aren't right or wrong, they're the decision of the merchant - and where an OPM has discussed both sides of the coin and their merchant has decided to disallow it, they've already booted this jerk.
This is a merchant issue really. OPMs have a firm handle on it. SAS has built tools and tracking and policy guidelines and policy entry spots to make it easy for merchants to make their choices and put things into play as they see fit. Other networks have behaved somewhat like SAS, but more so have made design and interface choices that make it less easy to enforce and police the merchants chosen policy - because there's so much money involved.
Where the abuse comes in, is with merchants who lack education. Andy teaches tm / domain name protection at his seminars. The rest of the OPMs here all know what to do already. If you're an OPM-less merchant, give that some thought. There's much more to being an OPM than just recruiting... much more.
March 15th, 2007, 07:19 PM #17
Donuts, rest assured I wasn't bashing SAS for allowing the practice. As you said, some merchants have no problem with it. What I was trying to say is that when there is abuse of a posted policy, the worst thing that usually happens is the offender is they get booted from a single program and have commissions reversed on outstanding sales for that program.
This does nothing to halt the same affiliate from abusing the PPC policy of the very next merchant that comes along. This isn't a shortcoming of SAS, but rather that they may not be getting feedback from the merchants whose policies are being abused.
My reply in relation to SAS was specific to the TM poacher you described. From what you described, it sounds like he pretty much flies in the face of every posted policy of every merchant he signs up with. Some of the promoted merchants may be fine with the practice, but the lack of attention to which are and which are not is abuse of the network and its clients. If that's not enough to get an affiliate canned from SAS, I'd be a little surprised.
On the other hand, if merchants aren't reporting violations, that doesn't give SAS much grounds for taking action, which is where the point I was trying to make comes in.
Anyhoo, hope that clarifies.
March 15th, 2007, 08:53 PM #18
Checked G, and there it is.
He's violating my policy that says he can't use my URL as the visible destination URL in PPC bidding, which applies no matter which term is being bid on.
(To me this is a bit seperate from just bidding on the MerchantName, since a person could bid on the name and still be using their own page.)
He didn't make any sales, so I have nothing to reverse on him. (That "nobody looks for that term but me" problem may have had something to do with it...)
I don't have many restrictions, but the ones I do have are there for a reason.
they may not be getting feedback from the merchants whose policies are being abused.There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway
March 15th, 2007, 10:28 PM #19Originally Posted by Leader
By Trust in forum Commission Junction - CJReplies: 21Last Post: September 6th, 2006, 10:15 AM