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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    2,511
    Affiliate Unfriendly Program Terms
    I received an email invitation through CJ to join the Hotels.com affiliate program. I've never really been a fan of Hotels.com but I did check out their program terms on CJ. As soon as I saw a 1 day cookie, I said no way. Usually I would just ignore the invitation and move on, but this one listed email addresses for both their affiliate manager and the CJ program manager so I decided to reply, as follows:
    Thank you for the invitation; however, we no longer establish new relationships with merchants who offer unfair program terms. A 1 day cookie duration indicates that a merchant is simply looking for free advertising.
    In all fairness, Hotels.com isn't the only travel merchant with a 1 day cookie. Expedia (owned by the same parent company as Hotels.com) and Travelocity also have a 1 day cookie but this is not the norm in the travel sector. Orbitz, Hotwire and Priceline each have 30 day cookies. Lots of others have 3-7 day cookies.

    If you are unsatisfied with any aspect of a merchant's program terms (cookie duration, commission rates, ppc policy, etc.), let them know about it.

  2. #2
    Newbie TooLegitToQuit's Avatar
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    November 16th, 2006
    Location
    San Diego
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    35
    1 day? Who are they trying to kid? Almost as bad, I remember seeing a program offering a 2% CPS. This merchant sold products with the average price between $20-$30. Are they serious?

  3. #3
    Newbie
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    July 25th, 2006
    Location
    Vancouver
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    11
    I really like the one that I got the other day,

    it wasn't just the program terms that changed,
    but it was the network that changed as well!!!!
    What made it even worse that it was a 1 day notice

    SAS --> LS

    OT: I got my $2 cheque from LS today as well

  4. #4
    Newbie ronaldmarva's Avatar
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    February 7th, 2007
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    205
    That is a very bad deal to offer a 1 day cookie. They are just looking for free advertising and not genuinely concern to start a working partnership with affiliates.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    January 17th, 2007
    Location
    Abingdon, Maryland
    Posts
    2,279
    Snowman,

    I admire and respect your approach - you didn't beat around the bush about it. You told them why you weren't interested. As an AM, I would appreciate this type of communication as it lets me know the specific reason you have decided to turn me down. If they receive enough of this feedback, they would do well to take a hard look at their terms.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  6. #6
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    November 20th, 2005
    Posts
    8,266
    If you are still interested in the Hotels.com program, you can deal "direct" and have a "real person" to email and/or talk with on the phone. I had my first booking with them (TravelNow then, followed by a couple of ownership changes over the years) in March of 2000. So I am [right now] beginning my eighth year as an affiliate. That was, in fact, the start of my "online" business.

    You can private label your entry into their booking system and/or use their database to create dynamic sites. With your own "branding" there is no need for cookie duration - your customer works right through your site - all the time.

    If you like I can hook you up with a good rep, and if you have any hotel experience, can probably get you a better split than through CJ. (I say probably because I don't know what CJ is offering.) Just PM me.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  7. #7
    Member marketingnoob's Avatar
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    June 4th, 2007
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    57
    Regarding cookies... does cookies work like say someone clicked your ad for a certain company but didn't purchase that day then after a day or two decided to go directly on the merchant's website to make the purchase the cookies will let the merchant know that they first got clicked from your site? Is that how it works?

  8. #8
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida
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    12,817
    Quote Originally Posted by marketingnoob
    Regarding cookies... does cookies work like say someone clicked your ad for a certain company but didn't purchase that day then after a day or two decided to go directly on the merchant's website to make the purchase the cookies will let the merchant know that they first got clicked from your site? Is that how it works?
    Yep.

    To be technically correct, it lets the tracking system know, and the rest flows from that.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  9. #9
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    May 31st, 2006
    Location
    Houston TX
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    4,731
    Cookies.
    If they click via your site. Does not buy and come back tomorrow to buy by typing the URL of the merchant or via bookmark. The network (i.e. Linkshare, CJ, SAS) should technically capture the sale but depending on the cookie duration, commission might or might not be credited.

    If the cookie duration is 5/24 day, then the cookie is set to expire after 5 hrs. In the case above, you do not get the credit even a sale is made.

    If the cookie is 7 days, you will be credited as the cookie has yet to expire.

    I know in Linkshare, it will show up as "Exceeded Return Period" and this common for merchant with short return days (aka cookie period)

  10. #10
    Member marketingnoob's Avatar
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    June 4th, 2007
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    57
    Oh, unless people delete the cookies or don't accept cookies everything should be fine right? how many days is the common if not standard duration for cookies. Now I know how important it is to look at affiliate's terms I usually just sign up.

    Aside from cookies and commission percentage what else should I look for when signing up on affiliate programs.

    Thanks

  11. #11
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    May 31st, 2006
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    Houston TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by marketingnoob
    how many days is the common if not standard duration for cookies. Now I know how important it is to look at affiliate's terms I usually just sign up.
    There is no standard in the market. My suggestion is to shop and compare. If Merchant A is giving 3 days and Merchant B is giving 5 hours (which you will see also), then it's a no brainer to go with Merchant A.

    Quote Originally Posted by marketingnoob
    Aside from cookies and commission percentage what else should I look for when signing up on affiliate programs.
    -Paying merchants and paying on time
    -Responsive program manager
    -Converting site
    -tracking intergrity
    -etc

    All the best

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