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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Merchants dropping affiliates?
    I don't know if this has been covered and if it has I am sorry for bringing it up again. Only on CJ have we been dropped by a merchant for no reason other than what we can figure is the lack of a sale. We just receive an e-mail saying the merchant is terminating our affiliation. The latest was BedBathStore. We were sending some traffic their way but no sales. Can lead the horse to the water but can't make it drink! Never have had this problem on Linkshare, Performics, Shareasale or any other network.

    Can a CJ merchant explain why only on CJ that this happens. Do you get charged more for non-performing affiliates, etc. I have some merchants on CJ that I have been with since 2002 and generate a sale or two a year and they don't drop us. Any insight would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    It happens everywhere. You might contact them and ask, they're the only ones that are going to know why you got dropped.

  3. #3
    Member geoffmarcy's Avatar
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    Sometimes Merchants might drop an affiliate if their policy on the types of affiliates they want to work with changes. For example: coupon affiliates might be considered not a good fit for some luxury brands after a test. Another example might be a change in the SEM strategy, where the company decides to take full control of the SEM helm and doesn't want to work with PPC affiliates.

    Not here to say whether this is good or bad, right or wrong, but rather just what I've heard/read can be reasons for affiliates being dropped.
    geofferson marcy
    affiliate manager
    www.advaliant.com
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador thecool's Avatar
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    I'm sure there are a few lame excuses for dropping affiliates. The ones that get me though are the ones that send an email stating that they will drop me if I don't generate $100 dollars in sells within the next thirty days. Guess what?
    I drop them immediately. Forget the thirty days. I don't need merchants that can't convert the traffic that I send them. There are too many good merchants for me to worry about the few that can't convert.

    Gene
    TCS

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    Some merchants from Linkshare, Performics do too

  6. #6
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    I have some merchants on CJ that I have been with since 2002 and generate a sale or two a year and they don't drop us.
    I still have have two or three from 2001 that I have never promoted, but they don't bother me with nasty emails.

    The ones that get me though are the ones that send an email stating that they will drop me if I don't generate $100 dollars in sells within the next thirty days. Guess what?

    I drop them immediately. Forget the thirty days. I don't need merchants that can't convert the traffic that I send them. There are too many good merchants for me to worry about the few that can't convert.
    I guess that we both had joined some of those same thirty days or else, merchants.

    But I too, just go out of my way to drop those on the spot, I even delete all their links, like I did on 03 to the h....t.... directory I had on one of my sites.

    I may have all the time in the world to wait for the first sale from any new merchant I join, but I can't waste not even a minute, for any stupid merchant anywhere, that give me an ultimatum of make a sale by any date or we drop you.

    NFW.

    I'm on this for the long run, and while I wish I can make 1000's of sales a day from every merchant, I know that it not going to happen any time soon.

    First, because I am not going to spend a lot of money on PPC, promoting every single merchant that I have joined.

    Second, I still like to make my money the clean way, so I will not going to use any of the short cuts out there, just to make any merchant happy, not even if I can make a lot of money sooner, by doing so.





  7. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Well said, Mr. Sal
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  8. #8
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    My favorites are the ones who send you an invitation to join them via the 'extend an offer' feature on CJ. I see an average of about 5 new offer extensions a day and a vast majority of them are from merchants who I do not already have an affiliation with. I go ahead and accept their terms, thinking that down the road I will get around to promoting them. Then, 3 months later, when they see that I have no sales with them yet, they drop me. So it was basically a waste of their time for sending the invite and a waste of my time for accepting the offer. I probably would have eventually promoted them. Once I got an idea for a site or decided to include them in a project then I would have applied to their program and immediately started promoting them.... then everyone would have been happy. But the way it is, now when I get around to their vertical, I would need to email them and explain since I have already been 'dropped' from their program. In general, I think that they all need to have a little more patience.

  9. #9
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Somewhere along the line they are being misguided by CJ reps and affiliate marketing gurus who have convinced them that artificial manipulation of meaningless EPC and other related specious statistical data will improve their program performance.

    Forget the fact that these schemes contribute not one red cent to the bottom line.
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh
    Somewhere along the line they are being misguided by CJ reps and affiliate marketing gurus who have convinced them that artificial manipulation of meaningless EPC and other related specious statistical data will improve their program performance.

    Forget the fact that these schemes contribute not one red cent to the bottom line.
    That's correct - It's probably just EPC protection, and I'm guessing that it could happen on Performics as well, but not LinkShare.

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I agree with kcollier63's post #8.
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  12. #12
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    They dropped me too. I make sales, not very many of them, but b/c of my niche I'm not sending much traffic either. My epc with them is higher than their epc. I simply replaced all their links with someone else's links. Nice to know I wasn't alone.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    Rookies.... Drop me, I drop you.....No freebies need apply....
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    I recently started to investigate a new niche, so signed up for a number of merchants (not on CJ though) and downloaded their feeds.

    Step one was combine the feeds to the same format - a couple were nonsensical garbage, so they got deleted. Then I used them to make pages.

    A couple of days ago I was dropped by one of these merchants who in a form email told me it was because I hadn't generated any clicks and I was affecting their stats (!). So I replied and told them they fell at the first hurdle due to their crappy feed and I was now down to 6 merchants in that niche who are regularly producing sales for me.

    They replied on a different email address with 2 lines added to another form email that implied they hadn't properly read or understood what it was I was telling them.

    Usually if you're dropped it's because the merchant is clueless.

  15. #15
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    When it comes to aff marketing as an affiliate it's great to signup for a bunch of different merchants and then as ideas for promoting them come to you, you just start promoting. Unless there is added expense in keeping an inactive affiliate, the best bet for merchants is to keep affiliates in the program.

    From the merchants POV, the stats probably say that is an affiliate doesn't product a sale in the first 6 months or so, then they won't produce anything and they are probably right but when one affiliate can come out of nowhere and account for 1% or more of a merchants total sales, ya don't want to knock that 1% out so they can go promote the competition.

    Just as people with traditional and online media backgrounds often don't get search at all, people with those media and sometimes don't get affiliate marketing. It can and often does make a lot of sense to cut a media program that doesn't generate any sales or very few sales but that is not necessarily true in the affiliate model.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    I think (actually, I'll be cocky and revise that to "I know") the merchant would be better off contacting the non-performing affiliates, especially those who aren't driving clicks and are 4 & 5-bar publishers, to try and get them to perform, rather than kicking them out.

  17. #17
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    CJ has specifically advised Merchants to slim down their programs by getting rid of non-performing affiliates. They recommend it in the name of EPC being the biggest attraction for top performing affiliates. They advise that any affiliate that is driving 10% of the traffic but not converting sales should be removed. This was released in the middle of December so affiliates have probably felt this in the last month or two. CJ, care to comment???

  18. #18
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    Some merchants say that after being into a specific program for quite sometime, they finally withdraw from the program because they have been advertised and marketed quite enough perfectly for their targeted market audience.

    Its actually a win/win scenario. They got the necessary marketing scheme. Paid. And withdrew. No lost. Just gain.

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager parmstro's Avatar
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    From a CJ Merchant
    I've never actually been advised to slim down our program by our account manager and were certainly have heaps of non-performers, but it's certainly a strategy that I think every merchant evaluates at some point.

    Personally, I feel that the most attractive aspect of it is the aesthetic appeal of having an account full of performers, however what kind of way is that to make a business decision? It might make the account look sleek and streamlined, however who knows how much potential revenue is being lost? The extra cost of having a bunch of inactive affiliates is pretty incidental (basically a slight increase in newsletter costs) and the extra maintenance time is nothing.

    So other than the fact that you can't brag to your CEO (and this only works if he doesn't really understand affiliate marketing all that well) about your affiliate "stable of thoroughbreds," there isn't anything to lose by keeping your inactive affiliates around. What you gain as a whole bunch of potential performers who are still receiving your newsletter and may pick up your products at any time, as well as a reasonably direct channel/excuse to contact any of them and try to activate/optimize them. How much easier is it to activate an affiliate if they're already in your program? Lots!

    Anyway, I know that this has been hashed out over and over again on the board, but mostly by affiliates and OPMs (who often have a better overall understanding of the affiliate space, I feel), so I thought I'd weigh in as a CJ merchant.

    Cheers,
    Patrick Armstrong
    Online Marketing Manager, ethicalDeal.com
    patrick@ethicaldeal.com

  20. #20
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Patrick you work for an amazing company, great product offering and site. You can do activation campaigns by segmenting those affiliates and hitting them monthly with a few ideas and a sales incentive. That's working the long tail!! If you use a standard unit like 1000 inactive affiliates and get 1/2% of them to activate a month and start selling then you have 5 new producers per month.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    CJ has specifically advised Merchants to slim down their programs by getting rid of non-performing affiliates. They recommend it in the name of EPC being the biggest attraction for top performing affiliates. They advise that any affiliate that is driving 10% of the traffic but not converting sales should be removed. This was released in the middle of December so affiliates have probably felt this in the last month or two. CJ, care to comment???
    What do you mean by "any affiliate that is driving 10% of the traffic?" 10% of what traffic?

  22. #22
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    What do you mean by "any affiliate that is driving 10% of the traffic?" 10% of what traffic?
    Not my words, CJ's! I take it to mean if you have a single affiliate driving 10% of your impressions with no conversion they can effect your merchant EPC.

    In my experience I have seen those kind of numbers from incentive affiliates and usually remove them from my program as they do not convert.

    I have an affiliate how has brought 60k page views in 60 days without sales. I have reached out to them and we are looking for ways to test placement through optimization testing.

  23. #23
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    Usually if a merchant drops me, it makes me promote a competitor in the same category. Don't know why, just makes me mad.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager BeachBDM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parmstro
    I've never actually been advised to slim down our program by our account manager and were certainly have heaps of non-performers, but it's certainly a strategy that I think every merchant evaluates at some point.

    Personally, I feel that the most attractive aspect of it is the aesthetic appeal of having an account full of performers, however what kind of way is that to make a business decision? It might make the account look sleek and streamlined, however who knows how much potential revenue is being lost? The extra cost of having a bunch of inactive affiliates is pretty incidental (basically a slight increase in newsletter costs) and the extra maintenance time is nothing.

    So other than the fact that you can't brag to your CEO (and this only works if he doesn't really understand affiliate marketing all that well) about your affiliate "stable of thoroughbreds," there isn't anything to lose by keeping your inactive affiliates around. What you gain as a whole bunch of potential performers who are still receiving your newsletter and may pick up your products at any time, as well as a reasonably direct channel/excuse to contact any of them and try to activate/optimize them. How much easier is it to activate an affiliate if they're already in your program? Lots!

    Anyway, I know that this has been hashed out over and over again on the board, but mostly by affiliates and OPMs (who often have a better overall understanding of the affiliate space, I feel), so I thought I'd weigh in as a CJ merchant.

    Cheers,
    I totally agree! In participating and reading on this forum I came to the conclusion that advertiser EPC really doesn't mean a whole lot (in the grand scheme of things) to your publishers. I as a merchant, cannot predict who is going to be my next super-affiliate and would not be doing my job if I were to alienate a non-performing publisher by dropping them.

    My

    Sandee
    Sandra Martin
    sandeebottom at hotmail.com

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Any affiliate pushing a high amount of clicks and no sales should be looked into, and expiry should be decided on a case by case basis. Every affiliate whose pushed a large percentage of the overall traffic without any sales (or extremely low sales) has been using a sketchy form of advertising in my experience, whether it be blatant misrepresentation of the product or forced page loads.

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