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  1. #1
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    So You've Been Denied
    I thought this might be a good refresher for new affiliates who get denied from a program that they really want to be a part of but for some reason cannot join. It is different steps to getting into the program and a few alternatives to think about if you cannot join.

    Because there are soo many reasons that AMs (affiliate managers) might deny you, whether it is because your site does not appear to be within their niche, because you have some content they do not feel is appropriate for their brand, because they do not like your forms of advertising or promotion, etc.... From an AM standpoint, here is how you can possibly get into a program if you have been denied the first time.

    Steps to take to get approved:
    Send an e-mail to the AM asking why you were denied and explain to the AM why you really should be in their program.
    • Talk about how you intend to promote their brand

    • Explain why you feel you are a good fit within their program or how they fit within your marketing plans or within your niche

    • If the program has guidelines published, read them and point out a few of them in the email to show that you are not one of the affiliates who breaks rules, but you read and follow them so that you can develop a strong and profitable relationship

    • If you have questionable materials on your site, let them know that their brands will apear nowhere near the materials they would like to not be associated with.

    • If you only have a couple of domain names listed, and they do not fall within the category. Send the domains which you intend to use the ads on and explain the value you can add to their program by having them on your site and vice versa.
    Look on the merchant site for a phone number and call the AM.
    • By taking the extra step and calling the AM you are showing that you are very serious about their program and really will be putting forth the time and effort to get some sales going for them

    • By calling the AM, you have now made it clear you are someone interested and you now have a voice to go along with your site. Some words or a domain are easy to just deny. When you have a persons voice on the phone, the AM now doesn't just see writing and a domain name, they see a person as well

    • Leave a message for the AM. If you leave a message and they do not call back, you might want to wait a week then call back again. Sometimes people are on vacation and just might not be able to get to your call right away. If you have left a few messages and still have had no contact, read the section about alternate options.

    This option is a bit much, but who knows, it could work. Build the page around the merchant so that when you approach the merchant and send them to your site, they will see the true value in having you as their affiliate. (This seems a bit much, but also plays into the other alternatives as well)[/list]
    • Find out if the AM has a blog, a forum, or participates in some of the forums. You can probably track them down better by finding something they frequent often, instead of writing to an email account they might not check very often

    There are other ways to get the merchants links like sub affiliate agreements, however those are not looked well upon by the merchants.

    Other Alternatives

    If you still cannot get into the merchants program, there are plenty of things you can do.

    Try to join one of their competitors programs
    • You take sales away from them and give it to the competition because they did not see the value in you

    • If you chose to build the site, you could always write in the spaces where the ads were going to go, Your Ads or Your Competitors, Your Choice! and then fill the gaps with their competition

    • If you are really good at SEO, optimize words and phrases and get yoru pages to rank higher than the merchants therefore giving the sales to the competition. (This might not sound very fair, but the merchant is the one who passed you up and the competitor is the one who embraced you. It is just business.)


    On a side note. This has been said many times over and over again. If you have gone through all reasonable means to get into the program, or the AM just refuses to respond to you, do you really want to promote them anyways? What if a problem arises and the AM was unresponsive before it. You might have not only lost the commission/s, but you have also lost hours of your life pushing a program which will not give back what you give to it.

    Things you should try to avoid doing
    This is solely my opinion, and I might be guilty of one or two of these things to one extent or another, but most of us are guilty of them as well.

    • Try not to go out in public and bad mouth the program or AM. Just because you did not get into their program does not make them a bad person or a bad company. They just did not see your true worth which is very frustrating. If the AM was not rude or did not try to feed you any lies, then why bad mouth them. You can do more damage to where it hurts by selling for their competition.


    • Do not try to find someone who has their links and agree to give them partial commissions. This is a form of a sub affiliate agreement and I strongly feel that it is a bad practice. If the merchant does not want you in the program, just let it be


    • Do not start calling the company and complaining to the AMs higher up. I know being denied is frustrating and all, but do you really want to get someone in trouble because they are only doing what they feel is best for their company? Also, what if the reasons are set by company policies and the AM is just following preset requisites and has no say. It isn't always fair to get the AM in trouble


    On a final note, if you have any other ideas trips or good refreshers on how to get into a program you really want to join, without using methods which are looked down upon, please add them to this thread. I am sure one exists on here, but it is always good to have a refresher up high in the list for newbies to find.

    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Great advice Liquid. Site fits can be a factor. From time to time I see a new sign up and the site they list with SaS: doesn't exist or isn't accessible, or
    in no way fits with the products we offer. ex: a site offering web site hosting etc. with no categories or links for anything other than hosting services.

    When I see a new app in which I either cannot access the listed site(s), or it is a site that makes me scratch my head wondering where the fit is, I will place a hold on the application and email the applicant to inquire where they see a fit, or suggest that if they have other sites where they intend to promote us that we can look at those. If I don't hear back within two weeks, we then decline the application.

    One thing that would really be nice on new apps is if the affiliate took a few minutes to briefly include how they intend to promote the products, especially in cases where the site provided does not seem to be a fit. In cases where the applicant has done this, it is very helpful to the process.

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

  3. #3
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    It can sometimes be really simple to fix. If you have multiple sites in CJ, for example, and apply to a program, the site fit can be measured by your CJ account site, which might not be the site you intend to use for that program. A quick email after the rejection can solve that.

  4. #4
    Ride It Like You Stole It CowgirlUp's Avatar
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    I really need to type slower
    Thanks for the info! That was some very valuable info to me.

    I swear, I would get more accomplished in a day if I would quit coming in here to learn!

    Oh well, I could be doing worse things..........like not learning!
    You rock, thanks
    Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Gandhi

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador SunshineTricia's Avatar
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    This is a really great post. I finally did this for the first time a few days ago. I had been repeatedly denied by the same program and could not figure out why. This time, I just emailed asking why and telling how I had intended to promote them. It turns out that I had been in their program about 2 years ago...before I had a site with a lot of traffic. They dropped me because I had not sent any sales. Because I had been dropped in the past, I was apparently not being considered again each time I applied. I promised that they would not be disappointed if they gave me a shot.

    I posted their links on Thursday and had 6 sales in two days this week!
    --Tricia Meyer-- I love being the exception to the rule.

    Tricia Meyer | Helping Moms Connect | Wine Club Reviews and Ratings | Hunger Games Fan

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    I got a great one. Make sure the email you applied with is a WORKING EMAIL!

    *pulling hair out in fistfulls*

  7. #7
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    This is a good reason to buy your domain from someone other than your host. You can run email off of the registrar's server, so you won't lost mail when you switch from host to host.

  8. #8
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    Great post, Bender. Definitely one that should be read by new folks just getting their feet wet in this business. A professional way to respond to the inevitable turn-downs that we'll all face.

    Appreciate the time you spent composing it!

    John

    PS: Adult Swim: Futurama + Futurama + Family Guy = the funniest 90 minutes on TV. (ATHF nights turn that into the funniest 105 minutes!)

  9. #9
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnS
    PS: Adult Swim: Futurama + Futurama + Family Guy = the funniest 90 minutes on TV. (ATHF nights turn that into the funniest 105 minutes!)
    You can bite my shiney metal %^@ hahaha j/k =0) I run around my office telling people that all day. Finally, there are other adult swim fans here!

    Anyways, here are just a couple more ways to get ahold of unresponsive AMs.

    Develop a relationship with an AM who is very active within the industry and chances are they are friends with alot of other ones who might not go into forums or might not have time to respond individually. Besides ABW and their contact info in the networks, they might participate on AM phone conferences like the VTB call or in a yahoo group that is only accessible to AMs who are invited. The AM you become friends or have a good relationship with will most of the time help you get in contact with the unresponsive one if they know them.

    Look at affiliate marketing directories. If they don't participate on sites like ABW (first mistake they made heheheh) check other sites which list programs and check for the corporate contact information there. It will be real contact info instead of network contact info.

    Get creative and think how you would hide your information. Then think of how to access and get ahold of yourself. Then use those methods for the AM. Come on, your affiliates, your creative and rely on your resourcefulness every day to make a living. This shouldn't be hard. You're some of the most creative out there so use that to your advantage! It is always a two way battle too. AMs have a hard time tracking affiliates down just like you might have a hard time tracking them down. (HINT TO THE NETWORKS. Please collect and provide real information and help open communications. It will make things a lot easier from both ends.)

    Alot of companies have affiliate programs, but never announce them anywhere. There are tons of programs which noone has thought of or heard of until you stumble upon their websites. There are almost always alternative programs if you have built content around an industry and are unsatisfied with the program or the way it is run. Keep that in mind and you should do fine!

    Anyways, thanks for all the nice words, but the reason people post here is to grow the community and the best compliment you can give is to add to the post and help make it stronger for the other newbies joining the industry. =0)


    *pulling hair out in fistfulls*
    be careful with that lol, Ouch! You might want to just promote a different program.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Liq - I worship Adult Swim. Family Guy is my poison !
    ---
    This response was masterly crafted via the fingers of Patrick Allmond who believe you should StopDoingNothing starting today.
    ---
    Focus Consulting is where I roll | Follow @patrickallmond on Twitter
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  11. #11
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I believe that if we apply to a merchant - that means we WANT to promote them.

    If they deny us, it is THEIR RESPONSIBLITY TO TELL US WHY!

    If they send an autoresponder denial, then that should tell you how they feel about affiliates from the git-go!

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It really just comes down to this: If you're rejected, contact the affiliate manager and be courteous about it. Just the fact that you contact them is more than 99% of those who are rejected do. Realize that most merchants get dozens of fraudulent and low quality applications every day, so they're not able to spend a lot of time separating the wheat from the chaff. They get very little information to make their decision on. Most decline emails are horribly impersonal, so don't get offended by them.
    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

  13. #13
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    One thing you might want to think about as well when applying to a program so you might not get denied is to make sure your category, promotional methods and web-sites (if applicable) are all in tune with eachother.

    I see more and more applicants who do not have a web-site but their only form of promotion is web-site content. That just doesn;t make sense to me. Another would be someone who categorizes their site as cars/trucks but when you get there it is a dating site.

    Fixing discrepencies (spelling*) like that really can make a difference.
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  14. #14
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    I was rejected by 4 merchants recently. I followed Liquids advice above. I sent a test letter out to my least desired merchant, based on above, and was accepted today for that one.

    I sent another rejection-damage-control email out today ...so we'll see how it goes. BTW. It took weeks to get a response on the first one.

    Although I have three more merchants to pursue, I am more confident and better prepared now.

    Thanks for the advice...it worked for me! (so far)

  15. #15
    Online Marketing Consultant
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    I'm happy its working for you, but remember, they are just ideas on how to possibly get in. Everyone program manager is different and some might just flat out say no regardless, it stinks when that happens but that's part of life. And hey, it gives you a chance to take revenge and push their competition. =0)
    Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC. Online Marketing Blog and Affiliate Management Company
    Do you need help with your Marketing or Sales funneling, write me at adamr (at) adamriemer (dot) me

  16. #16
    Newbie Potsie's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your thoughtful and helpful advice. I was actually referring to the automatic denials. I'm new to CJ and it is perhaps something in my registration info that is getting me automatically bounced. I just wished that the auto denial message included at least a hint as to why. I have already begun contacting the individual AMs and have had a positive response overall, and I completely agree with your point about AMs who do not respond! I cannot work with a company that refuses to reply. I have dropped businesses based on poor affiliate service because I do not want to refer my visitors to a company with substandard customer service. Thank you again for your thoughts.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    It really just comes down to this: If you're rejected, contact the affiliate manager and be courteous about it. Just the fact that you contact them is more than 99% of those who are rejected do. Realize that most merchants get dozens of fraudulent and low quality applications every day, so they're not able to spend a lot of time separating the wheat from the chaff. They get very little information to make their decision on. Most decline emails are horribly impersonal, so don't get offended by them.
    Mike

    It'd be great if these guys listed a little contact info. Sadly, they don't ~ Ever pretty much and a call to the network is a game of silence, lies "DUHHHH" & circles. No on will tell you who to speak to or who to contact, and pretty much all of them know that mail just gets ignored.

    It is as though these people are DELIBERATELY trying to be broke.

    I'f there's a better way, I'd need to be a major stock holder to make it happen.

    The sorry fact is, you can't connect to those who you can't contact. Obviously these folks just wanna blow you off and be done with it.

    My favourite was the chick @ cj that said in a low almost defensive tone, "but Yoooouuuu were decliiiinnnneddd." ~ K> So that means forever ? Dead silence.

    When you ask on ABW, the AM's {ONE lady Esp. over the few NON answers I got} were " I don't think you're EVER gonna know that." . Well ma'am on a personal note, Oh yes I will, if I have to chop my arms off to get it. Then when I know it, I will make sure to tell you what the answer is, and ask you why you did not just tell me it in the first place. I hope I hope I hope, that this will bring forth some technical and intriguing conversation. ~ I hope it will anyway. I also hope you don't just stand there and look at me ma'am. It's tough as hell to grow as a person when people just stand there and look at you. ~ BTW: ma'am, beers are on me.

    I wish it were as simple as that. I've had this happen to me for programmes I was Already Approved for and promoting. When I noticed an error, an subsequently had to resign up {same network, same merchant, never left network either}, I got this mess.

    Great tips Rollerblader. I wish it was not a game of "keep away" involved.

    As Seymour says, "If you build it, They may not come".



    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Williams; July 28th, 2008 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Texas Spelling Spree....
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  18. #18
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    great advice. I've used some of those in the past

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    I believe that if we apply to a merchant - that means we WANT to promote them.

    If they deny us, it is THEIR RESPONSIBLITY TO TELL US WHY!

    If they send an autoresponder denial, then that should tell you how they feel about affiliates from the git-go!
    Billy-you know I love you and respect you...
    However-
    not every affiliate who applies to my program wants to promote my program. Unfortunately, in today's affiliate marketing arena, a lot of applications are from scammers and uninformed people who are trying to make a quick buck because they have fallen for someone's get rich quick scheme. Truly sad.
    Having said that, if I sent a personalized rejection letter to every application that I denied, I would never get any approvals done. And my sending an auto-responder letter to those rejected does not tell you how I feel about my affiliates-I take offense at that statement.

    Those sites who do appear earnest do indeed get a personalized letter from me telling them how to get approved into my (and hopefully) other programs. And I can tell you that those affiliates who take the time to call or email me about the rejection are almost 100% sure to be accepted because it shows true interest.

    I think it's important to remember that the affiliates who take the time to join and contribute to the ABW forums are not the average affiliate and I think that affects opinions when AMs respond to threads. We do want great affiliates. We do want to work with those who honestly want to promote our sites.
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

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