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  1. #1
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Hysterical! Lillian Vernon
    I have been running this program for YEARS and many may remember the wonderful Bobbie Bryson who was the affiliate manager once upon a time. Lillian Vernon has sponsored countless contests for CleverMoms and they have just been amazing, even sending my kids personalized gifts for the holidays and back to school over the last several years.

    Enter new affiliate manager. I had given them main page placement on CleverBabies, because I have always had a soft spot for Lillian Vernon, and love their interesting products. The new AM wrote and asked me for additional main page placement on CleverMoms, which I could not justify for many reasons.

    Their response? I was just terminated from Lillian Vernon.

    Not that I really care, but a heads up for everyone. This new affiliate manager they have sounds like a real winner.

  2. #2
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    OMG that's outrageous! Who's the affiliate manager? Name names, girl!

    (BTW, I don't work with them.)

  3. #3
    Internet Cowboy
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    They want all of nothing instead of part of something. C'mon Anne, that makes perfect sense right? Let me guess. Linkshare account management took over their program?


  4. #4
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Crazy. I don't think these new AM's realize we have a 100 merchants a day asking for main page placement.

    "We regret to inform you that Lillian Vernon Online has permanently removed you from our Affiliate Network. Merchants may remove affiliates from their programs for many different reasons, including violation of legal terms, inactivity, changes in site content, inappropriate methods of directing site traffic, etc. "

    I guess I should feel flattered. I am rarely removed from a program, haha!

  5. #5
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    I'm just in shock. Total. Shock.

    I'm happy getting any placement from quality affiliates using ethical means to drive traffic. I can't imagine ever contacting someone to demand placement or they're out. Unbelievable.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  6. #6
    Outsourced Program Manager Angel Djambazov's Avatar
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    Wow, that's a heck of a negotiation style Lilian Vernon has. Should provide tremendous growth to their program. Silly waste.
    Angel Djambazov
    Managing Edtior ReveNews
    OPM for Keen Shoes and Graphicly.com

  7. #7
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Unbelievable that they would drop you, just crazy. Anne, get busy replacing links with a competitor. You'll have way more conversions anyway. There are lots of fun, cool merchandise merchants on SAS to choose from. :-)

    I, too, have a soft spot for LV merchandise but their aff program sucks huge, between a bad new manager, live help, stupid return days and paltry commissions, nothing really justifies promoting them.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  8. #8
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM@4checks
    I'm just in shock. Total. Shock.

    I'm happy getting any placement from quality affiliates using ethical means to drive traffic. I can't imagine ever contacting someone to demand placement or they're out. Unbelievable.
    Well, they didn't threaten me. They asked me and I said no. Today I was booted. Perhaps it is an 'error,' only time will tell, haha! Seems too coincidental to me though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    I, too, have a soft spot for LV merchandise but their aff program sucks huge, between a bad new manager, live help, stupid return days and paltry commissions, nothing really justifies promoting them.

    They really don't convert that well for me either, so it is no loss.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    OMG, I thought removing inactive affiliates was..well...unwise, but this has to be the dumbest reason I heard yet.

    Maybe we need a new poll for 2007 titled "I Was Terminated Because..." and we can vote on the dumbest reason of the year. It could be a good laugh. It would be funnier if it wasn't real and people weren't treated like this.

    Time to say "Next?" and slide someone else in those spots.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  10. #10
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne
    Well, they didn't threaten me. They asked me and I said no. Today I was booted. Perhaps it is an 'error,' only time will tell, haha! Seems too coincidental to me though.
    It seems a little too coincidental to me, too.

    That's one heck of an 'error.'
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  11. #11
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Boy that stinks Anne. My gut says it's a mistake. You're one of their performers.

    After Bobbie left for Figleaves, Mary Melian got the job. And she tried many ways to make the program better. She's now at Dale-Thomas Popcorn (very good program)

    Then they got a new AM, who I won't name - and an assistant. The assist quit before the ink on the biz cards dried.

    The new AM has a habit of randomly changing banners: I mean changing a grandmother banner on my grandmother page to something totally different an non-related. And... they change banner sizes randomly.

    I saw one last week on my communion or confirmation pages that now says summer fun - totally unrelated.

    I have a page of just 88x31 banners, and the LV banner changed to 120x240 - boy did it look out of place.

    Anyway, I sent a series of progressively meaner emails saying stop futzin with the banners.

    No avail. I sent a final email saying I've removed all your banners. I'll just keep some text links.

    They never responded to my final email, but if they're dropping, I'll be next

  12. #12
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay

    Anyway, I sent a series of progressively meaner emails saying stop futzin with the banners.

    No avail. I sent a final email saying I've removed all your banners. I'll just keep some text links.

    They never responded to my final email, but if they're dropping, I'll be next
    Something I heard years ago:

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease but it's also the first one to be replaced.

    Arghhhhhhh - made me crazy to think about that because I tend to squeak rather loudly. But I purrrrrr very nicely to merchants who listen and respect their affiliates.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  13. #13
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    OK HUGE kudos to Billy Kay.... You are right!

    This has been resolved......

    "I apologize for the confusion and/or trouble. That process is simply supposed to move you in the tiered level. I have extended that offer to your company to make sure it is there for you. Please let me know if you have any other questions."

    Apparently in changing my level in the program, they accidently deleted me then reinstaed me. I feel a bit better now, new AM error

  14. #14
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne
    This has been resolved....
    Good to hear! I knew they'd be crazy to boot you.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    I think this is a casebook example of the need for checks and balances before any affiliate is terminated. In order for a merchant to terminate an affiliate, he should have to select a valid reason from a list provided by the network. That reason should be included in the termination notice. If the reason for the termination is not one of those listed, the merchant should have to obtain approval from the network before termination can take place.

    Last year, I was terminated from a Linkshare merchant for no valid reason by an affiliate manager who was miserable to work with. She is no longer the affiliate manager as of a few months ago. It started by her contacting me to demand that I remove a banner that was advertising a promotion that had expired a year earlier. I replied asking her exactly where she saw that banner on my site because I could not find it. She responded that she didn't know and it wasn't her responsibility to tell me where it was. All that mattered was that Linkshare indicated that traffic from that banner was originating from my affiliate ID. I asked her to have Linkshare provide the source of the traffic from that banner. She refused!

    Now I know for a fact that sometimes other sites will post someone else's affiliate links. It makes no sense but it does happen. My proof? CJ provides the Referring URL for invalid links generating traffic. I have seen URLs on that list from websites I have never heard of. It's happened at least twice. So if CJ tracks it, I'm sure Linkshare can as well. So what should have been a very simple issue to resolve, which the affiliate manager refused to do, resulted in our termination.

    The termination came in the form of a letter written by the affiliate manager's boss and sent to me by Federal Express. It referenced a termination email sent by the affiliate manager which was actually not sent until a day or two after I received the Fedex letter. It wasn't until after I received that email that I received the boilerplate termination email from Linkshare. I was absolutely floored because we had done nothing to warrant termination. We immediately removed all of our links for that merchant.

    We had been an affiliate of that merchant since the first day of their program in April 2002. In the early years, we were consistently earning over $1,000/month in affiliate commissions. We had even won an affiliate contest in 2003 which was announced here on ABestWeb by the AM at that time (a different AM). I know we were one of their largest affiliates at one time.

    About a week after we were terminated, the nasty AM sent me an email saying she reconsidered and reinstated us with absolutely no reason given!! I suspect that she ultimately determined the source of where those clicks were coming from but I'll never know for sure.

    We did put up a few links after we were reinstated but nowhere near the number we had before and our sales have trickled down to where they aren't even one of our top 10 merchants.

    If Linkshare, or any other network for that matter, provided checks and balances to protect affiliates against overzealous affiliate managers, this never would have happened and of course our reduced sales from this merchant negatively impact Linkshare as well.

    Oh, and this is one of Linkshare's preferred merchants with a red star.

  16. #16
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    If it was me, and I was in a certain frame of mind (which i usually am lol), I would send a gushing thank you card listing all of the gifts they so graciously sent. i would make a point of addressing it to Attn: [new AM's name]
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