View Poll Results: Who should the commission be paid to: first or last affiliate?

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  • The first affiliate that sends the customer

    9 13.64%
  • The last affiliate that sends the customer

    56 84.85%
  • I don't care (either one is fine with me)

    1 1.52%
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  1. #1
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Question Who To Pay: First or Last Affiliate that Sends the Customer?
    It seems like a good question to both affiliates and affiliate managers, and thanks to Alexander for raising it here.

    Posting a poll...

    QUESTION: Who do you think the commission should be paid to - the first or the last affiliate that sends the customer?

    Geno

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Not really, last gets the sale. That should win in a landslide. That's how affiliate marketing works. I would hope everybody knew that by now. But let's do the poll.

  3. #3
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Not really...
    If this referred to it being "not really" "a good question", the voting would still not hurt. I am a firm believer in the same thing as you, Trust. However, I think it is important to see things like this in plain votes cast "for" or "against"...

    Geno

  4. #4
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Somebody had already passed through one affiliate's link and decided not to buy. The second affiliate brought the customer back with CC in hand.

    This is not even a question.
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  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If anyone votes for anything other than the last affiliate (and nobody has yet), I'd like to hear an explanation.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  6. #6
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    If anyone votes for anything other than the last affiliate (and nobody has yet), I'd like to hear an explanation.
    Someone just did... Explanation, please?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Geno

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    I voted for the last affiliate, but I think the only reason to vote for the first affiliate is in the case of when scum-sucking parasites try to steal good affiliates' sales. Obviously, the last affiliate (parasite) shouldn't get the sale in that case.
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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meadowmufn
    I voted for the last affiliate, but I think the only reason to vote for the first affiliate is in the case of when scum-sucking parasites try to steal good affiliates' sales. Obviously, the last affiliate (parasite) shouldn't get the sale in that case.
    Interesting point and as I read this an idea popped in my head. What if a cookie couldn't be overwritten for a certain time period, like a few hours or even say 15 minutes? Could this stop most of the parasitic thievery going on today? Is it even possible? Or, even watching the tracking on the network side and if the second "click" comes within a certain amount of time for the same user, discard the second click and pay on the first.

    Of course, the networks that need someting like this probably aren't likely to consider it and the networks that don't need it would probably be the ones to jump on it.
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  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh
    Somebody had already passed through one affiliate's link and decided not to buy. The second affiliate brought the customer back with CC in hand.

    This is not even a question.
    Agreed.
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  10. #10
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    16 to 1.

    Let's get more votes in to put one big fat period/dot at the end of the answer to the question.

    Geno

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    What if a cookie couldn't be overwritten for a certain time period, like a few hours or even say 15 minutes? Could this stop most of the parasitic thievery going on today? Is it even possible? Or, even watching the tracking on the network side and if the second "click" comes within a certain amount of time for the same user, discard the second click and pay on the first.
    The problem with any lock out solutions is that they lock out everyone. We have a right to be paid for all legitimate sales that we refer and a lockout would affect us too.

    There are other tracking solutions that can be implemented, but a lockout isn't one I'd be in favor of.

    But good thinking Greg, your idea is likely much better than the injustice being done currently by cheaters - but it's not ideal in my opinion.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    The problem with any lock out solutions is that they lock out everyone. We have a right to be paid for all legitimate sales that we refer and a lockout would affect us too.

    There are other tracking solutions that can be implemented, but a lockout isn't one I'd be in favor of.

    But good thinking Greg, your idea is likely much better than the injustice being done currently by cheaters - but it's not ideal in my opinion.
    Good point. Even if the lockout was 30 seconds, I suspect the parasites would wait 35 seconds before setting their cookie.
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  13. #13
    All Around Web Guy Cursal's Avatar
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    Just sticking to the the general question which Affiliate gets the sale (parasite not withstanding)

    The last one

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    The first affiliate has an expired coupon the last has a working coupon, of course the last guy should win

  15. #15
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    We do the last one to bring the sale. While we did consider both of the issues raised above, namely commission theft and the fact that the first affiliate also played a role in marketing for us, it seemed pretty clear that these were secondary to the primary consideration of who brings the actual sale.
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  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I hesitate to offer any solution to the parasite problem, because any solution (like the CoC) just legitimizes them. But... The solution I would prefer is this: Any known or suspected parasite or cookie stuffer would NOT be able to override cookies. Other affiliates would.

    This would solve the direct impact of parasites on affiliates (assuming they play by the rules, which isn't always true). But it still wouldn't solve the indirect impact of parasites. Parasites drag down the effectiveness of affiliate programs. If a large percent of an affiliate program is driven by parasites (even without stealing from other affiliates), the affiliate manager might bunch all affiliates together and assume that none of them are returning value or bringing new customers, when really it's the parasites causing the poor results.

    The easiest solution is for merchants to just not work with parasites and to actively monitor their program (or use an outside service if they don't have the resources themselves). Or to work on a network that doesn't tolerate parasites.
    Michael Coley
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  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Not to hijack the thread but what do you think should happen in the case of a merchant who had 2 programs... say an inhouse and a standard network.

    So there's a last cookie for both programs. Which cookie should get paid?

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick - SiteSell
    Not to hijack the thread but what do you think should happen in the case of a merchant who had 2 programs... say an inhouse and a standard network.

    So there's a last cookie for both programs. Which cookie should get paid?
    With us, we set an internal cookie that identifies the network so that we are able to track by that as well.

    With ShareASale for instance, I can view a report in our system of all of their leads, but the SAS cookie still sets just fine and the SAS affiliate gets credit.

    In this case, the SAS cookie (within our internal program) overrides the other internal cookie.
    Matt McWilliams
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  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Just a thought here...

    What about programs that deal in an industry..such as ... insurance

    In our industry, 99.8% of visitors convert within 1 hour. 99.6% convert within 20 minutes for that matter.

    The reason (FYI) is that insurance is a necessity for most people. It's not an IPod or camera or something that can wait 3 weeks until so-and-so's birthday or holiday.

    In this case, might it make sense to pay FIRST affiliate?

    Example, First cookie is for affiliate 400. 10 minutes later, spyware Johnny sets a cookie for affiliate 500 (that we have not caught yet). The person completes the form and viola, 400 loses the sale.

    It would be much rarer in our business for the person to come back 3 days later than for this to possibly happen.

    Just throwing that out for thought.

    We DO pay last affiliate, well, because we had to pick one way or the other. Fortunately, our tracking makes it pretty easy now to catch the spyware bastards
    Matt McWilliams
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  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Thanks Matt. So you feel that the last cookie still wins in this case whether it's inhouse or network? One commission paid. So you wouldn't pay both affiliates right?

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick - SiteSell
    Thanks Matt. So you feel that the last cookie still wins in this case whether it's inhouse or network? One commission paid. So you wouldn't pay both affiliates right?
    That is correct. Basically you assign the network its own affiliate ID.

    Works like a charm and allows us proper tracking for network affiliates as well.
    Matt McWilliams
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  22. #22
    Newbie PassionateManagement's Avatar
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    What about a new affiliate program that is promoting a new company? No branding has been established yet (an idea of what to expect from that company in the potential purchaser's mind), and no trustworthy relationship has been built.

    The site is set up with an auto-responder system that keeps bringing people back to the site which offers lots of free resources. And somewhere in that process, once the relationship has been established, a purchase is made.

    My thinking was that it might be more motivating to start promoting this program early, before many others do.

    But obviously I was wrong. Thanks for your input.
    Alexander

  23. #23
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    The last-cookie issue has nothing to do with when an aff should start promoting a program! The last-cookie aspect is a first-level qualifier. If a program is last-cookie, I'll at least be willing to look at it. If it's not, I'll avoid it.

    But whether I ultimately sign up, or get *motivated* to promote it, depends on a whole bunch of other factors as well as this. I'm sure most, if not all, affiliates have several criteria for choosing a program.

    As for when to join a program--from an aff standpoint, less competition = good. Better chance of being the last cookie in, when there still aren't a million others trying to set 'em.

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    The last person to drive qualifying traffic to a site should get the commission, hands down. Note, that this position automatically disqualifies parasites - they don't drive traffic, they steal traffic.

    Part of the affiliate balance is accepting that there will be times when you do a lot of heavy lifting without reaping some financial reward. But it happens rare enough, and the market is lucrative enough, and you're on the other end (someone else sets them up for you) often enough that it doesn't matter.

    Paying the last affiliate is really the fairest way.
    Chris Sturgill
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  25. #25
    Newbie PassionateManagement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    With us, we set an internal cookie that identifies the network so that we are able to track by that as well.

    With ShareASale for instance, I can view a report in our system of all of their leads, but the SAS cookie still sets just fine and the SAS affiliate gets credit.

    In this case, the SAS cookie (within our internal program) overrides the other internal cookie.
    Hi Matt,
    what happens if someone promotes your program through your internal program after a SAS cookie has been set? Wouldn't the SAS cookie still trigger the SAS commission and the affiliate using your internal program loses out?

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