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  1. #1
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    Converseon anyone?
    Does anyone have any good/bad experience with Converseon?
    They represent Mikasa, Hitachi, Hilton, and more.
    I could not find anything on ABW.
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; May 7th, 2007 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Link removed, they can buy an ad.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager
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    I've been working with Converseon for almost a year now. They manage our CJ campaigns for Taylor Gifts and Get Organized. They've done a good job with it, our monthly affiliate sales are up 110% since they took over the campaigns.

    Did you have any specific questions?

    You could always give me a call if you need some specific answers. I hardly ever come into this forum, so PM me if you want to get in touch.

    Eric Shannon

  3. #3
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    I've been working with Converseon since the end of 2005. They are always on the ball, full of ideas and are key to the success of our affiliate program. Before they came onboard the program was heading for the trash-bin as a failed experiment. We decided to give it one more shot using what we saw as a vendor who understood our business and weren't afraid to get their hands dirty. The rest, as the proverbial saying goes, is history. The program is a integral part of our ecommerce strategy.

  4. #4
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    Have worked with Jamie Birch for years, you can't ask for a better guy to work with

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Having the Mikasa affiliate program down for almost a full year left a very bad taste in my mouth. Jamie Birch (Converseon's Director of Affiliate Relations) was running Coldwater Creek's affiliate program when they terminated a ton of their affiliates. That's two big strikes in my book. I've met Jamie numerous times, and he's a great guy. I'd like to think that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I don't know. A big part of being an affiliate manager is making sure that the company you work for doesn't make decisions that harm the affiliate program.
    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

  6. #6
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    The Coldwater Creek program was a mess for me too. Mikasa, they could have been better with the communication. With that, I think a lot of it had to do more with the merchant than the affiliate program. Sometimes people see them as one in the same. A merchant can decide to redo the whole site regardless if they have an affiliate program or not. And if they have one, I'm sure the affiliate managers aren't too happy with that either.

    But as far as Converseon right now, I have no problems with them.

  7. #7
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    I spoke to Jamie at length about both of those situations, and Mikasa was a merchant issue completely.

    And i agree about Coldwater Creek, terminating a lot of affiliates was a poor idea. We got a lot of complaints about that as well. But it is a huge catalog company, and the old 'channel conflict' thing raised its ugly head. And the catalog won out.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up
    From the affiliate perspective, Converseon has a ton of great tools for the affiliate to use in their content development work. Particularly, I like their coupon feeds because it makes it easy to update content without manual work. I have had a great experience working Converseon so far because they are easy to communicate with. They promote their merchants well and distribute commissions on time!

  9. #9
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    As a publisher, my experience is disappointing.

    I am selling products from competing vendors.

    The conversion rate with the CJ-affiliated merchants is very good - about 5%, and the EPC is high (I'm at the top 20% of the CJ publishers).

    The conversion rate with the Converseon merchant is less than 1%, although the click-through-ratio is the same as the CJ merchants. Again, the products are nearly identical. I spoke to Converseon, they could not find any technical problem on my side or theirs.

    Weird.

  10. #10
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    The AM for BuyBeauty keeps calling a number that's not on my website to get me to join.

    I called today and asked where he got my number - he wouldn't say.

    I asked for his name so I can complain - he's not allowed to tell me.

    Spam calls from an OPM who won't tell you his name....

    Does that sound like anyone you'd want to partner with??????

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador
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    Jamie is a great guy - he is open and responsive to ideas and communication. I think he got left holding the bag during the Coldwater Creek fiasco. I spoke with him a couple of times about it, and he was following orders from the "higher ups." I'm not sure about Mikasa, but I'm currently having a good experience with Converseon.

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Thanks everyone for their thoughts. We appreciate feedback so we can continually improve our services.

    Billy, we apologize about any inconvenience our call may have caused. I sent you a note about this earlier this week. Our team continually looks for potential new affiliates for our programs through a variety of tools, including whois information if available. The gentleman you talked to was very new to the team and obviously got a little flustered. He indeed should have told you his name and even transferred you to me. We urge all our employees to be transparent and upfront. We’ll talk to him about this event so he follows appropriate procedures going forward. If affiliates do not want us to contact them regarding our programs, we encourage them to tell us so we can note that.

    Thanks again to all for their thoughts. If you have other ideas for improvement or general feedback, feel free to contact me any time at.

    Jamie Birch
    jbirch@converseon.com - 212-213-4297 x307
    AOL IM - JamieConverseon

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager PingoPrepaidCallingCards's Avatar
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    I just met Jamie at the Boston catalog show. I'd give him a thumbs up as well
    Brian Hawkins AM @ [URL=http://www.pingo.com/affiliate.do]Pingo[/URL] Earn up to $35 CPA for a [URL=http://www.pingo.com/p/onedollar/onedollar.html]$1 trial offer[/URL]!
    [URL=http://www.twitter.com/TelecomAgents]@TelecomAgents[/URL] [URL=http://www.twitter.com/telephonecard]@TelephoneCard[/URL]

  14. #14
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    My experience with Taylor Gifts:

    8/30/2005
    They had just a couple personalized gifts, with no links available for any of them. The AM (Mat Weller) created custom links to the 2 products I needed, and one catch-all texk link that went to their personalized gifts page.

    All was well.

    5/24/2006
    Then Eric (see post #2) took over, and sent an email offering a $5 Bribe if we add GoldenCan. So I added it to all my mall and coupon sites and requested my $5.

    Eric said no - he couldn't see it. Dozens of emails later, a BBB complaint, and finding out he's sharing my emails with others, it turns out he can't view ANY GoldenCAN links because TaylorGifts has javascripts blocked on their corporate computers.

    I removed all the GoldenCAN - just kept the 2 personalized products.

    8/20/2005
    Conversion takes over. First email I get is a deactivation threat:

    Thank you for being a Taylor Gifts affiliate. We noticed that you have not had any activity on your account for the last couple of months. To avoid being deactivated, put links on your site by Monday, November 13th.

    8/21/2006
    Pulled ALL Taylor links, but left the pages up. They still say:

    "Thank you for being a Taylor Gifts affiliate. We noticed that you have not had any activity on your account for the last couple of months. To avoid being deactivated, put links on your site by Monday, November 13th..."

    Affiliate Manager for Taylor Gifts and Get Organized

    It appears the people who click thru our Taylor Gifts links don't actually make a purchase once they get to their site, or feel more comfortable placing the order on the phone, which unfortunately, is not tracked as originating back to us.

    It also appears Taylor Gifts feels it's acceptable to threaten their partners with deactivation because of this. We can only hope they treat their customers with a little more dignity and courtesy then their business partners.

    Since OUR customer satisfaction level is dependent on THEIR customer satisfaction level, we have decided to refer our visitors to more professional websites.

    For this reason, we have deactivatied our Taylor Gifts links.

    Below are links to 3 other catalog companies that offer similar merchandise, and have a long-standing reputation of treating people with common courtesy and respect:

    Walter Drake
    10% OFF orders over $40 at Walter Drake

    Lillian Vernon
    Free Shipping on orders over $50 at Lillian Vernon

  15. #15
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    The AM for BuyBeauty keeps calling a number that's not on my website to get me to join.

    I called today and asked where he got my number - he wouldn't say.

    I asked for his name so I can complain - he's not allowed to tell me.

    Spam calls from an OPM who won't tell you his name....

    Does that sound like anyone you'd want to partner with??????
    I wsn't planning on posting this, but for my next post to make sense, I need to...

    Subject: BBB Complaint - BuyBeauty
    Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 15:12:28 -0700

    Complaint Submitted
    Your complaint has been submitted. Your complaint number is: 5064444. The complaint has been transferred to the local BBB to be handled in their system. You may wish to copy or print this information for further reference. Press OK when ready.

    The complaint is being handled by the BBB listed below. Please contact them with any questions.
    Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York (New York, NY)
    257 Park Avenue South
    New York , NY 10010-7384
    Phone: (212)533-6200
    Fax: (212)477-4912
    Email: inquiry@newyork.bbb.org
    Web: http://www.newyork.bbb.org

    Business Information
    Name: Converseon, Inc.
    Address: 1140 Broadway, Suite 501
    City: New York
    State/County: NY
    Zip/Postal Code: 10001

    Problem
    Please provide a BRIEF, FACTUAL DESCRIPTION of the problem you experienced. If you are notifying the BBB of an advertising claim that you believe is inaccurate or misleading, include the date and location of the advertisement.

    Someone with a name that sounds like Liam Joy or Lee Enjoy - he's at extension 311 - keeps calling my company (xxxxxxxxxxx) on a non published number that costs me money when they call. Some sales pitch about becoming a partner. I called today with 2 simple questions: Where did you get the non-published number and what's your name so I can complain to your superviser. He wouldn't tell me. Aargh! Can you help me find out what database my private phone is in so I can have it removed, and this person's name so I can complain to his superviser.

    Complaint Background
    Date Problem First Occurred: 5/16/2007

    Dates you complained to the company/organization
    7. First Date: 5/21/2007

    Name of Sales Person
    13. First Name: liam
    15. Last Name: joy

    Desired Outcome
    2. Desired Outcome:
    Find out what database... removal from database... person's name

  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    It's bad enough they have "various tools" that can get my personal phone number - which isn't listed on my site... and then use it for unsolicited telemarketing calls...

    Even worse, they don't respond to Better Business Bureau complaint...

    and... they still don't stop!

    Just got an email spam addressed to receipts-at-mycompanyname

    That email is not shown on any site. It's not in my whois. It's in TWO places: a text file on my computer so i remember it's real, and in some hidden script that my shopping cart uses to send receipts when a customer buys something.

    What gall! Now they have a "tool" that can get a hidden email address, and spam it in an effort to become a trusted partner. That's sooooooooooo low. Soooooooooo unethical. Soooooooooooo slimey.

    Subject: 20% off all BuyBeauty Purchases and Earn 17%.
    Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 11:00:00 -0700
    From: BuyBeauty Affiliate Program
    Reply-To:
    To: receipts-at-mydomain.com

    Join the BuyBeauty Affiliate Program!
    Join (deleted link)
    Learn More (deleted link)
    Our Blog (deleted link)
    Our Creative (deleted link)
    Contact Us (deleted link)

    *20% off Coupon at Buybeauty!*

    Now through June 18th, your customers can get an additional 20% off
    every order when they use coupon code SUMMERCJ at BuyBeauty! Read more
    here. Are
    you currently promoting BuyBeauty? If not you are missing out on a great
    earning opportunity.

    Commissions start at 15%, but if you join today and email us
    deleted email when your application is complete,
    we'll extend an offer of 17% commissions to you immediately. From Mac
    Cosmetics to Lancome, from Elf to Clinique and more. We have all the top
    brands at up to 80% off.

    *Program Highlights*

    * Our Free Product Datafeed and Storefront Creator Tool, located at
    Converseon Feeds, is
    updated daily and is a breeze to use! Gain access to the thousands
    of SKUs for sale at BuyBeauty.com, and even add an instant
    storefront of our great products to your site, showcasing your
    favorite items with just a simple line of code.
    * Our Blog
    allows
    you to stay on top of current consumer promotions, hot products,
    rotating creative and lots more! It's RSS enabled too, so our
    consumer coupons and newest deals can come to you.
    * Our Minisite is a great
    resource to learn more about our program – serving as a hub
    complete with program overview, central login, links to our tools,
    and our contact information.
    * yada yada yada - deleted the rest of the spam
    Last edited by Billy Kay; June 12th, 2007 at 02:46 PM. Reason: removed more links - thought I got them all

  17. #17
    Member Mike Allen's Avatar
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    I've known Jamie Birch for years -- back to his Coldwater Creek days -- and have found him a very responsive and ethical affiliate manager. I've worked with Rob Key and other converseon team members for quite a while too and have no negatives to report.

    As for Coldwater Creek, that was not Jamie's fault. We still cannot get into their program and we work with virtually all other major name brands who compete with them. I also don't believe Mikasa's (lack of) conversion issues are due to converseon. I've never seen Mikasa perform well before or after converseon. An affiliate manager can only do so much and the rest comes down to the merchant's ability to convert browsers to buyers and Mikasa just doesn't do a good job with that (not to mention their product mix is very niche and probably doesn't convert well in actual storefronts either).

    As for converseon's emails, they use Topica and have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of all their mass emails that I'm aware of. Unless this problem has been going on unresolved for a long time, it seems to me that issuing a BBB complaint is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction considering a call to Jamie Birch or even going to the top and talking with Rob Key surely would have taken care of things.

    Just my 2 cents . . .
    Mike Allen | <a href="https://twitter.com/mta1">@mta1</a>
    <a href="http://www.businesswright.com">Businesswright Consulting</a> | <a href="http://www.shopping-bargains.com">Shopping-Bargains</a>

  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Mike,

    You missed the

    There are legitimate ways to contact me - my Contact Us page comes to mind LOLOL - but they're using "unnamed tools" to find ways to contact me that are NOT published on my websites.

    If I want my unpublished number to be used for telemarketing - it wouldn't be UN-published!!!

    Same with email. My contact info is published on my sites. They're using some kind of tool to find unpublished email addresses.

    it seems to me that issuing a BBB complaint is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction considering a call to Jamie Birch or even going to the top and talking with Rob Key
    I don't know Jamies contact info. never heard of Rob Key. I told the nameless telemarketer 3 times if he didn't tell me his name, his superviser's name and how they got my unpublished information, I'd file a BBB complaint. He refused. Kneejerk? Not at all.

    As for converseon's emails, they use Topica and have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of all their mass emails that I'm aware of.
    Unsolicited emails to my non-published email address... what's the legal word for that? All capital letters - 4 letters...

    If THEY have an unpublished email that they use for SPAMMING, others have it. I need to find out what list it's on.
    Last edited by Billy Kay; June 12th, 2007 at 04:12 PM.

  19. #19
    Member Mike Allen's Avatar
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    Billy Kay,

    I don't like the idea of someone scraping my site for personal info and you're right, they could have used your contact form. Their employee should have given you his supervisor's name, I agree.

    I just didn't want to flush the whole company based on a low-level employee's poor actions without going higher up and seeing if they will respond appropriately. I assumed you knew Jamie, and Rob Key is founder and CEO so I knew he could address things. I try to go to the top for a resolution before blowing the BBB whistle (I've done that too when there was no resolution).

    I'm sorry I missed the point on the unpublished contacts. I just assumed you didn't use the unsubscribe link and I didn't realize the guy called 3 times without giving a name. That's just wrong.

    I know some of the staff at converseon so PM me if I can help. I was trying to defend them because this behavior is so out of character with anything I know them to be. I didn't mean to sound like I was coming down harshly on you.
    Mike Allen | <a href="https://twitter.com/mta1">@mta1</a>
    <a href="http://www.businesswright.com">Businesswright Consulting</a> | <a href="http://www.shopping-bargains.com">Shopping-Bargains</a>

  20. #20
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    Scraping websites for email addresses became illegal with the advent of CAN-SPAM. Using tools that find UN-published contact information is unethical and possibly illegal. There are ways to get contact information that are ethical and if a site operator *doesn't* have contact information, then the clue should be: they don't want unsolicited contact. They may be the best fit for your affiliate program you have ever seen in your career, but if they don't want to be contacted, you shouldn't be contacting them. PERIOD.

    Being on the web, being an affiliate, being out there doesn't mean your privacy should be invaded to try and recruit you for anything.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Converseon
    As head of affiliate recruitment at Converseon, I just want to join here to clarify a few key points:

    • Only one call was made to BillyK.
    • As good affiliate management practices dictate, we proactively look for potential affiliates who are matched to our programs. Most are delighted to hear from us.
    • If we contact someone who says they don’t want to be contacted again, they are removed from our database and marked “do not call” for any programs. We also honor any unsubscribes from our emails 100%.
    • Let’s make this clear, all info we use to identify and call is from public sources. In this particular case, the source was the Alexa web site and the HowItWorks section of BillyK's website. (Billy, I can send you those urls if you like)
    • If someone is re-contacted after requesting not to, you are invited to call me directly to resolve. I tried to personally reach out to BillyK via email and phone the moment I heard of this issue here but haven’t heard back. If there’s an issue, I think good protocol dictates a direct conversation.


    Frankly, Converseon has garnered a very strong reputation for affiliate and social media by creating and abiding by best practices. If we erred in contacting someone, it was in only in enthusiasm and tenacity to try to make our clients and our affiliate partners some money. If we have to err on some level, we’d rather do it in that way than the opposite. If our outreach has offended anyone, we apologize. We follow best practices and protocols and we invite anyone who has an issue, problem or complaint to please contact me directly.

    Jamie Birch
    Director, Affiliate Relations
    Converseon
    jbirch@converseon.com
    p: 212-213-4297 x307
    AIM: JamieConverseon
    Skype: jamiee.birch
    Last edited by JamieBirch-JEBCommerce; June 13th, 2007 at 05:51 PM. Reason: added contact info

  22. #22
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Jamie,

    Three calls - not 1 - all still on my computer. Again, to a phone NOT listed on my sites. BAD.

    By a salesman who wouldn't tell me his name. Wait - unsolicited call on phone... he's a telemarketer!!!

    You used "How it works" instead of "contact Us"??? Someone at you company is that stupid????????????? I went to that page. It actually says that email address is only for dated sales receipts. Which would explain to most people why it's called receipts - at - my domain. BAD.

    You say "proactively recruit".

    So does the carpet cleaning service that calls every other day with "Dear Homeowner" (I'm a renter) on a phone that's on the National Do Not Call list.

    And the DirectTV satetellite folks who leave messages on my son's cell phone in Spanish (that I have to pay for) are also "proactively recruiting".

    I prefer to call it what it is - unsolicited extemely irritating spam.

    No idea how Alexa gets their info - but I sure as hec didn't give it to them.

    Both you and the guy who kept calling said you emailed - I really never got any. Here's what alexa says is my email:

    coolmerlin [at] gmail.com

    Not a clue what that is! I don't even have a gmail account!

    So you're complaining that I didn't respond to an email that isn't mine????????

    That you obtained from a site that isn't mine????????

    Once again, I need to point out the obvious: like using the actual contact information on the site!

    I can Unscubscibe??? By definition, doesn't that mean I at some point subscribed??????? I think someone at your end "subscibed me" on their own - LOLOL

    I do not promote any converseon merchants. Have no plans to. You - yes, you're a nice guy. A likable guy. Your company and its tactics... are... not for me.

    Can we end this now? I've made it clear I do not want unsoliced spam emails from Conversion. I don't want unsolicited telemarketing calls from Converseon. That's it. That's all I want.

  23. #23
    http and a telephoto
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    Here's one for the record books, and a heads up to all affiliate managers that may be relying on Alexa for their contact data - DON'T

    I know who that email address belongs to and it is in NO WAY related to the website it is showing up for on Alexa. Not even remotely. It *is* an address that catches spam and never even gets checked.

    So for the affiliate managers that think Alexa is a good place to go digging.... please don't. I know I haven't checked MY websites information there and don't plan to.

    And again, being proactive and invading privacy are 2 different things. All affiliate managers may want to take a second look at how and where you are finding affiliate contact information, and whether it is accurate, and whether the affiliate WANTS to be found.

    There are a lot of single moms that are webmasters that are probably taking note of this conversation and wondering if they are safe or not. And affiliate managers wonder why affiliates are starting to use whois privacy protection more and more.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  24. #24
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I just checked the whois at my registrar - it has my correct email

    No idea where Alexa gets their information - but feel free to contact me using the Alexa email

    They also say

    Speed: Very Slow (82% of sites are faster)
    That can't be right either

  25. #25
    Member Mike Allen's Avatar
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    Alexa continues to have lots of problems and inaccurate information -- including, get this, a wrong homepage thumbprint for one of my sites! (They just recently corrected that error after I pinged them to update.)
    Mike Allen | <a href="https://twitter.com/mta1">@mta1</a>
    <a href="http://www.businesswright.com">Businesswright Consulting</a> | <a href="http://www.shopping-bargains.com">Shopping-Bargains</a>

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