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  1. #1
    Bad affiliate email addresses?
    In the first few days as a merchant on ShareASale, I'm have a handful of affiliate applications with dead email addresses.

    In some cases they websites that are referred don't have any contact information.

    Can this possibly be legitimate? Or a huge red flag?

    Can anyone think of a reason affiliates never want to communicate with merchants?

    To the contrary, on this forum it seems good affiliates tend to complain about AMs who ignore them.

    Please advise whether to flatly reject these people or forward the bounce messages to ShareASale to try to get the information updated.

    Sincerely,
    Wayne Walter

  2. #2
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I'm a fairly new merchant to SAS as well and have noticed quite a few affiliates with bad email addresses or non-functioning websites. I've considered dumping them all, but so far only one has been a real problem.

    He insists on trademark bidding (against our affiliate agreement). After trying to contact him several times over two months I finally reset his application to rejected. Three weeks later he was still bidding on our name. Knowing our customers were clicking his PPC ads only to land on a page saying the link didn't work, I finally took SAS's advice and re-approved his application and set him to 0% commissions. A month or two later he's still bidding on our trademark.

    Without a working email there's nothing I can do...

    While not all affiliates with bad emails are parasites like the above mentioned trademark leach, it could be an indicator... Hopefully most are just using email providers that block mail from SAS. Maybe...?

    Best of luck with the new program!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  3. #3
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    This was discussed back in October 2005.

    Not much has changed since then for us either, but I've kind of gotten used to it. The affiliates that I really need to get a hold of are reachable/allocatable.

    Geno

  4. #4
    A real possibility
    I can try emailing them directly since SAS may get blocked.

    It is certain my email servers never get blocked anywhere.

    I'll post back if that idea works on any of them.

    Wayne

  5. #5
    Geno,

    Thanks for your reference. We posted at almost that same moment.

    Here's my concern. Making sure affiliates are legitimate since we pay $10.00 per lead. There's a margin for fraud in there. My fear was that the email challenged affiliates might be the shady ones.

    Your link to the other post shows was refering to sending out newsletters. But can't there be a different email for the signup process?

    Do merchants just accept anyone? Can checking their website be any help if the website may not be valid anymore or dead?

    Hmmm. I'm very challenged by how to decide on affiliate applications. Should I just accept everyone and catch fraud later?

    Wayne
    Last edited by waynewalter; May 10th, 2007 at 04:14 PM.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    Maybe there should be double opt in like a lot of newsletter sign ups have.

  7. #7
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Maybe there should be double opt in like a lot of newsletter sign ups have.
    For newsletters, I think affiliates should have the option of setting their account to opt out both globally and on an individual program basis, but for direct communications, a valid, functioning email address that doesn't bounce SAS's messages (doesn't require reverse DNS or whatever) should be required.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    "but for direct communications, a valid, functioning email address that doesn't bounce SAS's messages (doesn't require reverse DNS or whatever) should be required."

    I wasn't really talking about newsletters but more the way people have to double opt in to get them for a lot of places. When someone applies to your program, send them an email to the email address on file where they have to click on a link as a way of testing that email address out/getting into your program.

  9. #9
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Yeah, I caught what you meant it just sparked the thought that wasn't really meant as a direct reply. Trying to write content, eat chips & salsa and read ABW at the same time...

    I like your idea about including something in the welcome email. I just don't really understand why valid email isn't a requirement at SAS.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  10. #10
    Yes. If I ran ShareASale, I would have a seperate IP address to send outgoing mail from their email service dedicated only to application approval.

    I would KEEP that email address secret mutually between the merchant and the affiliate. That IP address could never get black listed or blocked since it never sends out any potential spam.

    Affiliates could know to check that account to respond to applications.

    Interestingly, I just spoke with Sara at ShareASale and came to the conclusion to auto approve. It seems most affiliates find that easier and less time consuming. So do I since half have bogus websites to check out and others have bogus email addresses. The rest may never see or read the email.

    So I can just weed them out on the back end. My advice it auto approve now.

    Sincerely,
    Wayne Walter

  11. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    This has been brought up many times and still no help. It seems for some strange reason when they apply to SAS the first time, SAS checks their email BEFORE they are approved.
    Then they apply for my program and their approval email bounces.

    Same with Newsletters. I average about 2% bad email's for affiliates. Some of them have been around SAS for years but. Many times i see AOL address have problems.

    All I can say is that over the years not one affiliate that had a bad email has generated a sale...

    Ethan;
    as far as your affiliate biding on your trademark, I would drop him. If he is paying for PPC then each click costs him money but if he is not an affiliate of yours and it goes to a 404 error page then it still costs him. One day he will wake up with the bills he gets and drop the link.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard - AMWSO
    This has been brought up many times and still no help. It seems for some strange reason when they apply to SAS the first time, SAS checks their email BEFORE they are approved.
    Then they apply for my program and their approval email bounces.

    Same with Newsletters. I average about 2% bad email's for affiliates. Some of them have been around SAS for years but. Many times i see AOL address have problems.
    AOL is one that does require reverse DNS to be set up on the emailing domain. I've had to do this just to get order confirmations to go through. Maybe this is the issue with some of the bounces, but certainly not all.

    All I can say is that over the years not one affiliate that had a bad email has generated a sale...

    Ethan;
    as far as your affiliate biding on your trademark, I would drop him. If he is paying for PPC then each click costs him money but if he is not an affiliate of yours and it goes to a 404 error page then it still costs him. One day he will wake up with the bills he gets and drop the link.
    Richard, I did drop him once. For three weeks his lone PPC ad sat just above my legitimate #1 search position sending traffic to a page that said the link no longer worked. I had hoped he'd catch on that he was sending money into a dead link, but he didn't.

    After about two weeks of his PPC to the dead link I asked Shareasale if there was any way they could contact him on my behalf by phone and let him know he was wasting money. I was told that I should have set his commission to 0% and kept him in the program. A week later I added him back in and set him to zero.

    Letting traffic continue going to a dead page may have indeed clued him in, but we actually get a lot of business from our brand (offline advertising, repeat business, word of mouth, etc). Letting that traffic, traffic that wants to shop not only for our product, but at our store specifically, go to a dead page has the potential to hurt the brand in the end. I just couldn't let it continue...

    One of the most frustrating parts is that I believe he does the same thing on every other merchant on Shareasale and probably makes good money doing it. He signed up within a week or two of program launch and never bid on a single product term, just multiple versions of our name. I believe he joins every new program and does the same thing. In my mind this is parasitic behavior, little different than the BHOs. He adds nothing to the relationship, just leaches off of a merchant's own efforts.

    Also frustrating is that despite my complaints and specifically asking how to report his obvious abuse, his account is still spot free.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    "Letting traffic continue going to a dead page may have indeed clued him in, but we actually get a lot of business from our brand (offline advertising, repeat business, word of mouth, etc)."

    I agree its a tough call but for me i would rather he send traffic and have to pay for it to a dead link than give him the possiblity to make something off of you.

    I dont see how it hurts you to allow this to happen as it in no way affects your product and then also manybe people will go to the second on the list.

    IMHO
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  14. #14
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    When the acceptance email bounces due to a bad email address and not a blocked or full mailbox, that is very annoying. I was wondering myself how to handle these, report them to Shareasale, ignore them, or decline the affiliate?

    If they don't want newsletters that is fine, but if they apply for programs there should be an email address that accepts mail to get those acceptance emails at.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  15. #15
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    When the acceptance email bounces due to a bad email address and not a blocked or full mailbox, that is very annoying. I was wondering myself how to handle these, report them to Shareasale, ignore them, or decline the affiliate?

    If they don't want newsletters that is fine, but if they apply for programs there should be an email address that accepts mail to get those acceptance emails at.
    Every email, or newsletters that I get from any SAS merchants, got this note on the bottom:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This message was sent by one of
    your Merchant Partners, MY-MERCHANT.com,
    at www.shareasale.com.
    If you do not wish to receive email from this Merchant,
    please remove yourself from their Affiliate Program.
    -shareasale.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So, if that note says, that if we don't want to receive email from that Merchant, that we should then, remove ourselves from their Affiliate Program, then I don't see what's the big deal.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    Every email, or newsletters that I get from any SAS merchants, got this note on the bottom:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This message was sent by one of
    your Merchant Partners, MY-MERCHANT.com,
    at www.shareasale.com.
    If you do not wish to receive email from this Merchant,
    please remove yourself from their Affiliate Program.
    -shareasale.com
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So, if that note says, that if we don't want to receive email from that Merchant, that we should then, remove ourselves from their Affiliate Program, then I don't see what's the big deal.
    "When the acceptance email bounces due to a bad email address" - if this 1st email bounces, that affilate does not get the SAS note - thats the big deal.

  17. #17
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard - AMWSO
    I agree its a tough call but for me i would rather he send traffic and have to pay for it to a dead link than give him the possiblity to make something off of you.
    His account has a custom commission of 0%, so he still earns nothing. The only real difference is the visitor doesn't get a dead link.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    agreed;
    I am set on manual as it makes it easier for the affiliate to grab a link right away while he is thinking of me rather than wait for me to approve him.
    I still check every affiliate that signs up.
    BUT i get notice of the affiliate signing up and 5 minutes later get his acceptence email bounced back to me so

    that is a big deal as he never even knows he has been accepted or not.

    I leave it alone but mark it as bad email in my affiliate sheet
    IF i see hits great, i will devote some time to finding his email via alexa or whois and contact him.... if not... no great loss


    Ethan;
    Yea but your allowing him to possible earn something when the visitor clicks on that link and goes to his site.
    If u delete him its a dead 404 and he does not earn or have the chance to convert any visitors and it costs him money for nothing.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  19. #19
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard - AMWSO
    Ethan;
    Yea but your allowing him to possible earn something when the visitor clicks on that link and goes to his site.
    If u delete him its a dead 404 and he does not earn or have the chance to convert any visitors and it costs him money for nothing.
    Ahhhh, now I see what you mean. In this case his PPC ads link direct to our site, so the visitor never actually sees a site he owns.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Yep'
    I have one affiliate that bids on our name in adwords and when u search for our product he is right at top under sponsored links

    The merchant sees nothing wrong with him biding and being on top as he does not do PPC so he figures what the hell as the link goes to us and he makes the sale so in effect he is allowing the affiliate to spend money to make the sale and he pays the commssions which might be cheaper than biding for number one.
    More than one way to skin a cat.
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  21. #21
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    sas needs to have a way to not set his cookie because it does affect, in a small way, you other affiliates return days if the returner clicks on his policy-violating ads.

  22. #22
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    sas needs to have a way to not set his cookie because it does affect, in a small way, you other affiliates return days if the returner clicks on his policy-violating ads.
    Good point. He could be killing off commissions for legit affiliates.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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