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  1. #1
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Americanflags.com leaky
    New merchant - has 4checks affiliate banner in left side bar. Arghhhhhh - That was as far as I got and left the site in disgust.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  2. #2
    Roll Tide mobilebadboy's Avatar
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    As well as a military.com (CJ) banner right below it. So I'll go further than you.

    I click "American Flags" in the left menu. The 4Checks and Military.com banners do not exist there. They've been replaced with an Adsense skyscraper, as well as every other product page that I have clicked through.

    There's an 800 number on every page, as well as a downloadable form for fax ordering linked just below the main menu on every page. Which I would guess neither are tracked to the affiliate.

    And unless I'm blind, there's no way to get back to the front page from any subpage without clicking the back button in my browser. That's just bad from the customer's side.
    Last edited by mobilebadboy; July 20th, 2007 at 04:19 PM.

    Shawn Kerr (.com) | Disney World | SEC Football

  3. #3
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Sent an email to the aff manager about the leaks. Got this in reply:

    "We'll delete your account. Good luck!"

    OOOOOOOOOOKAY - onward.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    Whois record for americanflags.com.

    Registrant:
    Precision Marketing Solutions, Inc.
    34 Brennan Street
    Huntington, New York 11743
    United States

    Web sites owned by Precision Marketing Solutions http://precisionmarketing.com/sites.htm

    Might want to take a look and see if they have any other affiliate merchant "presence" that's leaky.

    The biggest problem with SAS is that they're so inexpensive it makes them attractive to people who don't play nice with their affiliates.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    Whois record for americanflags.com.

    Registrant:
    Precision Marketing Solutions, Inc.
    34 Brennan Street
    Huntington, New York 11743
    United States

    Web sites owned by Precision Marketing Solutions http://precisionmarketing.com/sites.htm

    Might want to take a look and see if they have any other affiliate merchant "presence" that's leaky.

    The biggest problem with SAS is that they're so inexpensive it makes them attractive to people who don't play nice with their affiliates.
    Also attractive to people who are *not* affiliate merchants.

    They're selling links on "niche sites" is what it looks like, but putting their stuff out there in an affiliate venue where people check things out isn't the best way to stay off the radar when they're not using rel="nofollow"

  6. #6
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    Funny, I got an email from them about the switch to Shareasale and when I told them they should can the leaks to get the serious affiliates on board they basically replied that they had plenty of serious affiliates already making big money, but they would "consider" it!

  7. #7
    Member DoradoVista's Avatar
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    Okay, time for a basic question.

    What is a "leaky" Merchant?

    How do I detect leaks and apply leak stop?
    Gold Prospector just Prospecting Sales! :coolsmile

  8. #8
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    A leak is an ad to another website where the affiliate will not be compensated for any sale made to the site the merchant sends your visitor to. You will only be compensated if a sale is made on the merchant's own site.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoradoVista
    Okay, time for a basic question.

    What is a "leaky" Merchant?

    How do I detect leaks and apply leak stop?
    You should test the links you put up on your site so that you can see what your clients/traffic will see when they click on your links (also to be sure that your links work properly). If you are sending your traffic to a site that is full of links to other sites and nothing much to sell you will not have much chance to earn a commission there.

    Links are not the only leaks though. When the first thing that your visitors who click on your banners see is an 800 number to call in their order there should also be a ref code for them to use when placing phone orders or you may lose the commission to phone in orders. Some affiliates view all 800 numbers on merchants sites as leaks. Some merchants make them more affiliate friendly than others.

    Just check all your links to see what your traffic will see so you can decide if it is leaky or not.

  10. #10
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    >>The biggest problem with SAS is that they're so inexpensive it makes them attractive to people who don't play nice with their affiliates.

    imho, there is no correlation between network prices and which merchants "play nice".

  11. #11
    Member DoradoVista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    Links are not the only leaks though. When the first thing that your visitors who click on your banners see is an 800 number to call in their order there should also be a ref code for them to use when placing phone orders or you may lose the commission to phone in orders. Some affiliates view all 800 numbers on merchants sites as leaks. Some merchants make them more affiliate friendly than others.

    Just check all your links to see what your traffic will see so you can decide if it is leaky or not.
    Thanks for the tip. I actually experienced a 1-800 leak situation. It took a lot of calls and emails to begin to get it straight (Merchant must supply unique Promo Code to Affiliate, or its a leak in hiding) In some classes of products the customer will go through Affiliates to Merchants site then get the number and grab a phone for "security" reasons.

    Without a unique discount code to offer for phone use, there goes the commission, poof! "Leak" is right.

    AJ
    Gold Prospector just Prospecting Sales! :coolsmile

  12. #12
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    Hello all...just wanted to clear-up a few things. We have removed any competing ads on our home page or product pages. We experimented with CJ links for non-competing products/services that would interest our customers. We've decided that our affiliate relationships outweigh any potential revenues from those links. There are still some a few Google ads on our non-product flag etiquette, links pages, but we will likely nix those too, though historically those who enter the site there do not buy and those who make it to those pages via product pages rarely buy.

    The phone number issue is not easily resolved. Less than 1% of our orders take place via phone. Most call with a quick question and for some reason rather do the transaction online. As for the 1%, there may be some lost commissions there, but not much since we ask where those folks heard about us and they usually cite offline advertising like our billboards, magazine ads, etc. The toll-free number adds credibility and enhances conversions whether or not they actually use it. Frankly, I think our affiliates benefit more from the toll-free number than not.

    We are off to a strong start at SAS (check our stats) and working hard to make sure that those who send us good quality traffic are rewarded for sending us those visitors. We've added 100 new products in the last week, are adding creative regularly and have become obsessed with boosting conversions.

    Rexanne - your email to us didn't seek a dialogue, but scolded us and let us know that you wouldn't waste your traffic on our site. I understand that you are "disgusted" with our site and our rep wished you all the luck in the world. I suppose we are used to a different approach to things and like to work more peacefully with affiliates, customers, etc. We want affiliates who want to partner with us to make great money for promoting great products for a solid company. We think of ouselves as nice people and love to do business with other nice people in a relaxed, but driven and focused way. If you'd like to talk, I'd welcome your call or email.

    Mr. Reynolds (no relation to me) - We promised to consider your suggestion and we've taken it.

    I'm usually a little reluctant to respond to issues via chat boards because most of the time, it's not that productive. I did, though, want to let you know that your concerns did not fall on deaf ears and that I'm always willing to listen. We may not always agree or I may not be able to do all the things you'd like, but I'm pretty fair. My direct email address is on the home page of our website.

    I'm headed back to add some more products so that we can al make some more money as we head into the busy fall season. Thanks for the opportunity to ramble.

    Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Ph.D
    President/CEO
    AmericanFlags.com

  13. #13
    Member JAYMEDINC's Avatar
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    Thank you for your explanation.

    After reading everyone rail about your site being leaky, I almost pulled your ad that I just put on my site. Now that I have your side of it, I will give you guys a chance.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    Some affiliates view all 800 numbers on merchants sites as leaks.
    This is utterly faulty logic when all research shows that having a semi-prominent phone number and contact us page improves ONLINE conversions significantly.

    I don't think having it in 24-point font in blinking red is a good idea (regardless of affiliates) but making it easy to find and see gives the customer a "warm fuzzy" that the merchant is legit, which only drives more people to convert online.

    If you have a choice between a 15% conversion and no "leaks" and a 20% conversion with "leaks" such as the 800# which would you choose?

    No doubt, this particular merchant is doing a bad job and is extreme, but this particular point about phone numbers is just faulty based on all research into it.

    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  15. #15
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    The phone number issue is not easily resolved. Less than 1% of our orders take place via phone. Most call with a quick question and for some reason rather do the transaction online. As for the 1%, there may be some lost commissions there, but not much since we ask where those folks heard about us and they usually cite offline advertising like our billboards, magazine ads, etc. The toll-free number adds credibility and enhances conversions whether or not they actually use it. Frankly, I think our affiliates benefit more from the toll-free number than not.
    I have worked at many companies and 1%, yeah.. that is a joke right? What reasearch did you do to back it up?

    We are off to a strong start at SAS (check our stats) and working hard to make sure that those who send us good quality traffic are rewarded for sending us those visitors. We've added 100 new products in the last week, are adding creative regularly and have become obsessed with boosting conversions.
    Put your money where your mouth is. If you see a future in affiliate marketing, then put some commitment to it.
    To chime on your statement you posted on Aug 16, 2007 "There are still some a few Google ads on our non-product flag etiquette, links pages, but we will likely nix those too, though historically those who enter the site there do not buy and those who make it to those pages via product pages rarely buy."

    Last I checked, http://www dot americanflags dot com/flagart.htm is still showing GOOGLE ADS? Am I missing something after your post more than 6 months ago?
    Ma, where the beer? :escape:

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Actually 1% also parallels what we find.

    I don't know how prominent their number is but are stats are

    clicks to calls - 122 to 1

    online leads to phone leads - 95 to 1

    I cannot speak for them but 1% seems fairly accurate based on my experience.
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    1% may be true for your business, that does not make it true for all businesses. No one made the argument that it is always or never true. Affiliates are subject to so many kinds of leaks that each one that can be removed and is not may be viewed as pontentially costing commissions. Since SAS offers phone tracking, the merchants that use it seem to be more supportive of their affiliates. I work with merchants that show 800 numbers on their site, they just don't get most of my attention. If they offered phone tracking I would show their number on my site along with their products.
    I have my own business and I know that many people do not wish to shop online for their own reasons. I do not offer an 800 number and they call anyway. But that's my business and I don't think most business are set up that way.

  18. #18
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    Reasons to have an 800 number on the site:

    - Customer doesn't trust the merchant
    - Customer doesn't trust online transactions
    - Customer is blind, site isn't accessible
    - Problems with checkout process
    - Sales reps like to chat with lonely elderly people

    All very positive reasons...

    Paul, may I suggest that instead of a 1-800 number you have a callback form? User fills out a short and simple form which requests a sales rep call the user back. Said form can easily provide the affiliateID.

  19. #19
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    Err, I meant that for you Jeffrey, not Paul, whoever that may be.

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    1% may be true for your business, that does not make it true for all businesses. No one made the argument that it is always or never true.
    I agree. I read above that it was considered a "joke" meaning that someone is making the argument that it is never true or at least implying it.

    To say that it is a joke is not fair to the merchant at all.
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

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