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  1. #1
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Best way to handle "Temporary Removal?"
    What is the best way to approach an affiliate merchant of Linkshare who has put you on "temporary removal?"

    The problem with affiliate programs on Linkshare is that there is the communication gap. Often I have promoted products but was never able to establish an "e-mail rapport" with the affiliate merchant in charge.
    I promoted some products from this merchant but I've slacked off a bit--now I was told I was banished into "Temporary Removal."

    I still was not given a name to address

    I was only given Linkshare@program.com
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  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The best option is to move on to a merchant who has a clue.

    If you think the merchant (or network) might be receptive to a clue, direct them to some of the posts here on ABW about terminating inactive affiliates. Here's my latest email about this, with the named redacted to protect both the innocent and the ignorant.

    {Network Contact},

    Do you have any idea who is advising these merchants to terminate inactive and low performing affiliates? This is a very harmful practice. Instead of terminating terminate and low performing affiliates, they should be working to try to get their affiliates active and producing. If utilized right, the base of "inactive affiliates" can be the most productive source for increasing the breadth and depth of affiliate programs.

    I could really care less about my own personal termination from this program. They haven't performed that well for me, and aren't the focus on any niche sites that I plan on building. I just think this is very harmful to affiliate marketing as a whole and specifically to those merchants who follow this practice. I would hope that {Network} would discourage merchants from doing this.

    Feel free to pass all or part of this on to anyone who you think would benefit from it, either in {Network} or with any merchant considering terminating affiliates.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
    I've received good response from these emails. I know they've been passed around and people in the networks are now more aware (and opposed) to this practice. It hurts them, too.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
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  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    There have been times when I didn't care about removal notices for one reason or another but this merchant does relate to a niche I have started and I am in the process of continuing the niche.

    I have put up links from this merchant and have tried to promote this merchant's products but one problem I ran into was the quality of this merchant's picture product links. If the merchant won't make it easy for me to promote product links then I'll scatter a few text links here and there but the focus will most likely be on a specific product (with a clear and nice-sized pic) from a competing merchant.

    It would be better for both the merchant and me if I could write to a name and say, "the product links leave something to be desired, I think you could improve your program if you enabled specific products (whatever)..."

    I try not to take up too much of the merchants' time.
    I like e-mail contact and I'm usually direct about a point of the affiliate business when communicating with an AM.
    I think "my methods" would save time in the long run.
    Other than my initial approval, there has not been any communication between the me and the merchant.
    A short "how are you doing pep-talk e-mail" prior to drastic action would be much better than a final "you're in the dungeon" removal e-mail .

    Now that I've been put on "temporary removal" you can bet that a "negative seed" has been sewn into my psyche.
    In order to ameliorate the situation each side has to deal with a "clunky process:" I have to write an e-mail begging forgiveness
    The AM has to set the "approval switch" so I can once again try to promote the merchant.

    Thanks for the form letter, I'll let you know what happens when I send it.
    Last edited by Rhia7; August 4th, 2007 at 02:01 PM.
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  4. #4
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    How Linkshare Merchants deal with Improvement
    I have also noticed a "musical chairs" response from various Linkshare merchants in terms of how they deal with me [more specifically my sites] in "channels."

    I am approved for "Signature" (but channels can come in handy).
    I found when I was making a new site on a new domain with a "new structure" (i.e. my CSS had improved) that the merchant might have been on my "multiple channels" but now seems to favor the newest channel (represented by my newest site) so I get "temporary notices of removal" for the other channels.

    Linkshare gets complicated at times. I use "Signature" when it is convenient for me to do so and I started to like the use of "channels" as well.
    I use both and the Linkshare network and merchants should let me decide when to use which "methods."

    If I find a better structure for a one site, soon I'll convert the others too.
    Why play musical chairs with channel approval? At first they'll approve across channels, then they'll withdraw an approval from one -- but hey, I have "Signature" so in that case I'll use the approved channel to create a tracking link for any other (if I have to. I like just using the channel for an approved merchant if possible).
    Anyway, I'm not going to abandon my sites, I can re-do them all. So rather than removal from a channel, the AM should wait because I do have improvement goals for each domain.

    Aren't the merchants pleased that an affiliate (who basically creates sites suitable for a general audience) has expressed a desire to work with that merchant? They only have to pay me if I produce, so I don't know why Linkshare has a "pink slip attitude" in terms of removals.
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  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I hate when I have to address an e-mail "To whom it may concern:"

    All affiliate programs should have a contact [i.e. a manager] with a name.
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  6. #6
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    The "temporary removal e-mail" was sent at 2:30 AM and could have been sent by a "bot."

    Dear:

    We regret to inform you that program.com has removed you from their
    Affiliate Program. Merchants may remove affiliates from their programs
    for many different reasons, including violation of legal terms, inactivity, changes in site content, etc. If you feel that you have been removed in error, or would like further clarification on why you were removed, please contact Linkshare@program.com.

    LinkShare manages hundreds of other affiliate programs. We encourage you to log in and find other programs with which you may want to partner.

    Best,
    LinkShare Corporation
    http://www.linkshare.com
    The approval e-mail and the above are the only examples of communication with the merchant.
    Notice how dry the message is and how devoid the message is of any real help--it's just a mask, a facade pretending to be of help.
    I understand that merchants send out mass mailings and that's okay, but this merchant never included a helpful clue in any e-mail and suddenly I just get bonked. This came as a total surprise too
    Last edited by Rhia7; August 4th, 2007 at 05:02 PM.
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  7. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I understand that there are various reasons why a merchant on LS might not cultivate an "AM-affiliate" relationship like some of the "AM-affiliate" relationships that are found on ABW (I am not questioning that).

    It wouldn't hurt an AM to send out a "checklist" on a quarterly basis to affiliates.
    The AM could include elements the AM is looking for in terms of what is on the affiliate site[s] and that communication could be seen as a quasi-guide.

    It also wouldn't hurt if within an AM mailing the AM touches upon what it is exactly that they are selling (perhaps that is more of an issue with Shareasale--it is easy to forget the names of some of the SAS or other network merchants--many affiliate programs can fade in the background of the affiliate's mind for one reason or another) and quarterly highlights that give a possible angle to the biz or something like that.
    Some merchants can overdo the mass e-mailing promotions [i.e. a merchant's one day sale or even a half-day/hourly sale].

    I think an AM could create a checklist and send it off twice a year or quarterly or something.
    If the AM would like more products to be promoted then please make it easier to promote the products [the current program that just "cut" me doesn't offer good picture product links]

    I definitely believe in some type of guideline appraisal prior to giving an affiliate (especially a nice one who is well meaning) the ax.
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  8. #8
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    Best way to handle "Temporary Removal?"

    Permanently Remove Them.

  9. #9
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Best way to handle "Temporary Removal?"

    Permanently Remove Them.
    Not if they had/have a special product that the affiliate wants to promote that other AMs don't necessarily have.

    If I am paying attention to this merchant, I'm giving something special

    Perhaps I'm giving too much attention. I've been typing away at this thread all day when I could have been doing something else (or focusing on web pages devoted to another merchant--actually I am doing something else too).

    I sent an e-mail to the merchant @ 3:15 PM but I have not heard anything.
    Last edited by Rhia7; August 4th, 2007 at 06:22 PM.
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  10. #10
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    I hate when I have to address an e-mail "To whom it may concern:"

    All affiliate programs should have a contact [i.e. a manager] with a name.
    Try "Dear Clueless Merchant".

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Hi,

    The original e-mail sent in order to solve the problem had personal details so I won't copy it here but I mentioned that I am an active member of ABW and included the helpful links suggested by Michael Coley.

    Today the AM wrote that I could re-apply but when I attempted to do so, there were no "new offers" so I wrote back to the AM. The response was:

    I have tried to create a new offer but I have been told that you must wait two weeks until you can re-apply. I am trying to work with a merchant assistant to try to waive this issue as soon as possible. In the meantime, I have archived all of your emails and will send a message when you are eligible to re-apply.

    Again, I apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience in this matter.
    I am glad I received a "real response" from the AM. It seems as if I go through hassles like this with Linkshare from time to time *sigh*
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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