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  1. #1
    http and a telephoto
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    Affiliates, check your email addresses
    I am going to start Declining affiliates where the welcome email bounces due to invalid email addresses. Full mailboxes I can understand, but having a non-existent one means you aren't going to get communications from us including the welcome letter.

    You applied, you need to be able to get emails from Shareasale and from us, the merchant.

    When this months round of newsletters go out, cutting will begin. I hate to remove affiliates for any reason, but you applied to us. If you don't want emails from us, you shouldn't apply to the program. The only bounces I will remove are the ones that indicate invalid addresses.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    imho
    There needs to be a system where the affiliates on EarthLink etc. can let SAS mail in without the B$ of going through their system.

  3. #3
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    I agree with Mr. Mackin on that one. It is unfortunate that spam exists, of course.... but protecting yourself from spam should be your own task, not something that is pushed onto your customers, clients, merchants, whoever.

    In my opinion, a lot of the spam filters and spam protectors just make things a whole lot worse - and do very very little to solve the problem at hand.

    I wade through my email by hand... yummy.

    (Comments above relate to the business use of these products.... personal use I think is quite different, but using for business I think is just bad business.)
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  4. #4
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    Those aren't the kinds of bounces I mean. Although that would be good also. I mean a real non-existent email address.

    ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
    Addressee unknown
    Invalid or unknown virtual user
    550 MAILBOX NOT FOUND
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    Internet Cowboy
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    I am not real wild about how SAS gives me the option to quit a merchant's program if I get tired of their e-mails. Because there are so many small and relatively clueless (as far as AM goes) merchants there, I have several who send 10 emails a week. I have gotten 5 in one day before from the same merchant. Some OPMs send too many emails. I quit all of one OPMs programs because I got tired of seeing "Beautiful $500 sale", "Incredible $345 sale", "Amazing $289 sale" constantly. One or so of those programs I would like to be in, but not if I have to stomach all of those emails acting like a $400 sale is something to get all excited about. Too much Rah Rah is annoying.

    I for one would like to be able to belong to a given program and not get their newsletter. I accept full responsibility for missing anything I might miss.
    Last edited by UncleScooter; August 8th, 2007 at 05:46 PM.

  6. #6
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    Scooter, that is understandable. I can accept that more than having a brand new affiliate that doesn't even get the welcome letter. I am pretty sure other networks have opt outs for newsletters, but still have the ability to send major update messages, like change in terms.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
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    I understand your point Lox. I want to know about terms changes, coupon offers, program closings or moves, contact info changes and other things we need to know. If I could use two email addresses, one for those and one for the rah rah emails that would be good too.
    It's all about education of merchants and managers and it is just as bad on other networks. I am not picking on SAS here, but the part at the bottom of the email that says,
    If you do not wish to receive email from this Merchant, please remove yourself from their Affiliate Program.
    leaves the affiliate only one option.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Why doesn't SaS allow affiliates to opt out of newsletters? Surely it wouldn't be that difficult to flag an account in the database for specifying whether or not they want to receive a newsletter from a specified merchant.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  9. #9
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    On some SAS programs I am actually able to see a way to turn privacy settings off and on. I don't see this on all merchants. Maybe it is something that must be set up on the merchant side? Maybe it's something I am missing. I see some of KC's programs with these settings. But she is not in the annoying email mix.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager TFAW.com's Avatar
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    It's very frustrating to have 15-20% of your affiliate newsletter recipients bounce. I would very much like to see something done about this as well, although I think kicking them from the program is a bit extreme.

    When we have store customers for whom emails have bounced, we set a flag that displays a big, red message every time they log into our website saying:

    "We have been unable to contact you using the registered email address XXX@YYY.ZZ. Please confirm that your email address is still functional and/or update your address on the settings page."

    If the customer ever logs into their account again, they usually take action and fix the problem.

    As for setting this condition in a Shareasale account, perhaps SAS would consider adding one or more of:

    - bounce detection for SAS-generated outgoing mail
    - VERP return address processing (http://cr.yp.to/proto/verp.txt)
    - a merchant interface for uploading a list of bad email addresses (I have a perl script that will extract the email addresses of fatal bounces in a mailbox).
    - a mute button for affiliates that allows them to silence any number of merchants who are bombarding them with too many emails.
    - more than one channel for emails, as was mentioned in previous posts here. i.e. "major announcements" being mandatory and "rah rah" messages being configurable by the affiliate.

    Merchants have legitimate needs to deliver information to their affiliate partners, and affiliates are overwhelmed with messages from dozens/hundreds/thousands of merchants.

    None of these solutions are simple to implement and have ramifications outside the scope of this discussion, but I hope this thread will encourage further discussion of this issue and an eventual solution that satisfies the majority.

    -Dale
    Dale LaFountain, CIO, <a style="color:#c23015; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline;" href="http://www.tfaw.com/">Things From Another World</a> - More Comics. More Toys. More Stuff. More FUN!
    14% base comm / up to 21.5% w/perf incent / 90 return days / parasite free / HUGE datafeed / <a style="color:#c23015; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline;" href="http://www.tfaw.com/Help/Affiliate-Information___168?qt=abw">[b]Join[/b]</a>

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I looked in my SAS profile and saw no field where my e-mail address was listed. I often put my direct ISP mailbox there which was a Comcast mailbox. After 7 years of paying those idiots 45.00/month for broadband I kicked them to the curb yesterday after installing 24.95/mo AT&T Yahoo DSL. They wanted to start charging me 57.95/mo and wouldn't even condiser grandfathering me in at the original 39.95 rate.

    Where is the SAS affiliate e-mail address stored so I can change it to a ecomcity @gmail address??
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  12. #12
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Earthlink is blocking SAS???

    And I just yelled at Kristen for never getting any emails.

    Dale... I've never rec'd an email from TFAW. Have you sent any emails thru SAS since 11/06??

  13. #13
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    Mike, your emails bouncing was one of the reasons I started posting my newsletters here at ABW. I have been lax at that recently, but also not all my affiliates know to look here, and since they aren't getting the emails, they don't see the messages where I sent them here to the support forums.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    I looked in my SAS profile and saw no field where my e-mail address was listed. I often put my direct ISP mailbox there which was a Comcast mailbox. After 7 years of paying those idiots 45.00/month for broadband I kicked them to the curb yesterday after installing 24.95/mo AT&T Yahoo DSL. They wanted to start charging me 57.95/mo and wouldn't even condiser grandfathering me in at the original 39.95 rate.

    Where is the SAS affiliate e-mail address stored so I can change it to a ecomcity @gmail address??
    Ecomcity,

    It is in "Edit Settings"
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  15. #15
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    So I contact earthlink saying I can't get mail from SAS... they say to email

    openrelay at abuse.earthlink.net

    and...

    my email is returned

    Recipient:
    Reason: Unknown local part openrelay in


    Please reply to
    if you feel this message to be in error.



    Reporting-MTA: dns; fed1rmmtao103.cox.net
    Arrival-Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 18:27:18 -0400
    Received-From-MTA: dns; fed1rmimpo02.cox.net (70.169.32.72)

    Final-Recipient: RFC822;
    Action: failed
    Status: 5.1.1
    Remote-MTA: dns; madm-corleone.atl.sa.earthlink.net (207.69.200.218)
    Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 Unknown local part openrelay in

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I have a valid email address on file at SAS and it says I'm supposed to get a monthly newsletter from SAS listing all new merchants but I have never received one yet. Yes, I check spam folders.
    PS Loxly,
    don't you love the way we all have run away with your thread?..sorry

  17. #17
    OPM Queen Kristin Kinsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    I see some of KC's programs with these settings. But she is not in the annoying email mix.
    Well thank you, I try not to be . I believe, however, that what you are seeing on my programs, which are all of them, is the ability to allow me to see your email address on file with ShareASale, not to turn off emails from me. It is a privacy waiver discussed on this post and this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    And I just yelled at Kristen for never getting any emails.
    Twice now!!
    KK

  18. #18
    Internet Cowboy
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    Why is it so bad if a portion of the emails bounce? You write a newsletter knowing that a select few who receive it will actually act on it. Just as I put a PPC ad out there for a widget knowing that it will get a 5% CTR. It seems to me that having a percentage of them bounce is just part of the mix. If I get it and don't act on it, isn't that just as bad?

  19. #19
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristin Collier
    ...what you are seeing on my programs, which are all of them, is the ability to allow me to see your email address on file with ShareASale, not to turn off emails from me.
    Great! So you have been spying on me all this time.
    Somehow that makes me feel special

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    PS Loxly,
    don't you love the way we all have run away with your thread?..sorry
    This is a great discussion. No running away at all.

    Scooter, I don't care about the bounces with the newsletters. I care that you signed up for my program and apparently Shareasale does not have a valid email address for you.

    There is a difference between the kinds of bounces there are. I am talking about and invalid address from day 1.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  21. #21
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Mike, your emails bouncing was one of the reasons I started posting my newsletters here at ABW. I have been lax at that recently, but also not all my affiliates know to look here, and since they aren't getting the emails, they don't see the messages where I sent them here to the support forums.
    Brian showed me where to check which email address is on file for me at SAS. It's the one I've used for years mike @ecomcity.com that gets forwarded for years to my comcast.net ISP account. When I switched hosting to Fastnext those alias e-mail boxes filled up in days with spam due a piss poor spam filter and eventually Comcast banned forwarded e-mail from that hosting IP range.

    Once a week I'd empty and blacklist the Fastnext mailbox and Comcast would again allow domain e-mails. Finally many months ago I forwarded all ecomcity.com emails to ecomcity @gmail.com to bypass any Comcast draconian red flags due to spam laods. I think I'm on every 19.95 for 20 million e-mail address CD known to mankind... Google whacks the spams like a champ (hundreds per day).

    I could setup a whitelist entry for SAS e-mails if I knew the domain their sent from...
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  22. #22
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    So Shareasale is responsible for making sure they have a legit email address when that is something they have no control over? I guess Brian could kick those out of the network, but he will certainly kick out many who are good affiliates who just want to promote their merchants and not be bothered.
    I'd say the SAS staff's efforts are better spent elsewhere.
    There will always be a percentage that you can't contact. I can't see any real way around it.

    I could email every one of my merchants right now and ask them a legitimate question. I'll bet money that 30% of them would not reply within 3 business days. This, too, will never change.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager TFAW.com's Avatar
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    @ BillyK
    Yes, I have sent 4 newsletters to affiliates since 11/06. You can see them using the "Preview Past Newsletters" link on the View/Search Merchant List page.

    @UncleScooter
    I understand that delivery of a particular email doesn't guarantee that the affiliate will ever read or act on that message. Say 80% get delivered, and if I'm lucky half of those might be opened. I'm already operating under the assumption that the majority of my affiliates don't see my newsletters, but that doesn't mean the situation can't be improved...
    Dale LaFountain, CIO, <a style="color:#c23015; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline;" href="http://www.tfaw.com/">Things From Another World</a> - More Comics. More Toys. More Stuff. More FUN!
    14% base comm / up to 21.5% w/perf incent / 90 return days / parasite free / HUGE datafeed / <a style="color:#c23015; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline;" href="http://www.tfaw.com/Help/Affiliate-Information___168?qt=abw">[b]Join[/b]</a>

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    A better solution would be for SaS to create a dedicated messaging system like those at CJ and Linkshare. I pretty much read all of the email that shows up in the dedicated messaging account. Even if there was a message of importance in the pile of spam, I am generally too exhausted from deleting messages to do anything about the email.

    I respond to things in the affiliate messaging systems because the messages are just part of regular affiliate maintenance. Checking email requires massive effort of separating the sodium from the meat of the spam ... that effort exhausts any energy I have.

  25. #25
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    That's a good idea, I think some people suggested that in the Suggestion thread. Where you can login to SAS and check mail there. So there wouldn't be any bounces and maybe even have an option of getting it both at your regular email address and at SAS or have it setup where people can just get it at SAS. I know CJ and LS have internal mail, Performics doesn't.

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