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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    SaS Messaging System
    I think it would be beneficial for SaS to develop an internal messaging system. Email is neither reliable or secure enough for affiliate/merchant communications.

    I have twice fallen for the situation where I received an email telling me that my affiliation with merchant XXX was terminated. Since there are enough other merchants out on the market, I usually just pull links without protest.

    The problem, of course, is that the emails were forged. I later found out that the merchant did not terminate me. Someone was either trying to do me harm or do the merchant harm.

    email is probably the worst mechanism for communication ever conceived. Creating a simple database that feeds off the SaS login would greatly enhance affiliate/merchant communications. Such a system could have advanced features that let the users know when and if their messages are read, etc..

  2. #2
    Newbie coolmasti's Avatar
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    Oh..
    I think this is a great suggestion. Even I think that email is always not reliable and that some merchants or een affiliates do not reply too quickly for emails.
    A good messaging system would ensure faster response to all questions and suggestions.
    SAS would also find this suggestion great.

  3. #3
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    In the past this was discussed and from what I remember most affiliates here indicated that they never read the messages on other similar platforms, etc... Is this something that has changed?

    I do agree that email is horrible ... we have chosen mostly RSS as a means around that. Each merchant has their own RSS feed consisting of their own individual newsletters - as well as the collection of ShareASale feeds for offline notification, new merchants, etc...
    Thanks,

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

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Townsend's Avatar
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    February 24th, 2005
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    SAS Emails
    LinkShare has an affiliate inbox and it was always my experience that is was rarely used by affiliates, if at all. I personally think that any messaging system will quickly become outdated and will eventually not be used by very many affiliates.

    I think SAS should have an email verification system upon sign up for new affiliate that would ask them to verify their email address for starters. An auto-response type "click here to verify" could work. If SAS doesn't get a response, perhaps automated message could be displayed to the affiliate upon login asking them to verify their email address.

    As for existing affiliates, a simple reminder upon login for affiliates to use a valid, unblocked email address if they want to receive communications from the affiliate programs they have joined might be helpful.

    RSS unfortunately is underutilized by many affiliates, but I think it's the right direction to take.

    Adding more "features" and/or "messaging systems" will further complicate things. You could compare it to fewer breakdowns with fewer moving parts.

    Sorting through all of the blocked Earthlink/click here to complete delivery emails is a pain, as I'm sure other AM's will agree. I wish it were better, but at the end of the day, we have to respect an affiliate's right to choose whatever email provider and email settings that they choose to use. At some point, you have to trust in the intelligence of your affiliates and realize that where there's a will, there's a way. They will find a way to promote you, they will read email archives in SAS, etc.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    "RSS unfortunately is underutilized by many affiliates, but I think it's the right direction to take."

    RSS would work but the problem is what you just said, it's not being used/not much at all. Buy.at started a thread about this question of communication and email was still the #1 preferred method and RSS got 0 votes.

    I check both my mail from inside the network and regular mail and I think it's good to have both but if not then have a double opt in kind of setup. Be it from the networks or the merchants, affiliates should have a working email address before they can even put up links. Just like a double opt in newsletter. They need to verify they are able to get mail.

    Here's that poll I was talking about, it had 25 voters and they could choose more than 1 option and RSS got 0.

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=86932
    Last edited by Trust; August 13th, 2007 at 12:46 PM.

  6. #6
    web dev with whiskers tn-morgen's Avatar
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    I have my rss feed on MSN homepage - it hasn't been updated by MSN for almost 3 months. I check in here if I want to know something.

  7. #7
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    I think SAS should have an email verification system upon sign up for new affiliate that would ask them to verify their email address for starters. An auto-response type "click here to verify" could work. If SAS doesn't get a response, perhaps automated message could be displayed to the affiliate upon login asking them to verify their email address.
    Just to clarify... we do exactly this, as well as again whenever an affiliate changes the email address.

    Nonetheless, affiliates still do setup spam filters and also abandon emails at times, I don't think there is much overall that can stop the problem.

    I agree with you Trust that RSS is underutilized by affiliates and I think that is something that will slowly change with time as email just becomes even less reliable. We also communicate with affiliates via a bunch of more "experimental" platforms like FB groups, Twitter, etc... but those groups are pretty small as you know. I do anticipate a large push towards "RSS Type" communication in the near future when we reach a critical mass of people who hate email.
    Thanks,

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

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    "I do anticipate a large push towards "RSS Type" communication in the near future when we reach a critical mass of people who hate email."

    Hmm, don't know, time will tell on that one. I think people hate spam, not necessarily email. And email and spam have been around for a long time now and it's still getting the votes, 21/25 in the poll above. I still like it because I like it all in one place.

    I don't use much RSS, tried it out before but what about stuff like:

    "I have my rss feed on MSN homepage - it hasn't been updated by MSN for almost 3 months."

    I haven't used it enough to know how well it works or possible problems. I tried it out before and was just another thing popping up on my desktop and ended up removing it. On a side note, I was messing around with the widgets for Vista and was trying a few SAS RSS feeds out and is there anyway to put merchant name first instead of Merchant ID number? I was trying out the deals one and in my little widget when a merchant had a new deal it was Merchant Number first, not a big deal but would be easier to see the merchant name.

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