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  1. #1
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    Merchant CPR
    My last post was on Dead Merchants.

    Quite frankly, I would rather see healthy living merchants on SaS.

    It be interesting to have something on ABW that would highlight, on a monthly basis, a failing merchant or two. The merchant would be invited to ABW for a serious talking to about making their program profitable for themselves and their affiliates.

    What happens with most dead merchants is that, unless affiliate marketing shapes up as a sizeable portion of their sales in the first months, they let their program languish. A CPR program might take some of the programs that are still languishing after a year or two and revive them.

    Looking through the large number of zero EPC merchants in the SaS interface, I can't help but wander how many of these programs were bogus from the beginning and how many were really legitimate efforts to start a business but never figured out how to attract affiliates.

  2. #2
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I like this idea a lot. A Cyber ThinkTank of sorts.

    Since CTang isn't usually all that busy, maybe she can head this up?
    Kevin Webster
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    Kayak Fishing
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  3. #3
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    BRILLLYANT! That's actually a great idea... let me think about implementation. But probably post-fourth quarter.

    (Because, as Noth knows, during 4Q, I usually just hang out by the ShareASale kiddie pool and drink lemonade... )

  4. #4
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    You need to do triage
    The post Trust wrote then deleted actually made a very good point.

    You would have to do triage before deciding which merchants to revive. Merchants that are nothing more than affiliate link farms or that are full of diversions should be ignored. The merchant would need to have a legitimate product. You might even ask that they go to autopay and are prepared for taking orders before any CPR effort. For that matter, you may want to encourage merchant to bump up their commission rates during CPR. The point of CPR is to show that by throwing money at affiliates, they can increase sales.

    BTW, Carolyn is right that this is a Q1 thing and not a Q4 thing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by yintercept
    Merchants that are nothing more than affiliate link farms or that are full of diversions should be ignored.
    Don't you think merchants of that sort should not have been given an entry door into SaS to begin with ..

  6. #6
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Someone during ThinkTank had the great idea of putting together an "advisory board" of affiliates, and this idea could work with a "Merchant Makeover"... these are both on the drafting board.

    Something like that would certainly help young merchants grow, and perhaps more mature merchants could pick up tips as well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    Don't you think merchants of that sort should not have been given an entry door into SaS to begin with ..
    No I don't agree. All merchants have potential when they start and may just need educating. As has been pointed out, as affiliates we have the right to not join a merchant, and/or to give them feedback as to why we aren't and what they would need to do to get us to.

    There are gold nuggets waiting to be uncovered at SAS.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    All merchants have potential when they start ...

    Loxly, my comment was referencing the affiliate farm links who pose as merchants. In my book, these are not merchants per say .. but affiliates in disguise. There are some like that in SaS that I feel should not be there in any network IMO.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I agree. These types of merchants go far beyond "leaks".
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtagdeals
    Loxly, my comment was referencing the affiliate farm links who pose as merchants. In my book, these are not merchants per say .. but affiliates in disguise. There are some like that in SaS that I feel should not be there in any network IMO.
    Again, they are not getting any value from being there beyond an affiliate clicking in curiosity and then saying ARGH and leaving. If they DO have affiliates then someone has chosen to promote them for some reason or another.

    I agree there are merchants that shouldn't still be there, but some deserve the benefit of the doubt.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
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    Just like you do not want shady affiliates, you do not want shady merchants also in a network.

    A network should police the quality of affiliates and merchants with same rigor.

    Of course, based on my understanding at Think Tank to the question that I posed, Brian of SaS differs with my opinion on the need to enforce certain quality criteria on the merchants. But I disagree .. A network need to enforce the quality of affiliates and merchants with same rigor IMO.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    I agree there are many affiliate sites that should meet certain criteria before being accepted.

    Along those same lines; of the affiliates that are in our program about 10% have bad emails.
    Bob Pets Warehouse
    Worlds Largest Pet Supply DataBase
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  13. #13
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    Not talking about affiliates being affiliates but moreso affiliates trying to be merchants. It's still getting in.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    I agree there are merchants that shouldn't still be there, but some deserve the benefit of the doubt.
    Lox - there are instances where the following happened or could happen:

    a) the merchant looks fine and an affiliate like ours signs up and continues to promote

    b) a month or two rolls forward

    c) the merchant changes and pastes all leaks and becomes an affiliate link farm or something similar or the tracking completely drops off (remove the tracking code from checkout)

    d) Or in some cases, the merchant changes commission rates significantly without any notice to the affiliate or an affiliate accepting the new terms

    e) a month or two more rolls forward and the merchant quality only deteriorates to the point it is completely a link farm - yet no action taken by the network on the quality and the saga continues until when ..?. Where is the network quality enforcement here?

  15. #15
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    There are merchants who started out okay, but went link farm after they found out fulfilling orders is a hassle.

    There are others who legitimately want to learn both sides of the fence, and need to learn that crossover efforts aren't appreciated.

    A CPR effort might help engage and educate these folks.

    A common mistake is that merchants think they are buying traffic from affiliates with their EPC, when they really should be partnering in a sale.

    I think a concerted effort to educate people would increase affiliate commissions and merchant profits.

  16. #16
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    Bump
    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn - ShareASale
    BRILLLYANT! That's actually a great idea... let me think about implementation. But probably post-fourth quarter.

    (Because, as Noth knows, during 4Q, I usually just hang out by the ShareASale kiddie pool and drink lemonade... )
    We are post Q4; So, I thought I would bump the message.

    SaS has a big list of dead merchants. I suspect most are DOA. It is possible that some of these merchants actually want their affiliate programs to work, but don't know how to do it.

    For example, merchant 4427 is a toy merchant who hasn't had an affiliate sale since 2005. My guess is that they turned their program off. They are probably DOA.

    I really don't know how to do the triage. The tick is to find merchants that want to be strong in affiliate marketing in the long term. Cases like merchant 2370 would be a bad choice. They were clearly pulling a bait and switch. They had a $100EPC, then turned off the commission paying system in 2006.

    I would love to see more merchants thriving in the affiliate market.

  17. #17
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yintercept

    I would love to see more merchants thriving in the affiliate market.
    Absolutely. Affiliates need to remember that without strong merchants, we don't have anything to promote. Likewise, merchants need to remember that without strong affiliates, they won't maximize their online sales.

    And whoever said in a post above something about "partners in sales" was right on. This is a 2 way street and we all need to remember that. A good merchant is as big a blessing as a good affiliate and each should be nurtured and cherished by the other.

    I would love to see some SAS merchants recieving valuable and needed CPR. The more quality merchants, the better affiliate marketing is going to be for everyone. And good, quality merchants will only improve the quality of other merchants who want to stay in the game. The more quality merchants affiliates have to promote, the less we will have to rely on the jerks and they will either have to clean up their act or get out of the pool.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
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