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  1. #1
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Dealing with "Link not Currently Active"
    I wish affiliates could be notified by the company instead of by a site visitor about links that display this message:

    The link is not currently active.

    There are a number of reasons that you may have received this message. The most common is that the merchant who was advertising is temporarily not-actively promoting that program. If, however, you feel you have reached this page in error, please let us know. Shareasale.com does not tolerate or send any SPAM mail to anyone. If you feel you have been targeted by a SPAM message, we would appreciate if you could forward the message to us at abuse at shareasale.com.

    Shareasale.com manages the relationships between advertisers and affiliates, which is why you were directed to our site. Since the link that you clicked is not currently active, you were not redirected to the site.

    If you are a new affiliate, your links will not be active until Shareasale.com gets a chance to review your account - you will receive an email when your account is approved and links are activated. This process generally takes around 24 business hours.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  2. #2
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    You can designate your own "landing page" for these, so customers are directed to your site and not to the SAS error page. (On the "Edit Account Settings" page, it's the section that says 'Custom Error Redirect for "Temporarily Offline Merchants'").

    I've been sending this traffic to my home page, but I suppose I should create a merchant-directory page that might be more useful to consumers in the circumstances, or at least create a separate landing page that I could track in my logs to see how often this is happening.

    You could probably create a script for your landing page that would send you an email whenever someone views the page (presumably with the referring-URL data, if available).

  3. #3
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    You can designate your own "landing page" for these, so customers are directed to your site and not to the SAS error page. You could probably create a script for your landing page that would send you an email.
    I don't know how to do that.
    All I know is that the above message is revealed to anyone who clicks on a picture product image that I used in one of the pages of my site.

    I guess I need to be more pro-active in scanning & clicking on the picture product links I feature. I will erase that link and substitute something else.
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  4. #4
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    You can designate your own "landing page" for these, so customers are directed to your site and not to the SAS error page. (On the "Edit Account Settings" page, it's the section that says 'Custom Error Redirect for "Temporarily Offline Merchants'").
    Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
    The only problem is that some visitors want to look at a very specific product that now is out of our grasps so to speak.

    I could re-direct visitors to a page that shows me standing on my head, but when people want something specific there is no substitute. No landing page will provide satisfaction.

    These were recent SAS links place on pages created to showcase these specific links. I was hoping that the links would continue to work and not expire in short notice.

    This is a reason why I worry about merchants with low funds and/or those that claim they are "temporarily offline." I wonder: is it worth it to play "hide and seek" with merchants & their inventory? I would really prefer to work with merchants who are consistently online with the inventory.
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  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    CJ has a notification of traffic on expired links; perhaps SAS should implement a similar notice/service.
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  6. #6
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    I definitely did like CJ's invalid-link report, which I did use frequently when I worked with CJ. I would certainly appreciate if ShareASale could provide a similar report!

  7. #7
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    CJ has a notification of traffic on expired links; perhaps SAS should implement a similar notice/service.
    Rhia7, SaS has an RSS feed of offline merchants that will at least keep you up to date on your merchant's status. This doesn't help with the original issue, and Mark's suggestion to redirect is probably the best solution for now.

    To get the RSS feed select "RSS Feeds" under "Tools" and you'll get three available feeds:

    Offline/Online Notifications - Notification of merchants who go offline due to lack of funds in their account, and also of deposits which bring merchants back online.

    New Programs - Gives you instant notification on New Programs that join the Shareasale Network.

    Deals Database - Instant notification on new coupons, deals, and promotions that merchants are running.
    Select the Offline/Online Notifications and add it to your feed reader and Voilą! Instant notification of offline merchants. Depending on your feed reader you could possibly set up an email alert or an SMS alert to your cell phone.

    -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

  8. #8
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    Rhia -- I just checked and it turns out that SAS does append a parameter with the MerchantID when redirecting to the affiliate's designated site.

    Thus, when someone clicks on this (now inactive) link on my site:
    -> www dot shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=2301&m=10151&u=104451
    they are redirected to
    -> www dot mydomain.com/?merchantID=10151

    So I could run a log analysis and identify all "merchantID" values that appear, to identify the merchants who were offline when one of my visitors clicked.

    For example, in a quick scan of my log file for November 7, I found a log entry with a parameter "merchantID=5785" which also includes the referring URL; this represents a very stale link on one of my pages to PaperMojo.com, which has been "temporarily offline" since April 20 (6.5 months ago).
    Last edited by markwelch; November 10th, 2007 at 08:42 PM.

  9. #9
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Select the Offline/Online Notifications and add it to your feed reader and Voilą! Instant notification of offline merchants.
    -rematt
    I use Google's Reader, I'll have to try it.

    Thanks to Rematt & Mark Welch for all the helpful suggestions; I bet many affiliates will find your tips useful.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  10. #10
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    Rematt - I use the RSS feed, but usually when I see an offline notice, I think to myself "Oh, I don't have any active links to that merchant." But in fact, there are some active links somewhere on one of my sites (as noted in my prior post), even though I've forgotten about them or thought I'd deleted them long ago. That's why I found the CJ "invalid links" report quite useful.

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    I think to myself "Oh, I don't have any active links to that merchant." But in fact, there are some active links somewhere on one of my sites (as noted in my prior post), even though I've forgotten about them or thought I'd deleted them long ago. That's why I found the CJ "invalid links" report quite useful.
    Exactly. CJ's "invalid links report" is especially useful to any webmaster with product/product picture links inserted into entries of long running blogs [i.e. blogs that have been around for years]

    Image search engines enable people to easily target any item; people can see that "special dress" the webmaster wrote about in a 2004 blog entry. I'm often surprised with the listings in the "invalid links report."
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  12. #12
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Actually the CJ report has saved me too. At one point I had expired a CJ merchant and thought I had removed all of their links. The CJ active links report showed me a couple of dozen that I had missed. It would be nice is SaS had a similar report.

    -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

  13. #13
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    My problem with the redirect page is that you have one option. Fine if you only have one domain with one type of product. If you have a variety of domains and products/services the one-size-fits-all page is not the best.

    Best bet is to heavily pre-screen merchants. Use only merchants with auto-deposit and even for the auto-deposits, check their off line history - I have found that occasionally even a few of the auto-deposit merchants will go off line.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  14. #14
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesehead
    My problem with the redirect page is that you have one option. Fine if you only have one domain with one type of product. If you have a variety of domains and products/services the one-size-fits-all page is not the best.

    Best bet is to heavily pre-screen merchants. Use only merchants with auto-deposit and even for the auto-deposits, check their off line history - I have found that occasionally even a few of the auto-deposit merchants will go off line.
    Exactly!

    Also, I have tried to use that redirect option to redirect any problem links, to a site on were I only use SAS merchants, but it says that I can only redirect to my main site listed on SAS when I joined.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    I definitely did like CJ's invalid-link report, which I did use frequently when I worked with CJ. I would certainly appreciate if ShareASale could provide a similar report!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    CJ has a notification of traffic on expired links; perhaps SAS should implement a similar notice/service.


    SAS has had that report for awhile now. Right after you login under Get Links - Invalid Links Report

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    You can designate your own "landing page" for these, so customers are directed to your site and not to the SAS error page. (On the "Edit Account Settings" page, it's the section that says 'Custom Error Redirect for "Temporarily Offline Merchants'").
    Thanks Mark,
    That will help me !
    Drenhog

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