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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Cool Those dreaded "We are dropping you" e-mails - the ones I'm sending!
    We have all gotten them. Those dreaded e-mails from a merchant saying that they are dropping you. Well we have decided to do the same. We are reevaluating our merchant relationships across our family of sites. When we decided to drop a merchant, we send the following e-mail -

    "Thank you for allowing the family of Bonin Group, Inc. sites to be part of the (merchant's name) Affiliate Program. This note is to inform you that we are currently working to improve our sites to ensure that they are effective and profitable.

    Bonin Group, Inc. is evaluating all affiliate relationships and we are deactivating all affiliate programs that have not driven any transactions within the past 10 months. We will be deactivating our relationship with your affiliate program...." We go to say that 90% of our income is generated by merchants that offer datafeeds through GoldenCan or FeedShare and that we need to "devote more advertising space on our sites to these merchants since they provide most of our income."

    We have sent out 25 of these e-mails in the last 2 weeks and have only gotten 1 response. The merchant wrote "Thank you for your email. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the communication, even if it's not the best of news. I completely understand the need to devote your time and resources to partners that are creating income."

    So it works both ways!

  2. #2
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    That's a very good idea ... well done

  3. #3
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    A very professional way to end a merchant relationship. I'm somewhat surprised that only 1 in 25 responded, even though I really shouldn't be. Most of the merchants that I've dropped in the past year has been due to a lack of communications.

    -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

  4. #4
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I dunno, it always seems like those doors need to remain open, because sure enough, as soon as you drop the merchant, you end up needing products form that niche for some reason.

    It IS frustrating to receive those emails, especially during the Xmas shopping season. I mean come on, use your head, merchant, if you are going to drop an affiliate, drop them AFTER Xmas. If you are going to be a jerk, at least be a smart jerk!
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbowcreek
    I dunno, it always seems like those doors need to remain open
    I try not to burn down any bridges as I close my e-mail with "In the event that you participate with one of these companies (GoldenCan or FeedShare) or something like it in the future, we hope that you allow us to promote your program again."

  6. #6
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    I applaud you for bowing out gracefully if the relationship was not beneficial for you and for showing the merchants such respect. Being very specific as to how they could convince you otherwise was also helpful to the AM, I'm sure. Kudos!
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  7. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbowcreek
    I dunno, it always seems like those doors need to remain open, because sure enough, as soon as you drop the merchant, you end up needing products form that niche for some reason.
    I usually don't drop merchants.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  8. #8
    Affiliate Network Rep JAmieF's Avatar
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    I agree with elbowcreek and Rhia here. Instead of dropping the merchant you can always write to them and say that you have tried.... with no results. Is our strategy correct?
    Jamie
    Affiliate Manager
    Share Results Affiliate Network
    Join the Share Results Affiliate Network today! [URL=http://www.shareresults.com/ai_affiliatesignup1.php]http://www.shareresults.com/ai_affiliatesignup1.php [/URL]
    e. jamie@shareresults.com
    t. 514-849-8595
    www.shareresults.com

    I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world. - Muhammad Ali

  9. #9
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAmieF
    I agree with elbowcreek and Rhia here. Instead of dropping the merchant you can always write to them and say that you have tried.... with no results. Is our strategy correct?
    That's a good angle: We've done it this way, how could we improve on the promotion of this product?

    JamieF, I like the question, " Is our strategy correct?"
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  10. #10
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    What is hardest for me - and there are a couple merchants around here who can, unfortunately, attest to it - is that I have a tendancy to be flippant and impatient anymore when dealing with merchants who send me these letters. Invariably, I seem to reply to the merchant's "we're dropping you" email with something like, "That's fine, I will promote your competitor instead. See you in the serps."

    I don't mean to be mean, but sometimes it just happens.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  11. #11
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Way to go.
    I do believe that some merchants need to take us more seriously. We all here taht we need to drive sales, leads, etc. but when I drive traffic to a merchant's don't they also have responsibilty to close the sale.

    there's only so much we can do to convince our customers to click on a link or to visit a particular site.

    That being said, I also like to keep up good communication with my merchants. I too have received "you've been dropped" emails. I usually contact the merchant (if it's a merchant that I still want to wotk with) and say that I'm sorry they've made that decision and that I've appreciated working with them.
    Many times the affilaite maanger will contact me and reinstate me.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador boningroup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAmieF
    Instead of dropping the merchant you can always write to them and say that you have tried.... with no results. Is our strategy correct?
    I have been doing this for several years now. I started out with a general directory and have expanded to a Shoe site, brand shopping site and a Sports site. I started using GoldenCan in 2005 and noticed that using the php store I started having more sales. I then sent e-mails to the merchants I affilated with asking them to consider GoldenCan. MOST NEVER RESPONDED. Some did and are now GC merchants. Other recommeded FeedShare or DFF. I tried DFF and was very vocal on these boards for them. Now I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy.

    I have gone back a year and saw that 90% of my sales are generated using a php store setup. Wished Avantlink would offer this. I started using NetShops php feeds and have generated sales for the first time in being with them for 2 years. So it only makes sense to me that I should concentrate my efforts on the merchants that offer the tools where I can make $$$.

    So one of my long term projects is to upgrade my directory and in doing so I am revisiting each merchant to see if what I have for them is up-to-date and if I can list them on my other sites.

    As you can see I have sent out over 25 of my letters and now I have 2 responses. If the merchant doesn't care I should work more on those that do provide the tools that make ME money.

  13. #13
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Wished Avantlink would offer this.
    We've offered our Web Service Datafeed (uses a PHP SOAP client) since we launched our network in 2005. And it's continuously been improving with new versions. In fact, we just added a whole other level of flexibility where it lets you create your own product list page and detail page layouts. You may also want to check out our API for Affiliates.

  14. #14
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    I am on the merchant side, and I have countless affiliates who generate no business. I can see why a merchant might want to clean up some of those relationships, but I can also see it the other way around. I think it is just good practice for both parties to be honest about what they expect and if it is not a mutually beneficial relationship, either party should be willing to terminate it.

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