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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    How do you tell your affiliates you're switching networks?
    ...or do you?

    As part of the revival of our neglected affiliate program, I plan to switch networks. I know that serious affiliates typically are involved with multiple networks, so I'm trying to establish what the appropriate way to let them know that we're moving would be.

    Obviously a paid announcement on ABW would let some know, but several of my top performing affiliates are not on here. What's the appropriate means of contact for something like this, or is it not kosher to contact them at all?

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb
    if the program was neglected for a long time, you probably have a lot of affiliates on the books who are really not active. If you want to wake them up you'd better tell everyone. An email would be nice.

    was there ever a paid "new program" ad here? you might use that, too . . . or start a new one.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    I usually get emails from the merchants when they switch programs... that works for me.

  4. #4
    Tax Paying Member
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    Send an E-mail with an invitation to follow along.
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

  5. #5
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Hopefully your switching from LS to SAS.

  6. #6
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    If you have active and productive Affiliates, my advice is take some time with the migration. Don't just shut off one and start the other. Take 90 days minimum with an overlap of both networks..

  7. #7
    Affiliate Network Rep JAmieF's Avatar
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    You should give them an email and call your top affiliates to let know that you are planning to switch.
    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

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Absolutely personally contact your top affiliates. If you have not been in regular contact with them in the past that might already be a problem you want to correct.

    Then send an email to all other affiliates and run your program on multiple networks for a reasonable time so good affiliates have time to change links.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The best way to tell your affiliates that you're switching networks is with a COMMISSION INCREASE (on the new network). Make sure to read through the list of affiliate friendly policies and implement as many of those as possible, too.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  10. #10
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I would keep your old program active through the holidays...... right now is not the best time to ask affiliates to go back over existing pages and replace a thousands links.
    Following everyone else is a GREAT way to become average.

  11. #11
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    My thoughts (some echo earlier comments, some are new):
    - Give affiliates ample notice of the transition, by email and other methods.
    - Don't shut down the program at the "old" network until at least 60 and preferably 90+ days after the program is "live" at the new network AND after affiliates are notified.
    - Monitor your click activity in the "old" network and identify all affiliates who have generated traffic (ideally "ever" but at least in the past 6 months), and follow up with each of those affiliates.
    - For affiliates who don't make the transition, try to follow up by email, then by telephone, and perhaps even by postal mail (if you have or can locate an address).
    - As soon as possible, disable new-affiliate applications through the "old network" (ideally, after you've launched the new program and changed the affiliate-program-info page at your site). If permitted, modify the language shown to current affiliates on your info or status page at the old network, to at least reflect that the program will be "moving," even if the network won't let you say where.
    - Consider trying to negotiate a "legacy link" contract with the "old" network, for some additional period after the transition "ends."
    - I know that in the past, at least one major "network" had a contract clause that actually prohibited merchants from "soliciting" their own affiliates to move to a different network; another network had a "payment" provision for each affiliate who moved to the merchant's program at another network. If you have clauses like this in your contract, or if the network tries to impose restrictions like these, talk to an attorney.
    - Recognize that the network may attempt to interfere with your transition. In the past, some networks have solicited affiliates to switch to other merchants within their network (using the "exiting" merchant's affiliate list as a recruiting tool for competitors). Some network staff might "bad-mouthing" the exiting merchants (for example, claiming that the merchant is leaving because they didn't pay their bill, or due to compliance issues).
    - Talk to your top affiliates (at least the top 10) BEFORE making your transition decision. You may discover that your #2 affiliate won't do business with the network you're considering switching to; that's important information that will affect your decision.
    - As suggested, one way to accelerate transition is to offer a higher commission through the "new" network. Some merchants do this "privately," extending a higher commission offer only to affiliates who were active through the old network. Others offer the higher rate to all affiliates (or all affiliates who enroll or "activate" at the new network before a specific date).
    - Consider offering a "transition bounty" to some top affiliates, to compensate them for the extra time to switch links. This would certainly be a private offer, and the amount should probably be based on the affiliate's value to you. The bounty should probably be independent of future sales levels, since the affiliate faces the risk that the new program may not perform as well as the old one.
    - If you get to the planned "closing date" for the old program and you still have one or more affiliates generating transactions whose profit exceeds the ongoing cost of the "old network," continue the old network for another month or three. If there's just 1 or 2 affiliates making this decision difficult, contact them and offer them a bounty based on the amount you'd save if you could "cut off" the old network.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager
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    Great advice all, thanks very much.

    Our program hasn't been maintained and to be honest, I doubt very much that we are covering the network fees with our current profits. I have only 2 or 3 affiliates that are sending sales daily, and I definitely plan to contact them personally to make sure they are aware of and able to join us at the new network.

    Again, thanks for the great advice.

  13. #13
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Phil,

    If I may. You really need to do much more than just notify. Your in a hole, and it's a dark deep stinky hole and I must seriously suggest you inject faith in you before you even dare to switch networks. I won't go into specifics as you haven't properly identified yourself here, but you really need to be as vocal and accessible as possible so that people can begin to trust you as a manager and then they will in turn change links after Q4 to the new platform with the proper advance notice.

    You may only have a handful of producers now, but you'd be burning the bridge with all the ones that have links up somewhere, and I know for a fact that that is more than just a handful of affiliates.

    You really need to think out a strategy for effectively saving 1) your brand, 2) affiliates, 3) good will and then 4) worry about tracking platforms - to hell with the damn fees and if your breaking even, your not a bean counter your an affiliate manager, affiliates and protecting / servicing them is your priority - Get that straight and fast!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Hi Phil,

    I agree with all the above listed advice, especially that of ElbowCreek who said take some time w/ the migration and Haiko who said to make sure to reconcile your relationships with existing affiliates on the existing network before making that switch.

    Start by contacting your affiliates with a mass email thru the existing network if it offers that feature (and it should) to all joined affiliates on your program, to notify them of what's changed with your program for the better. Invite them to contact you with questions, comments and concerns and apologize for having neglected the program until this point. Let affiliates know why they can and should be able to trust you now despite all the negatives that may have occurred to date, and be candid, affiliates can see thru fluff. Be honest about problems you may have had and talk to how you plan to or have already overcome them.

    Most of all make sure they know that you are now and always will be available, and that the company has learned from its mistakes but remember, actions speak louder than words so just saying it won't be enough - you'll have to actually make sure those words ring true or you'll be right back to square one.

    Once you have re-established relationships with as many of your existing joined affiliates as you can, you can then safely talk to them about the idea of switching networks and invite their feedback on the idea. Make sure you're moving to a more reputable, more trusted network if you have to move at all.

    As I said give them a few months advance notice if possible of the coming migration, and when ready to move forward open a merchant account on the new network but do not close the original program right away. If willing/able, offer a small incentive to affiliates to make the transition over to the new program, something that rewards them for remaining with your program and for taking the time/effort to making the switch to the new network and becoming active again over there.

    Send reminder notices every so often of the coming switch - affiliates get a lot of emails and have a lot going on at once most times so they may forget to switch links and you want to be sure to have no downtime where links may be rendered inactive due to the switch/closure.

    That said, good luck! Hope you find these comments helpful.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    If you didn't keep up with it the first time chances are you won't be committed to the level it needs to be the second time around. I went through the same thing and came to realize the ONLY way to do this right is to let someone else do it for you......I would suggest contacting one of the many fine outsourcing managers listed on the home page ABW.

  16. #16
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    A post-it note attached to a $100 bill works for me

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Hello Phil,

    Like the others said and like Liz Gazer detailed think those are the best ways t ostart. Yes, get setup on the new network first, then start doing promos here on ABW with a paid announcement or your own program forum and start letting affiliates know here that you will be closing the program on the other network after January 31, yes give them plenty of time specially since we are in 4th quarter not good time to shut down completely now.

    While you are promoting and sending emails through the new network, also let affiliates that are reading and lurking here on your thread or forum that you will move/close program on Jan 31, send one email through the existing network now to all your affiliates and point them to your thread here on ABW that you made with the 'move' announcement. Don't mention the other network in the email, just point to the thread here as you do not want to violate any terms on your current network with a mention of another network. Then send one email every 20 days or so about 4 more times with this info until you send the final email of the move on January 15, 2008.

    This should give them plenty of notice and time for most to transition but remember not all will transition right away and some will even do it after you actually close the current network but atleast you will do it right and be safe.

    This is how I did it recently and had not one single complaint and many partners joined us and got active on the new network that were only on the other network too, etc. Feel free to get examples of what I mean that we did here and here

    Best of luck with transition and welcome to ABW


  18. #18
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Oh Phil... just found out who you are... what Haiko said... first salvage your image and relationships, which alone is a big task

    You sent us an email saying you have 2 programs and are merging them... and of course the program I promote is the one being deleted.... so that decision alone will need a month on my part

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    ahhh hahh I figured it out now, too. lol What Billy said about the post it with $100 bill would be nice, lol Was lookin at this thread and thinkin....hmmmm that name sounds familiar lol think I got an email the other day or sometime recently.

    Will be honest with ya, am definitely not one of your biggie affiliates....and from what all that had been goin on with your program I removed all the links. Really had only belonged to the program in the first place cos I trusted the manager at the time (still do, it's just another one later took it over and went downhill)

    But....you've obviously paid a lot of attention to this thread and did what was suggested..ya won me over...pssst that's not a real hard thing to do, tho lol I'm a pushover for an affiliate manager that treats me nicely and sounds sincere about trying to do things right. oooh shouldn't have said that, now all these nasty affiliate managers will start treatin me nicely figurin that's all they have to do cos I'm such a pushover. lol just kidding.

    Can't til after the holidays and already said I'm not one of your biggies so ya won't exactly be jumpin up and down, but I'll be happy to put your links up cos ya did impress me with your email and sounded like you wanted to make a fresh start with the program...so good luck with it

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