Here are my notes from the “Stop Doing it Wrong” Panel at Affiliate Summit West 2012 #ASW12 Las Vegas featuring:
Consumers drowning in false claims & spam are wary. Quality brands hesitate to invest in affiliates. Panelists will engage in open discussion with insights on why it pays more to sell with integrity.
Invest in relationships
No cookie stuffing, no adware / malware
Accurately represent the offer/product to consumers – no false claims / scams / schemes
Help merchants understand your business/marketing model so they can better support you
Read, respect and follow network and program T&Cs – if you don’t like them, question them, find another merchant whose terms you can live with
The actions of a few definitely affect the reputation of the many
PPC bidders, cookies stuffers only last so long
Tricky – as for other channels, you can say how much will we spend on CPM – $50,000, but you say how much will we spend on Affiliate, and answer is it will depend how it goes.
For affiliate you have to put a big guestimate, bad if the budget gets blown with bad quality traffic
Companies need to advocate for affiliates, as the merchants think why spend this money on this person we don’t know. So when you do get that communication with the merchant, respect it.
How can affiliates do better?
Don’t just call and ask for a better payout, just call up and ask how they are doing? Ask what you can do better. Build a real relationship with them as you can do things with that relationship, as when you call they know who you are. With that relationship you get things that you don’t get if you are just driving traffic and just collecting a check. You may get an email before things change with the program that no-one else knows, may get your own discount codes, access to programs being trialled before everyone else, they can increase your payout
People like to do business with people they genuinely like and have had a nice conversation with, so don’t be afraid to reach out via phone, skype to affiliate managers
Make sure datafeeds work properly
Make sure creative loads appropriately, don’t have restrictions, best to have no limit to the amount of creatives a merchant can upload
Shareasale – puts their merchants out there
Your network will go away if you are being a barrier to the merchant / affiliate relationship
They see a high volume of applications come through with fake details
Affiliate Networks shouldn’t just do tracking, they have a bigger role than just tracking, they should help with screening
Small ticketing offer on CJ by a certain merchant, Eric saw it in new advertisers list, signed up and got approved, sent the guy an email, no response, sent another, no response, finally got him on twitter. Turns out the email went to the network, the guy didn’t actually know what the Cost Per Lead was that they were paying to affiliates. Merchant asked how much are they paying when you log in there? Then Merchant says he wants to make a deal directly so they don’t have to use CJ.
Eric – Don’t send me emails if I can’t hit reply and talk to a person. Please read what people say when they hit reply, if you don’t do this, don’t send email. Same with Twitter, read what people are replying.
Merchants should share info, if red widgets sell 50% better than blue ones, tell your affiliates