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Affiliate Leaks

Discussion in 'Newbie Helpdesk' started by Linda Buquet, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

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    Pro affiliates and merchants have already learned their lessons about leaky affiliate programs. However I'm amazed at the number of merchants that just don't get it. So I wanted to do a little piece to educate newer affiliates about leaks and hopefully educate some clueless merchants in the process.

    Affiliate marketing is a business, not a hobby. Affiliates don't do it for the fun of it (although it can be fun) they do it to earn income. So any traffic affiliates send to a merchant site needs to have a chance of earning income. Merchants that have links out to other affiliate programs on their site earn the merchant income, but won't earn a dime for the affiliates that send traffic. Adsense on the merchant site syphons off traffic that won't earn the referring affiliate a penny. Big 800 numbers also are a leak, if phone orders aren't tracked back to the affiliate. So affiliates before you join a program, check for leaks and ask about phone tracking for affiliates. Look for affiliate-friendly programs that offer the best chance of conversions without leaks.

    Merchants check for leaks on your site. If your site is leaky your affiliate channel could dry up!
     
  2. purplebear

    purplebear Affiliate affiliate

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    Took me a while to find my way back here. lol I use 3 different browsers at once and always bookmarking stuff but never remember where they're bookmarked. One of these days I'm going to get them all organized in nice little folders. lol Had to go back to AMWSO to find where you were and of course I don't have a clue where any of my posts are here, either. lol
    Came across this though so....
    Do you consider a merchant having Google adwords on their site "leaking" and if so are any amount tolerable or just having them at all is a no no?
    While I'm at it..could you explain what exactly a lifetime cookie is? And even if you have a lifetime cookie can parasites or adaware or whatever still interfere with your receiving a comm. ok....I'll stop now:) gonna go and try to find those other posts lol :)
     
  3. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

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    Hi purplebear, welcome back. Glad you found us.

    I think you mean Adsense and yes it's a leak.

    Lifetime cookies are cookies that have no expiration and last forever meaning until they are deleted or overwritten.

    Yes parasites can still overwrite cookies even if they are liftetime cookie. But remember parasites can only steal commmission in affiliate programs that allow them in. So look for prgrams that state they are parasite-free and have clauses in their TOS.

    To find your other posts, just click and view your profile and there will be a link to all of them. :)
     
  4. purplebear

    purplebear Affiliate affiliate

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    Thank you for the welcome again:) Did bookmark you in this browser so sooner or later you'll be in all of em. lol
    Yeap, that is what I meant. So, none anywhere on the site? A site I like quite a lot has them but have a lifetime cookie and didn't understand how that really had anything to do with it. Let me see if I understand. Think I'm pretty sure I know what the cookies are but guess now the other word you mentioned is what confuses me. I delete my cookies all the time so understand that but what exactly overwrites a cookie even if it is a lifetime cookie and if they are from a parasite free network.
    Seems everybody has their own idea of what parasites are or aren't. Are the parasites other affiliates that the merchant would have as affiliates or are they lurking out there but not in any way affiliated with the merchant? I run a couple things on my computer to stop me from picking them up but not sure if they go after my visitors or they're at the merchant sites or what?
     
  5. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

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    "So, none anywhere on the site? A site I like quite a lot has them but have a lifetime cookie and didn't understand how that really had anything to do with it."

    Well no you can partner with them if you want, you just may lose some sales. You send traffic there to hopefully buy from merchant - but if they click off the site cuz of an Adsense ad you lose any chance of commish and the merchant makes the click money off your visitor.

    Yes parasites have to be signed up as an affiliate of the merchant to be able to steal your commish. Typically parasites market through a download app, so only your visitors that happen to have that app installed could get a pop up for a merchant you promote and try to get credit for the sale.
     
  6. purplebear

    purplebear Affiliate affiliate

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    OK I think I understand what you've said. So that the merchant's explanation to me that they have a lifetime cookie means nothing really. If by her having the ads on her site if any of my visitors click on any of those ads and visits any of them and purchase from them for what they were looking for in the firt place...I don't get any comm. If someone were to click on one of those ads but not find what they were looking for then just types in the name of that merchant and purchases them...I would receive the credit??? Would that be correct? So that the only way the lifetime cookie means anything to me would be if they didn't find what they were looking for and went back to that site?
     
  7. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

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    Nope - you get credit if they buy the 1st visit on any affiliate program. The cookie only comes in play to track future visits that don't come directly from a click on your site but buy wekks or months after finding the merchant and clicking on your link. So you get paid wither way providing the surfer still has the cookie and providing they didn't visit another affiliate and click a link after your cookie was set. In most affiliate programs the last cookie gets the sale.
    But that also means if the surfer clicked another link before yours, but then clicks your link and buys OR buys later, you get the commish if you were the last affiliate clicked.

    Hope this helps and makes sense.
     
  8. purplebear

    purplebear Affiliate affiliate

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    Oh boy, I'm really being a pain in the butt. I'm sorry I'm making you have to go through so much to explain.:(
    I'm trying to figure out the merchant's logic as to why I shouldn't be bothered by her having the adsense ads on her site. She said that her site converts well for other affiliates. I'm trying to think that if she's really confident in her products she might think that even though visitors who came to her site originally from mine might see one of these ads (not sure how they couldn't since they're staring at them right in their eyeballs. lol) Say they click on an ad but don't purchase from that site because they like her products better. They would then type in the name of her site, go there for a second time and purchase. Does that lifetime cookie mean that even though they didn't visit the second time from my site I would get the credit if they purchased on the second time? Visitor would have only visited the other ad and then made the search. Don't want to even consider this thought...lol aol, google, etc. they're not affiliates too are they? By searching on them if they were affiliates that would mean they would be the last cookie? So, with that scenario unless God forbid lol aol or google, etc. are also affiliates I would receive the comm.? That's the only scenario I can think of why she would think the ads shouldn't bother me.
     
  9. Lead Machine

    Lead Machine New Member

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    Purplebear-

    I'll do my best to throw in a couple pennies here. Though I am still somewhat of a newbie to the forums, I have been fortunate enough to learn a great deal in a very condensed timeline.

    I am going to give you an anology (I love them and use them far to frequently). Picture the tracking cookie as a stamp of ownership... and picture the website visitor as a commission check.

    When you direct traffic to the merchant site that commision check is stamped with your name. With the lifetime cookie, your name would remain on that check for as long as it takes till they purchase something (and fill in all the $ values on the check) for which you will earn a commission.

    In some cases the affiliate program - for which you generated traffic will have multiple offers out there and multiple affiliates promoting their site.

    Lets say you market to someone (Bob) who you direct to the merchant site. Bob looks around sees some things that he likes but decides now isnt the time to order - his wallet is in his car and he will do it another time...

    a few weeks go by and Bob still hasn't returned to make his purchase... But on this special day he gets an email advertisement that reminds him he needed to purchase a doodad from that xyz merchant website. He clicks on the link in the advertisement and orders the product.

    Here is where the issues comes up - although you had a lifetime tracking cookie, and his commission check was stamped to go to you, because he more recently clicked on a different offer - Bob (the commision check) has been stamped to be paid to the other (email) marketing affiliate- because it was this last marketing intaction that finalized the sale. Its the "what have you done for me lately." If however, he goes back to the site without any other marketing interaction - you would get the credit.



    Leaky Programs-
    These can be rough for affiliates because the leak will circumvent your tracking and commission - whether on purpose or not.

    By providing outboung links or adsense campaigns the merchant is able to potentially avoid paying you your commission - or in the case of adsense, obtain their own referral revenue from your hard work. (You refer a potential customer to their offer, once on the merchant site the customer sees a google ad for something else they want and they click on that offer- The merchant would be paid for the click on the adsense link (not you) AND if you are working on a CPA basis you walk away with no commission. Or in the case of a phone number - the web traffic may simply go to the offer website (from your marketing efforts) and then say "to heck with it, I'll just call" - again if this is a CPA program you lose the credit for your lead AND they get a free referral off of your efforts. The only way that this might not happen is if they track the phone refferal - coupon/tracking codes that are affiliate specific, etc.

    Hope that helps.

    Best Wishes,
     
  10. AffiliateGuild

    AffiliateGuild Affiliate affiliate

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    Ian, that's a great explainatation my friend!!!

    I think you covered the most frequent ways an affiliate can loose their commissions, even though they did everything right.

    Makes you wonder about CPA campaigns too, yes?

    And, also makes you think twice before choosing to represent a merchant who is also running their own Goggle ads ... or allows others to run Goggle ads as an affiliate.

    Purplebear ... I wouldn't do business with a merchant who ran Google ads on their website. Your impression of why that's wrong is dead-on correct in my humbled opinion. Move on to another merchant and don't look back!
     
  11. Lead Machine

    Lead Machine New Member

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    Bobbie-

    Thanks for the nice words... I figured it was time that I write more than just a greeting for new members (although I have gotten good at those :D )

    Ironically I run a CPA program, and as I am refining my offers and trying to entice people to run our campaigns I realize more and more just how important it is to make sure that I understand the perspective of the Affiliate Marketers.

    The way I see it, Affiliates are talented internet limo drivers. They mangage to pull over and pick people up - and quickly take them exactly where they were looking to go. It would be a shame to drive somebody all the way across town and not be rewarded for the effort, by way of leaks or tracking circumvention. Whether intentional or unintentional.

    As an Affiliate it is always good to be proactive when you have concerns... If the program isn't right for you, it isnt right for you. But if the campaign is good and the person running the campaign is simply unaware of the leaks or issues. You may be able to help guide a well intentioned person/company into creating a better more effective program (and if you do that - ask to be properly rewarded maybe as a Super"Duper" Affiliate :) ) At a basic level though, if the affiliate manager simply doesn't "understand" how it is an issue- I would move on... if they cant see your side it will be a permanent up-hill battle.

    Best,
     
  12. purplebear

    purplebear Affiliate affiliate

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    Ian and Bobbie
    Ok, quickest response will be to Bobbie so you first.
    Thank you for your reply:) Agree with you..that was a great reply and love the analogy. I wish I woulda known before but since I'm in the learning process now....I'm not associating with sites using the ads now. But..unfortunately haven't been able to find a good replacement for either one of them. :( But hadn't had any sales from either of em either....just really thought the products were good and had good potential.:(

    Now Lead Machine....cpa.....don't know what that means and don't wanna confuse myself just yet either. lol :) tough enough time learning bout the parasites, cookies, cookie stuffing and leaks. lol Not ready to add any new words to the list just now. lol :) Umm to be honest though...umm think I've seen some unkind things said about those letters.

    ooooh do love analogies:) this is fun:) hmmm been doin what you mentioned quite frequently lately. I type up my little emails when I see posts about the bad things these sites may being accused of doing and send em on over to the affiliate managers to give them the benefit of the doubt and let them at least attempt to explain to me before I form an opinion. Twice they have changed how they were doing things but have others I've never heard back from. While I'm in my forming opinion stage I banish their sites to the bottom of my pages til I can sort out if they're a bad guy or not. If they are....off they go, if not they'll remain.:) Ummm haven't asked to be rewarded, though.:( and am not in the super duper affiliate category. I have learned my lesson about the am's or merchants not agreeing or seeing things the way they should, tho and agree it's an uphill battle and don't wanna be fighting anymore of those. May take me a little while weeding out the good and the bad, but I think it's worth the effort.

    So thanks both of you for your replies. Very helpful:)
     
  13. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

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  14. King Conga

    King Conga Affiliate affiliate

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    Clueless in Raleigh!

    I REALLY hate to be behind the curve with this class, and I am reading the free stuff when I can (i'm busy doing a lot of Xmas stuff with my church), and I'm trying to launch my website from Freeweb.com (Great Place), but I am just TOTALLY clueless as to what this thread is talking about, and how to manage such things! I know it's very important to my success, and these are the kind of obstacles that I'm holding off my site launch because I don't want to waste anymore of my time than I have to. You guys have been so patient with me, especially Linda, and do appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    KC :rolleyes:
     
  15. purplebear

    purplebear Affiliate affiliate

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    King Conga
    Awwwh don't get discouraged. From somebody who's been there. When you first start out to try to understand things....it really does seem overwhelming, but it'll get better. When I first started and by the way it was with Freewebs. Agree....love that place for the price and what you get for it. I got to the point where I guess I kinda outgrew it and needed things they didn't have but for somebody looking for a free site or starting out....I agree and think it's great. They've really made a lot of improvements from when I first started with them and seem to really be trying hard.:)

    My advice to you...take it or leave it. lol I knew absolutely zero about "this stuff" but now really wish I would have. Take your time to try to learn as much as you can and it'll save you a lot of time in the long run.:) Sorry to say but the only way you are gonna accomplish this is...read, read and read more. I have waaaaay more reading to do and guess second thing to do is ask, ask, ask as many questions to these very nice people who will answer your questions. :) Linda, and lots of people will from other forums, even some of your affiliate managers. I don't wanna go naming people cos not sure that's even allowed. But....become members of forums and just read and read and you'll get the idea of who really knows their stuff and pay attention to what they say.:) Could be wrong but don't really think there are any books out there that are gonna tell ya what you need to know....only way is just by learning along the way and ask questions.:):) If people tolerate all my questions...you don't have to worry:) Some may just think I'm a dummy....but you'll only remain a dummy if ya don't ask questions.:) Nobody told me that in the beginning sooooo you're way ahead :)
     
  16. Larwee

    Larwee <b><font size=2>In Memoriam - Loyal Administrator< affiliate

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    purplebear, you made a very good point.

    We want members to realize that there is no such thing as a dumb question. A member isn't going to be looked at as being a dummy for asking questions.

    People learn by asking questions. They also can learn by reading. The important thing is to try to learn by the use of reliable sources and 5 Star is a reliable source.

    Human nature is such that people want things to happen as quickly as possible. But it takes time. Too often some people give up because things aren't moving along as fast as they wish they would.

    Learn from your mistakes, because we all make mistakes. But when trying to learn something new, those mistakes can be reduced by asking questions.

    Above all, remain patient and try not to give up.
     
  17. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

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    Oh and on this forum you won't get FLAMED for asking n00b questions or even talking about info that's not correct. We don't allow it. So you can ask any question - there are no dumb ones. It's only dumb to suffer in confused silence and not ask for help when it's offered to you.

    KC said: "but I am just TOTALLY clueless as to what this thread is talking about."

    In a nutshell there are things that can cause you to lose commission by letting your sales "leak" without giving you commission. The most obvious one is big 800 phone numbers on the merchant site. If they don't track phone sales then some of the traffic you send, you won't get paid for if they order by phone. So that's a simple example of a leak. Another is merchants that have affiliate links to other merchants on their site or Adsense. Part of the traffic you send could create income for the merhcant that you would never make a penny from.

    Don't let things like that worry you too much right now. Read and be aware of them and if you have a merchant that has leaks you may want to look for another program that does not. BUT the most important thing right now is not to worry about potential GOTCHAs but to just get started.

    Learn what you can, pick a niche, build a site and GO!
    If you don't take action and get started
    then all this is a moot point anyway. :)
     
  18. King Conga

    King Conga Affiliate affiliate

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    Tanx Gang. OK! So, I'm planning to sell some of my original Christian tunes on my blog site and blog about them and other stuff. So, if I want to be an affiliate of one of Windows Media or Real Audio so they can license my tunes for $1.50/ea how should I go about that (provided I already have them copywritten and published)?

    Tanx,
    KC :rolleyes:
     

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