Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What to look out for when promoting affiliate products

This is a great thread I discovered at http://www.a4uforum.co.uk
Idealistic i know, but not unreasonable for affiliates to get paid for each and every sale/benefit to the merchant that we generate. After all, this is only if we do it, not for any other reason.

This year has been strange, a merchant telling me point blank he will not remove the number because he earns too much money from it. Other merchants trapped into a corner they finally admit most of their sales come via phone.

This all stems from the networks, you can not blame the merchants. If it was a requirement to start a program it would be done but i fear this year has seen a quality decrease over the last as more networks are frightened to ruffle merchants feathers for fear of other networks winning a precious trophy title.

Do not get me wrong, i am not griping but i would networks to stand up a little bit more next year and install program quality managers to look out for our interests, there is no excuse any more not to have one and to report the benefits of achievements to affiliates.

We will not mention any names but let 2007 be the year that merchants are actually told what is expected, from the survery of 12 merchants i just called today only two of them were aware of the telephone number issue, 3 of them said they would sort it out by the end of tomorrow for us.

So, here is the list.... i will add more as i come to them, as a positive thread i thought we should list the good as well as the bad and see which networks can come back with results to this thread,

Anyone else with merchants that they want to list go ahead, lets see if we can keep it simple and factual:

Unfriendly leakage merchants:
247 electrical - Massive "order by telephone" text right near the add to cart button
abound - Not so in your face but still available "0845 300 505"
additions direct - Not so in your face but still available "0870 413 5000"
AJ electronics - Huge telephone number and email address in header and has refused to remove telephone number for a year now. Coupled with massive rejection rates compared to anyone else we deal with
Alternative MP3 players - Email address in the header, tested this and was willing to take order by other means than ecommerce tracking
Apple Shop - Freephone number "order online or call" prominent top of left column
Appliance city - Massive offender, animated freephone number constantly moving in the header, huge huge number on the index page
and call us on every product page with price match details.
Appliance Deals - Sales & Advice line 0870 458 74 74 right column and animated
Appliance Direct - 0113 2547580 left column
B&Q - Lots of brochure requests not paid for etc
B&Q Appliance warehouse - Massive telephone number in the header
Be Direct - Telephone number on index page but not on individual product pages when you deeplink
Bennets electrical - No obvious telephone number purely for online ordering but most results pages have numbers to their stores
Boots - added by "monkeyman" Links to other stores down left hand side
Boots kitchen app - 0870 number in the header
Comet - huge offender, 1 pound click and collect leakage, "order by phone" in the header and storefinder
Co-op electricals - Phone number in the header
Conrad Electronics - Popup newsletter signup on entry covering half the page
Currys - Order by phone and links to other sites
Dell - Telephone number in the header
DVD.co.uk - added by adrian - I was promoting a product and sending traffic both to DVD.co.uk and Amazon. When DVD.co.uk went out of stock they put up an Amazon affiliate link.
Dixons - Telephone number normally though it seems to of been removed (probably too busy) still banners to other sites I honestly expect to see the telephone number back after xmas again.
Duck - Number on full display "call us on xxxxx" or click here to web chat
Electrical discount UK - Really bad offender now, even after this guy removed an order by phone link on the product pages we are still back to phone number flashing in top left column and also telephone number in bottom right column on product pages too. The man is very active so perhaps he will take a bit of time to rectify this finally for us.
Euro PC - History of bad rejection rates anyway but telephone number in the header and also popup newsletter box on entry
Focus - Big 0845 number on display on every page of the site
Great Universal - Freephone number in the header
HP - Call to buy
Jessops - Links to snapfish that dont track
John Lewis - As soon as you add your items to cart a large telephone number appears in the header
Kitchen science - Said they removed telephone numbers but i just clicked on an affiliate link and its there like yesterday
Kodak - Absolute pisstake, links all over the place to currys, dixons and everyone else through channel intelligence!
Laptops Direct - Not the greatest of affiliate programs anyway but massive telephone number in the header
Littlewoods - Shop online or call xxxxxx in header
LX Direct - Huge telephone number in the header
Marshall Ward - Number in the header although small, still there
Miller Brothers - Come on, telephone numbers right underneath the buy now button!!!
Misco - Huge huge freephone number in the header
Neat ideas - Telephone number in yellow text in the footer, enough to be visible at least but not the worst offender
Novatech - Catalogues, newsletters, "for business", quite a lot of leakage points on this site
NTL Shop - Telephone number showing in left column on products pages
Pixmania - Telephone number in header and nasty popups on entry despite massive protests over the last years
Ryman Office supplies - Freephone number in the header BUT sales tracked via buy.at no update from other networks if they are on those networks at all.
Sainsburys appliances - I made it clear we do not promote programs that have telephone numbers...MONTHS AGO...
Savastore - Telesales number in top right of header
Studio - Cant order anything over 150 pounds online, despite if the customer wants to pay for it, tested the over 150 rule and its rubbish, you can order over 150 if you pay like normal. I dont care about conversion rates, each customer is my customer and i wish to be paid for each sale, just because you convert well does not mean anything to me, it is your job to convert well.
Digital camera co - Big telephone number in header
Top appliance - Big freephone number in header
Toshiba - telephone number in left column
Trade appliances - Huge number in header
Tribal - telephone number in header
STA Travel - added by monkeyman, Prominent phone number in header, and advised to call on most pages. 'Top offers' often lead to contact us pages.
Sport-e - Buy.at - added by 1BIZLIST Phone number at top of page with "HELP LINE 08705 xx xx xx Order before 2PM wear it tomorrow" written right below it.
Truffleshuffle - awin - managed by Jess - telephone number and email address in the header


Affiliate friendly
Advanced MP3 Players - Not a phone number in sight and no third party banners
Appliance Heaven
Argos
Cameras2u
CD-R Media
cheap telly - Though they do have a live help feature, not sure what the process is to keep people online
dabs - But also super low commissions
Digital Direct - Super clean, concentration on the product
Ebuyer - Clean but poor commissions
Electric shopping - Clean
Empire Direct - Clean
EPC buyer - Clean
Euro Office - Clean
Freemans - Clean
Game - Clean
Grattan - Clean
Halfords - Clean
HMV - Clean
Ibitstore - Clean
Lowestone - Clean
M&S - Clean
Look again - Clean
Micro direct - Clean
Panasonic - Good girls and boys - Clean
Panther online - Clean
PC Next day - Clean
PC world - Currently clean
Planet vision online - Clean
Play - telephone number is present in footer but i didnt see it until i really looked for it so is ok.
Robert Dyas - Clean
Satnav2u - Clean
Screwfix - Clean
Sound and vision - Clean
Staples - Clean
Tescos - Clean but worried about lots of issues of cross tracking not taken into account
Dolphin Music TD - Clean added and managed by paul wright - numbers hide on affiliate entry
Healthy Direct TD - Clean added and managed by paul wright - numbers hide on affiliate entry
Kiddicare - buy.at - Clean added and managed by paul wright
Buycosmetics.com - buy.at - Clean added and managed by paul wright
Goldsmiths.co.uk - buy.at - Clean added and managed by paul wright
Fancydress.com - buy.at - Clean added and managed by paul wright
Trainer Station - webgains - Clean - added by 1BIZLIST
Newitts - awin - Clean - added by 1BIZLIST
Buycheapcomdoms - Clean - added by buycheap condoms, thanks for the contribution
Car hire 3000 - Clean - added by car hire 3000, thanks for the contribution
ForbiddenPlanet - (affiliatefuture) - Clean - added and managed by scifind, no other affiliate links. New site coming 2007
WarnerBreaks - Added by Mitchy - No telephone number. Any tel number on site is a web-only number, where customer calls and is then directed on how to use the web booking engine.
Parcel2Go - Added by Mitchy - No tel number

Room for improvement section - as suggested by 1BIZLIST
SweatBand - added by 1BIZLIST Theres a phone number on all pages but its half way down the left hand menu and its not very large either. Would be even better if you just had that section as a contact us link though! if anyone from the company is reading this! and if not WHY NOT!

Amazon.co.uk - Rescued for the fact that they are an exceptional retailer they still do release items like credit cards and other services that they simply do not pay for from time to time. Would be nice for them to finally nip that in the bud. Sponsored links and banners show from time to time. Amazon credit card available through buy.at but not paid for through amazon associates. 1 day cookie really needs to be changed to at least 3 - 7 days.

Goldshield Healthcare: Added by Mitchy - Tel Number reduced from orginal size and described as health help line, but still looking to remove upon affiliate entry


Merchants that are sorting the problem out
Park Resorts, Siblu, HotelHippo, CarCraft, all added by Mitchy - Added by Mitchy - Programs run by Global Media -Aware of problem and are working on solutions for early 2007.

Credits to networks
Webgains - Contribution to the thread and welcomed as always, i personally know they work hard to show at very least the transparency from program to program.
Buy.at - Ryan did make a contribution via pm for one particular program though i have a sneeky feeling there is another hundred or so programs that could be commented on.
Other networks - No contribution at all so far.


Nominations for most affiliate friendly websites of the year - added by pricethat
Justhom.com - For being genuine and having a real consideration for affiliates needs and points of view, right or wrong and engages with us which demonstrates transparency.
you can reply to this thread here

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