Product launches that have a Sold Out Page soon after launching - Is this Right?

55 replies
I have seen a few products now that have huge product launch and generate thousands of affiliates but once the initial launch is finished, then the product is made unavailable for purchase and any new customers visiting the sales page will only see a "Closed" sign.

As well as an opt-in box where they are asked for their email address so that they can notified/contacted when the product is available again to purchase.

Obviously during the launch this would have created a huge amount of affiliate links posted all over the Internet.

Affiliate links which are cookied so that the affiliate still receives their commissions even if the customer doesn't purchase straight away

It seems to me like these product vendors are closing the sales page until the cookies expire and then sending a bulk email to all of their subscribers when they re open so that the customer then purchases through their own payment button and they don't lose any money by having to pay affiliates

Would I be right? If so I think this is a bit of a sneaky and unfair thing to do and I won't be promoting any products that do this just so they can receive 100% of the sales from customers that I've sent them, If I'm wrong then I apologize.

Mark
#launches #launching #page #product #sold
  • Profile picture of the author Rishy
    Interesting point. I never really thought about this, I do keep my launches open though. Just last week my launch over 500 sales, and I can still see affiliates getting credited. But I know some product vendors will close the launch and then open a special sales page which is different from main sales page; so that people who were waiting can get in.

    So although main sales page is closed; sales are being made on another page-which is special page.
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    • Profile picture of the author bemyboss
      Is this a scam? Owners got affiliates to drive traffic to their sales pages and put up a Sold Out page so that they can keep 100% of sales revenue.

      Originally Posted by Rishy View Post

      Interesting point. I never really thought about this, I do keep my launches open though. Just last week my launch over 500 sales, and I can still see affiliates getting credited. But I know some product vendors will close the launch and then open a special sales page which is different from main sales page; so that people who were waiting can get in.

      So although main sales page is closed; sales are being made on another page-which is special page.
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  • Profile picture of the author rongindamix
    No it's to enforce "scarcity", a psychological bias that most people have on selling.

    Pretty much what Rishy is saying with the special sales page. Forces people to want to buy and rushes the whole process
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      There's another reason, and it doesn't have anything to do with some kind of phony scarcity or sneaky commission tactics.

      It doesn't apply to all products, but where it does apply, it's perfectly valid.

      I just got done observing the launch of a $x,xxx product which involved personal coaching, along with group sessions and collateral materials. There were xx spots available. The launch period was supposed to be a week, but the spots filled in two days. The launch was shut down, and the waiting list page went up.

      The program in question ran for twelve weeks, if memory serves. After that, the vendor will re-open and attempt to fill another class from the waiting list. Perfectly legit.

      Personally, if I were to offer such a class/coaching combo, I would not be relying purely on a cookie to protect the affiliates. I would need a way for the affiliate ID to ride along with someone from the launch list to the waiting list, so that if that person buys a spot in a later version of the course, the affiliate gets paid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Mark Laxton View Post

    It seems to me like these product vendors are closing the sales page until the cookies expire and then sending a bulk email to all of their subscribers when they re open so that the customer then purchases through their own payment button and they don't lose any money by having to pay affiliates
    That's how it seems to me, as well.

    The argument/discussion is essentially exactly the same one as in this thread (in which a large number of serious, pro-affiliates on ClickBank explain why there are no circumstances under which we're willing to promote a product with a "vendor's opt-in" of any kind on its sales page).

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author Andreas Quintana
    If thats the way it is, then it isn't really fair. Affiliates are the ones that product creators owe most of their success to, so cutting them off from earning by closing the deal early and mailing the cookied customers is more than just a dirty move.

    When I launch products, I generally keep them open indefinately unless I say something else on my sales page.

    If product owners let the affiliates know that they are closing the deal soon, by mailing them, then I guess thats ok. It's up to the affiliate then to decide whether to mail or not...

    But just closing it while affiliates still have ongoing promotions is not the way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    It's called scarcity. Not the bogus "the price could go up at any time" you see on most pages. Most of the big launches are doing this these days. The product is open for a certain period and then closes. Most likely, this information was available on the JV page. It's a smart thing to do. And I am pretty sure Jeff Walker teaches this. (forgive me if I am wrong). And he knows a thing or two about product launches.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Walker
    OK... first off, every product and every launch is different... there's no single answer to this question.

    The OP's assertion that this is done to avoid paying affiliates would be a pretty rare thing in my opinion. Anyone who systematically devises ways to screw affiliates out of commissions will not have affiliate for very long.

    (Personally, the cookies for my affiliates have a 999 day expiration... and I've paid people years after they've sent me traffic.)

    There are varying reasons to pull a product off the market. Sometimes it's done to simply force scarcity, sometimes it's due to the load on support systems for the product. Other times it's because there's a live component to the product, and once the live component starts it doesn't make sense to keep adding people.

    (For example, I run my Product Launch Formula as a live class with live QA calls that I run personally... so we open registration for a limited time... then close it down and start the class.)


    - Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    Originally Posted by Mark Laxton View Post

    It seems to me like these product vendors are closing the sales page until the cookies expire and then sending a bulk email to all of their subscribers when they re open so that the customer then purchases through their own payment button and they don't lose any money by having to pay affiliates

    Would I be right? If so I think this is a bit of a sneaky and unfair thing to do and I won't be promoting any products that do this just so they can receive 100% of the sales from customers that I've sent them, If I'm wrong then I apologize.

    Mark
    Although I don't sell my own products, I've helped run several 6 and 7 figure launches and any time a "closed" page was put up, it was never to steal sales from affiliates.

    Also as an affiliate I've promoted many product launches and have made thousands of dollars in commissions from vendors reopening their offer to people who got on a "sold out" waiting list.

    Product sellers doing it with the sole intention to screw over affiliates is a rarity at best.

    You never want to bite the hand that feeds you. Many if not most of these guys doing product launches make 80%+ of their sales from affiliates. They would be committing business suicide.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

      Product sellers doing it with the sole intention to screw over affiliates is a rarity at best.
      That's exactly what I used to think about the very comparable situation of ClickBank vendors collecting potential customers' email addresses from their sales pages ... until I tested and analyzed a randomly selected cross-section of them for myself and discovered that that was what was happening in 85% of those cases.

      Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

      You never want to bite the hand that feeds you.
      You'd think not, perhaps, looking at it superficially.

      But when you look in more detail, you realise that a vendor offering 75% commissions has to steal only 20-25% of the leads to double his own income.

      They can do that without "the hand that feeds them" even knowing about it.

      And that's why they do it, and how they get away with it.

      They're not stupid enough to steal all the leads, but it's dead easy for them to steal a very small proportion of them and thereby double their own incomes, without even raising suspicions.

      You just have to test these things for yourself
      , to see what's going on, rather than relying on the "fact" that 80% of their incomes come from affiliates - which isn't actually a fact at all: it's simply a casual assertion of the kind people love to repeat, which in reality one can neither prove nor disprove.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        That's exactly what I used to think about the very comparable situation of ClickBank vendors collecting potential customers' email addresses from their sales pages ... until I tested and analyzed a randomly selected cross-section of them for myself and discovered that that was what was happening in 85% of those cases.



        You'd think not, perhaps, looking at it superficially.

        But when you look in more detail, you realise that a vendor offering 75% commissions has to steal only 20-25% of the leads to double his own income.

        They can do that without "the hand that feeds them" even knowing about it.

        And that's why they do it, and how they get away with it.

        They're not stupid enough to steal all the leads, but it's dead aasy for them to steal a very small proportion of them and thereby double their own incomes, without even raising suspicions.

        You just have to test these things for yourself
        , to see what's going on, rather than relying on the "fact" that 80% of their incomes come from affiliates - which isn't actually a fact at all: it's simply a casual assertion of the kind people love to repeat, which in reality one can neither prove nor disprove.

        .
        Perhaps in the case of clickbank vendors selling evergreen products it happens more as you shared, but during a standard product launch, it's a rarity at best based on my personal experience
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

          during a standard product launch, it's a rarity at best based on my personal experience
          It's funny, in internet marketing, how people's "personal experience" (which is often really just another way of saying "pure guesswork"!) are typically so radically different from the experiences of people who actually test, monitor and analyze things objectively rather than relying on their own unevidenced beliefs.

          .
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          • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            It's funny, in internet marketing, how people's "personal experience" (which is often really just another way of saying "pure guesswork"!) are typically so radically different from the experiences of people who actually test, monitor and analyze things objectively rather than relying on their own unevidenced beliefs.

            .
            Like i said, I've personally helped run at least 15 product launches and promoted hundreds of others and never experienced that.

            My personal experience is good for something. Not talking about 1 or 2. I've accumulated a pretty respectable sample size.

            The shaving you speak of I have experienced as well, but not from product launches. It happened with an evergreen product that wasn't running a launch. It was just out there making sales like almost every clickbank product in the marketplace.

            The OP was asking about Product Launches with "sold out" or "closed" pages.

            Not regular evergreen products that never close, but are collecting leads before the sales page or on exit like what you're talking about.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            It's funny, in internet marketing, how people's "personal experience" (which is often really just another way of saying "pure guesswork"!) are typically so radically different from the experiences of people who actually test, monitor and analyze things objectively rather than relying on their own unevidenced beliefs.

            .
            Alexa, most of the time you and I agree so closely on things that it's scary. This time, I think it's a matter of "pot, meet kettle."

            How many product launches have you promoted?

            Having spent some time studying the launch process, I'm not convinced that a Walker-style launch and the sales page leaks you've described many times are all that analogous.

            Could someone use the "waiting list" to screw over affiliates? Sure. Do they, as a matter of routine, all do so? Not so sure.

            Obviously, the terms of the launch should be disclosed to the potential affiliate before they start promoting. Then it's up to the individual affiliate to decide whether to trust the vendor or not. But it's not fair to paint all vendors with the same broad brush. It would be like saying that all Clickbank affiliates only want to cheat vendors by buying through their own affiliate links.
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  • Profile picture of the author collison
    The closure of the sales page, is an integral part of the launch process. Product launches have very tightly controlled releases of information over a number of weeks and are then closed. Jeff Walker explains the process brilliantly in his book LAUNCH.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by collison View Post

      Product launches have very tightly controlled releases of information over a number of weeks and are then closed.
      Oh, well, that magically makes it all ok, then, doesn't it? Let's all just get together and agree to ignore the fact that some vendors are collecting the email addresses of our targeted, pre-sold traffic (which we generated as affiliates with our skills and time and effort and energy and money) and that we have no realistic way of checking whether we actually get paid for all the affiliate sales we make.

      I mean to say: if Jeff Walker says it's ok, then it must be ok, mustn't it?!?!

      Call me a skepchick, but I never quite know whether to laugh or cry at such naivety.

      .

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author collison
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Oh, well, that magically makes it all ok, then, doesn't it? Let's all just get together and agree to ignore the fact that some vendors are collecting the email addresses of our targeted, pre-sold traffic (which we generated as affiliates with our skills and time and effort and energy and money) and that we have no realistic way of checking whether we actually get paid for all the affiliate sales we make.

        I mean to say: if Jeff Walker says it's ok, then it must be ok, mustn't it?!?!

        Call me a skepchick, but I never quite know whether to laugh or cry at such naivety.

        .

        .
        I don't think taking affiliates Opt ins, is really a big motivation for vendors doing launches, they want to keep their affiliates happy.

        The logic of a launch dictates, there has to be a close date. And most sales are done within the specified time limit anyway. They may be some who are being unethical , but we have the choice not to promote them, and let them know why. Which might stop them doing it again!
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Could someone use the "waiting list" to screw over affiliates? Sure. Do they, as a matter of routine, all do so? Not so sure.
          Neither am I, John.

          But the ClickBank vendors here used to say exactly the same things, and "throw their hands up in horror at the very suggestion", and tell me that I was "dealing only with low-life vendors", and so on and so forth, until I tested a range of them for myself and found out that there was dishonesty involved in 85% of the randomly selected ones I tested.

          This may be the same. It may not be. We don't know.

          The fact that we don't know is reason enough for me not to promote them.

          We all decide this for ourselves?

          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Obviously, the terms of the launch should be disclosed to the potential affiliate before they start promoting.
          You say "obviously", and I agree, but that doesn't always happen.

          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          it's not fair to paint all vendors with the same broad brush.
          I'm not doing that. I hope. I already know from my ClickBank opt-in research that there are honest ones and dishonest ones.

          Just like there are honest affiliates and dishonest affiliates.

          But I won't have people telling me that "it's a rarity at best". That's just guessing.

          Originally Posted by collison View Post

          They may be some who are being unethical , but we have the choice not to promote them, and let them know why.
          Good idea - if you only had a realistic and practicable way of identifying which ones they are!

          .
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      • Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Let's all just get together and agree to ignore the fact that some vendors are collecting the email addresses of our targeted, pre-sold traffic (which we generated as affiliates with our skills and time and effort and energy and money) and that we have no realistic way of checking whether we actually get paid for all the affiliate sales we make.

        I mean to say: if Jeff Walker says it's ok, then it must be ok, mustn't it?!?!

        Call me a skepchick, but I never quite know whether to laugh or cry at such naivety.
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        It makes no difference at all whether they happen to be "evergreen products" or "launches": in both cases, when this happens the vendor is collecting some of his affiliates' customers' email addresses before they've bought, which is the most classic form of "leak" there is.
        Hmmm...

        I have usually regarded you as a knowledgable and experienced marketer, but It seems I might have been wrong all along What you are saying, and the point you are defending, proves your limited understanding (and participation) on power 7-figure launches and how they actually work, and the tight connection, relationship and real-life networking (events, drinking, personal friendship, etc) that goes on between prime vendors and their power affiliates.

        There is absolutely zero chances that a pro vendor would game his pro affiliates.

        Unfortunately, I must ask the following question Alexa: "have you ever participated in a 7-figure launch, either as the vendor or as any of the top-5 affiliates? Are you basing your opinions on actual first-hand experience?". If your answer is "No", then my recommendation to you would be to grow some personal experience in how power launches actually work behind the scenes before vehemently arguing about them over the internet forums.

        Oh, and by the way: Jeff Walker's opinion has been formed after having made millions, both as a vendor and as an affiliate, from dozens of 7-figures launches. How many millions have you exactly made before forming your opinion?
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  • the main reason is they say doors close in 24 hours and if they don't close them then they loose credibility so they have to. if they don't say doors close people don't buy so it's like a catch 22
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    85% of the product launches you were a part of where you sent traffic after the close date that had a lead capture form with the intention of purposefully building a waiting list until after the cookie expiration to reopen the product to said list resulted in sales and they did this just so they didn't have to pay your affiliate commissions?

    How did you test this theory?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by drewfioravanti View Post

      85% of the product launches you were a part of where you sent traffic after the close date that had a lead capture form with the intention of purposefully building a waiting list until after the cookie expiration to reopen the product to said list resulted in sales and they did this just so they didn't have to pay your affiliate commissions?
      I didn't say this, Drew. They weren't all product launches (though some were). They were simply products offered on ClickBank that included a vendor's opt-in on their sales pages. I'm not claiming that this was the identical situation to the one being discussed in this thread, merely an analogous situation, in the sense that they were all vendors collecting the email addresses of the affiliates' traffic before a sale had been made and the affiliates paid.

      The very point that the OP started this thread to discuss, in other words.

      Originally Posted by drewfioravanti View Post

      How did you test this theory?
      I've posted a lot about it, here (but in 2009/10).

      Briefly, I subscribed (as a "potential customer") from their sales pages, using the opt-in box provided, with a different name and email address for each, and monitored carefully their entire series of promotional emails, counting the proportion who at some point sent in one or more emails a different ClickBank affiliate cookie which overwrote the existing affiliate's cookie, thus attempting to deprive the original affiliate of a commission on any subsequent sale. I was dismayed (and extremely surprised, in my then-naivety) to discover that this happened in a remarkable 85% of cases.

      I don't claim that the same thing (or anything effectively similar) would necessarily happen in 85% of the instances we're discussing in this thread - I have no way of knowing that and I don't pretend otherwise.

      I'm saying only (a) that I suspect, from my experience of these things, that it may be considerably more common than many people might imagine, and (b) that assertions that this or very similar scenarios are "a rarity at best" (as stated above) are only guesses, and (c) that I won't myself be promoting their products because I prefer instead to promote the products of vendors whose tactics don't give me this potential worry.

      It's something we each decide for ourselves.

      Call me a skepchick, but I find it a very easy decision, myself: the term "no-brainer" springs immediately to mind.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        (b) that assertions that this or very similar scenarios are "a rarity at best" (as stated above) are only guesses
        .
        I guess hundreds of instances between being on both vendor and affiliate side without it ever happening is just an assertion and a guess.

        Most of your data is from promoting random products from the clickbank marketplace that are not engaging in a product launch.

        My data is from launches exclusively.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

          I guess hundreds of instances between being on both vendor and affiliate side without it ever happening is just an assertion and a guess.
          I'm casting no personal aspersions at all, of course, Jason. But as an affiliate, you can't tell whether it's happening, and that's part of my point.

          Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

          Most of your data is from promoting random products from the clickbank marketplace
          On the contrary: none of it is from products I've promoted myself.

          Like most other serious, pro-affiliates I know, I don't promote products whose vendors use this tactic. (In this fine thread, a huge number of us explain in detail why we choose to promote instead the products of vendors who don't.)

          I've just done some meticulous and methodical research, relating to these situations in which vendors collect the email addresses of the affiliates' traffic before a sale is made and shared my findings here. Sorry if they're not to your taste.

          .
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          • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post


            Like most other serious, pro-affiliates I know, I don't promote products whose vendors use this tactic. (In this fine thread, a huge number of us explain in detail why we choose to promote instead the products of vendors who don't.)

            .
            I'm not a big fan of doing it either, but when I used to promote launches, I was ok with it.

            And certain products I promote now I still do it as there are some instances where my EPCs have been higher sending to a landing page which then went to their optin page before the actual offer than going straight to their offer.

            So in cases like that, I have to just go with the higher EPCs, especially when it's by a landslide.

            I don't know what revenue level constitutes being a serious pro affiliate, but I'm not entirely opposed to it depending on the situation, the network the offer is in, and who's running the offer.

            And my commission revenues are such that I would consider myself one of these pro's you speak of without knowing exactly what level constitutes being a pro. lol
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            • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
              For anyone interested, Jeff Walker is relaunching Product Launch Formula, and you can see his pre-launch process here:

              How to Launch Your Product or Business

              Once you see the process, the logic behind making an exception for vendors using this process and collecting emails before the sale will be evident.

              Just for the record, I'm not a fan of collecting emails from affiliate traffic before the sale, either. But when I know and trust the vendor, and I know they're using this process, I will make the exception.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    If you don't want to get dirty, don't roll in the mud with pigs. You're pushing get rich quick scams as an affiliate, yet crying when these scammers scam you.
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  • Profile picture of the author JensSteyaert
    Yeah you see it all the time these days.

    What is happening is that these product creators simply use a churn-burn technique, and collect emails so they can have a big launch again next time (just about the time their list from the previous launch has died).

    I already exposed a couple of these guys, not that it helps a lot because that's all they know but still...
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  • Profile picture of the author gluckspilz
    I'm quite confused at this whole discussion...

    Some product launches run on a time bomb meaning the cart is only open for a set period of time.

    First... let's break this down.

    1. This creates urgency and scarcity so that affliates can drive a TON more sales... Yes, I said a TON especially if you know how to engineer your email marketing (If affiliates have a list, which is a MUST in the MMO segment)

    2. They close the cart for a reason. It could either be a live Class training, limited of spots or they just don't want to make it an evergreen product and deal with the ongoing support etc. It doesn't matter because the vendor can do whatever they want as long as affiliates are fully aware.

    But all of this is not the problem here right? The main problem is what happens once the cart closes...

    Well, just THINK about it! For all of those affiliates who attempted launch jacking, review sites, videos etc will be sending "RESIDUAL" traffic to the sales page because NO ONE IN THE WORLD will be promoting a closed offer... right?

    That said, as a vendor, why would you want to lose those traffic?

    So the SMARTEST thing to do as a SMART Marketer is to build their list...

    In regards to the affiliate cookie stuff... Does this even matter, really?

    If the cookie is still in place when the product re-opens then good. (That's if it re-opens)

    If not then no dramas... As affiliates who promotes "PRoduct Launches" we are VERY aware of the closing cart date.

    I don't see the big issue here.

    And Alexa, no one is talking about promoting an affiliate product that requires the traffic to opt in first.

    We're talking about promoting product launches that has a time limit NOT evergreen products.

    Did I miss anything?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Laxton
      Thanks for your replies, just to clarify this was just a question/observation I made and was in no way aimed at any product in particular

      I guess to put it another way,would YOU spend your time and money sending traffic to a product that appears to be closed most of the time?

      If so then obviously it would make sense to check first, that you will still receive your commissions when it re-opens.

      Also when a visitor lands on the "closed" sales page and if they do decide to enter their email would their not be the chance of the vendor losing a sale? it'd be interesting to see the percentage of those who opted-in that then go on to purchase the product when they are notified that the product is available again?

      Maybe there's a difference between using genuine scarcity and using it to catch visitors emails?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by gluckspilz View Post

      If the cookie is still in place when the product re-opens then good.
      The operative word, there, is "if".

      As an affiliate, you have no way of knowing whether that's reliably going to be true.

      In the highly analogous case of the ClickBank products mentioned above, it wasn't true, 85% of the time.

      Maybe that wouldn't be so, in these instances, but nobody who's posted in the thread, so far, has offered any explanation of why they imagine it wouldn't be.

      One thing's for sure: it's an uncertainty - and serious pro-affiliates (i.e. the ones who make most of the affiliate-referred sales) tend to be the ones who avoid trying to build our businesses on unnecessary uncertainties.

      Originally Posted by gluckspilz View Post

      And Alexa, no one is talking about promoting an affiliate product that requires the traffic to opt in first.
      That's exactly what this is, when the "closed for now but give us your email address" page is up: it's a promotion of which the vendor is collecting some of his affiliates' potential customers' email addresses before they've bought, as a result of which the affiliate can lose her/his commissions on the sale.

      That's called a "leak", in affiliate parlance.

      And for all the reasons explained in this slightly different but essentially completely analagous situation, that's something that almost no serious, pro-affiliate will promote.

      This is an absolute "no-brainer" of a decision, for an affiliate: the simple reality is that we have a choice between promoting products that give us this potential leak, and (plenty of) products that don't.

      How much easier can a decision be?

      Originally Posted by gluckspilz View Post

      We're talking about promoting product launches that has a time limit NOT evergreen products.
      It makes no difference at all whether they happen to be "evergreen products" or "launches": in both cases, when this happens the vendor is collecting some of his affiliates' customers' email addresses before they've bought, which is the most classic form of "leak" there is.

      Originally Posted by gluckspilz View Post

      Did I miss anything?
      Yes. Absolutely no disrespect at all, Gluckspilz, but it seems to me that you missed the significance of the leak.

      Anyway, affiliates unfamiliar with this situation, who want to understand what can happen when product vendors collect the email addresses of our prospective customers before the customers pay - and why some vendors do this - need look no further than this fine thread, in which about 100 successful affiliates explain it clearly and openly enough.

      All I can do, here, is keep saying the same things over and over again - that's the way when people keep missing the point. And gone are the days when I'll stay in these threads and argue about it for ever.

      Ultimately, these discussions nearly always end up causing ill-will, because in a situation in which other people can steal your commissions, if you say so, vendors posting in the thread also feel threatened and insulted and think you're getting at them personally (neither my wish nor my intention, needless to say!).

      When that happens, the answer to "I don't do this any more because people can steal from you" just becomes "If you don't do it, then you have no experience of it, so we're not interested in what you have to say on the subject". How's that for twisted logic? You methodically and objectively test, and you prove that it pays you to avoid an often-deceptive practice, and then having done so apparently disqualifies you from commenting on it, precisely because you now have the sense to avoid it!

      And yes, people really sometimes do resort to saying things like that, eventually, when they have no other points left to make! See for yourself: there are people saying that in the other thread (in which about 100 affiliates explained their perspectives of situations in which the vendor is collecting some of his affiliates' potential customers' email addresses before they've bought) and I can already hear people thinking it, in this thread, too!

      As I keep on saying, "it's something we each decide for ourselves". John McCabe put it very well, as ever, above, when he said ...
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Just for the record, I'm not a fan of collecting emails from affiliate traffic before the sale, either. But when I know and trust the vendor, and I know they're using this process, I will make the exception.
      I don't often know and trust them enough, myself, to do that. I think that's the only difference between John's position and my own.


      .
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      • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        It makes no difference at all whether they happen to be "evergreen products" or "launches": in both cases, when this happens the vendor is collecting some of his affiliates' customers' email addresses before they've bought, which is the most classic form of "leak" there is.
        It does, actually. As the selling process for both is completely different. At least for a well orchestrated launch.

        If you're promoting a product after the open cart has closed, you completely missed the concept of a launch. And well, that's your own fault. If you (the proverbial you, not anyone specific) think that littering the Internet with your affiliate link is promoting a launch, you're way off base and out of touch with the concept of a launch.
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      • Profile picture of the author gluckspilz
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        The operative word, there, is "if".

        As an affiliate, you have no way of knowing whether that's reliably going to be true.

        In the highly analogous case of the ClickBank products mentioned above, it wasn't true, 85% of the time.

        Maybe that wouldn't be so, in these instances, but nobody who's posted in the thread, so far, has offered any explanation of why they imagine it wouldn't be.

        One thing's for sure: it's an uncertainty - and serious pro-affiliates (i.e. the ones who make most of the affiliate-referred sales) tend to be the ones who avoid trying to build our businesses on unnecessary uncertainties.



        That's exactly what this is, when the "closed for now but give us your email address" page is up: it's a promotion of which the vendor is collecting some of his affiliates' potential customers' email addresses before they've bought, as a result of which the affiliate can lose her/his commissions on the sale.

        That's called a "leak", in affiliate parlance.

        And for all the reasons explained in this slightly different but essentially completely analagous situation, that's something that almost no serious, pro-affiliate will promote.

        This is an absolute "no-brainer" of a decision, for an affiliate: the simple reality is that we have a choice between promoting products that give us this potential leak, and (plenty of) products that don't.

        How much easier can a decision be?



        It makes no difference at all whether they happen to be "evergreen products" or "launches": in both cases, when this happens the vendor is collecting some of his affiliates' customers' email addresses before they've bought, which is the most classic form of "leak" there is.



        Yes. Absolutely no disrespect at all, Gluckspilz, but it seems to me that you missed the significance of the leak.

        Anyway, affiliates unfamiliar with this situation, who want to understand what can happen when product vendors collect the email addresses of our prospective customers before the customers pay - and why some vendors do this - need look no further than this fine thread, in which about 100 successful affiliates explain it clearly and openly enough.

        .
        No Alexa, I actually think you missed the point this time.

        First, a product launch is different to a "Clickbank Evergreen" product.

        1. As an affiliate, (As I said before), you are FULLY AWARE that the cart is ONLY open for a certain time period.

        2. It's not a "Leaked" because those traffic are USELESS anyway once the cart closes...

        My question to you is IF you think this is unfair for affiliates or these vendors are "Dirty" then what will you do once you close your cart?

        Delete the domain? Or just redirect the traffic to a Sorry, Offer IS Close Page?

        Either way, I don't see how affiliates can benefit in anyway.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
        Everyone's Right!!!


        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        That's exactly what this is, when the "closed for now but give us your email address" page is up: it's a promotion of which the vendor is collecting some of his affiliates' potential customers' email addresses before they've bought, as a result of which the affiliate can lose her/his commissions on the sale.

        That's called a "leak", in affiliate parlance.
        Normally, I would agree with this, and everything else (I think - as it's gotten to be a very long conversation) you've said, but...

        There is one situation where I would NOT object to a vendor requesting an email opt-in on a sold out page like this. The same situation applies for a pre-launch, where multiple attempts to gather contact information applies prior to the actual availability of a buy button.

        That situation is:
        when the vendor has disclosed that he/she will collect opt-ins of referrals in either instance above, and when the vendor stores the affiliate ID in his/her pre-buyer list (i.e. via custom variable) and includes the affiliate link in promotional emails to get prospects to the next page of the pre-launch series (causing that affiliate to be re-cookied), or when advising that lead that the offer has once again been opened.

        The vendor running a pre-launch series, and the vendor who periodically closes/re-opens his/her offer needs the ability to capture that non-buyer lead for those purposes... but as stated before, should use the referring affiliate's link in his/her own follow ups.

        The capture/use of these leads should be communicated (via affiliate sign up page, affiliate center, and/or affiliate follow up) so that the affiliate understands and agrees to these processes.

        Of course...
        each affiliate must decide for themselves 1) whether they understand the process, and 2) whether they trust/believe the vendors explanation of when/how these leads are collected and subsequently used. It can be a great strategy (for both the vendor and the affiliates), but the devil is in the details.

        Alexa may be less trusting than many of the others here, and she appears to have researched a number of offers. I am sure that there are many vendors who have (or will) tried to implement a Jeff Walker style launch strategy... and failed miserably at dotting all the I's and crossing all the T's.

        There is a lot going on in the background and many merchants just don't have the ability to pull it off flawlessly. There are probably also a lot vendors who don't even try to implement all the necessary "back office" stuff to make it work (just a guess - I have nothing to back this up), affiliates should be cautious and make sure they understand the vendor's sales process.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    Great points, all... and hey Alexa I like that "skepchick" a lot, clever writing.

    Back in the olde days of IM, and btw what the top gurus still do, for good reason, is:

    a) Make sure you offer a bonus (usually downloadable) to all that order specifically using your aff link, and tell your list in your promo email, 'if you order using my link, you'll get (abc) bonus', forward your email order confirmation to me and I'll send it to you".

    b) Double-check you're being credited with whoever's doing the launch, eg "here's a list of people who asked for my bonus and said they ordered through my link".

    MANY markets using Affiliates Do NOT want you to do this because they do rip you off, by pulling shenanigans like the one the OP mentioned; eg namesqueeze for 2nd chance, which you don't get credited for even though you sent them the lead.

    I would Not promote for anyone that I couldn't use that 'contact me for bonus once you've ordered from my link". Also that gets into first vs last cookie issues, I think last-cookie is best.

    Back in the olden days, we used to set up individual sales pages for each affiliate, to ensure great tracking in place, eg mysite.com/affs01page.htm mysite.com/affs02page.htm when doing jv launches with say 2-8 big partners, each of which has a different product name/link set up, for bulletproof tracking/crediting.

    Overall from the data I've seen, affiliates are being taken advantage of a lot, which is why I don't aff-promote for others, due to huge gaps in crediting affiliates properly. I am convinced that the majority of aff sales go uncredited. At least adding that "contact me for bonus once you use my link" can help you spot that.

    People running aff pgms don't want you to know that. Be sure you're properly credited for sales you generate, with that added layer of tracking and accountability, which is simple to do.

    Also what about 2nd, 3rd, continuity sales being credited after the first low-cost lead gen sale? Let's say you send a lead to someone for a $47 low cost front end product, get your $20 credit or whatever; then a month later the marketer makes another $197 sale then a $200 aff sale then another $97 sale to that lead you sent them... you likely don't get credited for any of that, beyond the first sale. Aren't you upset about that? I would be. If I send someone a lead that during the 6 months after I send them the lead, the person does $300-$500 in sales to them, at what point do I not get paid? Most aff pgms only pay for initial sale, though the Huge majority of the money is in the backend for 2nd/3rd sales (not including otos).

    to profits,

    ken

    p.s. and yes having time-limited launches with closed page post-launch is essential for launch success. the point the op brings up is a very good one, re 4 months later post-launch, or in a relaunch, how does the original aff-who-sends-lead get credited?
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  • Profile picture of the author MWatson
    You may be overthinking it. In my opinion, most product vendors like the scarcity effect (cause it's been proven to work) not because they don't want to pay affiliates lol.
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    • Originally Posted by MWatson View Post

      You may be overthinking it. In my opinion, most product vendors like the scarcity effect (cause it's been proven to work) not because they don't want to pay affiliates lol.
      Thank you for adding some common sense to this absurd thread.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Laxton
        This thread wasn't created to suggest people ARE stealing affiliates commissions.

        It was just an observation that some of these sales pages are closed for quite lengthy periods.

        Using scarcity is a proven tactic to increase sales and it works very well but providing new visitors with nothing more than an opt-in page and no idea as to when they will be able to purchase the product is realistically doing nothing more than building the vendors email list
        (which they can obviously then use for other products etc)

        This thread is not intended to upset anyone, seems to be a bit of a controversial topic though?
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    Interesting email that relates to this thread...Just got an email from Eben Pagan that is, what I believe is an affiliate link, that points to Jeff's pre-launch page. The email from Eben tells you to opt in to watch the video.

    I don think he is concerned with the vendor "stealing" his affiliate commissions.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by drewfioravanti View Post

      I don think he is concerned with the vendor "stealing" his affiliate commissions.
      Oh well, that settles it conclusively, then, of course: just one instance of one marketer of his stature doing that clearly proves beyond all possible doubt whatsoever that every single instance of this practice is entirely innocent and legitimate, and that no affiliates ever lose a proportion of their commissions from it ... curious that so many other pro-affiliates seem to feel so differently, though: they must all just "not know what they're talking about", I guess?! After all, if they don't promote products under these circumstances, then by definition they don't have experience of it, right? So their opinions, however well-reasoned (and/or even any independent research showing that they're often right) can't possibly be worth listening to, can they?

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Oh well, that settles it conclusively, then, of course: just one instance of one marketer of his stature doing that clearly proves beyond all possible doubt whatsoever that every single instance of this practice is entirely innocent and legitimate, and that no affiliates ever lose a proportion of their commissions from it ... curious that so many other pro-affiliates seem to feel so differently, though: they must all just "not know what they're talking about", I guess?! After all, if they don't promote products under these circumstances, then by definition they don't have experience of it, right? So their opinions, however well-reasoned (and/or even any independent research showing that they're often right) can't possibly be worth listening to, can they?

        .
        So many? So far there has been one affiliate in this thread who is, for unknown reasons, trying to prove a point that is not part of the original thread discussion.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by drewfioravanti View Post

          If you're promoting a product after the open cart has closed, you completely missed the concept of a launch. And well, that's your own fault. If you (the proverbial you, not anyone specific) think that littering the Internet with your affiliate link is promoting a launch, you're way off base and out of touch with the concept of a launch.
          I think I've spotted something that seems to be causing a lot of the heat building up here. It stems less from the difference between a launch and an always-available product, and more from the difference in methods used.

          From time to time there have been discussions of whether it is better to use a preprogrammed email sequence or "live" broadcast emails. I know Alexa is a strong proponent of the automated sequence method, and if I were using that method, I would be very reluctant to promote a limited-time launch, too.

          On the other hand, if I were promoting a launch with broadcast emails, I would have total control over when promotions went out, and I could stop those promotions when the cart closed, while still retaining my list for future contacts.

          As for the trust issue, Ken made an excellent point about using the "affiliate bonus" method to trust but verify...
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  • Profile picture of the author matty123
    usually this happens when the product is from someone who has a huge list and established reputation of creating great products. it is certainly not your average person that gets results like that
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Walker
    Anyone who is running an affiliate program has plenty of opportunity to cheat affiliates.

    And even beyond outright cheating, anyone who is running an affiliate program has a hundred small decisions to make... and those decisions can either choose to favor the affiliate or the vendor's own pocket book.

    I have no doubt that Alexa is correct in regards to the way many vendors act. I admit to being pretty ignorant of the Clickbank world... haven't promoted anything there in well over five years. I don't doubt Alexa's findings for a second - I'm sure there are some great vendors and some very shady vendors.

    With thousands of affiliates, where the affiliates and vendors are fairly anonymous... well, I suppose you could have a lot of vendors systematically cheating affiliates. I think that's what Alexa is saying.

    Now the market that I do know intimately is the world of high-profile launches. I've lost track of the number of million dollar launches I've run... it's got to be near 20. I couldn't even guess on the number that I've consulted on, or participated in as an affiliate.

    In that world, the affiliates and JVs that can make a serious impact is a pretty small list. In most big launches, the top five affiliates make the majority of the sales. They all know each other. They all talk to each other.

    In many (most?) of these launches, the affiliates and the vendors have a personal relationships. For instance, of my top 20 affiliates... I've had dinner with all but one of them. I've traveled with many of them, and our families have hung out. I consider many of them very good friends - the kind I would invite to my kids weddings (if and when they happen.)

    If you do a launch in that type of atmosphere, and you cheat your affiliates... well you're not going to get any support the next time you do a launch. It's that simple.

    In a small ecosystem, where everyone knows everyone else... you won't last long if you're not taking care of your affiliates.


    - Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Jeff Walker View Post

      If you do a launch in that type of atmosphere, and you cheat your affiliates... well you're not going to get any support the next time you do a launch. It's that simple.
      I'm afraid not, Jeff. It really isn't that simple at all - far from it, in fact: respectfully, the point you're missing is that the vendors doing this are stealing typically something like 20%/25% of the sales (even that can double their incomes, of course, if they're paying 70%/75% commissions), their affiliates normally don't know or find out about it at all, and therefore it doesn't follow that "you're not going to get any support the next time you do a launch".

      Vendors are typically quick to allege, in such discussions, that "if they cheated their affiliates, they wouldn't have any affiliates left", but unfortunately this is mistaken logic, the reality being that their affiliates (unless they check very methodically and painstakingly, in some of the ways I've described above - which of course almost nobody does) don't know that they're being cheated.

      The "logic" is assuming something (i.e. that affiliates would all desert such a vendor because they'd been stolen from) that simply isn't true (because the reality - of course - is that they'd do that only if they knew, which they don't). Nobody is suggesting that such vendors steal all the leads: that would give the game away and obviously they're not stupid enough to do that, and they don't need to do that if they can double their own incomes by stealing quite a small proportion.

      Of course it's easier to assert this than to prove it, and that was why I did the research mentioned above, so that I could prove how very commonly it happens.

      Sorry that it makes some people uncomfortable to discuss it, but that's how it is: it's simply factual that this is a widespread practice.

      Anyone wanting to duplicate my sort of research can test it and see for themselves.

      There's a limit to how productive a conversation can be on this subject when people haven't actually done that, as I have. It's kind of a debate between "fact" and "opinion"; between "objective reality" and "theoretical belief", isn't it? I'm perfectly happy, myself, to discuss it with anyone who wants to keep the conversation going, but I can't help feeling that, ultimately, it's perhaps of rather limited value to anyone else?

      Meanwhile, though, if people continue to allege that "vendors don't do that because you wouldn't have any affiliates next time around, if you cheat them this time around", I'll continue to correct that mistaken perception, to discourage other affiliates from accepting it as factual, or indeed as "logical", when it's actually neither.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Walker
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        I'm afraid not, Jeff. It really isn't that simple at all - far from it, in fact: respectfully, the point you're missing is that the vendors doing this are stealing typically something like 20%/25% of the sales (even that can double their incomes, of course, if they're paying 70%/75% commissions), their affiliates normally don't know or find out about it at all, and therefore it doesn't follow that "you're not going to get any support the next time you do a launch".
        I really have no desire to argue this... I'm sure you're correct in the situation you're talking about, but we're talking about different situations. I understand that you've tested Clickbank promoters, and your posts are based on your hard data.

        I'm talking about a different world. In the situation that I was talking about - which is high profile JV launches - I've got more than a decade of hard data, as well as anecdotal experience. And in this world, you better be taking care of your affiliates, or you won't last in the business. It's that simple.

        There have been some people who don't take care of affiliates... either through negligence, bad judgement, or outright poor ethics. Those people don't do JV launches any more.

        These are the same launches Jason is talking about. In those situations, the top five affiliates are usually generating the majority of the sales, and the top 20 are generating almost all of the sales. Affiliates know how many leads they sent, what their conversions were. Affiliates talk to each other, and often know each others conversions. It's usually a high-touch relationship. The strongest affiliates are very experienced, and they know how to read data.

        In fact, the vendors who do well in this world will often go back and audit their sales and try to find additional sales to credit to affiliates. The name of the game is making as much as you can for your affiliates - because that's the path to longevity. Affiliates look at how much they make in a launch as an important consideration when they're deciding what to support in the future. The competition is for the vendor to deliver the highest EPC you can, so you get support in your next launch.

        In these specific types of launches, the people who screw over affiliates (and there are some), will not be around for long.


        - Jeff
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by Jeff Walker View Post

          In these specific types of launches, the people who screw over affiliates (and there are some), will not be around for long if their affiliates ever somehow, magically, find out that a small proportion of their own leads are being stolen by the vendor, who's collecting their email addresses before selling to them.
          "Fixed that for ya'".

          Originally Posted by Jeff Walker View Post

          and there are some
          Yup: on this point, we agree.

          .
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  • Profile picture of the author Lightlysalted
    I think that some unscrupulous marketeers probably do close sales pages to avoid affiliate payments.

    However by closing your sales page quickly promotes the idea that your product is more desirable and may encourage people to sign up via email to be notified of new product availability.

    This into turn swells email signup lists and up selling can then be undertaken, wherein additional perhaps more expensive products can be sold to potential customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author gluckspilz
    I no longer know what the topic of discussion is about anymore...

    Are we talking about a launch closing and changing the sales page to an opt in to capture residual?traffic.

    OR

    Promoting an affiliate product that requires the prospect to opt in first before seeing the sales page?

    Cause I really don't think we're all on the same page here...
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    • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
      Originally Posted by gluckspilz View Post

      I no longer know what the topic of discussion is about anymore...

      Are we talking about a launch closing and changing the sales page to an opt in to capture residual?traffic.

      OR

      Promoting an affiliate product that requires the prospect to opt in first before seeing the sales page?

      Cause I really don't think we're all on the same page here...
      Pretty sure the topic was supposed to be about the use of sold out pages as part of the product launch process, but somehow it veered off course.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

        somehow it veered off course.
        This is where it started, Jason, with a discussion of "whether affiliates are losing commissions" because the vendor is collecting their customers' email addresses before the sale. That was the question, here, as you can see from this quote from the original post.

        Originally Posted by Mark Laxton View Post

        It seems to me like these product vendors are closing the sales page until the cookies expire and then sending a bulk email to all of their subscribers when they re open so that the customer then purchases through their own payment button and they don't lose any money by having to pay affiliates.

        Would I be right?
        And indeed, as explained above, the OP is right that this sometimes happens.

        It "veered off course" only when people attempted to deny that that ever happens at all and mistakenly to claim that "it wouldn't pay vendors to do that". Sadly, it does, as explained in post #47 above.

        .
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        • Profile picture of the author gluckspilz
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          This is where it started, Jason, with a discussion of "whether affiliates are losing commissions" because the vendor is collecting their customers' email addresses before the sale. That was the question, here, as you can see from this quote from the original post.



          And indeed, as explained above, the OP was right that this sometimes happens.

          It "veered off course" only when people attempted to deny that that ever happens at all and to claim that "vendors wouldn't do that".

          .
          I've read the original post like 3 times and I'm sure the OP is NOT talking about vendor collecting emails before the sale.

          I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about product launches closing their cart and redirecting any residual traffic to an opt in page...

          Nothing got to do with capturing leads before sending traffic to the sales page.

          Can you please double check by reading the first post again...
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by gluckspilz View Post

            I've read the original post like 3 times and I'm sure the OP is NOT talking about vendor collecting emails before the sale.
            Originally Posted by gluckspilz View Post

            Can you please double check by reading the first post again...
            No need to, here, thanks: I just quoted from it - and I also discussed the thread with the OP in private messages yesterday evening (check with him, if you want). I'm perfectly clear what he meant when he referred to affiliates losing their commissions. To be honest I also think his words, pasted-in from the OP and highlighted in blue in my post #50 above, are unambiguous, anyway. Indeed, as you can perhaps see from some of the conversation on the previous page, I prefer in general to do my own research and verify things for myself, rather than just basing my conclusions on assumptions and guesses. Again, like some other aspects of the conversation, it relates to the difference between "opinion" and "fact", in a sense?

            .
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  • Profile picture of the author gluckspilz
    Originally Posted by Mark Laxton View Post

    I have seen a few products now that have huge product launch and generate thousands of affiliates but once the initial launch is finished, then the product is made unavailable for purchase and any new customers visiting the sales page will only see a "Closed" sign.

    As well as an opt-in box where they are asked for their email address so that they can notified/contacted when the product is available again to purchase.

    Obviously during the launch this would have created a huge amount of affiliate links posted all over the Internet.

    Affiliate links which are cookied so that the affiliate still receives their commissions even if the customer doesn't purchase straight away

    It seems to me like these product vendors are closing the sales page until the cookies expire and then sending a bulk email to all of their subscribers when they re open so that the customer then purchases through their own payment button and they don't lose any money by having to pay affiliates

    Would I be right? If so I think this is a bit of a sneaky and unfair thing to do and I won't be promoting any products that do this just so they can receive 100% of the sales from customers that I've sent them, If I'm wrong then I apologize
    .

    Mark


    Hrm... I guess reading the whole post does take a long time so let me highlight, in blue, what the OP wrote that clearly states that he is asking about capturing leads after the cart is closed and not capturing leads before sending traffic to the sales page.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      With apologies, in response to that, I could only repeat what I've said in posts #47, #50 and #52, above, and that would clearly be unhelpful because you seem to be ignoring it completely. The discussion has become both futile and sterile, in my opinion.

      On a brighter note, I do think that affiliates (and potential affiliates) reading the entire thread carefully enough will have no great difficulty in deciding for themselves whether or not these are situations in which they want to become involved - and ultimately, as I've now mentioned so many times, that's something we all have to decide for ourselves.

      .
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