Frustrations of a Disillusioned Affiliate!

14 replies
Am I over reacting when I get agitated about affiliate programs that plaster their 24-7 toll-free 1-800 order-entry telephone number all over the web pages they furnish their affiliates to send traffic to?

I'm in the direct sales (salesmanship) niche therefore there isn't a plethora of affiliate programs to choose from like there is in the IM field. The other day I approached the Nightingale Conant Company about their affiliate program. The Nightingale Conant Company (IMHO) is an outstanding old-line company with excellent products. When I discovered they have an affiliate program I was excited because their products are a perfect fit for my market.

My excitement turned to frustration when I saw their 1-800 toll free order entry plastered all over their website. I called the affiliate manager to ask if affiliates were supplied access to product landing pages that don't contain the toll free order line option.

I received an email saying affiliate traffic was sent to their regular website. He then went on to stress their 25% commission rates which to my way of thinking equate to more like 12-1/2% or, worse yet, 8-1/3% after ½ to 2/3 of the traffic is scalped off by the toll free order option.

I'm not necessarily criticizing Nightingale Conant. I'm just frustrated about that I see as short sightedness by so many affiliate merchants. I've never had a problem with merchants being aggressive about capturing follow up business but it goes against the grain with me to have to compete with the merchant for traffic I send.

A few years ago, I had a rather large website that contained over 25 licensed products. When I started my affiliate program I supplied the affiliates with product pages that had been scrubbed of all order entry numbers. It was a good (and profitable) move.

Going back to Nightingale Conant --- I'd love to send traffic to them but I'm having trouble with my Scots-Irish stubbornness. I'd appreciate some opinions as to whether I should "lump-it" and sign up or move on.
#affiliate #disillusioned #frustrations
  • Profile picture of the author rileyb
    I agree with you! I only promote a few offers with phone numbers. CJ now has a phone number affiliate system so that helps.

    Im not sure I understand what you mean by your salesmanship niche but would like to know more.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172134].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell
      By salesmanship I mean direct sales. I spent over 30 years in international and domestic industrial sales and sales management.

      My writing (content) is geared to help sales professionals book more business. Sales managers use my newsletter content for fodder for their sales meetings.

      My writing doesn't leave a lot of time to create my own products. Products (books, cds & dvds) by the likes of Zig Ziglar and his ilk would be a perfect match for my market.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172226].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author webapex
    Any chance you can offer an incentive for those who make verified purchases through your link, I suppose Nightingale Conant would have to take special measures to imprint your affiliate code on the receipt.
    Signature

    “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field” Niels Bohr

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172219].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell
      Originally Posted by webapex View Post

      Any chance you can offer an incentive for those who make verified purchases through your link, I suppose Nightingale Conant would have to take special measures to imprint your affiliate code on the receipt.
      I don't know but if I could it creates another problem in sourcing the "bonus" material.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172259].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Lazy
    Are you required to use their landing pages?

    Can you make your own?
    Signature
    WARRIORS ONLY: Get up to 100,000 verified high PR backlinks as soon as tomorrow! RAVE REVIEWS!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172232].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell
      Originally Posted by Lazy View Post

      Are you required to use their landing pages?

      Can you make your own?
      From the looks of the wording on their affiliate agreement it sounds pretty heavy handed toward "NO"

      I suppose I could contact the affiliate manager again and ask.

      This is a shame because IMHO merchants that do this (with the toll-free numbers) drive away a lot of affiliate sales.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172327].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Lazy
        Originally Posted by Ernie Mitchell View Post

        From the looks of the wording on their affiliate agreement it sounds pretty heavy handed toward "NO"

        I suppose I could contact the affiliate manager again and ask.

        This is a shame because IMHO merchants that do this (with the toll-free numbers) drive away a lot of affiliate sales.
        That is a bummer. Perhaps you could explain to your affiliate manager that if you were allowed to design your own landing page you could drive more sales, due to being able to better target your audience.
        Signature
        WARRIORS ONLY: Get up to 100,000 verified high PR backlinks as soon as tomorrow! RAVE REVIEWS!

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172686].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TimG
    Unfortunately as long as they have affiliates promoting their products and making sales for them I would suspect that they have no incentive to change their current policy.

    I agree with you also and rarely promote products that provide 1-800 numbers or other means to capture traffic sent to it by its hard workign affiliates without properly compensating them.

    Respectfully,
    Tim
    Signature
    Article Marketing Soldiers - The Best Selling Article Marketing Product On The Warrior Forum Is Now Looking For Affiliates! Make Over $25 Per Sale With This High Converting Product.

    Make More Money And Spend More Time With Your Family By Becoming A Scentsy Consultant - I Provide Personal Assistance And Help With Growing Your Business.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172592].message }}
    • Originally Posted by TimG View Post

      Unfortunately as long as they have affiliates promoting their products and making sales for them I would suspect that they have no incentive to change their current policy.

      I agree with you also and rarely promote products that provide 1-800 numbers or other means to capture traffic sent to it by its hard workign affiliates without properly compensating them.

      Respectfully,
      Tim
      This ^

      It sucks but there really is nothing you can do about them stealing sales off their affiliates with the toll free number. I hadn't encountered this before and it was a real eye opener for me.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172681].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Sometimes you just have to cut it loose. That sounds like a good idea
    in the case of NC. They don't care about affiliates. They are big enough
    so they can afford to not care about you.

    Of course you'll do what you want. But why stress over it or try to make
    it work.

    I'll tell you something else about NC that you may not know about.

    I looked into promoting their products quite a few years ago because I
    used to be a heavy buyer of their stuff. A lot of it was good, and maybe
    it still is.

    But, I was reading their affiliate tos and spotted the pay cycle is
    quarterly. Affiliates get paid every quarter. Like that one?

    As I said, that was a well over 5 years ago, I'm guessing. So maybe they
    have changed it. But since they have NO problem screwing you with
    their 800 number, I'm guessing it's still every quarter.

    Good luck.

    Ken
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3172837].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell
      Originally Posted by KenThompson View Post

      Sometimes you just have to cut it loose. That sounds like a good idea
      in the case of NC. They don't care about affiliates. They are big enough
      so they can afford to not care about you.

      Of course you'll do what you want. But why stress over it or try to make
      it work.

      I'll tell you something else about NC that you may not know about.

      I looked into promoting their products quite a few years ago because I
      used to be a heavy buyer of their stuff. A lot of it was good, and maybe
      it still is.

      But, I was reading their affiliate tos and spotted the pay cycle is
      quarterly. Affiliates get paid every quarter. Like that one?

      As I said, that was a well over 5 years ago, I'm guessing. So maybe they
      have changed it. But since they have NO problem screwing you with
      their 800 number, I'm guessing it's still every quarter.

      Good luck.

      Ken

      Thanks for the insight Ken,

      You're right --- I do need to cut them loose. I just wanted to see how many other affiliate types are also annoyed my this kind of red headed step child treatment. If merchants only knew how much competition they create for themselves in the way of disillusioned affiliates that create their own material when they would rather sell (pre-sell) a merchant's product/s.

      I'm just one small-time operator but I have the potential of sending a merchant 200 qualified visitors a day and yet merchants insist on being cute with the toll-free order entry numbers. (shaking head) (end of rant) :-)

      I checked NC's affiliate agreement. They have changed their pay schedule to 30 days.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3174480].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Ernie, I think you nailed it when you used the phrase "Red-headed stepchild"...

        Many of these old-line companies don't really believe in 'affiliate programs'. Someone is convinced they need one to keep up with the Joneses, but they don't put much stock in it. Then a bunch of people sign up for the program and do nothing, thus validating the notion.

        It's frustrating for real affiliates, for sure.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3175084].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Ernie Mitchell
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Ernie, I think you nailed it when you used the phrase "Red-headed stepchild"...

          Many of these old-line companies don't really believe in 'affiliate programs'. Someone is convinced they need one to keep up with the Joneses, but they don't put much stock in it. Then a bunch of people sign up for the program and do nothing, thus validating the notion.

          It's frustrating for real affiliates, for sure.
          I agree. In essence they don't have any idea what they are missing because they don't have anything to compare it with.

          According to columnist Ann Landers there is a worm that lives in the bottom of every bottle of horseradish. Because the worm has never been anywhere else it thinks it's living in the sweetest place on earth.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3193241].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author nownzen
            Now, this may be a little late, but I found this thread actually doing a google search for something else.

            I just want to chime in that their affiliate program, as you say, pays 25%. But they do have a reseller program with a 45% discount off of retail with dropshipping @ $4.25 per order + shipping of course.

            http://www.nightingale.com/resellers...lers_main.aspx

            Hope this helps anybody or the OP

            Best of Luck and Success!!!
            -G
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7942438].message }}

Trending Topics