Do you Contact Your Clickbank Customers? (is this against TOS)

41 replies
I feel like I've discovered America, I never knew I had access to their Emails :|

Is it against Clickbank TOS to contact them after the purchase was made, can
I subscribe them to my mailing list (against aweber TOS)? As long as they accept
the confirmation email.

Thank you and merry Christmas!
#clickbank #contact #customers #tos
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    • Profile picture of the author imaddict
      Yes. You should contact them. As far as being against any TOS... not sure... but they're YOUR customers - not Clickbank's. All they do is process payments and split commissions. I can't see why they would have a problem with this... and even if they do... give them the middle finger and do it anyway! Remember, they're YOUR customers buying YOUR product/service. Clickbank shouldn't have any say in this.
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      • Profile picture of the author ildarius
        That's what I'm thinking too, I wonder if the actual merchant contacts them after they make the purchase... Anyways guess there's only one way to find out.

        Wonder what aweber thinks about that.

        Do any of you warriors do it?
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        • Profile picture of the author imaddict
          Originally Posted by ildarius View Post

          I wonder if the actual merchant contacts them after they make the purchase...
          Yes.

          Originally Posted by ildarius View Post

          Wonder what aweber thinks about that.
          Aweber is fine with this but they'll have to confirm their optin. What I do is use a script that captures the buyer's Email address and sends it to listname@aweber.com. Then I tell the customer that I have an unadvertised bonus sent to their inbox and to check their Email address/confirm for this. Works great.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        ildarius,

        If your patience level is demonstrated by waiting a whole 11 minutes without an answer before bumping a thread, you should probably stay away from email marketing.

        Seriously. You'd be asking for trouble.

        That said, it depends on what you tell them in the sales letter and what you're mailing them. Not enough info here to give a definitive answer.


        imaddict,

        Technically, they're Clickbank's customers. That doesn't mean I disagree with you on the attitude, but it's important that you actually know how a system works if you're going to comment about it.


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        • Profile picture of the author imaddict
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          imaddict,

          Technically, they're Clickbank's customers. That doesn't mean I disagree with you on the attitude, but it's important that you actually know how a system works if you're going to comment about it.


          Paul
          Hey Paul, not disagreeing with you here but I'm puzzled by this. I sell products via clickbank and my own merchant account. As far as the latter is concerned, they're my customers - not the merchant account's. So why should the case be any different with CB. All they truly are is a 'glorified' shoppingcart/gateway/merchant/affiliate management sytem.

          - IMA
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            imaddict,

            Different rules, different results.

            Technically, CB buys the product from you as a wholesaler and then resells it to the customer. That's an entirely different thing than "just" being a payment processor, like PayPal, a merchant bank or other such system.

            That little detail explains some things that people get confused or annoyed over. Like why CB will give the customer a refund without consulting the product creator first.

            Their customer. Not yours. If they don't act that way in a consistent fashion, they could develop problems with their own merchant accounts.


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            • Profile picture of the author ildarius
              If your patience level is demonstrated by waiting a whole 11 minutes without an answer before bumping a thread, you should probably stay away from email marketing.

              Seriously. You'd be asking for trouble.
              Yep, when I want it I try to get it. Not that it ticks off anyone right?... My email marketing is doing pretty good, don't worry about it.

              That's a great strategy IMaddict, thanx bud!
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                ildarius,
                Yep, when I want it I try to get it. Not that it ticks off anyone right?
                That's an excellent habit to have developed. I would suggest, though, that it be tempered with a bit more patience and respect for others.


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            • Profile picture of the author imaddict
              Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

              imaddict,

              Different rules, different results.

              Technically, CB buys the product from you as a wholesaler and then resells it to the customer. That's an entirely different thing than "just" being a payment processor, like PayPal, a merchant bank or other such system.

              That little detail explains some things that people get confused or annoyed over. Like why CB will give the customer a refund without consulting the product creator first.

              Their customer. Not yours. If they don't act that way in a consistent fashion, they could develop problems with their own merchant accounts.


              Paul
              Ah.... I see. Thanks for clarifying. Sneaky devils They "buy" the product off of us - yet instead of giving us money for it... they take our money to start selling it! I like that business model
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              • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
                ildarius

                Are you asking the question as a publisher or as an affiliate ?

                Harvey
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                • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                  There is nothing in the Clickbank TOS that says you can't contact your
                  buyers.

                  Having said that, any time you email anybody, you run the risk of getting
                  a spam complaint, even if it's just to thank them for their purchase.

                  You will, in fact, run into customers who use email verification programs to
                  have you fill out these dreadfully long forms before you can even send that
                  thank you email.

                  Whenever you are contacting somebody who didn't opt into your list, you
                  are taking a chance.

                  That is the simple reality of the situation.
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                  • Profile picture of the author ildarius
                    As an affiliate.

                    I guess I'll run the risks of getting reported, hopefully they don't

                    That's an excellent habit to have developed. I would suggest, though, that it be tempered with a bit more patience and respect for others.

                    Paul
                    dang, you've got to be pretty sensitive to take thread bumps as signs of disrespect
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                    • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
                      Originally Posted by ildarius View Post

                      As an affiliate.
                      Note that the question about contacting customers is related
                      to affiliates - a different situation from publishers
                      (vendors) making contact.

                      Although ClickBank do not specifically object to this in
                      their TOS they could in the future stop the display of the
                      customer email address for an affiliate sale.

                      Harvey
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                      • Profile picture of the author psresearch
                        Originally Posted by Harvey.Segal View Post

                        Note that the question about contacting customers is related
                        to affiliates - a different situation from publishers
                        (vendors) making contact.

                        Although ClickBank do not specifically object to this in
                        their TOS they could in the future stop the display of the
                        customer email address for an affiliate sale.

                        Harvey
                        I don't understand how the affiliate can contact the buyer and still be CAN-SPAM compliant?

                        I'm not an expert on that by any means, so I'd like to hear from one of you who knows more about how that fits within those rules.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
                          Originally Posted by markquinn View Post

                          I don't understand how the affiliate can contact the buyer and still be CAN-SPAM compliant?

                          I'm not an expert on that by any means, so I'd like to hear from one of you who knows more about how that fits within those rules.
                          If an affiliate is offering additional bonuses for purchasing said product through their affiliate link, don't you think it would be wise in such a scenario to actually do that?
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                          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                            Floyd,
                            If an affiliate is offering additional bonuses for purchasing said product through their affiliate link, don't you think it would be wise in such a scenario to actually do that?
                            This is the sort of thing I meant when I included the caveat about something specific being mentioned before the sale. There are times when it's appropriate to email a person who bought through an affiliate link, but they almost all involve the buyer being told beforehand that the mail would be coming.


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                            • Profile picture of the author adejokelvin
                              Banned
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                              • Profile picture of the author ildarius
                                This is a public forum, people come here to support each other and share
                                their points of view, not to make stinging remarks.

                                But I'll guess there will always be a couple of bad apples here and there.

                                Unfortunately as of late (and I haven't been here a very long time):
                                I've been seeing a lot of these stinging "smart" remarks which are nothing
                                short of a public insult (since anyone can read this open thread, remember?)

                                As for the:
                                I should probably spell out what the collateral damage is, since he's made it clear he's not prone to thinking past his own nose.
                                It's unfortunate to say it but you sir need a lesson in good manners.

                                Guess it is a pretty Zen remark for a Redneck, or may be someone who thinks he's zen.

                                Categorical imperative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
                                Imagine if everyone was posting replies such as the gentlemen above I'm sure this would not be as much of a respected forum as it is right now.
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                                • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                  ildarius,
                                  It's unfortunate to say it but you sir need a lesson in good manners.
                                  And you need a lesson in punctuation. Do you think it would do you any good?

                                  I understand courtesy. I also understand that it is not universally deserved.

                                  In this thread you have made it clear that you have no concern for the social niceties, as evidenced by your defense of bumping a thread within minutes, and your stated willingness to spam. Please explain to the assembled notables how either of those indicates that you are deserving of respectful treatment.

                                  That statement, by the way, was neither Zen nor redneck. It was an observation based on your behavior in this thread.


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                                  • Profile picture of the author ildarius
                                    Well, sir may be you should make up your mind.

                                    I also understand that it is not universally deserved.
                                    with

                                    Please explain to the assembled notables how either of those indicates that you are deserving of respectful treatment.
                                    Deserve??

                                    As far as spam remark goes I am going to apply what was suggested by IMaddict (great suggestion by the way):

                                    Aweber is fine with this but they'll have to confirm their optin. What I do is use a script that captures the buyer's Email address and sends it to listname@aweber.com. Then I tell the customer that I have an unadvertised bonus sent to their inbox and to check their Email address/confirm for this. Works great.
                                    Let's be frank here, flying off the hinges and making remarks about one's character traits (in this case patience) and what he should and should not do then pointing out punctuation errors, all because of:

                                    Bump!
                                    is .... well you can answer that one yourself
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                                    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                      ildarius,
                                      Deserve??
                                      Right. I am saying that you haven't demonstrated that you deserve more than the most basic courtesy.

                                      The thing you're missing is that, not being the merchant, you can't use IMaddict's suggestion after the sale without sending spam. If you do it before the sale, that's completely fine. That way they have to choose, and it's not a problem.

                                      For the merchant, that is, as you have noted, an excellent suggestion.

                                      I don't particularly care what you think about my manners, by the way. You're giving every indication that you are prepared to send spam to people who bought through an affiliate link. That is bad for everyone in the process. Not to mention being extremely rude.

                                      You also seem to have a problem following a simple line of conversation. This did not "all" come from the bump. Only the comments specific to that action came from it. The rest relate to your subsequent responses.

                                      Context. Look it up, kid. It's a useful concept.


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                                      • Profile picture of the author ildarius
                                        I am saying that you haven't demonstrated that you deserve more than the most basic courtesy.
                                        and yet again you failed to demonstrate it...

                                        Context. Look it up, kid. It's a useful concept.
                                        There you go again with another bad mannered remark, do you know me? My age?

                                        Don't accuse me of sending SPAM.

                                        Who said I was going to send spam? I was going to ask them for their permission to send them a bonus that goes well with the product that they have already purchased. Aweber asks them if they would accept to be included in the mailing list, they have an option to accept or refuse the subscription. And even before that message is sent I would send them a message asking them if that's ok.
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                                        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                          ildarius,

                                          I gave the reasons for holding that opinion. The fact that you plan to spam is more than enough for me.

                                          ANY way that you contact people who buy from you through an affiliate link, that wasn't made very clear to them before they bought, involves spamming. Including something as seemingly innocent as asking them if they want to sign up for your list.

                                          Spam = Unsolicited bulk email.

                                          Before sending those requests, I'd check with Aweber if I were you. Make sure they know exactly how the proposed process will work. I'd be surprised if they allowed it.

                                          As far as the kid comment... I'm going based on your behavior, not your age. If this sort of mild comment seems ill-mannered to you, you would have a coronary over the treatment that you should get as a potential spammer.

                                          I'm being nice, since I assume you don't really understand that spamming is exactly what you're proposing to do. Or the damage that this type of activity causes to legitimate merchants and affiliates.


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                          • Profile picture of the author psresearch
                            Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

                            If an affiliate is offering additional bonuses for purchasing said product through their affiliate link, don't you think it would be wise in such a scenario to actually do that?
                            I wasn't asking about those situations. In fact I almost included that disclaimer and put in that I didn't mean people using autobonus delivery systems like some of the ClickBank ones available.

                            I should have clarified that and put that disclaimer in.
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        • Profile picture of the author Scott Burton
          Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

          ildarius,

          If your patience level is demonstrated by waiting a whole 11 minutes without an answer before bumping a thread, you should probably stay away from email marketing.

          Not that I'm defending the bump per say, but depending onf the volume of posts appearing on the forum and the rate of responses, 11 minutes can mean the question has fallen off the first page (and thuss receiving a drastically reduced shot at being read and thus answered.

          A lot of people don't go past the first page, because there's so many posts. No one can read everything here.

          I'd be curious to know if in those 11 minutes between creation and bump if the topic had fallen off the front page.

          Just my thoughts.
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          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
            Scott,

            I don't think I've ever seen it so busy that 11 or 12 minutes was the span for the whole front page. That said, if it were that busy, bumping immediately would just get it back into the same high traffic. Waiting a bit more would thus not only be more polite, it would be more effective.

            Derrick,
            old grizzled vet online marketer
            Tsk. I was "grizzled" long before the phrase "online marketer" was coined.

            Glad you liked the book. I've been getting some great suggestions for additions.


            Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
        Originally Posted by imaddict View Post

        Yes. You should contact them. As far as being against any TOS... not sure... but they're YOUR customers - not Clickbank's. All they do is process payments and split commissions. I can't see why they would have a problem with this... and even if they do... give them the middle finger and do it anyway! Remember, they're YOUR customers buying YOUR product/service. Clickbank shouldn't have any say in this.
        i think that definition is actually wrong. CB is not a payment processor, they're more like a retailer. If you put "ClickBank is our Payment Processor" on your site you can be sure to get a complaint to change this - happened to me once.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          ildarius,
          dang, you've got to be pretty sensitive to take thread bumps as signs of disrespect
          That's one perspective. Another is that the person understands how the system works and the consequences of certain behaviors becoming common.

          A useful question to ask yourself when considering doing something online is, "What would happen if everyone did this?"

          Now that you've clarified the question, I have a more useful answer: Unless there is something very specific that happens before the sale indicating that I was going to get added to a list by the affiliate, I'd treat it as spam and report it.

          I've said here before that I don't object to being added to a merchant's list after buying something, if there is a working unsubscribe option. Affiliates are a different matter. You are asking for trouble.


          Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author cherylwright
            I don't know what the TOS state, but as a buyer I would have serious concerns about being added to a list just because I bought through someone's affiliate link.

            I would also never buy via that person's link again. It's way too easy to go around adding people to your list without permission. (And not nice.)

            If someone did that to me, I'd give them a blast, and then I'd unsubscribe.

            Ettiquette goes a long way in my book....



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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              I don't understand how the affiliate can contact the buyer and still be CAN-SPAM compliant?
              CAN-SPAM does not forbid even blatant spamming, so it wouldn't apply here. While this may not be explicitly forbidden in CB's TOS, it is almost certainly forbidden in the TOS of any/all of his service providers.

              The gentleman from Montreal is probably not overly concerned about CAN-SPAM anyway, as he's not a US citizen. He is almost certainly not looking at jail time or anything like that.

              What he is risking are his email and web hosting accounts, his lists if they're hosted with an ESP, and, depending on who he registered with, his domain name(s). Along with the collateral damage done to other merchants and affiliates.

              I should probably spell out what the collateral damage is, since he's made it clear he's not prone to thinking past his own nose.

              When you do things that create undesired consequences for people, they tend to avoid the situations in which those consequences arose. If someone believes they'll get added to a list for buying through an affiliate, they will be more likely to avoid buying through an affiliate. This can mean not buying the product at all, in which case it affects every affiliate link they ever see, or looking for a non-affiliate link, which hurts other affiliates.

              If it happens after using a cloaked link, they'll think it was the merchant. Those folks will simply tend to avoid buying anything unless they're relatively certain of the source.

              And, when someone sees this type of intention posted, they will tend to avoid doing business with the poster. So, he's not doing himself any favors here, either.


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          • Profile picture of the author Matthew W. Rhodes
            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

            A useful question to ask yourself when considering doing something online is, "What would happen if everyone did this?"
            Good ol' Kant...for anyone who doesn't know what Paul is talking about...

            >> Categorical imperative - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            Good rule to live by and to think about...not just for online, but for "real life," too. :-)

            Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author WinsonYeung
    Yes you can, there is no rule stating that u cant anyway
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  • Profile picture of the author derrickp
    Paul I love your posts, reading a few words you can see the old grizzled vet online marketer

    BTW, loved your Creating Killer Content product, it's a must read.

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  • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
    If you are a merchant, recontacting people who have bought a product of yours is a reasonable marketing practice. The resultant list of buyers, rather than prospects can be very valuable to your business.

    That's not to say, however, that some people might not still object to receiving emails from you - which is why a clear and easy unsubscribe option is simply good business practice.

    From a spam perspective, these will be people with whom you have a prior business relationship, but as we all know, the definition of spam is rarely clear and however 'right' you might be, if what you write annoys them, it can still be branded as spam.

    ClickBank have been guilty of confusing the issue by traditionally providing the customers' email address to both the vendor and the affiliate - thus giving many affiliates the impression that each sale is 'their' customer too. While this may be the case - if the sale has come from an affiliate's existing subscriber list, for example - it may not be.

    In that case, the provision of the email address to the affiliate can be very useful for him or her to cross-check buyers against their main list to create a sub list of active or recent buyers. But adding people who are not already in their subscriber list without their explicit permission would be asking for trouble.

    As Harvey correctly says, there is discussion going on between ClickBank and some of its merchants and advisors about whether they should continue to provide the email addresses to affiliates at all. I wouldn't be surprised to see this 'service' being discontinued in the future as it is a thorn in the side of the bigger vendors and frankly, an irrelevance to most affiliates.

    Martin
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
      Originally Posted by Martin.Avis View Post

      As Harvey correctly says, there is discussion going on between ClickBank and some of its merchants and advisors about whether they should continue to provide the email addresses to affiliates at all. I wouldn't be surprised to see this 'service' being discontinued in the future as it is a thorn in the side of the bigger vendors and frankly, an irrelevance to most affiliates.
      There is at least one legit reason for the affiliate to have access to that info- to verify a sale if they are offering a bonus.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        ildarius,

        It's bush league to bump your own thread even if it's on page 10. But after 11 minutes when it's still on page one is worthy of being crowned MVP of the bush league. It's spammy behavior.

        I'd have to check for sure, but I think there might even be mention somewhere about bumping being against forum rules. Not that it really needs to be though.

        Paul is trying to be civil. He's one of the good guys. By taking offense, you're contributng to the ongoing hijacking of this thread. Take your lumps and move on. Or don't...but if you keep being confrontational and irrational, there's a pretty good chance that this post and/or you will get zapped.
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      • Profile picture of the author Harvey Segal
        Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

        There is at least one legit reason for the affiliate to have access to that info- to verify a sale if they are offering a bonus.
        Chris,

        I think ClickBank would remove the email address but retain the
        customer name so that would enable the affiliate to check.

        Harvey
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      • Profile picture of the author ildarius
        As far as the kid comment... I'm going based on your behavior, not your age. If this sort of mild comment seems ill-mannered to you, you would have a coronary over the treatment that you should get as a potential spammer.
        Please keep your observations and mild comments to yourself, could not care less about them. Your behaviour deserves words that are a little less mild, by the way. As far as accusations of being a potential spammer, I'm as much of a spammer as you are a ballet dancer.

        The information about contacting a person by email is found in most Privacy Policies (collecting personal information), if you ever cared to read one, and I will make sure to include that clause, should I one day decide to pursue this strategy.

        Regards...
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        • Profile picture of the author ildarius
          Paul is trying to be civil.
          What thread were you reading?

          But other than that, if you were going to keep me (the product vendor) from getting extremely pissed off at you, you would have to make it clear that you have no affiliation whatsoever with me or my business.
          Good point, I haven't considered that, thank you for bringing that up.

          Is there any affiliate warriors that do this out there?
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          • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
            Originally Posted by ildarius View Post

            What thread were you reading?



            Good point, I haven't considered that, thank you for bringing that up.

            Is there any affiliate warriors that do this out there?
            I've always avoided this strategy...

            If I am offering a bonus on an affiliate product, then I make it VERY clear that the buyer needs to contact ME to receive the bonus..

            It's their loss if they don't contact me.

            There is NO reason I can think of that I would wish to follow the actions you are talking of.. it's completely unnecessary .. tell them to contact you in your copy and up front information. You speak of adding them to your mailing list, this I think is an even bigger NO-NO.. just take the sales then move on.. collect names up front or not at all..

            Meddling in CB's client list is a bad move IMHO... as someone stated above, they are CB's clients due to the business model that CB operate.

            Peace

            Jay
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              ildarius,
              Please keep your observations and mild comments to yourself
              You are free to ask that. I am unlikely to comply, buy ask away.

              If you come in here discussing activities that most responsible and experienced people would consider spam, I'm going to get involved in the conversation. This place had enough trouble in the past for allowing such conversation to go unanswered. It took me months to clean that mess up. It's not going to happen again.

              At this point, you are likely defending the idea for one of two reasons. You don't grasp that it really is spamming to do what you've said you intend to do, or you've got your ego in an uproar and you want to prove you're "not going to be talked to like that."

              If it's the former, I'm happy to explain the what and why. If it's the latter, you're just going to have to get over it.

              Argue with me all you like. On this subject, you are not going to win. And you're not doing yourself any favors in trying.


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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    So if you sell one of my products, you are going to attempt to email the purchaser and offer them a bonus.

    That is unsolicted email.

    But other than that, if you were going to keep me (the product vendor) from getting extremely pissed off at you, you would have to make it clear that you have no affiliation whatsoever with me or my business.

    If my list began unsubscribing or, worse yet, asking for refunds, because of receiving spam as a result of buying my product, I'd be upset to say the least.

    Just another angle.

    Allen Graves
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    Every day I check the obituaries. If I don't see my name there, then I know it's going to be a good day!
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