I am lead to believe that every UK Network is reading my blog, so I thought maybe I should let each of the ones I deal with as an Affiliate know a positive and a negative thing about them from my point of view. The negative will hopefully be seen as constructive as I really don’t go for the whole “your crap, because I said your crap” thing that a few people get involved in. The best way forward is to say why you think something can be done better, the company you’re talking about might not agree with you but at least they shouldn’t be upset at your comments.
So here we go, in A to Z order.
Positive: I like the choice of Merchants, loads to pick from. I like that Affiliate Future think about the Affiliate incentives they offer, the Barbados trip is a good idea (2nd year running this year I believe), not won it yet myself but still something to aim for.
Negative: Flow of the Interface and Information provided could be better, Affiliate Future are taking steps in the right direction but due to the shear size of Affiliate Futures merchant base it can be a bit frustrating when you’re trying to find something.
Positive: Affiliate Window is not just copying other Networks when it comes to adding new features, and they seem to be listening and making changes without taking years to do it, also had call to use support a few weeks back and I was impressed by the speed that I got a reply, wasn’t what I wanted to hear but was a swift response none the less.
Negative: You need to have words with a few of your Merchants, either they are in the Affiliate Marketing space or they are not. I am talking about Toy’s ‘R’ Us here, they have now been in the area long enough for them to understand it. The brand they have is not worth your reputation if they keep up this at arms length approach stuff, sort them out or drop them as your alienating a lot of good Affiliates.
Positive: Staff has been very responsive and very helpful, even though I have not found the programs for me to produce any great results. I do appreciate the time and effort they have given me even if it is probably not justified based on what I have earned to date.
Negative: Confused about how the pending, approved and rejected sales are viewed and how it all works, however due to the fact I am not doing big volumes I never pursued asking for it to be explained, but then again if it was maybe a little more clear having to ask could be avoided.
Positive: Majority of staff have always been friendly towards me, thought both my ups in making money with Buy.at and my downs. Always felt welcome at events that I have been invited to and like that on many subjects you let me say my bit and value you my feedback. Plus Buy.at have some good brand names onboard that convert well.
Negative: Need to complete a few things you have had in beta what seems like forever, I know Buy.at want it done right but surely it shouldn’t be out in beta if it wasn’t close to being complete in the first place, I am of course talking about version 3 of the interface looks good but I am still using version 2 so that’s got to tell you something.
Positive: Have to say this is one of my hardest to find a positive on, and this is weird as a sister company owned by Value Click called Search123 I could give you loads on as the staff are first class. However I promised a positive for everyone and I shall deliver. You have some Merchants that no one else has and some of these are pretty good, decent converters.
Negative: I am stuck in USD account limbo land, no one from the UK has the power to make USA CJ convert my 3 accounts to UK pounds and no one from the UK is willing to help me setup an account in UK pounds with all my current Merchants pre-approved. Also still don’t get proper VAT invoices from you, you have to get this sorted as it’s a real put off for me and others, to the point it effects new Merchants as I tell them all the time because of these 2 main things I don’t want to promote them, business is being lost and I think it’s because CJ in the USA are to ignorant of the UK demission to do anything about it.
Positive: You have got some good staff members, people I am happy to talk with as they not full of BS when I deal with them. I also think you have a very good sales team as you do pull the odd gem of a Merchant in to Affiliate Marketing who has not previously worked in the arena.
Negative: ok so I have not gotten fully over interface upgrade that went so wrong, but I know from speaking to others this is pretty much history, so I will be coming back to use much larger range of Merchants very soon. My main thing is actually invoicing and billing, I am really confused as to why numbers are not matching up, i.e. what invoices and date ranges are saying verses what is in my bank account in any given month, I hate paper work and this has got me puzzled, but to be far to you I not come with examples and asked for it to be explained. I do know however that once sorted and I am fully happy with it, that I be set to re-start promotions of old and maybe make it back in to your top affiliates list once again.
Positive: Every time I have contacted an account manager they have worked over my request and keep in touch and more importantly actually done what they said they would do. Great range of finance merchants, and while I am not a finance affiliate I can still find ones to make money from all be it very much in a up and down fashion.
Negative: Don’t really have one for you, now that in it’s self might be your negative because if I don’t have one then I am not on your system enough to find something I would like done better 😉 I guess then my negative is not enough diverse range of different Merchants but this is also a positive for others.
Paid On Results
Positive: Good staff that work hard, even working outside normal 9 to 5 hours. Very good understanding of issues that effect Affiliates and Merchants and the Control Interface for both Affiliates and Merchants is first class.
Negative: More choice of Merchants is needed. Would like to see some brand name Merchants using some of the innovative tools that Paid On Results have developed for Affiliates.
Positive: My what a change Tradedoubler have gone through, always been pretty much the biggest Network in the UK and still are but yet you find time to make sure staff are involved in the Affiliate Community. You are not shy of responding to negative posts without acting like maybe you shouldn’t have to as some of the other Networks do. Support is very good from my point of view, can’t fault the Affiliate team as they reply swiftly, now this could be down to them having the most money of all the Networks but important point is people at the top don’t seem afraid to invest some of that in key services. Biggest range of brands to pick from in the UK.
Negative: I have had a few issues where Tradedoubler have taken the Merchants word for something, accuse me of it and later have to apologise for the mistake. So I would say learn the green cross code, Stop, Look and Listen because if you check what been said you will not need to apologise for making a mistake as it will be clear if you know what to look for. Also I think some of your Merchants are getting away from not paying invoice on time too easy, but that situation has improved a lot over the years.
Positive: Innovative use of tracking technologies, vocal and helpful staff that don’t mind getting involved in Affiliate community for both when the going is good and bad, can’t stand folk that only want to respond to things that show them in a good light so for getting stuck in to both sides I give you a salute. Decent range of Merchants that you won’t find on other networks.
Negative: Interface is far too confusing, sure you are at the higher end of number features you offer Affiliates so that always makes it a little harder than people that give Affiliates next to no features but, layout, sort orders and general navigations needs work so stuff is easier to find and access.
End of the UK Network positive and constructive negative points.
So there you have it, if you have not been listed it probably because “I don’t yet work with you” or “you’re actually nobody in the UK Market space right now” or “you’re using off the shelf software so couldn’t do anything to fix something if it was software based so pointless telling you”. For the Networks that are reading my blog, you’re welcome to comment on what I have said and I will not edit what you have to say, but then again you might not want to say anything and that’s cool also.
If your from a Network reading this, remember read and balance your positive and your negative, don’t just focus on the one, we all need some kind of balance and I hope I have given you a feel good and something to think about all at the same time, not often these days I hand out free advice 😉
I have been feeling rather good of late about many of the developments in Affiliate Marketing and I would like to pass on the vibe that basically Affiliate Marketing is great and while there is always little things that get you upset, just keep in mind they are the little things, if it was the majority of things that upset you, then it’s time to leave the arena for pastures new.