Only as good as the reps

Discussion in 'Networks Discussion' started by PushSend, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    With a section dedicated to Mailer Networks, I thought it made sense to touch on something that has pissed me off more than once and I'm sure you've had your experiences like this as well. While I'm not going to call out any rep or network, I will say that it happens a lot, far too often in my opinion.

    How many times a day/week do you get emails, IM's or in some way contacted by a rep who says "we have the HOTTEST offer in the industry for you and it's gonna KILL for you"! Ya....sure you do! So you bite, you ask questions like "Has it been tested"?, "what domains are working for it"?, "what kind of eCPM's are your mailers seeing on it"? or "how much volume are mailers throwing at it right now"?

    And the answers you get are along the lines of: "no, it's brand new but it LOOKS solid"!, "I don't know, we don't ask our mailers for that information", "not sure about that but the CPA is $115"!! and finally "we have no way of knowing unless the mailers tell us and they usually don't".

    Seriously? You don't talk to your mailers about HOW they're doing what they're doing with your offers? Really? It's untested but you're telling me it's a killer offer? And because the CPA is over a 100 bucks I should clear my schedule and drop on this bad boy for you, huh? So what happens when I drop on this for you and it flat lines, I don't make anything and I moved offers around because you told me it would work well for me? Who's gonna pay me for my time, the lost revenue from putting you into rotation? This shit ain't free.

    Lemme tell you something. If you don't know jack shit about the metrics on your offer, don't bother me unless you lead with "we'll pay you a fat CPM to throw some traffic at a new offer we just got". When I talk to my reps I ask all these questions and more. And the reps I have ALL know the answers to these questions. If they didn't, I wouldn't be pushing any traffic for them. I tell my rep what kind of volume I threw at it, what domains I'm hitting, what I'm not. This is just part of any good conversation between a mailer and a rep.

    If your rep doesn't ask YOU questions about your methods, the domains you hit, the volume you can send, what's been working for you, what kind of EPC's or eCPM's you need to see in order to run an offer then that rep doesn't know SHIT about mail and you're better off moving on to another network.

    It's tough to find a good stable of offers to run that you can constantly keep in rotation and you don't have time to fuck around with new offers or with reps/networks that don't have a clue when it comes to mailing. So when you find your winners regarding networks, reps and offers becareful what you move just because someone is claiming to have the next best offer in affiliate marketing!

    :261:
     
  2. maileradmin

    maileradmin Mailer Forum Staff Member

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    great post...

    I get those emails all the time. What I do is simply.
    You want me to stop my money making offers to mail your new, untested crap? You need to guarantee me a minimum number of leads for the drop no matter what.

    Since all my AMs know I can mail, they 99% go with it.

    It would be a tough sale for mailer just getting started with that network though.
    Bottom line: if you have proven winners on rotation, stick with them unless you know youll make $$$ no matter what.
     
  3. DoldGigga

    DoldGigga VIP

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    If you're mailing effectively then you should always have some volume budgeted for testing new offers. I enjoy testing new and sometimes unusual offers because more often than not, I find something that does really well and it turns out that I can corner the market so to speak, since other mailers take the elitist "Why should I try something new when what I'm doing is good enough?" attitude. I'll give an offer a few rounds to prove itself to my lists...if it flops then I cut it and replace it with another.

    Also, the "standby" offers that you rely on can stagnate if you keep sending the same shit to your lists over and over. It's not going to perform the same, especially with leadgens. Your scrub rates will increase since each drop will result in higher duplicate data.
     
  4. PushSend

    PushSend VIP

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    I agree with you DG, but that's not my point. My point was that too many times it's a rep without a clue talking out his/her ass about an offer that their network needs traffic on and has no idea what makes an offer work for a mailer. To this, just rolling with the punches and pulling offers based on this "entusiastic yet undeducated" approach is not a smart move for anybody.

    I blame the networks for not putting enough emphasis on training. When you start growing so fast that it's just a matter of putting asses in seats to cover all of the affiliates you have in your system, then something is going to suffer. I've seen it happen, hell, I've MADE it happen at companies. One day you're the "new guy on the block" the next you're blowin' up because you have some real bulldogs on the phones. I personally took time every day to train on the fly and held weekly sales staff meetings to go over questions, strategies and techniques in dealing with affiliates.

    I'm an advocate of keeping offers fresh, you gotta rotate them in and out to avoid exactly what you brought up, offers stagnating and performing less and less with every drop. I didn't mean to imply that I only ran X number of offers and never swapped any out. But I do test cautiously. After running offer after offer you learn the demographics of your data and you can tell if something has a chance of working or not. So yes, test. Rotate in new offers to keep your list active. But take offers from networks that have reps that know the ropes. That's all I'm sayin'.

    :eating:
     
  5. airin

    airin Member

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    I definitely agree with this. Even networks that do put emphasis on training, seem to do so on a more generic level. If networks focused on giving reps training on specific traffic types I think it would improve service ten fold. Imagine having a rep that only worked with email publishers and knew the basics of email marketing!!!
     
  6. DoldGigga

    DoldGigga VIP

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    You're experiencing what's known as the "BestBuy Paradox". If you've ever wondered why most of the douchebuckets working at BestBuy never know dick about any of the tech products they're selling, the reason is simple - anyone who actually knows anything about the technology wouldn't be working at BestBuy. They'd have a real job that pays them 2-3 times as much... This paradox proliferates into other industries like car parts shops (although NAPA often contradicts this by having real "car guys" behind the counter).

    In the context of CPA marketing it's the same deal. The people who are capable enough to understand the business to a degree where they could actually be helpful to you are probably running their own enterprise and not busting their asses to make another company rich. I never expect much from affiliate reps but I think if you are willing to work with some of the smaller networks where the reps are also the owners, you will get a better experience.
     
  7. bumpies

    bumpies VIP

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    Great post! What are your favorite networks?
     
  8. InfiniteBrian

    InfiniteBrian VIP

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    I agree whole heartedly. I've been an Affiliate Manager, Email Affiliate and Advertiser and I've found that honesty is the best policy with affiliates. Having been on all sides of the game I know what publishers are looking for and I know you want the truth about stats. What I enjoy about my current position is that I'm working with affiliates and I'll soon be running our internal email, so I'll be able to show you my personal success on an offer so you can see exactly how the offer performs.

    I'd rather work with you rather then shoving something down your throat because an advertiser wants more traffic. I worked at a place that built offers and didn't want to test them and I refused to put my trusted affiliates on it because I didn't want to burn my relationships with those people. My theory is....If you aren't willing to test an offer you built, why would anyone else want to test it?
     
  9. DKPMO

    DKPMO VIP

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    As much as I enjoy challenging Dold's arguments here I have to agree with him 100% and +rep him too.

    This is also a key reason why affiliate network business is pretty hard to scale. Demands of affiliates make it hard to standardize and run like McDonalds and the best people have easy time breaking off on their own.

    Affiliate networks live and die by the sales wits of network/affiliate managers. But this means many networks' success rests on getting affiliates who are easy to "get sold". You see where I am going with this?
     
  10. JQuirky

    JQuirky VIP

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    Agree with all here, Not that i want to be an affiliate manager, why should i be asking them what they should be asking me, Lol Is it too hard to ask your mailer what they are sending on? This way when you want me to test why start with shit that doesnt really convert well on aol but nicely on yahoo. Why waste drops and tests, who the hell has time for that nonsense. this shit is tough enough sometimes, Lol. and in regards to the killer "epc's" they are seeing, they have know clue if i am sending to 100k or 6 million. Crazy. I agree, if it's a new offer and never been dropped the smart network will offer cpa buy. i do them all the time, except it depends on what cpm you would like for that test to make it worth while. But ya never know unless ya test, Right? Craziest shit converts sometimes, Lol
     
  11. chappy72

    chappy72 VIP

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    Only thing I need an affiliate rep for is to unlock offers...everything else is either total bs or requires testing on your own. How many times has some shitball offer performed that you were skeptical about testing/running and you scratch your head and wonder why people are clicking on this? You never know what the next great offer to your list may be.
     
  12. airin

    airin Member

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    I agree with Dold for the most part as well... but there are some rare gems on the AM side.

    My point of view is that a network should treat publishers as their partners...not someone they are selling to. AMs should be getting to know their pubs traffic streams, working with their pubs to increase performance on existing campaigns (custom creatives, landing pages, etc). Offers are not catchalls for every pub...even ones with the same types of traffic.

    When I was on the mailing side we tested a lot of offers...probably 3 - 5 per day/ 100+ per month. Three AMs in particular rocked and I ran as much as I could through them because I trusted them...they would always give me a heads up if I was planning to test a new offer and it didn't look good. Most of the time I would test anyways because stuff worked for me that didn't seem to work for other mailers.

    Just like Chappy says... "You never know what the next great offer to your list may be." When colon cleansing offers first hit the market a few years ago we were like..."Really? That's gross. Is anyone going to buy this? Screw it we will test." We tested and were hitting $5+ eCPMs on lists/ domains that we typically were lucky to hit half that. The advertiser was only able to fill 200 orders per day and because I had such a great relationship with my AM she was able to get me the allocation.We slammed that offer for a good 3 weeks...and literally after the advertiser increased distribution and the offer opened back up to other pubs our eCPMs dropped in half within 2 - 3 days.

    I guess what I am saying is, it's a two way street. Finding the AMs that are worth building that kind of relationship with may be hard, but when you do put forth the effort. I have been on both sides and know that I hook up the pubs that I have the best relationships with even if they aren't some of my bigger performers. And those hookups - free/exclusive/ super low revshare data, first dibs on allocation to special offers, etc. can make a big impact on your bottom line.
     
  13. gspot

    gspot VIP

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    I have to agree with DG as well. I got my start as an AM at an ESP and I have to admit that eventhough I talked a good game, I only really began to understand the industry once I started mailing myself.

    I'm a firm believer that anyone working at a network should spend a few weeks learning about how to mail and experience the challenges that face us on a daily basis. May be then, networks might supply us with better creatives and subject lines
     
  14. airin

    airin Member

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    We encourage our pubs to supply their own text creatives and subject lines. These stay exclusive to the pub that creates them, we do not load them into our system or share them with other pubs. Advertisers are notoriously bad at developing creatives...and when you are working with so many pubs it's hard for networks to tailor creatives to the masses. It typically will take less than an hour to get approval on the custom stuff.

    If you mail HTML and do well with an offer we will easily create an exclusive creative or two for you...turn around time on that is about a day. We go as far as creating exclusive domains/sites for pubs that do decent volume, where the advertisers allow it. =)
     
  15. sammers13

    sammers13 New Member

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    good article PushSend! as a rep, i take this article and your view point very seriously. my worst nightmare is to be just another "affiliate manager" that just gets thrown into the seat and push offers without any education behind them. i'm sure that there are times i can/do sound like this, but this brings it to my attention even more. i only wish that other reps would know this and take it as seriously as i do!

    now go on and mail my offers.

    ;-)
     
  16. clicksocraig

    clicksocraig New Member

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    I agree with what gspot said only because I used to be on the affiliate side and recently moved to the network side. It helps tremendously to know where you guys are coming from and which is why AM's like Airin do so well at their jobs. Alot of my pubs love the fact that I am quick to respond to their needs and only push offers that I know will work well for their traffic. I am sure everyone has been getting payday loan offers pushed to them like crazy lately and I do have a few on the network but because I know it won't back out for my pubs traffic I don't even bother mentioning it to them. It really just comes down to us as Affiliate Managers doing our dam homework! lol
     
  17. Mike91TT

    Mike91TT VIP

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    chappy - 1st off, awesome Steve Brule picture. Just saw your comment on AMs only being good for offers and how the most random offers work sometimes. I agree with you EXCEPT for the fact that without the good AM I would never have even attempted some of these strange offers that work for some strange reason. I don't understand why I get hundreds of clicks and a good amount of conversions on some offers, but I would never have run it if my AM didn't mention it is working for other (insert domain here) mailers. But yes, most AMs I've ever had are complete garbage and either just unlock offers when I ask or give me tons of awful untested offers to run because they need traffic.
     
  18. JohnFarrell

    JohnFarrell VIP

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    My am at a4d is the best AM I've ever had. He's even sourced offers and brought them in for me. All I have to do is ask.
     
  19. inblock

    inblock VIP

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    I've had trouble with AM's...I've found them to just not care much. Then again the guy I work for is a demanding jerk that over promises and under delivers. lol. They should all be put on commission so they keep our best interests in mind.
     
  20. ezstreet

    ezstreet New Member

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    They are like used car salesmen. They push want they have available. Most offers out there are either played out and/or everywhere.

    Would love to know which networks have the best unique exclusive offers, the ability to test the offer and aren't eating up the budget internally? Seems like a rare find these days.
     

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