Nexus's picture
For the purpose of knowing what type of material I am subjecting my users to and to get a feel for the quality of the content, I signed up for a relevant offer, using all correct information and the email address Sitepoint@mydomain.com. Which I received the download link for. Offer ID: w_sitb10 How to Build Your Own ASP.NET 3.5 Web Site Using C# & VB, 3rd Edition - Free 219 Page Preview! Offered by: Sitepoint. This transaction was rejected. For what reason, I can't imagine as there is no more relevant user than me for this content. Even though the content is very elementary and of no particular use to me, know one could determine that from the questions on the request form. Maybe, my zip code didn't contain a specif number or my job title isn't quite what they were looking for. Anyway I don't care about the reject, as the sole purpose was to get a feel for the content. The point is, today I get an email addressed to Sitepoint@mydomain.com, an email address that was only used once for the said purpose, asking me to request another offer, the link in the email links to an offer request at http://solo.tradepub.com/, which is obviously bypassing any commission that an affiliate should be entitled to. Why is that? I also made sure to select no to 'Would you like to receive EMAIL notices of other print or online publications, and relevant emails from TradePub.com?'. If you are going to be spamming our users, shouldn't we at least get credit for any resulting lead?
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Karen's picture

Hi Nexus,

We just reviewed the lead information provided by the subscriber email address you note in your post above. Per our records, you did opt-in to receive our TradePub newsletter (which is the email you are referring to). It appears that you subscribed and opted-in to our newsletter at 2:22:25 PST on June 13. You did not opt-in to our 3rd party list labeled as "Sign up for special offer alerts from select partners featuring the latest products and services you are interested in."

The opt-in to our newsletter explains why you received that follow-up email related to your prior request for the Sitepoint offer.

Just a bit more info on our opt-in policy...

These emails are not a secret nor are they spam. The emails that you are referring to are mailed only to users who choose to opt-in on the bottom of every form displayed across our network. We have never hidden that the users have the ability to opt-in for these messages. It is the choice of the user to subscribe to receive email alerts from us in the future when there are other titles available that are related to their needs. And that same user can opt-out of those mailings as well. If you work with other affiliate networks, you’ve surely seen this in the past.

One prime example is Amazon.com’s affiliate program. When a users clicks on a product from a partner’s site and proceeds to buy that item, the partner is paid. Later, Amazon.com will email users recommending products and providing direct Amazon.com links.

Please let me know if you have other questions or concerns. We are happy to address them.

Nexus's picture

and a partner was not paid. But if you are going to capture and store the users information for subsequent marketing efforts, bypassing the the original partner referral, then you are in essence using that information as if it was a valid lead in the same way that any of the sources of the offers would, for your own purposes, but not paying for it.

This being the case it would be very easy to set the criteria for lead acceptance to be so stringent that you only have to pay for a very small percentage of the leads.

Karen's picture

Hi Nexus,

I want to clarify the concern you have: we do not set the qualifying criteria for leads. The publisher of the offer determines the criteria at the time they decide to work with us. We always hope to work with publishers with minimal rejection criteria but it doesn't always come to fruition. The good news is, that when a publisher chooses more stringent qualifying criteria, the cost is higher for them and that means the payout is higher for you.

FYI: If a subscriber does not meet their qualifying criteria it is logged as a reject for you and that information is never passed to the offer publisher.

If, in the process of signing up for an offer with you, they opt-in to receive messages from TradePub, that is the only time that we capture the information they provide in order to contact them in the future. We are not tracking the originator of that lead information. It is possible that the lead could have come from more than one partner source which makes distributing the payout more complicated. Instead, the course of action we have chosen is to provide aggressive payouts for the good subscriptions our partners generate.

Nexus's picture

Let's use a specific example, which would be Offer ID: w_sitb10.
What is the specific qualifying criteria for this offer?
For 1 thing partners would not want to waste their efforts offering to people that are not qualified, for another maybe we can get an idea of just how stringent the qualifying criteria is.

You should be tracking the originator of the lead information. You are using and potentially benefiting from that lead information. why wouldn't you want to credit the source?

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Karen's picture

We cannot disclose the offer qualifying criteria to our partners. This would open our program to fraudulently collected leads and subscriptions and would seriously hinder the integrity and value we deliver to our clients. As you can imagine, publishing the criteria would lead partners with dubious intentions (not that you are one of them) down a slippery slope of abusing the system.

As for tracking and paying the lead originator, we understand your point of view but have chosen a business model that is structured differently than what you recommend.

We decided to follow the same procedure that many established affiliate program (i.e. Amazon) follow. Along with that decision, we opted to aggressively reward our partners for the leads that they generate up front and hope that you are pleased with the payouts you receive for the qualified subscriptions you generate. The alternative model would have been based on us paying you a fraction of the earnings you are accustomed to seeing now in return for something more long-term. Our research supports our position and we’re confident that the vast majority of our partners would prefer to earn dollars per initial event vs. pennies.

We thank you for your questions and feedback and appreciate your partnership and understanding of our program policy.

Nexus's picture

Ok, thanks for your reply. I think I get the picture now. The qualifying criteria can be set absurdly high, with a multitude of possible options including 107 different states, 245 different countries, 14 number of employee ranges, 23 different business types and 18 different job titles and if someone doesn't happen to fit within a certain combination of this multitude of variables then they won't be qualified. Then, in the case of a free download, the source can still distribute their content and you can capture the users' information to continue to solicit them for additional offers all without having to pay for the initial lead. Yes, that makes sense. I understand your motivation for doing it that way.

rem's picture

Netline even has internal reject stats and the once published in your account. So you do not even get the real numbers.

David's picture

I'm not sure where you're getting that information from but I can assure that our partner reject stats are the same as yours.

Nexus's picture

Another more interesting question would be: Why does the Report by Time Period function in the report script give different results for the exact same time period as Report by Offer? By different results, I mean missing data.
Also how does 2 out 4 rejects = 67% or 6 out of 7 = 54% ?

David's picture

It's hard to diagnose your problem without the exact criteria you used to generate the report.

Feel free to send screen-shots documenting your reports to partnerservices@revresponse.com and we'll promptly review.

Nexus's picture

It's not my problem, it's yours. Pick any account, do a Report by Time period from 1/1/2010 to Today. Using the same date range, do a Report by Offer for the same account. While you're looking at the mismatched results, check out how the reject percentages correlate, or I should say, don't correlate with the actual numbers.

David's picture

Hi Nexus,

I just reviewed your reports and everything is correlating perfectly. I think you are misunderstanding how the reports are constructed.

The columns in question are 'Sub/Leads', 'Rejects', and 'Reject %'.

'Reject %' is a ratio that divides the total number of rejects by the total number of total leads (Subs/Leads + Rejects).

Using your numbers as an example, the equation looks like this:

(2 Good + 4 Rejects) = 6 Total Leads

4 Rejects / 6 Total Leads = 66.66%

Nexus's picture

Ok, so the percentages are working properly. That's good.

What about the main question? Which was about the missing data in a Report by Time period query.

David's picture

We reviewed your reports again, and again can report that nothing is missing or improperly calculating.

Your 'Report by Time Period' and 'Report by Offer' for the same period (Jan 1, 2010 through June 23, 2010) are reporting the exact same stats.

Every column in each of the reports are in-sync with one another. If you're seeing something different, please share a screen-shot and we can diagnose.

Nexus's picture

Both of these reports are using the exact date range criteria:
Report By Offer
Report By Time

Yet, when I do the same date range by month, I get the same results as the By Offer report. So, it looks like only the By Day and By Week are affected.

David's picture

The Weekly Reports are calculated a bit differently than a Same-Month Calendar week. They Weekly Reports are based on the annual 52 week schedule. A little confusing (we know) and we plan on addressing this in future releases.

With that being said, I'd like to again reassure you that all of your reports are accurately reporting and are in-sync with one another.

Nexus's picture

What about the daily? Which is, by the way, the default.

David's picture

When viewing statistics by day, the data is only available for the past 90 days. This is an effort to keep the load time for the reports manageable. To see accurate earning totals for periods of longer than 3 months, view the report by month.

Nexus's picture

Ok, Thanks.