The Cardinal Sin of Merchants
By Rob Wood
Wed, 12 Oct 2005, 00:56:00
Many Merchants have lost tens of thousands of dollars in long term sales by committing the cardinal sin of Affiliate marketing. Some do it intentionally and others do it by accident, but the effect is nearly always the same. Removing or changing the tracking code is something that needs to be done with extreme caution as it can have a huge impact on your program, an impact that in some cases cannot be repaired.
When a Merchant starts a program with clixGalore one of the steps they have to take is to place tracking code on their website. This extremely important step of the process needs to be confirmed by clixGalore before the account can even be activated. clixGalore will ask the Merchant to place this piece of code on the thankyou page of their website ĘC that is the page that a customer is sent to after they have made a purchase. The code allows clixGalore to keep track of when a sale is made on the Merchant website that was sent by a clixGalore Affiliate.
|This code needs to go onto your merchant site and stay there!|
The tracking code on the Merchant's site works in conjunction with the banner or text linking code on the Affiliate's site. Cookies are also used in the process - they are an electronic signature that can be placed on a user's computer when they click on a clixGalore banner, for example. Whenever a web surfer clicks on a clixGalore banner, that alerts the clixGalore system which then tracks the surfer using cookies onto the Merchant site. If the surfer then makes a purchase, the code on the Merchant's site also alerts the clixGalore system which then records the details and pays the Affiliate accordingly. All of the cogs in the system work together to ensure that the Merchant is making sales and that the Affiliate is being rewarded.
A lot of effort goes into making sure the code is placed correctly by the Merchant the first time. clixGalore even offers to set up the code if the Merchant is not totally comfortable doing it themselves. There are also detailed instructions for placing the code for all of the major payment systems and online shopping carts in the clixGalore help directories.
Given all of the emphasis that is put on placing and testing the Merchant tracking code most people surmise correctly that it is a very important part of the system for the Affiliate marketing program. It is quite surprising then when the clixGalore system alerts the company that code has been removed from a Merchant website.
We can only assume that Merchants do this accidentally when they are making alterations to their website. Mistakes happen! But clixGalore takes a very serious view of this situation, so to be totally safe, you may wish to get an expert to make alterations to your thank-you page and you may even want to drop clixGalore an email if you plan to be working on that page (this isn't a strict requirement but dropping them a courtesy email can save a lot of confusion if something goes wrong).
The easiest thing to do is to not change the page with the code at all, but sometimes that isn't practical such as when you are doing a website upgrade etc.
Now, what can happen when the Merchant tracking code is removed? Well, the short of it is that the Affiliates won't get paid while it is down. That may sound like a great thing to some dishonest Merchants, but the problem is that clixGalore's system is designed to know when the code isn't there. And if the code has been removed then they are likely to side with Affiliates who make complaints that they haven't been paid for driving traffic and sales to the Merchant site.
It also understandably upsets the Affiliates. In fact some of our best performing Affiliates, who were driving tens of thousands of dollars in monthly sales, have completely dropped Merchants who have (accidentally or deliberately) removed the tracking code. This should be warning enough not to mess around with it!
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