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Do You Deserve Better

One of the nice things about January is that sales are usually still pretty strong.  Good sales might be due to merchants having clearance sales, the spending of holiday bonuses or people simply buying what they didn’t get. What ever the reason, I find January is a little less stressful, not as much pressure to sell yet sales come easier. I always take advantage of this quiet yet busy time to really evaluate my merchants. Even though it is an ongoing practice during the year, I always do a stricter examination at least twice a year.

This January I am being even more critical.  I am setting the bar a little higher and enforcing additional standards. Why? It is because I deserve better.

It is no secret that I and thousands  of NY Affiliates lost a significant number of merchants around June 1 when the NY Affiliate tax took effect. Many merchants decided to terminate NY Affiliates. In some cases, a merchant termination had little effect on me from a financial standpoint. In other cases I lost a significant amount of income. Since the number of merchants I had to replace was large, I was not as particular as I should have been. As I scrambled to find new merchants I found myself taking any merchant just to fill the holes. I lowered my standards, and that’s not something I will ever do again.

Why? I deserve better.

In fact, I have raised the bar higher than ever.  I have decided that I will not accept poor conversion. I send quality traffic and if it does not convert there is a problem with the relationship between my visitor and the merchant. In my opinion, there are three main reasons the relationship fails.

The first reason might be that my visitor and the merchant are simply not a good fit. It is just like even though everything is the same, I prefer to shop at the small deli on Main Street while my husband prefers to shop at the deli on Elm , different strokes for different folks. Just because a merchant converts for another affiliate, it doesn’t mean it will convert for me and vice versa. Not much I can do about. If my links are good and tracking properly, if a merchant doesn’t convert it is time to move on. Just like a failed relationship, there comes a point when even though it is no one’s fault, you say goodbye because you believe “I deserve better”.

The second reason a merchant might not convert is that there is something wrong. Maybe it is broken links, major leaks, a problem tracking, no stock, poor customer service or something else. If there is a problem and it has not been fixed it is time to move on. I deserve better.

The third reason is far more serious; something is interfering with the relationship. This interference can occur in different ways. If a merchant is affiliated with parasites there is great chance I will not get credit for sales. If a network or merchant does not provide a level playing field, my sales will suffer.  If there are too many distractions and leaks on the merchant site interfering with the customer relationship, my sales will suffer. When any of this interference exists, it is time to move on. It is time to move on because, I deserve better.

I deserve to get paid for my efforts. If I drives sales I should get paid, not someone else even if paying another party is done under the pretense of doing a good deed. Whether it is a glitch or intentional diversion  I deserve better.

My advice? Set your own standards, do not rely on the standards I or anyone else apply. As you evaluate each of your relationships ask yourself this – Do you deserve better?

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Kevin January 28, 2009, 11:43 am

    Mel:

    You certainly do deserve better, as do a lot of hard working affiliates. What an incredible, and I mean that in a negative way, this last 8 months have been for this industry.

    On the bright side, on my fishing blog, I have a brand name merchant that converts at nearly 60%. So it’s not all bad news.

    Just need to keep blogging, plugging, and picking the right partners.

    Remember that word? Partners?

  • peter bordes January 28, 2009, 12:57 pm

    I agree and think everyone in the industry deserves better. We need a little more innovation, and proactive collaborative partnerships.

    I agree with you Kevin “partners” is a core word!:)

  • Brad Waller January 28, 2009, 9:11 pm

    I agree. Keep your standards high and your customers (visitors) will trust you and everything you do will get better results.

  • Melanie January 30, 2009, 9:19 pm

    Kevin, congrats on finding the right merchant, that’s fabulous! It sure has been an incredible journey; never really invisioned it. Glad you stopped by. Been a busy week; maybe we can catch up sometime.

    Thanks also for stopping by Peter & Brad. Definitely agree, we need to all keep standards high, no need to settle. We all deserve better, just have to realize it!

  • Melanie January 30, 2009, 9:22 pm

    LOL on partners, Kevin. “Dear valued partner, sorry for the temporary inconvenience but …”

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