If you are new to affiliate marketing or just have started to navigate Commission Junction, you may be very tempted to apply to merchants who’s EPC look very lucrative. I have done it many times myself. I am not saying you should stay way from merchants with high EPC, but you should definitely consider few other factors. One such a factor is how easy it will be for you to get in touch with Affiliate Manager.
Few days ago I have found following e-mail inside my CJ acocunt:
Dear Volodymyr Zablotskyy,
We regret to inform you that the Commission Junction advertiser ***** has chosen to expire its affiliation with you effective 1-May-2007.
If you would like to locate another advertiser in the network to partner with, login to your Account Manager (http://www.cj.com/login.jsp) and visit the Get Links tab.
This e-mail took me by surprise. It was dated Aril 24. Two days earlier I have produced a sale for this merchant resulting in a commission of $110. I admit, I have produced only 5 sales for this merchant. So if they kicked me out for under-performing (I believe they look up affiliates EPC in order to do so), I understand. Unfortunately there was no warning about their action. My immediate reaction was to contact affiliate manager to fix things up and hopefully continue our relationship. Unfortunately I have found no info on how to contact affiliate manager of the merchant in question:
(Affiliate Program under a “Ghost Affiliate Manager”)
I genuinely expected to see something like this:
(Affiliate Program under real Affiliate Manager)
Naturally the next step was to call the merchant directly and ask to speak to some one in affiliate department (aka affiliate manager). Turns out there is no such department nor affiliate manager and everything is “handled on the website”. Fortunately speaking to CJ people I was advised to use Commission Junction mail system to get in touch with a “ghost affiliate manager”. I did that and should get a response within a week or so. Some how I doubt there will be a positive outcome, but I keep my fingers crossed and will not reveal the merchant in question at this time.
I certainly will never again apply to a merchant who does not provide affiliate manager’s contact information, no matter how lucrative EPCs of that merchant are. There are some merchants however, while not providing their contact info via CJ interface, that have blogs and even entire websites to communicate with their affiliates.
P.S. I will disclose the merchant in question if there is no answer a week from now, which would only mean to stay away from their affiliate program.