There was an interesting session at CJU this past Monday. The session, ‘Online Persuasion: Increasing the Size of the Deal’ featured panelists Roshan Mendis (Travelocity), Dan Murray (Ravenwood Marketing), Jeremy Palmer (Quit Your Day Job), and Terrence Thomas (Citigroup).
It was a compelling panel that covered the perspectives of both affiliates and merchants, and what each one can do to establish a more profitable and beneficial relationship.
As the session moved to Q&A, Paul Schroader, President of PS Web Solutions brought up a long simmering complaint among CJ merchants. The issue at hand was the ability, or lack thereof, for a merchant to communicate with their base of affiliates.
Paul put forth a timely example where he wanted to be able to communicate a mission critical message to his affiliates recently, and was not able to get through to a great number of them, since he didn’t have access to their phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
His client, the Oreck Corporation, had their corporate offices based in New Orleans and their manufacturing plant in Gulfport, MS. When Hurricane Katrina hit, it became impossible for Oreck to keep Oreck.com running for a period of time, as there was no way to fulfill orders.
This put the affiliate program in a position where they wanted to ask affiliates to pause any promotions that were costing them money (PPC campaigns, e-mails, and pretty much any other method being used to promote the company).
Unfortunately, they could not do so in cases where affiliates did not check their internal e-mail accounts on CJ or opt-in to Oreck mailings in their CJ accounts.
Hopefully, this example will be the impetus needed for CJ to provide more affiliate contact information to the merchants. When the lines of communications are wide open, more affiliates and merchants can increase the size of the deal, and everybody wins.