Earlier this morning I tweeted something out (and received an quick reaction from an affiliate):
Immediately people started emailing me for the details. So, here is the text that I was referring to (names removed; we’re trying to learn from the mistakes of others, and not point fingers):
for many months [Name of merchant here] has not allowed any coupon or incentive web sites yet we are still getting affiliate transacations from coupon web site violaters. Please will all coupon affiliates remove themseves from our program?
[Name of business owner here]
I guess, I miscalculated the mistakes. Taking into account the fact that the first sentence doesn’t start with a capital “F” —
am I the only one who appreciates the irony of starting this announcement/notification with such a letter? — as well as the unnecessary capitalization of “affiliates” in the address, and the lack of comma after it, that makes a total of 6 spelling and grammatical mistakes. But the number is irrelevant. Misspellings and punctuation errors that we see above are nothing compared to the bigger error committed by this merchant — incorrect overall approach to affiliates. Yes, an “error”, not a “mistake”. Orlando Aloysius Battista was known for saying that “An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” Unfortunately, this is not the first instance this particular merchant sends out such strange-looking emails.
At least 3 major things were done wrong here:
- Failed on the individualized consideration front — Note the lack of personal address (which is possible using the shortcodes on the affiliate network they’re on), as well as lack of targeting (the email was sent to all affiliates in the program; not just those who own coupon websites).
- Accused affiliates of violating rules that aren’t even in place — Note how couponers are called “coupon web site violaters” [spelling of last word retained as in the original]. Well, let me tell you: (a) promotion via coupon websites is neither prohibited in the merchant’s program description, nor in their Terms of Service agreement, (b) this affiliate program is operating on an auto-approval of affiliate applications (hence, it’s inevitable that you’ll get coupon-oriented sites joining you), and (c) the merchant has a 20% OFF coupon (with an expiration set at “Never”) among the creatives they offer to their affiliates.
- Ignored two of the more important P’s: proofreading and preview — …and this really helped magnify the above two points.
Have I missed anything else?