Knowing When to Say "When"
So here's the million-dollar question: Why are we still trying to push this particular sponsor? Come on now, if you're converting 1:5000 or so, then you might consider finding a sponsor that can convert better.
Now hang on before you do go yanking the ads and so forth. How is your traffic doing for your other sponsors? If you've been converting well with the others, then yes, you might take a good close look at your problem sponsor. Is that sponsor attractive to this particular niche? Did it just look good on paper?
Make sure the conversion problem isn't on your end before you go pulling a sponsor. If you check everything possible, it is possible that your traffic isn't converting due to an issue on your part. It happens, suck it up, fix it, and try again. If that doesn't help, then you need to look long and hard at the sponsor.
If the traffic you're sending through is targeted to the sponsor's specific niche and you still can't convert, it's time to ask why you're still with that sponsor. Does the sponsor shave? Are you losing traffic somewhere through a leak in your site? Is the sponsor just not attractive to the traffic you're sending? How are other affiliates' stats with this sponsor? Is this a trend?
Most of the time, your problems can be easily solved by asking the above questions. Again, I'm going to stress here that you need to always ask what's going on with your end of the equation before you go pulling a sponsor. Make sure it's not something that you can easily fix.
If it's not your issue, then you need to turn to the sponsor and think in the manner of one of your surfers. Would you buy this? Why or why not? If you would, what are the reasons behind your choice? If you wouldn't, why wouldn't you?
Once you answer those questions, then it's time to debate seriously about whether or not you're going to continue your affiliation with the sponsor. However, there's another step in the process that you need to take before you pull your links. Talk to a rep.
When you speak to a sponsor's affiliate representatives, remember to be polite. The more polite you are, the more apt to help you the rep is going to be. Rudeness only gets things done when there's no other recourse, and in that case, you might as well just go ahead and pull the links and not waste your time or the rep's time.
If you can, call them. A phone call will usually garner faster results than an email. If you can't call, try an ICQ number or some other form of instant messenger program. Save the history of the conversation if possible; you may need it later on down the line.
If you can't get in touch with the sponsor any other way, then email will do. Word the email politely, but be sure to ask how you or the sponsor can fix the problem. Detail everything that you have already done so that it isn't suggested that you do something again. Be clear and concise and be sure to save a copy of the email for your future reference.
Once you've done the whole contacting bit, wait. Especially if you used email as your primary form of contact, because this can take a few days to get around to the person who needs to read and respond. This is where your patience will surely be tested, but don't give up hope. If you don't hear anything within the span of 72 hours, make another attempt to contact the sponsor. If, after another 72 hours, you still have no response, fuck ‘em. Time to pull links.
Simply put, before you go pulling sponsor links, make sure that the problem isn't yours. Make every attempt to contact your sponsor to work things out together. If things can't be resolved for whatever reason, pull the links and channel the traffic elsewhere. No reason to keep sending traffic down the drain; you can be making money from it elsewhere.
Take care of yourselves! ~ Tala
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