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WebMaster Mike's Safe Haven Network

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Ecomcity -Worlds most complete shopping community with over 5 million products

It's about time someone remodeled the existing Affiliate Marketing Networks, so corrupted by an advertising mindset, into a model that works for both Affiliates and merchants. I therefore have formulated all the pieces necessary to migrate the easily abused advertising based model into a sales based model I dubbed The Safe Haven Network in early 2004.

The goal of this business plan is to make the vision and promise of the "pay for performance" advertising model into a entity that can't easily be manipulated by the bad actors playing on both sides of the ecommerce fence. Important to this endeavor was feed back from thousands of posts I made at AbestWeb's affiliate marketing forum since year 2000 concerning problems in existing network's sales reporting processes, merchant diversion tactics, shady forced return day cookie setting practices by both domain bound and BHO (Browser Helper Object) software affiliates. Basically the goal was to come up with a bullet proof pay-per-performance network model that made it impossible for merchants not to report sales, or having any 3rd party mess with the links placed on the affiliates actual web pages for diverting referral commissions.

Here are the important components of the Safe Haven Network model that together expand the merchants sales opportunities while leveling the playing field for value-added affiliates to earn a commission on those increased sales. Keep in mind startup costs for the network and all parties has to be kept to a minimum.

#1 Goal: Eliminate merchants from not reporting sales with a solution, which is totally opposite the current merchant aggregator network model offered by Linkshare, ValueClick's Befree and Commission Junction, Performics and other lesser networks like Share-a-Sale and others.

Solution: Require all SHN merchants to place their product ecatalog items into a CyberMall shopping cart that is able to process sales from multiple merchants placed in a single shoppers shopping basket. Possible carts come from companies like www.Miva.com ,which allow quick existing ecatalog database uploads with separate merchant administration sections for each SHN merchant. Ability to personalize each merchant Mall storefront with HTML, artwork, navigation and unique look and feel is a necessary differenciator performed by merchant's staff. All affiliate coded referral links, to any SHN merchant, get sent through the SHN's Cybermall domain URL to the secure shopping cart for setting the sales tracking cookie. Option is available to notify each affiliate of a referral sale via e-mail with a fully functional merchant/affiliate sales and traffic reporting administration backend.

Benefits: Tying merchants into the SHN shopping cart, rather then their existing domain's cart, assures affiliates that the merchant cannot cut off affiliate sales reporting without cutting off all sales activity. Immediate Trust factor with the added benefit of the SHN's transparently publishing each merchants average conversion ratio to the affiliate group. (Conversion ratio = average # of clicks to report 1 sale). SHN Merchants complete on their conversion ratio for prime real-estate on affiliates sites by the perceived value and their closing ability on the actual referred shopper. For the first time affiliates can judge their own conversion ratio against the average posted for each SHN merchants and adjust their creatives and pre-sell spin.

Additional benefits: Applications like Norton's Internet Security product and other Ad blockers blank out existing network banner and text links, tagging these networks as spyware operators due to clickstream data mining. Coding links to the existing networks domains setting a return day cookie or recording an impression, before sending the referred shopper to a merchant's landing page, exposes them to blanking or BHO hijacking without legal recourse. It is illegal to blank or block, in any manner, an image or text link to a merchants shopping cart area as a restraint of trade legal issue. So all affiliate links require a physical click pointing to a secure shopping cart where the cookie is set and a server re-direct is performed to the chosen landing page in the SHN Cybermall.

More Benefits: The 7 to 30 return day cookie, set in the above scenario, applies to the initial referred Merchant-A. The bonus is the SHN Mall has a navigation and search function to other competing merchants, where that referred shopper can browse other offers or buy an item from Merchant-B, Merchant-C during the same shopping cart session. The referring affiliate gets credit for any sales made during this shopping session, as well as credit for future purchases during the return day period of Merchant-A if their cookie isn't overwritten by another SHN affiliate. All merchant commission earnings and payments are consolidated.

The Safe Haven Network model has strict rules for joining and acceptance.

Rules for merchant's:

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For merchants with more then 500 products. Only the top selling 30% of products they offer in each product category can be placed into their SHN ecatalog.

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Coupons and special incentive offers can only be displayed and credited from the actual merchant's pages within the SHN storefront and shopping cart. Incentives cannot be used in affiliate creatives nor given to SHN affiliates to use on their pages, SE listings, PPCSE and e-mail campaigns or BHO applications to eliminate common spamming practices.

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 Merchants must keep their network escrow account for monthly commission payments to affiliates at a level necessary to assure payments by the 15th of the following month. No merchant is allowed to overwrite affiliate return day cookies with "house cookies" by any means including PPCSE campaigns. Use those ploys on your other network(s)... not the SHN. You'll get plenty of non-cookied traffic from bookmarks, SERPs, and expired session only affiliate referrals who browse your offerings having visited a SHN competitor.

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Merchants may daily backup their SHN ecatalog, but are not permitted to give this database file to affiliates for use to build complete mirrored sites. Use of this database feed to power a Product Showcase Creator or similar application is acceptable and encouraged.

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Live -Help applications are allowed but must be manned by non-commissionable operators. Use of  800#'s hotlines are allowed, but can only be used on the "merchant contact page". No links to the merchant's main website(s) outside of the SHN Cybermall are allowed.

Affiliates also are subject to SHN Terms of Service and Rules.

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All Safe Haven Network links require a physical click from the affiliates domain pages. No re-directs to merchants using any PPCSE listings will be permitted. All e-mail campaigns must conform to CAN-SPAM requirements.

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No affiliate using a S/W browser plug-in will be allowed into the SHN group. Those lending their SHN ID# to any forced cookie stuffer or BHO will forfeit their commissions and be terminated upon detection.

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All affiliate domains sending traffic to SHN merchants must be identified in the affiliate administration area and have accurate contact information on file with SHN to get paid commissions.

The time is right now for launching the Safe Haven Network as both the merchants and domain bound affiliates are taking a bath from the sleazy un-ethical practices so rampant within the existing major networks. Any Honest Merchant, with a viable sought after product or service, can join and will be judged by their ability to please the SHN shoppers with their offerings. Honest ethical affiliates willing to place shopper friendly showcases on their domain pages also will make more money per click under the SHN model then any other network model. They just have to leave the "tricks for cookie setting clicks" behind and concentrate on focusing targeted traffic to the higher converting SHN merchants knowing upfront the merchant's average conversion ration. Over all this sales Network model is designed to remove the Gorilla deceptive marketing practices, while empowering the shopper with a Safe Haven for their online purchases and privacy information.

Unique copywrited concepts not practiced by any existing affiliate marketing network....

1. All network merchant's products are administered and displayed to referred shoppers from a common Cybermall Cart/eCatalog designed for checkout from multiple merchant purchases. Current network models loose total control by having to interface to existing merchnat carts and serve links routed through network servers.   The Safe Haven model has Network Sales tracking and affiliate return day cookie set from within the secure shopping cart link coding, with redirect to merchant's chosen landing page. Sample linking code tested since 2003 for one of my clients affiliate program. Holdup Suspenders using the Americart program ....

http://www.cartserver.com/afl.cgi?c=p-1591&u=www.mysuspenders.com/doubleups.htm&a=tom1234 goes to their Double-Ups suspender page for details and purchasing. Blanking, hijacking or interference in this links destination is a restraint of trade violation. No merchant can turn off affiliate sales tracking without turning off their SHN shopping cart. Smaller volume affiliates can opt to get an e-mail notification of each completed sale in real time. Placing competing merchants within the same Cybermall site, with navigation and search feature to Cybermall and product category directory is a time and money saver for referred shoppers. It's their Safe Haven too as merchants who can't compete on a level playing field get weaned by their published conversion ratio from prime affiliate exposure, or just showcase their best sellers.

Thanks for reading this ebiz/affiliate marketing concept ... Webmaster Mike Hyland

Copywrited and published April 2004. All rights reserved by author. Please e-mail your comments and suggestions...click here

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I have always believed in affiliate marketing's potential to add real value to online merchants, without resorting to Gorilla or preditory marketing tactics. This Award recognizes my often vocal demands and suggestions for eliminating the incessant popups, spam and deceptive advertising practices of desperate marketers at http://forum.abestweb.com . The Industry has listened and made the needed changes.

Doing what comes naturally, what we enjoy doing, and what we do well, is essential to our self-esteem, so it is not surprising that it defines our "mastery" over the need to build on personal competence -- as one of the four "Circles of Success" that gives each of us heart, self-confidence, and the spirit to succeed. What is it that determines this special role we all seek, whether it be building web sites, running, painting, cooking, writing or giving care to others? It is, I think, a product of these four things:

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Leverage our natural talents -- things we inherently find easy to do well.

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Focus our learnings and experience -- which come from study, but more importantly from practicing in a real life environment.

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Unleash our passion -- the desire and focus and dedication to excel at doing this one thing to generate influence on a willing audience.

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Define our audience -- the degree to which our work role is needed, appreciated, respected and DESIRED by our intended audience.

Online successThe real circle of success lies within you!is so simple.

The search for one's exceptional personal role, our place in community, is often a lifelong quest. Today's wired world makes it hard to be anonymous or leave a lasting impression within a Global online Internet community. So often, the fourth element -- our audience -- can be the hardest one to influence in our efforts to achieve success. When we have no audience, when we do not know where we belong, we are left to choose what we will do in vacuum. As a result, many of us devote large parts of our lives to study and diligent work only to find we have no audience, and that no matter how great we see our own talent and acquired skill, it was all wasted time. Therefore we have to focus on where the our Passion, Natural Talents and practiced skills come together to address a needful audience.... read more of why IMS takes visions to realities

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The PcSHOPS mall carries name brand and clone computers from all major distributors


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Shopping for Christmas Gifts is easy on your feet and budget at EcomCity's CyberMall
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