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Partial Excerpt from the CJ detail page:
"We must give President Bush the support he needs to keep our country moving forward in a positive direction. Only you can help provide the resources needed to re-elect a Republican president and Congress. Your support is urgently needed. By the way, you'll earn 30% of each donation you bring in for the RNC (capped at 30%). It's a great cause and with your support we can make this a huge success for everyone."
This is big news - political lobbyists paying 30% of donations to affiliate marketers!
This is also a really fun read.
Check these out and then come back to discuss your views!
GOP Affiliate Program: Trickle Down Fundraising
"Vote for Me! Click Here..." Aff. Marketing and Politics Online
CAN-SPAM makes it okay for you to spam with a political message. That's why they aren't allowing SE marketing. They WANT the spammers to help them (so watch for it in your email box)
Besides that, the program is being run by a DMA company. CLUELESS. What a way to piss a potential voter off.
I mean, could you imagine the killing you could make by optimizing for all the major polititians names with a big button that says "Give To Polititian X Here". Not to mention that a slew of affiliate could push out the canidates official websites out of the top 10.
I don't think the thread should be deleted -- it's an interesting look at the evolution of the internet and politics, not a thread about politics.
As far as evolution, I was fascinated by the recent Canadian election. One of my local candidates ran Adwords, and a minor party had a site where you could give their policies a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Also, a feature where you typed in your postal code and found out who was your local candidate.
This fundraising technique looks lame to me, and the high risk of spam is going to be bad for them. A Bush opponent could spam, make a little money while creating a backlash against the Republicans. And they shouldn't get in trouble because it's not spam if it's policical (or am I missing something here?). If I didn't have the volunteers to fundraise for me, I sure as hell wouldn't advertise it.
In the future, I think we might see more Adwords spending for issue-related keywords going to a party's platform or organizations rating the different parties. Google is a cheap way to get to opinion leaders, and shift the debate. Likely a cheap way to recruit them as volunteers, too.
CAN-SPAM makes it okay for you to spam with a political message
Actually CAN-SPAM makes it okay to spam with any type of 'legal' message as long as the people sending the email use there own mail servers to send it with a real working return address. And also they have to put there mailing address and phone number I believe on the bottom of the email as well as a way for the recipient to opt-out of receiving any future mail from them. As well as using a subject line that is non-deceptive and clearly shows that it is an advertisement.
That is just the legal take on it though. Doesn't mean even following all those steps and rules that hosting companies & major ISP's wouldn't still blacklist the sender as a spammer. And certainly almost all merchants would not allow there affiliates to send email like that. Only if the people opt-in before ever receiving emails.
Of course, unlike most of the other merchants on CJ who either state that they don't allow email marketing at all, or only allow it to verified opt-in lists, or allow it after personal approval by them. This program bans All search engine marketing but doesn't mention a word about email marketing. If people can't use the search engines where most of the targeted traffic is, what do they expect them to use? Does sound a bit like they are inviting the spam without saying it.
Hopefully some very insidious spammers get a hold of this and piss all the anti-spam zealots off! ;-P
I didn't realize that CJ accepted affiliate programs based on % of donations and contributions. Would be perfect for good non-profits with a real cause. The GOP sure does not need anymore money. I wonder if the donors will realize that about 50% of the money they are giving away is going to 3rd parties and not to the cause they are giving it to. If they would just do all of debate talk on public tv and radio, they wouldn't need to spend all this. I guess it could be a decent profit, but I would feel too sleazy helping them get money...
CJ already has program for things like save the children and a few other charities.
Yeah I saw that and checked that out after finding out about this one. I didn't realize it before. Just didn't look at all of them.
Statements like is are why I personally would have thought the thread would be deleted...
Perhaps it will be. Really though it is still just a general introspection about the idea of whether to promote anything just for the money, even if you are personally against it or don't believe in it. Nothing inherently so wrong with the thing itself, only in the temptation of profiting off of something I don't believe in. If you do agree with what you are promoting then there's nothing wrong with it. Didn't mean it to sound that there was anything wrong with anyone who is for something or even neutral to it to promote it. But if you are really against it and still promote it just for the money, that is what I question. Just like the devil/angel on the shoulder comment earlier. ; ) I'm tired so if I'm not making sense just ignore me.
But under CAN-SPAM, you are held to have an opt-out method and to remove a opted-out address from your file, unless you are sending political spam.
Hmm. I didn't know that with a political message you can spam as much as you want without people wanting it or not. Without a choice to receive it. I mean as far as it being a "political message" that is pretty broad eh.? You can say a lot of things and messages are "political" in nature and therefore the spam rules don't apply to you.
Do you have a link to anywhere that this is clearly stated within the new CAN-SPAM law that I can look at? I would be interested to know more about that. (not that I plan on spamming politics, just curious).
IF SEO was allowed, politics aside, would this be the best affiliate program of all time? The possibilities would be endless...
Except for the $300 cap. Without a cap it really would be...
Being that in there links and creatives they give away banners to use to promote the program, wouldn't they think that banners will be used on websites? And are not almost all websites already listed in the search engines? I don't see how they can make people take there own sites out of the search engines just because they place some links and banners to them on there pages that they gave them to use. And how can you help how high up and well listed your site gets in the search engines? It is the spiders that go through your site and decide how relevant it is for words used in the content of the site, not you. ; ) ; )
Maybe they really do just mean no Paid search. Has anyone emailed them to find out? Natural serps really is not search marketing, it's just a free listing. ; ) ; )
(A) IN GENERAL- The term `commercial electronic mail message' means any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose).
AKA, a company making money, not a political machine - since we all know they are not in it for the money <insert sarcasm here>.
I signed up for the program to take a peek and the welcome letter says basically that you will not be paid for donation that come from search engines, period. This being due to the fact that they need to control their message and feel that they could not do this with sites that get traffic from SE's.
It's the internet. How in God's name do they think they are going to control their "message"?
Here's the question - are you helping the Republicans or are you taking 30 cents off the dollar that would have been otherwise been used 100% of?
Actually when you think about it 30% is not that bad for campaign marketing costs. Campaign fund raising has been done largely with traditional media. The cost of all those TV spots, billboard ads, newspaper & magazine ads, telemarketers and all other advertising comes out of campaign funds regardless of how many people donate. I bet they only net about 50% - 70% after ad costs on average with traditional marketing costs.
With affiliate marketing they only pay - IF and WHEN an actual donation is made. Plus the donation cap they will pay on is only $300. So if someone donates $1000 the RNC is paying out less than 10%.
But if someone donates $10,000 then there payout gets down to only 3% of that with the $300 cap.
I still think that the aff. manager for this is just too inexperienced to know the difference between the words used to describe PPC and "search marketing". They give out banners, what to use in emails? How do they expect people to promote it? Classified ads? Can't do that with banners. If they do rule out all search engine marketing then they are also ruling out ALL website marketing. And then why would they reveiw your site at all before approving you into the program, if you can't market them on a website? They might as well rule out the internet completely! If they need to control there message so tightly they sure should of stayed away from affiiate marketing!
Just doesn't make sense. Must just be a miscommunication.