Nuance Affiliate Program - A Lesson How NOT to Treat Affiliates

Last Update: March 21, 2018

There is a right way to run an affiliate program, and a wrong way. Unfortunately, affiliate programs and merchants are Nuance Affiliate Programreally starting to suffer as a result of not address one of the most immediate and relevant marketing concerns (or so they should be) with their online reach.

One example of this is the Nuance Affiliate Program and I will explain my recent experience that I had dealing with this specific program.

So here's my story...

I use dictation, and I have been using it very actively since August (as a result of breaking my hand in a baseball accident). You can read all about the story here.

BLOG POST: I'm broken.

I have firsthand (not pun intended) gotten to see the benefits of dictation in terms of typing speed. I type at a pretty decent pace, typically 80-100 words per minute. So fairly quick. But using dictation allowed me to take things to the next level, sometimes achieving double that.

So, naturally the topic of "dictation" is something that I am going to be writing about and leveraging within my own personal affiliate marketing campaigns. It is also something that I have been and will continue to recommend here within WA.

When deciding how I was going to go about "blogging" about such a program, I sought out affiliate programs in the dictation software space.

Being one of the most popular, established and useful tools for dictation, Dragon Naturally Speaking was one of the first choices. Although I am currently using Mac Enhanced Dictation (free with my Mac), and it is very good, it doesn't learn my speech, my accent and I cannot add words that I say frequently (that are not part of the dictionary, like Jaaxy).

So I am on the hunt for an alternative, I have been recommended Dragon by a few fellow dictators, so this was the natural direction I was going to head with my advocacy.

And Then Their Affiliate Experience Fell Apart.

So, I sought out affiliate programs in this space, one of the first being that of Dragon. Dragon Naturally Speaking is operated by a company called Nuance, and sure enough they have an affiliate program that is operated by CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction).

I applied through their website, and it took me to CJ (which I already have an account with).

As an added benefit, as a Nuance affiliate call me you get to promote other products and services under their company umbrella. This is always nice, when you can be introduced to new potential markets and products you can promote as an affiliate.

After applying, it was indicated there was an application process. This is typically an in house review team, but in some cases these are operated by a third party that try to decide whether you will be a viable affiliate (representative) of their products/services.

Unfortunately, this where I hit a wall. If you have been around the affiliate marketing space for any amount of time, you likely have been met unfairly with an ambiguous "disapproval" letter.

Nuance Affiliate Application Denied

A little discouraging that a company would send such a generic letter to a potential affiliate. Strike one, Strike two and almost strike three in my opinion.

I decided not to accept this generic response though...

CJ.com allows you to correspond with affiliate programs through their messaging platform, so I reached out and left them a quick message. I am yet to get a response after over a week, so I have moved on.

If they do get back and change their mind, perhaps I will change my overall perception and recommend the Nuance affiliate program and promote their products such as Dragon Speak as an Affiliate.

One denied application can have a profound impact on a merchant (also known as an Advertiser in the affiliate marketing space). And this leads me to.

Companies That Feel Affiliates Owe Them, Will Eventually Fail.

As a result of this, I certainly do not recommend the Nuance affiliate program to others, nor will I have incentive to promote their products or services.

If a program like this cannot give an affiliate the time of day, or the very least open up discussion with someone with a potential reach of a million+ people, then It is my suspicion that they don't have adequate resources in place to deal with affiliates or they simply don't care.

This is unfortunate, because companies are now getting trampled within the online world. Companies that are investing in their affiliate programs and taking pride in the fact that they are working with affiliates, putting affiliates on a pedestal...are succeeded. Those that are not, are starting to vanish.

We have seen the recent closure of some of the largest brands, established companies that simply failed because they could not compete with companies that are doing online right. Companies like Amazon that "get" affiliates (although they have their issues ar times as well) and are receptive to new affiliates are eating thse other companies lunch. There are many well oiled affiliate programs out there that are doing things druggy, which does give me a lot of hope.

We have seen the failure of Toys"R" Us (read my blog about it here), Sears, Aeropostale, Crocs is in big trouble, American Apparel, Macy's to name a few. Here in Canada, we are seeing companies like Hudson Bay (our anchor department store) having issues because they haven't taken their online experience as serious as they should (and they don't even have an affiliate program, doh).

One Lost Affiliate, One Story, But a Significant Event.

Nuance has lost a potential affiliate, free marketing reach in front of potentially millions of people over time, and unfortunately my perception of their affiliate program has been jaded by this experience (and perhaps yours).

If you're a merchant and you are reading this, please learn from this experience and please put your affiliate first. If you are making life difficult for affiliate to promote you, they won't. They will promote something else, and they will recommend anything but your affiliate program to their affiliate and industry friends (other authority website).

When you put affiliates first, you are establishing in essence a significant marketing team when you acquire new affiliates, a marketing team that only gets paid when they drive revenue to your business, and a marketing team that is willing to potentially work HARD for you and do most of it free (until they are making you money).

Try hiring a Chief Marketing Officer that will work for free or on a pay per sale basis. It simply won't happen.


I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions, I know many of you have had great experiences with affiliate programs, and in some cases not so great experiences.

Our ethos is that we are all equal in the affiliate marketing world and that you can accomplish amazing things, without a background in websites, marketing, or the internet. That is going to remain true as we move forward in the affiliate marketing industry continues to mature.

I have never been more excited and hopeful, but I feel that there needs to be an attitude change by merchants (advertisers) that feel that new affiliates owe them something. Thye should be working to capture their attention, if not, there are plenty of other alternatives for affiliates and they will be move on to better and more receptive programs.

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DBCrist Premium
Still only in the first series of training classes,but wanted to get some insight so I started following you on Goggle+, and I'm glad I did. Just casually reviewing some of your posts and blogs has opened up my eyes. Being an ex big box retailer I can really see what your talking about with companies that think having good affiliate relationships is a waste of their time. There shortsightedness will eventually come back to haunt them. Nuance and the other companies you mentioned all suffer from an attitude of superiority and a sense of exclusion and believe me people are starting to get wise to these types of attitudes and take their business and networks elsewhere.
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Genelda Premium
If only things could be easier? Especially for those of us with newer websites, still trying to get up and running. Without the chance to prove ourselves, it would be harder to get into the "inside of the affiliate programs" available out there.

A lot of companies monopolize, not caring about their affiliates. Which could be their downfall.

I don't understand why it's a problem. Competition is always going to be on the uprise and then what?
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Kyle Premium
Well one of the main issues is when newcomers to the affiliate marketing world are in such to promote something, that they end up applying for affiliate programs before they have a decent base of content on their websites.

So there are definitely circumstances where a merchant will likely deny an affiliate simply because they don't have a website of substance or one with content, so they will want a certain level of control as to WHO promotes their products/services and what site they promote them on.

The problem with this is that EVERY website starts as a blank canvas and by denying people when they are in the early stages of their website, they could potentially be denying high performing affiliate marketers.
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SowAndReap Premium
I don't understand, if an affiliate is willing to market their product or service free of charge, why say NO? Also, why do some merchants have such a short cookie life?

What's odd is how I saw on the news the other day about Target wanting to compete with Amazon with the Same Day Delivery.

Yet, they have NOT thought much about their affiliate side of business.

HELLO!
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bpais1 Premium
Sometimes, they don't work with affiliates who live in certain states. Sometimes, they don't like your website. Sometimes, it's just what side of the bed they woke up on that morning.

Who knows?

They'll send a rejection reply and, even if you ask them for specifics, they may or may not give you the reasons for rejection.

I have a gardening website - and, I've been turned down by Home Depot, Northern Tool, and, of all things - Kmart - among others who sell products in my niche!

Go figure!

Jim
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sheikave Premium
There is a short interval of time when an online visitor decides to buy a product if not they will probably forget about it.
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SowAndReap Premium
Hey Jim and like Kyle said above, If you find a Merchant that accepts your application, you are going to forget about the other ones and work with the people willing to work with you. I guess that is why Amazon does so well even though I feel they can do a lot more with their Affiliate side.
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Kyle Premium
There are different reasons for denying an affiliate, but there are always appropriate ways to disclose this. If you have a website that is not relevant or has no content, then there is likely a chance you will not pass the more stringent manual application reviews.

Affiliates are an extension of a brand and brand is something that many companies of course take very seriously, so I can appreciate there are reasons and a series of use cases for denied applications.

In saying this, there should be a way to communicate with their program managers if you feel that you have been wrongly denied by their approval process (most times this is automated, sometimes much more manual).
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sheikave Premium
My Rakuten affiliate program was suspended. I was feeling a bit lost when I did found out that there is not enough traffic to my website. This just made me realise that I was slacking off.
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SowAndReap Premium
Hey Kyle, thanks for clarifying that!
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HelenpDoyle Premium
Jhurreea, I don't know if you know this but I am part of the Rakuten affiliates with Kobo. I don't know why I didn't ask them this question a few years ago.

The question was, 'As the website owner can we buy through our own sites'. Now this might seem a silly question but I have seen companies or networks who don't allow this.

Rakuten's answer was yes. All the years I have been buying straight from Kobo's website. As I read a lot, that's a lot of traffic I could have had assigned to my site!
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sheikave Premium
I know my website traffic is the reason so I will start on improving it.
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CalvinC Premium
Yes, Affiliates are important, and you're right companies who don't understand that can go to H..l, Lol.

It's a pity that Netflix doesn't have an affiliate program anymore, perhaps I will move to Amazon Prime for that reason, I like to watch movies and tv shows and I have a profound desire to talk about them. If they don't have a way for me to promote their streaming service I will move to their competitor.

Thank you for suggesting Dictation Softwares, it helps me in a lot of ways.

I tried to run it on Mac, not possible. It's a minor problem I guess, but I'm not a mac expert, don't want to waste time.

Then, I tried Google Docs and it works pretty well. I was surprised how good it was as my native language is not English. Google Docs was able to recognize the words I spit out at 80% approximately.

It's encouraging for me as I always thought my English pronunciation is pretty poor, it's the main reason that keeps me from doing videos.

I've tried Dragon Speaking long time before, it wasn't as good as it is now. But from your experience, I will avoid to promote them.

Thanks to you I've found a very good way to perfect my pronunciation in English.
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Kyle Premium
I think some companies are in a situation where they feel they have a monopoly, like Netflix and that paying people for referrals now when people just "know" of their service doesn't make sense.

Unfortunately there is going to be a lot of competition in this space in the near future and what we might see is other "netflix like" companies offering lucrative affiliate programs and causing a mass switch as a result.

The worst thing you can do as company (even worse than not supporting your affiliate program) is to have one, and then strip all of your affiliates of it. In particular when so many people have built entire campaigns around it.

And thanks for your feedback on Dragon Speaking, I still haven't made the switch or the investment, perhaps I never will.
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AfqmBiz Premium
Ha Ha Ha "I am broken", I never thought at times you going broke, bro, but more to a broken heart about something. Then I have realized it was your 5th finger broken and I thought it was cute and rare as well because seldom at this kind of age, that "5th youngest members of "metal band" fingers" easily get broke but we can expect nothing in life, yesterday and tomorrow the richer can go poorer in a blip and the poorer shock to their shiver of 24-hour turn around to be "Richie Rich".

When you address about ToysR'Us state of complexity early on, happened to be the day their demise was on the newspaper's front pages was the day I buy a local tabloid after doing so a few months back. My mind taking me back to blog posts by you here at WA. Even the Store once considered the KIng of The Kings in the market segment, established way before I was born, collapse in so unexpected fashion.

When I reflect on my 13-year financial and banking services career, over here they will say "You Are There, Already and the stability will never be ceased" but inside me sine a kid always on a "Job" stuff, stability is nothing when complacency and external factor of unseen "destructors" can "Killing You Softly" but the total collapse is so immensely happened so fast.

But now, if anybody asking me the nearest model I look up to for inspiration and learn the know-how of the people of the institution on how they keep evolving etc., it is Wealthy Affiliate of Kyle and Carson I would mentioning to them nowadays. Certainly not for the sake of just say it bluntly but having my very own series of life's ups-and-downs I knew a bit or two about the stuff I talking about.

Forever to your success in your owned WA with Carson!
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Kyle Premium
Thanks for your kind words and of course your personal insights into this space. I do feel that there has been a shift and one that many companies haven't really adjusted to simply because it happened over such a period of time.

People are now buying more online than ever. Companies that are putting focus on their online experience, in combination with their marketing presence (their affiliate program) are #winning. This is going to continue to be the case moving forward.
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Foxhenley Premium
Kyle, this was unacceptable behavior on the part of both Nuance and CJ (if this is what Commission Junction is calling itself)!

Now, as mature affiliates we have to decide what we are going to do when we are treated unfairly by merchants!

We are not alone. When each of us receives that kind of response to our work, we have a platform, a place to reach the rest of the community.

To speak forth, to tell of how we were treated, which means how my fellow affiliate will probably be treated.

These types of warnings may save others in the community pain, especially newbies. And if memory serves me, suffering in silence when this happened to me was not fun, but disheartening and sorrowful, for they were not valuing my work.

I am very thankful for the WA Community and all it means to all of us. Thank you Kyle, for sharing your pain as a lesson and warning to us.
Janice
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CheekyMommy Premium
I absolutely love this post. I have spent every free minute of my life on top of my job as an RN, grad school, raising my son, and being a wife and homekeeper to apply the principles here at the wealthy affiliate to my website. So far I have made just a small amount for all my time but that's OK because I see the potential and scalebility of this! But when you look at it from a merchant side. It is paid advertising only after a sale has been made. Wow. Next time a program denies me I am going to use this tactic of messaging them to ensure they truly give me the time of day. Very insightful! Thank you Kyle!
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TonyMonzon Premium
hi Kyle,
Don't feel bad, I had the same situation when applying for some affiliate programs on the CJ network. The sad thing is that they make it hard for newcomers to join.
You don't know someone's talents or potentials until you give them a chance. I moved on and got accepted for better programs after that.
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Kyle Premium
I think there is a disconnect between the advertisers and their role as an affiliate program. They try to either outsource their affiliate operations or they often times don't have adequate resourcing in place and this is what results.

They are leaving a lot of revenue, brand recognition and reach within the online world on the table as a result.
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TonyMonzon Premium
hey Kyle,
Yup, and that means their leaving the door open for a more established company to take over.
Thanks for the comment Kyle. ;)
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Zappades Premium
Hi Kyle, I had a similar experience but with a different outcome.

It was with Grammarly. I applied and was denied although I had already written a post about writing improvement where I promote the product.
The same as you, I did not want to accept this rejection and wrote them an email.

And this is I think what you too think is the right reaction from their side.
The next day they apologized, confirmed my account and added the promised $25.00 to my account for having a relevant post.

I can only recommend working with the Grammarly affiliate program now.
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Foobard Premium
Thanks for this! I, too, was denied by Grammarly. I guess a lot of these affiliate programs when they review applications, either have a bot do it, low level outsourcers, or perhaps they just deny first automatically.

In the future, I will follow up a rejection with an email with a link to the post(s) where I link to the product.
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Zappades Premium
I think it is worth a try.
If they don't want, up to them but if like me, you already have a written article I'd argue the reject.
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Foobard Premium
Yeah, I think that was key. If you had just emailed them but didn't have an article to point to, they probably would have rejected you again. Now that I think about it, when I applied to Grammarly, my article was in draft mode, so there was nothing for them to see.
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Kyle Premium
See that is a good way to deal with affiliates and I know that a great affiliate network is behind Grammarly as well in Awin.

It is unfortunate when you get denied wrongly, but it is even more unfortunate when you cannot get in touch with the affiliate program management side of the company to see if they can reconsider. Good to hear you had a good experience.
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HeidiY Premium
It’s shame they can’t take the time to let you know why you were not approved as opposed to a generic response. That way we maybe able to fix what ever supposed issue or at least know what we needed to achieve to make it worthwhile reapplying eg. Is it a certain number of visitors?

It’s disappointing to see so many comments about not being approved, I didn’t realize some programs were being that fussy. Being a newbie I just assumed the application process was a bit of a formality, and if filled in correctly they’d be happy to give you a chance.
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, one thing it should never be based on is traffic, they have no way to determine this and even if they did, traffic can be bought en masse if you really wanted to portray high levels of traffic.

Content quality and the actual website, could be one thing they look at. Or they could just give you the benefit of the doubt as a new affiliate and assume "good" before they assume that you may go rogue.

Lots of people apply to lots of affiliate programs, so for every person that has been denied like in my case with Nuance, there are people that have been approved by 10 others.

I am just pointing out a problem I see as a whole in the industry and a lack of appropriate management in the affiliate program space.
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HeidiY Premium
See I'm so compliant I don't even know what it takes to become a "rogue affiliate" LOL.
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GotGoods Premium
Great post! and I am in agreement w/you.

I have been denied 3 times (I wrote a post about it here) myself so I decided to go another route- continue to build my niche and they can come looking for me then, I can be the decision maker (if possible, hehehehe). It may take some time for me to reach out to them, my niche is unique and a bit out of range.

You know i feel the business world misses out on people like us who have the latest, newer, most fresh ideas to blog about but "they" live in fear of lost & are too stuck in old traditional ways of thinking to do anything different.

It's time for a revolution!

Good Luck!
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Kyle Premium
And you can seek out other great affiliate programs once you have a solid base of content, so by all means I recommend that you do that.

If you get denied by one or two, consider that their loss and move on. There is another affiliate program out there that will accept you with open arms. ;)
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GotGoods Premium
Thank you Kyle for the boost of confidence and assurance. I will follow your advice.

I hope your having a great day! : )
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cillacil Premium
I hear ya! I applied to Home Adviser. They gave me the brush off. They rejected my application too. But here is the kicker, I am one of their PAYING CUSTOMERS! That right, I have a contracting company and we use their service!. I was very disappointed. But I didnt know that you could message the in CJ. I will try that.
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EZbobb Premium
Your sharing helps me to understand what I need to prepare for and understand about the affiliate world.

As a newbie I realize I must make sure I am doing the proper application process and answering the questions correctly. To look again and make sure I left nothing unanswered.

From the discussion sounds like in most cases if denied try again and if denied twice move on. There are a lot affiliates out there.

Thanks Kyle for ongoing insight you share to help us succeed.

Bob
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DaltonTberry Premium
Kyle, great points. Unfortunately I had a very similar experience with a fitness apparel company. I was reaching out to promote their products on a site that is driven perfectly for their niche. I got an almost immediate response. In addition, my site is clean and very well setup. I was thoroughly annoyed with them and just went on to market a different companies apparel due to their outstanding customer service and affiliate communication.

It's sad that many of these corporations/small business don't understand the power that Affiliates have in the online space.

Thanks for another great read. I know to steer clear of these folks for my other sites!
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Kyle Premium
That is the type of affiliate program support that I feel needs to be there and the transparent and open communication between affiliates and merchants if there is a denied application.

Unfortunately in your case, the transparency was through people that it sounds like they don't know how to properly treat with or work with affiliates.

If they understood that one lost affiliate could literally equate to millions in revenue, regardless of the "state" or "experience" of that affiliate when they join, I think it would change the perspective and how companies like Nuance (but there are many out there) have with their affiliate program management.
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RolandF1 Premium
As a person who has spent a lifetime in commission sales and sales management, I can't agree more with what you say Kyle, about the need to appreciate, and treat with respect, anyone who is there to help you succeed with your goals as a merchant. Those who learn that valuable principle will probably succeed, but those who don't may discover their error too late.
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Kyle Premium
That is exactly what affiliates are, in particular people doing it full time. Like you and your experience, affiliates have a great deal of online sales experience and of course, part of this is working with companies that you are promoting as an affiliate.

What happens though, and what is happening now, is that many companies WANT affiliate programs and they know the importance, but they just don't have adequate or proper resources in place to manage affiliates (and certainly not handle the application side of things)

It is a pity, because they are missing out on a lot of revenue (as Nuance has here), hurting their brand, and also hurting the perception of the affiliate networks that they operate within.
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codevonish Premium
Thanks for sharing, I have had my share of disappointments and questions about some programs; WA and my own creations are my only programs. I find many of the commissions very low for the amount of time invested. I bought Dragon years ago, I am sure it has improved to be still on the market.

Kyle your moral fiber is rare in the online business.
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Kyle Premium
It is one of the anchors for sure in the speech recognition, but they have a wide set of products/services now and I am unsure of whether or not they have kept Dragon as a focus.

I know the Mac Enhance is pretty good and I will probably still run a test, but as an affiliate when you run into an experience like this you naturally get jaded somewhat about a program.
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lucanunez Premium
This is sad, I've never got a denial when applying with an affiliate network since I write lots of details about my online business and social media accounts while applying. Perhaps this increase their trust.

Amazon has also many merchants that promote Nuance software so you can easily just jump the CJ nightmare and use your Amazon affiliate links for the products you like.

Remember that their product is good, their main problem is not quality but a lack of experience within the affiliate world.

Maybe your audience will benefit from such programs, you could give it a try with other networks.

On other things...

I've been a little hesitant to try dictation software, but your experience and also Leo's (leoemery) is making me more curious about the experience working with such things.

Luca
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Kyle Premium
You have to do what you are comfortable with, at the very least you can try it and not like it (and never use it again). I certainly don't do it full time, there is a time and a place. I surely am not going to use dictation in the middle of a coffee shop! lol

And yeah, providing details to a merchant can definitely be a way to minimized reduction in "denied applications", but it does not make you immune to them. There are many companies running these programs without adequate resources and stakeholders in place to make it run efficiently, thus leading to debacles like this one.
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IngoJace Premium
Don't mean this as schadenfreude, but it's actually nice to know even the "guys at the top" experience this crap from time to time.

I've had more good than bad, thankfully, with affiliate programs, but they DO seem almost as difficult to impress as Google. I've jumped through many hoops to win their approval, and usually succeeded (5 out of 6 times, thus far), but it's still a hassle.

I chalked it up to all part of the affiliate marketing biz, being a newbie. Now I see it's more of a systemic problem.

Thanx for sharing! Definitely gained some enlightenment and encouragement.

I agree with your principles on this, by the way. Nice to see there are those out there in the on-line business community that still have some!
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Kyle Premium
I agree, it indicates that there is more of a system breakdown within these networks and affiliate programs, versus affiliates doing wrong.

The wrong people (or inadequate people) are in place to manage these affiliate programs and unfortunately, as a result these merchants are losing out a lot of money. Collectively probably billions.

Hopefully this brings some light to the programs that may not have enough resources in place for the affiliate side of their business, or that feel they are "too good" for affiliates, and that affiliates somehow owe them something.
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IngoJace Premium
Thanx for getting back to me, Kyle.
So much change sweeping the world right now -- maybe this will happen as well, to the betterment of all.
Not sure how to bring it about, though... unless affiliates complain en masse or something, or sign a petition on change.org.
Up for anything!
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Kyle Premium
I am not so sure a petition will change, but when a company is starting to suffer as a result of not having an affiliate base online, they will come to understand the importance.

Also, you have a platform here at WA where you can communicate, ask questions, and get help in respect to affiliate program and you are likely going to see a bigger focus on the affiliate program side of things in the near future.
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IngoJace Premium
Sounds good! Definitely looking forward to it! Much needed!
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LarryL1 Premium
I have an annoying experience to share about my recent attempts (never resolved) to become an Amazon seller on the recommendation of another training program on generating online revenue as a vendor; the trading was fine, Amazon's treatment of my application was far from acceptable, I still have on file all the email correspondence between us; not sure if this is the appropriate place to post it as notice to other hopeful Amazon sellers?

Please advise. Thanks!
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renzki1375 Premium
I am also interested to know your experience as I was also invited to by other training program to sell in Amazon with a very promising income. Only I was not able to raise the seed money needed.
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LarryL1 Premium
Very well, I'll post something soon ...
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RamenRiches Premium
They tend to be extremely picky Kyle. As you know, I've been using Dragon Naturally Speaking for several years now and ran into the same road blocks with them on the platform.

Good news....it's available on Amazon.

Better news, there's a digital delivery option.

Best news, they regularly run specials on digital delivery software, not games, but software and slap it into a 10% tier.

It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, I know you use it and love it. And I know many others that use it, and I would like to use it and recommend it (and this may not get in the way of me using it), but out of principle and being a stakeholder in the affiliate marketing space, I will have a tough time to recommend it.
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Labman Premium
I'm hoping that Nuance realizes that this discussion is occurring. If their social media folks are on top of things this discussion should set off some earth-shattering responses.

Given that they are poor with their customer service in general, I suspect that this will go unseen by their social media "experts" if they even exist.
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Kyle Premium
Yes, I agree. If their affiliate program doesn't have adequate resourcing in place and/or people that don't understand what they are doing, I am doubtful that the social media devision of their company (which will lead to FAR LESS revenue) is any more apt.
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David2018 Premium
This post is fantastic, as it will serve as a good reminder to newbie affiliates who perhaps get a few rejections that it isn't necessarily down to them or their website, as even someone as experienced as Kyle can get the same treatment.

If even one newbie who's received a rejection decides against quitting then this blog post will have done a great job.

As one such newbie, I thank you.
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, don't get down on yourself if you ever get rejected and don't view it as though it is a YOU problem, it is more likely a "them" problem.
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garydlc Premium
Hello Kyle thanks for your article here,

I too experienced a few rejection letters, I do not allow it to get me down though,

I move on as you did, but I too was curious to see what response I would get when asking for reasons of rejection as an affiliate to their program.

I am in the Automotive Industry I only apply to relevant Affiliate programs, I am really astounded that one could be rejected so easily, I am awaiting response and it has been 3 weeks since.

Why any business organisation refuse free internet exposure is astounding, but I suppose they have reasons, I just cannot understand.
There are so many other Affiliate programs that one could join so I try until I succeed, this is the game, we cannot quit at the 1st sign of resistance.

Great article Kyle, thanks again.

Gary
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terrycarroll Premium
Not only have they shot themselves in the foot by refusing you as an individual - by clearly not doing full research on who you are and what you stand for - but they have also missed an opportunity to attract those who you represent here in WA and thus a potentially large number of affiliates.
Perhaps a light bulb moment will hit them eventually.

Thanks for sharing, Kyle

Terry
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ContentBySue Premium
For many products I've used myself, I will also see if they have an affiliate program.

I'm in the RV travel and lifestyle niche and I applied to be an affiliate with Camping World through Rakutan platform. My first request was denied, so I persevered. I'm in the camping niche, for goodness sake! I waited a week reapplied and was approved.

Affiliate marketers drive customers to these businesses and it baffles me that any affiliate, no matter how large or small would be turned down...ever.

Wasn't Dragon initially part of a Word Perfect Office Suite?

All the best,
Sue
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, a lot of the time you have to persevere as you have an make your case, but this is what is so incredibly wrong with merchants attitudes towards affiliates. They treat you like dirt, until you make a case.

They are not hiring you, they are lucky to have you and you have choice and you can choose another competitor (and will) if they don't treat you will.

There is a big opportunity and always will be for merchants an affiliate networks that truly appreciate and welcome affiliates.
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bpais1 Premium
Great insight into how companies should treat their affiliates, Kyle.

Even though my website is just getting its feet wet with some small monthly earnings, I have been actively trying to diversify my affiliate connections - to get away from being 100% Amazon based.

I have added some through Rakuten, CJ, and ShareSale, to name a few. But, I have also gotten the standard canned rejection letter from some companies within each one of these affiliate programs - with no real solid explanations.

I have been able to ascertain that about half of these rejections are due to me residing in a state that is on their naughty list.

But, the others are just dark matter with no rhyme or reason.

I've tried to get "further details" on the rejections but, with no response.

Thus, I have placed these companies into my very own rejection folder to remind me never to attempt to sign up with them ever again - no matter how big and popular and successful my website becomes.

So, take that - you unfeeling, unthankful companies!

:-)

Jim

P.S. A list of these ungrateful companies can be provided upon request!
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herinnelson Premium
Hi, Kyle! First of all, this is a great "review!" If they only knew!! My affiliate links (besides WA) are on hold while I enhance my WA promotion site. Then, I will take warning of this most beneficial blog post of yours.

I am more interested in the dictation software you spoke of! With the amount of writing I do on a daily basis, I could definitely use a helper. I will be standing by for your review on your site! Intriguing post!
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suzzziq Premium
Thanks for sharing this, Kyle:). I totally agree with you about the fact that some advertisers take affiliates for granted. I received the same exact email the 1st time I applied with an advertiser. It took all of 5 seconds before the message popped up. It was a let down at the time. I also reached out to this merchant via email, but never heard back. I hope things work out in your favor!
Blessings:)
Suzi
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nathaniell Premium
Ha! I've been waiting for over a year for a response from one CJ affiliate I applied for...even after contacting their customer service department and CJ support directly. It's just an empty email inbox I assume.

One question I think is interesting to look at - how do you go about doing your review now that you were rejected as an affiliate? Does that change how you view the product?

If you were doing a "speech to text" series of reviews and Dragon was your favorite, would you still list them as your #1 choice even though #2 and #3 choice had affiliate programs?
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Kyle Premium
Just a year, surely you will hear back soon. Facepalm. You must be one of those newbie affiliates with 8-10 years in the space that they don't want to attract! They are looking for people that started affiliate marketing pre internet.

Well it does change how I view the product, their support, and their brand surely. Being an affiliate and in that space, all facets of a business represent who you are as a company. You cannot be great at one, and not another and expect people to view you as being "great" all around.

I have yet to explore other dictation software yet, nor have I purchased Dragon. So I am not sure yet, but within my content (and I have already done so), I recommend the "free first" as I am a proponent of bootstrapping in particular when it is available.

Mac Enhanced is quite good, just has learning problems. Windows is quite good, and so is the built in dictation on mobile devices.

Ethically, if I have a choice between 3 best products, I am going to choose the one with an affiliate program, if there are two that are garbage but have high paying affiliate programs I am not going compare them, though I may offer a review of them with a breakdown of the product itself.
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nathaniell Premium
Great advice Kyle! Thanks for the response brotha'
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Steagles Premium
How does one prove to be a good or great affiliate if he/she is not given the chance to become one? My niche is in Personal Development and it is hard to get coaches to approve you. I have received the same generic letter as well.

To reject someone like you with such a huge platform was definitely a mistake by someone in that department. Oops on them.
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sealLover519 Premium
Thank you for the info, Kyle. It is helpful in knowing what to do in receiving this letter.
I got a letter telling me that I might be interested in signing up as a publisher instead of a advertiser. Then tells me what I can do as a publisher.
And gives me a link to click on to fill out the application for publisher. This one was from CJ.
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webbsight Premium
I don't understand this Kyle,

If you are applying for an opportunity to promote their products and services then I don't understand why you should be turned down. Also, using a 3rd party to screen applicants and getting an ambiguous response as to why you didn't pass the criteria seems very bizarre to say the least. I mean, what do they have to lose by accepting your submission? This appears to be a vital flaw in their marketing structure.

I applied to for an affiliate program from a lab that tests the lengths of your telomeres (which are the tips on the ends of your chromosomes that are associated with aging). I wrote an article on the topic, wrote a blurb on them in the piece and it figured i would be accepted, but it's been 5 days and I haven't gotten response thus far. I hope that's not a bad sign. If so, I ask once more, what is the risk in accepting my application?

I guess I'll wait and see if I will suffer or have already suffered the same fate. If I have then c'est la vie and move on.

Thanks for this post, Brad
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LouisaB Premium
Thank you for the heads up about Nuance Affiliate Program. It appears to me that this program is not authentic and can't be trusted.
About a year ago I joined JC Affiliate program, but never emerged beyond that. I really haven't met up with this sort yet, so now, I will be on the lookout for such like ones.

Kyle, sometimes every disappointment is a blessings!
This was intended as is, yes, a lesson learned, and a lesson shared.

It's better to be aware than not to.

Much success!

Louisa B
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You might have well titled your post a lesson how not to treat transcriptionists. The Nuance business model is to sell software along with their own transcriptionists, at a cheaper rate than hospitals hiring their own. They employ incentivized supervisors to find errors then deduct from payment. Essentially their policy drives payment toward minimum wage, this for people who have to buy their own computers. When California recently raised the minimum wage Nuance immediately shipped all assignments to other states and India, putting thousands out of work. Consider yourself lucky not to have a mean spirited company like Nuance as a customer.
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RyanGooding Premium
Kyle,

This is why I love WA. You guys have so much knowledge in this world and it gives me great confidence to build my website and continue being apart of this community.

I couldn't agree with you more, companies need to step up if they want to expand and its THIER loss not yours.
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DBlanchard Premium
Thanks for this post. Now I don't feel as bad. I got the same exact email last week not once but twice by 2 different affiliate programs on CJ.
I don't know why either and I did not bother asking why.

If they (CJ) refuse a veteran like you, what does it say about them sending the same exact email to a newbie like me?

I think it's CJ that is behind all this...Maybe I'm wrong but it seems to be anyway.

Let's just move on to better things, shall we?

:-)

Denis
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, you certainly cannot feel bad about this, you move on and find a program that fits into your business. You always reward companies that are proactive, caring, and put you first (and don't behave like you owe them something).

Affiliates are willing to work for companies, are willing to outlay A significant amount of time, energy and expenditure without expecting anything in return into they actually drive money to that given company.

To undermine this with a senseless application process that doesn't have the proper stakeholders or knowledgeable folks running it is crazy in my opinion.
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jtaienao Premium
Thanks for this very informative post Kyle. Your experience with Nuance have definitely encouraged me not to promote their products. One less affiliate might not matter to them but it could lead to a ton more if negative reviews on them from other potential affiliates starts to rack up.
Jerome
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Kyle Premium
I think that is the approach many companies are taking these days, one less affiliate might not matter. The top affiliate programs and the companies that "get it" won't be treating affiliates in this manner.

Affiliates are the lifeblood to most online businesses, and thriving through 2020 and beyond is going to be the result of companies really paying attention to this.

In the meantime, there're going to be many more Toys R Us's happening.
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nightwatch Premium
I don't have a high opinion of Commission Junction having been treated very badly by them back in 2009. Maybe things are better now that they've been rebranded and are possibly under new ownership.

Another problem company is Google. Adsense is, essentially, their affiliate program and they treat their affiliates appallingly. If you've ever had a site banned from Adsense, you'll know it's virtually impossible to get it reinstated. You can't engage with a real person to discuss what's actually wrong with your site in Google's eyes. Instead you get sent a stock email listing several things you should look at that might be the issue. You're never told specifically what rule your site has broken. My sites never break any of these rules. Yet, someone in Google has a different interpretation. And, because I can't talk with a real person, I can't find out what Google thinks I've done wrong on a site. And so I can't fix it.

That Google are not prepared to engage with their publishers (affiliates) speaks volumes about what they think of them.

Have you ever noticed that when you go to the Adsense login page, it says that Adsense is used on over 2 million websites? There are billions of websites online and only 2 million of them run Adsense? That doesn't seem like a particularly successful business given Google's global reach.

Maybe it's indicative how little they think of their publishers if the number of Adsense sites really is that low.

Another bugbear is companies that want you to pay a fee to become an affiliate. It could be a single signup fee to become a member or a monthly fee. But it does seem like an incentive to keep members sticking around, paying fees, so they can continue to promote the product or service. If something is good enough to stand on its own merits, then why not allow anyone to promote it for free?

The final issue I have with some affiliate programs is the minimum payout threshold. I know companies have overheads in the preparation of affiliate payouts, but many companies simply just pay what an affiliate is owed, even if it's just a couple of bucks. Others will only pay out once you've accrued $25, $50 or $100 dollars in commissions. It looks to me like it's a way for those companies not to meet their commitments. They know a lot of affiliates will never get to those payment thresholds and that they'll never have to pay out those commissions. It's underhanded and fundamentally dishonest as far as I'm concerned.
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Kyle Premium
Google has never been known for treating people well, whether that's through the AdSense program or the Adwords program. I would say they have gotten a lot a lot better over the years, but Google also leverages a lot of other data and "history" when making their decisions.

When it comes to affiliate programs and merchants (advertisers) denying new folks on mass, that to me is the beginning of the end of their overall reputation and affiliate program.

Look at this scenario. I was not only begin to be a customer of their product, I was also going to recommend the product to many others through their affiliate program. One bad decision and not having the right people in the right places could be the downfall here.

This is not unique to just this program though, as you can see if there is a lot of frustration in the industry and as a whole I think affiliates need to start moving away from programs that behave in this "you work for us" approach to affiliates.
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sheikave Premium
The first time I was declined from being an affiliate I was crushed. I thought what was my fault then after some time I did realise they are greedy or thinking poorly. In in the long term game we all know that who will win. The new affiliate marketer that sucks now can bring 10 new refferal daily in 2 years time.
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Kyle Premium
I certainly have been declined in the past, but My main argument here is that affiliate programs are not giving affiliates the benefit of the doubt, nor are they realizing the negative impact it can have on their program by "declining" potential huge affiliates.

They are treating affiliates horribly, and hopefully this brings some light to the programs that are acting in this way.

It is fine to have an application process, but it is not fine to scrutinize an affiliate and deny an affiliate before they have gotten the opportunity to work for you.
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David1967 Premium
Thanks, Kyle, I appreciate the insight that your experience brings to the fore. A few weeks ago I received a similar letter, of course, I am very new to the online marketing world and that is pretty much what they told me in their short response to my application. Actually, they told me that my website was new and they could not ( in so many words ) accept my application.

Thanks again
DW
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Kyle Premium
You make me very new to the online and affiliate marketing world, but you could also be one of the top affiliate marketers this industry has ever seen. How is a company to know that when you are starting out.

If one company isn't going to give you the benefit of the doubt, there'll be hundreds more fighting for your attention (the ones that get it).
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Mokoffee Premium
I think this is a good subject for everyone to blog about. Affiliates need to know this is not an uncommon problem. This was news to me, being new in the affiliate business. Why any company would shy away from a resource to grow their business is foolish.

I have just published a blog titled 'Affiliates, the Backbone of Online Marketing.' in a positive light. I should amend it to include this information.

Kyle's blog got my attention that's for sure.
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Dashnow Premium
Well, this is very interesting, I use Dragon dictation all the time. I never even checked if they were an affiliate program when I chose them as due to a disability I need to use a dictation program. I was very disappointed to learn this about their affiliate program. I am not at a point where I would be promoting a dictation program but this creates a problem should I find in the future a need to do so. By the way, the Professionally Speaking Individual is what I am using and I like it so this is a bit of a conundrum for me.
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stvmnn Premium
I totally agree. I have never understood this picky attitude some affiliate programs project. Being arbitrarily denied access to an affiliate program permanently excludes someone that may produce millions in sales either now, or potentially, later. If an affiliate program denies me, I'll never apply again.

Anytime an affiliate program denies a potential marketer they are turning down sales, if even just a few a month, for now and probably more down the road.

As a business owner, I would never turn down sales, even if it is just a few a month. That is a sure recipe for failure in the long term.

Here's to Nuance's failure!
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followzhao Premium
I felt like sometimes companies do not want their products to be misrepresented at times - for example, WA, being openly accepting to everyone as an affiliate, tend to have a few bad sheep that needlessly bashes competitors just to promote WA, making WA look bad.

However, openly accepting affiliate definitely brings in thousands of people signing up, which is amazing and very profitable. Those companies like Nuance definitely should spend some time looking into accepting more affiliates and maybe placing strict rules in place, maybe that will help.

Thanks for the great read kyle.
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smokeywins Premium
In my opinion, this all points back to a companies customer service. It just happens that in this case, you are the affiliate customer instead of a traditional customer. While I have not had a lot of recent experience with applying for affiliate programs, as I'm just getting back into the swing of things, I have recently had my own less than stellar customer service experience, which I blogged about last week titled, The Importance of Customer Service. I still have yet to hear back from my multiple emails to the company, and their lack of response to my issue has lost them a very loyal customer. Sure the product is great, but I can no longer recommend them as I had in the past, even though I got ZERO in return for my recommendations. It's just sad that in this day in age, there are still companies that have not realized the importance of customer service, no matter if you are a buyer or an affiliate that want to promote their products.
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XavierTapia Premium
Hello Kyle, thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts regarding this subject. There is one principle we learned long time ago and now more than ever is King to understand and apply as a way of life if you want to be successful in any business or venture in life, online or whatever you choose to be." Excellence in Customer Service at all, all the times".
Best regards.
Xavier.T
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Kyle Premium
Well said, and I 100% agree. That is an important statement that all companies should have plastered on the walls of their corps. I think some companies get into a state of being "too big to fail" or they simply don't keep up with the evolution of technology and the times, and this is the result.
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JooKwang Premium
Hey Kyle,

I had similar experience of being rejected by another affiliate program. The interesting thing was that I wasn't convinced that I deserved to be rejected and thus I appealed and on the second try, they let me in! However, I have to say most affiliate programs may not provide an appeal option. I know this is another topic but Google Adsense rejected me and that was after I hit 100 blog posts on my site. No reason whatsoever...just mentioned my site did not meet their requirements and no amount of appeal/re-attempts worked. Anyway, I believe there are always worthier merchants to promote. The relationship is reciprocal and I like it when you used the analogy of hiring a CMO to work on a pay per sale basis. Lol, yes it simply won't happen and that's why I think affiliates are that crucial for any business who's serious about promoting their products.

Thanks for this encouraging article. I am just surprised it happened to you...makes me wonder what kind of review system these merchants are using.

Jude
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LexisMirekel Premium
This just happened to me today with AvantLink.com they said I had limited traffic, therefore, did not approve my application. Through the application process, I had to javascript a tag in my website to "prove" I was a legit online blogging host. I deleted the javascript immediately after the "approval" to then get denied. I thought that was a bit rude for them to see my stuff and how I conduct my business just starting out.
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Labman Premium
I'm not overly surprised by this,I've had problems with Nuance, the company. I don't have a problem with the software but the company itself has a problem with treating their customers well.
I bought their product. Then they decided that it was time to upgrade their software. In order to get the upgrade, I had to repurchase the product. They offered a 50% discount off the full price but as a current user, I should have been given a more reasonable option to continue using their product.

It takes a lot less to keep a current customer than to acquire a new one. Leaving a bad taste in your current customer's mouth isn't the way to keep current customers happy.
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CherryBomMom Premium
Nucense!
Although I have not yet reached this part of the training I anticipate a few speed bumps and I guess this would be one of them. I greatly appreciate your personal feedback and experience with a declined outcome. Not everything ends in success but it just means you move on to the next. Thank you for sharing.

Best wishes,

Cynthia
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AdeRobinson Premium
I had similar experience with Newegg and a few other advertisers through CJ. I think the issue may actually be on the part of CJ. I joined an affiliate program with an advertiser which had both their own in-house affiliate program, as well as advertised through CJ. I got approved right away (like 3 days I think) with the in-house program, but was always got denied with CJ. Right now I don't even both with CJ. I can get everything I wan't through in-house affiliates if I can find them. If not I move along.
I have a similar experience with VigLink also.
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TTedesco1 Premium
Clear, to the point and accurate. I have had a few similar experiences and I couldn't agree more.

We as affiliates are just as important and possibly more important than a potential.

We work for the company for nothing and abide by their rules. What more can they ask for?

If we are not appreciated then we close that door and enter through another door with a greater potential...

PS. I am currently using Google Docs; I am pleased...
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ontherise Premium
I believe the tables have somewhat turned since the inception of CJ and the like. The Stores using those middle men I believe were doing so in a new market where they wanted to be sure affiliates met a criteria to promote them in a new online world.
That online world is now eating up those not involved and affiliates are needed more than ever. Perhaps the criteria through CJ and the others needs to be addressed to meet the changes.
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NicholasRich Premium
Kyle, it's a little refreshing to have read this. I've been told 'no' twice this week for rather meaningful changes, but I take it in stride. The road to success isn't easy, but if people don't see my value - it's their loss, not mine! Adversity only strengthens my resolve at this point, and it seems you share that sentiment.

Fight the good fight, as always!

- Nicholas
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Laurel0887 Premium
I'm with you on this! Being a top sales professional for over 30 years, I know that the customer and the service to them is of utmost importance......it makes or break your business, not to say anything about commission checks! Good grief, I know kids and dogs names, their birthdays, anniversaries......everything but blood type (I've even got a couple of those)!

Business has to understand where their paychecks come from!

Laurel
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coxscastle Premium
When I was first looking for an affiliate I was interested in a company called collections etc. their program was with CJ. I applied 3 different times over the course of a week. I finally had to move on for they were holding me up on my wa training. I wouldn't recommend CJ to anyone.
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crunchr Premium
In my current occupation, there are always those who are not appreciative of your efforts to help them. There are also those who won't give you the opportunity to help them. What I have learned over the years is that you have to focus your attention on those who want your services and those who value your services.
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Djefferds Premium
There is an old saying "the customer is always right" While this cannot be true all the time they still be treated as if it were.
When any member here at wealthy affiliate can blog to over 1,000,000,000 people in a matter of minutes this is more important than ever.
Kyle i do not blame you for being upset with this company i would be also.
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Foobard Premium
I know the whole point of the article is that companies are setting up affiliate programs and then not managing them effectively, which might leave them behind in the fast changing world of commerce.

But it makes me feel a bit better about getting denied as a NewB when experienced marketers with a huge reach also get denied!
You could probably be an affiliate through a vendor and link it that way, like Amazon or NewEgg or whatever. But I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

For transcription, there’s always human transcription. There are several apps, I assume for both ios and android. One of the biggest and best for ios is Rev Voice Recorder. If you are an iTunes affiliate, you can promote the apps and send people to the App Store.
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lindy101 Premium
Very timely post. I just applied with CJ and I am still going through their application process. I thought their process did not sound right (too picky, but I was wanting to become an affiliate for DC Comics and thought it worth the effort. I'll give their process some time, but so far I do find it frustrating.
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mission0ps Premium
Totally cheeses me off how some merchants believe they are 'doing US' a favour. CPC often makes you jump through hoops.

It's a great breath of fresh air to have a vendor/merchant that makes it 'easy' to recommend a product or service... and the personal reach out is a nice touch.
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Marloo Premium
I am not a great typer. I like the idea of a voice writing program. Hope its better than my cell phone. I just cant use that anymore. I agree that lots of businesses are dying because they are getting left behind.
Question: Did you find a good voice typing program?
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KC1953 Premium
One heads-up about dictation, it does not remove the necessity of proofreading. Not being critical but the article above is a good example. Ya gotta proofread yer docs before sending 'em.

I use a program called Grammarly (no, I'm not an affiliate) and it saves me from sending a lot of spelling errors and word tense errors when writing, well, anything! I'm terribly bad about leaving words out here and there, even reading them in when I proofread but Grammarly is pretty good about catching 'em. Good program. It would be a good tool to use along with a program like Dragon.
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Steven-A Premium
This may be more of the way older technology companies have worked for many years than anything else. Nuance has been around for a long time - one of the first on the "big" dictation companies.
Traditionally these companies have put the majority of their resources on engineering and development not sales and service. Marketing has taken care of itself and often they have been over their skis trying to keep up and meet customer demands in sales and service. The opposite of your company
I have gotten an affiliate link through CJ and found them to be mediocre. Not particularly helpful or well organized. Their list of affiliate programs seems a little all over the place without a core principal or focus.
So we have two mediocre companies making a mediocre decision (insulting to you) probably at a low level based on minimal information. This, of course, is not a recipe for marketing and sales success. But as long as their sales are going in the right direction they will be content and affiliates will be misunderstood and largely ignored.
This is their loss.
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PeterNwosu Premium
Well, I am happy to see an affiliate program NOT to join. There are tons of affiliate program out there and I wish all of them could come into one large umbrella body.
I see it as a potential risk putting up my details online to many platforms in the name of affiliate marketing.
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DShensky Premium
I have used DNS as long as I've had a computer. I learned to type with one hand and do that a lot, but when I'm writing long blogs or articles, I use a speech to text program.

Nuance does much of its advertising on T or telemarketing. Every 18 months they upgrade their software and a new version is due out soon.

They many users like me who need adaptive software to function daily, but they want their products to gain traction in the general population. They've often asked me to rate and review their products, but I've been asked to help them market their products.

When I first used their product they were on version 8 and I have version 13 now. They came out with the last upgrade in 2016 Dragon Professional Individual 15 and a new version is due out some time this year.

Never knew they had an affiliate program until now because I never thought to look to see if they even have one and considering the large product line they have with DNS being just one product, surprising they don't take it in-house.
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ToLiNoLi Premium
I did some research on this matter Kyle and what I found out is you have 2 ways that can get you approved, much at CJ is automated and advertisers may look for certain "things" they don't want you to have otherwise your request gets declined.

When this happens, and apparently you are not the only one from what I found out, you will need to approach the advertiser directly and write them how you will represent them and why you believe you are an asset to make revenues for their products.

The best way to do this is to explain them in details your solid marketing plan.

Hope this helps :)

PS: nope I am not signed up, but also interested in Dragonspeak, although I love typing, it may increase my content creation for more novel stories to come, a welcome time saver.

Thanks for the great post and good luck Kyle.

Stefan :))
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Harizan Premium
Hi, Kyle, to me you are right as your opinion sounds so reasonable - either threat your customers and your sales team well, or you will vanish from the business "map"!

The only question I still can't find the answer is, how is it possible that there are so many companies out there that don't treat customers well, but still exist!

Even your experience with Nuance leads to that direction - they kicked out so reputable affiliate person like you, but are still number 1 company in their segment. How is that possible?
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manne13666 Premium
Hi Kyle,

Thanks for posting this. I just can't believe that any company would turn down the option to get their brand out there.

I had an experience where the company I wanted to promote turned me down because I was not already promoting their product. o_0. That definitely shifted my perception of them as a company. I don't buy from them anymore.

This company definitely seems like they aren't with it. They lost out on an amazing opportunity to have you promote them.

Good luck and take care.
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JosephGon1 Premium
Hello Kyle, and good morning.
That sure is some good stuff there !!!!
I have got to try and figure this computer out today. I have no more time to waste with it. So I'm going to call the maker of this thing and what's going on with it.
Have a wonderful day my friend.
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MarkBa Premium
I read your post with interest Kyle and have to say I was not surprised.

I have used Dragon for a few years. While it is good, it certainly isn't perfect. The software can be quite buggy which has been the case with all three different Dragon products I've owned.

For this reason I have on various occasions had to contact Nuance customer support or tech support. Firstly they make it as difficult as possible to speak to someone or even send them a ticket and when with you do, dealing with them has been anything but pleasant or helpful.

In fact I currently have a tech issue which has recently arisen and I have just decided to rather try and find a solution elsewhere, rather than go through what I know will be a very frustrating process.

So it's obvious that as a company they neither treat their customers or affiliates with any value. This is disappointing, considering their products are hardly cheap, and they are supposedly the leaders in their field.

~Mark
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TDomena Premium
Hello Kyle,

Thanks for pointing this out. As a much newer affiliate marketer than you, it's difficult to know whether this treatment is normal in the industry.

I've seen amazing growth in companies who treat their affiliates well, and as you mentioned, others decline. It's also a mixed bag with program managers. Some affiliate programs create great support and cameraderie, and others completely abuse the opportunity.

Hopefully, Nuance and others will learn how to treat affiliates. Affiliates are like their closest fan club! They made a huge mistake by not accepting you with your affiliate marketing reach and knowledge, but that's unfortunate for them.
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JillAlexaVA Premium
Hi Kyle, This was so interesting to read. I can just imagine them kicking themselves around the block when they realize what they have lost out on.
This would have been such a boon for people who have trouble with arthritis or any problem typing but perhaps will just have to keep looking for something.
Am very fortunate to be able to type and love going back to the written word to check what I have written. Feel so sorry for those who cannot do this.
Thank you so much for all the trouble you went to.
All the best,
Jill
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TeamIceCream Premium
LOL! Oh my goodness Kyle! They will for a very long time bear the brunt of the joke for turning down THE Mr Affiliate! ;-)

I'm not very experienced online, but I have a few things to say about offline marketing and I fully agree that all affiliates should be treated equal. I've seen in offline marketing how many surprises I've got trying to predict who will be our top Sales Reps. One can hardly ever tell beforehand, there are just too many variables.

And companies can SO easily kill their Reps' / affiliates' enthusiasm by treating them with disrespect, as if the Reps / affiliates should be the ones begging for the privilege, while they are very much a "partnership".

If there's a clever Affiliate Network out there, they will see this as a golden opportunity to make a deal with WA to approve all applications from WA members - and they will reap the benefits of us beginners putting in the effort and promoting them.

Just like the Chinese Proverb that says "A journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step.", they will realize that every affiliate bringing in a 1000 sales, starts with the first sale as well.

Thanks for sharing Kyle and much respect to you and Carson for what you have created here at Wealthy Affiliate!

Sharlee (Chocolate) + Vanilla IceCream
@TeamIceCream
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hagstf Premium
This reminds me of a question I have been meaning to ask.

When you join an affiliate network such as CJ, are there instances where the rejection may be an automatic response by CJ that is based on the criteria you entered when you first joined the network not matching the criteria set by the affiliate program?

Either way, if you were able to reach out directly to Nuance, then not having some type of response is unacceptable.

There were times when I have applied to affiliate programs that took 3 months for an approval.
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Memorylaneuk Premium
Thank you for sharing this Kyle, it can be disheartening to be turned by an affiliate program/ company and I have been turned down by several. I understand if your website is not congruent with their product or service but I think that many companies cannot see beyond the end of their noses. Who wouldn’t want free advertising ?
I, like you have argued my case and won in most cases but in truth my heart doesn’t lie in promoting them and the planned post definitely goes to the back of the queue.
With Grace and Gratitude
Karen
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DSweat1 Premium
Hey Kyle,

I also had a recent negative experience with an unnamed Affiliate Program.

I was part of an Affiliate Program that I probably shouldn't have joined in the first place.

Since I was brand new to applying for programs - I got a little too excited and applied anyways.

I was accepted into their program and wasn't having much success.

A few weeks ago, they sent me an email stating that they were revamping their entire inventory and website. (That included completely getting rid of everything except a few super-specific products.)

They apologized for the short notice and said that I had 24 hours until all the links on my site would become invalid.

Luckily I hadn't written too many posts targeting their specific products. Either way - I was starting to rank for some of their program-specific products that I had written about (around the same time they gave me that notice).

I ended up making some of the posts private and changing other links out for Amazon links.

I don't want to complain here - it just seemed like bad business to approach it that way. They ended up changing their company name and I think their address also changed - which seems pretty sketchy in retrospect.

I guess you live and learn, I'll be more careful in the future before applying to a program.

Sorry for being so long-winded about this, hopefully someone else reads this before they jump the gun - and it helps them out in the long run.

Thanks for you post I enjoyed reading it! :)
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Igor13 Premium
Hi Kyle.

I received the email message about your blog post and this is how I read it. To me, it looks unbelievable that somebody is refusing You as an affiliate.

Your network is so huge, your experience very profound, so that could only profit from it. Also, it is a great promotion for the company you are using the product from. For any company.

He, he, can I have you as an affiliate? That would be great!

I enjoy WA and thanks for sharing!

Best regards,
Igor
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Nick-at-WA Premium
You stated it very well, Kyle and my conclusion is that those merchants are too full of themselves. They truly lost a lot of potential customers. They've got nothing to lose but a lot to gain when they appoint affiliates.
Thanks for letting us know, now we know not to deal with them.
It's only them losing now, not you or us.

Onwards and upwards!
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Dhind1 Premium
Interesting post. As you say in your replies to the comments below, it should not matter who you are nor the reasons why you want to be an affiliate for them.

Each affiliate deserves a chance based on the merits of their websites.

I cannot imagine that whatever website you submitted does not measure up. Therefore, their decision criteria had to be based on something else, or it was just a programmed response - which makes no sense from their perspective.

I would be really interested to know what they based that decision on.
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MarkA1 Premium
Wow, that is insane. I use Dragon on occasion, but I confess that I'm so used to typing a million miles an hour that using my hands just feels more natural to me. I hadn't even thought about whether or not Nuance had a program, but I guess there's no sense in looking into it if they even turned you down. I can't imagine what they think they're looking for in affiliates.

Great post, by the way. I definitely learned something new, lol.
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Acoetzee29 Premium
Good day Kyle, I agree with you one hundred percent, this is something that I feel needs some attention from affiliate programs, yes not all websites are as stable or should I say has a lot of content but don't they deserve a chance at least.

Ever since I started joining merchants I have had quite a few that declined yet they never tell why you were declined. We can all relate to that right?

I'm honestly extremely happy that I read this blog. People need to be heard people are trying to get there business up and running just as those merchants. Yes affiliate get commissions to promote there products.

And I loved the way you stated that if someone else worked for them they wouldn't work for free where we nearly do.
Great post Kyle

Sincerely
Angelique
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Loes Premium
I am under the impression that affiliate programs have a rather random acceptance policy and a monopoly on their hands. I detest the Amazon rule that you need 3 unique sales within 3 months and they may not be connected to you, whatsoever. People work their butts off, placing affiliate links, have 2 sales, and are kicked out. And when a family member is using their affiliate link, they get banned. I have affiliate programs only, where I even can buy via my own link. They say, a sale is a sale. We don't mind where it comes from. Even my resident husband and children can order through my links.
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MarkA1 Premium
That's a much better policy. I'm going to have to look into programs like those. My WA sites are still in their infancy, but I'd rather avoid this problem entirely. I used to have a simple site for my company with my first mediocre attempt at a blog. I got approved for the Amazon program, but got dumped for that very reason you mentioned. Not a single sale, lol.

Of course, I was winging that one, since I hadn't discovered WA yet and didn't really know what I was doing. I know better now, but these new WA sites I've been putting together are taking forever to finish. At least I know that when I do, they'll be done right. In any case, I'm going to be on the lookout for better affiliate programs.
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Roybretton Premium
Thank you for your blog post-Kyle, I also a Dragon Naturally Speaking user or Dragon Unnaturally Speaking as I sometimes call it! I find Dragon extremely useful as I cannot type that quickly, I believe that I originally started with version seven and I am now using the present version, which is fifteen.

I also was not accepted for promoting the Nuance affiliate program, which I was highly surprised about at the time, this is going back a couple of years ago now.

I wondered if you would mind if I tweeted this article to Commission Junction and Nuance, maybe it will wake them up?

Incidentally, I would recommend Dragon NaturallySpeaking, I use it all the time, it has its frustrations, but for me, it is extremely useful and speeds up my typing dramatically.

All the best to you Kyle.

Roy
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bill808 Premium
I bought Dragon for Mac several years ago. I ordered on line and while I ordered the Mac version they sent me a PC version. Trying to talk to the support was a maze of answering machines When I finally got through, the man I talk to said he woud take care of it but I had to return the PC version. I had to pay shipping. I live in Hawaii and shipping is not cheap. They replaced the PC version with another PC version which I had to ship back. All in all I returnned three PC versions before I finally got my Mac version. My cost for the program including shipping was over $300.

Nuance has the best dictation software available and the absolutely worst customer service of any company I have ever delt with.
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Kyle Premium
Wow, thanks for sharing the experience. I have heard nothing but great things about Nuance and their software, and I know of many people that use Dragon for all of its features.

Unfortunately, there appears to be problems on the support side of things and they are sitting on a great product, with some focus on their affiliate program their bottom line would greatly benefit from this.
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CGeorge7 Premium
If an affiliate is unaware of lack of activity but feels they are not under represented by any means of the word, is there an outcry or warning that would be reasonable for that seeming nuance, instead of perceiving the nuance feels unrepresented. After all the very platform of premium membership dictates representation. Lack of action doesn't indicate uncertainty of representation, represents simply what it is.... lack of action?
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haroda Premium
I received the same generic message as well from a few companies already at CJ. This includes godaddy.com. I was approved with them long time ago but since my account was not active they probably deleted me. I re-applied again three times already and same response was sent to me as well three times. I thought it was me. Thank you for sharing this info.
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Kyle Premium
This is pretty typical for Godaddy and I have heard this from many others. It is surprising, because they used to have a fairly intimate understanding of affiliates.

I think it is time to move on, there are LOTS of services in the domain space, hosting space, and websites space that would love to have you as an affiliate (including us).
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haroda Premium
Yes! You are too right. Maybe their business model has changed. Moving forward. I have written two blogs -- hosting and affiliate marketing at WA - DONE!!! My next will be domain at WA. Thank you for your reply.
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rohan131165 Premium
Thanks, KYLE,
Your article is an eye-opener for merchants, I have also faced the same situation in JVZoo one product you have to take permission from the merchant to market that product and unfortunately, they refused me to promote their product, on what ground they refused me I do not understand.
I am frustrated and stop working on JVZoo, I think that they have lost at least some business and referrals.
This is one of the best blogs from you.
Thanks
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Kyle Premium
Move on. They don't deserve you, your time, or your effort. The irony is that they likely don't understand affiliate marketing, yet they are making decision that impacts their reputation to affiliates and the company they are representing.
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ValerieJoy Premium
Hi Kyle, Nuance has made probably their biggest mistake by declining your application. They had opportunity to grow their business hugely. If they won't accept you as an affiliate, there's no hope for anyone else to get accepted.

I have received similar messages of decline from companies associated with CJ. I know it was Nuance who rejected your application, but that notification you received is familiar.

Thanks very much for sharing. I know now never to feel bad again when I'm rejected.
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, it is definitely a canned answer that advertisers on CJ sent affiliates. The problem here is that an affiliate doesn't owe a merchant anything, they are willing to work hard for a company in exchange of commission share. If they don't work hard, they don't make money.

It surely isn't of benefit to not allow someone to "attempt" to drive business to your company. No affiliate starts off as a "whale", they become that way through time and often times with nurturing from a program.
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Tirolith Premium
Thanks Kyle for the information. My computer has speech recognition and I have set it up but not had a go at it yet.
I was asked by someone on LinkedIn if I would join them.
I said I was broke etc., and said I would join someone who would not charge me but would teach me what they wanted for nothing for a share of the income.
Funny I have not heard back,I wounder why. They only want to take and not give.
Thanks for your time,
Tom.
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Kyle Premium
Give it a test, I think you will be impressed Tom. Average speech I believe is around 160 words per minute, even with a bunch of edits, you will likely be over 100 words.

If you know that topic you are about to write about, you are going to be pushing 1,000 words of content every 10-15 minutes. Brilliant, right?
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Tirolith Premium
It should be faster than a 77 year one finger dyslexia old bugger.
Thanks Kyle,
Tom.
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Defiant6 Premium
Wow, thank you so much for sharing and this is something that should definitely be read by merchants. Toys R Us is one of the biggest examples and I've heard their affiliate program has really suffered over the years. I really hope Amazon and other great affiliates don't go in that direction as it could cost dearly like you said.
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Kyle Premium
Well with a 6 hour cookie, they shouldn't have had an affiliate program in the first place.

The problem with a lot of companies that implement affiliate programs is that they have no resources or knowledge on affiliate marketing, or how to properly run an affiliate program.

I think as we move forward, we are going to see a lot more demand for this knowledge and folks here at WA are going to really carry a "high demand" skill set from what they are learning, implementing and building a business from.
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IvyT Premium
I’m a newcomer to this space, so all this is interesting. I’m learning as much from people’s anecdotes as I am from the course.

My only experience with such a lengthy review process was with a particular program (no names) that some here had mentioned was difficult but worth getting into. So I took a look out of curiosity.

I’m not yet in a position to publish any of my posts, so I didn’t even have a website or any traffic to show them. Nothing. They also required a lengthy telephone interview, which just never happened due to one thing and then another.

I was sure that would kill off the application.

But then I replied to a follow up email to explain who I was, who my husband was, what we’re looking for...

Next minute: there’s a welcome email, hello, I’m your affiliate manager he says. Just like that. Here are some tops suggestions for your consideration.

I was honestly surprised at the responsiveness and helpfulness, given what newb I am to such interactions, but it was a good initial impression.
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Kyle Premium
It is always good to have a decent base of content before you apply to an affiliate program that has an application (review) process, but you will find that there are MANY affiliate programs that do not require this.

Just be careful, you should never need a telephone interview or to pay money to be part of an affiliate program. So just be careful about that.
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IvyT Premium
Thanks for the advice. Not a penny will go into the hat of any scammer!

I provided a summary of my professional writing-editing career in the absence of a blog. Maybe that was it? Maybe not. All new territory.

But truly, after hearing about screening processes from others, I had expected a bit more. I’m used to competing for things, Hunger Games-style, and it bugs me when goals seem too easy. It’s what makes me a little cautious.

All things considered, the quality of the working relationship will only get tested once the ball is rolling. I’m curious about so much!
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judebanks Premium
Thanks for sharing your story, Kyle. it helps us all to see the big picture.

I'm not clear about who actually made the decision to refuse your application - was it the affiliate manager at CJ, or is CJ required to refer it to someone at the Nuance company who decides? ~Jude
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KenPe Premium
Hey Kyle,
What a "dumb" reaction by Nuance. They rejected the wrong
person here and I believe they will suffer for it. It is a shame
that a company with such a good product would make such a
decision. You are right that the affiliates should be at the forefront as they are promoting their products for a small
percentage of the profits. Thank you for the information and
hopefully they will get the message. Five Gold Stars for YOUR
reaction and I am PROUD to be member of YOUR TEAM and
would NOT want to be a member of their TEAM.

Cheers,
Ken
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PatsyC Premium
Hi Kyle, thanks for sharing this and I don't blame you for being turned off about the whole thing. They don't know what they are missing out on having turned you away for whatever the 'reason' is.

I can relate on both ends having dealt with a few merchants. On one side, having had 2 merchants design custom banners for me which is great with one of them giving me a 25% discount to offer my visitors. He added my name, ID and the discount in the URL. The other side is how I had simple questions for two other merchants that would benefit both them and myself but they didn't even reply back!!

Here I am promoting them with my helpful, quality articles and for small commissions and they can't even answer a question. One has huge banners and I asked for a smaller widget size and the other merchant it was about images.

I'm still in the process of finding a new affiliate program for my mens line to replace the snobs I currently have. Then I'm cutting them off right after I send them an email about it :p

They should be more accommodating to us, along with grateful and thankful for all the work we do everyday promoting them. They should pay higher commissions and give us bonuses (wishful thinking)

Thanks again, I'm sure many of us can relate!
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benandnili Premium
I’m not a professional at affiliate marketing yet - but I do know business and client relations. The truth is that there are many companies out there that are investing in the quick solution, the flash responses and missing you it on the longevity.
Probably what I love the most about this platform WA is that the only promise given is that it will take time - and if done right, will be continually successful.

Thanks for the reminder that when we start editing out our personal touch and involvement - we are likely causing more harm than the temporary gain we may experience.

Thanks for sharing
Ben
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GuineaPig Premium
You are correct to react to Nuance the way you did, some of these companies think their products are so valuable and or good they really do not need anyone's help to grow. I think they start to feel like they are too big to fail but they obviously underestimated the influence you would have on other potential customers.
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tudogz Premium
I'm totally gob-smacked by this!!
I've been rejected a few times, and it's disappointing when they can't or won't explain their reasoning.
As Eddy says below, I'm guessing you'll be getting a message from them soon.
Personally, I feel Amazon fall into this category also. They make it so hard to be accepted and have us jumping through so many hoops, and for what - commissions in the range of 5%?
I've rejected them! There are so many programs out there where we feel appreciated.
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HelenpDoyle Premium
It's pretty obvious their review team/person isn't doing their job right.

I am amazed at the Hudson Bay company. Our family lived remotely all around BC. All our shopping was via Eatons, Simpson Sears and Hudson Bay catalogues.

They had personal shoppers who would go out and find alternatives to your order if it wasn't available from them. They always substituted higher quality products.

How the mighty have fallen!
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MarvH Premium
Kyle, sorry, I didn't see anything about your broken finger earlier.I know how that one feels. But regarding this fiasco with the Nuance Company ---one of those things that come along that make you wonder what they are thinking about.
Not a great way to run a business.
A lesson for us to be aware of our associations.
Marv
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silverflamze Premium
Thank you, Kyle,

Hearing your situation with acquiring approval is interesting and I did try several affiliates and been refused or never replied. When new to online marketing I thought very profound to go to so much trouble to be able to recommend products and services and yet be declined.
When operating retail store I was all too happy to reward the advertisers of my products (the admirers and buyers that can't stop talking about it to other people) as word of mouth was our growth, certainly not much from paid advertising, and as I see it here too in the online world.

That all the free marketers driving traffic to a product for an incentive is sensational and when I open retail again I would do even more for my promoters and this is given a great spark for a future affiliate program I can start.

Very interesting indeed :)
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GeoffGS Premium
Sadly, my experience with Rakuten wasn't much better. I noticed dozens of links to fishing gear that all led to the wrong product. When I reached out to customer service, they wanted me to give them the link in question. I tried explaining that it wasn't one link, it was a mass issue. I wasn't going to go do the work of reporting a 100 wrong links for them. No way. Then they reached again because of my negative feedback and gave me the same runaround. Sorry. Later. I won't be seeing them again.
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, it is not your job as an affiliate to fix their problems. The fact that you reported and you helped this particular program with their links was highly beneficial to them (as they could then assess and fix the problem).

If they don't do so in an efficient manner, then the links simply won't work for the affiliate, and thus they move on. Which is the case here. Thanks for sharing your story Geoff.
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GeoffGS Premium
Thanks for the reply. I'll share it on FB when I see it. :)
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SamDal Premium
I've never really understood the reason why an affiliate program would reject ANYONE providing their site is not in the prohibited category and they don't violate their promotion terms.

I mean, I know as a business owner, I couldn't give a you know what where my sales come from - the more the merrier!

Kyle's sale on a site he runs having to do with women's bikes is just as good as Lisa's sale coming from her soup blog.

Since getting rejected from numerous programs over the years, I usually don't give second chances to companies who think their affiliates have to earn their business.

Affiliates earn them business!
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nudge1969 Premium
I recently had a similar experience Kyle.

The response I received after waiting close to 4 weeks!

'After reviewing your application, we unfortunately cannot approve you at this time. This is due to one of the following reasons:

-- Your website contains coupons. We are not currently partnering with coupon sites and are considering no exceptions.

-- Your website is based out of California, Indiana, or Pennsylvania. We cannot approve these sites due to Nexus and/or other tax laws. We are NOT considering any exceptions at this time.

-- Your website's content is not relevant to our products.

-- Your website has little or no content, is broken or is not live.'

So went through each of these as a response to them.

"Hi there.

After receiving a declined affiliate application I went through the possibilities of why I have been declined.

Your website contains coupons. We are not currently partnering with coupon sites and are considering no exceptions.

Nope, I do not use coupons.

Your website is based out of California, Indiana, or Pennsylvania. We cannot approve these sites due to Nexus and/or other tax laws. We are NOT considering any exceptions at this time.

Nope, I'm base out of Australia

Your website's content is not relevant to our products.

Even though I'm starting off with bar, pool room & kitchen products to promote, I will be branching to other products. I believe my current content IS relevant to your website as you even have a 'Kitchen & Bar' menu on your website.

Your website has little or no content, is broken or is not live.

My website is not broken and is live.

I started this website 7 weeks ago and have 14 posts published with 10 of those posts comprising over 3000 words of reviews. I believe you've only looked at my homepage (my analytics tell me this) and have made an assessment on this.

Feel free to reassess my website but I'm quite content to help out other companies if still declined."

I assume the reason is not enough content. So how much is enough content?
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benandnili Premium
Wow. Looking forward to hearing how this one ends!
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nudge1969 Premium
Well I'd say it's ended. They haven't got back for 4 days.
I'll just move on to better affiliates. :)
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Swangirl Premium
Interesting Kyle. Thanks. I think it will make some people feel better if they got rejected by an affiliate program but see that you did too! Sorry...it is ridiculous you got rejected but I am sure by sharing it here you are helping others, so thanks!

I am always interested in your observations about the shifts in marketing.

Jessica
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Kyle Premium
I surely don't feel invincible to this, I am just want to take one example and show the faults of the current industry. Affiliates, like myself, like you, can choose what we want to promote.

Merchants cannot choose or make us promote their product. Those that behave in this way, will face the consequences of less affiliates, less reach, and less clout within their given niche.

This is just one example, I am sure there are 100's of others that people could share here that are similar to this. My personal opinion is that Kyle, the affiliate, should not be treated any differently than Jessica the affiliate, by any company.

The application process for many is flawed, and in my opinion it can become more of a determent than it can be advantageous for the companies that are too stringent on their policies or simply have an intermediate that doesn't adequate understand affiliates to be making the executive decision in the first place.
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EddySalomon Premium
Oh man, someone is going to be kicking themselves when they learn the president of a leading company that has taught millions of people affiliate marketing and has made millions with affiliate marketing was rejected for their affiliate program. Doh! I expect a desperate follow up message very soon. Are they on twitter or Facebook? I need to share this article with them. Tsk tsk. lol

We've all been rejected from affiliate programs before. And the smart ones will engage in a discussion with you. I know its happened to me and when I explained my relationships with other companies and what I've been able to do for them, some will change their tune.

But I always find interesting that companies are willing to reject potential new business. As business owners I would love it if I had thousands of people willing to promote me and only get paid if they perform. It's a no brainer. But I guess some companies don't see the value.

You run an affiliate program so maybe as a merchant you can see the devil's advocate point of view. But it's hard for me to see the downside in that relationship for a vendor.
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Kyle Premium
Exactly, and well said. Even if I don't have a website yet in the given niche, how can a program effectively determine whether or not I aqm going to be a quality affiliate for them. They can't.

And why would I go to a trouble building a business around a product/service/company as an affiliate, without approval with an affiliate program. I wouldn't.

The problem is I believe lack of resources in the places that need resources. For an online company these days, that is their affiliate program...and affiliate management.

It is a case of assuming poor affiliate behaviour, before you give an affiliate the time of day. That is adverse to any appropriate rational and hence why there are some many companies WITH affiliate programs that still struggle to get quality reach online.
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EddySalomon Premium
That's a great point Kyle. Well I went ahead and tweeted this article to their twitter account. I'm sure you'll be getting a follow up email very soon. lol
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judebanks Premium
If that doesn't work Eddy, the CFO and Vice-President are on LinkedIn. I am no longer a member on LinkedIn, otherwise I would do the same. ~Jude
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EddySalomon Premium
I'm sure thwid company will hear about this. This article is ranking for their affiliate program name. Lol
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