For merchants, working with affiliates who are currently using expired ad campaigns becomes a common problem this time of year. Most merchants will make holiday related ad campaigns available to their affiliates, many of which represent seasonal sales or promotions and thus have specific expiration dates. In the past, affiliates using these seasonal ads after the holidays, and more importantly after the promotion or sale had ended, presented program managers with a very manual process of identifying affiliates using these ads and then communicating with them to make the switch to a newer, more relevant ad.
To solve this problem, we have always highly recommended merchants exclusively use a consolidated list of non-expiring banner ads and continuously keep those ads relevant through DYNAMIC UPDATING. Is that so important that it deserved all caps and bold, you ask? Yes, dynamic updating really is that important and a fundamental management technique each program manager should be using as it saves time and work for both you and your affiliates.
But even programs who actively practice dynamic updates to their ads will occasionally find affiliates using outdated ad campaigns. Because of this, AvantLink has added a new merchant report that shows affiliates who are currently promoting any expired ad campaigns. It’s called the “Invalid Affiliate Link” reports and can be found under the Quality Assurance section in the merchant report configuration screen. Besides identifying which affiliates are using outdated ad campaigns, it also gives you a number of different error reports for their activities including:
- Using expired merchant ads (mentioned already)
- Using an invalid affiliate link
- Invalid link requests
- Invalid tool type specified
- Invalid use of exclusive affiliate ad
- Non-active merchant relationship (discontinued affiliates still using your ads despite not being active)
- Non-existent datafeed configuration (tool configured around a datafeed the merchant no longer provides)
- Any combination of the above
A number of additional yet far less common errors are also available, but not mentioned above. In addition to showing the errors, details on the particular affiliate causing this error as well as the number of occurrences and what program the error was made in are provided so you can reach out to these affiliates and ask them to make the necessary updates.
This report should be used frequently to help ensure that all affiliates are using ad campaigns and tools that are current and configured properly.
For any questions on the Invalid Affiliate Link report, please contact AvantLink support by clicking the “support” tab at the top right of your account and submitting a support request ticket.