If a vendor discards your leads because of "Bad Data" or "Bad Leads", what does that mean? It means Leads that include inaccurate contact information, disconnected numbers, or bounced email addresses. Also, missing required fields in forms, improperly formatting data, misrepresenting themselves like claiming an inaccurate age. A lead that denies submitting their information after being contacted within 24 hours of allegedly submitting it is considered a bad lead.
Quality of the lead
I was recently involved in a dispute with an online guru selling both a consulting service and marketing products from his website. During the discussion he said:
"It is not the amount of visitors sent, it is the quality of the lead. Unfortunately, the leads sent this way did not produce any sales."
It's been my understanding that the affiliate's job is to send prospects to the vendor, his job to sell them. If he can't sell them, it's hardly the fault of the prospects or the affiliate sending them.
Is this vendor trying to excuse his inability to sell his products? Or is he saying that buyers had to have some kind of qualifications before they could buy them? Frankly, that doesn't make any sense. The only qualifying required of most online buyers is to have a credit card that works. If this is the case, though, what would an affiliate have to do to insure that the prospects they send a vendor are "qualified" enough to buy?
Or is this vendor saying that prospects had to pass some arbitrary test of his own devising to "qualify" them to purchase his services? If that is the case and no one subscribed to his services, is he also claiming that no one bought products either? Or is the vendor reporting only one type of sales and not the other? His ambiguity does little but raise questions about how he pays, or does not pay, his affiliates.
As much as you can, find out what your vendor is actually paying commissions on.
I have noticed that websites for two other gurus I was promoting simply disappeared along with any stats on my commissions earned. One website simply vanished along with the guru. He seems to have lately reappeared. The other guru's website cannot be accessed by any browser I am using, and I am using three. He has lately set up a different website showing links to his original site, but the pages cannot be accessed. As far as I've been able to tell, his new site doesn't mention affiliates at all.
Other ways vendors avoid paying commisssions:
Google AdSense ads on the sales page.
Alternate payment options, alternate products on the sales page, alternate sales pages, taking orders by phone.
Payment threshold that's unreasonably high.
Following are links to forums that have posts about unethical merchants:
ABestWeb.com>Affiliate Marketing Forum>ParasiteWare>Unethical Merchants