Hidden cross sales and more

Cross sales are a strong, valid marketing strategy for extending a purchaser additional offers for related products, usually at a special discount. This has been around long before the internet, and not limited to the adult business. Such as when you get a magazine subscription and can check a box for a related magazine subscription for a discounted price. The problem is when unscrupulous companies misuse cross sales to trick the purchaser (and sometimes the affiliates) into taking these offers and increasing their profits.

hidden cross sales The first and most prevalent misuse is hidden cross sales. This is when the pre-checked offers are beneath the form’s submit button, so that the purchaser will hopefully not even see the cross sales before he submits his form info. That’s the only reason to place the cross sales beneath the submit button. This leads to pissed off members who can suddenly get additional charges on their credit card they weren’t aware of and feel scammed, increasing the percentage of charge backs and surfers who are now wary of signing up to any more sites. It’s a short term run to increase profits at the surfer’s expense. Check out this sample join page still being used – the two pre-checked cross sales are well below the form and ‘Complete Transaction’ button. They’re also presented as ‘free access’ instead of optional offers. The surfer has to read the fine print to find out they’re actually not free at all. If you don’t mind fucking over the surfers, then you won’t mind promoting sponsors using hidden cross sales.

Another sponsor trick is against their own affiliates. On revshare programs, where the sponsor and affiliate is supposed to share generated revenues, the sponsor adds cross sales to other programs and so keep all the cross sale revenues. It’s a way to piggy back on the traffic an affiliate sends to increase their profits. The affiliate doesn’t get any part of these sales when sending traffic. This may be acceptable when the sponsor is paying per sale, when the cross sales generated are included when they determined the payout amount, but on revshare, they’re just not sharing. They’re skimming your traffic for additional revenues. Not only does the join page image above use hidden cross sales, it was generated on a revshare link.

In summary, before you join any new program, be sure to check for all the sponsor tricks you dislike and be strong in your convictions.

5 Responses to “Hidden cross sales and more”

  1. I read your blog regularly, but have never felt the urge to comment before. I would just like to say that this post is spot on – hidden/pre-checked X-sales are just a dirty trick on the customer, brings down the rep of the adult business in general, and is a big leak for any affiliate pushing a programme that uses them.

    Good post!

  2. It’s a shame that underhandedness like this goes on. It is a let down for the rest of us trying to make good and buck the trend. Carefully picking your affiliates is great advice. Great post, as always!

  3. Thank you for a great post!

  4. Yep, another informative post from “Wulf”. Good for everyone to read…I have signed up for an affiliate before and never even checked their sign-up page, just looked at the main site, available tools and maybe looked at the price to sign-up, but didn’t really check out any cross sales problems. So be sure you look into all these things when checking out a sponsor!

  5. Great post HW!

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