There is no doubt that the Thesis from DIY Themes is an exceptional WordPress theme that is so easy to customize. As our blogger friend ZK rightly says “If god blogged, he would use the Thesis theme” which I agree to some extent assuming that the God is so bad at PHP that he could not afford to write his own WordPress theme.
Jokes apart, I have been having tough time with DIY folks – not with respect to the piece of software they have written but with the affiliate program (and the system) that they are offering. As you know, I am really interested in promoting selected good products on this blog as long as they fetch me some money via affiliate or referral sales.
Issues with the Thesis Affiliate Program
As you probably know I had run a Thesis, HostGator, OIOPublisher offer in the month of October whereby most of the affiliate income earned was being reimbursed to my referrals (I still do this). As part of this scheme, I also sold some Thesis theme licenses and the following was the situation with respect those sales.
Licenses sold: 7
Referral sales immediately recognized by the affiliate system: 3
Referral sales recognized after several support queries: 2
Referral income yet to be recognized: 2
The thesis affiliate support person, at that time, responded to my mails acknowledging that they have flaws in their affiliate system that sometimes does not recognize sales and they had to do it manually case by case. They also have a huge backlog on this manual process and to avoid all these they were planning to move to a new affiliate platform (Not sure if that’s the case yet)
Now my problem is that, I had offered discounts to my referrals which I mostly paid (except one case) on time expecting the money to come from the affiliate payout. Since it did not happen I am running on loss here with respect to that particular deal, which I do not like for sure.
Second problem, I am facing with the thesis affliate program links is that their online certificates seem to have expired and hence visitors to this blog (due to the affiliate code placed) are sometimes thrown an invalid certificate error. I am yet to remove the affiliate links as I am hoping that they will correct this issue. Also, since the product itself is really good, I am not removing the links as yet – Any inconvenience to my readers is regretted.
General problems with affiliate links
The affiliates face several issues with various affiliate programs that are available at the moment. The following are some the issues that I have faced.
- Affiliate clicks are not recognized at times mainly due to the poor logic (‘last click-through from’ logic)
- Even if the clicks are recognized, the sales will not be recognized against a partifular affiliate, because of the work flow completion issues (landing page to thank you page logic)
- The payment process takes too long (in some cases as long as three months) for unexplained reasons
- Minimum payment requirement sometimes is too high even for small products. Why can’t they release money on a monthly basis as soon as they mature?
- Instead of placing a simple HTML link code, sometimes they place huge scripts that could be malicious
- Some links and banners are non standardized (e.g. heavy JPG images, non-standard HTML)
- Affiliate support is poor and many times do not respond back. The support quality has deteriorated since recession hit (probably due to under staffing)
At this point of time, I should also mention some of the referral schemes that are run in a highly professional manner. Simon Emery of OIO Publisher is one such gentleman who is willing to listen to issues and always improvise. I also felt that the HostGator affiliate scheme is clean and organized.
The emotions expressed here have nothing to do with the Thesis theme itself – It continues to rock and I still like it. But in order to promote the theme, there’s a certain incentive that we are all supposed to get and it’s just not happening in a consistent and transparent way.